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marypoppins: I’ve made a bit of a mess of this


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I was first given citalopram when I was 14 and was quite quickly moved up to a high dosage of 40mg. I’m now 27, and although I’ve had lots of gaps in taking citalopram, it’s become my “normal”. In the past I’ve tapered very quickly or stopped cold turkey, and although it’s been difficult I’ve always considered it the only way. Which is why, last week, I just stopped taking them.


I was on 40mg and just stopping has been hands down one of the hardest weeks of my life, unbelievably unpleasant. I was avoiding research because of a fear of being told to not come off of them.


This evening I’ve started looking into it a bit more thoroughly, as withdrawals are now unbearable. Hence I found this place, and feel fairly stupid for what I’ve been attempting. I’m still not really sure where to go from this point. I’ve just taken 20mg and am currently planning on continuing to do that for the time being, and then starting to taper when appropriate. 


Granted, I’ve really messed this up so far. But is suddenly taking 20mg okay, or should I be going back up to 40mg? I’m struggling to put together information, which isn’t helped by the fact that my brain is a total mess at the moment and I can’t think straight.


Not sure how relevant it is, but I’m currently at the most stable my life has ever been, with a good career, a straightforward marriage and a healthy relationship with my feelings. The only reason I was on such a high dose was because I had complained to my GP about experiencing dizziness on a lower dose, so he doubled it. So I don’t feel that I actually need to be on citalopram, except for to avoid withdrawals.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi marypoppins and welcome to SA,


Q:  How long ago did you stop taking 40mg?  It will depend on when you did this whether 20mg is a good dose to reinstate.  Please let use know as soon as possible because you might need to lower your dose.  Thank you.


Please read post #1 of this topic:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


The idea of reinstating isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely but to bring them to a bearable level.  It takes about 4 days for a dose to get to full level in the blood and a bit longer for it to register in the brain.  It is important that you be patient and try and remain as calm as possible.  You might feel some improvements in some symptoms in the first couple of days.  Please keep daily symptom notes on paper so you can see what effect reinstatement is having on your symptoms.


When you are feeling a bit better, please create your drug signature. 


Please make it nice simple by following these instructions (NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you):

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature


Once we have more details about your drug history we will be better able to offer suggestions.


This is your own Introductions topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and journal your progress.


I've given you the information you need to start with in this post.  Later on we will provide some additional information and give you more links.

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi marypoppins, 


Welcome to SA. Please answer ChessieCat’s question as soon as you can.Thank you.


Don’t beat yourself up about your mistakes. Most of us have made terrible mistakes in the past before learning on this site how to taper properly. We have let doctors cold turkey us and put us on and off meds too. I was put on so many different things due to chronic pain that I don’t even remember what they were. 


When I was going through withdrawals with severe akathisia I thought there was something terribly mentally wrong with me but it was withdrawals. I was crawling out of my skin. Only figured out it was withdrawals much later on. 


We just need a bit more information as ChessieCat mentioned because it’s best to not updose too high. Small amounts are best. Even when one updoses it doesn’t mean that all your symptoms will go away but they may not be so intense. Sometimes it doesn’t work either, but everyone is so different. It’s the best plan of action we have though. 


Check out the link on reinstating above. 


Please do not panic as we do all heal in the end. Just take a step at a time and remember recovery is possible even if it takes a long time. Slow n steady does it.


Sending hugs🤗










Been on APs, benzos, ADs and opiates, all for chronic pain. Had severe Akathisia in the past that made me suicidal. Still on Seroquel. 2019:➡️ March10=7.25mg ✔️April17=7.0✔️June5=6.75✔️ July14=6.50✔️Aug28=6.25✔️Oct10=6.20 ✔️ Oct21=6.0✔️Dec16=5.80 ✔️  2020➡️Jan 21=5.60✔️April2=5.40✔️May29=5.20✔️Aug14= 5.0 ✔️Sep29=4.80✔️2021➡️ Jan31=4.60 mg✔️April24=4.40mg✔️Jul17=4.30mg ✔️Aug 28=4.20✔️ Oct 11=4.15✔️Nov1=4.10✔️ Nov21= 4.05✔️ Dec13= 4mg✔️  2022➡️Jan8= 3.95 Jan 31=3.90✔️March2=3.85✔️ April4=3.80✔️June16=3.75✔️July26=3.70✔️Sep2=3.65✔️ Oct21=3.60✔️Dec8=3.55✔️ 2023➡️Jan 26=3.50✔️March 17=3.45✔️ THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE, consult a doctor.

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