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ChasingRainbows: adverse reaction to 1 dose of Celexa / citalopram hydrobromide

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ChasingRainbows

I was prescribed citalopram hydrobromide tablets at 20mg 2 weeks ago. After taking one dose I was vomiting within hours. Within one hour, the tablet started to work and I felt emotionally numb. This effect got stronger as the day wore on and I decided the next day not to take another one.

 

After the missed dose I experienced a plethora of symptoms such as depersonalisation, dereliasation, insomnia, strange behaviour, tingling in my hips and legs, frightening nightmares, a 'changed reality' and strange thoughts among other symptoms. Over the next week the symptoms became so intense and frightening that I thought I would at some point eventually end up in a psychiatric ward. I thought my life was over. The side effects over the second week improved in intensity and I have windows where my perception of reality is markedly improved. I have, however developed tinnitus over the last few days and there was a resurgence in abnormal dreams last night along with some abnormal thinking.

 

Overall, things seem to be improving a little (markedly better than last week) but I am still concerned. I feel drugged and my brain feels clearly warped and under the influence of psychiatric medication. The tinnitus is getting worse. I am going backwards and forwards a bit and concerned that the emergence of new symptoms is indicative of a trend. I don't know whether I should go back to my doctor and reinstate the medication in order to taper off. It has been two weeks and I am worried that the window for me to do this has closed. If I were to taper, I would not know how to do it based on how I used the medication. I would greatly appreciate any help. The issue is putting a strain on my dad who is sick himself. 

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ChessieCat

Hi ChasingRainbows and welcome to SA,

 

Are you still taking them?

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat. Thank you for replying. I had to modify my post as I accidentally submitted it before finishing. 

I took a single dose of the med 2 weeks ago and stopped. All the doctors that I have seen tell me that I am not experiencing withdrawal symptoms, however almost all of the side effects occurred after I missed the second dose and various websites list my side effects as withdrawal symptoms. 

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ChessieCat

It's really good that you only took one dose of the drug.  You have had an adverse reaction to it.  I suggest that you do not take it again and if it was me, I would not ever take another psychiatric drug.  In the future, if you are prescribed any drugs, please do your research before taking them.  That also applies to supplements (St John's Wort and the like).  As an example, bupropion, sold under the brand names Wellbutrin and Zyban among others, is a medication primarily used as an antidepressant and smoking cessation aid.  It's not something that a person wanting to quit smoking might realise.

 

It's unfortunate that you have had this experience, however it could have been much worse because many doctors would tell you that it is a start up effect and tell you to stay on it, and possibly increase the dose and/or add another drug.

 

Please see this post:  But I only took it for a Week.  You might find it helpful to read the other posts in that topic too.

 

It's really good that you have been noticing improvement.  Recovery isn't linear, it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern.  It's going to take time for you to recover and you will need to be patient and remain as calm and stress free as possible and not panic.  When we panic we can make bad decisions.  I will post additional helpful tips in the next post.

 

I would also suggest that you don't drink alcohol and caffeine.  Please also be aware that you might find that you are sensitive to things, eg B vitamins can be activating, especially B6.  We have lots of existing topics on this site.  I like to use google and add survivingantidepressants.org to my search term.

 

The only supplements which SA recommends are  Magnesium and Omega-3 Fish Oil .  If you do decide to try them, only take a small amount, one at a time.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

You might also find that your symptoms increase during your monthly cycle.

 

 

Please create your drug signature using the following format.   Keep it simple.  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

 

 

Please keep us updated on your situation to let us know how you are.

 

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

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ChessieCat

When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of varying intensity.  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

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ChessieCat

We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through discomfort and tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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ChessieCat

That's really good news that you have noticed improvement since stopping the drug.  You are going to need to treat yourself very gently for quite some time, even if you start feeling that you are nearly recovered.  Additional stress on the nervous system can cause the symptoms to ramp up.  Even good stress / excitement.  Overdoing exercise, not keeping a regular sleep routine and getting enough sleep.

 

This is information from what has been learned from other people's experiences.  The frustrating thing is that it can be a slow process and there can be bumps along the way.  And it doesn't help that we aren't able to see what is happening in the brain to know how far we have recovered, it is only by the symptoms we get that we can gauge the state of our nervous system.

 

Our natural inclination is to want to do something.  The thing you need to do is to give it time.  It may feel like you aren't doing anything but think of it as giving the brain the time it needs to recover, which in actual fact is doing something.

 

We would appreciate it if you could continue to let us know how your recovery is going.  The members' experiences become a case study and we have medical professionals who visit SA.

 

On 5/15/2011 at 5:22 AM, Altostrata said:

MISSION OF SURVIVINGANTIDEPRESSANTS.ORG

 

Surviving Antidepressants is a site for peer support, documentation, and education of withdrawal symptoms and withdrawal syndrome caused by psychiatric drugs, specifically antidepressants.

The participants on this site have all experienced or are experiencing difficulty in withdrawal from psychiatric medications. We offer peer support to those who are similarly suffering, drawing from our personal experiences.

(No posting on this site should be construed as medical advice. For medical advice, consult a trusted medical caregiver.)

The personal stories on this site are documentation of an iatrogenic condition -- suffering caused by medical treatment -- that is almost always ignored, misdiagnosed, or denied by the medical establishment. Given the widespread prescription of antidepressants to tens of millions of people worldwide, withdrawal syndrome probably affects hundreds of thousands if not millions -- including newborns and children.

Antidepressant withdrawal syndrome can last weeks, months, or years. It can be distressing, debilitating, or even disabling. It may be adding to an increase in what is termed disabling mental illness.

With our documentation of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, we hope to educate the medical establishment about this problem. Case studies are essential; they are evidence understood by doctors, the psychiatric industry, and government regulatory agencies.

Our hope is, eventually, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs will be prescribed rarely, and only in cases of extremely severe mental illness after less invasive treatments have been tried.

Please join Surviving Antidepressants in its mission to support, document, and educate about psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome.

 

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ChessieCat

Hi ChasingRainbows,

 

How are you feeling?

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thank you for your invaluable and informative posts. I apologise for the late reply. I have been struggling over the past few days with planning my life in response to what has occurred over the past weeks. I have been trying to take each day at a time and bear with the symptoms however, when setbacks occur I find myself frustrated and wondering what it is that I am doing wrong. The sheer number of setbacks has made me doubt my judgement even more and I find that it is destroying my self esteem. This lack of clarity is stressful and I find myself unable to make decisions without feeling frustrated and apprehensive. I worry about the consequences of my decisions and the sense of hopelessness and failure when something goes wrong. I no longer know what I can and can't do. Everything seems to affect me (though I've seen improvements in the windows and waves pattern). I feel as though I have no control most of the time. I have a metabolic dysfunction (low blood sugar) and have found myself needing to be very careful what I do due to my body's reactivity being magnified. My hypo episodes have become more frequent. I am managing this more tightly. I live in hope that my metabolism and my hormones can return to normal in time.

I have have been called to interview next week regarding a minor finance post. I do not expect that the job will be too stressful, but had read somewhere that to facilitate brain repair, one should avoid activities that require excessive thinking or concentration. Initially, concentration gave me headaches, now, not so much. I would be prepared to turn this post down if it could impact my recovery. I am very confused right now and am not sure what to do. 

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Foxlink is another member who has recently joined after having an adverse reaction.  You might find it helpful to read the posts he has made and how he is coping with how this has affected him

 

We have other members here who have had an adverse reaction.

 

This is another new member who appears to have only taken 1 tablet:  chasingrainbows-adverse-reaction-to-1-dose-of-celexa-citalopram-hydrobromide

 

I've just done a google search and found these, but I haven't read their Introduction topics.

 

3birdsandrobin-adverse-reaction

 

crhawk-severe-adverse-reactions-to-only-one-50-mg-zoloft-three-months-later

 

quirkdiggler-ssri-adverse-reaction-upon-few-days-dose

 

oskcajga-partial-recovery-ssrisnri-withdrawal-and-adverse-reaction

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thank you for the list. I am happy to hear of one member seeing such marked recovery. I am currently in contact with Foxlink. 

I am still seeing windows and waves and symptoms seem to be coming and going in surprisingly quick succession as of late. I have found that keeping calm, not over exerting myself, stopping/limiting activities that ramp up symptoms and warm evening showers help me a lot with the insomnia. 

I would just like to ask. I have heard of people needing to take an Ssri for a few weeks before they felt better. Should I have tapered my dosage downwards from that one dose with a pill cutter? Is it possible to have withdrawal symptoms after just one dose? Brain zaps have been one of the side effects that I have experienced. The day after the medication I also experienced nausea subsiding, while depersonalisation, emotional bluntness and other side effects crept in (this was after missing the time of day my dosage was due). My home situation seems to be getting worse and reinstatement (which I have read on the boards is incredibly risky) is becoming a temptation during the highest waves.

 

 Many thanks, 

 

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ChessieCat

When you experience an adverse reaction to a drug it is best to stop it immediately.

 

Did you see this:  But I only took it for a Week

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I read the link. I don't think I will be reinstating as there have been improvements and I do not want to risk sabotaging that. The temptation is still there as I am afraid for my family's wellbeing. They are taking the whole ordeal very hard. 

I have seen positive changes, however the change in my personality is becoming deeper and more obvious to my family. My dad is taking this especially hard and looks at me as though he is mourning a dead person. Often, he is too afraid to look at me directly and averts my gaze. He is not one to avoid eye contact. I have flipped from a daughter to a perfect stranger. This is very hard on me as indeed, my identity has disappeared and I see a stranger when I look at pictures of me from just months ago. My family seem to be 'grieving' and do not feel that I will ever come into existence again. 

They want to take me to the gp on Monday. Maybe the gp can instill some hope in them, even if it is false... I just don't know what to do. The morning after my 1st dose, I physically look like somebody else... 

 

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ChessieCat

It may not be that they are grieving, but can see that you are struggling and want to help but don't know what they can do to help you.  Feeling helpless and unable to do anything is a very distressing and frustrating situation to be in when you see someone you love "hurting".

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat,

 

Thank you for your reply. Apologies that I have not been posting anything. For a while, I will not be able to elaborate too much on my current circumstances due to my slightly too over-zealous nervous system. I am still quite sensitive to light, sound and anything which requires focus so I try to limit these stimuli as much as I can. My symptoms so far seem to be improving however, my anxiety is still very easily provoked and when this escalates the waves can be bad (though are much better than they were before). My anxiety is aroused daily (due to home circumstances) and I must confess that I am running out of endurance. This is worrying me. I can stop the anxiety from escalating too much however the effort it requires is becoming cumulatively more painful. Circumstances seem to be wearing away at me. I am experiencing quite significant psycho motor agitation.The pressure seems to be swelling in my subconscious. The anxiety touches off my existing blood sugar disorder which I actually found the antidepressant I had taken really helped with. I feel as though I am caught in a bit of a vicious circle. Reinstatement is becoming more of a temptation. The side effects which appear to me to be withdrawal have changed my relationship with my family at home and this is causing me distress. 

 

What I wish to know is what the success rate for reinstatement of medication is. I hear the word 'kindling' bounced around a lot but I do not really know what this means. So far, I am about 5 months out and I was concerned that my body would not react well to medication due to the healing that has so far taken place. My initial reaction to my one dose was vomiting and a feeling of heaviness and exhaustion, however until I stopped the med, things were very good and the medication was extremely helpful in a way that I would say was lifechanging (bar the emotional flatness and the distinct feeling of lack of caring which stopped me from taking anymore pills). The negative effects were subsiding. Minor problems began the morning after which I attribute to the lower levels of serotonin the day after. I worried that my system would be very sensitive to serotonin fluctuations had I continued treatment. My body seems to be very sensitive to serotonin and took to the pill straightaway. I felt positively like a different person. Have you witnessed any successful reinstatements at 5 months plus? How long would it take to stabilise on a lower dose?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thanks for your reply. May I ask whether all members who have quit antidepressants after taking them for short durations have been left with any side effects? My main worry is how I CT'd from 20mg to 0. I'm sure this is a very common concern but could the drop have caused any effects that my body would not be able to reverse? I'm concerned that I've injured myself by doing that. 

 

Thanks in advance, 

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thanks for the link. May I just lastly ask if you can recommend any natural ways to combat chronic anxiety?

 

Kind regards 

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ChessieCat

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ChasingRainbows

Hi ChessieCat, 

 

Thanks for the links. I'm just updating on how I'm feeling now. 

So several weeks ago my sleeping was initially getting better. There has been a steady and gradual improvement in sleep and in other areas. I would wake up feeling okay. However, I had a very severe nervous breakdown about 2 weeks ago and this resulted in extreme fatigue - something I had never experienced before. Immediately after this my sleep suddenly got suspiciously better (my body seems to be quick to want to shut down now) but I feel a lot worse. I don't ever remember sleeping like this before, even before the drug. Like the functioning of my body has in some way changed. I feel terrible in the mornings and feel even less like myself. I feel that I've really hurt myself after the extreme stress and eventual breakdown. Immediately following my breakdown, my family have noticed that something has changed. My body seems to be more erratic now. I'm afraid that I won't be able to get my system back on the wagon to what it was all those weeks ago. What is your view on this. Apologies for all the questions. I am just feeling extremely pitiful and needy right now. 

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