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I first started taking cetalopram in March of 2017. I started having panic attacks in February. I had been under a lot of stress for many years. My health was not great. I was not able to work at the job that I had been doing for more than 20 years.  Late in the summer of 2016 my husband quit a job that we had hoped would be something to take us into retirement but the person he worked for was absolutely crazy and for the sake of his sanity he could not put up with it anymore.  Then in the fall my mother died. A very close friend died. Then another very close relative died. In February of 2017 I finally lost it and started having panic attacks.  I didn't have a doctor, having not been to one for a very long time.. So I had to wait a month to see a new doctor.  Meanwhile I was prescribed Xanax by the doctors at the walk in clinic but only 10 pills at a time.  I knew that it could cause problems so I really tried to find alternatives and only using a xanax when I really  needed it.  By the time I got to see the doctor in March I was really in bad shape. I had been having depression for a long time, but I always had hope that things would get better,  I lost all my hope.  I was not sleeping at all, waking up with bad panic attacks.  So I started at 20mg of cetalopram and experienced really bad side affect. But I persevered because I thought that this was normal.  I never quite got over some of the side affects but they mostly went away except for the trembling in the morning.  Also in march the doctor diagnosed me as T2 diabetic with an A1C of 6.5,, so just barely over the line of being a diabetic, and put me on metformin and a low dose stain and low dose blood pressure pill.  By the middle of summer I was doing ok, my mood was good, but I was really tired, I would sleep well all night but then I was so tired that I would also sleep for 2 hours in the afternoon.  I am overweight and I knew that in order to help  my diabetes I needed to exercise but I just didn't have the will to do it.  So I told hte Doctor that I was doing to quit the diabetic drugs,  and wean myself of the AD.  He said I could just cut my dosage in half to wean off, but I knew enough at that time that I needed to taper. But I did the cut pills in quarters taper, so I went from 20mg to 17.5, to 15, etc. until I got down to 5 and then quite  I did this over the course of 8 weeks. There are only a few things that I remember about withdrawal at that time. I had the brain zaps. I also had bad diarrhea that last all through my taper and for about 3.5 weeks after I finally quit.   About a month after I quit I started taking L-theanine. At first I was taking about 400 mg a day, but as the year turned into 2018 I cut back on that and I was doing really well. I started a walking program in the spring with some friends. I started going to a crochet group. I should say that one thing that really helped me back in 2017, was that I learned how to crochet.  That was extremely helpful,  while I was getting used the cetalopram I was laying in bed a lot and I would get up and crochet for a while then lay back in bed.  Anyway due to some family problems I was still dealing with a lot of stress and last fall it got really bad and I started having more GI issues. I still am not sure excatly what was causing it. I think I started using my l-theanine more. Also started using melatonin. I was having trouble sleeping and then around the end of December I started having more panic attacks.. I had told myself that I would never go on cetalopram again, but I tried all kinds of things and nothing seemed to help to I gave in. In january I started taking the cetalopram again, 15mg.  I was still experiencing anxiety so after about 2 weeks I went up to 20mg.   I immediately started experiencing the bad side affects,  shaky in morning,  brain fog.  My memory right now is bad so I'm not sure I can remember everything.  I just felt like crap and I thought, ok I have to get through this.  I saw my Doctor a the end of January and I told him I was still having anxiety in the morning and falling asleep ok but I was so tired and waking up too early in the morning. So he prescribed me Trazadone.  I think he said it was a low dose but it was 100mg.  The pharmacist  said I should start at half that, which I did, then I upped it to 75mg and stayed at that for a few weeks, but I started to really feel bad, my brain fog was getting really bad, so I cut it back to 50mg. Then I finally told the Doctor that I could not do this anymore so I stopped taking it. I didn't taper, I supposed I should have. I also decided to get off the cetalopram.  I had evidence now that I was not a good metabolizer of it, after having a DNA test.  I told the Doctor this and all he said was that I should go have a sleep study. Which I never did because I was feeling so crappy on the cetalopram I figured I wouldn't want to go sleep somewhere else and how could a sleep study tell me what was wrong with me when I was taking a drug that my skew the results.  I decided to get off the cetalopram and figured I could do a quick taper since I was only on it for 3 months. so I tapered from the middle of March to the middle of April.  I was slightly dizzy during this time and very tired, but I was able to do some things, like bowling with my husband, go to the store and walk around.  about 3 weeks after I quit I got hit with some severe morning anxiety and the dizzyness got really bad.  I also started having some histamine issues with food, which I am managing with diet and some DAO enzymes.   Now a month later the dizzyness is still bad, especially in the morning. The morning anxiety has calmed down.  I fall asleep easily, have not had a problem with that and hope that stays that way.  Brain fog is still there.  

So I think that sums things up for me.  If I forgot anything  I will try to edit later. Like I said earlier my memory is really bad right now. I have been keeping a diary on my calender of things I have tried. I have done magnesium glycinate.  In fact I have been taking that for years until last fall when I was having the GI issues, that could have been one of the reasons I started having panic attacks.  now though I can't take very much of it. I makes me really sleepy the next day and according to my FITbit my resting heart rate goes up when I take it.  maybe I am lowering my blood pressure too much.  just today I decided to try some L-theanine again. I took 25mg this morning and it helped some with my anxiety. Still I would like to figure out what this dizziness is about. 

I know it's a long read and if you got this far, thanks for reading.  

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to foolmetwice
  • Moderator

Hello, foolmetwice, and welcome to SA.  I'm sorry you're having these unpleasant symptoms.  Your nervous system has  been through a lot, with starting and stopping the Citalopram, plus the Trazodone. It sounds as if you had an adverse reaction to the Citalopram.  The symptoms of an adverse reaction are similar to withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, morning anxiety and brain fog.  When you were on the Citalopram and feeling bad, what were your symptoms?


To start, please add a drug signature, including drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements in the last 12-24 months. Also include supplements. This will help us give you the most accurate advice we can. Please include your diabetes medicine, the Citalopram tapers and the Trazodone.
  • Any drugs and supplements prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years. 
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago) 
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016. 
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses. 
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
  • This is a direct link to your signature:  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature
We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system.  You may have been taking too high a dose of magnesium, which can have a laxative effect.




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
Some members have had good results with theanine, others not so good.  Please Google "SurvivingAntidepressants.org theanine" 
Dizziness, as I said earlier is a common withdrawal/adverse reaction symptom.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can post updates, ask questions and connect with other members.  I'm glad you found your way here.


Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg   

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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