Jump to content

Sheldes: citalopram reduction ... 3rd attempt


Shelders

Recommended Posts

Hi Friends, 

 

I am 41 yr old, female and I have been on Citalopram 30mg for around 8 years after a melt down.

I have been anxiety free for over 3 years so I decided it was time to reduce my meds and get back in touch with my emotions. I have tried to reduce twice in the past but as soon as my feelings came back I panicked that the illness was returning so wen back onto Citalopram.

This time I’m approaching the whole situation differently! I started 01.01.2019 reducing by 5mg by cutting my pills. The first drop was pain free. The second drop was 18.03.2019 and this means I am now on 20mg. The withdrawal effect a lasted 3 weeks and were horrendous, I felt like I’d taken acid or something. Anyway I haven’t done another drop yet because I’m struggling with my emotions. I feel like it’s learning to walk for my brain it’s needs to figure out what emotions are part of every day life and not panic that I’m getting sick again every time I have a few days when I feel rubbish. 

Does anyone find it incredibly difficult to understand emotions that were previously numbed???

also my sense of taste and smell seems to have improved.. that’s odd. 

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sheldes: citalopram reduction ... 3rd attempt
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shelders and welcome to SA,

 

3 minutes ago, Shelders said:

I have tried to reduce twice in the past but as soon as my feelings came back I panicked that the illness was returning

 

This was most likely withdrawal symptoms from reducing too quickly.  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Your first reduction from 30mg to 25mg was a 16.66% reduction.

 

Your second reduction from 25mg to 20mg was a 20% percent reduction.

 

You have 2 choices:

  • You can either stay at 20mg and hold until you stabilise before making another reduction, which might take 4 to 6 months
  • You can make a small updose which I will explain below

 

The idea of updosing isn't to get rid of withdrawal symptoms completely, but to bring them to a bearable level.  You would then hold on that dose until stabilised which might take 3 months.

 

Because you went from 25mg to 20mg on 18.03.2019 (3 months ago) you could try updosing by 0.5mg or 1mg.  It is better to start with a small amount and increase if needed than to risk taking too much, because your brain will have already made adaptions since you have been on the lower dose.  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 a good idea to keep daily notes on paper of what symptoms improve/worsen so that you can see how the reinstatement is affecting your symptoms.  If after a week you still feel that the symptoms are unbearable you could increase your dose by a tiny bit more.

 

Please also see the information in this topic:  are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

This is your own Introduction topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.  I will provide some more information in the next post.

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

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

 

 

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


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 different intensity.

 

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.  

 

 

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

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

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Shelders

 

Sorry to hear a fellow yorkshireperson is having a tough time ( may live in Scotland but born and bred in York ).

Firstly, the one thing none of us can do do is make sense of WD as it differs from from one person to another.

It does not mean you cannot find help or that you cannot get better, you can.

As you can see from what Chessie has posted it means accepting that slow and steady is the only way to go.

8 hours ago, Shelders said:

Does anyone find it incredibly difficult to understand emotions that were previously numbed???

also my sense of taste and smell seems to have improved.. that’s odd.

Both of these are common and I have experienced both myself while stabilsing on Escitalopram.

It can be alarming when you start feeling these changes but if you read the links Chessie sent you and come on here when you feel you need  info or reassurance, do not hesitate, it is the raison-d-etre of its existence.

Above all else do not be tempted to reduce your dose again until you digest the info available and learn how to stabilse.

This is one race the tortoise definitely wins.

Regards to Cleckhuddersfax.

 

Sassenach

Escitalopram 10mgs from mid 2007 ( can't remember exact date) to 11th Dec 2018

Fentanyl patches ( don't remember dose ) from Nov 2014 to 11 Dec 2018

Quit both cold turkey Dec 2018

Reinstated 3rd March 2019 2.5 mgs.

Updosed  8March to 5mgs and holding

25/11/19 Started taper 4.5mgs and holding

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner

If you are going through Hell, keep going. NCIS series 15, David MaCallum:rolleyes:

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Shelders

 

Sorry to hear a fellow yorkshireperson is having a tough time ( may live in Scotland but born and bred in York ).

Firstly, the one thing none of us can do do is make sense of WD as it differs from from one person to another.

It does not mean you cannot find help or that you cannot get better, you can.

As you can see from what Chessie has posted it means accepting that slow and steady is the only way to go.

Both of these are common and I have experienced both myself while stabilsing on Escitalopram.

It can be alarming when you start feeling these changes but if you read the links Chessie sent you and come on here when you feel you need  info or reassurance, do not hesitate, it is the raison-d-etre of its existence.

Above all else do not be tempted to reduce your dose again until you digest the info available and learn how to stabilse.

This is one race the tortoise definitely wins.

Regards to Cleckhuddersfax.

 

Sassenach

 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy