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sunnysideup69: what can I do to stabilise on venlafaxine

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sunnysideup69

mod note:  introductions merged:  first introduction was titled how soon should I consider re-weaning off citalopram

 

Hello there,

Am really glad I found this site.

I have been on Citalopram since 2008 for anxiety/depression. In the time between Jan 2008 and now, the highest dose I have taken is 20mg. I had one clear year of being off completely between April 2015 and April 2016, but then took MDMA recreationally in March 2016 and triggered a relapse. I ended up taking 10mg of citalopram again (doctor's advice.)

 

You can see from my signature that in 2018, I was down to 2.5mg, I had actually held there for a whole year. My taper wasn't the advised 10 per cent reductions however, I had done 50 per cent at a time (ie 10mg to 5 mg to 2.5mg). I took a tiny amount of MDMA in May 2018, and two weeks later I was suffering with symptoms of anxiety and depression again. These continued, and I panicked a bit and over the next three months updosed to 10mg again in three stages (again at advice of my GP, from 2.5 to 5 to 10mg.) Even though I still wasn't really feeling much better after a few weeks at 10mg, I declined to increase any further. Instead, I tried acupuncture to help regulate my nervous system. This seems to have paid off.

 

Apart from the fact that I have thoroughly learned that I can no longer tolerate an even miniscule amount of recreational drugs, I now realise that my reduction and increases in doses have all been too drastic.

 

It has taken me since August 2018 to re stabilise on 10mg of Citalopram. I'm now beginning to understand why, and what I've put my CNS through. I'm generally feeling a lot better although I do still notice some antidepressant side effects such as fatigue, a bit of a 'racing head/racing thoughts' and some sleep disturbance, although gradually my sleep is improving.I also seem to keep catching colds/ having flu like symptoms, and I'm wondering if this is actually another side effect.

 

I'd really like some advice on how soon I should consider beginning a taper, in the light of all that yo yoing around on dosage that happened between May and August last year. My guess is that I may need to hold and stabilise a while longer, I'd be interested to know your thoughts.

With thanks :)

Edited by manymoretodays
first introduction merged: how soon should I consider weaning off citalopram

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Gridley

Hello, and welcome to SA.  Thank you for completing your signature.

 

I'm glad you're feeling better.  It's a good sign that your sleep is improving.  If I'm reading correctly, you have only recently begun to restabilize.  If so, you're right in thinking you should hold a bit longer before beginning a taper.  "Stabilize" doesn't mean you have no symptoms but rather that they are tolerable without big swings in any direction.  It's a steady state of feeling sort of bad.  So, yes, given all the dosage changes, I'd hold for longer, at least for 3 but perhaps 6 months.  You want to be as stable as possible before beginning your taper.

 

As you may know, we recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.  

 

 
Some have to go more slowly than 10%.  Given your dosing history, you might fall into this category.  One alternative is a microtaper.  This is the gentlest way to come off these drugs. 

 

 

The Brassmonkey Slide is a way of making micro-taper reductions weekly, as opposed to a larger reduction once a month. I'm using this method.
 
 
This link is specifically about tapering Citalopram, including obtaining the nonstandard doses you'll need for your taper.
 

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

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.  They might be helpful to you as you continue to hold and stabilize.  Magnesium glycinate is a good form of magnesium.

 

 

 

Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
 
This is your introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.  I hope you’ll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation.  I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but I am glad that you found us.  

 
 
Edited by manymoretodays
changed "destabilize" to "restabilize", name removed

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sunnysideup69

Hey Gridley,

Thanks so much for the quick response. Yes, you're right in understanding that I've only just started to restabilise on 10mg Citalopram.

I've only really started to improve since Jan 2019. So yes, it makes sense to hold for at least another six months, I think, before trying to taper off again. Thanks for your advice.

 

I'm going to check out all of those links, and even though I'm not reducing as of yet, I can get myself prepared over the next few months. 

 

Best wishes to you.

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SkyBlue
On 5/10/2019 at 2:21 PM, Ruthmcg said:

 Yes, you're right in understanding that I've only just started to restabilise on 10mg Citalopram.

I've only really started to improve since Jan 2019. So yes, it makes sense to hold for at least another six months, I think, before trying to taper off again. Thanks for your advice.

 

I'm going to check out all of those links, and even though I'm not reducing as of yet, I can get myself prepared over the next few months. 

 

I'm so glad. 

That sounds like an excellent plan. 

Please let us know how things go, and how you are doing. 

Edited by Shep
updated new member name in text box

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sunnysideup69

Will do, SkyBlue.....gonna be hanging around here in the meantime, reading other people's experiences. What a great site, was directed here by someone on a Citalopram forum in the UK.

 

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Maca44

I came off Citalopram about 5 years ago and just stupidly stopped CT. Didn't know anything about reduction then but wish I had. Although I just struggled through and was OK after a few months I had amazing Head Zaps, it was at the time, most disturbing mainly because I didn't have a clue what it was. Things worked out ok in the end but if I had just reduced as this site suggests I would have had a much easier ride. Take reduction in your own time, no rush, and you will be fine.

Good luck  

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sunnysideup69

Hey Macca,

Thanks so much for the good wishes. It's been a bit of a struggle to stabilise again on 10mg, so as you so rightly say, am not gonna rush things this time. I see you are getting stable on Mirtazapine. Hope that is going well for you, or that it does soon. 

Sending good wishes your way :)

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Maca44

Thanks

Yes I made the mistake of panicking after halving my Mirt then tried to go up again to my original dose after feeling pretty bad. Coming here and being patient with regards to reduction has got me feeling better and good days are getting more frequent but the biggest thing I've learned here is that I can expect to feel bad again but remember that I will also feel OK again, very simple thinking but easily forgotten when you feel crap. 

 

No rush now just enjoying the days I feel good.

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sunnysideup69
7 minutes ago, Maca44 said:

' the biggest thing I've learned here is that I can expect to feel bad again but remember that I will also feel OK again, very simple thinking but easily forgotten when you feel crap.' 

 

 

Oh my gosh, tell me about it....I thought I was going mad back in August when I was reinstating. Onwards and upwards now, though....with waves, of course, but I feel much more optimistic now about recovering.

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sunnysideup69
On 5/10/2019 at 12:43 PM, Ruthmcg said:

I also seem to keep catching colds/ having flu like symptoms, and I'm wondering if this is actually another side effect.

 

 

 

Well, it's been such a revelation, reading around here over the last week. It would seem that the fluey symptoms every now and again could be a reinstatement 'wave' or 'side effect' type thing. Also have periods where I'm freezing and can't get warm. Could this also be related to the citalopram?

I'm mostly better but am gonna hold for at least three months, probably six, just because I really knocked my system last summer. I don't wanna go through that again any time soon. 

I seem to also have really vivid dreams in the morning, just before I wake.

Edited by Shep
updated to reflect new username in textbox

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Sassenach

Hi,

 

I reinstated escitalopram 9 weeks age and yes to all the above.

Gridley told me the name for the cold feeling is " temperature dysregulation ".

Makes it better to know its got a real name 😂

You sound as though you are getting there.

All the best

 

Sassenach

Edited by manymoretodays

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puthappinessfirst

Hi !

 

I am battling citalopram as well and have been on it since about 2008 as well. 

 

Feel free the read my thread and message me if you ever need to talk!

 

xox

Edited by manymoretodays

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AlanC
On 5/17/2019 at 12:39 PM, Ruthmcg said:

Also have periods where I'm freezing and can't get warm. Could this also be related to the citalopram?

 

I stopped Citalopram too quickly and got hit by my first real Wave last August when we had the really hot weather here in the UK. And I had days when I just couldn't get warm: one day the temperature in the room was 86 Fahrenheit and I was so cold I had goosebumps and couldn't stop shivering.

 

It still comes and goes, but it's nothing like as crazy as that now. So hopefully as you stabilise it'll fade away.

Edited by Shep
updated new member name in text box

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sunnysideup69
13 hours ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Ruth

 

I reinstated escitalopram 9 weeks age and yes to all the above.

Gridley told me the name for the cold feeling is " temperature dysregulation ".

Makes it better to know its got a real name 😂

You sound as though you are getting there.

All the best

 

Sassenach

 

Hi Sassenach, yeah, slowly restabilising after  a bit of a hellish twelve months. But definitely moving forwards. I'm sorry you're experiencing the same type of effects, but it reassures me that I'm not just being a hypochondriac! What a journey this is.

Thanks for the encouragement, wishing you well also :)

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sunnysideup69
12 hours ago, puthappinessfirst said:

Hi Ruth!

 

I am battling citalopram as well and have been on it since about 2008 as well. 

 

Feel free the read my thread and message me if you ever need to talk!

 

xox

 

Thank you so much. That means such a lot, it really does, I will read your thread today. 

My friends are lovely, but lots haven't taken ads at all and so don't really get it, and some are on ads and just wanna live in denial about long term effects....I can understand that, as it's scary, but it means that the topic is kind of off limits.

It's such a relief to talk to people who actually get it.

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sunnysideup69
12 hours ago, AlanC said:

 

I stopped Citalopram too quickly and got hit by my first real Wave last August when we had the really hot weather here in the UK. And I had days when I just couldn't get warm: one day the temperature in the room was 86 Fahrenheit and I was so cold I had goosebumps and couldn't stop shivering.

 

It still comes and goes, but it's nothing like as crazy as that now. So hopefully as you stabilise it'll fade away.

 

I really hope so. Still comes and goes a bit, and I sometimes can't work out whether I actually have a cold or whether it's darned side effects. Hope you're stabilising now?

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Sassenach

Morning .

 

Are we both insomniacs ?

 

No sun here this morning.

 

Sassenach

Edited by manymoretodays
name removed

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sunnysideup69

@Sassenach ha! I'm always up between 5 and 5 30pm. Was in bed by 9pm yesterday, so knackered from work.

London is equally gloomy this morning.....Spring?!? Where is it gone?

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Sassenach

What a hellraising life we lead !!!!!!!!

Have a good weekend anyway.

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sunnysideup69
8 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

What a hellraising life we lead !!!!!!!!

Have a good weekend anyway.

 

😂 I know! Rock n roll, right?! Have a good 'un too :)

 

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sunnysideup69

@Songbird thanks so much for this. I wish to god I had heard about the 10 per cent taper before...will read and get prepped for later down the line. Still wobbling about a bit on my reinstatement from last August.......but not as severely. 

 

This is changing me in so many ways.

 

Someone tried to involve me in a bit of drama at work yesterday and I told them I just didn't want to know. Am avoiding drama as much as possible at the moment, it really knocks me.

 

Feeling very grateful for this site.

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Songbird
On 5/18/2019 at 3:45 AM, Ruthmcg said:

Someone tried to involve me in a bit of drama at work yesterday and I told them I just didn't want to know. Am avoiding drama as much as possible at the moment, it really knocks me.

Very wise.

Edited by Shep
updated new member name in text box

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sunnysideup69

Another question.

 

I'm now 9 months into reinstatement of Citalopram at 10mg. Although I'm not feeling as bad as when I  updosed back in August last year, I definitely still have some waves - probably once per month, for a few days.

 Alcohol is definitely out, as even a glass of prossecco made me crash four days later. 

 

I guess what I'm asking is, as well as waves occuring when people are withdrawing from the drug, is it also normal for them to happen when someone has reinstated? I suppose because I was down to 2.5 and then quite rapidly updosed back to 10, I put my nervous system into chaos, really. Wish I'd read this site before I did that 😒

 

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sunnysideup69

Well, this is weird. Seem to have descended into a wave again over the last 48 hours. May has been really unpredictable, mood wise, probably the worst since around January.

I had acupuncture about two weeks ago, and I seemed to become a bit destabilised after that with heightened anxiety for a few days. I then recovered.

 

Last week felt very stressed about something at work, found myself ruminating about it really badly over the weekend. 

I just seem so easily knocked off balance at the moment, am a bit discouraged by feeling bad again. 

I feel like my reinstatement at 10mg has taken a long time to settle. Although when I'm thinking rationally, I know there have been good stretches of time.

Any words of encouragement much appreciated.

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ChessieCat

Your monthly cycle can affect your symptoms, if that is applicable to you.

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Sassenach

Hi  it's a bit weird but almost the same has happened to me I had a wonderful window at the end of April but may has been only so so 

We both know it's just part of getting better and the waves can recur for several months but sooner or later we will be totally free of them try and have a good day do not get wound up. I am 3 months behind you on the same journey but I bet you don't want to swap do you.

The window will be back soon enough and you will be back on course.

Have a good day today and don't let work stress you.

They're not worth the hassle

All the best

 

Sassanach

Edited by manymoretodays
name removed

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sunnysideup69
1 hour ago, ChessieCat said:

Your monthly cycle can affect your symptoms, if that is applicable to you.

 

I'm two years post menopause, but I do wonder if fluctuating hormones as my body tried to rebalance can affect how the meds are settling.

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sunnysideup69
23 minutes ago, Sassenach said:

Hi Ruth it's a bit weird but almost the same has happened to me I had a wonderful window at the end of April but may has been only so so 

We both know it's just part of getting better and the waves can recur for several months but sooner or later we will be totally free of them try and have a good day do not get wound up. I am 3 months behind you on the same journey but I bet you don't want to swap do you.

The window will be back soon enough and you will be back on course.

Have a good day today and don't let work stress you.

They're not worth the hassle

All the best

 

Sassanach

 

Thanks Sassenach, it's hard not to get into a spiral of angst. I feel like i 'should' be recovered 9 months into reinstatement and blip free. Unfortunately, my nervous system has other ideas ...😐 It's even more frustrating when it seems to come out of the blue.

Sorry you're also having a bit of a wave, you sound really positive. It's so hard to remember, in a blip, that the windows will come back. What an up and down process it is....my original post here was about tapering, think that is pretty ambitious at the moment, need at least another 6 months I think.

You have a good day, too.

Ruth.

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ChessieCat
On 5/21/2019 at 2:16 AM, Ruthmcg said:

I'm two years post menopause, but I do wonder if fluctuating hormones as my body tried to rebalance can affect how the meds are settling.

 

It may be 2 years post menopause as far as menstruating goes but I imagine that there would still be hormone fluctuations.

Edited by Shep
added username to title

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sunnysideup69
1 minute ago, ChessieCat said:

 

It may be 2 years post menopause as far as menstruating goes but I imagine that there would still be hormone fluctuations.

 

Yes, that's what I'm thinking too....thinks can take a while to even out. Thanks Chessiecat, just needing to hear these suggestions from other people today as my head is so foggy.

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Songbird

Life events, such as work stress, can also have a significant effect.

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