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Maui

Maui: Tapering Citalopram

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Maui

Hello, I'm new here, I hope this is the correct place to put this.

I have been on Citalopram 10mg since 2014. Very little dose, took the edge off a little. I never wanted to increase because of the awful time I had on Paxil. I must be very sensitive to SSRI's. I noticed if I skipped a few doses for whatever reason, I would get w/d effects. About a year ago, I noticed this was doing nothing. And I would randomally get side effects. Fall of 2019, body aches, shakiness, health anxiety, brain fog, didnt want to do anything. Restless. Etc. Dec.2019 I started weaning, I've had strange headaches sort or dull, but fullness. My ear feels fullness, strangle whishing sounds at times in my ears. I'm very scared with the brain fog, that something is seriously wrong. 

Thank you to anyone who comments.

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, Maui. Yes, this is the correct place to post.

 

2 hours ago, Maui said:

Fall of 2019, body aches, shakiness, health anxiety, brain fog, didnt want to do anything. Restless. Etc.

 

This was before you started tapering, correct?  Had you been taking the Citalopram regularly?

 

2 hours ago, Maui said:

Dec.2019 I started weaning, I've had strange headaches sort or dull, but fullness. My ear feels fullness, strangle whishing sounds at times in my ears. I'm very scared with the brain fog, that something is seriously wrong.

 

How soon after you started tapering in December did these symptoms start?  They are typical withdrawal symptoms and are not permanent.  The whistling sound is known as brain zaps.  The sounds in your ears are tinnitus.  Both are very common withdrawal symptoms.  

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF)

 

When we take medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

The fact that you're experiencing these withdrawal symptoms indicates that likely you're tapering too fast.  At what rate are you tapering and when in December did you start your taper?   We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  It's especially important to taper slowly at the lower doses, like 10mg and below.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The following link is specifically about tapering Citalopram, including how to obtain the small doses you'll need for a 10% 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. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

 Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can answer my questions, ask your own and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

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Maui

Hi Gridley, 

Yes, before I started tapering I noticed the body aches and other symptoms. (They felt exactly like when I w/d from paxil years ago) I pretty much took it every day, every once in a while I would miss a dose. If I missed 2 doses I would feel it.

When I started tapering in dec. It took abt 2 weeks to notice, strange headaches, fullness in my head/ears. Some days I feel perfectly fine, its odd.

Thank you for the information you left me. 

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Maui

Hello,

I'm not sure if anyone will see this. But if anyone does, had anyone experienced this. Ex. I was on the phone and said I'm at dunkin donuts. So when my mom repeated it,  she said mcd. I was like I'm at dd not mcd. But she said I stated mcd. That happened a couple of months ago 

Then this am my husband said I asked what time it is. I dont recall this. Because when he said 930, I said I asked what car you took this am..we were in separate rooms.

I'm obessing over this. I have no idea what is wrong with me.

 

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Icip

Hi @Maui,

 

I meant to reply to this earlier, your post in my thread reminded me! Yes I get this, I’ve never worried specifically about it as it’s amidst an ocean of symptoms - I’ve always assumed that it comes under the roof of Aphasia or memory issues. It’s just like short-memory or word recall problems.

 

Aphasia is language problems, where he’s that written, spoken, or even understanding language (you could hear someone say body, when really they said holiday).

 

Mine has gotten a lot better, is still there but minor. Is just affecting my ability to write essays - my friends think it’s funny when I repeat an incorrect word I think they’ve said; I’m starting to find the humorous side to it actually.

 

I hope this helps!!!

 

Icip.

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Maui

Thanks @Icip, I just want it to stop. I find myself obsessing over it. Thanks for responding. 

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Icip

@Maui I have that but with afterimages + static in my vision - it would be so much easier if we could just get used to our symptoms

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Respector

Hi @Maui I'm also near boston (worcester). I started celexa in 2015 and it pooped out for me around 2018/2019 too. I also had a bad rxn to paxil in 2010 I only took it for 2 days. 

 

We are going to get better. The upside of all this crap is we learn to prioritize ourselves and take much better care of ourselves so it never happens again. 

 

Did you cold turkey the celexa or taper? I was also on 10mg november 2018 and went to 7.5 then 5 then 2.5 over about 3 months. Really struggled at 2.5. 

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Maui

I thought I would start documenting my symptoms. I've had several here and there but now that I have been completely off citalopram I notice sort of a trend. So I might ramble off, please excuse me.

 

Symptoms I noticed with decreases were pretty mild and lasted a few days 3-4. 

Fullness in my head and ears

Nightmares

Cognitive issues (this scares me the most)

Strange headaches

Sounds were very loud ( ex. My daughter turning pages of her book)

Vision issues

Crying spells 

 

I'm sure others too

 

Ones that I have noticed since being completely off citalopram. (Been off about 3 weeks)

 

Week 1 -I noticed agitation/ anger out of nowhere, my limbs seems to fall asleep quickly, a few nightmares. 

Week 2- twitch in right eyelid on and off same with random twitch I noticed in my thumb upon waking up. Aches in both hands arms, obsessing over health anxiety, cognitive problems, scared, restless at time, loss off appetite, chills. These dont happen all at once they have been off and on. 

I keep telling myself its w/d, yet my health anxiety is telling me it could be numerous other things.

I just want to get through this the best I can. 

I usually scroll through success stories to help me. 

 

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Maui

@Respector I used to live in Worcester.

 

I did wean off not as slowly as recommended but it wasnt working and was having symptoms of tolerance for a while. The brain fog was really scaring me, so I wanted to get off. When I dropped doses the w/d wasnt terribly bad. But I'm just noticing now it's getting ugly.

 

I was on Paxil and had a horrible time with that w/d. I was on PP, several years ago. I really wish I could see what I wrote about my symptoms then. I know its w/d but my health anxiety gets the best of me 

 

Thanks for responding.

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Respector

@Maui if it gets unbearable you might be able to re instate a small amount. I would ask the admins but they will want to know details on how you tapered. I think its generally accepted there is a 3 month ish window when re-instatement is likely to help. I had to switch to a liquid version of celexa for this.

 

Even though all the withdrawl hell I do feel mentally clearer compared to when i was on higher doses of celexa, so i know what you mean by feeling foggy. B vitamins helped me if you can tolerate them. 

 

I can relate to the health anxiety part. Took me a long time to accept most of my worries are all normal withdrawal and my brain will heal. Just not as fast as I want. The dare app can help a lot with health anxiety and there is a free version.

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Maui

@@Respector I definitely dont want to reinstate, I honestly just want this out of my system. I know it means having difficult sensations and all the other w/d symptoms.

I'm just gonna push through the best I can.

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SurvivingOnAnime

Hi Maui,

 

I've had, I think, all of the symptoms you've mentioned.  The ones you mention in week 2, most of them are gone.  Everyone is different, but for me, everything started to improve when I forced myself to eat more calories.  My body seemed like it didn't want to eat, but I slowly increased the calories of my small meals (I think protein was key) and many physical symptoms eased up.  I think it helped with the brain fog too.  I was making very little sense for a while when trying to communicate.  Whether it was eating more or not, the other factor would be time.  So, at least I can say that those symptoms will go.  I stopped feeling like I had to keep running out of rooms about the same time too.

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Respector

Stay strong @Maui I'm here if you need to talk ❤

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SufferingCelexa

@Maui It sounds like I am going through the same as you but I tapered from 40 mg cutting 1/4 each week because that's what my doctor told me.  It' been 6 weeks since my last dose.  Feeling anxiety in the chest.  I am worried really worried about my life all the time and I'm tired of feeling like this.  I don't want anyone to see me this way.   I don't have any friends anymore.  I need to go back to work but I don't know how I can do it.  I've been staying with my mother but I need to get back on my own but I'm afraid I can't take care of myself.  I am also afraid this is permanent damage.  I want to feel normal again but think this might just be the way I am.  I started to reinstate the liquid 1 mg but got nervous because some people had a bad experience.  I'm really confused.  I'm scared when people say it took them months or years.

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Maui

@SufferingCelexa

Have you had any good windowsw? I'm very scared too in general about everything, but I know it's the w/d making me think like this. I have to constantly remind myself this. 

 

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SufferingCelexa

I don't feel like I am getting better at all.  I don't know what a window would be like.  I hate waking up because I know all of this will start again.  It's hard to believe these are withdrawals because it's been 6 weeks.

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Maui

@SufferingCelexa

Unfortunately,I have had w/d experience before. I was on paxil years ago, the w/d lasted a long time. You will get better in time, just take it day by day. 

 

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SufferingCelexa

I appreciate it.  How long did your w/d from Paxil last?  Someone recommended CBD so I'm doing that.  Sleep is the only thing I look forward to.  I think my anxiety is worse because I need to go back to work but I don't know how I can do that.  Do you have anxiety from withdrawal?

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Maui

@SufferingCelexa my paxil was prob a year. Not constant but horrible when it was around. 

I started SSRI's because of anxiety, I honestly dont even think it helped so much it took the edge off a little. But yes I definitely have anxiety now, triggered by whatever w/d symptom I am having. 

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SufferingCelexa

I'm just worried because I don't know how long this will continue.  I see you were only on 10 mg of citalopram.  I don't know why I was on 40 and told to taper in just 3 weeks.  I see how wrong that is now.  If I want to reinstate I need to do it soon.  It's been 6 weeks since my last dose.  

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Maui

Just updating my journey~

 

Almost 3 months of citalopram, honestly this is the most horrible I've felt so far.

 

Currently- anxiety/panic over symptoms

Weird pressure mostly back of the head and near both ears. 

Dp/dr off and on

Falling asleep has been awful, I fall asleep and wake up quick in panics and feels like my head is shaking inside. Hard to describe. This might happen a few times before im asleep for the night.

Wake up with internal shaking/ also the weird head quiver thing.Then it subsides once im up.

 

 

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Icip

Hi @Maui,

 

I’m so sorry to hear, three months is still quite early doors to feel improvements - but they will come.

Have you improved in any little ways? Maybe a minor symptom has abated?

 

Do you think the head shaking may have anything to do with ear pressure?

I’m almost six months into withdrawal, and while I’ve massively improved - I still feel stuck in a hole and worse than ever in some aspects.

 

Take care,

 

Icip.

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Maui

Hi @Icip,

I feel like some things go away but new things pop up. I do have the weird ear preasure at times too. But i dont think the head thing was related. I don't know if it was similar to a brain zap or something. I just know its scary.

The sleep panic is is nightmare literally.

Im glad you feel somewhat better.

 

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Icip

@Maui,

 

That’s unfortunately the nature of withdrawal. Symptoms only come around as your brain is trying to heal itself - maybe look at it as a good thing. Right now I have only a few symptoms, but I’m terrified that they’ll never go - there has been no change of symptoms for me for a few months now.

Eventually more will go then come around, and you’ll notice that.

 

Thank you;), take care!

 

Icip.

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Maui

Since last time I wrote

Less head pain, still get the internal head shaking when falling asleep and waking up somewhat less. Still just overall scared/anxious. I had 2 separste instances of auditory hallucinations. Very quick. But scary.

I have a telehealth apt today with my pcp. 

I dont know what to do at this point.

 

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Maui

Random head pains gone.

Brain shakes gone

Aphasia is present at the moment. Very scary.

Memory issues too.

Anxiety ocd over these symptoms

Hoping this is only w/d

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