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Zim337: tapering citalopram and buspirone


Zim337

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I have bad brain fog, can’t focus, can’t remember anything, have problems falling asleep and staying asleep. I also get headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, dry mouth, neck and shoulder stiffness, crying spells, and tinnitus.

 

I suspect a lot of these are side effects from taking Citalopram or Buspirone, or both.

 

I have had depressions off and on since I was a teenager.

2003 I had a burnout, and started taking Lyrica for anxiety.

Some years after that I got diagnosed GAD and started taking Citalopram, the doc thought my anxiety was caused by an underlying depression. 

2014 I replaced Lyrica with Buspirone. 

 

I dont know if I am depressed anymore, and I still have anxiety (but less the last 3-4 years) so I am not convinced my meds are doing much.

Im not seeing a psychiatrist ’cause I don’t have insurance. I get my medicine from a GM.

 

A couple of times I tried tapering buspirone on my own (can’t remember when or how, but maybe three times the last six years), but every time it got so bad I had to start taking them again. After reading about tapering and how accelerators and brakes work, I now realize I did it wrong...

 

My plan is to start tapering Citalopram VERY SLOWLY. If it takes years that’s fine, as long as it’s working. I’m pretty sure I will have plenty withdrawal symptoms even if I go slowly.

 

For now I’m reading up on slow tapering, and thinking about how to do it. How much do I go down, and how often? Do I cut pieces off the tablets?

 

I’m glad I found this forum, and any input is welcome, I know basically nothing about tapering.

 

Edited by Gridley

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Zim337.

 

Here are some answers to your questions.

 

We recommend tapering no more than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This link is specifically about tapering Citalopram, including information about the various methods of tapering.  Citalopram comes in a prescription liquid in the U.S., and this is probably the easiest and most accurate way to taper this drug.  We recommend a gradual crossover from tablet to liquid before you start to taper.  You should taper only one drug at a time.

 

3/4 tablet, 1/4 liquid for 3 to 7 days

1/2, 1/2 for 3 to 7 days

1/4 tablet, 3/4 liquid for 3 to 7 days

all liquid thereafter

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

If you can't get the liquid or for another reason are more comfortable tapering the tablet, we can help you with that.  Tapering the tablet involves crushing the tablet between two spoons into a powder (rather than cutting pieces off the tablet) and weighing your dose using a Gemini 20 scale available on Amazon.  We can give you more information on this if that is the method you choose.  Tapering slowly is high recommended , and though it does take a good bit of time, it's the safest and surest way to avoid severe withdrawal.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

When we take psychiatric 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.  

 

These explain the healing process really well.

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that ae single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're 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.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Sept. 22, 2022: 3.5mg

Taper is 81% 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.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

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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  • Gridley changed the title to Zim337: About to start tapering Citalopram and Buspirone

Hi and thanks Gridley. Thats a lot of good info!

Since I am taking one accelerator and one brake, should I expect the brake effect to get stronger? Maybe I should taper the citalopram to something like 75% and then switch and do the buspirone to 75%?

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator
31 minutes ago, Zim337 said:

 

Since I am taking one accelerator and one brake, should I expect the brake effect to get stronge

That is definitely a possibility.  As I got lower on my accelerator, Lexapro, the brake effects of my other two drugs increased.

 

31 minutes ago, Zim337 said:

Maybe I should taper the citalopram to something like 75% and then switch and do the buspirone to 75%?

That's an option.  It's not the approach we generally recommend, but I've read members' reports who tapered part of the way down on one then switched to the other drug.  It's something to keep in the back of your mind and revisit when you get closer to that point.  I considered stopping my Lexapro taper and tapering Ativan once it became clear that Ativan might not be available in Ecuador.  I opted to continue the Lexapro taper mainly because I wanted to be off the Lexapro and to do things one at a time.

Edited by Gridley

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.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Sept. 22, 2022: 3.5mg

Taper is 81% 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.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

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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After reading about waves and windows I have one main question: Will I feel worse than I do now?

I’ve had my share of windows and waves, probably because of my fast taperings (of my brake, not the accelerator) and going right back to original dosage. During my worst ones I had constant panic and anxiety for weeks and was suicidal, I might prefer to stay on my medicin rather than experiencing that again.

My normal is bad enough in the mornings, hopelessness, dystalgia, stress, anxiety. I usually feel okay from around 3 p.m. and the rest of the evening.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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I smoke (tobacco), and I drink coffee, but not alcohol. I understand that I need to quit coffee, and wait til I’m wd normal before I start my taper.
But what about smoking, can that worsen wd? I have googled the site but not found a lot about it so far.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • 2 months later...

Ok, so this is not the right place to ask about smoking.

 

Started decaf today, replacing 1 of 3 cups first week. Next week 2 of 3. Expecting headaches, but might not be able to tell them from my usual daily headaches.

 

Planning to start tapering Citalopram june 28th, if I am feeling ok off caffeine. Going to follow Brassmonkey’s 5% taper i think. If that works after some months maybe go up to 10%.
 

I am starting a new job shortly, and really need improved sleep, memory, and focus for that. 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment

Started Omega-3 today, 500 mg. I have been taking a vitamin and mineral supplement since oct 2020, so I think I’ll keep taking them. I’m unsure, but it seems better to stay on them than to change something only three weeks before starting taper. 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment

Hi Zim337

 

Just wanted to wish you all the best when you start to taper. I my self was once on 40 mg of citalopram. I got better each time I got on a lower dose. For it wasn't that difficult going from 20 mg to 10 mg, but when I recently started to taper from 10 mg I did it the wrong way, so now I'm holding at 7,5 mg. So go slow.

 

All the best

2010/2011-?: Citaloprapm 40mg, 30 and 20 mg, and 10 mg the last couple of years.

Beginning may 2021: After advice from GP skipped doses (10 mg)

Mid may 2021: Went to 10 mg on one day and 5 the other day due to withdrawal

End may 2021: ~7,5 mg (Started cutting 10 mg in quarters to keep track of when to take what)

Beginning of june 2021: 7,5 mg (started on homemade liquid)

2021: Jul 7,5 mg

2022: 26th july 7,25 mg, 26th aug 6,75 mg

 

Suppl AM: Fish oil, NAC, Vit B Complex, multivitamin, vit D, ashwagandha

Suppl PM: Magnesium 200 mg, L-theanine 400 mg

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24975-jutland86-advice-for-a-guy-from-denmark-wanting-to-taper/

 

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Hi jutland,

Thank you for your support and great advice, I will definetly go slow. Im thinking when i get to down to half dosage Ill take a longer break to make sure im really stable before I continue. Im not in a hurry.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment

Got my second covid shot yesterday. I think it’ll be alright to start my tapering the 28th, it’ll be two weeks. Depending on if it makes me sick or not.

 

Tomorrow is my first caffeine-free day. I haven’t had any problems so far, gone from five cups a day to one today in maybe four weeks, and none tomoroow. Lucky!

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

I started my taper with 5% a week for 5 weeks. I should only have done four weeks but I got over confident and wanted to get down to 30mg - 3/4 of a 40mg tablet.

 

Fifth and sixth week I started feeling different, had some anxiety attacks during week five, and week six (this week) I had low grade anxiety in the afternoons every day. It feels like my body is full of bees. A doctor once told me that is common with anxiety because your not breathing right, and you have too much co2 in your body. 

I don’t sleep well, and I’m sure that makes everything worse. But that is not because of the taper, I have slept bad for years.

 

Work has been tough as well, I’m not sure what caused what. I’m on a new job where I have to learn a lot of new things, plus I need to make a good impression. When I feel like this I have difficulties focusing and it takes longer to understand things. My brain is spinning and everything makes me nervous and unsure.

 

I will stay on this dosage until I feel better. It’s a disappointment to feel bad after only five weeks of tapering, but all in all it’s good, no bad breakdowns or suicidal thoughts.

 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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I just realized I ”tapered” 25% in 5 weeks. More like a dive than a taper. Now Im scared. No wonder I’ve been feeling bad these last two weeks. How could this happen?

 

I cant believe I got it so wrong. Brain fog, memory problems, etc, are my main reasons for wanting to stop taking these drugs, but still, now that I realize it it’s so obvious, one fourth of a pill is 25%.

 

It’s the middle of the night and I’m panicking, not a good place to be. I don’t know what to do, probably go up to 36 mg tomorrow, which would be 10% off the original dose (right?). And then stay there and ride it out. 

 

I read all I could find about Brassmonkeys microtapering, checked with the calculator so many times in the months before starting this, and I still got it wrong.

 

I feel like I’m in a bad dream. And I know what’s coming, I tried to quit this medicin several times on my own before I found SA, going way too fast. And now I did it again, by mistake. It’s going to be two very bad weeks.

 

 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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After reading about RI yesterday evening I think going back to 10% is too much. This is so scary. I know I can’t stay on 30 mg, but since I just started tapering I have no idea how my body will react, plus that you never really know. Its been 6 weeks total since I started. I know that when I was lowering my meds on my own before coming here (too fast) I felt good for maybe the first six weeks, and then the wd hit. 

I’m gonna have to guess what dosage to stay on, and I hate to guess. Especially about this.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator

@Zim337

 

How are you feeling since you tapered to 30 mg? It hasn’t been 4 weeks since your last taper, so I would continue to hold a little while longer. Then maybe taper 5%? And see how you feel? Or try the Brassmonkey Slide. A lot of members have great success with it. Here’s a link to it:

 

 

Just know you’re not alone here. It’s a hard thing to do. But that’s why we are all here. To learn the correct way to get off these drugs and support each other along the way.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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20 hours ago, Frogie said:

@Zim337

 

How are you feeling since you tapered to 30 mg? It hasn’t been 4 weeks since your last taper, so I would continue to hold a little while longer. Then maybe taper 5%? And see how you feel? Or try the Brassmonkey Slide. A lot of members have great success with it. Here’s a link to it:

 

 

Just know you’re not alone here. It’s a hard thing to do. But that’s why we are all here. To learn the correct way to get off these drugs and support each other along the way.

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

@Frogie thank you for your calming words, I was panicky when I realized what I did (and still am) and couldn’t think clearly. I can barely work like I am now so I cant stay on this dosage. What you think about going up 2 mg, to 38? 
Thanks, Zim

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator
6 hours ago, Zim337 said:

@Frogie thank you for your calming words, I was panicky when I realized what I did (and still am) and couldn’t think clearly. I can barely work like I am now so I cant stay on this dosage. What you think about going up 2 mg, to 38? 
Thanks, Zim

Can you hold a lit while longer and see if you level out? If you don’t think you can, if I were you, I wouldn’t go up 2 mg all at once. Maybe try going up 0.5 mg for a week or so and see if that helps. It takes about 4 days for the dosage to go through your bloodstream.

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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@Frogie I took your advice, went up 0.5mg, and it worked well! No more shaky nerves and constant anxiety. Feels like I won the lottery!!

I have read a lot but never picked up that it takes four days for the dosage to go through the bloodstream, thank you for that!

Today I started liquid Citalopram, Im going to take a 20 mg tablet a day plus the rest in liquid. It’s so much easier, no math in the morning when I’m not clear in my head. The bottle was +100$, but it has 300 doses/20 mg, so for me it’ll last over 600 days, since I’m taking 10,5 mg now and am tapering. 

Thanks again Frogie 🌼🌼

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator

I’m so glad it worked to go up just a little amount.

 

It sounds like you’re doing so much better.

 

The liquid will be so much easier to work with when it comes to tapering, you’ll be able to get exact doses and no crushing and weighing tablets. 
 

Keep me updated on how you’re doing. I’m so glad I could help😊

 

Take care,

 Frogie xx

PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day.

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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Hello @Zim337, @Frogie,

 

ive read your thread and iam glad that you are feeling better.

 

Just a thought, you should check the shelf-life of the bottle of the liquid citalopram once its opened (the leaflet should have this information).

From what i read in a lot of threads, it usually last for about 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Greetings!

2022 IMPORTANT WITHDRAWAL SURVEY, PLEASE PARTICIPATE: https://uelpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0AR9IsQ61jsiXBk

 

non-native speaker of english

2020: 3-March -> started Mirtazapine 15mg;

3-March to 6-April -> approx. cutting to 0 mg; 6-April to 20-April -> ~ 7,5 mg; 21-April to 31-April -> 15 mg; 1-May to 13-May -> ~ 10 mg (approx.); 15-May to 19-July -> 15 mg (psychosomatic clinic) 19-July -> started taper (scale and file) 14 mg (-6,6%); 08-August -> 12 mg (-14,3 %); 27-August -> 10 mg (-16,6 %); 15-September -> 8 mg (-20 %, bad idea, heavy WD); 23-September -> 10.2 mg (+20 %, 102 mgpw)

2021: 12-April to 12-May -> crossover from solid pill to DIY liquid (water only), 10.2 mg, not stable; 10-September -> back to crushing and weighing, still 10.2 mg (102 mgpw)

2022: 13-March -> changed to DIY liquid with suspension vehicle, 10.2 mg (dose feels much more consistent now)

 

Supplements: 1 x ~125 mg magnesiumbiglycinate before bed, low histamine diet

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@Nomansland Thanks! There is no best before date on the bottle… I will definetly look into that.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi @Zim337 How is your taper going?  Do you split your citalopram dose or take it all in the morning?  Just asking because I've been taking it in a morning and evening dose.  Now that I'm at 30 mg thinking of transitioning to take the entire dose in the a.m.

 

I hope it's going well!

 

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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Hi @Stardust, thanks for stopping by! I take the citalopram in the morning, and buspirone 6 am and 6 pm. I started doing that because I had problems sleeping, it didn’t relly help but I kept doing that. I tapered the citalopram 10% on Sunday, and I’ve had some more anxiety and negative automatic thoughts. Being hungry is a big stressor for me, I start shaking and get anxiety, and this also got worse. It started Wednesday, so day four after the taper. It’s on a level I can handle though. I take a 20mg pill and 3.9 ml liquid (1ml= 2mg, so 7.8 mg), 27.8 total. I wanted to try a 10% taper, but next time I’ll do microtapering instead, 2.5% four weeks. But that’s over 3 weeks away, for now I’m waiting for everything to stabilize.

 

I want to start meditating, but it’s hard. I start reading about it and looking for apps and stuff, and I feel exited about doing something that will be good for me. But then the actual meditation never happens. It’s hard to explain, it’s like I’m afraid. Fear that it won’t work, of failing? I don’t know. 

 

The hot summer is almost over here, so I will start taking walks though! Around 10 am it’s so nice outside. And it rained a lot this summer so everything is green.

 

I hope you are well Stardust! 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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Hi Zin,

Sorry you're dealing with withdrawal symptoms.  You're wise to hold on for four weeks to let your symptoms stabilize.  Hang in there.  I think micro tapering is good - obviously, since that's what I'm doing!

 

I understand about symptoms getting worse when you're hungry.  My system tells me when it's time to eat - my anxiety starts to rev up and I feel shaky too.  I've always been that way, not just in WD.  I know I have to eat regularly and sometimes need a snack to keep an even keel. Probably has to do with keeping blood sugar levels steady.

 

I also get it about meditation - it can seem like another thing that won't help so why bother or another  thing to worry about not being good at.   But honestly, it's been absolutely one of the best things I've done as I try to cope with anxiety, intrusive thoughts, downward negative spirals, rumination, etc. I've been using the Headspace app for 6 years (!) and I love it.  For me, the key has been viewing it as practice - like practicing an instrument.  It's not something I achieve or perfect, it's something I practice.  As I said, I love Headspace but a lot of people like the Calm app too.  I started off with doing just 10 minutes a day and I did that for many months because I knew I could find ten minutes a day.  Now I do 20 minutes but in the beginning I was worried it would be too much of an obstacle to actually doing it because 20 minutes was a lot of time.  It's not necessarily something that helps significantly right away - although it can be calming in the moment at first - it's something that accrues over time as you get used to "mindfulness." One other thing, the app includes special meditations, music and soothing stories that help me sleep better!

 

I'm glad it's cooling off where you live - going for a long walk each day in the cooler weather is so healing.

 

Take care,

Stardust

 

 

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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I have been reading some more introductions lately, and I recognize a lot in my own story. The thing that is different is that I felt like this the last 15+ years, when I was on medication, not in wd. Anxiety, constant worrying, automatic negative thoughts, insomnia, anhedonia, memory problems, brain fog, meaninglessness, emptyness, and a lot more I don’t remember.

As a child I was always afraid, always trying to please, and always felt like I didn’t belong. In my teens I started having depressions.

The really bad part started after a burnout at work, a stress related breakdown. (This was 2003) For months I had constant anxiety and my brain didn’t function hardly at all. It was like my insides were constantly shaking. It took me hours to shower and get dressed, because I moved extremely slow and because I had to sit down and wait for the anxiety to go down to manageable levels. All I ate was chocolate and ice cream. I dont remember much from this time, but I remember lying down on my bed or sofa, absolutely still, just waiting to feel better. 

 

After around 8 months I had recovered enough to start work training, 2 hours a day. I slowly went up to 4, 6, and after couple of months I was back at 100%. (I was fired as soon as I got up to full time, but that’s another story)

It was like I was two different people. One at work, functioning well (mostly), being productive and responsible, and another at home, anxious and ruminating, not careing about anything, always dead tired. I slept almost all day during the weekends, until my hunger forced me out to get something to eat. I lost all but one friend during these years.

My doctor gave me Lyrica for the anxiety. I can’t say it helped a lot, but I kept taking it. A few years later I told my doctor I still wasn’t feeling well, barely ok, and she up’ed my dose. Again it didn’t seem to help a lot, but for some reason I stayed on that dose. 

 

2013 I started a new job that was a really bad fit. I couldn’t live up to their expectations, but I couldn’t afford to quit. After five months there my stomach could hardly handle any food, I lived on white bread and chocolate. My nerves were constantly shaking, and my anxiety was sky high. I finally got fired, thank God. 

I went to the doctor, who sent me to a psychiatrist, and I got diagnosed with GAD. The doc thought my anxiety was because of an underlying depression, so he prescribed Citalopram. And no it didn’t make me better, but again I kept taking it.

 

Eight years have passed since then. Finally two or three years ago I started to really feel better. I tried a lot of things over the years, but when I learned to stop my automatic negative thoughts, that was the biggest change for me. 

 

Feeling that much better made me want to stop taking my meds. I of course tapered too fast and in the wrong way, and googleing to figure out what to do, I found SA. 

 

My story feels backwards compared to a lot of the threads I read here. It’s like I have been in constant wd all these years?

I am doubting that the medicine did anything for me. 

 

This post ended being a lot longer than I meant, but a lot of memories came back and a lot of feelings of sadness and lost time, so it felt good to let it out.

 

If you read this I hope it will somehow make you feel better, maybe knowing you are not alone in feeling like this, or maybe because even if it took a lot of years there is light at the end of the tunnel. My life is so much better now, I feel joy, excitement, even happiness. And I believe it will keep getting better.

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Zim,

How is you Citalopram taper going?  Are you planning to taper Buspirone too?  

Take care,

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi Stardust,

It’s going good. In 3 weeks I’ll be down 50%, to 20mg citalopram, and then I’ll stay there on the citalopram and start tapering buspirone. Hopefully I can go down to half that dose too, to 30mg per day.

I haven’t had a lot of wd, but no improvements either, basically I feel the same as when I started tapering.

Actually I’ve noticed that sugar has a much bigger effect on how I feel than anything else. The less sugar I eat the better I feel, my mood stabilizes and the anxiety almost goes away. During the lows after a sugar rush I get self doubt and anxiety. And the more often I eat sweets, the worse the lows get. 

I wish I had figured that out 15 years ago…

 

Slow and steady,

Zim

 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment

Zim-

 

Sounds like you're doing really well. How great to be so close to the end!  

We're on a similar path - I'll be done with my 50% citalopram taper from 40mg to 20mg in 5 weeks.  

How long are you planning to wait before you start tapering buspirone?  I'm expecting to wait a couple of months before I start my next taper - I'll be tapering off bupropion(Wellbutrin)100mg completely.  After that I plan to taper 50% off buspirone to 20mg.

I hear you about the effect of sugar.  I try to keep it to a minimum too. 

I know it isn't a cakewalk but I'm glad you haven't been having a lot of withdrawal symptoms.  

 

Like you say, slow and steady it the ticket-

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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Hi Stardust,

I’m glad your taper is going well! We are both near our first goal 🌼

I don’t know how long to wait, have to start reading about other member’s experiences. I believe it’s important to be at a steady wd level when you start the taper, wd normal I think they call it. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep in the evenings since new years, so I’ll probably hold until that’s working better.

Take care,

Zim

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator Emeritus
17 hours ago, Zim337 said:

I believe it’s important to be at a steady wd level when you start the taper, wd normal I think they call it.

 

Stability

 

WDnormal

 

And Brassmonkey talks more about it here:

 

tao-of-the-brassmonkey

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 3 months later...

Tapering Buspirone has been a lot tougher than citalopram. I cut back four times so far. First time I tried 5mg (of 60), but since wd was bad, the following three times I did 2.5 mg cuts. 

The two first times I lowered 2.5 mg went ok, but this time it’s been bad. I can’t focus and it’s like my brain isn’t working, plus it’s like my nervous system is on high alert 24/7. 

 I have decided to hold a while, this taper has been too fast for me and I need to stabilize.

When I start again I might try the brassmonkey taper, 1.25% a week for 4 weeks.

 

I wish buspar was capsules like Lyrica, those were so easy to taper, just empty the capsules, weigh it, and put as much as you wanted back in the capsule. 

 

I wonder if you can buy capsules, maybe I could crush tablets and fill the capsules with the crush.

 

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

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  • Moderator Emeritus
11 minutes ago, Zim337 said:

I wonder if you can buy capsules, maybe I could crush tablets and fill the capsules with the crush.

 

Post #1 of this topic explains how to get non standard doses:

 

Tips for tapering off buspirone (Buspar)

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Thanks ChessieCat! I’ve been reading about gel capsules, was just about to start looking for buspar tips and saw your post🙂

Since the 90s, off and on: Citalopram, Escitalopram, Prozac, and maybe others

Lyrica 2003-14

Citalopram: 2012-21 40mg

         taper 2021 aug - 2022 jan to 20mg

Buspirone: 2014-now 30mg x 2

         taper 2022  jan - may to 25 x 2 

 

Supplements: Omega-3, E, D3, Turmeric

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

  

On 7/26/2015 at 5:14 PM, brassmonkey said:

The ones many of us use are the Gemini-20.  They are available on Amazon or Ebay for about $35.  The next step up runs in the $150 range and the reviews don't indicate that they are any better.  I've been using mine now for almost 4 years without any problems.  If you order them be sure to also order a bag of "0" gel caps, they will make it a lot easier to make up your doses.

 

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

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

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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Zim,

 

I'm so sorry your buspirone taper has been rough.  I'm really glad you're slowing down and planning to make smaller cuts.  I used the Gemini-20 and "0" gel caps for my citalopram taper using Brassmonkey's guide.  I got them both on Amazon.  Here are a few things I found helpful:

  • A sturdy mortar and pestle to grind the tablets into fine powder.  
  • A spreadsheet with all the dates and dosages planned out with weekly reductions and holds.  (I double and triple checked my figures several times.)
  • Colored paper - small pieces, folded to put the powder into the little measure tray on the scale.  You need to use colored paper so you can easily see the white powder!  
  • The tweezers that come with the scale - really useful too for adjusting the amounts.

Calibrating the scale every to often is easy once you run through it a couple times.  

 

For me there was a learning curve in figuring out the math and using the scale- let's just say math is not my greatest talent but I got the hang of it and it worked really well.  

 

Take care,

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Zim, 

How are you doing?

I'm planning my bupropion taper - hope to start it in the fall.

Hope you're doing okay.

Stardust

Current meds:

citalopram 20mg/day. Tapered from 40mg to 20mg June 2021- Feb 2022 using Jozeff's Simple Brassmonkey Slide Tapering Spreadsheet.  

bupropion SR 100mg/day 

buspirone 40mg/day

Ativan 2mg 2016-2019; switched to Klonopin

Klonopin 2mg July- Sept 2019;

Benzo free since Sept 2019 after 5 week taper (way too fast)

Highly recommend BenzoBuddies.org for anyone planning to taper off benzos or currently coping with withdrawal.  It was a lifeline for me.

Supplements: Vitamins D3, C and B12

                         Fish oil

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Zim337: tapering citalopram and buspirone

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