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clairef

Hi there, I've come across this site very recently and I'm hoping it will guide me in my tapering off citalopram which I've been taking for too many years.

I started taking daily 20mg pills after a post-natal depression bout in 2009-2010, stopping was fine, then returned to 20mgs after my next baby in 2012 and have been on citalopram since. I shifted to daily 10mgs approx in 2015, and since 2019/2020 I've skipped one dose per week, so I'm having 6 pills per week. I'm hoping to taper off 1mg at a time although I'm open to other suggestions? I'm unsure about scales- if they work for 1mg how do you measure say, 0.5mg? More sensitive scales cost a bomb!

Looking forward to hearing from the sxperienced ppl on here. 

Thanks!

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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  • manymoretodays changed the title to clairef: new to this site
  • Administrator

Hi, Claire. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

Here is some information to get you started:

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 

We recommend tapering no faster than 10% per month off the prior month's dose:

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

A few more links: 

 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain

 

Healing from antidepressants. Patterns of recovery video (4 minutes)

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

On 7/26/2021 at 5:31 PM, clairef said:

I shifted to daily 10mgs approx in 2015, and since 2019/2020 I've skipped one dose per week, so I'm having 6 pills per week.

 

We don't recommend skipping doses. Please see:

 

Never Skip Doses to Taper

 

On 7/26/2021 at 5:31 PM, clairef said:

I'm unsure about scales- if they work for 1mg how do you measure say, 0.5mg? More sensitive scales cost a bomb!

 

Please see:


Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

 

You may be able to find a scale at a reasonable price. Many people find the Gemini 20 scale to work well for tapering. You may also find these on eBay and other online venues.

 

Citalopram also comes in prescription liquid. From the "tips for tapering off citalopram" thread, please note:

 

On 4/9/2012 at 3:07 PM, Altostrata said:

It looks like citalopram liquid is available in the UK:

 

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3349/smpc

 

EDIT BY ONMYWAY: Note that the UK liquid formulation of citalopram has different bioavailability so 

1mg of the liquid solution is equivalent to 1.25mg of the tablets, very important to remember when switching to liquid or when reinstating in liquid. Also use syringes to measure rather than drops which can be inaccurate.

 

Please continue to use this thread to document your taper and to ask questions.

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Moonpie

Hi Clairef so happy to have you join us!  You are definitely at the right place to get help and support along your journey to being off your medication. I too found this site 4 years ago and am so thankful!  I could not have made this far with out all these wonderful people.  The compassion, knowledge and wisdom cannot be found anywhere else!  Welcome to SA! 

.025 Xanax 3 x daily  Start date 10-13-2013 through 8-13-2014.  Started tapering 6-2014 to 8-2014.  Some small discomfort. 25 mg Zoloft - Start date 5-1-2014.  50mg. 6-2014.  through 7-14-2014 .  Started tapering  7-14-2014, stopped tapering 10-2014.  I did 1/4 of the dose a month.  small discomfort.  These next 3 were prescribed when I made some seriously bad choices with my thyroid medication.  Was in ER twice for possible heart attack.  INTENSE anxiety, panic, fear.   Lost 30 pounds in 2 weeks.  Thyroid levels bounced to extremes for 8 months. Dr. prescribed Zoloft 50mg  9-2105.  After 2 doses had a bad reaction passed out in my bedroom. Also prescribed Xanax .025  at the same time. 3 times daily, 4 if needed.  Was only on it about 2 weeks.  Was not working.  Trip ER they gave me an Ativan IV and it worked and lasted.  switched to Ativan. 9-24-2016. 1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/24/16.  Attempted taper start 12-16-2016. Was shaving Pills and alternating tapering AM, PM and midday dose weekly.  Buspar .5mg  -2.5mg. am and 2. 5mg. pm start date 9-26-2016 .  Lexapro .10mg  start date  - 10-26-2016. Found SA and began 10/14/2017 tapering .001 gm every 4 days Held longer if there were was WD.    Was very sensitive to Ativan. 3-15-2018 Off midday dose - 7-16-2018 Off PM dose - OFF ATIVAN! 11-17-2018 10 mg. Lexapro. PM - 5 mg start date 10/11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/2/17. 1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 gm every 4 days.  Held longer if there was WD.  Last doses some I held a month.  OFF LEXAPRO! 2-21 2021 5 mg. Buspar  divided into two, 2.5 mg doses AM and PM- Start date 9/26/2016 Cold turkey on Dr. direction, PM does.  Reinstated PM dose 9-22 N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily,  dose now 60 mg a day. Bioidentical hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream, 1/4 tsp.  1 time daily

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Welcome, @clairef

 

Please do not skip doses of citalopram! Before tapering, suggest you convert to 8.6mg citalopram per day -- the average daily dose for the 60mg you take over 7 days. You can do this by taking 8.6mg on the day you usually skip a dose, then continue with 8.6mg rather than 10mg every day after that.

 

There might be a little bump from the change, but it should smooth out in about 4 days. Please let us know how you're doing while you make this change.

 

To taper, you'd decrease by 10% from the dosage you're taking every day. If 8.6mg suits, your first reduction would be to 7.7mg.

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

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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clairef

Guys you've been so great at getting in touch and offering advice, thanks so much, I really appreciate it! I like your idea, Altostrata, to do 8.6mg for the first 4 weeks and then taper off to 7.7mg. Before I start, I need to get my act together and buy the bits I need. I definitely need scales (are cheaper ones than Gemini 20 less reliable with the measurements?), and then I was wondering whether I should just scrape off the 1.4mg from each tablet or actually grind the whole tablet down and then stick it in some food? I realise that the active ingredient won't be even across the tablet, but seriously, does it really matter? I'm just trying to manage tapering plus a super busy life! :)  I'm not sure I can be bothered to start buying gelatine capsules to fill? I will also ask my doctor whether they'd be happy to prescribe the liquid form of citalopram, as maybe that's the best option going forward?

 

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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Onmyway

Hi Claire, 

the citalopram liquid is the best option and in the UK it is easily available. If your doctor resists prescribing it saying it's more expensive (I had a serious fight with mine about this) tell him that it's still under the £9 copay and it will last you a long time. One thing to remember is that the liquid mg (not ml, the mg) are 1.25 times more potent than the pill mg. It says so on the leaflet. This is important to know when you switch. At the time you pick up your meds also ask for a 10ml and 1 ml syringe. To get precise measurements it will be necessary to dilute in water as you get to the lower doses. You can keep the solution (water + citalopram) in the fridge in an jar with a lid. To get 8.6 mg into the equivalent in liquid form you'd divide 8.6/1.25=6.88 ~ 6.9 mg liquid (liquid is more powerful so you will need less of it in mg). 

 

0.2ml (2 units of the small syringe) of the liquid contains 8mg of citalopram.  I dilute that into 80ml (8x10 ml - 8 times of the large syringe) of water and stir it well - so each ml of the water solution is 0.1mg of citalopram. That gives you a 1ml solution=0.1mg. 

 

To take 6.9mg then you could do

1) 69 ml of the water solution (6 syringes x 10 ml + 1 syringe x9 ml).

 

OR

2)  0.1 ml of the medicine directly from the bottle (for 4 mg) + 2 syringes x 10 ml of the solution + 1 syring x9 ml of the solution. 

 

I'd recommend option 1 as precise measurements of this liquid are hard so there are bigger variations when it is more concentrated. Also the liquid version is more viscous and may stick more to the syringe or its outside. Very small doses have a large impact at low doses so even though this sounds anal, it's important to get it right. Our bodies become more and more sensitive the lower we go. 

 

Your next cut will be 10% from 6.9 so about 6.1 mg in liquid but I'd suggest stabilizing and getting used to the liquid first before you make changes. Any changes in formulation impact how our body absorbs the medicine and can take time to rebalance. 

 

Let me know if you have any other question. If you tag me like this, I will get a notification. @Onmyway

 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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clairef

@Onmyway you are amazing thank you so much for your advice! I'm awaiting a response from my GP and will get back to you if I struggle to work out what to do :) thank you v much

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick update that I received a prescription for liquid citalopram from my GP and I am now drinking my water/citalopram concoction every day! See updated signature :)

I am finding it a small hassle every morning, squirting my daily millilitres into a glass, but I suppose this is the best way?

 

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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i am so utterly panicking right now because i've just worked out that i have been taking 10x the amount i'm meant to be taking (daily!!) since starting to taper of with liquid citalopram.

 

HELP!

 

i have bought a 10ml and 1ml syringe.

i've been taking 2ml per 80ml water, rather than 0.2ml!!!

please help, yikes, i don't even know what to do now... do i go staight to the correct dosage? i've had 10x too much since 27 August.

 

yiiiiiiikes

 

i feel so massively embarrassed.

 

i can't believe i haven't collapsed!!

 

someone help

 

 

 

 

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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  • Administrator
8 hours ago, clairef said:

i have bought a 10ml and 1ml syringe.

i've been taking 2ml per 80ml water, rather than 0.2ml!!!

please help, yikes, i don't even know what to do now... do i go staight to the correct dosage? i've had 10x too much since 27 August.

 

Please don't panic, Claire. This happens more than you can imagine on these forums. It's only been about 9 days, so it's safe to go back to where you were. 

 

Are you having any upticks in symptoms? 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Thanks @Shep for getting in touch. More than anything, I felt unhappy that I could have made such a mistake. I ended up diluting it all correctly and now have over 3 litres (!) of meds in my fridge. I spoke to a GP (medical doctor) who said the same as you and advised to reduce 25% every 3-4 days from that super high dose until I am back to where I started. I haven't had any weird symptoms to speak of, thank G-d!

I am predicting strange symptoms over the next few weeks but who knows. I'll keep this forum posted if anything comes up.

Thanks again

20mg citalopram 2012-2016
10mg citalopram 2016-2020
10mg 5 out of 7 days 2021

5.6mg (liquid) daily since Aug 2021

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  • Administrator
23 hours ago, clairef said:

 I ended up diluting it all correctly and now have over 3 litres (!) of meds in my fridge.

 

I'm not sure how long this will last with your doses, but be careful you aren't using liquid doses that have gone bad. Some liquids should only be made up in advance for a few days before they expire. If you're unsure, please ask your doctor or pharmacist. 

 

I'm glad you haven't had any symptoms. It's possible you may not.

 

Please let us know how you're doing over the coming days. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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