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MadinMichigan: Please help - searching for any hope. Strongly suspect drug-induced injury from Celexa.


MadinMichigan

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Hello all - 

Thank God for this site and for all of you. I'm writing you tonight to try and find any hope and potential advice I can get to help me get through what I strongly believe at this point to be drug-induced injuries due to trying to re-establish Celexa in my system at much too high a dose (as prescribed, of course) after being off the drug for a while. 

Basically, I was on Celexa for a few years prior to quitting cold turkey (again, at a psychiatrist's advice) in mid-2019. When the symptoms of my diagnosed panic disorder starting coming back up again, I again contacted my psychiatrist, who prescribed me both Celexa again as I hadn't had a terrible time of it previously as well as clonezapam to take .5mg / day as needed. 

This was around 3 weeks ago now when I picked up the pills, went home and popped a 40mg Celexa, as prescribed.
For a few hours, I actually felt a huge hit of what I might call euphoria.... and then the hell started. 

I woke up in the middle of the night that night with the worst panic attack I've ever had - except this panic attack never really stopped. Since then, my life has been a constant living nightmare, with little to no sleep, little to no appetite, and only a few moments - sometimes minutes, sometimes thankfully a few hours - that didn't feel like the worst physical, emotional and mental pain I have ever been in. 

I stopped taking the drug right away after that first pill, given how terrible the symptoms were, and hoped that I would get better - except I haven't. I have taken the smallest amount of the benzo in the meantime that I can (sometimes the panic response is so bad I can't even take anything, even if it might help me right now) sometimes just to cope. 

And so I arrive here, about 3 weeks later. What should I do, in this community's opinion? Should I suck it up and try to take a little of the Celexa at this point, or has that ship sailed? Should I continue to 'microdose' the benzo, or try and make myself take the full .5mg just for some relief, or quit it cold turkey since that risks it's own addiction?

I'm really searching for hope - mainly that this might not feel this way forever. Any advice is appreciated.

 

Thanks so much.

1998-01: First panic attack, put on Paxil 

2005-2016: Tried a bunch for short periods incl. Zoloft, Effexor, Brintellix. 

2016-2019: put on Celexa plus Klonopin 0.5mg as needed. Celexa started at 20, eventually up to 40mg by 2018.

2019: On psychiatrist’s OK, came off Celexa cold turkey. 
2019-2022: Klonopin 0.5mg as needed
3.3.22: Advised to take 40mg Celexa tab. Had a few hours of euphoria then a huge crash late that night. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to MadinMichigan: Please help - searching for any hope. Strongly suspect drug-induced injury from Celexa.
  • Moderator

@MadinMichigan

 

Welcome to SA. We are a volunteer run site with members such as yourself going off anitpsychiotics or have gone off and are healing.

 

This is your introduction page where you will receive information, ask questions and meet member such as yourself. We ask that each member only have one introduction page so we can keep all your information in one place.

 

Thank you for creating a signature.

 

So you went cold-turkey off Celexa in 2019? And then the dr started you back up on 40 mg Just a few weeks ago. That is too high of a dose to reinstate with.

 

 

Tips for tapering off citalopram (Celexa)

 


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

The slowness of slow tapers

 

You could try to reinstate the Celexa at 1 mg and see if that helps. But because you have been off of it for so long, there is no guarantee that the reinstatement will work because you've been off so long.

 


About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 


The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Brain Remodelling

 

Are you still taking the Klonopin at 0.5 mg? Are you taking it daily and on a set schedule? Your body becomes dependent on a benzo in as little as 14 days. I would suggest that you continue to take it on a consistent schedule and you can taper off of it at a later time.

 

We also don't suggest a lot of supplements on here because most member's CNS (central nervous system) is so sensitized because of these medications. We suggest 2. If you want to try one, try a small amount, wait a few days and then introduce the other.

 

Magnesium

Omega-3 Fish Oil

 

If you have any questions after reading the links provided, please reach out to us.

 

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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Thank you for all of the initial information!

 

Yes, of course thanks to this and other sites, now I know I shouldn’t have started back up on Celexa at all if I could have avoided it - or at least been on a much smaller dose. But dummy me had to go and trust the ‘doctor’…

 

I avoided taking the benzo as much as I possibly could these past 3 weeks, and have maybe only once or twice in the past 20 days taken a whole .5mg over the course of an entire day - it’s been more like ‘microdosing’ - taking a tiny bit off of .5mg tab here and there when things got so bad I could see no other relief coming. It’s been this way, at that level (prescribed .5mg ‘as needed’) for the past 5 years now, but until the past few weeks and this terrible experience, I’ve never used the benzo more than maybe a few times a month and I’ve almost never (until again this month) taken a full .5mg tab in one day. Do you still think I should continue with it, at least for now? Perhaps I could do .25mg day total, dosed out twice for maintenance? 
 

I honestly don’t know what to do about the stupid Celexa. I would of course like to be able to function again as myself, without any of these drugs if possible, but here we are. I’m just terrified of messing myself up even more by trying to reinstate even a little bit now and having another bad reaction to it (though I did take it for years prior and was fine) …this is torture trying to make this decision. 
 

I suppose I throw myself upon the mercy of the community - what does the majority say, try and reinstate at something like 5 or 10mgs of Celexa and see how it goes for a week or so? Or at this point, try to stick with just a little of the benzo with an eye to taper that as well? Or what? 
 

Thanks, all…

1998-01: First panic attack, put on Paxil 

2005-2016: Tried a bunch for short periods incl. Zoloft, Effexor, Brintellix. 

2016-2019: put on Celexa plus Klonopin 0.5mg as needed. Celexa started at 20, eventually up to 40mg by 2018.

2019: On psychiatrist’s OK, came off Celexa cold turkey. 
2019-2022: Klonopin 0.5mg as needed
3.3.22: Advised to take 40mg Celexa tab. Had a few hours of euphoria then a huge crash late that night. 

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  • Moderator

@MadinMichigan

 

You are very welcome for the information.

 

If you think the benzo is helping with the wd symptoms, you could take a small dose twice a day. You could try .10 mg in the am and .10 mg in the pm, 12 hours apart and see if that helps. You would have to stay steady on it for a while before tapering off of it though. You shouldn't take a benzo "as needed" as your body gets used to it and then craves it and sends your CNS into a tailspin. But that is up to you. If you don't wish to take it consistently, then you need to stop taking it now.

 

About the Celexa, that is a choice that you will need to make. You could try a small reinstatement, but there is no guarantee that it will work as I said. If you do chose to reinstate the Celexa, I would not reinstate at anymore than 1 mg and hold for about 7 days to see if that works. It takes about 4 days to be steady in the bloodstream and a few more days for the brain to register it. You can always updose a little if needed. But it is much harder to go down if you start out on 5 or 10 mg. 

 

Please read the links that I provided you in the first answer and it will give you more information.

 

Reach out with any other questions you may have.

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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For now at least, I’m so terrified I’ve not been able to get myself to make / take even a 1 mg dosage of the Celexa. I don’t know if that’s a huge mistake, but at this point I’m just paralyzed by anxiety at the thought of feeling even worse (which I don’t know how that could be possible at this point…).

 

As far as the benzo goes…. For today at least I’m going to try and survive without  any of it, as I don’t think it was doing me any good anyway with my other symptoms and may have in fact been making me feel worse. If it gets to a crisis point, I’ll get back on it at .10mg twice a day and go from there. 
 

God, this is unbearable though. The indecision about what to do, the fearing / doubting about whether this is my panic disorder / agoraphobia just ramped up because I was so stressed out I cracked versus whether this is truly medication-related symptoms - it’s just a mess, and I’m overall terrified. 

1998-01: First panic attack, put on Paxil 

2005-2016: Tried a bunch for short periods incl. Zoloft, Effexor, Brintellix. 

2016-2019: put on Celexa plus Klonopin 0.5mg as needed. Celexa started at 20, eventually up to 40mg by 2018.

2019: On psychiatrist’s OK, came off Celexa cold turkey. 
2019-2022: Klonopin 0.5mg as needed
3.3.22: Advised to take 40mg Celexa tab. Had a few hours of euphoria then a huge crash late that night. 

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