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Sodonewiththis: Quit cold turkey Celexa and Wellbutrin, September 2012


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I wish I would've found this site a whole lot sooner. I wouldn't have done what I did if I had. A few weeks back I decided to stop taking my Celexa 40 mg and Wellbutrin 40 mg. I have been taking them both for a year now and they have lost their potency. I am now experiencing wonderful withdrawal symptoms like buzzing in my arms and legs, major rage,insomnia, depression, heart palpitations and just about anything else you can think of.

I know it's only been a few weeks, but it's been a few weeks hell. I have no plans of going back on these medications but if there someone out that can give me some help on how manage all these things that are happening it would be wonderful.

Thanks :D

Edited by Karma
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome, sodonewiththis!


I hope you can find some answers. What are your main symptoms at the moment?


From reading this site, you may have discovered that the best way to avoid the symptoms is to reduce at about 10% of your dose. Having said that, and now that you are off - you may benefit from reinstating some of your dose to help curb the symptoms. Once they have gone you can begin a better taper. The symptoms may settle in a few weeks, or they may get worse and last many months - it is impossible to tell and the best way to have a successful reinstatement is to do it fairly quickly after stopping, preferably within a month.


I know it sounds like the worst thing in the world to do, but it really is the best way.

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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The main thing that's bothering me now is the RAGE! I bit my son this morning because he couldn't find my coat and he wanted me to take into the bus stop. That is so not me. I can handle the insomnia, I like to read books and the diarrhea, well,I could stand to lose a few lbs. the buzzy feelings come at weird times people looking strange so I think the worst thing right now is just the rage if that goes away I think I can handle this. I just do not want to go back on those meds. I have got to find some way to get this rage under control. I am not an angry person. Nothing ever makes my blood boil. This is so not me and it scares me half to death but there's got to be something better than getting back on that medication .

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  • Administrator

Welcome to the community Sodonewiththis


I added your name to your post so that it will be easier to find later. This is your thread for posting your questions and updates. When you get a chance add your med history in your signature so that when someone is answering a question your history will be available http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/.


I understand completely not wanting to take these drugs again, but it is likely that the only way to control the rage is to re-instate even if at a lesser dose than you were on previously. And then, as Peggy said to do a slow taper off.


These drugs alter the brain so that it adjusts to having the chemical in the system and when you pull the drugs away the system is challenged to find its balance again. From what I have learned, the brain doesn't recover quickly. It takes time.


I might have read of one instance on this site where someone was successful at going cold turkey and not having symptoms get worse. More often than not, what I have seen is that people might make it through a month or two, but then the symptoms get worse and the challenge then is that re-instating that far out is a crap-shoot ... sometimes it doesn't work. When it doesn't work we have seen members of this community go through years of symptoms and they are still healing.


I'm not trying to scare you, I am just giving you the facts of what I have seen.


What form of Wellbutrin and Celexa do you have? If they are tablets is it possible to quarter the tablets and try 10 mg each to see if that lessens your rage? Alternatively, if they are capsules you could try mixing a water solution and taking 10 mg each ... just see if that gives you some relief from the rage.



2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg; 12/17 - 75mg; 8/17 - 45 mg; 10/16 40 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 ; 10/16 40mg;

1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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yes i agree...u hav to reinstall the drug..from.where you stopped...hold on for a week or two and thn slowly taper(10% rule)...its importnt because u cant say how long the wiyhdrawal may last......dnt wana scare you but it may last from months to year..so better reinstall ur ssri to prevent the worse.......all people here are experts do listn to them..

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Sodone.


I so understand your desire to be done with the drugs, but you are having severe withdrawal symptoms which can last for a very long time.


I agree with the others, if I were you, I'd go back on at least 10mg Celexa. This can save you from a world of hurt.


Celexa comes in a liquid, or you can make your own solution for very precise dosing. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Just want to add, the immediate symptoms which you are experiencing now are not likely to be the end of it. There are immediate withdrawal symptoms with ADs but then there also appear to commonly be other symptoms which kick in later, a few months out. So even if you feel like you can get through what you're going through right now, please be warned that this may not be the worst of it.


We aren't getting some kind of special kickback for telling people to reinstate and not maintain a cold turkey. We have just seen this happen over and over and know what the risks are. Most of us (all of us?) have experienced withdrawal, some more tolerable, some whose lives have been ruined for years.


You still have time to do a partial reinstatement, stabilize, and then taper off at a rate that will work for you.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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I wish I had found this site in time to avail myself of the most scientifically advanced, well-informed tapering information available in this unchartered territory. To attempt to put this in perspective...

Prominent Medical researchers are using the information that Altostrata has collected here because there is no official medical guideline established for discontinuing these drugs. One paper just published citing Surviving Antidepressants and members of this community:




"When their drug treatment is not restarted, post-withdrawal disorders may last several months to years."


Please avail yourself of the advice offered by Altostrata and others.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sodone.. I'm one of the lucky ones who found a site like this to help me taper before I ran into bigtime withdrawal issues. I thank my lucky stars for that fateful Google search every day. Alto is aces, and with her help and that of others I've avoided what would otherwise have been a nightmare (I have tinnitus, which I roundly curse, but it could have been much much worse.)


Getting ADs out of your system will not happen until your body stops responding to the changes the meds made. Folks think getting off ADs is kind of like kicking cigarettes.. the withdrawal lasts for a few weeks, maybe a coupla months, so suck it up, hang tough and it will pass. Only ADs are not like that.. months later a c/t can come back to haunt you. Please, use caution and reinstate at a low dose.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.


Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.


Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.


Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin



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Just one more person saying don't tough it out... you're in time to reinstate. I didn't find this info in time, and now, 23 months later, am still paying dearly for it. The first few months were the "easy" part in retrospect.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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