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Basildev - Tapering off SSRIs


basildev

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Hi everyone,

 

I am new to this forum and was hoping to learn from others experiences here.

 

Currently I take 20mg of citolopram, which I have been taking for over 10 years on and off. I have tried to get off the medication several times before with the support of medical professionals (in hindsight I was tapering way to fast and skipping days which I now know is not good). However I have failed time and time again and I'm not sure whether this is because I have a permanent, irreversible chemical imbalance or I just haven't yet found the right way to do it.

 

My last attempt at quitting was 1 year ago when I was using nutritional supplementation (very expensive supplements from a naturopath). Long story short I fell in a heap - the withdrawal symptoms were horrendous and after several months the supplements ended up sending my skin haywire.

 

In desperation and in an attempt to alleviate my withdrawal symptoms I came across one of the websites mentioned in the adminsitrator's thread (I know we're not supposed to mention them by name - but in short, more expensive supplements) but by that time my symptoms were so unbearable that I just gave up and went back on the meds. I haven't dared to do anything since.

 

But since then, I've read about the 10% tapering method (which I've never done)and so I'm thinking of switching to fluoxetine and maybe trying again.

 

The thing is, this medication doesn't give me any side effects at all and keeps me pretty level (Well I need 10 hour sleep per night but I have no idea whether the meds are causing this). I suppose I'm afraid of the implications of long-term anti-depressant use on my liver, brain. etc...

 

I'd really love to hear what other people think about long-term use and also about supplementation - do I need it if I want to taper? My body just seems to reject supplementation after about 2 months, especially fish oil which gives me acne.

 

At one point I was taking so many supplements I didn't know whether I was coming and going.

 

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks for listening.

Edited by dalsaan
put username in topic

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Basildev,

 

Welcome to the forums. I moved your topic to the intro forum as it was your first and kind of introduces you to us. You can come back to this thread and add posts on how you are going, any issues you are experiencing. People use their intro thread to report in. We have only one intro thread each and we use it to update people on our progress.

 

Now to your issues at hand. Nobody can really tell you what the long term effects might be. There is a lack of research in this area. Pharmaceutical companies are not heavily invested is discovery the side effects of their products on either a short or long term basis.

 

However, if you want to come off its possible. Try the 10% method and listen to your body. If its coping with the reductions you will have minimal withdrawals. If its not coping you will know about it. You may be more sensitive to drops now, given that you have already had an unsuccessful attempt to get off (as most of us have). In my opinion I dont think you should change to prozac now. You dont know how your system will react. That is an unknown whereas you know that you aren't experiencing significant adverse reactions on your current medication.

 

re supplements. Some can work to ease symptoms of withdrawal but you can have adverse reactions to them and as you say when you start taking a heap you cant tell what you are reacting to and what's ok.

 

I would wait and see what withdrawals you have, if any, with the slow taper and then loop at specific supplements that may address that. We haven't seen evidence that the supplement programs work in a general sense to enable withdrawal. Only a slow enough taper does that because its about allowing your system to make the incremental changes it needs to in order to respond to the changes in medication.

 

Hope this helps

 

feel free to ask follow up questions

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Hey Dalsaan,

 

thanks so much for your reply.

 

Yes I have been debating for a while whether to switch (even bought a packet of Prozac. It's sitting in my drawer waiting for me to make up my mind.)

 

- My only reason for changing would be because of the longer half-life of Prozac. I thought it might be easier to taper down from that than from citalopram.

 

Citalopram is, as some in this forum say, 'brutal' in its withdrawal symptoms and I'm just terrified of going through all that again like I did last year.

 

But I have to say as far as side effects go citalopram has been pretty kind to me over the years.

 

thanks again:)

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Administrator

Welcome to our community, Basil.

 

I agree with dalsaan. It's safer for you to try to come off citalopram directly rather than switch to Prozac. The switch sometimes causes more problems than it solves; it's a last resort.

 

You might do fine with a 10% per month reduction, calculated on the most recent dosage (reductions get progressively smaller).

 

As dalsaan pointed out, your system might have become sensitized from your earlier withdrawal attempts so you might want to be even more gradual, perhaps try a 5% reduction to start.

 

If you can't get citalopram liquid from the pharmacy with a prescription, you can make your own, see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/

 

Citalopram withdrawal is not any more brutal than any other antidepressant, and not as bad as some.

 

You absolutely do not have a neurochemical imbalance other than that the medication has induced. The "chemical imbalance" theory is a bunch of malarkey and always was.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Altostrata,

 

That's very positive feedback. I wish I'd found this forum years ago. The doctors I see have no idea about what I'm going through. and their eyes just glaze over when I try to explain the withdrawal symptoms.

 

I'm not going to switch meds now that you have given me this information. Thanks for saving me from yet another rollercoaster!

 

I actually found a compounding chemist who was willing to do the liquid citalopram but they needed permission from my doctor. The doctor refused to comply and treated me like I was being silly. It was really embarrassing actually. In the end it all became too hard. But I'm definitely going to make my own if that's possible. I bought a pill cutter but that's not very accurate.

 

Just one more question Altostrata; when you talk about "10% per month reduction, calculated on the most recent dosage", does that mean something like this:

 

90% of my 20mg dose for one month (18 mg), then:

90% of 18 mg (16mg) etc...?

 

I just want to be sure I'm doing it absolutely right this time.

 

Thanks again.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I actually found a compounding chemist who was willing to do the liquid citalopram but they needed permission from my doctor. The doctor refused to comply and treated me like I was being silly. It was really embarrassing actually. In the end it all became too hard. But I'm definitely going to make my own if that's possible. I bought a pill cutter but that's not very accurate.

 

Just one more question Altostrata; when you talk about "10% per month reduction, calculated on the most recent dosage", does that mean something like this:

 

90% of my 20mg dose for one month (18 mg), then:

90% of 18 mg (16mg) etc...?

Hi Basil, and welcome aboard. You have it right, that is exactly what Alto means. It's 10% off each successive dose.

 

Pill cutters are not accurate enough, you got that right. Mixing the solution is not hard, we can give you tips in addition to the info on the link Alto gave you... I mix a water solution for Lyrica and the 'how to' is pretty standard. You will be using oral syringes and those sold by a compounding pharmacy are better than what you can get regular pharmacies (the print wears off too quickly.)

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Schuyler,

 

Any idea where I can get the type of syringe you're talking about online?

 

Do you think water is all I need to dissolve the meds? The other thread mentioned some kind of alcohol as well.

 

I also invested in some digital scales so maybe I can use that in combination with the pill cutter.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Hello Basildev,

 

It sounds like you're in a fix that is a common to many of us. I've been in a similar place in that I thought for a long that the antidepressants were helping me. Finally, I came to a place where I decided that they were not and once I got off I realized there were a lot of ways in which they were literally destroying my life. I'm glad you're not in such a situation, but that you may want to safely withdraw from your medication.

 

It sounds like you've read a bit of the forum, so you realize we are a community of sufferers and not doctors. I can share my experience and observation of others' experience from which you can better make a decision for yourself.

 

Some people have more pronounced withdrawal symptoms which is why some can just quit with little trouble and others have experiences like yours. I had a difficult withdrawal and my nervous system became hypersensitised. It took me a long while to realize that throwing six supplements at the problem only confused me - what's causing what - and did not solve the underlying.

 

Today I add a supplement at a time, when I need them, which I believe I do but because I am being treated for a medical condition independent on antidepressants or psychiatry.

 

However, if I could rewind and redo my withdrawal, I would absolutely do the following:

 

1. Reduce my dosages by 10%/month for the first few months and then adjust the taper based of my symptoms.

2. Avoid supplements. For instance, many take and love supplements such as fish oil. But if I was to do it again, I would stay away from supplements entirely for a couple months. I was healthy though and didn't have any urgent deficiencies. Leading into #3

3. Examine my eating habits and restructure diet. I'd eat a lot more unprocessed foods, in fact, I'd try to eat as naturally as possible, focusing on eggs, meats, veggies, etc and avoiding junk as much as possible. After a few months, if I was having issues or had a deficiency, then I'd look into supplements.

 

If I was in your shoes, since you report feeling okay ON the meds, I would (if I decided I didn't want to take them any longer) take my time with the slow taper this forum endorses and hold off on all those supps.

 

best of luck.

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here are two discussion areas of this forum where you'll find lots of factual information regarding the negative aspects of taking antidepressants long term. One is In the media at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/15-in-the-media/ and the other is From journals and scientific sources at http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/16-from-journals-and-scientific-sources/. I also highly recommend the book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker.

 

There are many, many good reasons to avoid taking antidepressants, among them an increased risk of diabetes and a shortened lifespan. There is also recently published evidence that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos, so most users are being exposed to serious side effects for no good reason. A great deal of what we think we know about depression is the result of data that's been distorted by greedy pharmaceutical companies up to and including outright lies, such as the never-proven chemical imbalance theory.

 

I also agree with Alex about supplements. Fish oil and magnesium seem to help a lot of people (although apparently fish oil doesn't work well for you), but other than those I would stay away from the genre as well as avoiding herbal remedies. Antidepressant withdrawal seems to make our bodies hypersensitive to a lot of things that we might have been able to tolerate before or during drug treatment. I've been off of Lexapro since the middle of last December and just had a bad reaction to 500 mg. of niacinimide, which is supposed to help prevent depression. I'm apparently not ready for anything that stimulating yet.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Just one more question Altostrata; when you talk about "10% per month reduction, calculated on the most recent dosage", does that mean something like this:

 

90% of my 20mg dose for one month (18 mg), then:

90% of 18 mg (16mg) etc...?

 

I just want to be sure I'm doing it absolutely right this time.

 

Thanks again.

 

It's more like: 20 mg. - 2 mg (10%) = 18 mg.; then 18 mg. - 1.8 mg (10%) = 16.2 mg., et cetera.

 

This may not matter a whole lot at the beginning of your taper, but as your dosage decreases those tiny fractions of a milligram can have a big impact on withdrawal symptoms.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey Alex,

 

Thanks for your input. It's really good to hear the opinions of other people who know what I'm going through and who don't have a vested interest in selling me something.

 

I'm definitely going to go really slowly with the taper. In hindsight all the other tapers I have done have been way too fast (from 20mg to zero within maximum 3 months) so I can see now why this would have caused problems. I am going to listen to my body 100% and take extra care this time. My diet is excellent so that should help too.

 

As to whether the meds are helping me these days - who knows? All I know is that when I have come off them in the past I have eventually had to return. Unless I do, in fact, have a 'permanent chemical imbalance' this makes no sense because my life is fantastic in every way. So there's no reason for me to have depression.

 

The first 'reason' was in 2001 when my first marriage broke down. I fell in a heap and I have to say, when I took citalopram that first time it was like 'where have you been all my life?' It really did help me and I know it wasn't just a placebo. So... it had its place then. I went off them and then back on them after several more relapses. Not sure if they are needed now, though.

 

Jemima, thanks for those links and also for the advice about tapering. I will look through them. It really makes sense what you say about being hypersensitive. All the supplements sent my system into overload and my body just said 'no more!' What a waste of money...

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Schuyler,

 

Any idea where I can get the type of syringe you're talking about online?

 

Do you think water is all I need to dissolve the meds? The other thread mentioned some kind of alcohol as well.

 

I also invested in some digital scales so maybe I can use that in combination with the pill cutter.

 

I swear by the liquid suspension method, the scales sound like they are more involved. Take a look at both methods? The liquid may sound more labor intensive, but once you get used to mixing the solution, it's a piece of cake. For syringes.. I looked online but could not tell if the ones I was looking at were as good as those from a compounding pharmacy so I drove half hour to the one located nearest to me and bought a goodly supply. All the way round they were superior to those I was getting in a regular pharmacy. I mix two medications in an H2O suspension, and would only go to a scale and pill cutter if it was not possible to use a solution.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks Shuyler.

 

I'm definitely going to try the liquid.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forums Basildev. Agree with all the advice you've been given. I wouldn't switch to Prozac if there is no reason to, if you can liquid Citalopram do that. I did switch to Prozac myself because in the UK there was no liquid sertraline/zoloft so I had no choice, the switch worked ok for me but I know many people for whom a switch has been an unmitigated disaster. The other thing is, yes Prozac has a longer half life but it doesn't necessarily follow that it's "easier" to taper than any other SSRI.

I've been taking a very long time to taper off, in fact it's taken me over four years to get this far with Prozac.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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  • Administrator

Your method of calculating your dosage is correct, Basil.

 

Here's info about oral syringes http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/235-tapering-techniques/ They are the same as the needle type with a removable (non-fixed) needle. Compounding pharmacies will give them or sell them to you.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Basil, and welcome!

Your story is eerily familiar to so many of us - on for a long time and unable to get off...

I don't believe that your brain chemistry is so imbalanced that you need to stay on AD's - in fact, at this point it is imbalanced BECAUSE of the AD's. I have been reducing for over a year now and have had to up dose twice in that time because i went a bit too fast - Slow, slow, slow - why put your nervous system through trauma if you don't need to? Presumably you need to work and function during this time, a slow taper will ensure that you feel little - if any discomfort.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks so much Peggy, Strawberry and Alto.

 

I am so incredibly grateful I have found this forum. It is such a comfort to know that others have been through and are going through this too.

 

When I was suffering the debilitating withdrawals this time last year I was Googling everything I could to try and find out how long the withdrawal symptoms were going to last.

 

I couldn't find anything useful. Like many people I was going to try and 'wait them out'. I'm glad I finally caved and reinstated. From what I've read here it looks like they weren't going to subside any time soon.

 

I don't know how I stumbled across this website but it has given me all the answers I need and more!

 

You've all saved me from potentially making yet another mistake (re Prozac) and I can't believe I didn't think of doing the whole liquid thing myself. It's too easy!

 

So today is my first day of titration. I have made up my liquid and have gone down 5% (to 19 mg). I'm excited but terrified at the same time.

 

Thanks you and bless you all xx

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Administrator

Let us know how you do.

 

A tip: If you've going to use the liquid and calculate 90% of your last dose, measure as accurately as possible, usually to .01mg or .02mg. Try not to round your dosage down; as you go lower in dosage, this will result in bigger decreases.

 

Also, keep notes about your dosage, when you take it, and symptom patterns, if you get symptoms. This will help you figure out if you need to slow down or if you can speed up.

 

See the Tapering forum for lots more information.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

thanks, will do

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Basildev,

I'm still new here myself but I wanted to say welcome. I have been going through AD WD for over a year now and knew I wasn't alone but the other support sites I found weren't as active as this one. This site has already helped me tremendously.

15+ years on various ADs and combos. Spent 3 yrs tapering (off & on ) off 225mg Effexor venlafaxine) XR & Remeron (mirtazapine). Finished tapering Oct 2014.

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Hey Moonbow,

 

thanks so much for the welcome!

 

I agree - I have been searching for over a year for a forum that could provide information that could actually help me.

 

Just knowing I can make my own liquid citalopram was an amazing relief!

 

Thank goodness for this forum and all its members:)

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Hey Moonbow,

 

thanks so much for the welcome!

 

I agree - I have been searching for over a year for a forum that could provide information that could actually help me.

 

Just knowing I can make my own liquid citalopram was an amazing relief!

 

Thank goodness for this forum and all its members:)

 

Bonza for you basildev.. you have put the info here to the best possible use.

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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I'm a regular little mad scientist now Schuyler!

 

With my little scales and my syringe and my 'speciman jar'...:)

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • 1 month later...

I'm a regular little mad scientist now Schuyler!

 

With my little scales and my syringe and my 'speciman jar'...:)

 

Hi Basil, its good to see a smilee.

 

I wish you the best of luck.

 

Looks like your in good hands!

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Thanks Aza,

 

things are going pretty well so far!

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Hi everyone,

 

Time for a bit of an update. Taper has been going quite well except lately every so often I've been experiencing episodes of feeling 'not quite right'.

 

So hard to put into words what exactly 'not quite right' is so that anybody can understand.

 

It comes at night mostly. Sometimes at night I just want to turn off all the lights and lay in the dark. That seems to help some. The feeling isn't depression, nor is it anxiety...it's kind of an 'off' feeling in my brain (not a zap though) that also makes be a little queasy but definitely a 'dark' mood.

 

When I try to explain this 'symptom' to my husband it feel silly. Because I can't put my finger on exactly what 'it' is. I just feel....blah.

 

I had it today too - eating some lunch helps as do the regular distractions of work etc...

 

Anyhoo....on we go.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Administrator

Could be a blood sugar dip.

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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Maybe...I do eat pretty regularly though. 6 meals per day.

 

Yesterday was bad. This is definitely a feeling I'm familiar with though, Alto. My last disastrous attempt at coming off the ADs produced this feeling although much more intensely.

 

This is manageable though and I think it's because I'm going slowly. I've been pretty lucky, have been tapering for 6 weeks and until now had no reactions at all.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Administrator

Maybe your nervous system is asking for a little break from tapering.

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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yes that could be it.

 

I'll be very careful not to tax it too much.

 

Thanks

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Haven't reported symptoms in a while, so this is kind of a journal entry to remind myself when I look back.

 

I sleep 10 hours per night and still I wake up tired. Right now I have no energy to do anything except lie around.

 

Exhausted! It's hard to function when I feel like this. I want to have a nap but afraid it'll stop me sleeping tonight.

 

Thanks for listening.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Hi Basildev

 

To me sleep is a good sign. It indicates your body is healing. I say sleep as much as you can.

 

I'm also wondering about your question re digital scales. Looking back through your thread you were going to make your own liquid, what happened?

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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Hey Dalsaan,

 

Yeah I am still making my own liquid - I was just a bit worried because the particles don't totally dissolve so I thought it might be more accurate to do the scales thing.

 

But I make sure to swirl the whole lot around before I extract the contents into the syringe. I suppose that should work.

 

I was hoping to save myself from having to go back to the doctor every 6 months for a 20mg script. Once I get to or below 10mg I wanted to measure out only half the medication so I don't waste the whole pill. That was my other reason for wanting to switch to scales. I don't think Cipramil comes in 10mg doses here in Aus.

 

Thanks for your encouraging words, they really help because when I feel like I have in the last 2 days it honestly feels like it will never go away.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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What about getting your pills compounded into a liquid by a pharmacy. My doc just writes on the script to compound 1 gm to 1 ml. And then I take it to a compounding chemist

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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I tried that Dalsaan.

 

But I couldn't find a doctor who was willing to do it. They just look at you like you're insane when you ask.

 

I'd rather just do it myself.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Haven't reported symptoms in a while, so this is kind of a journal entry to remind myself when I look back.

 

I sleep 10 hours per night and still I wake up tired. Right now I have no energy to do anything except lie around.

 

Exhausted! It's hard to function when I feel like this. I want to have a nap but afraid it'll stop me sleeping tonight.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Like Dalsaan, I think sleeping this much is a good sign. Although I get exasperated with it, since May or June of 2012 (approximately six months after a too-swift taper off Lexapro), I've started sleeping 10-12 hours a night. Some of that is probably due to feeling uninterested in doing things I used to like, which is a residual of withdrawal and soon to depart, I hope, but I think a lot of it must be necessary because I'm capable of sleeping so much. The human body pretty much takes what it needs in terms of sleep when unfettered by alarm clocks.

 

Our brains and CNSs have been really bashed around by antidepressant withdrawal, and a lot of healing takes place during sleep. You may not realize it, but I think you're making good progress through the withdrawal tunnel. Often I don't know that I've taken a leap ahead until weeks afterward.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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