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Beentheredonethat. Just stopped Citalopram after 4yrs continuous.


Beentheredonethat

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Last week I decided enough was enough and stopped taking Citalopram. I have been on 20mg for 4yrs, but every now and again have increased to 30 or 40mg. The previous 3 weeks to stopping I had increased to 30mg after an anxiety episode. I am an active person who runs, swims, cycles, does yoga and have registered for the Philadelphia marathon in Nov. I found that even though the antidepressants did their job, the side effects affected my ability to improve my fitness. I have been searching for information on withdrawal effects because have been feeling really dizzy, get tingly lips and am basically knackered! After realizing these symptoms are due to withdrawal I feel a little happier about it. Now I am hoping in a few weeks to be rid of these withdrawal symptoms and hope my lifetime of stress, depression and anxiety do not resurface. I am 49yrs old, going through the menopause and just want to be stress free. Is is too much to ask?

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Beentheredonethat.

 

Not a good idea to stop cold turkey! You are at high risk for severe withdrawal symptoms, which can last for months or years.

 

Please consider going back on 20mg (let's hope your body wasn't dependent on 30mg), stabilizing, and tapering more slowly from there.

 

See this topic about tapering citalopram 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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  • Moderator Emeritus

You can definitely get off the stuff, and I certainly understand why you want to, but just stopping CT is not the way to do it. That is the LEAST likely way to succeed. Read through some stories here by people who tried that. Usually they end up back on the med and often it's the beginning of the road to ending up on multiple meds like so many of us did.

 

Please reinstate, learn about tapering, and do a safe and successful taper.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Beentheredonethat, I've been there done that too and it really is not the best way to

get off anti depressants.  Side effects tend to become less as you get the dosage down,

at least that is my experience..  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Thanks for the replies, which isn't really what I wanted to hear and brought me down a little. I started taking Citalopram about 10yrs ago, but kept on coming off them after about 6 months. However, I always ended up back on them months later. I really have had enough of them and just hope that in 6 months time the chronic anxiety hasn't returned. I have read some of the stories and they have frightened me so much. I can't believe doctors just write out prescriptions for multiple drugs.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Having to go back on them 6 months later does not indicate a need for them

because of depression, it is because of withdrawal.  Many people think they are ok

then a few months later find they need them again. Doctors always say that it is a

return of the illness and means you need them for life.  That is rubbish.  Take it 

slowly and you can be OFF them for life! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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The most typical pattern for people who come off ADs too fast is acute symptoms at first which fade after a while, and then somewhere around three to nine months (six-ish is very typical) there is onset of more primarily emotional (and quite agonizing) symptoms. At that point most people are diagnosed with "relapse" and told they need to be on drugs forever. 

 

Your experience is very normal and common. There's no reason to expect it to work differently this time. I don't understand why you're doing the same thing that hasn't worked in the past and expecting different results this time.

 

Sometimes after a few times of off and on it gets worse, and the acute withdrawal symptoms don't fade; or when people hit the "relapse" (which is really just part of withdrawal) they don't respond to going back on the drug and end up on a new drug, or a cocktail. That path goes nowhere very good.

 

You can actually get off the meds permanently if you taper them properly. 

 

In my own experience (which is just mine of course) every time I tried to come off ADs I ended up getting worse, so I started them again. This time, with a very slow taper, not only have I not had a "relapse", but I'm having no symptoms of my "disease" of depression at all. I do get withdrawal symptoms after cutting my meds, which fade after a while. In between, when I hold my taper, I feel better than I have in decades. And I'm getting my original personality, and my extroversion and love of people, back as well.

 

I'm sorry there's no easy answer. We can help you taper, but nobody here is going to encourage you to stop your meds cold turkey, or support you in doing so. 

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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The reason why I took them in the first place was due to anxiety and stress, both of which for me was a combination of low self-esteem and inability to deal with stress. Those things have been with me since my childhood. No medication is going to solve those problems, only mask the symptoms. Coming off the AT in the past has always lead back to taking them because I never learnt to process stress properly. So here I am recently moving to the US from the UK, yes it has been stressful, but my situation is different from what it was. I am reading self help books, eating correctly, exercising and yoga. I know it is all to do with rewiring my brain. Initially, the trigger for my downhill slope into mental health problems in my adult life was having a baby. The day I gave birth a massive tight band of stress (didn't know that at the time) appeared and never left.

I can't believe the amount of drugs that are given out in this country, multiple drugs for every symptom someone is experiencing. Is it just about money and how much a doctor can make out of someone? All I can say is thank God for the National Health Service the UK has where money is tight so doctors are reluctant to prescribe any drug.

Yesterday day 8 was the worst day so far - feeling sick and dizzy. My biggest worry initially coming off them was being unable to sleep. The first 2 nights where the worst because I expected real problems. But after 2 nights all those flashing lights that are forever in my mind when I close my eyes disappeared and I have been able to use breathing and relaxation techniques learnt in yoga to get me back off to sleep when I wake through the night.

I am feeling better this morning and am staying positive and pro-active :)

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  • Administrator

Withdrawal symptoms are not a reaction to stress, they're due to nervous system dysregulation from coming off the drug too fast.

 

Your symptoms are worsening, this isn't a good sign. Please consider reinstating even 10mg citalopram ASAP.

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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