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Didimar - update - hitting a wall with celexa withdrawal


didimar

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Hello!

After some initial difficulty when I began tapering, things evened out, and I went through a couple more tapers with seemingly no problem. Now I have tapered down to 22 milligrams of celexa, and I am starting to have trouble. I do have a headache today, but the main problem is that I get "rattled and irritated" easily. I started taking 22 milligrams about a week ago today. Last week, I felt very emotional. Then Saturday, I was VERY irritable. The smallest stressor sent me over the edge. It's the kind of thing where I know my behavior isn't appropriate, but I can't seem to get a handle on it. As long as everything is calm, I'm fine. But the minute things get stressful, I get worked up really fast. I'm normally a pretty easy going person so I don't like to see myself snapping at people.

 

Sunday was better because I managed to achieve a calm state and nothing happened to rattle me out of it.

 

Today, things got a little crazy at work and I went straight into my highly agitated, very anxious mode again. This is the point in tapering where I always give up. Even my husband asked me Saturday night what I was trying to prove (in other words, why try to quit if you need it?)  So, now I'm back to where I always end up, asking myself if I'm on this anti-depressant because I need it.

 

I had a tendency to get into my "agitated, anxious" state even before I started the antidepressant. So, I know I can't expect to go without those days again. And I know that I have to take a lot of time to calm myself and meditate. I'm not ready to give up, yet. I guess my question is, should I stay at this level until I even out? Or should I go back up a level, and stay there a little longer?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice or words of wisdom that anyone can offer me....

Didimar

Spring 1996– Started 20 mg Paxil

Spring 1997 – Quit Paxil cold turkey due to side effects

Fall 1997 - St. John's wort didn't help.

Spring 1998 - Tried 5-HTP. Elevated mood and weight loss, but quickly stopped working. 

Spring 1999 – Gave in; started 20 mg Celexa.

Spring 1999 to Fall 2013 –  (Celexa/Lexapro/Prozac/Celexa/Zoloft&Wellbutrin/Celexa) 

                                                 Several unsuccessful attempts to stop but withdrew too quickly; always returned to celexa                     

Fall 2013 -Celexa 30 mg.

April 8, 2014 – 27 mg celexa.

May 12, 2014 - 24.4 mg. celexa

May 31, 2014 - 22 mg. celexa

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Didimar,

 

I would just like to greet you so that you know you've been heard. I also believe you can find a lot of answers to your questions here. Unfortunately I'm typing from my phone so can't copy the relevant links but others will be here to help out soon.

 

I can't even see if you put your drug history in your signature so if you haven't, that would be a very helpful thing to do.

 

What I see from what you've described is that you are experiencing withdrawal from too fast reduction of your drug. This by no means means that you have to stay on the drug for life but that you have to slow down the taper and possibly even updose a bit now since withdrawal symptoms seem to be quite harsh.

 

In order to minimise the possibility of such withdrawal symptoms, we advise 10% reduction on the current dose every 30 days to allow our CNS to readjust to functioning without the drug.

 

That's why the info on your starting dose and the amounts and dates of cutting would be very useful. Whatever you did, your CNS is telling you loud and clear that it was way too fast.

 

As I mentioned, you might go to the last dose before the symptoms appeared, spend a good time there to allow your brain to recover and use this time to learn about a safe way of coming off.

 

Welcome.

 

Bubble

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

So it looks like you cut to 24.4 about a month ago, and then you recently dropped from there to 22, is that correct? And now you're having some withdrawal symptoms? That's pretty normal. (What you're describing sounds like classic WD to me.)

 

For sure, hold where you are; the symptoms are telling you it's time to allow your body and nervous system a chance to catch up with the healing and readjusting. If you want to increase slightly, say to 23 mg, there's nothing wrong with that either, kind of split the difference of your most recent cut.

 

From your description your WD symptoms sound kind of annoying but tolerable, but I don't really know since I'm not you and not in your shoes, how difficult this is for you. You'll have to decide for yourself. If you hold for a while at either the 22 or a little more, the symptoms will fade eventually, although it may be a couple of months. 

 

Whether you bump it back up a little or just hold where you are, try to reduce the stress in your life for now. Eat right, get gentle regular exercise, get social support, and take care of yourself.

 

There's no reason to give up on tapering. You're doing great.  This is not a sign that you need meds, this is just withdrawal. I encourage you to take a break from tapering for a while and give yourself a chance to stabilize and feel better.

 

I also encourage you to continue to taper; 22 mg is still a fairly high dose of citalopram. Even if you decide you want to stay on it indefinitely, you might find that a much smaller dose would work just as well, without the side effects and the long-term health risks. 

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 want to think you both for replying and helping me to feel heard. I agree that I should try holding where I am for now. If things don't even out in a while, then maybe I will go up one milligram. Last week was  a traditionally difficult week in my occupation and I didn't eat well or get as much exercise as I had wanted. Things aren't completely out of control and I think I can handle this. It's just nice to know there is somewhere to go for support when I am feeling worried.

Didimar

Spring 1996– Started 20 mg Paxil

Spring 1997 – Quit Paxil cold turkey due to side effects

Fall 1997 - St. John's wort didn't help.

Spring 1998 - Tried 5-HTP. Elevated mood and weight loss, but quickly stopped working. 

Spring 1999 – Gave in; started 20 mg Celexa.

Spring 1999 to Fall 2013 –  (Celexa/Lexapro/Prozac/Celexa/Zoloft&Wellbutrin/Celexa) 

                                                 Several unsuccessful attempts to stop but withdrew too quickly; always returned to celexa                     

Fall 2013 -Celexa 30 mg.

April 8, 2014 – 27 mg celexa.

May 12, 2014 - 24.4 mg. celexa

May 31, 2014 - 22 mg. celexa

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I want to think you both for replying and helping me to feel heard. I agree that I should try holding where I am for now. If things don't even out in a while, then maybe I will go up one milligram. Last week was  a traditionally difficult week in my occupation and I didn't eat well or get as much exercise as I had wanted. Things aren't completely out of control and I think I can handle this. It's just nice to know there is somewhere to go for support when I am feeling worried.

Sure, no problem! It sounds to me like you're doing great. Just remember to listen to your body--it's the ultimate expert on how fast to taper and when to hold and for how long.

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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