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Vishal: Tapering off Citalopram to counter sexual side effects


Vishal

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Hello everyone,

 

36 year old male, suffering from depression since 2010 brought on by a death in the family-someone I was terribly attached to. Since then, lost a lot of interest in the things in life that used to make me happy. Contracted severe OCD as well; would make the sign of the cross and touch table surfaces upto 8 times anytime an intrusive thought came into my head, and would hum prayers under my breath which became (at times) embarassingly noticeable to those around me.

 

In 2012 things got better; I left a depressing, dead-end job and decided to take time off work to do my MBA in Spain (I live in Dubai btw). Didn't have much time to be depressed doing my MBA since it took so much of my time and I felt I was doing something worthwhile, but I had a massive hit in self-esteem when I lived there. I felt pretty alienated and lost in a foreign land with a foreign language and developed social phobia as a result. My sex drive also suffered as a result.

 

At the end of 2013 I moved back to Dubai to find a job. It wasn't until April 2014 that I finally got a job offer, but with a company and a prospective manager I had serious doubts about. As a result, I visited a pyschiatrist and mentioned that I need a coping mechanism for the next one year (the period I assumed I would have my hands cuffed to this job after 2 years of wonderful independence).

 

I was prescribed citalopram (Celexa) for mood stabilisation, and clonazepam for social anxiety. Citalopram worked fairly well for me; I noticed I was a lot calmer, less prone to mood swings, less prone to depressive thoughts and behaviour.

 

However in September 2014, I got this wonderful brainwave to go off Citalopram cold turkey. :blink: Yes, I know :o It was almost close to what I would expect a heroin withdrawal to be like, with the emphasis on mental vs. physical symptoms. For 2 weeks I suffered, and my actions during those weeks came back to bite me 2 months later. In the meantime, the doctor prescribed me to go back on Citalopram. It helped immensely; I was back under my normal, subdued, antidepressant greyish cloud.

 

In November 2014, I visited him again and told him the sexual side effects (yes, we're finally getting to why I am on this board :D ) were not great. Even to the extent that Cialis couldn't counter it! I had read a lot about Bupropion (Wellbutrin) being able to counter the sexual side effects of anti-depressants, so I asked him to prescribe it for me. He did, but I have only recently started taking them (4 days ago as a matter of fact).

 

Later that same month (November 2014), I was called into a meeting with my bosses, and told that they had decided to terminate my contract. As I suspected back when i first took this job, my direct line manager turned  be a boorish, arrogant, bossy tw*t, and our showdowns which intensified during my unfortunate cold turkey phase had led to him plotting to remove me from my position, because he couldn't try and forcefeed me the daily bullsh*t he was giving. I, unfortunately, played into their hands.

 

Nevertheless, not working for that company has been brilliant. However, it's now February 2014 and I am still unemployed. I feel like the situation and the antidepressants have completely robbed me of my sexuality. I have developed OCD in terms of unwanted sexual thoughts. My loving and understanding girlfriend and I haven't made love since November last year.

 

I've started tapering off the Citalopram since December, and have recently added Bupropion to the equation, hoping that I can get my sex drive back, heck even get a solid and firm erection and have a reasonable fantasy about a woman and masturbate.

 

Incidentally, during my cold turkey phase, I did get some of my sex drive back. By the end of this month, I plan to get completely off Citalopram and give Bupropion a real go. But I'm really, really worried about PSSD.....not least because my sex drive was anyway suffering for the past few years, and I have history of using 'disco' stimulants in the past.

 

 

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi  Vishal , welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

You've landed in a place full of information about the safest ways to taper , as well as loads of other aspects related to ad use.

 

My first suggestion is to go the section called "Tapering" and read the first few threads.    Your taper is much faster than is recommended here  , and you may start to experience withdrawal symptoms with your current protocol.  These might start soon , or perhaps not for a month or two.

 

Arm yourself with knowledge about your process so you can make good decisions.

 

I know there are threads relating to PSSD here somewhere , you'll just have to hunt around.

 

Could you add to your signature current dosages of bupropion and clonazepam?  

 

Good to have you on board.

 

Best wishes ,  Fresh

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks a lot for your reply and suggestions Fresh. Yes, I will add the information to my signature.

 

Good health!

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Member
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Welcome to the site Vishal and we are always sorry to hear of the difficulties people have as a result of taking these drugs. I am not quite sure how to advise you because it seems as though you have some pretty fixed ideas on how you will be proceeding to 'get off' the medications and they are definitely counter to what we would recommend (in addition to adding in another drug hoping to decrease sexual side effects of another). We would say that it is pretty likely that if you continue on the plan you have outlined that you might ultimately wind up feeling very ill but this is always hard to predict. It is hard to believe but some people are able to go on and off these drugs with a minimum of fuss (for part of their lives anyway) and some have problems right from the start.

 

Is your plan to get off the meds altogether or something else? If we knew what you are planning or wanting to do we would have a better idea on how to advise you now that you are here.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Welcome to the site Vishal and we are always sorry to hear of the difficulties people have as a result of taking these drugs. I am not quite sure how to advise you because it seems as though you have some pretty fixed ideas on how you will be proceeding to 'get off' the medications and they are definitely counter to what we would recommend (in addition to adding in another drug hoping to decrease sexual side effects of another). We would say that it is pretty likely that if you continue on the plan you have outlined that you might ultimately wind up feeling very ill but this is always hard to predict. It is hard to believe but some people are able to go on and off these drugs with a minimum of fuss (for part of their lives anyway) and some have problems right from the start.

 

Is your plan to get off the meds altogether or something else? If we knew what you are planning or wanting to do we would have a better idea on how to advise you now that you are here.

Hi cw,

 

Thanks for the very considerate response. I'm fairly flexible about my strategy going forward.

 

Basically, I want to get off Citalopram (Celexa) since a) my anxiety has lessened and B) it has turned me into a eunuch :( . Even tadalifl tablets (active ingredient in Cialis) hasn't helped! I read somewhere that if you've been on antidepressants for 6-8 months (which I have), then 6-8 weeks is a decent tapering period. However, I have learnt to trust 'official' experts less and less, and rely more on the opinion of 'real' sufferers like the folks on this board. So I'd be keen to know what you think.

 

I started Wellbutrin about 4 days ago, to a) keep the depression in check and B) counter the sexual side effects of the Cit. So far, I notice a slight lift in mood from the Citalopram (which deadened my feelings and emotions), but I still feel quite severely that I am not recovering my manhood as I once was. I mean, last night my girlfriend dressed up for Valentine's, she looked beautiful, we had a great dinner......but zero sex. I've had some pervasive unwanted OCD sexual thoughts as well.

 

Future plans ultimately: get off Celexa, use Wellbutrin to help with my depression and return my sexual function to baseline, and then once that's done I see no reason to taper off Wellbutrin.

 

I'd be really happy if you could point out what I could potentially be doing wrong.

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Member
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

That is quite an ambitious plan and would that it would all work out that way, eh?

 

We usually ask people to put their drug combinations into the drugs interactions checker at drugs.com and post their results in their topic but I went ahead and did it for you:

 

Interactions between your selected drugs

interaction-3-big.png bupropion ↔ citalopram

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion), Celexa (citalopram)

Talk to your doctor before using buPROPion together with citalopram. Combining these medications may increase the risk of seizures, which may occur rarely with either medication. In addition, buPROPion can increase the blood levels of citalopram, which may increase other side effects. You may be more likely to experience seizures with these medications if you are elderly, undergoing alcohol or drug withdrawal, have a history of seizures, or have a condition affecting the central nervous system such as a brain tumor or head trauma. Your doctor may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not interact, or you may need a dose adjustment or more frequent monitoring by your doctor to safely use both medications. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol during treatment. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

No other interactions were found between your selected drugs.
Note: this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

interaction-2-big.png bupropion ↔ food

Applies to: Wellbutrin (bupropion)

Using buPROPion with alcohol may increase the risk of uncommon side effects such as seizures, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks. On the other hand, sudden withdrawal from alcohol following regular or chronic use can also increase your risk of seizures during treatment with buPROPion. If you are prone to frequent or excessive alcohol use, talk to your doctor before starting buPROPion. In general, you should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with buPROPion. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

interaction-2-big.png tadalafil ↔ food

Applies to: Cialis (tadalafil)

Tadalafil can lower blood pressure, and combining it with alcohol may further increase this effect. You may be more likely to experience symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, flushing, headache, and heart palpitations. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with tadalafil, and use caution when getting up from a sitting or lying position. You may also want to avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice, since it may increase the blood levels and effects of tadalafil. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

 

Read it and see what you think and we can start the discussion there. I am curious where you got the information about wellbutrin 'helping with sexual side effects', you doctor? It does way more than that as a drug in its particular class, not quite an antidepressant but having effects nonetheless that people might find desirable (and some not so desirable).

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

While you are digesting all of that I will be composing this post to contain links to the very helpful information we have. You correctly surmised that the opinions of 'real sufferers' might carry more weight than stuff your doctor might say.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

This is our 'A number one' thread on the wisdom of tapering very slowly to reduce unwanted side effects as your body gradually gets used to living without its accustomed drug(s).

 

These are most helpful too:

 

Why taper? Paper demonstrates importance of gradual change in plasma concentration

 

All of these: Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

If you read all of these and then look at the schedule you propose you will see that you are contemplating going much faster than we recommend and you are probably starting to feel the effects from the precipitous (according to our suggestions) drops you have made already. That wellbutrin you are taking complicates the side effect profile quite a bit. Many people find it very activating and it will have to be reduced slowly anyway the longer you take it.

 

Here is our topic for tapering celexa specifically:

 

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to post

Thanks cw,

 

Really appreciate all your advice, and I'm glad I've joined this forum! I will have a look at all the information.

 

Based on what you say, I will consider tapering over a longer period.

 

As for where I've heard Wellbutrin nullifies the sexual side effects of Celexa, it's from a fair bit of research on the Internet (including user reviews on Drugs.com), as well as heard it from both my psychiatrist and pyschotherapist. I've mentioned the low libido issue to my psychiatrist, and he says testosterone may be the solution, but he would only use it as a last resort.

 

I do find Wellbutrin is more activating certainly, making me a bit more outgoing and willing to express myself, while Citalopram turned me into an anti-social recluse.

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Member
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Wellbutrin nullifies the side effects of nothing, it is a drug unlike typical antidepressants and comes with its own set of problems. Don't be mislead by second hand drug company propaganda. We always suggest people read 'Anatomy of an Epidemic' by Robert Whittaker if you really want to know how you have been lied to and manipulated by the pharma companies. I usually don't drag that in but you seem like you might need a bit of a wakeup call in this area.

 

The idea that wellbutrin can reverse sexual side effects is being promoted on pssd boards too. No scientific research exists that it is effective. People want it to be, though.

 

We're glad you are here and we hope we can help you make informed choices on how you want to proceed.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to post

Will  try and get hold of a copy of that......

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nice work Vishal.

 

In my opinion you'll get far more accurate advice from this site than from any "book-learned" professional.

Shame on your doctor prescribing you citalopram and bupropion concurrently.   Is it that he isn't aware of the significant interaction . . .  or doesn't he care?

 

The advice here is based on all the technical data available , and the personal experiences of thousands.

 

Glad you found your way here!  :)

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Thanks Fresh, I'm glad I made it here. The individual attention of each one of you is better than can be expected from most medical professionals. I've really started to lose my faith in the mainstream......

 

My psychiatrist does seem like the kind who is a bit casual and didn't really mention any interactions between the two drugs. I'm going to wait for a bit and see what happens. I'm also taking the Wellbutrin as a cautionary measure so the depression doesn't kick back in while I taper off the Citalopram.

 

By the way, I thought you might find the below insightful. It was written by me on a board during the cold turkey from Citalopram phase. I entitled it, quite appropriately 'F*cking Citalopram' :) It gives a good insight as to how life felt in that dark hole of the time:

 

Hi everyone. Thought I'd put in my two cents worth about coming off citalopram.

Brief history....unstable childhood (2 divorces, stepmother from hell, sexual abuse)....wasn't until 4 years ago when a loved one died that I truly grasped the concept of depression.....but since then I've been prone to low moods, low self-esteem, made worse by a lot of supressed anger and bad stuff from childhood. 

Earlier this year (May) I went to a psych and I was really looking for a quick fix for the depression because I had to resign myself to tying myself down to a city I hate and a job I was very wary about for one year to get some financial stability again. Doc prescribed citalopram, beta blockers and benzos. 

Around the beginning of September, I realised that the more benzos I tooked, the more I was hooked. Also felt the citalopram only helping mildly, but not to say not at all. I also had a major family crisis and work was getting on my nerves, so I really felt these meds weren't worth it.


Anyway, 2 weeks ago I decided to come off cold turkey from all (my shrink was in another country and unresponsive to emails so I wasn't sure of my course of action)......since then.....can't remember feeling so low, agitated, overemotional, intolerant to heat, other people etc......numerous breakdowns, anger fits, massive fights with my girlfriend, irritable with my poor innocent cats, and yes.....a suicide attempt. Failed obviously :-) My self-esteem is low as it is, and I suddenly felt the hopelessness of it all last weekend when I was at a friend's house and was the only person in the room who no-one was talking to.....I used to take a lot of ecstasy and MDMA and speed at the end of last year, and this feels like a more prolonged comedown from those (extreme emotional fluctuations, crying at the drop of a hat - or in my case the drop of a beat when I listen to music).

I still feel like crap, although I'm slowly getting my sexual desire back (which helps me sleep at least!), and am taking protein shakes to focus myself on my gym efforts more. I've started seeing a pyschotherapist here so hopefully that helps, but not sure how long this will last. I do have a spate of holidays coming up in a month, so I'm sure my coping mechanisms will be better around then, but I feel it might be a long road. Bottom line is I don't want to get back on citalopram or benzos on a regular basis again.

Anyway I hope this at least helps someone to relate the kind of hell it is coming off meds.....I'm going to focus on getting healed through psychotherapy, yoga, and will look into things like mindfulness.....

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Really appreciate you sharing this.   Efffing withdrawal :angry:

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Vishal.

 

If I may, my observations about bupropion as an adjunct to antidepressants to counter sexual side effects:

 

Way back in ancient history, around the year 2000, it became apparent these fabulous wonder drugs, the SSRIs, which were supposed to alleviate depression with almost no side effects, had a huge drawback that might affect the upwards trajectory of sales: They caused sexual dysfunction in a high percentage of those who took them.

 

This caused great consternation among the pharmaceutical companies, who went through alternating cycles of denying that sexual dysfunction was a frequent consequence of SSRIs, claiming the sexual dysfunction was due to the underlying depression, and searching for pharmaceutical solutions to this adverse effect.

 

It was also observed that buproprion had fewer sexual side effects and that some patients found it sexually stimulating. Seizing the opportunity to preserve their sales, the drug companies initiated campaigns to educate doctors that, in the rare cases where sexual dysfunction was a problem, buproprion might be added to an SSRI to alleviate the problem. It did seem to help some.

 

(Later, when Viagra and Cialis became available, much research and furor was generated to recommend them as adjuncts to SSRIs. Alas, they proved to be ineffective for women.)

 

Buproprion, unfortunately, comes with a few common adverse effects of its own, such as jitteriness, agitation, nervousness, and sleeplessness. Doctors were advised to add benzodiazepines to the mix for these symptoms. (Later, these symptoms were judged to be possible symptoms of bipolar disorder, indicated the addition of antipsychotics such as Seroquel.)

 

This ushered in the era of the common combination of an SSRI, buproprion, and a benzo (or low-dose Seroquel) for many people complaining of any kind of "depression." As all of these drugs incur physiological dependency, this cocktail is very well represented on this site.

 

But some doctors noticed the buproprion was also an antidepressant, probably as effective or ineffective as any other, without the sexual side effects. They began to prescribe buproprion first, before resorting to an SSRI. And that is why our Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, IR, SR, XR, XL (buproprion) is the most frequently viewed topic in the Tapering forum. (Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is a distant second.)

 

I don't know if this helps you understand your situation any better. It seems to me that citalopram is, indeed, a real problem for you in sexual side effects. Buproprion may or may not be any better, and may have its own side effects.

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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Thanks for your post Altostrata,

 

Yes, the sexual side effects from Citalopram are, frankly, dreadful (for me). And this after my doctor told me it causes the 'least sexual side effects of SSRI's' and the only problem you might face is 'delayed ejaculation'. All I can say is that if Citalopram is below the mean, I shudder to think what Zoloft, Prozac etc. do to you :( As for Cialis as adjuncts to Citalopram, while being purely on Citalopram, 20mg of Cialis would barely work for me :angry:

 

I've been on Bupropion almost a week now, and finally for the first time in ages (and sorry for being graphic here :o ) but I was actually able to enjoy masturbating to a normal sexual fantasy, which I hadn't done in ages. I seem to be hearing and feeling music better, and I can also express myself better both in actions and words (whereas on purely Citalopram I was an unfeeling zombie and in fact prone to more negativity). Luckily I don't feel any jitteriness, but that may be because I go to the gym about 4 times a week (weightlifting)......I don't feel 100% brilliant, but part of it could be being unemployed at the moment.

 

Nevertheless, I really want to be non-reliant on psychiatric drugs soon, and I'm starting with the Cit. I'm going to the pharmacy to get a pill cutter so I can taper on fractional doses.

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Administrator

Good idea to taper carefully. How often are you taking Clonazepam?
 
Citalopram causes sexual dysfunction at the same rate as all other SSRIs. They are all equally bad in this regard.

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

Vishal ,    I understand your impatience , but it looks to me like you're setting yourself up for an unpleasant withdrawal experience.    I can guarantee you that

severe w/d symptoms will ruin any improvements you've had so far.

 

When I was tapering my Cymbalta too fast in 2013 , I always liked the first few days after a drop because I felt more energized , euphoric , alive.

When the severe w/d symptoms hit in Jan. 2014, (i.e.7 months later)  I became housebound and terrified for 5 months and all my relationships were affected , as you can imagine.

Oh , that I had known then what I know now . . .

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Good idea to taper carefully. How often are you taking Clonazepam?

 

Citalopram causes sexual dysfunction at the same rate as all other SSRIs. They are all equally bad in this regard.

 

I only take Clonazepam if I want to sleep or if I want to go out in public without feeling too self-conscious, or on long-haul flights to relax and catch some sleep. Rarely. I would say 1.5 mg per month on average. I'm worried about it because it can be habit-forming, and tolerance builds up very fast. I remember the first time I took it, it felt pretty great but once I built up tolerance I knew it's going to be a dangerous one.

 

Have heard some nightmare benzo withdrawal stories.

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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Vishal ,    I understand your impatience , but it looks to me like you're setting yourself up for an unpleasant withdrawal experience.    I can guarantee you that

severe w/d symptoms will ruin any improvements you've had so far.

 

When I was tapering my Cymbalta too fast in 2013 , I always liked the first few days after a drop because I felt more energized , euphoric , alive.

When the severe w/d symptoms hit in Jan. 2014, (i.e.7 months later)  I became housebound and terrified for 5 months and all my relationships were affected , as you can imagine.

Oh , that I had known then what I know now . . .

Thanks Fresh. I'm very grateful to this board for showing me the right way.

 

Considering I have been on Citalopram since May last year, how quickly can I taper? I did read the Celexa tapering guide but it didn't mention how quickly to taper for a (relatively) recent user like myself. I'm currently on 10 mg.....

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

What is recommended here is drops of 5-10% , then sit on each level for 4-6 weeks   (from memory).

You've just done very big cuts , reduced by 60% in 2 months.   And you've had a taste of how the symptoms can hit even months later.

 

I would be inclined to stay where you are for another 4 weeks at least , and see how you are then.   

If you have no additional symptoms compared to now , then work out what you feel safe with , and go from there.   If things deteriorate in the next 4 weeks , you may want to consider updosing a teeny bit until you stabilize.

The most important thing is try and avoid a crash at all costs.   It stuffs up everything. :(

 

Further thought :   I think I'd probably go back to 15 mg if it's only been a couple of weeks at 10mg.     Why tempt fate?

1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

Link to post

Thanks Fresh!

Cold turkey off Citalopram September 2014. Bad idea, so went back in October 2014-30 mg.

December 2014, tapered from 30 mg to 20 mg for 4 weeks. January 2014; tapered from 20 mg to 15 mg for 2 weeks. February 2014; now tapered to 10 mg, plan to taper down to 5 mg in 1 week.

 

Currently on Bupropion SR 150 mg a day. Take Clonazepam 0.5 only when need to sleep.

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