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SelsdonMan Successful tapering off from Citalopram after expediency suicidal / homicidal thoughts.


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I was prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) by my doctor in London UK, when I was depressed during a period of unemployment.

 

I took it for 3 years, taking 20mg once a day. I never felt like it did much good helping me, and it made me feel a bit spaced out, not all there.

 

After 2 years on Citalopram I started to have some suicidal thoughts, but far more homicidal thoughts. I wanted to kill people. I had thoughts of driving head on into traffic, pushing people under trains, killing my partner, my dogs and burning the house down. I had never had these kinds of thoughts or ideas before, and was convinced they were a side-effect of the anti-depressant Citalopram which i was taking.

 

I told my doctor about my suicidal/ homicidal thoughts and he was told me to double my dose of citalopram!

 

I told him that the drugs were the problem, not me!

 

I then slowly reduced my dose once each week for 10 weeks, taking the drug on alternate days, and then cutting the pill in half and only taking it on alternate days.

 

Every time I reduced the dose I woke up the next day with cramps in my intercostal muscles? (muscles between my ribs), feeling very sore and stiff, like I'd been kicked in the ribs.

I also felt quite sharp electric shock; in my neck and shoulders, and had some jerky twitches of my neck and shoulders from time to time.

 

The symptoms went away after day or two, until the next time I reduced my dose.

 

After 10 weeks I was off of Citalopram completely, and have been off them for 5 years now.

 

It took about 3- 6 months for me to feel normal again after coming off of Citalopram,

 

My life is much better without Citalopram, and I have had NO suicidal or homicidal urges or thoughts since I gave up the SSRI drug.

 

I do not think doctors are not helping their patients by drugging them with SSRI's. 

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Thank you for posting this. I had my daughter in August and in Nov went on Celexa- 15 mg. I started weaning off this monday and am going to go down 2.5 mg a week -- I am having fearful thoughts about 'am i doing the right thing by getting off it' and obviously with withdrawl symptoms it sometimes feels 'wrong' to be weaning.  I am happy to see i am not alone and that this is not the 'magic drug' that makes my life managable. I dont know what life will be like with a baby and without the meds. Looking for reassurance.

Amanda  :D

 

Pondering next med if any....

 

Celexa 15 mg Nov 2014-March 2015...weaned off 1 mg at a time (was too hard otherwise) and finished June 2015

Took effexor 2004 for 1 year -weaned off after 12 mos

wellbutrin 3 months 2012

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That's brilliant you had a short post taper withdrawal..

 

Happy for you.

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Thank you, SelsdonMan. Can you tell us more about your symptoms and how they went away? Which went away first? Did anything help you recover?

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

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  • 7 months later...

 

I was prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) by my doctor in London UK, when I was depressed during a period of unemployment.
 
I took it for 3 years, taking 20mg once a day. I never felt like it did much good helping me, and it made me feel a bit spaced out, not all there.
 
After 2 years on Citalopram I started to have some suicidal thoughts, but far more homicidal thoughts. I wanted to kill people. I had thoughts of driving head on into traffic, pushing people under trains, killing my partner, my dogs and burning the house down. I had never had these kinds of thoughts or ideas before, and was convinced they were a side-effect of the anti-depressant Citalopram which i was taking.
 
I told my doctor about my suicidal/ homicidal thoughts and he was told me to double my dose of citalopram!
 
I told him that the drugs were the problem, not me!
 
I then slowly reduced my dose once each week for 10 weeks, taking the drug on alternate days, and then cutting the pill in half and only taking it on alternate days.
 
Every time I reduced the dose I woke up the next day with cramps in my intercostal muscles? (muscles between my ribs), feeling very sore and survivingantidepressants.org339;d been kicked in the ribs.
I also felt quite sharp electric shock; in my neck and shoulders, and had some jerky twitches of my neck and shoulders from time to time.
 
The symptoms went away after day or two, until the next time I reduced my dose.
 
After 10 weeks I was off of Citalopram completely, and have been off them for 5 years now.
 
It took about 3- 6 months for me to feel normal again after coming off of Citalopram,
 
My life is much better without Citalopram, and I have had NO suicidal or homicidal urges or thoughts since I gave up the SSRI drug.
 
I do not think doctors are not helping their patients by drugging them with SSRI's. 

 

I agree with you that doctors prescribe SSRIs WAY too quickly.  I WISH I had asked about side-effects etc before taking the darn things.  Guess I wasn't thinking straight at the time.

 

My doctor insists that he has to weigh up the risk regards having a depressive patient un-drugged.  However, the side effects and subsequent withdrawal are far worse than the depression itself.

 

It is easier for them if their patients end up like zombies, pile on weight and don't leave their homes.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)  Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018  Diagnosed with: 5th August 2021 PTSD/C-PTSD Diagnosed with: March 2022 Interstitial Cystitis (IC)/Painful bladder syndrome

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Hi SelsdonMan, 

 

Thank you for sharing your success story and congratulations on getting off and feeling better than on the drug!  It is shocking that you had those dark feelings, and that your doc wanted to up your dose!  So glad that you figured it out!

 

I have been on another forum where people ask questions about the drug they are on, and so many posts are about starting citalopram and having horrid side effects, begging for reassurance about how long it will last.  More than once people have mentioned feeling suicidal!  Most of the "support" is from people saying "hang in there - it takes a few months before it starts to work" and I think, my god, what insanity to sit with feeling suicidal or not being sure they can go on like this, and having people encourage them to keep going!

 

I've also seen posts from people who say they tried to come off, had horrendous withdrawal so went back on and never want to come off again, more insanity!

 

I see a strong correlation between the side effects and the withdrawal symptoms, but the withdrawal symptoms can hang on a heck of a lot longer.  If only people could be told that what they are feeling going on will be magnified multiple times over trying to get off, maybe they'd decide not to take the stuff!

 

Again, so glad you got off and are enjoying life without it!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all. I'm tapering off of Celexa as well. Been on it for about 16 months at 40mg. Started the taper in jan. Count down by 5mg each week so I'm now on 10mg. Some might say this is a fast taper but Bc I'm taking lots of D3, B12 and fish oils, my taper has been easy.

 

So question to you all who have been on this and now off, do you take a supplement? How do you deal with life? I lead a very stressful life and I have OCD and I can't control my obsessive thoughts and worry. I'm wanting to try 5htp.

 

I'm just desperately wanting to find someone who's been down the meds route but are successful with supplements now?

 

It'll suck but if this doesn't work I will just have to get back on Celexa for good. I loved Celexa and it worked very well for me!

In 2015- had UTI put on Microbid. Stopped sleeping & had a nervous breakdown! Was put on Seroquil, Trazadone, Klonopin, just to name a few! Got off all drugs except Celexa until May of 2018. 

 

Update as of 1/19- reinstated Celexa 20mg. Drinking wine nightly along with a slew of meds/supplements to try and get to sleep. 

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  • 1 year later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • 1 year later...

SelsdonMan,

 

Thank you for your post about getting off Citalopram.  How are  you feeling today?  It's only been 3 weeks for me with constant struggle from excessive worry and anxiety.  I am embarrassed to go out and socialize because my mood is so unpredictable.  I finally tried CBD oil yesterday and felt a little relief.  I want to get back to work and school but it sounds like these withdrawals may last longer.  Hard to believe it could take months to get back to normal.

Started Celexa as a sophmore in high school around 2014/2015 

I think I took Vyvance 2016/2017

Increased Celexa to 40 mg by 2018

Began to taper Celexa on 12/29/19, cut 1/4 of the 40 mg per week

Last dose of Celexa on 1/19/20

Reinstated 1 mg liquid Celexa in March 2020

Currently still taking 1 mg liquid Celexa

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Just a little better now after 4 weeks off Celexa.  I just stay home all day and mostly sleep.  Manage to get out and walk for about 20-30 minutes a day.  Very low energy, really worried about my memory and how I screwed up my jobs.  Trying hard to relax and not have negative thoughts.

Started Celexa as a sophmore in high school around 2014/2015 

I think I took Vyvance 2016/2017

Increased Celexa to 40 mg by 2018

Began to taper Celexa on 12/29/19, cut 1/4 of the 40 mg per week

Last dose of Celexa on 1/19/20

Reinstated 1 mg liquid Celexa in March 2020

Currently still taking 1 mg liquid Celexa

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  • 1 month later...

I have been withdrawing from celexa and it is so bad. The suicidal thoughts and the rage. I can't believe the thoughts I'm having it's been 6 months and my thoughts are worse. I never thought I would ever feel like this ever have thoughts like you're talking about like this it's so bad. Now I realize I have the cramps too in my stomach. I just need to know these will go away.

Age 21 started on antidepressants, Paxil, Zoloft cant remember dozes.

Most I remember is being on Celexa 10 - 40 mg since 1996 to 2019 up and down.

Changed to Pristiq March 2019 to May 2019 lowest doze but quit scared ot it.

Went back to Celexa 20mg may 2019 to sept 2019.Tried Cipralex, 3 days,

Went off celexa 20 mg Sept 16/19 taper 1 month.

Took Ativan .5 to 1 mg on and off for years and some Clonazepam for anxiety.

Ativan in dec 2019 about 10 and in jan 2019. .05mg.

Brain zaps  Agitation, terror and dread, suicidal feelings, stomach in fear. afraid to be alone. Depression 

Now: feeling disconnected from self and inability to connect with others, anxiety, depression,.emotionally weak and helplesd, ringing in my ears.

Feb 25, 2020 reinstated 1mg celexa.

 

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@Ella56 

My suicidal thoughts got a little better once I reinstated 1 mg of Celexa but it's only been a few weeks for me.  Have you asked a moderator?  I was having horrible thoughts and anxiety when I tapered too fast.  I wasn't taking anything for a couple of months.  It was so bad that I had no choice but to try reinstating.  I'm still depressed but I think it's mostly my situation.  I'm not working or anything and have no motivation.

Started Celexa as a sophmore in high school around 2014/2015 

I think I took Vyvance 2016/2017

Increased Celexa to 40 mg by 2018

Began to taper Celexa on 12/29/19, cut 1/4 of the 40 mg per week

Last dose of Celexa on 1/19/20

Reinstated 1 mg liquid Celexa in March 2020

Currently still taking 1 mg liquid Celexa

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@SufferingCelexa i reinstated to 1mg a month ago but when on 1.5 mg for 3 days so could of messed it up a bit. Still not stable. Not good.  Yes i have talked to mods a lot.  I am just looking around the site and finding the symptoms from celexa. It seems to be that there is different symptoms for different meds. Glad you are feeling a bit better. 

Age 21 started on antidepressants, Paxil, Zoloft cant remember dozes.

Most I remember is being on Celexa 10 - 40 mg since 1996 to 2019 up and down.

Changed to Pristiq March 2019 to May 2019 lowest doze but quit scared ot it.

Went back to Celexa 20mg may 2019 to sept 2019.Tried Cipralex, 3 days,

Went off celexa 20 mg Sept 16/19 taper 1 month.

Took Ativan .5 to 1 mg on and off for years and some Clonazepam for anxiety.

Ativan in dec 2019 about 10 and in jan 2019. .05mg.

Brain zaps  Agitation, terror and dread, suicidal feelings, stomach in fear. afraid to be alone. Depression 

Now: feeling disconnected from self and inability to connect with others, anxiety, depression,.emotionally weak and helplesd, ringing in my ears.

Feb 25, 2020 reinstated 1mg celexa.

 

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@Ella56  Yup.  I noticed the same thing.  I try to only search for Celexa because it's so confusing.  Someone on another site recommended CBD so I take one gummy in the evening to get me through the night.  IDK if the moderators approve.  I am able to get it delivered too.

Started Celexa as a sophmore in high school around 2014/2015 

I think I took Vyvance 2016/2017

Increased Celexa to 40 mg by 2018

Began to taper Celexa on 12/29/19, cut 1/4 of the 40 mg per week

Last dose of Celexa on 1/19/20

Reinstated 1 mg liquid Celexa in March 2020

Currently still taking 1 mg liquid Celexa

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I haven't tried them. What is the  dosage of cbd in them?  Do u take them to help you sleep? 

Age 21 started on antidepressants, Paxil, Zoloft cant remember dozes.

Most I remember is being on Celexa 10 - 40 mg since 1996 to 2019 up and down.

Changed to Pristiq March 2019 to May 2019 lowest doze but quit scared ot it.

Went back to Celexa 20mg may 2019 to sept 2019.Tried Cipralex, 3 days,

Went off celexa 20 mg Sept 16/19 taper 1 month.

Took Ativan .5 to 1 mg on and off for years and some Clonazepam for anxiety.

Ativan in dec 2019 about 10 and in jan 2019. .05mg.

Brain zaps  Agitation, terror and dread, suicidal feelings, stomach in fear. afraid to be alone. Depression 

Now: feeling disconnected from self and inability to connect with others, anxiety, depression,.emotionally weak and helplesd, ringing in my ears.

Feb 25, 2020 reinstated 1mg celexa.

 

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Yes, it helps to sleep but what I am taking may be strong if you are not used to it.  I get gummies that are 100 mg THC / 100 mg CBD.  You may want to find something with less THC.   I tried CBD oil drops but didn't notice anything with that.  Every dispensary is different so maybe I'll try again.  I also hear Melatonin can help you sleep or Tylenol PM.

Started Celexa as a sophmore in high school around 2014/2015 

I think I took Vyvance 2016/2017

Increased Celexa to 40 mg by 2018

Began to taper Celexa on 12/29/19, cut 1/4 of the 40 mg per week

Last dose of Celexa on 1/19/20

Reinstated 1 mg liquid Celexa in March 2020

Currently still taking 1 mg liquid Celexa

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11 hours ago, Ella56 said:

I haven't tried them. What is the  dosage of cbd in them?  Do u take them to help you sleep? 

@SufferingCelexa

Age 21 started on antidepressants, Paxil, Zoloft cant remember dozes.

Most I remember is being on Celexa 10 - 40 mg since 1996 to 2019 up and down.

Changed to Pristiq March 2019 to May 2019 lowest doze but quit scared ot it.

Went back to Celexa 20mg may 2019 to sept 2019.Tried Cipralex, 3 days,

Went off celexa 20 mg Sept 16/19 taper 1 month.

Took Ativan .5 to 1 mg on and off for years and some Clonazepam for anxiety.

Ativan in dec 2019 about 10 and in jan 2019. .05mg.

Brain zaps  Agitation, terror and dread, suicidal feelings, stomach in fear. afraid to be alone. Depression 

Now: feeling disconnected from self and inability to connect with others, anxiety, depression,.emotionally weak and helplesd, ringing in my ears.

Feb 25, 2020 reinstated 1mg celexa.

 

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