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TDB: Reinstating Celexa, need advice...


TDB

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Hi everyone,

 

As seen below in my history, I have taken Celexa for 8.5-9 years. I had benefitted greatly from seeing a therapist from December 2012 to February 2014 (when I had to stop due to changing to a job with no mental health coverage and couldn't afford the sessions), then in February 2015 I decided to make a fresh start and move in with some friends in LA. I had a supply of Celexa with me and decided to wean off of it myself, which was really stupid and harmful in retrospect. It was a fast taper...I was completely off of it by early April 2015.

 

In the intervening time, a number of things happened in my personal life (getting gentrified out of LA house, having to make move elsewhere in CA, dad diagnosed with and recovered from cancer, general homesickness, bad writer's block/anxiety from starting first novel) that have lead me to want to get back on it and continue working with a therapist. So I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician for early September (psychiatrist couldn't see me until much later). I work for a different doctor's office during the day and my withdrawal symptoms got so bad (suicidal thoughts, insomnia, worthlessness) that I asked one of the PAs that I work with if he could prescribe some to hold me over until meeting with regular doctor.

 

I took 20 mg for my first day back on it (again, I'm not looking to taper anymore, I want to get back on it for the forseeable future and try to taper off again after working with therapist) and didn't feel any difference, then went back to old dose of 30 mg yesterday and today and felt much, much better. But I still have problems sleeping and am worried about how to handle this until my appointment comes up with regular doctor. So should I stick with my old dose of 30mg since it seems to have stabilized me?

 

Thanks very much for your help.

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

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Update: well, I think I answered my own question. I think I have mild serotonin toxicity. Now I'm thinking of going to ER and I'm not sure what to do. I have a fever, restless legs, lots of sweating during the few hours I've been asleep, dilated pupils... should I take lower dose or stop altogether for now? And maybe try again after the level of it in my body has gone down?

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

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  • Moderator

Hi TDB-- welcome to the group.  I'm sorry to hear about all that you've had to go through in the past few years.  I really doubt that you have serotonin toxicity.  It sounds like the too fast taper you did back in April is catching up with you, also going back on a full does and an up dose could be causing some trouble too.  Don't be too fast to react to dose changes, they take a minimum of 4 days to make any difference and can take several weeks to months to stabilize.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

These threads will help you understand what is going on.

 

If you would please fill in a signature block it would really help us understand what is happening.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks for the response. I feel really stupid for not reading those threads before starting this. So, since I'm having an adverse reaction, I should immediately lower the dosage? I was thinking of trying 10mg today.

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

Link to comment

do not move the doses, the brain do not like it, same dose during weeks is the key, stay for example on 20 mg, and let time pass

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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Update: Took 20mg based on how today went...the side effects I had mentioned from 30mg subsided and I felt like my old pre-tapering self again. It was really amazing, like waking up from a bad dream. The worst part of my homesickness went away and I got a lot of my confidence back as well. I haven't had any negative effects in terms of feeling even more depressed or anxious, it's just the physical side effects and inability to sleep that has bothered me the most.

 

So I guess I'm lucky that I already feel so much better in only my 4th day...going to stay on 20mg until I feel like I need more. Thanks again for the help.

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

Link to comment

Update: I feel so, so dumb for not reading all this beforehand and just starting out at 20mg. I'm having hard side effects, esp. insomnia, almost one week now with little to no sleep per night. This is one of the worst experiences of my life. I'm basically doing the opposite of what you are supposed to be doing and I am definitely paying the price...went to ER last night just make sure I wasn't going to die from side effects and continuing to take it, ER doc recommended I just stay on 20mg and ride out the storm.

 

But I do have to say that some of the worst withdrawal symptoms (fits of crying, unmanageable mood swings, fear of going out) have gone away and I do have periods where I feel really ideal.

 

I also met with therapist today and talked about some of the underlying issues that made me want to get back on it in first place...my anxiety over writing my first book and anxiety over my dad getting and recovering from cancer immediately after I moved to California. Therapy did help me back home, so it was good to get back in the routine.

 

Has anyone else screwed up like this? What did you do? I don't know if I can keep on 20mg...tomorrow will be day 3 on 20mg since my other huge mistake, taking 30mg for two days. I'm now on day 5 overall.

 

And I think I read on some other forum that the more intense the side effects, the quicker they are to go away?

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, TDB.

 

Please understand this is a site for going off drugs.

 

It sounds to me like 30mg was too strong for you. Your withdrawal symptoms ameliorated on 20mg because that is one of the hallmarks of withdrawal symptoms -- they are reduced when you reinstate.

 

Withdrawal was a big shock to your nervous system. It may take some time to stabilize on 20mg. Read

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

If I were you, I'd give your nervous system some months to stabilize on 20mg. More is not better when it comes to a nervous system injured by withdrawal.

 

After you've stabilized, consider Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

And I think I read on some other forum that the more intense the side effects, the quicker they are to go away?

 

 

That is the stupidest thing I've read in quite a while.

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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I know, I do plan on trying get off of it again at some point in the future after doing some more work with therapist and getting my life back in order. Today went much, much better. I felt the excess amount that I had been taking "wash" out of my brain and my mania and so forth have gone. I actually got a bit drowsy at work today, too, so maybe I can rest tonight. Other withdrawal symptoms like intrusive thoughts and suicidal thoughts were greatly reduced by drug seeming to take hold in my mind again.

 

And yes, I will be taking 20mg for many months, as you said. As for that quote, I can't remember where I read it. I was definitely overtaken by mania and reading every one of these sites I could find. I think the context of the conversation was people talking about getting on it for the first time and encouraging people to stick with it despite side effects. It does seem stupid now that I am not mad with Celexa.

 

My sincere thanks to everyone for the responses. The threads you all suggested were incredibly helpful.

Lexapro 10mg/day: November 2006-July 2007

Celexa 20 mg/day: July 2007-December 2012

Celexa 30 mg/day: December 2012-February 2015

Stupidly tried to taper myself off from February to April 2015, cut down

from 30 to 10 for first week, halved each week until down to minimal

dose for 2 weeks

Link to comment

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