joy2730

joy2730: withdrawing from citalopram

775 posts in this topic

Joy I'm really concerned about your constant jumping around with doses.

 

It seems that every time you feel increase in symptoms (which is understandable), you react by changing a dose expecting that a higher or lower dose will fix you. Any you continue to do so despite your many experiences to the contrary. In almsot evry post (including your signature) you say that you intend to hold this for a long time. But unfortunately it seems that resolves lasts only till symptoms get more intense. In teh same way, it seems you start reducing when you start feeling better.

 

Just look at all the jumping you did over the past week: 9 Sept. 10 mg

 

12 Sept. 20 mg

 

unspecified date 15 mg

 

16 Sept. 20 mg.

 

Are you aware that you will be symptomatic for some (possibly longer time) regardless of the dose you take? 

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Hi Joy, Just skimmed your thread...as a "poly drugger" myself, I found it disturbing that on top of these changes, you recently stopped lithium. Successfully coming off lots of drugs takes years usually...let these knowledgeable people help you. We are cheering for you!

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Further update, I seem to be settling nicely at 20mg citalopram, sweating and headaches are really settling down now, but waking up a bit more in the night and a bit earlier in the morning.  Well, it gives me a bit more time in the mornings, a definite plus.

 

The severity of my wd symptoms remains a shock, but once you know what you are up against it makes it easier to be cautious, and to be able to recognise them again in the future.

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That's very good news, joy.

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Update for everyone following;

 

it has now been 2 weeks and a few days of me being at 20 mg following my sudden onset of withdrawal symptoms and this has been my first day of feeling completely well.

 

I continue to be surprised at how severe the symptoms have been and as I need to continue my life without such severe interruptions am going to continue at this dose for some time.  Apparently withdrawal symptoms can be delayed, they are busy building up unknown to the patient.

 

I have in fact reduced by 1/3 in total, but have learnt too much, and the hard way.  I FELT VERY ILL for 2 days, so ill my husband had to 'fetch and carry' for me.

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That is the classic symptom pattern of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.

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I am beginning to think that taking citalopram at 30mg has been affecting my cognition more that I realised.  Last night I went to a building I had been to numerous times before and noticed a child's play room to one side, which I had never noticed before.  Is this possible, is my mind waking up a bit, or am I just imagining it?

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Back again, I stablilised on 20 mg for quite a while, and am now reducing again, and am taking 17.5 mg now, by cutting tablets up.  When I was back on the 20 mg I missed the mental sharpness that I had acquired from taking less citalopram.

 

However, I have learnt to go much more slowly, take many weeks between dosages and look out for headaches, dizziness and sweating and slow down if any of these do not resolve easily or become too bad.  I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE TO TAKE ANY MORE SICK DAYS.

 

Hope all is well as it can be with everyone else, I credit the success I have had to date with the knowledge this site has given me.

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Glad you are doing well Joy, hope it continues for you.  :)

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So far, so good, slight headache this morning, took 2 paracetamol pills and that sorted it, last time I tried to withdraw I stuck with headaches and took loads of painkillers, this time I am going to use the headache as a signal of how I am getting on with the withdrawal and adjust my programme accordingly.

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Joy, you have jumped around so much on dosages just since August, especially recently with all the jumps around 20, 10, 15--that is a LOT of constant change to your CNS which has to constantly adapt. I suspect you are going to have waves and windows of symptoms for a number of months to come still just from all the stuff you have changed lately. Plus coming off the lithium. Plus that rapid taper from the citalopram down to 2.5 over the summer.

 

Your CNS has been through the wringer and has definitely not had time to recover. I think it's way too soon to start another taper. I think you should hold six months at the very least. During that time you will continue to have withdrawal symptoms and ups and downs due to the instability caused by all the changes you have already made.

 

Of course this is just my opinion, but I've seen a LOT of people go through this stuff. The path you're on generally leads to people ending up on more drugs than they were on to begin with. Please think about this and be more cautious.

 

You yourself admit that you are not cognitively where you would like to be. Please consider the possibility that you might not be making the best decisions for yourself.

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I understand what you are saying but don't agree, I am well and doing well, I feel reluctant to share my story any further, which is a shame because clearly a lot of people have been following it.

 

I wish you all all the best and thank you for the advice given, but I will not be taking this particular piece of advice

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Good to hear you're feeling well, joy.

 

Please treat your nervous system very gently. I think Rhi is saying it might need time to recover and get stronger before any more drug changes.

 

Whether you choose to do this is up to you.

 

Please do let us know how it's going.

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Just a quick update, so far, so good on 17.5 mg citalopram instead of 20 mg.  Only one withdrawal symptom so far, a slight headache a few days ago, two paracetamol sorted that, and since then I have felt absolutely fine.  I even sleep better with less citalopram in me, it is as if my body can relax more and is not so 'hyped up.  However, I know it is early days, and I am going to stick at this dose for a long time.

 

Knowledge is a tremendous power and the knowledge from my previous experience is standing me in good stead now. My GP whose diagnosed withdrawal syndrome offered that I could see my favourite GP for withdrawal supervision, but I don't feel the need, and quite frankly don't think the GP would recognise the small reductions needed and the long intervals between reductions.  Sometimes I think the safest place to be is as far away from a GP as possible!  THEY ARE NOT GOD.

 

Years ago I struggled and struggled to get off valium, with GPs giving me tapering help, but looking back at too fast a pace to work.  When the internet came along I used something from Heather Ashton of Newcastle University as a guide, and was totally successful.  Sad, isn't it?

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Hi Joy,

Thank you for the update, I'm glad you are doing well, I agree with you that its sad, and disgraceful actually that we have to turn to the internet for help to safely get off these drugs. 

 

When you get a chance, please would you update your signature with your updose to 20mg and latest reduction.

 

Petu.

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For the benefit of anyone following, I am fine, felt a bit too hot in bed last night and felt hot tonight, also have TERRIBLE CONSTIPATION, but to be fair to my GP he is the only who told me withdrawal can cause constipation.  Laxatives aren't really helping, I am not normally obsessive about bowel movements at all, even though I am a health care worker, but this is not normal.

 

Other than that, I am doing fine!

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Magnesium is something that many people find helps with withdrawal, but its also very good to relieve constipation if you take enough. Increase the dose slowly until the desired effect is achieved, then take that amount daily.  See:

 

Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

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Just for anyone following, I am doing just fine on my 17.5 mg, a lot more energy than at 20 mg, or is that just my imagination?  My thinking is a lot clearer and I am going to try the magnesium, I have bought some Andrews liver salts which I think are magnesium.

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I am still feeling well, some tingling in my face today, but not even unpleasant really.

 

By the way the magnesium has really helped my constipation, but I did go for a bit of a run last night, so who knows?, but I am going to carry on with the magnesium.

 

Thanks to the member who suggested it!

 

Mood fine, brain alert, doesn't get much better than this.

 

Take care everyone

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Fine again today, slight headache so took ibuprofen and had a spell of feeling very hot, but other than that just fine.

 

I hope these entries are showing that some symptoms come on long after the actual dose reduction and so you have to have long enough between each dose reduction to allow these symptoms to resolve.

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Yes, magnesium can help constipation.

 

We suggest people make reductions monthly because we know it can take a while for withdrawal symptoms to show up. Some people need frequent holds to get over the rough patches and allow symptoms to resolve.

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Going well, no headache, dizziness, hot flushing today, just normal, perhaps this means things are levelling out for me at 17.5 mg, but this time round I am not rushing to make any more reductions for a long time.

 

Take care everyone, SLOWNESS is definitely the name of the game.

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Honesty is also the name of the game, and for anyone following this, I need to be honest.  Today I only took 15 mg citalopram, mainly because I didn't have enough time to fiddle on cutting my pills this morning, and feel OK, so I am going to continue with this tomorrow. 

 

This afternoon I just had a wave of nausea when I bent over quickly but that soon passed, and I have been eating normally and slept well last night, and in general.

 

I am using sleep, appetite and body weight as a monitor of my health, as well as mood.

 

So far OK, I felt I was going to stay at 17.5 mg longer than this, but am now doing 15 mg.  This time I am watching for withdrawal symptoms much more actively.

 

Hope everyone is OK and that anyone following my story is learning a lot.  I am really struggling with my weight, so hopefully reducing the citalopram will help.  I will let you know..

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Sounds like you did well with the reduction to 17.5, which is great news and a good sign for the future. You know what to do if the 15 mg turns out to be too much for you. But people sometimes can do okay with a bit faster taper at the higher doses, so you might be okay. Hang in there, it sounds like you're getting the hang of things!

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So far so good on 15 mg citalopram.  Noticed today though I have been a bit more forgetful but nothing serious, and my brain feels slightly 'different', I can tell I have altered something.

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So far, so good, doing well on 15mg citalopram, as opposed to 17.5mg.  One or two slight episodes of mild sweating and sickness, very very mild headache, took nothing for it, just had a good rest and a little sleep in the middle of the day, fortunately due to the nature of my work I was able to do this, and then felt fine.  Just mini symptoms of the huge same symptoms  I had when I did a more rapid taper, SO A SLOWER TAPER RESULTS IN LESS SEVERE SYMPTONS, or so it seems to be.

 

If the severity of w/d symptoms can be reduced by slowing the taper down, then power and control is given back to the individual, and that is worth everything.

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Going well, today I had a spell in the middle of the morning of feeling sick, dizzy and with a mild headache, also some sweating, so I ate something wholesome for my blood sugar levels and drank plenty of water, and in about 20 mins it passed, then I felt fine.  Very much milder than when I did a more rapid taper.

 

Take care everyone, by the way I think I am looking a lot more beautiful for reducing citalopram, but I think what  I really mean is I look healthier.

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Yes, you absolutely are looking more beautiful!

 

So far, so good, doing well on 15mg citalopram, as opposed to 17.5mg.  One or two slight episodes of mild sweating and sickness, very very mild headache, took nothing for it, just had a good rest and a little sleep in the middle of the day, fortunately due to the nature of my work I was able to do this, and then felt fine.  Just mini symptoms of the huge same symptoms  I had when I did a more rapid taper, SO A SLOWER TAPER RESULTS IN LESS SEVERE SYMPTONS, or so it seems to be.

 

If the severity of w/d symptoms can be reduced by slowing the taper down, then power and control is given back to the individual, and that is worth everything.

 

Well put, joy -- help us get this across to newcomers.

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Just a bit of nausea at tea time and concurrently tingling all over my body, but it passed by having a balanced meal and some rest.

 

Sleeping fine, which I am using as a barometer.

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I use sleep as a barometer too--it's a good one. Glad you're getting sleep, it makes everything else so much better.

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Advice Needed:  Today I have not felt as good, last night I slept badly and have felt tired all today, also I have a distinct loss of appetite and a flattening of my mood, not good.  I am still only taking 15mg citalopram and thought I was doing well, can anyone with more experience than me let me know if this is normal for withdrawal or am I heading for trouble? After tomorrow afternoon I am out of internet for a few days, I will catch up with you all Tuesday night.

 

Take care, just a little blip!

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Withdrawal symptoms come in waves and windows. Unless this pattern continues, it is a blip.

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Must have been a blip, only lasted a day at the most, fine after a good sleep.  It has crossed my mind though that in reducing an antidepressant an individual is exposing themselves not only to withdrawal symptoms but also to a return of the original anxiety/depression disorder and that teasing these details can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying, as I am benefiting greatly in cognitive awareness from my reduction.

 

Take care everyone.

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Really good day today, no withdrawal symptoms and best of all my thinking is a lot clearer, but I will be staying on 15 mg for a long time.

 

So my recent spell of feeling low was temporary.

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Another good day today, sleep, appetite and mood all normal and thinking much more clearly still.  Hopefully I am settled on 15mg citalopram now.

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Hello Joy,

I'm glad things are going well for you!

Good luck!

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