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Stopping Citalopram - withdrawal symptoms - how long (ball park figure)?

(179 Posts)
marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 14:37:00

I've been on Citalopram (Cipramil) since ds2 was born - 3 and a half years - and it's taken me the last 18 months to wean off, I've found it very hard. I was on 10mgs (original dose 40mgs) every other day and I stopped altogether 5 days ago.

I'm suffering quite badly with feeling very dizzy, light-headed and spaced out. In fact, it seems to be getting worse rather than better. If anyone has experienced this, how long did it last?

I'm also a bit weepy and bad-tempered today but I'm hoping I can just put that down to PMT and school holidays.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 14:40:11

I came off a couple of weeks ago, although I hadn't been on them for as long as you, and while I didn't have the withdrawal effects that you've had, I've been weepy, bad-tempered and very snappy ever since - so you probably can't put that down to PMT.

I can't help with the question about how long the symptoms last for, but I hope that it doesn't go on for too much longer for you.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 14:47:22

Thanks, wwb. Damn, I was hoping it was just PMT.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 14:50:49

Actually, I'm relieved to know that it's withdrawal from the Citalopram and not just me being a snappy old mare! At least if it's just withdrawal then it will eventually go away.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 14:57:31

I found this wwb - which is semi-reassuring.

I do think a lot of GPs are unaware of or underestimating how difficult it can be to come off SSRIs. My GP (last time I tried to reduce my dose and couldn't manage it) told me that my withdrawal symptoms were the worst he had heard of. Googling though, it's apparent I'm far from being alone with them. But if no GP ever takes note of problems people are having coming off them (and I've seen 3 GPs over the course of my treatment this time, none of whom have seemed particularly interested) then the withdrawal problems are never going to be widely known.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 15:02:48

Good heavens ... and the psychiatrist I saw reckoned I could withdraw in a week with no problems! At least my GP was more sensible in his recommendation.

You're right about GPs not being aware of the problems though; I saw a different GP at one point who recommended Prozac (which I didn't take at the time) and said that it was side-effect free, and could be stopped with no reduction of the dose because it was free from all withdrawal effects.

It's frightening, really.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:09:05

I've heard of a lot of people being told they can withdraw very quickly then it all going pear-shaped.

I found Prozac much easier to come off (if I can get off this damn drug I am never going on this one again) but it aggravated my...oh heart condition makes it sound far more scary than it is, but I'm predisposed to tachycardia and had some really scary episodes when coming off Prozac. And the cardiac consultant said it was nothing to do with the Prozac withdrawal - yet guess what I've just read on another site?

Oh well, you can tell me when you stop weeping and shouting then I'll know I've got something to look forward to I could cope with all that better if I didn't feel so woozy all the time.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 15:12:19

I've been lucky in that I haven't been woozy, but dh isn't impressed with the new, snarling me . What I have noticed though is that I've been having sort of electric shocky feelings when I turn my head, which I thought were part of my tinnitus ... looks from your link as if they might be caused by the withdrawal too.

I'll let you know when (if?) it stops ... I think you'll probably hear the cheer from dh and dd when it does though!

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:15:15

Yes I think my long suffering dh and downtrodden ds's can empathise!

TinyGang Wed 27-Jul-05 15:20:09

Sorry Marthamoo, could I just hi-jack your thread with a question..?

I'm a bit worried here. Do you all think it was a good thing taking this in the first place though? Don't the symptoms coming off it kind of put you back to square one in the way you are feeling now?

I only ask, because I took my first Citalopram yesterday. Doctor prescribed them for all the usual reasons but I have been so worried that ultimately I'll feel worse again when I try to stop them. I'm new to all this btw, so need a few wise words I think.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:31:13

Sorry, TinyGang - didn't mean to worry anyone who has just started taking them.

For me, yes I would still take anti-depressants, absolutely. Feeling like this is manageable and feeling how I did when I was depressed wasn't. I'm weepy and irritable now, but when I was depressed I could barely get out of bed, couldn't look after myself or my comparison, really. If I had known how hard I would find it to come off this particular one then, no, with hindsight, I would have asked for another kind. But you may not have these withdrawal symptoms when the time comes to stop taking them.

I guess it depends on how bad you are feeling in the first place - I assume it's bad for you to have been put on anti-d's. They're not a cure-all and not to be taken lightly but I honestly don't think I could have got through my two serious bouts of PND without them.

Like everything, it's swings and roundabouts. I'm so sorry if I've worried you - and I wouldn't presume to tell you what to do, but - for me, yes I would still have gone on anti-depressants (and if there had been no alternative yes, I would have gone on this one again too). HTH and that you start to feel better soon.

Bugsy2 Wed 27-Jul-05 15:33:33

no, you shouldn't stop altogether so suddenly. 10mg is still quite a significant dose. I was on citalopram and took advice from my GP and my sister who is also a GP (and has taken ADs). Both said very slow withdrawal.
If you are feeling pants marthamoo, how about breaking or biting your 10mg tablet in half and taking 5mgs a day and then every second day. I even cut down to 5mgs every 3rd day before dropping it completely.

Bugsy2 Wed 27-Jul-05 15:35:04

should add, I felt very irritable despite incredibly slow withdrawal and that took about 4 weeks to pass.

sunchowder Wed 27-Jul-05 15:35:25

I am trying to do the same thing Marthamoo! I was only on 20MG, but have been for 4 years, I have successfully reduced to 10 MG, but I have these heart flutters, vivid dreams, want to sleep all the time and really don't want to leave the house much. I thought I was going nuts as I didn't realize there was any real withdrawal symptoms. Great article you found, glad to know it's not just me then....

TinyGang Wed 27-Jul-05 15:35:36

Just read my post back - it sounds a bit wrong!To clarify, my questions are of course only rhetorical, just voicing my own concerns re this and not criticising.

Blimey, it's so easy to get the 'tone' wrong on here!No offence intended.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:39:26

TG, not a jot of offence taken! I was worried I'd upset you by bad-mouthing anti-d's

Bugsy, I was taking 10mgs every other day and was fine - but I will think about resuming at 5mgs. It's useful to know that you did it even more slowly than me (I thought 18 months of withdrawing was ponderous enough )

Sunny - you too

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 15:41:19

Tinygang, the symptoms of coming off are just withdrawal symptoms, and should go away after a while. The fact that some of the symptoms of withdrawal can mimic depression doesn't mean that the depression is returning, although of course it can return.

Don't be put off taking the Citalopram. It's not a cure, but it can help by taking away the symptoms of the depression that have made you seek help from the GP. Don't worry about withdrawal now; let the ads help you start to feel better first.

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:45:41


What she said

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 15:49:25


marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 15:51:15

See, we can still grin and be rude to each other, TG - it's not all doom and gloom.

<<<raspberry>>> right back atcha, wwb.

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 15:52:20

She's right you know ... it's not all doom and gloom.

<sticks thumbs in ears, waggles fingers, sticks tongue out at moo and blows huge raspberry>

TinyGang Wed 27-Jul-05 15:58:14

Crossed posts with you there MM! Thanks so much for your lovely and reassuring reply.

No,no you haven't worried me - I knew from reading mn anyway that w/d side effects were a possibility. Having just started taking them I was tempted to post a question regarding this when I saw your thread mentioning the very thing I am taking.

Finally, after ages deliberating and pretending it'd go away, I can see I need to try these as a way forward atm. The crap feeling obviously isn't going to shift on it's own as I'd hoped so I need to do something myself in order to feel like me again. As I have never used ad's, I am curious to know how they work, from real people like you lovely m/netters and not just reading the leaflet that comes in the box.

Thanks for your kind words. Hope you and others on here are feeling well again soon xx

marthamoo Wed 27-Jul-05 16:00:16

Depression is the pits, TinyGang - I do hope the tablets start to work for you soon.

TinyGang Wed 27-Jul-05 16:04:21

Raspberries, sticking out tongues, fingers in ears....are these symptoms too?!

Thanks to you too WWB - feeling very reassured now and will give them a good try!

WigWamBam Wed 27-Jul-05 17:13:49

I'm making no comment as to whether the raspberries, waggling hands in ears and blowing rasperries is a symptom of Citalopram withdrawal, or just of madness.

my5tical Wed 07-Nov-07 18:08:26

Hi All - Please please please desperate for some help and advice. Due to severe stress my GP put me on Citalopram 10mg. After my first dose, the following morning I had the most frightening experience. I felt extremely sick and got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. On the way, I literally had to lie on the floor as the whole of the house felt like it was spinning severely. I simply could not get up. Tried to walk downstairs to reach the phone but my legs wouldnt work so had to slide down the stairs. Collapsed again on floor due to spinning and huge buzzing noise in my ears. Had a severe burning sweat and then immediately cold shakes. No temp. This all lasted for 10 mins and needless to say scared the life outta me. Phoned GP and was told reaction to Citalopram and to persevere. I continued for the next 3 weeks but gradually felt worse and worse. The most horrendous headaches and nausea and dizziness were the worst i've ever experienced. Went back to GP and was told the I simply couldnt tolerate the Citalopram and told me to stop for two days and prescribed me a new AD to take after that. Due to the whole frightening experience i've declined to take them. I still cannot shake this horrendous headache. I wake up with it at the back of my head. It starts to disappear during the course of the morning. But during the afternoon/early evening the pain begins again but this time its like someone is squeezing my temples so hard and i have a migraine over my eyes. I've become extremely intolerant and impatient during the evenings especially with my dear children - and this is due to how my head is feeling. Simply cannot tolerate noise of any level. Literally hurts my head. I've got appointment with Neurologist this week as I'm so scared. Surely being on such a low dose of Citalopram for just 3 weeks and then nothing at all for 3 weeks hasnt caused these unbearable headaches???? Please advise. By the way - I do actually feel better in myself if I could just lift this terrible pain. I dont have the anxiety/panic I had and can quite easily go out now which was a chore in itself before. Really dont wanna go down AD route again. Any advice gratefully accepted. PLEASE

allgonebellyup Thu 03-Jan-08 18:55:20

i really dont know how to help you but wanted you to know your post had been read..

i am on ADs but have been unable to get my new prescription cos of new year so have been a week without my ADs, am having mad panic attacks and shaking, my heart is racing all the time, then feels like it may stop..really intense dreams and skaky hands.

Yours sound v severe seeing as you were only on 10mg. (i am on 50mg)

expatinscotland Thu 03-Jan-08 18:57:47

thanks for the reminder to make my appointment for AD prescription renewal in a few weeks.

NO WAY i'm even close to coming off just now.

jackielancs Fri 08-Feb-08 10:30:35


Has anybody got any recent experience of coming off citalopram?

I've been reducing my daily dose since beginning of January and as the withdrawals were so bad I've decided to go cold turkey and stopped taking it completely last weekend.

My withdrawal symptoms are that I am unable to sleep (but want to all the time), very irritable, feel spaced out and apathetic. I just feel like I want to be left alone and to take to my bed for a few weeks with no demands on me at all - yeah like that's gonna happen!!!


Boofy Mon 10-Mar-08 17:09:55

It's great to find so many people to chat to. Have been off citalopram for one week.. cold turkey! What I thought was a bug, was actually copybook symptoms of withdrawal. The BMJ website is worth a look I've had raging headaches, dizziness and nausea which are reducing steadily over the past three days but are still occurring. I'm going to try very hard not to go back to a reducing dose of "C". Will keep you informed.


Hydee Fri 11-Apr-08 20:35:43

Hi There I've been on citalopram for about 5 months now and really don't feel any different or as if its helping still getting so sad, lonely and basically head messed i was on 40mg i stopped taking them full stop about 4-5 days ago, i feel so crap I'm as dizzy as a kipper think im gonna pass out, mood swings are hurrendous tired all the time and really mad dreams at night, i feel sorry for my kids and husband as they are taking the brunt of it. is there anything i can do to feel better or basically is this cold turkey and how long will it last to get out of my system

many thanks

nana100 Thu 19-Jun-08 00:19:23

hi fellow mums in need.this is first time i ever conversed on slow to type but genuinely in 12days into cold turkey off citalopram getting harder,wondering if anyone else withdrawn this way.had tried gradual reduction previously but didnt work for me.symtoms numerous and severe on this cold turkey.know why they call it that now as sitting here shivering covered in goose bumps.not sure how to insert exclamation mark there.wondering whether to give in and take 10 mgs to ease nausea and headache.there have been advantages to withdrawing tho as libido returned with a bang.hubby happy.lost some weight and motivated to do a little more than whilst on tabs.wont bore anyone with list of withdrawal smptoms but its almost intolerale.becoming social recluse.if anyone else has done this turkey thing then would really appreciate hearing about it.dont know if i can remain off it unless there some light at end of tunnel as am so uncharacteristically snarly with my lovely children.had been on alternative doses of 20 and 30 mgs for 18 months.if anyone can help or even respond that would be really great and the first time i will receive mail.with anticipation.....

MyRed Sat 05-Jul-08 09:38:16

Hi there
I'm a newby to mumsnet.
I stopped taking Citalopram almost 2 weeks ago. I started taking 20mg in August last year. In February I went down to 10mg and then a couple of months ago went to 10 mg every other day. I then stopped. I started to experience effects within a few days. It started with feeling anxious, then horrible lethargic feeling and in the last week this strange woozy feeling in my eyes/head. So, I am feeling GREAT angry
I telephone my GP yesterday. Can't say I was keen to do this as I do have little faith. Anyway, I told her what was happening, expecting to receive some advice on withdrawal from Citalopram and the effects that I was having. No such luck, instead she suggested I go back on the Citalopram - 10mg!!!
I'm not sure what I will do, considering if I can to leave it a bit longer to see if the effects reduce.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated .... sad

nana100 Sat 05-Jul-08 14:08:52

Hi MYRED sorry to hear your having a tough time, my name is Anna and I am now off them for 4 weeks and my advice is do not go back on the tablets. I have experienced the dizziness and have even had it this morning, but prior to that I am beginning to have a few good days. It is a roller coaster but you have to believe that your heading in the right direction a and keep going. The amount of energy that i have at this stage versus what i had whilst on the tablets is amazing. The doctors immediate advice to me when i was coming off was exactly the same, but i am so glad that I held out and have got to this stage. Keep up the good work and I am hear if you need me.

MyRed Sat 05-Jul-08 21:21:09

Hello Anna
Your response brought tears to my eyes! Is this the withdrawal?!! Or is it that pretty much nobody else understands, unless they have/are experiencing the same? So, THANK YOU. You know what, I am going to try and see this out, I have to grin
I am grateful for your response wink

toddlerhip Sun 06-Jul-08 00:26:53

I went mad with masses of exercise and filling up every spare minute of the day. Took me months, probably a year to get back to normal but preferred it to the drugs which made me worse. It was a manic time and very exhausting, but i did become a size 8 and superfit - no longer, sadly wink.

nana100 Sun 06-Jul-08 23:25:08

hi suzanne.sorry about the tears but you are right it is withdrawal.i well up at anything and everything.knew i wasnt myself when i cried at footage of rooneys wedding.still feeling better than when on tabs.i slept every afternoon for 2 years had to stop driving any back at the gym trying to go back ti size 10 i was instead of size 16 i have become.its starting to hang in there even when you think it would be easier to grab a tab.remember it would take 3 days to kick in anyway so there little does get easier the more days you put between you and the last tab.stay resolute and strong and brave in those tough hours.onwards and upwards. anna.

toddlerhip Sun 06-Jul-08 23:56:32

Hi again MyRed, For me distraction was the key, looking outwards, doing new things, anything to stop me thinking about myself and how i was feeling. But when you're paranoid, hiding under a hat and becoming agoraphobic it's no mean feat to walk out the house. And it is a full on method i.e. pretty exhausting when you probably already much energy. But exercise really does help. It doesn't mean you will suddenly stop feeling shit though. But distraction and exercise worked for me eventually.

I was only on citalopram for 4 months as i felt suicidal while on it. My physical symptoms from the depression were pretty distracting and unrelieved by citalopram. When i came off I just ignored them & eventually they went away. I was just relieved to get off the drugs so i didn't really care about withdrawal symptoms so it's not quite the same.

It wasn't an endorsed method, I found the medical establishment hopeless at dealing with depression. I spent a year feeling like a fish in a goldfish bowl until i walked away from them all & decided to try and deal with it myself. It still comes back but i think I've got better at shaking it off before it gets unbearable.

I think another thing is to say I'll just do this and then i'll let myself have a <treat of some kind>. Kind of babysteps then a reward. I found that quite incentivizing. If you manage to do things, you don't feel so useless, guilty etc...

Also, I found if i started crying about something ridiculous (have you seen that brilliant poem "I am unpicked by every wandering thing"), I would try to step outside yourself and say, this is silly, it isn't worth crying about, it isn't me, i'm not seeing things the way they really are, it's just how things are temporarily so i'm going to make a cup of tea and [do something distracting]. Again, it doesn't work 100% of the time, but you get better with practice. Also, stay well away from people who tell you to snap out of it. Hope some of this helps.
Good luck...

MyRed Mon 07-Jul-08 11:28:56

Hi nana/toddlerhip
I'm really grateful for your advice - thank you.

I agree about the exercise and distraction. I recently started cycling, a couple of times a week, and I enjoy this, gives me a sense of achievement. Work, although really busy, also is a good distraction, until I get home and then I just want to go to bed, which with an 18 month old is impossible!

You both have a strong focus. It's a pity our health service can't promote this. I have such little faith in them, which is a shame.

Good to talk to you both wink

nana100 Tue 08-Jul-08 00:35:45

hello fellow cold turkey ladies my red is so reassuring to know other people have similar thoughts experiences etc is poem you mention too long to type here toddlerhip? read a quirky poem myself in british library last week.poignant.sadly cant remember title,sure those tabs killed some of my brain cellshmm.but last line was about slipping into idleness.feel like tabs made me slip into half awake coma.worked out today i had actually been on tabs 2 and half had my weekly dose of stomach cramps ihad each week since stopping tabs.painful but i hope one step nearer to them being out of my system. anyway keep up the good work and hope you enjoying your 18 month old 3 children growing in the blink of an eye. i must shut up and go to bed! night.

toddlerhip Tue 08-Jul-08 12:43:04

Was about 5 yrs ago so not sure i can find it. Books have not been sorted since we moved. Will keep an eye out when i get round to sorting them....

MyRed Tue 08-Jul-08 14:45:54

nana - get to bed earlier!! shock

pandorasof Wed 09-Jul-08 21:40:53

Hi... Oh no read these messages 3 hours too late! I've been cold turkey for 1 week and experiencing, exstream tiredness, dizzy, mood swings etc, its effecting everything in my life so today i reached for my last packet of pills and took one!!! Only 10mg, but what should i do?? Stay off or work through the pain? Only on them for 6 months, do they do 5mg pills? Why wasn't i warned about this withdrawal?? sad

MyRed Thu 10-Jul-08 20:23:08

Don't think that you read these too late. You did what you felt was necessary. I can totally appreciate how debilitating it is coming off them. I was on them for 11 months and starting reducing in February, from 20mg to 10 mg (daily), then 10mg every other day. I'm not sure if they prescribe 5mg, I just felt it was the right time to give it a go and stop. I never thought it would be SO difficult coming off them. I've been off them almost 3 weeks now and I am still experiencing the effects (same as yours). Good days, bad days, depends what I'm doing too - distraction is the key, as toddlerhip has said previously. Take a day at a time and you will know in yourself what is the right thing to do. If I needed to go on them again I would, I think it's a very good and effective drug. Keep us updated, take care. xx wink

pandorasof Fri 11-Jul-08 16:57:31

Thanks MyRed, I've been feeling guilty for going back to them after a week off, my Doctor wasn't much help just saying there is no side effect if i stay on them for longer?!?!? I've taken 10mg for the past 3 days and the dizziness has already gone but still feel very tired. I think i've decided to do 10mg one day then 5mg (by cutting them in half) the next for the rest of July, August 5mg a day then as the kids go back to school attempt 5mg every other day,slowly dropping more and more days!?!? Now if thats not slow enough i don't think i'll ever come off! I do agree with you it is an effective drug, it helped me when i needed it but i think i'd think twice about taking it again, as i didn't think it would be so hard to stop, or rather that i realise it would make me feel so physically ill to stop.

MyRed Fri 11-Jul-08 21:19:37

Hi pandorasof
You have a plan - sounds good! I do wonder if I should have reduced further, in terms of the effects being less. I really hope this helps, like you say, can't get slower a reduction than that! GO FOR IT!

Hibbs Thu 17-Jul-08 12:50:31


New to this but I am interested in the different stories so here's mine......

Been on Citalopram since October 2007 - first on 10mg then increased to 20mg daily. Much better now smile and discussed the option of coming off it with GP sometime soon. However fed up with my weight gain (i'm sure it is the citalopram as my exercise/diet have remained the same but i've put on at least 10lbs!) so decided to go cold turkey on Monday (14th).

So far, feel a bit rubbish sad - suffering from a little dizziness and nausea, especially when I get out of a chair. Also went for a run last evening and though I was going to faint! Have had the shivers a bit and feel as though I'm not able to tolerate things that irritate me quite as well as before. Managing to work ok - although my memory seems to fail me now and again! Been sleeping ok - no strange dreams or anything so far. I'm hoping that within 7-10 days these withdrawal symptoms should go - according to the leaflet this is about normal??

Has anyone found their withdrawal symptoms are improving yet? Would love to know how long it took as I really want to be off these tablets for good now without the hassle of a decreasing dose weaning off period.

Would appreciate any news! grin

MyRed Fri 18-Jul-08 20:29:05

Hi Hibbs
Welcome. grin
I've been off Citalopram for almost 4 weeks now and today has been MY FIRST GOOD DAY! No lethargy, dizziness, and my anxiety/ability to tolerate has been much more stable. I'm hoping this is the way forward, I don't expect it to be great every day from now on, but here's hoping!
I have experienced everything you have said and going to work has been fine for me too, a positive distraction.
PLEASE don't base your withdrawal on mine though, I think it's a very individual thing, so you may benefit much earlier. I'm just so glad about today, a step at a time eh?
Really good to hear your 'story' too. Chatting on here and listening to people has really got me through it, as, let's be honest nobody else really knows what it's like unless they have experienced it themselves.
So, take it a day at a time, that's my advice, and if it get's tough try and take some time out, even if it's only half an hour! I have an 18 month old son and it felt impossible to do this. Me, hubby and son went to the seaside last Sunday and it did me the world of good to be somewhere I really enjoy.
Take care and keep us updated wink

Hibbs Wed 23-Jul-08 12:47:50

Hi MyRed

Thanks for the message grin!

Well I only managed another day cold turkey and I really felt awful - even work bacame impossible so I ended up going back onto the 20mg for a couple of days. Since Monday i've been on 10mg and so far so good - just a bit of a headache but nothing too bad. I'm hoping to go down to 5mg next week and then stop - fingers crossed!

I can't believe how helpful this site has been - like you said, a step at a time and hearing from you has really helped.

I've planned a good dog walking session on Saturday to help keep me positive - and I have a lot of support from my hubby and work friends so I really hope I can get off of them and stay off - then hopefully my weight will go back to normal!! Did you find that your weight changed on the citalopram?

Hope you're ok and taking care smile

MyRed Wed 23-Jul-08 19:55:45

Hi Hibbs
Good to hear from you, sorry to hear how crap you were feeling. What an impact they have eh? I think you did the right thing, only you know what's best.

A dog walk sounds good. We lost our dog, aged almost 10, a few months ago. He had cancer and lost the battle, but he was a fantastic dog and we really miss him. We walked all the time and took him everywhere with us. Still feel he is with us though at home - part of the family aren't they?

I had a good appetite before I started the Citalopram, a great one whilst on it and I still have! I've put more weight on in the last couple of months, which is a bit strange (not pregnant though smile.

Take care. xx

mummyrachael Fri 01-Aug-08 23:06:56

Hi, this is the first time I have posted on here. Just looking for a bit of reassurance. I have been on citalopram since 2002 when I experienced panic attacks. I was finally diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder and my citalopram was increased to 60mg!!!
During my pregnancy last year I reduced it down to 40mg, my doc thought it would be wise not to come off them while I was pregnant - and I am extremely lucky, I have such a beautiful, intelligent 8 month old son!
When my son was 8 weeks old, I started to experience extreme anxious thoughts and felt like I wanted to die, so my dose was upped to 60mg again! Felt much better, saw a psychologist and was really enjoying life... so much so that I would occasionally forget about taking my meds, so I was told by the doc to reduce to 40mg. well I have done this and I feel awful, anxiety returned with a vengence and I am feeling so spaced out.
I can't explain it exactly but my head (my thoughts) and my body feel like they are not connected. It's really scarey, I don't feel real and that makes me feel like I can't cope.. the tablets have made me forget who I am inside. God, I used to be so independent and outgoing before I started Citalopram! Anyone experienced similar feelings??

misi Fri 01-Aug-08 23:18:18

any anti d's should be reduced slowly. the trouble with some of these oills is that you build up to a dose that helps, then your body adjusts and you start to need more. Citalopram should really only be used short term as the body gets used to it very quickly. from 10mg to nothing was a big step, too big for my liking, 10 to 5 then to 2.5 would have been far better and from 40 to withdrawal should be around 3 months at least I have been told previously.
I don't like drug anti d's but they are effective and useful, and when used to treat PND they are of serious use as if PND is not treated properly, the a host of other psychological problems can develop, a serios one is borderline personality disorder which is often linked to untreated PND. But PND should not be treated without proper reassessment for more than 6 months, and a further assessment at 12 months with withdrawing from the anti d the main goal at 12 months. withdrawal from these pills is no different than other withdrawal symptoms as the same neuro transmitters are involved in most withdrawal situations. I can't say how long it will last but the dizzy ness etc is the brain reacting to the neurotransmitter activity in response to not having anti d's any more. if you feel it is getting worse after more than 3 days go back to the GP straightaway and talk it through and to reassure you and maybe look at going back on a low dose to get you through this. if not, go see a qualified experienced herbalist for a natural ''remedy'' to get you over this of which there are quite a few but is dependant on your personal circumstances.

Luneth Mon 18-Aug-08 11:25:40

I'm so glad you are all honest on here. I have been on 4omgs for a couple of years. Went down to 20mg 3 weeks ago. After 1 1/2 weeks I felt really anxious for a couple of days then was ok again. The 3 days days ago I started to feel funny again. Today I'm very anxious, sweating, feeling very tired and very moody. My poor dh got it full barrels yesterday.

I'm realy not sure whether to persevere or go and speak to my GP. Is 3 weeks normal to still have side effects etc?

hollymonster Fri 22-Aug-08 16:34:08

I have been on Citalopram for about 6-8 months and have just about weaned off them - next monday is my last one.

I haven't been feeling depressed but I've been feeling strange little...sparks. Thats really the only way I can describe it!

It feels like little electric volts running from my brain to my finger tips, only every now and then and very quickly. Its not neccersarily uncomfortable, just dis-concerting when you're walking around! Has anyone else experienced this?

hollymonster Fri 22-Aug-08 16:36:55

My advice for everyone is stick to citalopram until you feel the benefits but try to get off them as soon as you feel ready, because obviously the longer you take them, the harder to stop.

I am weaning off them now and have had my 'down' days and anxious moments but generally feel much better so think they have worked wonders. I think they are just there to help you have confidence in yourself, and confidence to HELP yourself so if you do feel bad you can then combat those problems on your own

Shianna Mon 25-Aug-08 17:00:38


I,ve not taken Citalopram before but have been got the 10g from my Doctors over 2 months ago. I am really scared of taking them as I don't know If I'll beable to come off them. I don't get anxiety every day as some days are better then others but have had the symtoms for the past 3 yrs and thougt I'd gradually beable to get over them myself, as noone know's apart from my counceller. Sorry I would just like to know If anyone thinks I should start taking them,and If I do will I ever have to go back on them.


Shianna Mon 25-Aug-08 17:14:26


I,ve not taken Citalopram before but have got the 10g from my Doctors over 2 months ago. I am really scared of taking them as I don't know If I'll beable to come off them, and have also seen posts where some people have said that the tablets have made them worse. I don't get anxiety every day as some days are better then others but have had the symtoms for the past 3 yrs and thougt I'd gradually beable to get over them myself, as noone apart from my counceller know. I would just like to know If anyone thinks I should start taking them, as Im not as happy as I used to be and know that it's my anxiety and self confiedence that holds me back, as I always used to be confortable around people and would always know how to make people feel better about them self's, but as long as I've had this problem my moods have totally changed I get bas socail anxiety and feel that when people are talking to me they are attacking me. If I start taking them do you think I'll get addicted as I've been told that anti-depressants are not always the best root to go. I would really appreicate your help as I'm really scared of taking them.


Tony19631963 Sun 28-Dec-08 01:04:31

Dear All,
sorry this message is late to the thread but I feel I would like to add my own experience to the discussion;
After 6 years on Citalopram 20 mg per day I asked the doctor if I could come off the medication. The doctor agreed that this would be a good thing considering that my private life had settled somewhat. A slow reduction was suggested over many weeks. I decided to make a foolish decision to stop altogether and very much regret the effects that I bestowed on myself. Initially after 1 week I could feel no ill effects. In fact I actually felt better in many ways. Much of the blurred vision that had blighted me as a side effect of the drug all but diminished and I had some clarity of mind; I was no longer slurring speach when tired etc. Though, after a few days I noticed some strange withdrawel symptoms such as vivid, peculiar dreams. Waking at around 4am. Strange nerve feelings in my top lip which would come and go. Eventually I started noticing a strange perception, much like moving a limb but seeing several moving behind. Pretty much like being part of an old movie where you can see the gaps between the clips. This was the same about walking around etc where is felt that you were actually moments behind yourself. Needless to say that I was horrified at this rather frightning development and have since decided to do the intelligent thing and reduce the medication gradually.
My advice; please, please do not try going cold turkey with this drug. The effects can be too strong and more scary than you can possibly imagine. After 48 hrs of taking the medication again these very strange perceptions have thankfully subsided. I will now continue with a slow and careful reduction plan.

pada Sun 28-Dec-08 18:41:31

WOW ! am i glad i found this website.
i was on citalopram for 4 months and only finished on xmas eve since when I have been totally light headed and dizzy and feel out of it - and I was frightened.

Now that i know that this is a side affect of withdrawal I feel comfortable with it.

I feel so much stronger for having taken the tablets thst I would say to anyone that is prescibed them --- take them, they do what it says on the packet and whilst there are some wierd side effects, that is all they are, no more, just a bit worrying at the time.
I hope you ladies dont mind the site being gatecrashed by a man but your site has reassured me and I wanted to share my experience and if i can, help others through it.

SUZANNEamy Thu 01-Jan-09 23:44:56

THis if first time on here for me as I have just found this site when desperately searching under Citalopram withdrawal. Amazed now to find my symptoms are listed here by so many others. I was on 20mg for about 12months and then went down to 10mg for 4 weeks and then left them off 3 weeks ago. I feel awful and withdrawal symptoms seem to be getting worse not better. Going back to doc in a week. Will she even agree I have withdrawal symptoms? When I told her they were making me put on weight she said I was wrong but I now see others saying that on this site so at least I feel I was right about that. Feel really worried at the moment because of how ill I feel. Can anyone help who has been through this?

JumpingDizzy Thu 01-Jan-09 23:55:05

Suzanneamy you went from 10mg to nothing? I'm coming off them now and was told 10mg for 2 weeks then 10mg every other day.

I'm glad to hear they put weight on others as they have me. I do have a good appetite but always have had.

SUZANNEamy Sat 03-Jan-09 00:14:13

THanks for reply jumpingdizzy. Glad someone else had weight gain as makes me hope i can lose it again. Yes doc told me to reverse process when i went on them which was 10mg for 2weeks then onto 20mg. Dont know whether i misunderstood her as i should have gone back to see her in dec but didnt because busy at work. now having to wait until 9th jan to get an appointment. I would be interested to know if you get withdrawal symptoms coming off more slowly. I still feel dizzy and have constant palpitations and irritability.

JumpingDizzy Sat 03-Jan-09 14:38:44

I haven't noticed any withdrawal symptoms Suzanne. I have been on them before and tried to withdraw faster but didn't feel that good.
I think it's best to alternate taking them one day then not.
Only 6 days for you to wait to see dr so not so bad. Can you ring the surgery and try to talk to her? Or even ring nhs direct they'll help.

SUZANNEamy Sat 03-Jan-09 16:47:55

Hi jumping dizzy

Good idea about nhs direct as hadn't thought about that. Felt a bit better yesterday and today as dizziness seems a lot less and I don't feel as tired and irritable. I have been taking it easier to give myself a chance. Hoping I have come through it - the test will be when I return to work on Monday. Hopefully you won't have side effects with coming off slowly this time.
Did symptoms return for you when you came off them before? I was on them for moderate depression which I am hoping will not return but it's difficult to judge at the moment with the withdrawal problems.

JumpingDizzy Sun 04-Jan-09 11:34:38

My symptoms did return but I had a lot of stress at the time. I get panic disorder.
Glad to hear you're feeling better though, keep looking after yourself smile

jdj10 Tue 13-Jan-09 22:05:56


I am hoping one of you may be able to answer my question as you all seem to know so much about Citalopram and withdrawal. I have been taking 40mg for 6 months now as have PND. We are wanting to try for another baby soon but I am worried about how long I should wait after coming off the Citalopram? Hope someone can help

SummerNights Tue 13-Jan-09 22:23:40

I have been on citalopram for a year and have now, too, come down to 10mgs every other day. I have trid to come off a couple of times but not succeeded - I think becasue i did it too quickly and also becasue I find winter time harder anyway.

I was thinking about stopping completely again but will take it mroe slowly having read that article so thanks very much

I have treid to halve the 10mg tablets but they are so small i have struggled - they just disintegrate so i like the sound of liquid prozac if I have trouble in coming off

mama2boyz Tue 13-Jan-09 23:13:20

This is my first post on Mumsnet adn I joined after reading this thread.
I am currently transitioning from Citalopram (30mg) to Imapramine (will eventually be on 100mg).

I'm now at my 4th day off citalopram and 3rd day on Imapramine and I just keep crying and crying and crying.
I've had nightmares too.
I've gained a lot of weight: I am now size 20 and find it very upsetting because I can't find any clothes to make me look human. Dieting is just too much for me to contemplate right now. Last year I lost 2.5st but I stopped the diet in September when I realised there was no way I would keep weighing out my bread everyday for the rest of my life. I spent so much money losing that weight! (paying for meetings, books and especially diet yogurts!). The money aspect is also why I stopped.

I'm breastfeeding my 2 boys and I sometimes wonder if things would be more manageable if I weren't breastfeeding them but I can't bring myself to wean them as they are so attached to 'num-num'.

I'm seriously beginning to wonder if it's even worth taking the Imapramine.
I'm seen by a fab psychiatric nurse every week who has been there herself and has 30 years experience.

I don't really know what I'm asking for in this post. Perhaps I'm just reassured that I'm not alone.

Swizz Mon 19-Jan-09 10:55:50

Hi there,

I too am trying to come of Citalopram. I was on 20mgs a day for about a year now and started by halving them, then taking 10mgs every 2-3 days, now I'm quartering them and taking 5mgs every couple of days. I just can't seem to get a clean break. I can't bear the pins and needles feeling and the wooshing in my head.

I went back to the doctor and she said that they normally recommending coming off them within 4 weeks. Mine has been 3 months so far. She said I was really stringing it out and just had to be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms but I can't.

Any suggestions?


feebs83 Thu 29-Jan-09 20:12:03


My GF was on these for about 3 months.

She has com off them by halving them and then one every other day.

She is also quitting smoking currently.

She is having few issues tho, she not sleeping well at all, so tried and feels run down.

She had a cold still (had a chest infection before christmas) but is still coughing.

Are some of these things to do with coming off the Citalopram??



dawnie19 Thu 05-Mar-09 20:28:43

Hi, I was on citalopram for six months, the drug wasnt helping alot, plus I was putting on weight because of the medication. I decided to stop taking them two weeks ago. And like you I was feeling really dizzy, spaced out and very down with my moods. I was also feeling sick. Any how, today is the first day that I have felt ok, no sickness, dizziness or feeling irritable, so I can say that my withdrawal symptoms lasted two weeks.

I hope that this has been a help. I am just very angry that my doctor didnt mention when prescribing the drug to me that there was going to be so many horrible side effects.

Bear with the withdrawals they will go, and hopefully you will feel a lot better.


Tingel Thu 19-Mar-09 10:24:39

Hi all
I hope someone can help me with this issue. I have just registered on this site and would like to share my withdrawal symptoms from Citalopram. I was on this drug now for 4 years for panic disorder until I recently discoverd 'THE LINDEN METHOD' on Google, bought the package and decided to withdraw from this drug., to my phsyciatrists' dismay. He reckoned I was denying my 'condition', but I simply finally discovered the ANSWER to my panic disorder, and thats that.So i am withdrawing under phsyciatrists supervision now for 5 months and reduced 40 mgs to 20 mgs being on the latter dose for 2 mnths now.
side effects: dizziness, migraines which last for 2 days at a time, aches and pains in my legs and allover(generally feeling unwell),soreness and sensitivity of breasts(have anyone experienced this or is this jus t my age (44)?(hmm) abdominal cramps, imsomnia(i take sleeping tablets(zopiclone occasionally), anxiety, facial pains, stiff joints and back.(i must emphasize that none of these effects are severe! and thx to THE LINDEN METHOD I know to just cope with that and distract my mind/thoughts because these are simply sensations and nothing more. To all of you out there, take care, and hopefully someone will reply.
PS: I have definitely lost some weitht, was always a slight size 6 and now back to size 8. this drug has definitely added a lot of weight on me altho my phsychiatrist also deny this.sadly.

kris10 Sun 22-Mar-09 02:52:14

Hi everyone. I am so glad that I stumbled upon this site. I am in serious need of some advice.
Here's my story: After the birth of my daughter I was suffering from slight post-partum and anxiety so my doctor put me on Prozac. I started on 20 mg and within a year was up to 60 mg. Every time I would visit my doc she would ask how I was doing on the medication and I would tell her that I was worried about falling into a depression again she would increase my medicine.

Anways, two months ago, after having the same conversation about me being worried about my medication not working, the doctor decided to take me off of Prozac and put me on Celexa. We did this gradually and I had no trouble with the switch over. My moods were normal and everything felt the same. Then, after being on Celexa for a month I gained 12 pounds!!! When I told my doctor about the weight gain she dismissed it as weight gain caused by stress or other factors. After some soul searching I decided that I don't want to spend my life on anti-depressants. I want to FEEL every moment (good and bad) with my daughter. I truly don't think I need the anti-depressants anymore and I am wondering if I ever needed them increased to the amount they were.

A week and a half ago I started taking half of my prescribed amount of Celexa. Then 4 days ago I stopped taking it all together. The past three days have been completely awful!!! I have been extremely dizzy, disoriented, light-headed, exhausted, and unfocused. I didn't tell my doctor that I was going to try going off of the anti-depressants (stupid of me, I know). I have this fear tha my doctor will just want to prescribe something else for me.
I really want to stay off of the Celexa (and ant-depressant in general) but I am worried about these withdrawl symptoms I am having. I can push through them if it is only for another week or so but I can't handle this dizziness and whatnot forever.
Thank you taking the time to read my post. Any advice is much appreciated!!

Sicknote Tue 16-Jun-09 09:07:14


As like others I'm glad that I also came across this website.

I too was prescribed citalopram after returning from my holiday last year with depression.

For no particular reason I went into depression on my second day of my holiday and after spending all night and most of the day crying we decided to head to the hospital.

Unfortunately my spanish was very limited and the nurse prescribed me with tranquilisers which did help a little.

I couldn't wait to get home as I spent a lot of my time on the phone to my mum and sister and without them I would never have made it thru my holiday. I was unable to get a flight back without having to either leave both my husband and 6 year old daughter or my husband. It would also have cost a fortune so I decided to remain in Menorca.

On my return to the UK my doctor prescribed citalopram and after just 3 months I decided to come off them..big mistake.

I soon realised that I still needed these antidepressants so immediately went back to see my doctor. I also registered with postive steps (a charity) as they run self help groups and teach you techniques on how to deal with it. I found this very helpful and have agreed to take to representatives from the government as this is in it's first year of trial.

I have now developed side effects and have been taken off them immediately and have been sufferig from dizziness and disorientation and can see that others have also suffered these withdrawal symptons.

Now to make matters worst I have discovered a lump in my breast and have given an appointment at my local hospital to have an examination, mammogram/ultrasound and biopsy. Not a good time as I'm trying to deal with coming off my antidrepressants.

I would be keen to hear from anyone who has been through a similar experience as I am scared to death of what the results might tell me.

tensmum4 Sat 11-Jul-09 06:36:44

hi all, i'm a house husband and been in this position for over 11 yrs, so i feel i can be here.
My oldese child is close to 20 and i have never been able to see her down to a quite nasty partner.
This is a lot down to my depreshion.
I now look after me 2 younger kids 8 and 11 and trying to keep up with working from home too.
I do 90% of the house work inc all kitchen duties.
I love my wife to bits but i feel she does't give me the support i need, so this in turn doe's not help.
after going to the doc i was given citalopram, i'm a little confused as to how it will react with me, do i really want to live in an un reall world?
as life around will still be the same, will this drug help me and in turn help my family as my depression will go?

moomah Sat 11-Jul-09 12:48:27

Hi I'm new here too.
I don't normally go on messagey things like this either. But I'd like to add my positive experience of citralopram. My eldest daughter was put on this a year or so ago when she kept of getting overstressed at exam time. She encouraged me to go on them as she says it lets you be who you really want to be without affecting the real you.

I think that makes sense. My son has been on ritalin for ADHD and that does alter him quite signifcantly, but dd said it was nothing like that. After 10 days of some not so nice headaches/migrines my husband said that I was becoming like the woman he married. He also knows when i miss days as I become grumpy. Today it occurred to me that my stabbing headache was due to the fact that I had forgotten to take it for three days! Now in bed waiting for painkiller to kick in.

I'm a bit concerned about the side effects of coming off this medication, but on the other hand I don't see why I would. My body doesn't do something quite right so why would it start doing it? Not really au fait with the exact science, but something to do with missing chemicals. My fear is that the doctor thinks that therapy will help. Been there done that. Total rubbish (for me).

Now my worst day is like the best day of my monthly cycle 5 months ago. I can cope with so much more, more even tempered. Even with pmt. But have noticed that I eat more, but curbing my eating has always been a problem for me. Also another side effect I have noticed and don't know if it is related and haven't seen anyone mention it is that I don't suffer from constipation anymore (yay)

I was going to stop there, but didn't want constipation to be my last word

Actually thinking about it, apart from when I forget to take it my monthly migraines are gone too.

hope my ramblings help someone.

Yogi12 Sat 11-Jul-09 13:32:46

Hello, I'm new, only found this site today,
I have been on Citalopram for last 6 years, tried to come off them about 4 years ago without success, found I couldn't stop crying and couldn't function properly in college so went back on them.
Been on 10mg a day since.
Citalopram has lead to me gaining unbelievable amount of weight, I gained 4 stone within 9 months of starting it and have been unable to loose any weight since. I was never big before this, not even after son was born, tried everything for years now, exercising regularly and eating very healthy too,.
I am convinced that not only has it made me gain weight but it also stops me loosing it.

So last week I decided to go cold turkey, been to the gym everyday and still eating healthy, and touch wood, I have lost half a stone already, wooo hoooo!
Don't get me wrong I have had my moments when I have cried uncontrolably, felt excrutiating anger and have been irratable but only for short periodd. Gonna try and exercise through it and have also been lying on my bed and reading my book when I feel like this, felt like this has been an effective distraction.
I eat a lot of fish anyway but just incase this helps anyone, I have also read about how Omega 3 can really help with tackling depression.
Good luck everyone, its not easy but great to know we are all in the same boat eh!

amybee21 Sat 18-Jul-09 21:35:10

Iv been taking citlopram 20mg for nearly a year now, started to run out and couldnt get a doctors appnt 4 weeks,theyre funny about re-issuing anti ds without appnt. Iv been cold turkey for bout 2 weeks now,after two days i started to feel spaced out,its a horrible,unbearable feeling. I woke up 2day and i keep bursting in2 tears, shouting at my kids and my fiance doesnt understand, i dnt know what to do. doesnt undedoesnt und

amybee21 Sat 18-Jul-09 21:36:39

Iv been taking citlopram 20mg for nearly a year now, started to run out and couldnt get a doctors appnt 4 weeks,theyre funny about re-issuing anti ds without appnt. Iv been cold turkey for bout 2 weeks now,after two days i started to feel spaced out,its a horrible,unbearable feeling. I woke up 2day and i keep bursting in2 tears, shouting at my kids and my fiance doesnt understand, i dnt know what to do,feel so bad.

Kiwidadathome Wed 22-Jul-09 17:36:31

I have been on citalopram for about five years, and am now starting to come off them. Thank goodness after reading these forums , because I now realise that I am not alone with all my thinking and symptoms!
After having a complete change in lifetyle over the last few years (going from an Army Officer to being a girls gymnastics coach)I am looking forward to being off them, and hopefully those vivid dreams will be good ones!

clairebearx Fri 31-Jul-09 04:07:21

has anyone sufered from sexual problems during and/or after taking citalopram? will be grateful for any response

CariadCaerwrangon Sat 01-Aug-09 12:54:09


I'm so glad that I found this site, I thought I was going mad.

I have been on Citalopram for a year. I was put on them for panic/anxiety attacks which my GP put down to severe anaemia due to huge problems with my periods. I was on 20mg a day. 9 weeks ago I underwent a hysterectomy to resolve my problems, so 3 weeks ago I approached my GP about coming off the Citalopram before I return to work. She advised me to reduce to 10mg a day for 2 weeks, then 10mg alternate days and then to stop taking them.

I have been off them completely for a week but have suffered many of the withdrawal side effects I have read about here. The worst of which have been mood swings, irritability, headaches, joint ache, dizziness and now today the emotion. The good thing is, apart from today, I have been full of energy instead of just wanting to sit and do nothing.

Finding this forum has made me realise that I am not mad, not alone, not suffering from Swine Flu and whilst the last 4/5 days have been unpleasant they have by no means been as bad for me as for others withdrawing.

I am going to persevere with not taking the citalopram as I am beginning to feel human again and wish to give support to anyone who is withdrawing. It does get better and you are not alone.

Hogweed Wed 05-Aug-09 21:26:35

Sorry chappettes, I have to confess that I’m a 54-year-old man. However, I do have a young daughter… anyway, I have long and varied experience of taking antidepressants, and I have to tell you that Citalopram are BAD NEWS.

They’re unlikely to do you any permanent damage, fortunately, but are very well known for their side-effects and withdrawal difficulties.

Just to give you an idea, all drug dosages are weight-dependent (though they’re rarely prescribed on this basis, except by very enlightened doctors like mine. Believe it or not, the standard dosage of any drug is calculated on – from memory – an 11-stone man. I am 6’2” and 17 stone.

So. I was put on Citalopram a few months ago, and advised to start on ½ a tablet – ie 10mg. This basically put me in bed for 2 weeks – I could hardly move. I thought this was a pretty severe effect, as I should theoretically have been on a dose of something like 35mg to adjust for weight.

Within 4 weeks, I had put on nearly a stone; I was suffering from insomnia and bruxism; and became completely impotent (this is common with men taking SSRI’s, but I’ve heard tales of sexual difficulties with women too).

I’m now trying desperately to withdraw from the stuff, but am horribly irritable (throw and break things at the slightest provocation) and have what’s known in the trade as “brain zaps” (see Wikipedia )

My point is that this horrible drug (although I think it actually worked for me while I was taking it) can cause horrendous side-effects and be very difficult to get off. I’m stuck on ¼ of a tablet every night now, but I can’t get off that last bit because of the brain zaps.

So… my sympathies to anyone who’s struggling with Citalopram getting fat, not enjoying sex, and having brain shivers on withdrawal. I may know some of the answers if I can help anyone – in the meantime, good luck!


Sofabelly Thu 06-Aug-09 13:36:26

Oh god Hogweed, *thank you so much*! I have been grinding and clenching my teeth constantly for the last few months and I had no idea why. I wake up with pounding head-, jaw- and face ache from doing it and my teeth hurt so much I can't bear to let them touch each other in the morning.

Hi everybody else, I have been on Citalopram for about six or seven months now. Due to not being able to get to a doctor recently I've been stringing out my prescription (20mg) by taking one every other day which has been fine, but for the past three weeks I have had a vicious migraine pretty much every third day. I get the whole aura thing and it's really causing me problems.

The thing is, I can't figure out if it's reducing the Citalopram or taking it that's causing them. Any ideas?

Also, for those who are getting dizzy, it definitely happens if I miss a dose - it feels like you're falling doesn't it?


redsquirrels Sat 22-Aug-09 07:26:48

Me: on 40mgs for aprox. 6 months, ironically on it because my GP told me to take it to prepare for getting off diazepam (in stages), which I still take at 40mg per day (6 years). I decided on my own to get off it because I recently reviewed the side-effects on the web, and realised I had some (like sweating). Plus, since I did not ever notice any assistance by the drugs, I wanted to see what my mind was like without them...

Going cold turkey. First day: No ill effects - Second/third day: pronounced tiredness, sleeping 48hrs, with 'breaks' from sleep of 15-45 minutes. Dreaming was much more interesting. - Now in fourth 'day': starting to gt a bit nervous (tempted to take extra diazepam) have a surfeit of energy, can still take small naps with the telly on. Best thing so far-My brain seems to be coming alive. I had not predicted this, as I said, I never noticed any changes to myself when I was on the drug.

I am curious to see what happens next.

I doubt this monologue will help anyone, but there are a mixture of experiences here, and I felt compelled (laugh) to share.

Thank you all for sharing -- Much better info than the medical sites...

Has anyone else used diazepam & citalopram?

Elk Sat 22-Aug-09 09:12:11

I am coming off citalopram after 3 years on it for PND. I was on 40mg day for at least 2 years (whose counting and leastI enjoyed the time).
For those who are worried about taking it, not everybody puts on weight or has horrendous side effects. I felt a bit weird for a week or so when I started but nothing worrying or scary and far better than wanting to throw myself down the stairs or stab kitchen knives into my arms.

Last time I saw my GP he said that for some people you just have to find the lowest dose that works for them and not worry about coming off the drug. Since then I have reduced slowly (over 5 months) and am now on 10mg every other day with no side effects so far.

amyyetta Sun 18-Oct-09 19:51:37

hey just coming off citalopram i feel like im getting electric shocks in my head its so weird like little zaps ahh sorry this might make no sense finding it really difficult to concerntrate. It feel like im seperated from my body and my heads going to fly away everything looks weird has anyone else had this? how long does it last. I have come off on my own coz i didnt think my doctor would advise me to do this should i start taking them agin?? thanks

Jackaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 01:14:29

You've probably all finished talkinga bout this now, but can I tell you how I did it? I've written this before ages ago on here and another forum and a couple of people found it helpful.

Essentially you need to do a little bit of planning and work out on a piece of paper the following:

1 - start taking the dose every 30 hours instead of every 24 hours do this for 4-5 days, as long as you don't have any symptoms. If you do, start really slowly, taking it every 25 hours then every 26 hours.

2 - Then take it every 36 hours (I just use these approximate figures because they slot quite well around sleep etc., they're not concrete) for a few days.

3 - Once you've got to taking them every 2 days (every 48 hours), drop the dose a little (to 7.5mg)I would do this for another 4-5 days before dropping further to 5mg.

4 - Once you get to 5mg start spreading them out further again but really slowly, so every 50 hours, 52 hours etc etc. In the end you can either start taking tiny bits of tablets, or just get to a point where you realise you ahven't taken anything for 5 days and realise you could probably stop!

tbh, I even used the oral solution at the end htis time, because I was pg. and I wanted absolutely no symptoms to deal with, but that was my second time fo coming off them. The first I just did this with the tablets.

I had literally no symptoms either time.

CAVEAT - this is MY approach, works wonders for me, my GP was completely happy with this, but I cannot take responsibility for someone else doing it obviously.

good luck.

Jackaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 01:20:31

Hogweed - think you would agree that being ON them was positive, it's teh getting off them that's the problem? and the problem is that the people creating it don't take it themselves so don't knwo what it actually feels like!

Anyway, hope I've helped someone....

Jackaroo Mon 19-Oct-09 01:24:06

PPS Jsut seen thsi is a very old thread. apologies for adding to it, but if this helps someone, well.....

Fairy100 Fri 30-Oct-09 20:12:36

I have been taking 20mg of citalopram for over a year now, I cut down to 10mg every day and then 5mg every day for about a month now I've gone cold turkey for 5 days and I'm still feeling really dizzy and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I don't want to go back on them as I'm pregnant so just wondering how long will these withdrawal symptoms last??

Thanks, Jen

Happy102 Thu 05-Nov-09 12:43:22

Hi Guys,

I am new to this Forum but would like to get some feedback about Citalopram.

Been on 20mg for depression & anxiety, since July 2008 and have been fortunate enough to have not suffered too many side effects apart from the normal ones i.e tiredness, vivid dreams , loss of sex drive etc.

I am keen to come off them now although my GP doesn't agree. However i the last few days I have experienced a numbness/loss of sensation in my right thigh and groin area and wondered if this is a side effect of the meds. No pain just the numbness.

Its really strange. Has anyone else had this happen to them?

Serena2303 Sat 07-Nov-09 14:56:45

Thank you amyyetta for you post. It has made thing a little clearer for me.

Me and my partner decided to 2 months ago to try for another baby and before i had the chance to wean myself off Citalopram 20mg we found out that i was expecting. So i decided to go cold turkey and i mean on everything...Smoking, caffeine and Citalopram. So after a few days of giving up everything, i started feeling like i was about to pass out. Eyes would feel like they were rolling to the back of my head and then brought back to reality with some sort of shock as amyyetta described. I felt like i was seeing things too. It has been about a week since this started and i have been to the doctors and had blood tests the lot and they still didn't have a clue what was wrong. But now i have read all the posts on here esp amyyetta (thank you again) i feel more at ease. I just hoping that it doesn't last for long as i need to get back to work.

Rov Sat 07-Aug-10 09:43:59

Hi there - I just wanted to let you know that i'm coming off of Citalopram to try for another baby, - I'm currently writing a blog and feel that this may help some people

Good luck everyone and keep smiling


Sarika Wed 22-Sep-10 00:08:48

Hi guys,
I have been on escitalopram and citalopram ( not together) more or less for the last 6 years at least. I am now trying to wean myself off of them slowly ( thanks so much all of you for sharing your experiences ).
This is just to tell people who are apprehensive about starting anti-ds that these tabs have probably saved my life.
Please don't hesitate to start them if you really need help dealing with your depression. I now deal with life one problem at a time..... Deal with your depression now and deal with the withdrawal when you come to that stage.
I have gained weight too ( but I was never a slim girl) and I have had some problems with my sex life as well but I don't regret having started them. .
Take care all xx

Wobblewatcher Wed 22-Sep-10 20:57:35

Not everyone gets these withdrawals from SSRIs. I'm a MH nurse and really underestimated it till I had to come off mine-it was awful. Had like a feeling of electricity in my head. Had to taper mega mega slowly but did it in the end.

properbo53 Thu 25-Nov-10 16:22:45

Hi all you mums, I'm not a mum or even a woman, I am a father and grandfather. I have been reading your messages regarding citalopram withdrawal symptons.I have been feeling unwell for about a week now, had no idea what was wrong with me until now. I am getting the dizziness, the woozy loss of balance feeling, the headaches, the weird mild electric shock type sensation when I turn my head quickly, feeling slightly nauseous, all the things you describe are happening to me since I tried getting off the drug, obviously I need to do it over a long period as I have been on 40mg per day for over 5 years. I did cut down to 20mg for two weeks then 10mg for another two weeks, then 10mg every other day for a week then stopped altogether about a week ago. I thought I had some virus or something as everything felt so wrong but I had no fever so it didnt make sense. It must be the citalopram withdrawal, it all fits with what I've read, so dont despair your'e far from alone, I know exactly how you feel, good luck to you all, I am quite relieved as I was worried I had some mysterious illness, never felt symptons like this before, at least I think I know whats going on now.

shodatin Thu 25-Nov-10 17:32:33

I didn't see this thread when I started to come off Citalopram a few weeks ago.
I was lucky; GP supervised coming off dose very slowly over couple of months, and apart from week or so of vivid dreams, no problems.
I would definitely take them again - so sorry to hear so many people had bad experiences.

daisymae07 Mon 21-Feb-11 23:17:45

I have been on citalopram and tamazipan for ten years i had no side effects while i was on them,but three weeks ago my dr told me i would have to come of them I was dropped down from 40mg then to 20mg and then 10mg all in three weeks I knew nothing about about withdrawal symptons feel
as if i am going mad my head feels as if i am leaving it behind i have electric shocks going through my head im very dizzy feel sick and have cramps,i called the out of drs and told me it is withdrawal symptons. Can anyone tell me how long it will last.I am trying to do normal things but am finding it very hard Keep having bouts of crying have seen doc today tells me im doing well and should feel better soon.Glad i found rhis thread.

nickysmith Sat 12-Mar-11 10:08:24

I have been on citalopram for two years. I went up to 30mg and gradually over the last 5 months, I have stopped taking them. I have now been off them for 2 weeks and my GP said nothing about withdrawal symptoms. I have been snappy, having headaches, sleepy and now I'm having night sweats. I was worried at first but now I have read other websites and realised it's not me going mad (for once lol)I feel a lot better. I have read these symptoms can last up to 6 weeks, so hang on in there and don't give up.

Kallista Sat 12-Mar-11 11:08:32

I think with any anti-d or neurological drug the side effects and / or withdrawal are hard to tolerate for a few weeks - because they affect the way your brain works.
So don't worry + give it time. When i had my second breakdown citalopram literally saved my life - although ultimately it hasn't cured my depression as i have BPD + atypical depression. Am now on venlafaxine, and on epilim (as mood stabiliser). Epilim is horrible, but i recommend venlafaxine.

hypermum1 Mon 14-Mar-11 12:14:52


I have been on citilopram for 4 years following the death of my mother and a vicious assault on my partner which nearly killed him. I have been coming off since January and have gone from 20mg to 10, to 5 and now zero. Going from 20 to 10 was a breeze as was 10 to 5, but 5 to nothing has been awful. Lots of electric shocks, feel very irritable and irrational, tired, sick, dizzy. But also, my appetite has increased dramatically! The only time I seem to feel better is if I am eating!!! Not good!!! I do find exercise helps dramatically, off to the gym tonight again! Hopefully this will pass as I think my poor husband and kids have had enough!

nickysmith Mon 14-Mar-11 18:51:33


I'm like you hypermum1, I keep myself busy. I work full time, I have a child and I am also doing an open university degree. I think if I fill my day with some positivity then I should get through this.

Coming down from the citalopram was easy but as soon as I came off them altogether, thats a different story.

hendriks Mon 14-Mar-11 19:34:30

Have a look and see if your healthboard offers EMDR therapy if suitable in your case ??

up here in scotland Forth Valley healthboard use omega3 high EPA / EMDR /ENT THerapy as both primary and adjunctive therapy re medium to severe depression they've been using high EPA formulations for a few years now with great success and its combined with therapy. The company that provide it to Forth Valley offer it to NHS referrals at a discount maybe worth a look ? Go to professionals area and click on NHS Patients and that is where you get the discount

LadyPx Wed 30-Mar-11 09:21:37

Hi hypermum1. I just wanted to thank you for your post as it's made me feel much better about what I am going through at the moment. I have been on Citalopram twice now - the first time for about a year, and this current time for about 2.5 years. I have been putting off coming off them this time because I remembered how horrid the withdrawal was last time I stopped. However, I thought I was doing really well as I'd got down from 20mg to 5mg over the last 6 months, relatively painlessly. But now I'm trying 5mg every two days, the dreaded withdrawal has started. 5mg is such a small dosage that I didn't think it would affect me so much coming off it, so I was worried that the symptoms I'm having at the moment weren't due to withdrawal, but your post has reassured me that they are. So, I'm going to persevere and try and ride it out because I want to be off these little devils once and for all. I'd really appreciate hearing how you're feeling now as you posted 2 weeks ago (just to give me an idea of how long I may have to put up with this!!!). Thanks again, and to everyone else who has posted here, and good luck to everyone trying to drop the tablets

hypermum1 Wed 30-Mar-11 16:34:16

Hi there LadyPx. Been off the pills for 3 weeks now and it has not been easy!!! Been very irritable and, as I said before my appetite increased dramatically, craving sweet stuff all the time! That seems to have gone off a bit now but I am still quite grumpy! the dizziness and electric shocky/whooshy head seems to have gone. I just have no patience what so ever. But exercise seems to help dramatically! I am not really a big gym bunny but I really do find it helps so am forcing myself to go 2/3 times a week! I do think the hardest bit of coming off them has been going from 5 to nothing. Like you said, I thought it would be easy as 5 mg is such a low dose, but apparently not!!! Hanging on in there and trying not to blame every temper flare up on the lack of pills. The pressures of life these days are enough to make me irritable!! Keep going with it, it will be worth it in the end I am sure xxxxx

LadyPx Thu 31-Mar-11 14:37:42

Thanks for your reply hypermum1. Funny you should say that you've been craving sweet stuff as I was just thinking I could do with some chocolate!! Really sorry to hear that you're still suffering after 3 weeks, it sounds like you are doing really well managing to stay off the tablets though. I weakened as I felt SO rough last night, so have decided to start taking 5mg again to try and restabilise myself and then try 5mg one day, 2.5mg the next etc., and just try and do it much more slowly, rather than go 5 to zero. I have a gorgeous little boy and a lovely husband and I can't bear being so irritable and miserable around them. Plus it's my wedding anniversary tomorrow and we have a lovely dinner planned, so I am hoping the 5mg will kick back in before then so that our evening isn't ruined. Anyway, am wittering now, so thanks again for replying, and I hope your hard work pays off and you are feeling properly back to normal very soon. xxx

hypermum1 Tue 05-Apr-11 17:47:52

Hi there. Just thought I would update you all. It has been a month now off the tablets and I am actually feeling loads better. This is a miracle considering what is going on in my life at the moment but am lucky enough to have a very supportive husband and quite robust children!!! I am still finding the real saviour to be the gym. Had quite a bad day yesterday but a session in the gym and am feeling so much better today. Am not sure when I will actually be able to say I feel totally OK. Not sure how long it is mean to be but am sure the pills must all be out of my system by now? Anyway, despite being very very tempted to go back to the pills more than a few times, I am still trying to be strong. Certainly do not want to ever have to go through this withdrawl again as it really is not nice!!!! Hope you are all doing well xx

TheWold Sat 09-Apr-11 07:10:23

Dear All
Your posts are not only enlightening but comforting too, as I often feel quite bewildered with all the emotions and physical symptoms that withdrawing from Citalopram seems to have kicked off. My partner has endured this with me but at times it has pushed his patience to its limits.

Can anyone relate to a metallic taste in the mouth and the most vivid and quite terrible dreams? I feel nauseous and have been plagued with headaches. When starting to lower the dose, I had a couple of weeks when sleep came easily and I could not get enough but now (since stopping 5mg alternate days) I feel wired and anxious, sleep is shallow.

It was reassuring to read that Hypermum1 is now feeling much better a month down the line from stopping taking Citalopram. For me, exercise, nothing formal, but just being out in the fresh air and seems to ease things along. The garden is the best place to be right now! I am managing at work but when I get home and let down the ‘mask’ I feel quite broken.

Perhaps I could have weaned down more slowly, according to the advice of the posts, although it has been about 5 weeks now and seem so close to being chemically ‘clean’. I am keen to give Omega 3 a go as suggested.

For the record, I am sure that Citalopram helped me in some way but the payback when you feel ready or motivated to stop taking this type of medicine may cost you and your loved one.Perhaps it is because you may feel acutely unwell and unstable, maybe this is better than chronically depressed. Whatever you decide, please be careful.

Thanks very much for all your help here.

elizadoolittlechoc Sun 10-Apr-11 22:05:02

I was on Cit. for a year and decided my life was much more in my control. I cut from 20mg to 10 mg for a month and gave up two weeks ago. After day 5 cold turkey I was very weepy/ emtional. But from day 10 until now (day 16) I have had amazing dreams, but feel very dizzy. The bruxism has returned which I suffered for nabout first 6 weeks of starting taking it last yearNo sign of depression tho' and that's the main thing.

WakiJaki Mon 02-May-11 18:15:13

I stopped taking the darn stuff 1 week ago unaware of ther side effects. I was on 40 mg per day for around 10 months. Its bloody awful I can tell ya. I feel dizzy and woozy all the time. I also have bouts of sickness. I also have completely emptied my bowels repeatedley and have a raging appetite. It makes me wonder what the heck I was putting into my system. Im, hoping to stick out the 'cold turkey' because I certainly dont want to spend months and months weaning myself off the stuff. I just hope it starts to subside.

I was on 40mg down to 10mg then came off, it was so bad I ended up back on 20mg. Think I took it for 2/3 years. In the end I took it down to 10mg, then started cutting tablets in half (at instruction of gp) then taking half a tablet every other day and made the reduction very very very very slow and then started to forget to take them cos it was every other day, and it was ok.

Dont come off this too quick, the side effects of quick withdrawal were worse that the PND that I took them for!!

Take it easy and good luck

WakiJaki Wed 04-May-11 20:14:04

Thanx for the advice, I have wanted to come off them for a while now, but the doctor wanted me to stay on them. I didnt realise what it would do to you comming off such a large dose like myself. Im tempted to try and wean myself, but I keep thinking that Ive done so well so far by having nothing for 10 days now that I may as well stick it out. Its just so horrible, the sickness and wooziness is driving me crazy, but I keep thinking that tomorrow will be a little better???? Do you know how long the symtoms last for??

When I had those symptoms I didnt see it through and went back on them, so I cannot say. Think I did that for a week to two weeks. If you have come this far and can handle it, then stick with it, like you say you have done 10 days, that is great.

Just make sure you remember that your moods are likely to be affected, ie snap quick, and make sure you hold yourself back if you are feeling cross, during this cold turkey period.

Good luck

Kiwijen Tue 10-May-11 13:59:29

Hi, it's been very comforting reading other's stories and experiences, tho that doesn't help the personal situation. I came off 20mg after about 2 years, cold turkey, a week and a half ago. I went on holiday, and with all the bank holidays recently, couldn't get a repeat prescription from my Dr. So decided to just stop. What a bad idea. The withdrawal has been horrific. Mood swings, spaced out, nausea, lethargy, lack of concentration, my entire body aching (even my blooming nose bone was sore!)the feeling of wanting to kill someone, the thought that I was going to die.
I am just extremely lucky I have a supportive fiance, tho at times I am willing him to leave me. We are getting married next year, but I have almost called it off numerous times this past week. Just the sight of him and my kids has been enough to put me over the edge. I haven't felt suicidal, but have had the urge to just run away. I feel like a fruit loop! The nearest Dr appointment I could get is next Monday, so I am hoping that all this nastiness will be gone by then.
I have learnt from this though. No matter how bad things get in the future, I will NEVER go on SSRI's again. I wasn't even put on it for depression in the first place, but for sexual dysfunction. But I sure am feeling depressed now! I hope this goes away soon and I can get the old me back. The one that doesn't shout all the time and smiles again. My poor family is walking in eggshells around me and it is so not fair.

That then causes feelings of guilt, and it all seems a vicious cycle.

BTW, they didn't work for the reason I was put on them. My libido went from minimal to nothing. It was supposed to get better!

Also, my boobs are really painful and swollen. Have taken preg test x2 to rule that out, but wonder if this is also a symptom?


WakiJaki Mon 16-May-11 21:56:29

please go easy on yourself girl !! I can relate to everything you have just said. I have stuck to staying off the 'evil stuff' and it has taken 3 weeks for the symptoms to ease off. I use to feel sick and dizzy every other second, now I just get a faint reminder a couple of times in a day, but not to the degree I used to. Im so glad that I stuck to comming off them. My sexual appetite has returned, and WOW its great to want and enjoy it again. It take the depression away thats for sure. Perhaps try to go down to 10 mg per day? From what I can gather though it doesnt matter wether you are stopping from something crazy like 40mg like me or 5mg you still get the cold turkey symtoms, so if you have the will power just stick to it and come off them. Perhaps what may benifit you more is some cognitive behaviour therapy rather than ADs? Good luck sweetie you are lucky to be surrounded by people who love you

WakiJaki Mon 16-May-11 22:01:16

Thankyou sweetheart

I managed to stay off them. Its a shame you didnt because it appears that the main symptoms get out of your system by 3 weeks. I will never go on those bloody things again. It helps whilst your on them, but they dont like you to let go and not need them. I hope you can manage it for yourself one day. smile

Unhappy44 Sun 12-Jun-11 21:22:53

Hi Kiwijen,
I stopped taking citalopram 2 weeks ago, I had the usual mentioned withdrawel symptoms of electric shock feeling and dizziness and generally feeling unwell, but what is worse is the horrible emotional roller-coaster of anger, crying and irritability. I just want this side effect to stop. I hate subjecting my family to this horrible feeling, has your feeling of anger and irritability gone. How long did is last. I would be grateful to anyone who could let me now of there experience regarding the emotions you go through coming of these horrible things.

Priestess Mon 13-Jun-11 19:04:30

Hello, I've been on Citalopram 20mg for the past three years, I've kind of accidently come of them because of a prescription mix up! I've started to lose my sense of taste and smell. sad Has anyone else had this? Really annoyed with myself for not being on the ball about my prescriptions and the doctors for losing my pills and not seeming at all concerned about not having them. Sorry don't mean to whinge but starting a new job tomorrow so obviously this is the worst timing ever!

Ormirian Thu 16-Jun-11 12:33:30

I am going cold turkey. This is my 3rd attempt to come off cit. First time was cold turkey - was dreadful and I was so scared I went back on them again. Second time was gradual with GPs help and it was only marginally better and I went back on. This time I am just heading into the teeth of the storm.

2 weeks now and some of the dizziness and brain shrugs have eased. I am a bit ratty but trying so hard not to be - not my DC fault I am feeling ill. I have had the one horrible disconnect when I forget what I am doing and where I am - I 'lost' DS2 the other day because I couldn't remember if he was with me or not and he was hiding from me for a game - horrible 5mins.

Then last night I had a panic attack and had to get up, have a pee, drnk some water and then 'talk to myself' about how it wasn't real, I wasn't having a heart attack, my throat wasn;t closing up..... and I managed to go back to sleep. I am not giving in! But I wish these bloody drugs would just let me go without a fight

Ormirian Thu 16-Jun-11 12:35:05

I found I had no sense of smell on cit and my nose was always blocked or running.

Also I have put on weight - 2 stone in 3 years! But I am also in the throes of hte meno so that might not be helping.

Leeann79 Fri 17-Jun-11 23:05:49

I have been on Citalopram (taking them for delayed PND) for approx 2 years, and have now been off them for 3 weeks. (I forgot to take a full packet on holiday, so have gone cold turkey).
For the first week I was fine just a few "head shocks" but come week 2 the dizziness, electric shock feeling as got worse. My "mental" health is fine, I feel well in my head, but I am constanly snapping and shouting, which my poor husband is taking most of (I got the " I wish you would go back to the doctors and get some more tablets" the other night - that went down well!!!!

I know all the symptoms will faded, but here are a few of what I am experiecing.

dizziness, woozy loss of balance feeling
head shocks
aching limbs
bad skin
head aches
loss of sexual
lack of concetration, even trying to remember basic things
short tempered, snappy

I hate being snappy, my husband can hardly speak to me with me wanting to have a go at him........and the head shocks are almost bad enough to go back on the tablets....

Hopefully they should start wearing off soon....

Ormirian Sat 18-Jun-11 10:32:12

Hang in there leann! I have been definitely off them for 2 weeks now and I just sort of forget to take them for a little longer. HEad shocks almost gone. Not feeling so dizzy now. Mood is good - had a call from work this morning which can make me heart rate speed up anyway at the weekends but I kept things steady and it was OK. Fingers firmly crossed.

Might try a run tomorrow - I haven;t been because I was feeling so heavy and breathless.

I didbn't tell DH I was coming off until this week - I am trying not to let anyway know what is going on and they'd spend the time waiting for the storm to break out! He did say 'Why?; in a tone of voice that was distinclt foolish in the circumstances grin but by and large I have been fairly stable. But I was mentally prepared for it this time.

strawberry17 Sat 18-Jun-11 17:13:11

Just stumbled on this thread, going cold turkey is a really bad idea (for most people), I've done this, and the alternate day thing numerous times over the years and always crashed and burned badly sad. Long story short I switched to liquid prozac and have spent the past three years weaning myself off it ecrutiatingly slowly, it's the only way that works for me. I have kept a blog of my progress. A really good book to read is

LouiseCP Mon 04-Jul-11 00:51:35

Hello, I'm struggling and need to offload in the hope that someone might have a few thoughts or words of wisdom. I started on Citalopram 18 months ago because I was finding it hard to cope with 3 little boys in the shadow of relationship difficulties and flashbacks from nearly losing one of our sons in a near drowning incident a few months before. A month after I started on the pills, I found out my husband had been having an affair with a friend for a year and a half, over the time we'd got married (obviously I didn't know!). Thank god for the Citalopram is all I can say and I don't think I'd be here today, half holding it together as a mum, if I hadn't been. DH and I started counselling soon after and although still working it through, we're are together.

I decided about 4 months ago to try and come off the 20mg I'd been on and tbh started struggling form quite early on with feelings of anxiety, anger, stress and chronic tearfulness. To add insult to injury our son was recently diagnosed as dyslexic and DH has been working very long hours from which he is super-stressed. My body is responding in all sorts of wonderful ways to the anxiety (teeth grinding, eye lid spasm and bad skin) but I've persevered and just a few days ago took my last 10mg, which I'd had every other day for a couple of months. God, I am now feeling awful and I've been an anxious, upset mummy and a grumpy, hateful wife - but it's all so out of my control. My DH has said enough tonight and tried to leave, and I feel desperate. What to do? A friend recommended Happy Days from Healthspan, does anyone have experience of these as an alternative to Citalopram as they work with Seratonin levels in a similar non-medicinal way. So sorry for long ramblings.

strawberry17 Mon 04-Jul-11 20:15:42

Hi Louise CP, you're not going to like this, probably, but my recommendation is that you go back onto the full dose of Citalopram and stabilise yourself, because the symptoms you are describing are classic symptoms of coming off too fast (and maybe too soon?) especially in the light of all the problems you have been dealing with. Your husband sounds very unsupportive sad. I have a son who is dyslexic (statemented) and has had lots of help at school, he is now 12, and my husband is severely dyslexic and it's something we know a lot about, hopefully now he has been diagnosed the school will put things in place to support him, if not you will need to push.
Going back to citalopram, the way doctors tell most people to withdraw, the alternate day method, for a lot of people is way too fast. This happened to me many times over the years, long story short after a lot of years of trying and failing to come off my antidepressant, I stabilized myself on the full dose of liquid prozac, and have withdrawn excrutiatingly slowly from the liquid prozac armed with my 5ml syringe. Link to my blog about this in the post above yours and in my profile. Oh yes and the reason I was so desperate to get off my antidepressant was the impact on my sex drive.
Hope this all makes sense! Feel free to pm me if you like about the citolopram.

LouiseCP Thu 07-Jul-11 10:00:39

Thank you, strawberry17, I appreciate your comments very much. I hadn't thought I had come off too fast, because this is what my doctor recommended and I guess I thought they'd know! I suppose there's a part of me that thinks, if I had proper support then the journey to coming off them would be easier - and that in itself feels like a rubbish reason to go back on. But, I do need to look after myself.

The school where my son goes have not been very supportive so far, so a lot of the stress I am feeling is because of that, not the dyslexia per se. We had him independently assessed because the school were so unresponsive to my requests for help, so it's feeling like a bit of an uphill struggle at the moment on that front.

Yes, the old sex drive! Mine disappeared when I started the Citalopram, which given our personal situation, has not helped things one bit. Out of the frying pan and into the fire! I am desperate to feel normal again on that front and also having gained weight in the past 18 months since starting on the meds, when before I'd never ever done so, even after 3 kids, is also soul-destroying.

Thanks again.

hypermum1 Fri 08-Jul-11 17:15:00

Hi All. I first posted here a while back and just wanted to share with you some news which I hope will be encouraging to you all. Having been on citilopram for 2 years odd, I decided to come off in January. I weaned myself off little by little until eventually coming off completely in March this year. I have now been "free" of the evil pills for 4 months and feel great actually. THe withdrawl was not nice, all the symptoms described above but it does get better. I think what has really helped me is that I have started running. I am not athletic, never imagined myself as a runner but I go out twice a week now and the fresh air and exercise really really helps. I am so glad to be off the pills and really hope you can all get there too. It is worth it! I can now feel other emotions too such as excitement etc which had been dampened by the tablets. I still have my crap days and days when I could quite happily crawl under the duvet and stay there but I try to take these as they come and think as positively as I can. My husband has been a great support but I have done this by myself, for myself and you all can too. Good luck all xxxx

strawberry17 Fri 08-Jul-11 19:18:54

Hi hypermum, I am so jealous of you being able to come off them like that, look after yourself though. Think it's really going to take me another year.

teahouse Sat 09-Jul-11 21:43:29

Citalopram made me really ill just taking them for a few days; even when I started taking them every ever day I was very unwell due to their half life. I had palpatations and memory loss, and was almost hospitalised.

I cannot imagine anything but coming off them under strict medical supervision. Good luck

Sammy1979 Sat 06-Aug-11 16:09:15

It is reassuring to read other people's similiar experiences on here. I have just tried coming off Citalopram after being on it for 8 years at 20 mg. GP got me to drop down to 10 mg for about a month but then advised me I could just stop altogether. I was a bit concerned about this as when I tried to come off about 6 years ago a different GP at another practice got me to take 10 mg alternate days for a while then every third day and I cannot remember having the same withdrawal symptoms I have had this time (I went back on Citalopram as was tearful but in a difficult relatioship at the time). I told this GP and he said I could do it more gradually if I really wanted to so I tried taking 10mg every third day then every fourth day but have been having the same withdrawal symptoms other people describe on here particularly the nasty brainshocks when turning my head and moving around and feeling sick and generally unwell. I took 10 mg yesterday evening and quickly felt better. Today on the advice of my brother who previously had similar symptoms coming off another antidepressant I cut a tablet in half and took half.

strawberry17 Sun 07-Aug-11 09:07:11

Hi Sammy1979, doctors honestly don't have a clue about how to get people off antidepressants safely, some people CAN do it the way you are describing, but most people can't, and get the withdrawals, the way you are doing it is way too fast and confusing the brain. After many years of trying and failing I am tapering slowly off liquid prozac with a syring. I really reccommend this book

I also have a blog I have written about this very subject if you are interested I can pm you the link.

strawberry17 Sun 07-Aug-11 09:07:36

syringe even LOL

Sammy1979 Sun 07-Aug-11 16:44:25

Hi Strawberry17 thanks for replying to me. I have ordered the book you suggested on Amazon. I also found the blog link further up the thread and have only read a little bit so far as been reading through this thread (quite long as started in 2005!). So were you on Citalopram before Prozac (apologies for not reading further back in your blog to find this out)? Thanks

Sammy1979 Sun 07-Aug-11 16:49:13

ps it's disappointing that the GP told me I could just stop taking the tablets from taking 10 mg a day as this is the smallest dose they do as I thought he was a good doctor but he obviously does not know what he is talking about!

strawberry17 Sun 07-Aug-11 17:49:52

No I thought my doctors were good, I found out the hard way that they really don't have a clue that people need to taper off antidepressants much slower. I have in the past been on citalopram and Lustral and switched to liquid prozac to make it easier to taper off slowly.
Don't get me wrong, it can work for some people, some people have no problem coming off antidepressants, but an awful lot do have problems because it's way too fast.

I have been gradually cutting down my dose of citalopram - having been on 40mg a day for well over 4 years now. I have finally got down to 10mg a day and am contemplating cutting it out altogether, and this thread has been an eye opener for me.

Very early on in the thread marthamoo posted a link to a site which gave two lists of possible withdrawal symptoms for SSRIs - and I was shocked to see how many of them I have had, especially recently since I went down to 10mg. But I suppose it is good news as it means these symptoms will not last forever, right?

Might it be a good idea for me to go down to 10mg every other day - rather than just cutting out the tablets altogether?

strawberry17 Sun 07-Aug-11 18:45:54

The alternate day thing is terrible, confusing for the brain, if anything you'd be better cutting down to 7.5 mg or 5mg a day and staying there for a few weeks. If you have lots of withdrawal symptoms though it's best to stay where you are at 10mg a lot lot longer until you feel well enough to make another drop.

OK - that is good advice - thankyou strawberry.

Sammy1979 Mon 08-Aug-11 22:08:30

I have been taking 5 mg a day (breaking 10 mg tablet in half) since Saturday and the withdrawal symptoms have stopped. I guess I will keep taking 5 mg for a while

strawberry17 Tue 09-Aug-11 07:45:19

Hi Sammy yes absolutely think you should stay at 5mg for a few weeks before you do anything further, honestly the slower you go the much safer you will be.

strawberry17 Tue 09-Aug-11 07:46:21

Have you got a proper pill cutter from the chemist so you get an accurate break of the tablet? think you can get them for only a £2 or so.

A pill cutter is a good idea - I didn't realise you could get them.

strawberry17 Tue 09-Aug-11 11:59:04

Any chemist shoould sell them.

Sammy1979 Tue 09-Aug-11 19:25:52

I'll try and get a pill cutter - I've been using a knife - not accurate!

Thanks you guys, how are you doing?

strawberry17 Tue 09-Aug-11 19:33:52

Well I am now down to 1.5mls of liquid prozac and still doing ok (from a starting dose of 5mls and taken since 2008 to get this far).

Sammy1979 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:28:27

That's good you have got so far! The book you suggested has arrived. I am just looking at it.

strawberry17 Wed 10-Aug-11 21:49:19

Yes that book really got me started on my long slow taper after years of trying and failing to come off antidepressants, the principle in the book is the correct one for coming off, but, it still went too fast in the book for me, but then we are all different.

ad58 Wed 05-Oct-11 06:49:28

i was put on cits for 18 months after having a nervous breakdown,came off them to quickly,had rebound effect and was put back on the 7 weeks ago,was also taking nitrazepam sleeping tablets,came off them to quickly,having horrendous withdrawal but was told it is anxiety,now on zopiclone to make me sleep but it doesn't work,still waking up in early hours after about 3 hours sleep.

oldbean Fri 14-Oct-11 14:36:15

I stopped taking citalopram (10mg) about ten days ago and I feel terrible. I have lost my appetite, my heart is racing and my emotions are all over the place. I stopped taking them because they were causing insomnia and vivid dreams and various other unpleasant side effects. I realise I should have reduced them slowly but I really don't want to start taking them again, even at a lower dose. Am I going to feel better soon or should I prepare to feel terrible for a bit longer?

strawberry17 Fri 14-Oct-11 19:11:10

You MIGHT get away with it Oldbean, but I think really your best bet would be to start taking it again and come off far more slowly, definately sounds like you are suffering withdrawals.

mumofgorgeous Mon 23-Jan-12 08:23:19

Hi everyone I have just joined so that I can talk to you guys about this!! After some advice please. Been taking prozac for two and half years ( basically since my son was born) but I want to stop taking them - mainly so that we can try for another baby. Was not feeling depressed at all and have a lovely life so thought I would be fine. Went to doc who said to just stop as p has a long half life - he said 5 weeks - but sine read online that more like 8 hours!!!Was fine for the first week then started getting dizzy, achy, feeling sick etc. After 2 weeks starting to get really grumpy and irritable and know after 4 weeks really tearful too. My husband has been brilliant despite me verbally attacking him all the time but feel awful today and wondering if normal to still be getting withdrawal after 4 weeks or if the depression is coming back. Dont want to go to docs as will just tell me to start taking again!! Sorry for long, moany message but lot going round in my head!!!!

Max1Mummy Wed 01-Feb-12 18:42:30

Wow! I have never sent a message on one of these boards before but feel compelled to. I have been on 20mg citalopram for about a year now (was quickly upped from 10mg). Have one tablet left and was thinking of dropping to 10mg in an attempt to get closer to coming off them as not suffering with symptoms of depression and found mindfulness techniques helped me when I was having CBT treatment and hope to rely more on what I learnt in CBT in the future and not on the tablets. I have just ordered the book mentioned from the library and will be getting a pill cutter (didn't know they existed!) and definitely taking things slowly. Withdrawal sounds horrible but I think most of us would agree that we went on them for all the right reasons and without them we couldn't have functioned at the time. Will be waiting for sunnier weather to get through the 4-6 week withdrawal time. Thanks so much for sharing your stories. I feel so much more prepared as I doubt the GP will be give me all this info tomorrow!

Tmoj Fri 27-Apr-12 17:18:36

Hi, I've been on citalopram for about three years and I decided that I wanted to stop. For the past month I've been missing out pills and trying to lower the dosage but as I got to the end of the prescription I decided to just go cold turkey and stop. It's been so reassuring to read everyone's posts on here I thought I was going mad. I've been sat watching the tv and wanting to just cry. While in a lecture today I started crying and have now given everyone the impression I'm really upset about a topic that normally wouldn't phase me!

Ive got a doctors appointment next wk to discuss it and after today I'm not sure that I can cope without them, my headache has just gone but I feel so spaced out and a little embarrassed after my public outburst of tears.

Least after reading on here I now no I not the only one!


lindyloo28 Tue 01-May-12 14:09:59

Hi all, this page has been so much help for me whilst i have been reading it, it's taken 3 days, haha, it has been helping me to deal with my withdrawal to know so many people are in the same boat. I was on 20mg for just over a year, my dr told me i had post natal depression but to be honest i think it was more to do with the fact that while i was pregnant, my mother in law died cancer at the ripe old age of 52, followed closely by mydad 5 mnths later who died of a brain hemorage at 50 yrs old. I wasnt allowed to see his body as he had collapsed by a radiator and it had burnt the flesh off his face, i already lost my mum during my first pregnancy to cancer and she was only 49, i was 17. My nan became my mum and she passed away during my 2 nd pregnancy, so to then lose 2 more people during my 3 rd pregnancy made me feel so incredibly guilty to the point i will never have another baby just incase life sees fit to take away someone else from me. Sorry to give my life story but surely anyone would feel depressed after tgis, i felt blessed to have my beautiful daughter so it was not pnd. Anyway back to withdrawal symptoms, i went from 20mg to 10mg but only stayed at this dose for 1 week before coming off completely, i've had nausea, headaches, dizziness, yesterday my face felt as tho it was on fire but i was covered in goosepimples, i am trting to stop my cravings for sweet things by snacking on fruit and veg sticks, raisins have become my new best friend, i also started taking omega 3 wgich has reduced my headaches dramatically today. I'm only on day 6 of withdrawal and feeling much better then yday, so i'll take each day as it comes and try to live life to the max with a clear head as its so short, my parents are proof of that, to lose them at 49 and 50 was a shock but i'm determined to lead a healthy life so ican be around longer for my girls, i miss them everyday but my little ones keep me smiling. I apologise for the bad spelling i wrote this on my phone and couldnt see what i was writing. I'm not completely illiterate.

hypermum1 Fri 18-May-12 11:34:30

Hi Lindyloo28. Wow, you have had so much to deal with, I am not surprised you needed a little help! I was in a similar situation when I went on cit. Whilst I was pregnant with DS2 my mother was slowly descending in to vascular dementia. She got sectioned due to the illness when I was 6 months pregnant and then eventually put in a home and passed away. 6 months later, my husband was attacked and nearly killed suffering a huge head injury and having basically to learn to walk again. Awful time in my life and the citilopram really helped me to get through it but I never liked being on it and wanted to get off. The withdrawl was really hard, felt totally awful but did it slowly and had good support from my husband and have now been cit free for 1 year and 4 months! Hoorah! Looking back at my life then, it was a dark dark time. I have no idea how the hell I got through it all but I did, and so have you and you can totally do this and get off those horrible pills. The one good thing I think now is if I got through all that, I can do anything, and so can you. Good luck with it all, hang in there!

lindyloo28 Tue 29-May-12 09:42:37

Hi hypermum, thankyou for your reply, just one question how long did your withdrawal last for? I've now gone over a month and i am still getting headaches everyday altho the other symptoms have gone. i am under alot of stress at the moment tho and i'm just wondering if its that instead. Thats awful what happened to your husband, i hope they caught the person/people that did it. Is he ok now? I know its not on the same level but i'm felling very stressed waiting for some biopsy results to see if my husband(only 30yrs old) has skin cancer. It just seems to be one thing after another and i'm missing the way citilopram made me feel numb to it all. Although i can properly laugh again now ratger then just pretend, i enjoy things again like i used to, so it was definately the right decision to come off them. I would love to hear when you you think you were completely over the withdrawal effects though. Thanks.

hypermum1 Sat 02-Jun-12 07:23:40

Hello. They did catch the man who did it and he spent 2 years in prison. Although his family have been given a council house just yards from our house but thats another story! He is fine now, thankfully. I don't think his confidence will ever be the same and he has permanent tinitus but at least he is here with us! That must be really hard on you waiting for your husbands results. I hope he is Ok.
I am not really sure how long it took to totally feel "normal". I think I am a lot more aware of my feelings of low mood and stress now and I when I feel it coming on I try my hardest to stop it. I have taken up running. That seems to have really helped me. some days i absolutely hate it but I force myself to go and it makes the world of difference.
Congratulations on going over a month though. Keep going, keep being kind to yourself and congratulate yourself on each week you go without them. You will get there. x

Ganty Sun 10-Jun-12 11:57:24

Hi fellow sufferers. I've been on citalopram for 5 and a half years, cutting down from 40mg to 5mg over about 3 months. I took my last one just over a week ago and have all the nasty side effects previously mentioned; it feels to me like a cross between morning sickness and severe jetlag. I count myself lucky because I'm semi retired now and live alone, so I can manage my symptoms. i usually care for my elderly mum but she knows she may not see me for a few weeks till this has passed. I can't imagine how those of you with young families and jobs are coping and I feel angry that GPs don't seem aware of how bad you can feel when coming off these drugs. I am planning to go in and tell my GP so she can't say she didn't know. Right now, I just wish I knew how long long it would be before I feel better but is sounds as if everyone is different, so I am hunkering down to wait it out. I have to do this as the citalopram had made me feel so slowed down and as if I was living life in monochrome, without any real feelings. Good luck to you all in the same boat.

nicktlfc1892 Wed 05-Sep-12 19:08:18

Hi everyone. Firstly, I hope Im not treading on any toes on here as Im one of the 'bloke' species ! However. Im currently off work for a week with Citalopram withdrawal problems, and thought Id share my experience with it. Last June I suffered a full-blown panic attack, aged 40. Never had one before, and not had one since, but must say it was the most terrifying 15/20 mins of my life. I actually thought I was having a heart attack and was about to die ! This, in turn gave me a lovely disorder called 'panic anxiety', which Id never heard of until a few weeks later (just as I was getting my head round the panic attack), a very close friend Id known since 6yrs old, died suddenly of a heart attack even though he was in good shape. (Heart defect). I went to the Dr the day after he died as I couldnt sleep that night, and this whole 'panic' thing really took off. After telling my GP all about it, he put me on Diazepam and Citalopram. The Diazepam was to calm me down, 3x2mg daily, until I felt better. The Citalopram was only ever 10mg every day, for at least 6 months I was told. So. Approx 12 months later I decided I was ok (had been for a few months but wanted to be sure), went back to GP who told me to take one, every other day for 2weeks, then stop. I did exactly this even though I had a few 'moments'. 2 weeks later. Bang ! And here we are. Severe headaches that last only a short period then vanish, flu like symptoms, stomach cramps, nausea, head shocks, tremors, feeling weepy (a grown man !), tiredness. Im sure Ive missed one or two aswell. . For me it lasted about 4 days and at the min Im ok and back to work on Sun. Im convinced GPs should give you a lot longer to get off these things, I was on the min dosage and had withdrawal, so I can only guess what some folk are going through. Whats definately helped me is, doing some excersise and get those endorphins buzzing ! All I know is. If I ever have a funny turn again, Im going to try to cope without the Citalopram. I went to a hypnotist, which helped a lot and also had some counselling. Amazing what talking to a stranger can do ! Anyway chapettes, I hope in some way Ive made someone feel a bit better. Its definately difficult, but it will pass ! :-)

Alysha31 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:57:11

I would never go off antidepressants of any kind quick. SLOWLY go off them talk to a pharmacist they can find out about it. I am still after 8 days feeling dizzy and odd feelings. Dr's only good at giving you drugs they don't bother writing down symptoms they don't want to know I have found. If you get really sick going on a new one it's not the right one for you! they can trial you on a new one! you will get mild symtoms but if it's major then try another one! my dr did because I just couldn't look after the kids with so many symptoms with the new drug. I went through 3 kinds to find one that didn't make me feel really sick like someone said above. There is also 5HTP serotonin pills that are natural which are helping me come off my symptoms of withdrawal of 8 days now (I am not taking any antidepressents anymore you can't take natural stuff untill 3 days off antidepressents. I was on antidepressent for 8 months. Also magnesium is good. These all can be taken instead of antidepresnt BUT depending how depressed you are! My advice would be go to see or phone a health shop person explain how depressed you feel or anxiety etc then decide if prescription is the best for you. There is choices natural and other wise. I went on antidepressents because I didn't know anything else that could help me. I was very depressed I never regret going on them as they were a life saver at the time, found it very hard looking after my kids and hating life didn't want to leave the house etc etc. Just it's always good to get the full facts so you can be prepared. Try get some good support from family friends as talking is a huge help with mental illness. All the best x

MorrisZapp Mon 08-Oct-12 12:11:26

I'm weaning down off sertraline and I'm doing it very, very slowly. GP is fab, she wants me to go as slowly as I like, and have no fixed end point. In my mind though, I want to be down from 100 to 50mg by Christmas, then off them entirely by next summer.

What breaks my heart and makes me furious is when I read on AD forums about Americans having to go off ADs suddenly due to not being able to afford the script any more.

Look, we get our meds very cheaply here (free to me, I'm Scottish!) and there is no gain whatsoever to rushing it. Do it over months, not days or weeks.

Good luck all weaners, we're all going through it together.

redslk Tue 09-Oct-12 17:20:26

Hi everyone
I have just found this forum and have found this thread incredibly interesting.
I wonder if I can ask for some desperate advice please?
I have been slowing tapering from 40mg citalopram, 5mg at a time. I am currently at 20mg and have been for 6 days but am struggling incredibly with withdrawal systems: brain and limb zaps and spasms, dizziness, sloshing feeling, head spinning, keep falling over or stumbling.... It is horrible and I feel drunk and woozy - not good when I work with small children!
So do I continue on 20mg and try to work through these feelings and symptoms??
Or go back up to 25mg to re-stabilise? I am reluctant to do this but I need to get back to work as have had to be off for 2 days so far sad
Please, any advice greatly welcomed xx

Enola9 Mon 22-Oct-12 12:42:26

I have just found this thread and it's been really helpful to read.

redslk I really can't advise you and I suggets discussing it all with your GP.

I have been on 20 mg Citalopram for nearly three years for treatment of major anxiety/depression. The drug saved my life - no doubt about it, however am keen to get off it now as am feeling alot stronger. My GP suggested going alternate dyas 20mg/10mg which I've now been doing for a couple of weeks. I have been getting alot of palpitations which am prone to anyway, so am guessing this is due to the wthdrawal and also lots of tingling everywhere especially my legs and feet! My GP suggested this was due to the Citalopram and it would go away. For the last couple of days I have noticed my energy levels have significantly risen, and also that I am feeling alot more like my 'old' self. The person I was before seems to be coming back, libido much increased (man delighted!!), I laugh more and cry more - when on the drug I was almost emotionless - weird..... Anyway unless the side effects of withdrawal are so severe its making life hell my advise is come off them very slowly and stick with it - am trying to ignore the heart flutters as am sure they'll disappear eventually. I agree with many of you too that keeping your brain full of other thoughts and not allowing it to wander back to wondering how you are also works wonders. x

Hobbiton79 Tue 19-Mar-13 04:58:28

So glad I've found this site, I have been on SSR's for 17 years but put on citalopram 14 months ago, I've just come off them having very vivid dreams that stay with me all day, chronic acid reflux and weird brain jerk feelings, along with dizziness.
I'm tempted to go back on but after reading the posts, now know this is nothing unusual and will try and stay off them. Wishing all those in my situation the very best, lets hope we succeed. This drug was good whilst on it for me but the withdrawal phase is Evil.

crazypanda123 Sun 09-Jun-13 15:53:22

Hubby just stopped taking 20mg citalopram- cold turkey!! He is already spinning into angry outbursts, cross about anything from a left on light to a candle that he don't like the smell of, just wondering when the violence and destruction will re-appear. Can't make him take them and he does not know how unusual his behaviour is, thinks he is totally reasonable. Refusing to talk, refusing any food I offer, just grabbing crisps and loaf, I can cope but I worry about the effects on my 18 yr old son, just doing his a2 A levels, hubby thinks he a lazy blood sucker!! You can't help me but it helps to vent y'know smile

lhchat123 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:29:18

can not believe how long this conversation has been going on! I have recently gone from 20mg down to 10mg and in the past week stopped all together! since then I have experienced extreme dizziness server head ache, very short tempered.. crying all the time. its been awful.. and now after a week im having panic attacks and feel very nearvy!!! I did feel really vad before I started on them but if I ever get to the place again.. not sure if citalopram is the way I'll go???

Just found this & wanted to add my experiences with citalopram.
I was prescribed it at the beginning of the year for depression, weeks on 10 mgs then up to 20 mgs.It made a massive improvement to my life,but ruined my sex life!!!I really struggled with the fact that it affected my ability to orgasm.So I dropped it down to 10 mgs about a month ago,then10 mgs every other day & gradually stopped ,but the week after,I started to suffer from anxiety(which I had not done before),got all panicky & upset because of this & started to take 10 mgs every day again.
But after finding this and reading the link someone posted early on in the convo.I'm pretty convinced it was withdrawal symptoms.
So what do I do now,been back on 10 mgs a day for a week,not sure if I should drop down to 5 mgs or stop altogether & ride out the withdrawals??

Hope everyone else is coping ok smile

lhchat123 Tue 10-Sep-13 18:29:44

the withdrawal is terrible. . I have suffered with panic attacks and anxiety ib the past and find tge feeling of not being able to breath and the feeling of anxiety unbearable! I only started them to treat depression when looking back it has helped me. I have also thought about starting to take them again to stop the withdrawal but I've gone a week now so I'm going to see it out. the reason I started on them I'm coping with now so I refuse to take them for a reason they are causing (if that makes sense) id say if you feel strong enough to come off them then do so but very gradually. I went from 20 to 10 for a month tgen stopped. in hindsight I would have took 5mg then 5mg every other day. I nearly just walked out of work today... felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown! !! I also think that the doctors under estimated the side effects and withdrawal symptoms it has on people. when I rang to report my problems he said the very small minority will have slight withdrawal.. I don't think that is a true statement. I will be very reluctant to use citalopram again... although I did feel like killing myself so I suppose it out ways the risk of possible symptoms. I think the facts should be know though. getting through this now is . a whole different ball game. ???? x

subrosa13 Mon 16-Dec-13 00:44:55

Hi everyone. I felt compelled to post here as although I am not a parent (in the future I'd like to foster maybe so will keep my account!) , I am going through citalopram withdrawal and like many of you discovering just how challenging it is. I have been slowly tapering off for the past three months or so, from 20mg to 10mg daily for a few weeks, then half a 10mg tablet every day, then every two days. When I first began to withdraw I began to feel symptoms of depression and anxiety again which was alarming, but it passed within a few days. My GP had told me it could happen but of course when it does you're still not prepared for it, especially after you've been feeling much more stable! I haven't gotten many more bad episodes of that but I have been going through the head shocks and spaced out feeling many of you mention (making sudden head movements seems to exacerbate it). I also had a couple of feelings of dissociation which were very strange experiences! I have been taking one half tablet whenever I begin to feel the head shocks return, which now is about every four - five days but is lessening as time goes on. For me this has taken a good two weeks so persevere with it, it will pass. Now I think in place of head buzzes I am feeling more nauseated and can't sleep - when I was on Citalopram I felt constantly shattered! So I am not psyching myself up for this next 'stage' of withdrawal. My libido vanished when I began on the meds and still isnt great. to be honest that part has upset me, which sounds silly/selfish I know but I'm just not used to it - I had a very decent sex drive before but now I'd rather read a good book than have a good, er, time sad I also put on a few pounds which i never do - ive always been skinny so it was a bit of a shock (but a good one in a way as i was a little underweight! swings and roundabouts). The good things are I feel less fatigued now and when I think back to my mental state, well it is helping me realise how much better I feel within myself now.

I hope the above reassures people that these things although unpleasant are temporary. Of course everyone is going to be different and if the side effects are very intense then it's not worth powering through if something can be done to alleviate the symptoms.

Anyway, lastly I thought I'd share a couple of things I did to ease the symptoms. It may just be a psychological effect but hey if you believe it'll work, it most likely will smile Firstly for the head shocks I used to keep a sugary drink nearby, usually lucozade, or a sugary tea (half black and half green is good). it seemed to help minimise the dizziness a little and perked me up, as sugar does! grin For the insomnia I've been taking a herbal tea that contains Valerian root and a few other things, can't remember the name of it now but it's available in Holland and Barratt. I have also been taking multi vitamins daily just to boost my immune system. There's a fab vitamin tea (also at H&B - I don't work there I swear LOL). I've also been having a few ginger containing foods ('real' ginger biscuits and ginger ale, home made stir fry with plenty of green veg and...yes ginger, plus lemon and ginger tea) which seem to help with the nausea, and antacids when my tummy just feels a bit wooshy.

I hope the above helps someone out, whether it be associating their experience with mine or some assurance that everything will be okay in the end. Thanks to everyone else for posting as it has made me more determined than ever to get over this final hurdle. Every time I feel I have to take a half tab I get a bit dejected but I know that one day soon it will be my last and I wish everyone the best for getting better smile smile

Treacleq Sun 16-Feb-14 10:44:23

Hi all,

This thread has been great, knowing that these symptoms are common makes life a lot easier.

I just wanted to share my experience as I'm coming off them at the moment.

I have been on 20mg Citalopram for around three years, it was a very positive experience for me, I was prescribed it for anxiety and depression. I had lots of therapy and CBT during the first year and have continued to practise CBT and mindfulness ever since. Last year I felt really good and really felt ready to come of the drugs!

After discussing with my doctor, and other professionals I have as friends I decided to wean off slowly (I had experienced really bad withdrawal symptoms every time I forgot a pill or my prescription ran out - dizziness and nausea being the worst) so was not looking forward to it! I am totally looking forward to loosing some weight though - two stone on since I started taking them!

The aim was to come off by no more that 10mg a week, so in the first week I broke one pill in half, the second week did this on two days etcetera etcetera. This was going great until the last week when I've taken the last pills. It's horrible and despite doing everything the right way it seems you still experience the symptoms at the end!

From others' experiences on here it seems that it's just tough, three weeks of this no matter how you do it! I am determined to get off these so will just have to deal with I guess! I shall keep you updated over the next few weeks...

graciegrace8 Fri 23-May-14 23:38:08

Please help. I have been sick for a year and a half and I need to find the problem.

I had a kidney infection and kidney stones last March, and then illnesses and various side effects that have led to a poorly last year and a half. Thinking this infection was the root, I tried elimination diets for the last 6 months, which haven't helped much, and so then I had a colonoscopy and gastroscopy on Monday that I thought would surely find the cure, but tests came back clear. I was feeling totally baffled and devastated to have still not found the answer to my problems.

I was thinking tonight that perhaps it is something I am putting into my body on a daily basis that has slowly poisoned me. This can't be something from my diet, as I have tried cutting out everything (wheat, dairy, sugar, gluten, you name it). So, these two things are Nexplanon, there all the time, or Citalopram, which I take every night.

I am exhausted all the time, I have acne for the first time in my life, I get dry skin and dry hair. My moods are low, I have no sex drive. My immume system is shot, I get colds and viruses once a month. The only thing that hasn't been affected is my weight- if anything, I've lost weight, not gained it. I have trouble concentrating at work, and terrible memory. And my periods over the last 5 months have followed the pattern of: on for one week, off for one week, on for one week, or more recently, one for two weeks, off for a few days, on again for another 4 or 5 days, off for three weeks or so.

(I also get constipation, diarrhoea, and stomach pains, but I suspect this is something to do with IBS, my diet, etc, and possibly not related to these medications, though maybe it is)

I'm trying to now figure out if the problem is my Nexplanon or my Citalopram. I don't want to have to come off either unnecessarily; my Nexplanon protects me and I've tried coming off Citalopram before, to disastrous side effects.

So, if anyone is reading these symptoms and feels theirs match quite specifically, please let me know.

(Also, have any of you been fine on the Nexplanon/Citalopram for the first few months (it was about 8 months for me on the Nexplanon before this all started.)

Thank you thank you thank you.

missrst Sun 01-Jun-14 21:14:38

have been on citalopram for just over 2 years. took a while for my depression to easw but i do believe the pills have helped. i now want to come of mt 30m dose but am not feeling great. is this a good time? am wondering if my system is too used to the drug? worried Gp will want to up my dose. i really want to come of these

cchel89 Tue 08-Jul-14 22:35:06

Hey All:
I decided to stop taking Citalopram (ran out and went to a clinic that is still going through the process of being able to prescribe certain "controlled substances"). I had been taking it since high school (about 7-8 years), and my progression was Lexapro to Celexa to generic Citalopram. All of theses i believe are SSRIs. I actually use this medication to prevent myself from getting migraines and I originally started with 40mg but cut it down to 20mg and have been on this dose for probably 5 of the 7/8 years. My new clinican thought I would be fine switching from Citalopram to a different preventative med, Amitriptyline (used for depression and migraines). I don't have depression although I did have anxiety/stress issues in high school. Anyway, I ran out of Citalopram before I could try to wean myself off but figured I would be ok switching.

In the past, if I forgot a pill for a day or maybe ran out for a few days, I would feel dizzy, lightheaded and general ickiness if I moved around too much. Well, after stopping Citalopram for not even a week (and starting the Amitriptyline), I have the same symptoms. Dizzy, lightheaded, some nausea, etc. Also, I was reading that these drugs can interact to cause heart issues??? I have felt heaviness in my chest and some fluttering, but I'm not sure if that's an interaction or just my body craving the Citalopram? I know SSRIs as well as other drugs can stay in your system for a while before you're free of their effects. Since I have been taking Citalopram for so long, I'm guessing it may take a while. It's a little scary to drive at times because of the dizziness but I want to stick with being off and see if my migraines even come back. I have been on Citalopram so long that I don't even know if I get migraines anymore like I used to?

graciegrace8: I never had any bad symptoms while taking Citalopram, although I started at 16 years old and I'm almost 25 now. I never noticed any IBS or weight issues, infections, etc. Everyone reacts differently though. I am also on birth control (Junel) and haven't noticed any real side effects with that either (maybe libido but weight gain is only if I eat crappy food, high calories). Citalopram is certainly a bad one to stop "cold turkey" as I'm finding out!

It seems like most people here have had similar problems coming off Citalopram, and I wish I had just weaned off of it. Yet, it seems even with reducing the dose, people have issues :/

gnat99 Mon 14-Jul-14 17:14:01

Hiya all, I've just read this entire thread, as I'm about to start coming off Citalopram after 6 years on 20mg (brief period on 40mg in the middle). Am aiming for very gradual withdrawal - GP advised alternating 20/10 for a week or so and then alternate days etc, he thought I could do it in a month-ish. However, having read all the horror stories online, but also seen some good advice, I have decided on the following option: I have bought a pill cutter and am going to try 17.25 for 3-4 weeks, then 15mg for 3-4 weeks, etc - this can be sped up or slowed down according to how I react to the change each time.

I have noticed three important facts in my research. From memory, here they are:

1) The effects are different for everyone, some people have awful withdrawal symptoms while others have none

2) it takes at least 3 weeks for the full effect of each level of withdrawal to kick in, so it's important to wait that long (for the very first decrease at least!) to properly assess how your system reacts

3) [and this seems hugely relevant to many of the posts I've read here] your body reacts most sensitively to any change in dosage between 10mg and 0mg. Maybe that's why people have such trouble weaning themselves fully off right at the end. Just when you think it should be getting easier, it gets much harder. So the advice I read was to take it extra, extra slowly right at the end, rather than rushing to stop completely.

There are some of the webpages I found helpful:

Good luck to everyone attempting this - including myself! Will try and remember to update as I progress.

gnat99 Mon 14-Jul-14 17:16:54

ps - I should add that I'm only trying to come off Cit as I want to try for a baby and thought it best to be pill-free. Otherwise I would be much less brave. I do have a slightly reduced libido but no other problems like weight gain or anything, so there wasn't much incentive to stop taking it until now!

dcbe17 Thu 24-Jul-14 12:36:51

Been on 20 mg Citalopram for 2 years. A friend died suddenly at work while we were all going through redundancy and I had panic attack a few days after his funeral. The pills were great. I got on with work again stopped crying and shouting at kids and husband and was going to come off them when another friend at work suddenly died, again as we were going through major restructure at work. It just was not the right time.
I have put on weight because I had litle energy and slept loads.The worst thing I felt about them was over two years I have lost my creativity and imagination and even worse was I couldn't orgasm for a year too.I reduced them slowly over a month or 6 weeks and noticed no change until two weeks of being without them and the dizzyness has kicked in. Feels like one of those spacey hangovers without the headache. Doctor told me withdrawal symptoms could get worse. Got two weeks to get clear before our family holiday. Hope it isn't any longer???

dcbe17 Thu 24-Jul-14 12:37:17

Been on 20 mg Citalopram for 2 years. A friend died suddenly at work while we were all going through redundancy and I had panic attack a few days after his funeral. The pills were great. I got on with work again stopped crying and shouting at kids and husband and was going to come off them when another friend at work suddenly died, again as we were going through major restructure at work. It just was not the right time.
I have put on weight because I had litle energy and slept loads.The worst thing I felt about them was over two years I have lost my creativity and imagination and even worse was I couldn't orgasm for a year too.I reduced them slowly over a month or 6 weeks and noticed no change until two weeks of being without them and the dizzyness has kicked in. Feels like one of those spacey hangovers without the headache. Doctor told me withdrawal symptoms could get worse. Got two weeks to get clear before our family holiday. Hope it isn't any longer???

Liz500 Mon 29-Sep-14 19:46:46

I was on citalopram for 8 months and came off it by halving the tablets (10 mg) for about 2 weeks. It took another 2 weeks for the symptoms to subside. Recently, I’ve been taking a medication for a physical complaint and it stopped working – this was obviously a concern until I realised that I hadn’t actually been taking it: I’d been taking Citalopram twice a day instead (this is because of stupidity, similar packaging, and an inability to return meds to Boots). So I’m now coming off it again; headaches and nausea.

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