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Can I go straight from one anti-depressant to another? Will it stop withdrawal symptoms or make things worse??

(5 Posts)
Athyrium Mon 08-Dec-14 13:37:03

Brain fog - posted this in chat by accident - try again:
I have been slowly coming off citalopram for weeks now. I have reduced from 40mg a day to 5mg fairly painlessly, so a few days ago decided to go every other day. Unfortunately the withdrawal effects have now kicked in sad My GP has suggested I just stop the citalopram and go straight into what will be my new meds (going onto a heavier duty AD.) Is this a really bad idea? Will the new one (duloxetine) help reduce the withdrawal from the other? Or will I just add a new set of side effects to the mix. I don't know what to do!

NanaNina Mon 08-Dec-14 14:35:43

I was once told by a psychotherapist with an expertise in weaning off prescription drugs never to do the alternate day thing as it really messes your system up. I went through a meds change this summer and stupidly followed the psych's instructions about alternate days and I have to go back to a higher dose, and taper much more slowly. The thing is I don't think GPs (or psychiatrists) for that matter know a great deal about how these ADs might work, as they react differently on people and it's all "trial and error" really - bit like a lucky dip!

I don't think anyone can answer your question because the only way we know if an AD is beneficial is by trying it...........was the citalopram not helping? I'm on Sertraline but I'm still up and down, which is I think the nature of the beast isn't it.

Think you just need to start the new meds and don't forget you might feel worse at the beginning especially if you are starting on a low dose, and as I'm sure you know, it can take anything up to 4 weeks to know if the meds are going to be of benefit.

It's a real bugger isn't it - they know so little about the brain and it's the most important organ in the body, but also the most complex of course.

foreverdepressed Mon 08-Dec-14 16:39:12

in my experience swapping from one med to another is easier than stopping one completely for weeks and then restarting another.

Duloxetine is quite heavy duty, depending on the dose. Brace yourself for a rough week or so.

NanaNina Mon 08-Dec-14 19:32:51

I think what I was meaning was that usually the one is slowly decreased as the new one is added, until you are finally off the one and on to the new one. This is what happened with me. I didn't know some ADs were "heavy duty" - is Duloxetine Prozac?

Athyrium Tue 09-Dec-14 09:58:46

Thanks both, decided yesterday pm to drop the citalopram and go straight onto the new one. Feel pretty spacey today but the withdrawal symptoms on the whole seem ok. Pleasantly surprised so far smile

Nana - I'm fairly sure duloxetine isn't prozac. My doc said that citalopram is considered a relatively 'light touch' anti-depressant, plus it seemed to have stopped working in me (been on it years) so suggested I try what she called a heavier duty one. I don't really know on what basis some are considered 'lighter' than others I'm afraid. After last winters depression though I'm just happy to be on something the doctor hopes will see me through this one! Fingers crossed!

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