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Citalopram Withdrawal

(16 Posts)
zofranks Mon 01-Aug-16 08:34:33

Hope someone can help. After the birth of my daughter in 2012 I was prescribed sertraline for PND, I was on these for quite a while and pretty much didn't think they were helping (I also was in dispute as to whether or not I actually had PND as I also have zero vit D and this can cause the same symptoms). Anyway last year after a particularly traumatic family issue they changed me over to citalopram 20mg I had real issues with side effects but battled through BUT since I have been on it I have been grinding my teeth to the point of one breaking, piled (and I mean piled) weight on, I have zero energy, very very restless sleep - a good night is to be awake just twice, been hospitalized for colitis (newly diagnosed, doc told me it could be because of the citalopram), I feel detached, live in a fog basically, every day is an effort to get through, I am permanently exhausted - and sick of hearing myself tell people I am exhausted - so last week I took the choice and just stopped taking them. I have a had a few bad days, tearful, feeling like I am apart from the world but the worst is the damn dizziness. Should I have just stopped them? Every time I try to talk to my gp about stopping them they always advise that I shouldn't but I cannot carry on like this anymore, I am desperate to lose weight, I have never, ever been this size before and I am disgusted in myself.

So after all that I guess my question is has anyone else been through this & coped with coming off them cold turkey? How long did it last? Did anyone have side effects on them like I have had?

Any experiences would be good please

headinhands Mon 01-Aug-16 08:40:01

Hi op. If you tell them you're adamant you want to come off they will draw up a tapering withdrawal if you're in 20mg a day of would be something like alternating days of 20mg with 10mg. Then the next week just 10 every day. Then the next week 10 every other day and so on. I've done tapered withdrawal and the only side effect was odd brain shakes a few times a day. Think I did try cold turkey once and like you I found unpleasant. Hth.

AuntyElle Mon 01-Aug-16 13:05:03

You do need to withdraw gradually. The pp's suggestion is much more rapid than I've seen suggested.
This is helpful www.amazon.co.uk/Antidepressant-Solution-Step---Step-Overcoming/dp/074326973X/ref=la_B001JSAJVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470052887&sr=1-1
And you can read first pages for free on that site.

AuntyElle Mon 01-Aug-16 13:08:56

Reducing by 10% every month is often suggested


FaithAscending Mon 01-Aug-16 20:39:54

Do not go cold turkey! Even withdrawing slowly can leave you feeling a bit ropey. Definitely see your GP about stopping.

Bottomchops Mon 01-Aug-16 20:59:54

Omg come off them! Get your life back! I was like you; I could barely function on them, but I only managed about 4 months. I could hardly even drive I was so fogged and zombified. Do it as slowly as you can. Do a month or 2 at 10mg, then another month alternating days for example. I didn't seek gp advice but googled and did it slowly. It was fine for me. I've got 3000 vital d spray and feel ok, but mine might have been SAD. Good luck.

Bottomchops Mon 01-Aug-16 21:13:48

Meant to say that you might yhink you're doing OK but after a few weeks you will probably crash and burn doing cold turkey. I would get on 10mg now.

Rockingaround Mon 01-Aug-16 21:21:07

Oh OP it sounds awful, I'm on 40mg and have been for over 10 years, I sometimes wonder if I "need" to be on that amount and what life would be like if it was less. If I miss one tablet I get mild brain shakes, if I go two days - like when I haven't filled my prescription in time - I get full on electric shock head bursts; feel full of dread and short tempered, feelings of desperation and extremely low mood. You can do it yourself, although I would recommend speaking to your GP. You can cut your tablets into quarters and reduce your dosage by 5mg per fortnight although as I've said, speak to your GP, request ro see a different one if you don't get anywhere. flowers flowers

Arcadia Mon 01-Aug-16 21:51:47

I came off very very gradually (over months) using a pill cutter. The main reason I wouldn't go back on them (I was good in them) is the massive amount of time and hassle coming off them, really hard to withdraw from.

zofranks Tue 02-Aug-16 08:30:17

thanks everyone, I am actually seeing my GP this morning and will ask about a slow withdrawal - had I known the effects would be like this I would never have started on them

FruitCider Tue 02-Aug-16 08:38:21

Oh god OP. I took citalopram for years and found it impossible to come off. I don't want to frighten you but I really think you should restart it and come up with a plan to taper off Very Slowly. Like reduce by 5mg every 6 weeks slowly. I tapered off slowly and still ended up with protracted discontinuation syndrome for 4 months. Head zaps are THE WORST. Please seek medical advice!

FaithAscending Tue 02-Aug-16 08:45:43

If you're going to your doctor, ask about getting the drops (liquid version) of citalopram as its much easier to raise down using that, more accurate than the tablets when reducing.

Spiderwithoneeye Tue 02-Aug-16 08:53:43

Currently coming off low dose citalopram (10mg), but after 10 years of taking them. Hadn't planned to come off, but forgot to take them with me on holiday. Felt horrendous for first week and a half, but think I'm improving now- only experiencing dizziness and brain zaps towards the end of the day. Still have horrendously tired, negative days occasionally, but am finding it useful to put that down to withdrawal symptoms and not the anxiety/depression coming back. It's helping to let nearest and dearest know and taking rest whenever I can. Also undergoing cbt which is a huge support.

MolliesMum555 Wed 03-Aug-16 08:57:16

I have been on a low dose of citrolapram 10mg for 18 months, but have slowly come of it over the past 3 months. Feeling ok, but wondered if there is anything people take non prescription to help with anxiety... HTP 5 , does anyone take this...Bachs rescue remedy!? Any recommendations,please.

headinhands Wed 03-Aug-16 10:20:22

Can I just add some positives. When I came of and even coming off it was wonderful to feel everything so deeply. Music had me in tears, as did adverts and films. Sex was better too if you get my drift wink

Absolutelynothingelse Wed 03-Aug-16 16:21:15

I tried to come off them first by reducing to 10mg a day which didn't work at all, and then by trying 20mg on alternate days. Do not go cold turkey.
I have gone back to 20mg a day and so long as my sleeping pattern is fine then I'm ok on this amount again.
I thought initially I was zombified from the citalopram and it transpired I was just exhausted from working full time etc.

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