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How did you feel when you came off Citalopram

(22 Posts)
Cleanitlikebanksysmaid Wed 22-Jul-09 09:40:50

I've halved my dose for the last 10 days from 20mg (been on for 18months) to 10mg. I'm feeling like I did before I took anything at all, like I'm ready to scream because everything is irritating me so, so much. At night I've been waking up and heart starts beating really fast and I start panicking slightly. These are feelings I had before I started the medication at all. Should I just go back to the 20mg? Am I ready to come off them, will I ever be ready to come off them? Is this just normal feelings when you come off?

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 22-Jul-09 09:54:33

Cleanit - I have just posted on another thread that I have had to start taking Citalopram again.

I really identify with your symptoms, I have experienced the same when cutting down. Have you discussed coming off with your GP, or decided on your own? Its hard to tell what is 'you' and what is the drugs, isn't it?

I'd been well and truly off the Cita. but became depressed and anxious again. Hate having to take them at all, but am coming round to the idea that they make up a chemical deficiency in my body, as I don't function without them.

So, I am sure you will be able to come off in time, but would chat with your doc.

Cleanitlikebanksysmaid Wed 22-Jul-09 10:03:58

thanks lightshines, I think I might have to go back on the full dosage like you say maybe I've just got a chemical deficiency and need them. I haven't discussed with my doctor yet as I think they are really busy up there with the swine flu thing I didn't want to bother her and thought I could just do it on my own. but maybe a chat with her might be in order, just thought I'd se if anyone out there could identify with voila! thanks Lightshines, good to know I'm not the only one.wink

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 22-Jul-09 10:40:13

You are definitely not the only one.
And I expect your GP would like a bit of light relief from Swine Flu - she is the best person to ask for advice.
Are you getting any other help - CBT, counselling etc?

Cleanitlikebanksysmaid Wed 22-Jul-09 11:07:33

nope....just the pills, does the other stuff work?

LightShinesInTheDarkness Wed 22-Jul-09 11:19:04

Mmmm - I am not sure, to be honest.
Have only really had counselling but not CBT, and still seem to find myself back in the same position.
I am sure it does for some people, but I don't think I have had the best help available. When I am depressed, I'm not in the best state of mind for discussing my options with the GP! Funny that hmm

FlorenceDaphne Wed 22-Jul-09 11:20:25

My GP told me to stop taking them over a week (I had been on them for three years!)

It was agony. I was throwing up, I felt sick and giddy all the time. Eventually I phoned the pharamcist and they said to do it ever so gradually.

If that's anything what coming off heroin is like, I'm never taking drugs.

Cleanitlikebanksysmaid Wed 22-Jul-09 11:28:02

eeeek! I do feel a bit giddy tbh

Cowwomanmoo Fri 24-Jul-09 01:56:13

You feel as shit as as you felt going up on them, on the comedown.
I’m going straight back on as soon as I’m not breast feeding, I came off when I found out I was pg, my mother was on them too and reported the same thing when she came off.
While I was on them, I seemed to think having a baby was a great idea.

DippyFarquhar Fri 24-Jul-09 03:00:45

When I was on Citalopram I was told, by a psychiatrist, that I shouldn't consider altering the doseage until I'd felt 'better' for a whole 12 months. So it may be too soon depending on when/if you've started to feel better.

In my case I fell pregnant about 4 months later and was first told, by GP, to continue taking them and then he rang me when I was 12 weeks to say I should stop taking them immediately! Which I did and then had horrendous side effects. Then I was told, by another psychiatrist, that I could continue to take them whilst PG but I wouldn't be able to take them and breastfeed. So I stayed off them and luckily I've been ok since (DS now 2.7). Not a good idea to just stop though and I've been lucky not to have a relapse (so far :0]

So, have a word with GP or ask to be referred to psychiatrist who will be able to review your meds for you and advise about coming off them.

LightShinesInTheDarkness Sat 25-Jul-09 09:21:39

Reading this thread scares me a bit - will we all be on these tablets forever?

Platesmasher Sat 25-Jul-09 09:30:30

I was on them for 8 months. 20mg.

I felt ready to stop and so just stopped.

For about 3 weeks I was a tearful pile of patheticness. I was so frightened that I wasn't going to be able to come off them, even my boss suggested I went back on them.

I stuck with it though and after 3 weeks I felt much better again. I've been off them for nearly 6 months now and still sleeping, eating, working normally. Have even managed to get a new job and move country and have felt fine apart from the odd moment but I feel that's normal.

In the time I was on them though I made huge changes that I had been unable to make while depressed. I went back to my old professional career and have done really well. My self esteem was restored.

I guess if the pressures that are making you depressed haven't changed then you may feel the same again once off them.

But I also think that it takes a few weeks for the chemicals to settle and as long as you are not getting too low and have support then it is worth riding it out.

I honest with myself though that I may need to be on AD's again at some point as slipping into depression seems to be my way of coping/not coping. The important thing is recognising the symptoms.

Fruitysunshine Sat 25-Jul-09 09:37:46

OP - I have asked the same questions as you. I have managed to half my dose from 40mg to 20mg and have been on those now for about 3 months successfully. I do not plan on stopping them any time soon because I don't want to go through all these horrible symptoms again and be confused with what is me and what is the drugs. Horrible catch-22 position to be in. I will be reading this thread with interest.

allgonebellyup Sun 26-Jul-09 18:12:12

i was on 60mg for severe depression last year, and it made me feel so high and confident.
i have cut down to 40mg, then 20mg and now i feel so miserable and anxious again. i just get irritated at the tiniest little thing, and i am seeing a new man who i keep thinking i will dump as every little thing he says annoys me.

i dont want to be on them forever but i cant see any other way. i also wake a lot with a pounding heart and nervousness now and i just wish i could feel how i felt on 60mg sad but without having to take any drugs

vickidavies Wed 02-Sep-09 14:15:07

I have been on citalopram now for about 3 and and half years. When i first started i was on 40mg and went down to 20mg, then the doctor put me on 10mg. I have tried to come off them several times, but each time the side affect are to bad and i end up back on them. I have slowly reduced my dose from 10mg to 5mg a day and now i have decided to come off them and put up with the effects. What i would say is if you are coming off citalopram you are going to get the side effects if you do it slowly or quickly. I didn't realise that it would be this hard to come off them and when you speek to the doctor they tell you that there are no side affects to coming off the drug. But i know what i'm in for so i just have to grim and bear it.

OrmIrian Wed 02-Sep-09 14:19:30

In same boat as you cleanit. Just started taking 10mg from 20mg. Not as bad as you though sad

boolifooli Sat 05-Sep-09 11:03:00

I'm 6 days off Citalopram. Was on 20 for 8 months. Have been taking it everyother day for some weeks and just decided to give it a go cold turkey. I am definitely having some sort of withdrawal, poor sleeping, feeling anxious and those brain shudder type things but nothing horrendous at this point. The worst is just feeling strange, everything feels a bit different. I'm sure it can't last for ever so I am determined to keep going. Reading around on the internet isn't always a good idea as most people who have come off it smoothly don't post about it, you tend to get the horror stories. Good luck to everyone who is withdrawing or just about to.

NotPregnantJustFat Sat 05-Sep-09 11:13:23

I was on Citalopram for PND and took 20mg for about a year. I reduced my dose slowly, it took a couple of months to stop I think. I remember feeling anxious and stressed and pissed off with everything.

It was hard as at the same time as coming off them I was starting back at work part-time after having a year off with maternity leave.

I did it though and gradually started to feel better. I don't think I will ever feel 'normal' like before though. I still have low level anxiety most of the time, palpitations at night sometimes etc but feel that I can deal with these feelings without having to go back on the pills, (thankfully).

boolifooli Sat 05-Sep-09 19:57:56

Hi Not

do you think the feeling different thing may be mainly down to the new addition. I always come out of life changing events feeling like a different person than the one I was before, not always a bad thing. At the moment I feel similar to the way I did prior to starting them, BUT my circumstances are different. I am willing to wait for several weeks before deciding I should be on them for longer. I started taking them after my son had a health problem, he stopped walking due to a neurological inflammation and although he has started walking he has a long road ahead of him to get back to where he was. I feel less terrified of it now. Before I was on the meds I was a mess with nerves, worrying that he was dying and so on. The meds helped me be more logical.

allgonebellyup Sun 06-Sep-09 18:21:53

Do many of you think you may be on the ADs for the rest of your life?

I went on them when i fell apart 2yrs ago (split with dh then he had a baby with another woman), and i have been fine cutting down to 40mg a day.
Now on 20mg which is ok but still have bad days.
Should cut down to 10mg but know i wont cope very well at all.

boolifooli Sun 06-Sep-09 18:56:33

Hi All

for me I find it helpful to remind myself that bad days are normal for everyone, even the most happy of people, it's the frequency of and the severity of the 'badness' of the bad days that makes the difference. Before going on AD's I had 4 bad days for every 1 okay day which I knew wasn't right. Even on the AD's I had bad days but they resembled the bad days that I had before I got into difficulties. How about cutting the pills in half so you can take 15mg a day or taking the 20mg tablet every other day for a bit, that's what I did for a while.

Either way don't stress and beat yourself up about it. The fact that you're posting here shows you are contemplating a life beyond AD's.

I'm a week Citalopram free today and today has been okay, the 3 days before that were a bit yuk. I expected it. When you are ready to stop altogether just plan ahead and pre-prepare menus and get as much done to take the pressure off yourself, at the same time keep yourself occupied.

I tried lying on the sofa and it made me feel worse. Use the crapness to tackless the crap jobs like sorting out the long neglected shed and so on.

Rumpel Wed 09-Sep-09 15:34:58

I started on them 2.5 years ago for PTSD - anxiety and depression. Took 5mg when pregnant with DC2 upped to 30 mg after having him then started to cut down as I felt so much better. However, I hadn't realised how much my anxiety had come back until about 3 weeks ago. Satrted back on 20mg about 10 days ago and the last 2 days I have been so so low - utterly bereft of hope and feeling like my sould had been sucked out and spat away sad.

I have had a really hard time with both DCs been very poorly the last 8 weeks and have come to the conclusiont hat i am just unable to deal with prolonged periods of stress anymore.

TBH i don't care if I have to take ADs for the rest of my life as I would rather live the rest of my life taking pills and able to liveas 'normal' a life as possible than feel hellish all the time.

Please remember that your brain is an organ the same as any other and that things go wrong. you wouldn't beat yourself up if you needed to take meds for diabetes/epilepsy/high BP so why do it for mental health issues? It is a chemical imbalance in our brains and there is so much stigma attached it is so sad.

TBH I feel very lucky that we live in the times that we do and we have these meds available for us to take.

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