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Coming off citalopram

(26 Posts)
jroly81 Sat 08-Aug-15 15:13:00

Hi, I'm 6 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child. I had been on 20mg citalopram for just over 12 months. I decided to come off it as was advised it was bad for baby. I went down to 10mg for 5 days and felt awful. I am moody, feel sick (mixture of morning sickness too) feel increasingly dizzy everyday. I just want to sleep all the time or just stay in the house. I've asked my boyfriend to move out because I just can't stand him being here. I just feel crap!! I went back to the doc and he advised to come of it completely with a view to start on fluoxetine in 5 days.
Will I feel better again, I felt like this before I started on the citalopram and worse when I started it. But felt fantastic once it had settled down. I'm scared I'm gonna feel like this for ages and its ruining my happiness at being pregnant. I'm just so sad ☹
Any advice and reassurance welcome

warriorbot Sat 08-Aug-15 15:54:03

Oh, OP - I came off sertraline just over a year ago and withdawl was a bastard. It really did get better eventually but my taper was very, very gradual. I found the fatigue particularly awful.

Add to that your pregnancy fatgue and it's no wonder you feel terrible. Couple of things:

The withdrawal will get better but don't be a hero in the meantime. Get signed off if you can and take gentle exercise (yeah, I know that sucks, but it does help.)

I don't know what the situation is with your boyfriend but if he's any good at all, tell him what you're going through and give him the chance to support you and the baby. Just cooking you something you fancy, making sure you cleaned your teeth, that sort of thing. You need (and deserve) help. You're doing two tough things at once.

jroly81 Sat 08-Aug-15 16:07:12

Thanks, he is being helpful but its just kinda annoying me ha ha, to be fair it was his decision to move out. I've not been with him for long so I suppose I'm still getting to know him too. I was with my ex husband for 16 years and separated last year, hence the depression. I'm not used to people looking after me, I kinda get offended by it, sounds daft but its the way I feel. I suppose the withdrawal is magnifying my negative feelings. Its just horrible we have to go through to get better.

coveredinsnot Sat 08-Aug-15 20:17:31

Please read this - it's a post on another forum but it is so so relevant to your difficulties. The whole forum itself is AMAZING and you will find loads of help and advice there. I won't say any more as literally everything you need to know is over there. Start with this thread and from there
Food luck!

coveredinsnot Sat 08-Aug-15 20:18:09

Good luck haha, not food luck!

jroly81 Sat 08-Aug-15 21:27:20

Ha ha, I've just had a good read. Thank you so much. It's so much better to know there are people who are going through the same thing (not that I would wish this feeling on anyone).
It's making me think maybe I should try cone off anti depressants altogether and not start the fluoxetine. I'd hate to harm my baby but also want to enjoy the pregnancy x

Cazzybaby Sat 08-Aug-15 22:24:05

It will get easier, I'm 7 days fully off at 20 weeks pregnant. It has been a long hard slog but I promise it gets easier!! Xxx

jroly81 Sat 08-Aug-15 23:07:46

Thank you, I feel slightly better already x x x x

coveredinsnot Sun 09-Aug-15 05:33:03

If I were jn your shoes I would attempt to not take any medication during pregnancy if you can
What you're experiencing now is just your body and brain readjusting to being without the meds
It most definitely will and does settle down! Doctors will be anxious about you, however, and will likely tell you to take fluoextine. Fluoextine can make pepper quote agitated and anxious for a little while before it starts working so you need to consider this too. And also consider that your gp is definitely not an expert. Perhaps get in touch with the doctor mentioned on the thread I linked to? This is a significant decision to make ad being in SSRI meds will have am effect on your baby.

coveredinsnot Sun 09-Aug-15 05:34:02

Pepper quote = people quite
Bloody autocorrect combined with my fat fingers! Gah!

jroly81 Sun 09-Aug-15 06:06:20

Thanks, after reading the thread I am seriously considering coming off all together. I think I was a bit hasty running back to the doc when I felt bad. I am just gonna give it another week and see how I go. The "zaps" are worsening by the day, but although uncomfortable, they are the easiest thing to cope with.
It's just literally heart breaking going from being so happy to thinking I've buggered my life right up and everything I do is just a massive mistake. Yet deep down I know its not. Arrggh, bloody life hey !!! Just take one day at a time x x x

Cazzybaby Sun 09-Aug-15 11:34:30

Don't forget you've got pregnancy hormones thrown into the mix too! I found that things settled a lot more around 12 weeks. Be kind to yourself your going through a lot xxx

jroly81 Sun 09-Aug-15 11:56:41

Yeah true, it was 10 years ago when I had my first baby, I suppose I've forgotten how much change your body goes through.
Thanks everyone, its so nice to get feedback from people who know what I'm going on about. ��

Sophia1984 Sun 09-Aug-15 12:48:19

Hi, I'm on 20mg of citalopram too. There are conflicting reports, but a lot of them say (depending on your reasons for being on it) it may actually be better to stay on it, (or at least taper very, very slowly) as it is far worse for the baby for its mother to be stressed out. I've heard of some doctors telling people to come off it, only for the midwife to say that that was bad advice! I am going to possibly try and cut down to 10mg, but I am worried that cutting it out completely could lead to me having PND. I've got first doc's appointment tomorrow so will see what they say. The head zaps are horrible aren't they?

Sophia1984 Sun 09-Aug-15 12:52:09

Also, I would take that thread with a massive pinch of salt. That is just one doctor, and there are many, many doctors who do not think citalopram causes any harm at all. In this thread, lots of people say their GP was happy for them to stay on it:

Flambola Sun 09-Aug-15 13:17:58

I'm consultant led and he is happy for me to continue on 40mg Citalopram.

jroly81 Sun 09-Aug-15 13:38:34

Wow, I did go to see the midwife and she did say that It's up to me. I'm worried about going back on it now though because I dont want these feelings lasting longer Tha needed. The head zaps are getting worse, I'm lying still on the couch and I'm getting them ☹ its driving me mad because its the kids hols and they want me to go running round the park etc ��

Lemmyness Sun 09-Aug-15 18:38:20

I was put on citalopram 20mg when I decided to start trying for a baby as it is less risky than other antidepressants (previously on fluoxetine) I found out I was pregnant and my GP advised me to cut the dose in half (abruptly) with a view to stopping it.
In brief I ended up having so many problems controlling my mood that I got into trouble at work, my head just wasn't in it. I couldn't concentrate, I made minor mistakes and had a bad attitude. At home I was depressed and getting towards suicidal. I genuinely didn't know if I wanted my baby considering how it was affecting me.
I went back to the GP who was sympathetic but resistant to my wanting to increase my medication.
I'm a pharmacist so I did my own research; the main risk they are worried about is something called pulmonary hypertension. It affects just 2 in 1000 babies born (normally) this risk triples for those of us on SSRIs which sounds scary but is still only 6 in 1000.
I decided the risk was worth taking - I didn't want my baby to be the "cause" of my life/career going down the tubes.
It took me to persuade the GP that taking 20mg was worth the risk, he was of the opinion that the lowest risk from drugs must be the best. I went from a (clinically diagnosed) severe depressive relapse to my normal self over 4 weeks and I've never regretted my decision. Baby's heart and pulmonary function are fine on all the scans. I'm due in September so I can't be sure there have been no side effects, but at least I'm in a mental state where I can cope with what life throws at me.
I wouldn't try to persuade you to take the same risks as me, but at least get the facts you needs to make a decision.

Lemmyness Sun 09-Aug-15 18:49:29


rugbychick Sun 09-Aug-15 19:29:11

I was on citalpram when I was pregnant with dd. I was advised by both my lovely, sensible midwife, and the consultant I saw (I had consultant led care for a number of reasons, one being my age-39) not to stop taking it as the risk to my mental health was far greater coming off it, than the tiny risk of a problem to dd by continuing with it. I chose my consultant (I'm a health care practitioner), as someone I'd worked with previously, and recommended by another consultant. I trusted and respected her judgement. So kept taking it.

There's no problem at all with my dd. functioning normally, intelligent, hitting all targets and some, funny, articulate and very, very, very active! Climbing, running, jumping etc

Sophia1984 Mon 10-Aug-15 16:11:47

Just had my first doctor's appointment with a lovely, lovely GP who is very happy for me to stay on citalopram if I think that is what is best for my health, as stress would be bad for the baby.

jroly81 Mon 10-Aug-15 20:08:34

Thanks everyone for your much needed advice. I think that the gp I saw didn't really give me hard evidence that I could base my decision on. However on reading the info on here I have decided to go back on the citalopram starting with 10mg for a few days then back on to 20. After having just 10mg today the head zaps have sub sided and I do feel slightly better in my head. I've been to the park with the kids and to my friends rather than sat on the couch. Obviously tomorrow could be different but gonna take one day at a time. I just want to enjoy this pregnancy and not worry. Thanks again for all the advice its been a life saver x x x ❤

BluePeter Mon 10-Aug-15 23:33:23

I saw my GP about this a couple of weeks ago and he said a research paper had just come out saying it was safe to stay on citalopram during pregnancy. He said that if I had gone to him the week before, he would have encouraged me to come off it.

Hootytoot Tue 11-Aug-15 10:17:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jroly81 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:52:45

Thanks again guys, I think when I do decide to come off it, I'll definitely take it slower. The symptoms were literally unbearable! I need to be happy again and enjoy this exciting time. I'd be so worried about PND also. This way, hopefully, I can be normal again x x

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