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Reducing Citalopram from 20mg to 10mg after 1 year

A

audrey3

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Sep 3, 2018
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Hi there.

I've never actually posted on a forum before. I have spent hours of my life searching for people who feel similar to how I feel and reading other peoples advice and have always found that invaluable. It's strange that I'm feeling so nervous to write on this but could really use advice and help from people who have gone through what I am.

I have suffered from depression and anxiety since my late teens after an abusive relationship. There were various other factors contributing to my depression but that was the real trigger in my life. I started going to therapy two years ago which was the best decision of my life. Last September I started on Citalopram (10mg because I was so nervous and saw it as a failing being on medication - I am my own worst enemy!) and found it wasn't enough and after 2 months upped my dose to 20mg. I have worked hard over the last year and with the help of my therapist and doctor I'm in a much better place and we all agreed I could start reducing my medication. I reduced to 10mg 11 days ago and have been having all sorts of withdrawals: severe anxiety, brain zaps, confusion, crying spells, depression, fatigue, irritability, crazy dreams. I know from all these other forums that this is all completely normal but I'm really struggling and in the headspace I'm in, even though other forums say it's normal - I feel like it's never going to go away. I guess I'm just looking for advice and reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

I have an amazing support system in my family and my boyfriend is wonderful and always there. But because none of them suffer from any of this it can be difficult to relate.

Can anyone give me some advice?

Thanks in advance.

 
unspoken-words

unspoken-words

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Hi , I too have thought about reducing my Citalopram daily dose from 20mg to 10mg , but something inside tells me that if I do I will get severe withdrawal symptoms so really I am too scared to reduce my intake.:(
I know since taking them (now approx. 6 months) my mood is on a balanced level and I do not get any deep depressive episodes and also my anxiety is controlled while I am on the drug.
I guess you could class me now as "drug dependant" and I am terrified of the thought of reducing or coming of the anti-depressants , for a long time I frowned upon medication , now I would not want to be without them (it's a strange world ain't it) :rolleyes:
 
S

Silver Shadow

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I'm on Citalopram as well. I did well on 10mg for a year and then for a variety of reasons, increased to 15mg. That's what I'm on currently.

I was told by my therapist that it's not at all uncommon to have difficulty coming off this medication.

How are you going about it?
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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Cutting your dose in half isn't the proper way to get off a medication, no matter what your doctor says. It is not a recipe for success and guarantees a rough ride.

Dr. Peter Breggin has written books on this subject. He says to reduce by only ten percent every three months. That is how I cut down my lithium carbonate.
 
A

audrey3

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Sep 3, 2018
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Hi , I too have thought about reducing my Citalopram daily dose from 20mg to 10mg , but something inside tells me that if I do I will get severe withdrawal symptoms so really I am too scared to reduce my intake.:(
I know since taking them (now approx. 6 months) my mood is on a balanced level and I do not get any deep depressive episodes and also my anxiety is controlled while I am on the drug.
I guess you could class me now as "drug dependant" and I am terrified of the thought of reducing or coming of the anti-depressants , for a long time I frowned upon medication , now I would not want to be without them (it's a strange world ain't it) :rolleyes:
Hey,

What my doctor said to me was they encourage people who start them to be on them for at least 6 months once they start to feel like themselves again. I ended up having a complete meltdown when I got home last night. My poor boyfriend. But I know this is all temperamental. It may well be that you are drug dependant but give yourself more credit as to how strong you are as a person. When and if you'ore ready to do so, you'll do it with the help of your doctor and support system :) are you in therapy? Because I would highly recommend doing it alongside the meds.
 
A

audrey3

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Sep 3, 2018
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I'm on Citalopram as well. I did well on 10mg for a year and then for a variety of reasons, increased to 15mg. That's what I'm on currently.

I was told by my therapist that it's not at all uncommon to have difficulty coming off this medication.

How are you going about it?
Well my doctor told me to reduce from 20mg to 10mg for a month and then come off completely. The comment below makes me a bit worried - why would my doctor tell me to half the dose if that wasn't the right thing to do?

I just feel very alone.
 
unspoken-words

unspoken-words

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Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
197
Location
countryside location England.
Hey,

What my doctor said to me was they encourage people who start them to be on them for at least 6 months once they start to feel like themselves again. I ended up having a complete meltdown when I got home last night. My poor boyfriend. But I know this is all temperamental. It may well be that you are drug dependant but give yourself more credit as to how strong you are as a person. When and if you'ore ready to do so, you'll do it with the help of your doctor and support system :) are you in therapy? Because I would highly recommend doing it alongside the meds.
Yes I am also having MH therapy as well as trauma therapy .
 
A

audrey3

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Yes I am also having MH therapy as well as trauma therapy .
It's so hard. Part of me wants to be so supportive and tell you that you can do it but the truth is I am so, so sad right now. I cry all the time and feel really worthless. It's horrible. I'm trying to stay positive but it's hard. For years I would deal with my depression and anxiety on my own and hide it from the world, part of my therapy meant I opened up to family members and whilst I know they're happy they now know, I find it incredibly suffocating. It wasn't even 9am this morning and my mum, sister, dad and my boyfriends mum had all text me, two had called and I spoke to one on the phone. It's just too much. They forget I'm used to going through this on my own so it all feels too much. Just want to feel like myself again. Does it get better? I've read posts from people who say you need to push through this bit and that you will make a full recovery. I'm scared I won't.
 
Not_Crazy_Yet

Not_Crazy_Yet

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Jun 19, 2015
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USA
Well my doctor told me to reduce from 20mg to 10mg for a month and then come off completely. The comment below makes me a bit worried - why would my doctor tell me to half the dose if that wasn't the right thing to do?

I just feel very alone.
While I have no experience with this antidepressant every time I've been taken off of a psych med that's the same advise I get. The doc usually says take half for 3 days then discontinue. I haven't had any really bad withdrawls from any of them but it wasnt fun going away from Zoloft but then again I was just changing medications not stopping them. For anxiety there are a number of breathing exercises that some swear by but I can't recall them off the top of my head as they didn't help me. As far as depression or even anxiety for that matter it's important to "distract" with a coping skill. Listen to music, knit, do coloring books, puzzles, Sudoku, etc. I find music to be my best coping skills although I use it for voice hearing. I hope you continue to post as you feel comfortable. Take care.
 
B

bssm1

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Apr 29, 2019
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Cornwall
Hey,

What my doctor said to me was they encourage people who start them to be on them for at least 6 months once they start to feel like themselves again. I ended up having a complete meltdown when I got home last night. My poor boyfriend. But I know this is all temperamental. It may well be that you are drug dependant but give yourself more credit as to how strong you are as a person. When and if you'ore ready to do so, you'll do it with the help of your doctor and support system :) are you in therapy? Because I would highly recommend doing it alongside the meds.
Hi Audrey, hope you find this. Im currently reducing my dosage from 20mg to 10mg after about 2 years on 20mg. I've read your comments on here and wondered if you had tried to reduce the meds too quickly. I've had similar experiences with citalopram, in that going from 20mg to 10mg suddenly isnt the best way! Maybe you feel the same? Ive been taking x2 10mg doses and filling the rest of the week with a 20mg dose - I've felt a bit lethargic and not much energy but so far it seems alright.
I feel that this is a good way to handle this type of medication, maybe I'll take x3 10mg doses and 20mg for the other days next week and see how I get on. You can alway modify your reduction technique as you go to suit you (read that last quote on 'MIND' another mental health site)

All the best - Peace be with you!

Ben.
 
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