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Stopping Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) © Discontinuation Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms


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#1 Lindsay

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 05:27 PM

Stopping Citalopram(Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) © Discontinuation Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms

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It is best to consult a physician before discontinuing SSRIs. Specific information on the effects of stopping taking Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) was not available from the sources consulted at the time of writing, but the discontinuation effects of stopping other SSRIs include:

* dizziness
* vertigo/light-headedness
* nausea
* fatigue
* headache
* insomnia
* abdominal cramps
* chills
* increased dreaming * agitation
* anxiety

------------------------------

Discontinuation of Treatment with Celexa ©

During marketing of Celexa and other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin
and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous
reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of
these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric
mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances
(e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety,
confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and
hypomania.
While these events are generally self-limiting, there
have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.
Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing
treatment with Celexa. A gradual reduction in the dose
rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible.

If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or
upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously
prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician
may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate

If you have any questions, discuss them with your doctor or healthcare professional. For additional information about Lexapro or Celexa, call the Forest Professional Affairs Department toll-free at 800-678-1605, extension 66297.

Be Well....

~Lindsay ღ , Forum Super Administrator
Founder, depressionforums.org


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"I cannot make my mark for all time...those concepts are mutually exclusive.
"Lasting effect" is a self -contradictory term.  Meaning does not exist in the future, nor do I.  
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Nothing will even mean tomorrow what it did today.  Meaning changes with the context.  
My meaningfulness is in the here and now. It is enough that I may be of value to someone today.
It is enough that I make a difference now."  ~Lindsay    
    

  
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#2 Dooin' it

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 06:30 PM

Thanks Lindsay!


I will share my experience of going off in '98.......(currently going off again soon, but only 'cuz I'm switching to Lexapro based on a belief by my pdoc that the *now-generic* Celexa (citalopram) I'm taking is not up to the standards that the brand name meds are.....???........I dunno, I'm just taking his word for it on this one).

Back in '98 I was on it for about a year. It took 4 months (20mg upped to 40mg over the course of a month or so) to get me feeling better again. It was great. It made me (quite literally) 100% normal again. I stayed on for the next 11 months but got the great idea to come off. (Well, maybe it wasn't a completely bad idea....but.......).

At some point I had gone from 40mg down to 20mg which was easy. I really don't recall any effects coming down on it. Then later I went from 20 to 10mg for a 2 week period.........after which I went off completely.

Now here's what I experienced that I think is significant at that point............(read below)..........


A few days after being off completely I noticed that a few times a day I would get what I called "FLASHES". It was as if a flash bulb went off in my brain............or..............like God just hit the "pause" button one time for a split second. It would only last for about a second and surely freaked me out the first time it happened, but I realized it was harmless and dealt with it. IIRC, it happened for about a week (maybe two?) after being completely off Celexa. And again just a few times a day. Nothing major and after that I was fine.

This was all done during the summer time as my pdoc fellt summer was best to do this, so if anybody's thinking of going off, I would also pass on that tidbit of info. I really, honestly and truly believe there is something to this whole seasonal thing as ALL of my episodes in my life have been in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb. I have NEVER had probelms in the spring/summer/fall.............and summer being the most distant from any of these time frames.

In the interest of contemporary timing of both Forest's SSRi's (Celexa/Lexapro)...............I know there are a lot of folks who are either in-between and/or switching from Celexa to Lexapro. I am now currently one of those people. (I loved Celexa and I won't gamble with my pdoc's intuition and suggest that I wish I would've kept buying brand-name Celexa 'cuz that's all behind me now.....but......)

As of this moment, my doc is asking me to continue my 40mg of Celexa until the Lexapro "kicks in". I know there is one other user on this board who went on a direct switch in a somewhat unusual way (only i.m.o.) because he went from 20mg Celexa to 20mg Lexapro. 20mg Celexa is a very low dose while 20mg Lexapro is a very moderate to healthy dose. Whatever his pdoc's reasoning, the direct switch seemed to have worked. That's great news for those of us making the switch.

My experience will be different as I will assume at this point that I'm going to be tapering off of Celexa starting this Friday. (pdoc appt.) I can't imagine my dose of Lexapro will go anywhere for a while as 20mg Lex is already a very therapeutic dose. I will definitely post here (like I wouldn't anyway?? LOL) to advise people how *this* method of switching works!

I'm assuming the switch will be successful and I will certainly cover my pdoc's reasonings and report back here with that as well......as to why he wanted to do the switch in *this* particular way so that perhaps we can have a better understanding. I will also converse with him as to the contrast of both methods and possibly anything in between and the benefits/consequences of any and all of those methods.

(HAVE I BABBLED ENOUGH YET?????)

Anyway.........lastly, I just want to say that I thank God for drugs like Celexa and Lexapro! They are truly great drugs and I think we are all better off for them. I know they've sped up my recovery in the past and I hope that Lexapro will do the same for me now. Also........if Celexa is working for you, I say STAY ON IT!!! 5 year studies have shown that if you stay on your meds at a maintenance dose, in double-blind studies, you are MUCH better off than if you try to go off just because you don't like being on these drugs. At my last blood test, my liver function was 100% healthy and these drugs are about as harmless as vitamins when taken as prescribed by your doc. Don't fall into the hype that you're "drugged up" if that's a fear that yo have! You are taking medication to help make you well!!! That is a GOOD thing!!!!!!!

Not gospel.......just my .02!!
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#3 Lindsay

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 01:51 AM

Thanks Lindsay!


Now here's what I experienced that I think is significant at that point............(read below)..........
A few days after being off completely I noticed that a few times a day I would get what I called "FLASHES". It was as if a flash bulb went off in my brain............or..............like God just hit the "pause" button one time for a split second. It would only last for about a second and surely freaked me out the first time it happened, but I realized it was harmless and dealt with it. IIRC, it happened for about a week (maybe two?) after being completely off Celexa. And again just a few times a day. Nothing major and after that I was fine.


At my last blood test, my liver function was 100% healthy and these drugs are about as harmless as vitamins when taken as prescribed by your doc. Don't fall into the hype that you're "drugged up" if that's a fear that yo have! You are taking medication to help make you well!!! That is a GOOD thing!!!!!!!

Not gospel.......just my .02!!


Hey DI! (Dooin' it)

Your very welcome!

What you experenced are what the DF and most MH sites call Brain Zaps! :bump:
Yes they are harmless, but very annoying and they would most likely occur when you're stopping an SSRI such as Celexa/Lexapro or an SSNRI such as Effexor (Venlafaxine) which is a member of a class of antidepressants called "selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors" (SSNRI's).. I didn't experience brain zaps after stopping an sSRI. So then again your milage may vary as everyone is different. :hearts:

Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

Take care.

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Be Well....

~Lindsay ღ , Forum Super Administrator
Founder, depressionforums.org


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----
"I cannot make my mark for all time...those concepts are mutually exclusive.
"Lasting effect" is a self -contradictory term.  Meaning does not exist in the future, nor do I.  
Nothing will have meaning, "ultimately."
Nothing will even mean tomorrow what it did today.  Meaning changes with the context.  
My meaningfulness is in the here and now. It is enough that I may be of value to someone today.
It is enough that I make a difference now."  ~Lindsay    
    

  
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#4 dddHardTail

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:35 PM

I have been taking Citalopram for about five years now. I have not seen any changes except when I tried to come off it. I was worried about the effects it had on some people. When I came off it I got even more depressed. I am not sure what it does for me because I am still depress. I guess it just regulates my depression. I am taking 20mg three times a day. I still do not feel happy though. Should I try a diiferent medicine or what can make me happy and satified with my life???
Very Confused.............
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#5 lizard

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 04:53 PM

If you're not getting enough relief from the depression, maybe it's time for a change. Does your doc know how you're feeling? There are many ways to go, including adding on another med, or changing meds. Do you see a "regular" doc, or a psychiatrist? Psychiatrists specialize in the use of these meds.
Also, if you don't see a counselor or therapist, I would urge you to consider it. Meds plus therapy work better than either alone, IMHO.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says: "I'll try again tomorrow."
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#6 Strange Attractor

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 07:25 PM

Hi
Today i just started to decrease my dose of cipramil. I have been on 30mg for a few years now, previously on 40. I was going to take a couple of months and steadily decrease the dose by 5mgs at a time but i went to see the doc and she told me a technique for cutting down. I think i got it right, but i should skip 10mg's every 4 days, then every 3, then 2 etc.. till i'm down to 20mgs. Then go up to 30 every 2 days, then every 3 and so on. So by the end of june i should be taking 10 and 20 on alternate days before weening onto a steady 10 for a while.
About three months from now, when i am off cipramil completely i'll give St Johns wort a try.
Today i began with a new therapist too.
I have had trouble stopping the meds before but i think this time i should stick with it. I don't feel like they are helping any more.
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#7 lizard

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 11:14 PM

I think any method that's done slowly and gradually and under a doctor's care can work.
I wish you well as you taper down.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says: "I'll try again tomorrow."
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#8 DepthOfMike

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 02:29 PM

Hi all, I have been on Citalopram twice, quit once, and am in the process of quitting again.

The first time I was taking 20mg, increased to 30mg after a couple months, for a total of about 7 months. I stopped rather abruptly; if I recall correctly, I think I dropped from 30mg to 20mg for a couple days, then down to 10mg for a couple days, and then nothing. I experienced some "brain zaps" for about 2 weeks, coupled with a really odd feeling that my entire body and brain were shaking for just a second. This usually happened if I turned my head suddenly while moving. I also felt very depressed for a few days shortly after stopping, but I completely expected this as a withdrawl effect, and it quickly diminished until I was back to my natural state of moderate unhappiness.

The second time I had been taking 20mg citalopram for about 8 months. I missed my dosage one day, took 20mg the next, then 10mg for the following 2 days, and then nothing. The withdrawl effects have been very similar but less powerful compared to the first time (I stopped taking it just over a week ago). One different thing which I am experiencing this time is a feeling that I have been in a totally different place for the last 8 months. Because my perception of the world suddenly switched back to how it naturally is (which is very different from my perception of the world on citalopram), it feels as though I am now living in a place which I have not been to for 8 months, and that while on the medication I was living someplace totally different. It's a very strange feeling, but I suppose not very unexpected.

As to why I keep going on citalopram and quitting: that would make a great topic for another post!

For anyone else out there who will be stopping citalopram or any other AD, I would suggest following lizard's advice and take it as slowly as possible. My withdrawl effects were fairly limited compared to others out there, and I have heard of some terrible withdrawl stories!

Hope everyone is doing well,

-Mike

#9 Viviane

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 04:53 AM

Well I will be stopping the Lex over the next 6 weeks
the information I have been given is as follows

I am presently on 15mg
so will go to alternate days of 10/15 for one week then on 10 for a week
then 10/5 alternately for a week then 5 a day for a week then 5 on alternate days for a week then stop all meds for 2 weeks before starting something else

#10 goodvibe26

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:10 AM

Well I will be stopping the Lex over the next 6 weeks
the information I have been given is as follows

I am presently on 15mg
so will go to alternate days of 10/15 for one week then on 10 for a week
then 10/5 alternately for a week then 5 a day for a week then 5 on alternate days for a week then stop all meds for 2 weeks before starting something else


Congratulations Viviane, you're doing the right thing. I got off Lexapro after being on it for about 3 years ( at first it was Celexa of course ), but i did it with no formal plan like you have. but i DID ween myself off slowly and that seemed to be the only way to do it after hearing so many horror stories of people stopping cold turkey.
Everyone's body chemisty is different, so there's really no concrete judgement on what could or should happen. But i will say this : people talk about how severe of a change they felt after missing a dose or missing perhaps 2 days worth. I feel that's psychological. This medication builds up heavily in your system and even after not taking it for weeks there are still traces of it in your system. The only real side effect I felt while coming off of it was light-headedness. Sometimes it got extreme. I would feel my heartbeat and sometimes it felt like it would vibrate my whole body. But it stopped after being off of it for about a month.
And I'm so thankful for being off the medication. Depression IS certainly chemical, and IS certainly related to life's situations, it's just a matter of the ratio of each of these in an individual's experience. I would never denounce SSRI's or other med's because sometimes they truly are necessary. In my case, it was something that i needed for a few years to help get my mindset in tune. However, at the same time I never felt like myself on them. You feel numb to life's experiences both good and bad, and many times i felt indifferent to things that were really important.
Anyway, I tend to babble on a lot. But if i can be of any help to Viviane or anyone else on this forum, i'd be glad to. I know just how harsh depression can be, and perhaps because of that, i love life even more today.

#11 Viviane

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:31 PM

Anyway, I tend to babble on a lot. But if i can be of any help to Viviane or anyone else on this forum, i'd be glad to. I know just how harsh depression can be, and perhaps because of that, i love life even more today.



thats a really lovely and supportive thought thank you :)

#12 malfunkshun

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 05:55 PM

Greetings all. I am currently trying to stop Celexa after about 3 years of taking it. I have not had a dose now for about three weeks. I am having very uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. The best way to describe it would be dizziness but that is only a general description and not really 100% accurate. When I move my eyeballs from the left and to the right, I can hear a 'buzzing' sound in my head. This also occurs when I move my head abruptly, but I think it is because eye movement accompanies my head movement. Accompanying this odd 'eye movement buzzing' is a general feeling of bodily discomfort. I feel light headed, slightly confused at time (nothing serious really) and feel physically ill to a certain degree. I am able to go about my daily activities but the constant buzzing in my head, caused by natural eye movement, is a constant irritant and source of discomfort. I have no trouble sleeping, only this odd feeling of physical illness. It is very uncomfortable, and over the course of three weeks, has not let up at all. At times, it will feel as though it is lessening and I am hopeful that it is about to go away, but after a nights sleep, I wake up and upon opening my eyes, my head is flooded with the buzzing 'sound', full force. I am beginning to despair that these symptoms will never go away. Has anyone experienced this before?

'Buzzing in he head' caused by eye movement.
General feeling of physical illness.
Dizziness and light headedness.

I am not feeling depressed, and feel like I would be ok if these feelings would just go away.

Anyway, what I am hoping is that someone has experienced these exact same symptoms, as I have yet to encounter any descriptions of withdrawals that match mine exactly, and that they eventually went away completely.

Thanks.

#13 lizard

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 12:45 AM

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time with discontinuation symptoms. I had the general feeling of being unwell, but nothing like the intensity you describe.
How quickly did you taper off the Celexa? I've always tapered off ADs very slowly, and that seemed to help.
I hope you feel better soon!
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#14 Viviane

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 02:15 AM

'Buzzing in he head' caused by eye movement.
General feeling of physical illness.
Dizziness and light headedness.

I am not feeling depressed, and feel like I would be ok if these feelings would just go away.

Anyway, what I am hoping is that someone has experienced these exact same symptoms, as I have yet to encounter any descriptions of withdrawals that match mine exactly, and that they eventually went away completely.

Thanks.


I have now been off Lexapro for two weeks ( I tapered off - not as slowly as I would have liked but I did taper and need two weeks clear before I get new meds)

I have the EXACT same odd buzzing in my head mine is less a sound and more a feeling - like a humming bird flapping its wings in ther - I dont feel I should drive the car due to the dizzyness
and yes its when I move my head quickly or my eyes - I have been like this since I got down to about 5mg on alternate days - about three weeks - I was sure yesterday it wasnt as bad and so far today its not too bad either - but that could be because I am getting so used to moving my head/eyes more slowly

#15 lizard

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:10 AM

Welcome, waltsickle!
I'm not familiar with this being a discontinuation symptom, but everyone responds differently. I would suggest calling your doc for reassurance.
Good luck!
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#16 malfunkshun

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 07:01 AM

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time with discontinuation symptoms. I had the general feeling of being unwell, but nothing like the intensity you describe.
How quickly did you taper off the Celexa? I've always tapered off ADs very slowly, and that seemed to help.
I hope you feel better soon!


I didn't taper. I ran out and am living in a different state now, so I don't have access to meds anymore. I was getting them for free with the help of a state insurance program in Texas. I am having trouble getting my ID for California (they require a birth certificate, waiting on it in the mail) and in the mean time am without meds. So, I figured, how long can this crap last?

Thankfully, during the last three days, the symptoms seem to be easing off. They are still there intermittently, but not constantly anymore. Hopefully in another week they will be completely gone.

The reason I started meds to begin with was to deal with depression which resulted from stopping opiate use. As anyone who has used a lot of opiates knows, when you stop for a long while, depression is the first thing you go through after the physical withdrawals are over. I didn't realize they were a result of stopping opiates, so I got on antidepressants. I have never really had a problem with debilitating depression in the past. I have always dealt with it in day to day affairs, but nothing that made me want to die, which is how I felt after I stopped using opiates.

I haven't been on opiates for three years now, but I have been on Celexa for that long. I have felt fine for the most part, no different really than I ever felt before I started using opiates, or Celexa. So, I'm thinking... I really don't need this med.

However, I have already contacted resources here in California to help me with meds. If I find that I can't handle it and depression sets in again, I know where to turn. I doubt it will though, since the original depression that prompted me to start meds was a result of opiate withdrawal.

edit: To Viviane. It's reassuring to hear that somebody else knows what the 'eye buzzing' thing is like. Yes, it is more a feeling than a sound, and the hummingbird analogy is pretty accurate. At least now I know it's not just me. Thanks.

edit: To Waltsickle. I experienced zero sexual side effects, either when on Celexa or when going without it. Just thought I'd throw my two cents in that direction. I know you are looking for people who have probably had the same experience as you, as I was with the eyeball buzzing. But I figured some info is better than none. Good luck.

Edited by malfunkshun, 15 July 2006 - 07:10 AM.


#17 lizard

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:19 AM

For myself, it's taken anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for the side-effects to wear off when I''ve gone off an AD.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that little voice at the end of the day that says: "I'll try again tomorrow."
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#18 dtacmed

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 09:31 AM

I have gone from 10mg to 5 mg Lexapro 7 days ago. Will be going to 2.5 today I have had no SE at all. I will have to say I'm feeling and sleeping better. You hear so many horror stories about stopping Lex and celexa I wanted to share some positive info. May change tomorrow however so far so good.

#19 bocaboy

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 02:38 PM

Lindsay or Anyone With An Answer:

I am transitioning from Celexa to Wellbutrin because of Celexa's very frustrating sexual side effects. I was only on 20 mg Celexa daily for a month but a month without sex seems like an eternity. Doctor had me reduce Celexa to 10 mg and added 100 mg Wellbutrin and plans to adjust each in the future. Two weeks later and (although not for lack of trying) I still qualify as a monk, a condition to which I have not aspired. How long does this transition typically take? I want the Celexa out of my system asap but without the mental trauma I heard about. Anyone have any ideas?

#20 kstours

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 07:43 PM

Lindsay or Anyone With An Answer:

I am transitioning from Celexa to Wellbutrin because of Celexa's very frustrating sexual side effects. I was only on 20 mg Celexa daily for a month but a month without sex seems like an eternity. Doctor had me reduce Celexa to 10 mg and added 100 mg Wellbutrin and plans to adjust each in the future. Two weeks later and (although not for lack of trying) I still qualify as a monk, a condition to which I have not aspired. How long does this transition typically take? I want the Celexa out of my system asap but without the mental trauma I heard about. Anyone have any ideas?


Hi, bocaboy. Sorry you're experiencing one of the unpleasant side effects of Celexa. There's a thread in this forum about lexapro & libido you might want to take a look at. (See link below.) A few people had suggestions of other meds they've been given that you may want to ask your doc about. I advise you to stick with gradually decreasing the Celexa as going cold turkey might make you feel worse without solving your problem. I've read that some people have success adjusting the time they take their AD so they're sexually active when they have the least of it in their system (right before taking a pill). I think after I was on Lexapro for a year and a half and went off, it took about 2-4 weeks for my libido to return fully.

Lexapro & Libido
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#21 bocaboy

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:33 PM

Hi, bocaboy. Sorry you're experiencing one of the unpleasant side effects of Celexa. There's a thread in this forum about lexapro & libido you might want to take a look at. (See link below.) A few people had suggestions of other meds they've been given that you may want to ask your doc about. I advise you to stick with gradually decreasing the Celexa as going cold turkey might make you feel worse without solving your problem. I've read that some people have success adjusting the time they take their AD so they're sexually active when they have the least of it in their system (right before taking a pill). I think after I was on Lexapro for a year and a half and went off, it took about 2-4 weeks for my libido to return fully.

Lexapro & Libido
[/quote]

Thanks KSTours for the info. Actually, I did make the change from taking the AD in the morning to bedtime in the hope that it would allow me to satifiy my sex needs in the evening. No such luck, not only no satisfaction but now no sleep either. Libido is not a problem. I am up and ready. Literally for hours. Constantly on the verge but never able to climax. I was not advised in advance of the sexual side effects. And even after reading about it on-line, after the fact, I could not have imagined it would actually affect me. That drive, I was certain, was just too strong. My sex drive is still as strong as before and that is what makes Celexa, for me at least, so very frustrating.

Looks like its going to be an aggrevating month and a half.

#22 woosum

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:22 PM

Hi. England calling to say you're not alone. I was on citalopram (Cipramil) for about 18months and made the decision with my Dr earlier this year to stop. Basically because it wasn't working for me anymore. I was on 40mg and the transition to 20mg was ok really. Thats when things started getting tougher. After a week or so of the - dizziness/brain shocks/star trek sound effects - feelings, he agreed I should try a slower reduction. He'd said 20 to 10 to nothing in 2 weeks. After a few days I already knew this wasn't good. At my next appt he prescribed 10mg tablets and a reduction to 10mg for a week and then nothing.

To be honest I ignored that! I only had 2 weeks worth of tablets so I worked out a way of going 15-10-5 to try and make it easier. Its been a week since my last dose of 5mg and I still feel rotten - dizziness and whooshes in my head galore!

The thing that makes me feel (ever so slightly) better is that I experienced this back in 1999/2000 when I came of Seroxat. At the time, neither myself or any Doctors realised it was to do with the drugs. They were putting the dizziness down to an inner ear problem. It was only when I matched the symptoms with the times I had maybe forgotten to take a tablet, that we knew what it might be. It seems things have changed a lot in the last 6 years or so and most Doctors avoid Sexroxat. However, the symptoms are the same but its this time that I know I'm not going crazy! That time I took 20 weeks to come down from 20-0 and used a liquid form of Seroxat. After that, all the weird dizzy feelings did stop.

However, its still really frustrating and upsetting. And for someone who has had depression on and off for the last 10 years, thats not a great thing to be going through. For now I have to just get on with it and hope for the best. My depression is bad at the moment and I'm off work. So the small benefit I have is that I can just lie in bed until the dizzy symptoms ease. I send out my thoughts and sympathy to those going through this who can't take a little time out.

Good luck to all xx

Wendy

#23 artist

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:40 PM

Hi. England calling to say you're not alone. I was on citalopram (Cipramil) for about 18months and made the decision with my Dr earlier this year to stop. Basically because it wasn't working for me anymore. I was on 40mg and the transition to 20mg was ok really. Thats when things started getting tougher. After a week or so of the - dizziness/brain shocks/star trek sound effects - feelings, he agreed I should try a slower reduction. He'd said 20 to 10 to nothing in 2 weeks. After a few days I already knew this wasn't good. At my next appt he prescribed 10mg tablets and a reduction to 10mg for a week and then nothing.

To be honest I ignored that! I only had 2 weeks worth of tablets so I worked out a way of going 15-10-5 to try and make it easier. Its been a week since my last dose of 5mg and I still feel rotten - dizziness and whooshes in my head galore!

The thing that makes me feel (ever so slightly) better is that I experienced this back in 1999/2000 when I came of Seroxat. At the time, neither myself or any Doctors realised it was to do with the drugs. They were putting the dizziness down to an inner ear problem. It was only when I matched the symptoms with the times I had maybe forgotten to take a tablet, that we knew what it might be. It seems things have changed a lot in the last 6 years or so and most Doctors avoid Sexroxat. However, the symptoms are the same but its this time that I know I'm not going crazy! That time I took 20 weeks to come down from 20-0 and used a liquid form of Seroxat. After that, all the weird dizzy feelings did stop.

However, its still really frustrating and upsetting. And for someone who has had depression on and off for the last 10 years, thats not a great thing to be going through. For now I have to just get on with it and hope for the best. My depression is bad at the moment and I'm off work. So the small benefit I have is that I can just lie in bed until the dizzy symptoms ease. I send out my thoughts and sympathy to those going through this who can't take a little time out.

Good luck to all xx

Wendy



#24 rattman

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 09:51 PM

I had taken Zoloft for 10 years when it seemed to stop working and was switched to Celexa. I did 'ok' on it for about 2 years, then developed panic attacks. I went off Celexa for a month with no withdrawal effects except the depression returning. I then switched back to Zoloft and started having the panic attacks on Zoloft also -- so I discontinued all SSRI's and took nothing for 14 months. After 14 months I finally started Wellbutrin SR and after 2 weeks started seeing positive results.

The one BIG thing I'd say with Celexa, is DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL!!! What I found is if I had 1 alcoholic drink, I would want more and more and would end up drinking way to much (almost like binge drinking). I don't know what it was with Celexa that made me want to drink alcohol, but after I discontinued Celexa I didn't drink as much. The positive note on Wellbutrin is that I don't want to drink at all.

Stopping Citalopram(Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) © Discontinuation Effects or Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted Image

It is best to consult a physician before discontinuing SSRIs. Specific information on the effects of stopping taking Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Seropram) was not available from the sources consulted at the time of writing, but the discontinuation effects of stopping other SSRIs include:

* dizziness
* vertigo/light-headedness
* nausea
* fatigue
* headache
* insomnia
* abdominal cramps
* chills
* increased dreaming * agitation
* anxiety

------------------------------

Discontinuation of Treatment with Celexa ©

During marketing of Celexa and other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin
and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous
reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of
these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric
mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances
(e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety,
confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and
hypomania.
While these events are generally self-limiting, there
have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.
Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing
treatment with Celexa. A gradual reduction in the dose
rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible.

If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or
upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously
prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician
may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate

If you have any questions, discuss them with your doctor or healthcare professional. For additional information about Lexapro or Celexa, call the Forest Professional Affairs Department toll-free at 800-678-1605, extension 66297.



#25 zeemail

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:52 PM

Hello Friends,

As you can see, I am new to the Forum and overjoyed to find that there is such a place for people like us.

After a search on the withdrawal effects of Citalopram, I stumbled upon the site. (Thank God!)

I have read the posts and I will say I am a bit worried as I am experiencing the exact same symptoms as my friend - malfunkshun,

Buzzing in he head' caused by eye movement.
General feeling of physical illness.
Dizziness and light headedness.


I am on day 7 of the discontinuation - (cold turkey) and as malfunkshun says, the effects have "not let up at all"

I need some reassurance that this is not a permanent effect and that I am not somehow brain damaged :hearts: and have to live with these symptoms.

I am certian someone out there has some real definitive answers and hopefully there is a REAL light at the end of the tunnel rather than a flashlight, that goes off once the battery runs out. :bump:

I hope I make sense.

Peace and love to you all - :loveya:

Zee

#26 maintainin

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:14 PM

Hello Friends,

As you can see, I am new to the Forum and overjoyed to find that there is such a place for people like us.

After a search on the withdrawal effects of Citalopram, I stumbled upon the site. (Thank God!)

I have read the posts and I will say I am a bit worried as I am experiencing the exact same symptoms as my friend - malfunkshun,

Buzzing in he head' caused by eye movement.
General feeling of physical illness.
Dizziness and light headedness.


I am on day 7 of the discontinuation - (cold turkey) and as malfunkshun says, the effects have "not let up at all"

I need some reassurance that this is not a permanent effect and that I am not somehow brain damaged :hearts: and have to live with these symptoms.

I am certian someone out there has some real definitive answers and hopefully there is a REAL light at the end of the tunnel rather than a flashlight, that goes off once the battery runs out. :bump:

I hope I make sense.

Peace and love to you all - :loveya:

Zee



What made you to decide to quit cold turkey? From what I've read quitting cold turkey is a big no-no and you are just going to put yourself thru some unneeded misery.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#27 zeemail

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:01 PM

Hi thanks for your reply

Explanation:
After taking these for around 9 months along with Temazepam 20mg(2-3 aday) accompanied with Co-Codamol 30mg(8-12 a day)- (These are taken for a shoulder joint replacement injury which causes sever pains)

I came to think about the consequences and side effects of such medication in the long term.

There comes a point in life when people make decisions of no more torture to the body!

I guess after quitting smoking Cold turkey and getting through the side effects of that, I thought this would be the same kind of procedure.

please explain what you mean regarding the misery... Have I missed something major?

I think that now that I am off off the dreaded pills, I should try not to go back on them and risk further injury to the brain than there might already be !!!

Hope you can help in further clarifiying your concerns.

Cheers - Zee

#28 maintainin

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 04:37 PM

Buzzing in he head' caused by eye movement.
General feeling of physical illness.
Dizziness and light headedness.


You didnt really say how bad the above are bothering you, but thats what I meant by misery. All I'm getting at is maybe if you tapered off instead of quitting cold turkey, you wouldnt have the above problems or they would be significantly reduced.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#29 kstours

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 09:59 AM

I've been on 20 mg Lexapro all winter and am now on Day 6 of 10 mg, as my doc suggested I might be able to go off them for the summer. (I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.) I was on/off Lexapro once before and did have withdrawal symptoms, but so far this time I haven't experienced any side effects from decreasing the dosage. Hoping it continues that way! Last time when I had withdrawal sympoms I had also decreased meds gradually, so I can't speak to going cold turkey. I'm sure the effects will go away with time, but it is harder on your system that way.
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#30 maintainin

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 01:12 PM

Well, I've just joined the wonderful world of withdrawal. I'm going off 10mg lex and am on my 2nd day at 5mg. I'm already feeling some effects like dizziness, headachey, anxious and generally just feeling unwell. I guess I'm one of those sensitive follks. I wouldnt call it severe(yet), but it is a royal pain in the ***. Hopefully it doesnt get any worse than this. I guess I'll stay at 5mg until I level out and then drop again.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you!

Brian
 


#31 kstours

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:59 PM

Well, I've just joined the wonderful world of withdrawal. I'm going off 10mg lex and am on my 2nd day at 5mg. I'm already feeling some effects like dizziness, headachey, anxious and generally just feeling unwell. I guess I'm one of those sensitive follks. I wouldnt call it severe(yet), but it is a royal pain in the ***. Hopefully it doesnt get any worse than this. I guess I'll stay at 5mg until I level out and then drop again.


I hope the symptoms pass quickly for you, maintainin. Are you transitioning to another med or just going off altogether? I was lucky this last time to not experience any withdrawal--wish it could be that way for everybody.
:hearts:
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#32 gerrycurl

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 02:50 AM

Hi all. Its great to see the internet working in such a positive way with this forum. I have been on Citalopram for two years at 20mgs a day. In March I decided to taper off this medication as I have been feeling pretty much fine since soon after I started it (2 months after approx.). Everything has been going swimmingly until about two weeks ago. I haven't had severe withdrawal symptoms but memory and speech issues whilst on it which have re-occurred in the withdrawal process (recall ability) and in the last few days have experienced a lower mood with a re-emergence over the last month of obsessive (thought process) tendencies and negative thoughts. It isn't a conscious thing as I catch myself doing it. Well as a virgin to this whole experience I am afraid the depression might return. I have been reducing 10% every three weeks and have stopped on 50% for about a month or so now. I guess I am a bit frustrated that after having been so careful about reduction amounts this is happening and especially since I have been sweet (good) for so long with very few if any side effects of the drug. This is a plea to anyone on here who may have had the same experience or knows if this is temporary. I realise it is a subjective experience but commonalities obviously do exist.

I have read some great threads and would value the kind of down to earth advice I've seen posted on here. I guess my case may seem a bit minor to others on the board but I humbly ask for just a little advice to get me over this hump. My main worry is- is this common after such a gradual withdrawal? and if so do symptoms aforementioned (low mood, crankiness etc) go away or could this be the black dog rearing its head again?

Thanks everyone sorry about the length of my rant.

Henry

#33 lambvet

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 03:37 AM

Hi Henry,

For the most part, gradual reductions like the one you described generally are smooth. However, sometimes not, two possible reasons, many SEs occur during loading of these meds (ie. lower concentrations) and then subside at the more therapeutic levels. That is one possibility, the other, like you suspect, may be that your depression is raising its ugly head again. There are some of us, my being one, that have tried to get off of meds, sometimes too quickly and sometimes very carefully, only to find that we are are going to have to take them if we want our brain amines to be properly balanced. There are a good many of us that fall into this category. It is a genetic imbalance that basically requires medical treatment, replacement if you will, to maintain a sense of well being.

I hope whatever is going on, that you find the answer soon, it is no fun to be caught in this never-neverland esp. when you have known relief from symptoms for any length of time. Good luck...

BE Peace and BE Love.... wayne

Hi all. Its great to see the internet working in such a positive way with this forum. I have been on Citalopram for two years at 20mgs a day. In March I decided to taper off this medication as I have been feeling pretty much fine since soon after I started it (2 months after approx.). Everything has been going swimmingly until about two weeks ago. I haven't had severe withdrawal symptoms but memory and speech issues whilst on it which have re-occurred in the withdrawal process (recall ability) and in the last few days have experienced a lower mood with a re-emergence over the last month of obsessive (thought process) tendencies and negative thoughts. It isn't a conscious thing as I catch myself doing it. Well as a virgin to this whole experience I am afraid the depression might return. I have been reducing 10% every three weeks and have stopped on 50% for about a month or so now. I guess I am a bit frustrated that after having been so careful about reduction amounts this is happening and especially since I have been sweet (good) for so long with very few if any side effects of the drug. This is a plea to anyone on here who may have had the same experience or knows if this is temporary. I realise it is a subjective experience but commonalities obviously do exist.
I have read some great threads and would value the kind of down to earth advice I've seen posted on here. I guess my case may seem a bit minor to others on the board but I humbly ask for just a little advice to get me over this hump. My main worry is- is this common after such a gradual withdrawal? and if so do symptoms aforementioned (low mood, crankiness etc) go away or could this be the black dog rearing its head again?
Thanks everyone sorry about the length of my rant. Henry


Edited by lambvet, 31 July 2007 - 03:38 AM.

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#34 stevefromnfld

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 06:27 AM

Hi ,just wishing you well,and hope you feel well again a s soon as possible!I know where you are,in your mind ,I think.I've switched meds since last summer,until 8-9 weeks ago.I was so depressed and anxious,and tired of this "switching meds"!The withdrawl,then the start up se's.
I am doing better now on cipralex,and trazadone and bedtime,but still needs some fine tuning which I think is my own "footwork",you know,getting out in the "world" again,lol.
Anyway,difficulties ALWAYS pass,and what worries or causes you or me discomfort today,will be hard to recall in a week from now.It ussaully goes that way Also,for me,I wonder if when I'm tapering off a med,or starting a new one,or,just having an off day,do I anylize the hell out of everything I'm feeling or thinking .I'm pretty sure I do that,and I am going to try to retrain my thinking to not anylize everything,if I can,lol.
We'',I just wanted to send a bit of encouragement your way today.I know it's hard,and I certainly empathise with anyone going through the transition.But it will pass,and there are better times ahead,even though they might be hard to see now.Hang in there,and try to hang on to some hope that things will get better.They will!
Take care guys,Steve.

#35 kirkwuk

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 11:12 AM

Hi,

I have withdrawn from the Citalopram for over a month now. I have been a bit naughty and skipped a few doses at which point I didn't sleep for days. I have felt a lot better physically but mentally I feel the depression is coming back. I experienced what I believe could be hair loss, but this could be tied in with my OCD -I can become obsessed with picking my hair and convincing myself it is falling out. I'm eating more healthily and trying to become more positive. I'm getting through it. Side effects, I have felt slightly dizzy sometimes and a couple of very mild headaches and that is it.

On with the battle...

Edited by kirkwuk, 25 August 2007 - 11:14 AM.

Beating depression since 2007

#36 kstours

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 12:08 AM

Hi,

I have withdrawn from the Citalopram for over a month now. I have been a bit naughty and skipped a few doses at which point I didn't sleep for days. I have felt a lot better physically but mentally I feel the depression is coming back. I experienced what I believe could be hair loss, but this could be tied in with my OCD -I can become obsessed with picking my hair and convincing myself it is falling out. I'm eating more healthily and trying to become more positive. I'm getting through it. Side effects, I have felt slightly dizzy sometimes and a couple of very mild headaches and that is it.

On with the battle...


((((((kirkwuk))))))
Glad to hear you've at least managed to avoid the "zooms," kirkwuk. If you start to feel the depression creeping back please don't let it get out of control before you go back to the doctor. There are many ADs out there, and not all of them have the same side effects you may not have liked with Citalopram. It's much easier to get things under control before they get too far out of control! ;)
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#37 hellnbak

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 03:55 AM

I went 'cold turkey' my Celexa about 20 days ago, having been taking them 2 and half years. After 10 days of feeling feally unbalanced and wobbly I put myself back on 10 mg's/daily. After another 10 days the depression started to descend like a looming cloud. I felt it and recognised it so I put myself back on to my normal dose of 40 mg's/daily. That was 2 days ago.

Stil feel like cr*p.

So why did i go cold turkey?

I had convinced myself they weren't working and that I wasn't depressed anymore, 'i felt fine'.

Proved myself wrong haven't I?.....and if i try to stop again, I'll def do it under my doc's supervision.

Stupid tho, now i got to wait for them to build back up until i stop feeling like this.

Still felt depressed on them tho. Not as i do now, but still waking every morning (that's if i slept at all) thinking OMG it's another day in hell.

So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.

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#38 kirkwuk

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:23 AM

It's amazing isn't it how such a small tablet can make all the difference to your outlook on life. I have become more faithful to all these "how the mind works" books and treatments because of it.

I have gone from 10mg to 5mg to 2.5mg, today is the first day without a pill and I am feeling okay, I know tonight I will not sleep though so I may have to re-instate the 2.5mg again. Will be interesting. I will be so glad if I sleep at all and will throw some kind of party when I am off these things. Can 2.5mg really make that much difference? I have been able to survive on reinstating doses after one day, I have learnt to be incredibly strong willed with the side-effects I was having so I don't feel more pain.

I have been walking and eating more fruit (not at the same time, lol), although I have an appointment at the bank to open a new Investment Fund which I have been a bit stressed about.

Good thing is I have 14 days off work until Christmas, so there is plenty of recovery time. :)

***UPDATE 10/09

Have slept every night, last night like a log. Today is my third day without the pills!

On with the battle...

Edited by kirkwuk, 09 September 2007 - 03:00 AM.

Beating depression since 2007

#39 chinkes

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:40 PM

I have gone from 10mg to 5 to 2.5mg Lex now over 3 weeks time as my doctor directed. I'm about to see how I feel without an SSRI at all. I'm now taking 150mg WB XL and 30mg Remeron. I'm hoping those two will cover the bases and I can get rid of Lex after over a year on it and no libido, weight gain, laziness, etc. I'm also crossing my fingers the GAD doesn't flare up when I'm off Lex. Cheryl

#40 kstours

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:10 PM

I have gone from 10mg to 5 to 2.5mg Lex now over 3 weeks time as my doctor directed. I'm about to see how I feel without an SSRI at all. I'm now taking 150mg WB XL and 30mg Remeron. I'm hoping those two will cover the bases and I can get rid of Lex after over a year on it and no libido, weight gain, laziness, etc. I'm also crossing my fingers the GAD doesn't flare up when I'm off Lex. Cheryl


Good luck, Cheryl! I went off Lex and am now just on Wellbutrin 150 mg and so far at least, my anxiety has stayed in check. Hope things go well for you!
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