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"I have stopped taking cipramil/citalopram about a week ago and I'm feeling really strange. I keep getting funny feelings in my head...can't really describe it other than it feels like my brains shaking for a few seconds.....it seems to be worse today....does anyone have any info on withdrawl from this drug??..the doctor told me that I should have no withdrawl symptons...I've been taking this drug now for about 8 months."--joanne66

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May 14, 2006 at 6:47 pm
(1) james says:

hi yes I have been experiancing the same, another thing I get is like firworks going of in my head, like electronic messages that go nowhere and terminate in mid air. I am not a crankpot but I definatly know what you mean. I have gone back on them at just 10 mg and it has all stopped. I am going to try again at a later date.

May 14, 2006 at 9:13 pm
(2) Jon says:

You two people have made me feel much better, as I know now I’m not alone. I also have experienced both the ‘brain moving’ and the ‘fireworks’. And the most unnerving little ‘sounds’ to go with the above.

It might help to know that I was on 60mg of Citalopram for 2 years. In January 2006, I reduced to 40mg without problems, and in March I reduced to 20mg without problem. However in May I tried to stop altogether and BANG… I crashed BADLY today (hence I searched and found this), one week after stopping.

I would urge anyone trying to get off this stuff to PLEASE do so REALLY slowly. I’ve now started retaking 20mg after one of the worst days of my life as a result of withdrawal. It’s really bad.

Thanks guys for posting your comments on here. As I say, it’s made me feel better to not be alone. Good luck to you both.

November 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm
(3) dee says:

getting off 60 mgs of cytalopram is wicked. as they say, do it slowly, it is unreal. been off for 2 wks and still feel spacy and anxious.

May 15, 2006 at 7:59 am
(4) linda says:

hi all,wow thank god im not alone,i have been in hospital with servere dizzyness,when i move my head i feel like im falling etc the slightest movement and i go dizzyalso headaches and like you all say feels like my brain is moveing and no one knows what the problem is but looking at what you all had to say it looks like withdrawl which i was also told there are no affects from citalopram but how wrong are they…!im am pregnant and cant go back on the drug althought my gp says there will be no harm to my baby butif its anything like the so called none withdrawls i will suffer the dizzyness for my baby.i have been off the drug for 2 weeks know and still no signs of me felling better”how long does it last? hope you all feel better soon,im off to see my gp for more answers and will let you know how i get on. bye for know.good luck

May 15, 2006 at 4:51 pm
(5) Jon says:

Hi Linda. Just read your post and I’m really sorry to see that you’ve been suffering the same as me (mine was the post immediately before yours). I said earlier that I had started retaking at 20mg, and it has stopped all the side effects.

My reason for posting back here was wondering whether I could be of any help. It has helped me immensely to see that I wasn’t alone.

Linda if you, or anyone else reading this, would like to get in touch and just email-chat stuff through, you’d be really welcome. My email is jonkeen71@btinternet.com

If I can be any help at all, please don’t hesitate. I so hope you feel better really soon.

May 17, 2006 at 6:27 am
(6) linda says:

hi jon thx for replying to my comment,i was also on 20mg of citalopram and boy does it make you feel rough.i lapsed the other day and had to take half of a citalopram and it made me fell so good but now the withdrawl is back again,i was hopeing to reduce the dose myself and wean of it but its not working so im at a loss what to do now,its bad enough with morning sickness and all the other unwell feelings being pregnant without being in withdrawl from this drug.any advised would be most welcome.once again thx jon and take care all.

May 22, 2006 at 3:26 pm
(7) maria benjamin says:

Hi, seems like I’m having similar withdrawal symptoms. The wierd brain swivel thing. I’m determined not to go back on medication so I am putting up with it but just wondered for how long? It’s been 3 weeks since I stopped.

May 23, 2006 at 5:13 pm
(8) patrick says:

Hi all,

I am on this shit for over 8 years :-(
I stopped for one year and I had exactly the same symptoms (for example a noise , like someone was shaking a box filled with rice in my head lol).
Those weird symptoms do go away after several weeks; they become less and less frequent,and then disappear completely. Unfortunately the depression often comes back, and then You have to take the drug again, although its effect diminishes a lot when You have to take it for a long time.It also kills your libido completely after several years, although one might consider this side-effect as handy :-)

Greetz, Patrick from Belgium

May 26, 2006 at 1:12 pm
(9) Mike says:

Hi all, I was on 30mg citalopram for about 9 months and then quickly reduced the dosage to nothing within a week or so. I experienced all the symptoms described above, but they were never very severe and were all gone after about 2 weeks. In addition, I had a few days where I felt very unhappy after stopping the medication, but knowing that this was just a result of the withdrawl and would soon be gone was comforting.

Your brain will eventually adjust to the absence of citalopram. The length of time it takes will vary from person to person and will depend on your dosage and how long you were on it.

Hope everyone feels better soon!

June 1, 2006 at 5:58 pm
(10) toetoe says:

Hi everyone,

I’ve been on different types of antidepressents for about 8 years the last 3 of which I have been taking Citalopram. I’ve decided I feel ready to come off them, my GP has cut my doseage on half. I feel awful! My head feels as it would if I was really drunk and not in control. Its worse when I move! I feel depressed again and want to sleep all the time but when I do, which isent often I have nightmares.

I also have a cold and cough which I can’t shake. It might just be a coincidence that this has happened at the same time I have lowered my doseage.

Although I wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone, it has been reasuring to know that i’m not the only person feeling like this.

Please any tips,or promises that this will get better would be warmly welcomed.

June 4, 2006 at 3:41 pm
(11) Scott says:

Hi all,

Thank you so much for all being so brave and open to share your experiences.

My wife has been taking Citalopram for about a year now (40mg), and has been off of them for 9 days and the symptoms really hit her Saturday morning (The ironic thing is she saw her doctor Friday (one week after stopping) and he said all would be well).

It’s pretty scary to see someone you love suffering with the symptoms you all know to well, and I thought I would do a search to see if there were any withdrawl symptoms known, and we are both glad to have found this thread.

I printed off the comments and just read them to her and she is feeling relieved to know that she isn’t sliding back, but going through withdrawl.

She is going to take the comments into her GP tomorrow to see about either halving the dosage or what else he recommends.

We will let you know…

Anyway, thanks again all for being so candid, it’s good to see people talking about what is often something not spoken about, and as someone with a loved one suffering, I want to say a big thank you from the bottom of my heart.

June 11, 2011 at 6:25 am
(12) Jude says:

Hi Scott
Iím glad you found this site for your wife Ė it really helped me as well. It was nice to know Iím not alone – not that I want others to suffer! I am still suffering but have now got to the point where I definitely will not go back on the tablets. Iíve been off the tablets for about 4 weeks now and still get the weird dizzy feeling and horrible tinnitus but it is getting better and you kind of get used to it. I told my doctor about the symptoms and he was very surprised so I don’t think the medical world are aware. My daughter is a 4th year medical student and she has explained that the symptoms are not so much withdrawal symptoms but rebalancing the chemicals in the brain to replace the artificial ones the tablets gave us.
Good luck and stick it out Ė it is worth it in the end.

October 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(13) patd says:

Hi jude, i was on citalopram for 3 months and been off it for nearly 19 weeks and have been through the dizzy feelings, strange feelings in the head, still to date i have strange feelings in top of chest and throat area, like anxiety/panick and goose pimples throughout my body. I hope your daughter is right when she says it’s the body rebalancing the chemicals, because this is frightening. Please keep in touch by email many thanks

June 6, 2006 at 5:49 am
(14) Linda C says:

I am so glad I’m not the only one! I stopped taking Citalopram a week ago after being on them for 9 months and it’s been the worse week of my life! I can identify with all of your symptoms, the way I describe it is that when I move, my head seems to be about half a second behind me. Sounds crazy to anyone who hasn’t experienced it! I also feel sick and keep having palpitations…I don’t want to go back on them so will try to cope with it and hope it doesn’t last much longer. Good luck to everyone going through similar.

June 7, 2006 at 1:39 am
(15) kylie says:

I’m going though the dizzy’s as well and mate it sucks. I’m pregnant and found this on a google trip, So hey and I send you the best :)

June 7, 2006 at 6:29 pm
(16) Scott van Slyck says:

Good luck all,

My missus is now on 20mg every other day and after a day is already feeling better.

I am happy there is a resource like this, as she said, like many others here, just knowing the cause helped so much.

All the best,


June 8, 2006 at 1:45 pm
(17) Colin says:

I have been on 60mg of Citalopram for 12 months and lower doses for a previous 18 months.

Due to other changes in my medication (coming off atenalol), about 4 weeks ago my GP decided to reduce the dosage to 40mg for 1 week, then 20mg for another week and then nothing.

I was fine for the first 2 weeks (just some minor dizzyness when standing etc – assumed to be caused by coming off the beta blocker) but during the 3rd week on no citalopram, I started feeling like I was getting explosions in my head accompanied by a load whoosh/buzz sound in my ears.

Every day they start of during the morning with one or two occurances per hour, during the day they occure more and more often during the day and by the evening I’m getting them just about every minute or more often with many off them occuring as multiples. Fireworks and lightning is a good description. I go to bed and eventualy get to sleep only to have the most vivid, realistic nightmares – so much so I am woring about going to sleep, afraid about what I might dream.

My GP thinks I might need to go back on to beta-blockers but I’m not convinced at did a search for similar symptoms.

It is a releif to find these posts.

I dont want to back on citalopram, but I need to go back to work.

Any advice?



June 8, 2006 at 3:00 pm
(18) Linda C says:

It seems like there are lots of us going through the same thing. Colin, there isn’t really any advice to give other than to try and see it through. I also find that my symptoms get worse as the day goes on, I put it down to tiredness but may not be the case. We just need to hang on in there!

Once again, good luck to you all, especially those of you who are trying to cope with pregnancy on top of this! x

June 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm
(19) connie says:

I have been off of citalopram for about 2 weeks now. I am having the same head feelings but it is accompanied by almost constant nausea. I tried to stop taking them before about 2 years ago and even after a month the withdrawal had not gotten better. So I started taking them again. I really want to be off of them. I read on another website today that omega 3 fish oil helps with the head feelings. Has anyone else heard this or tried it?

July 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(20) MaryJane says:

Hi Everyone,

Well, count me in. I am trying to kick the Citalopram habit as well after being on them for about a year. I was taking one 20 daily. I took half for 7 day, half again for 7 days etc until I could not cut them in half any more and still I have “electric head” and “drunken head” as the day goes on and I am soooooooooooo irritable it is insane , but I refuse to go back. I found a website called “the road back” which has supplements and directions on how to kick it…it does seem to help and yes one of the supplements in Omega 3′s, it does seem to help. I just wish I know how long it will last in my body…why can’t I find that info????? All the best to you all….

June 9, 2006 at 4:23 pm
(21) clare b says:

Anyone out there taken Citalopram for M.E.Symptoms?

I’ve been on it at 20mg for 3 years and decided I wanted to see what my M.E.is like without it. I have been reducing it for six weeks and took my last one 6days ago.

I am feeling rubbish, dizzy disorientated head, exhausted and nauseous coming and going in waves throughout the day. Its a relief in one way to see others have similar symptoms from Citalopram withdrawal as I am nervous its my M.E. relapsing.

hope it goes soon for me and everyoen suffering!! I say pants to the G.P. who says there is no withdrawal!!

June 10, 2006 at 3:09 pm
(22) Lee M says:

Hi all,

I’ve just come off 20mg a day of Citalapram after about 18 months. I’m having the brain-lag problem. It’s a bit like being slightly drunk all the time. I only stopped completely a week ago. At least it’s not been making me feel sick(at least no yet).

I’ve been feelig particularly odd today so thought I’d do a quick search and found this. At least I know I’m not imagining it now!

Best of luck all,


June 12, 2006 at 2:10 am
(23) Nick says:

Hi everyone. I decided to cut back on citalopram just recently as well. I know you are supposed to taper slowly, but I am eager to be done with this drug. I’ve been on 20 MG for about 5 months now. Anyway, today was the first day I had none, and I’ve been rapidly tapering down from 20 MG for about 4 days now. So far no bad symptoms from it… I guess I am curious about something you all seem to be saying. Do the withdrawals kick in a week or two after stopping, or did it start more rapidly? I guess I am bracing myself for something bad now… I thought that since it has been easy so far it would be no big deal, as citalopram is supposed to leave the body very quickly… Anyway, best of luck to all of you. Wish me luck as well!

June 14, 2006 at 5:04 am
(24) Duncan says:

Same feelings here – “brain whooshes” and dizziness when I try to come off them. I am down to 20mg every other day and REALLY struggling to keep it up. May have to go back on 20mg a day.

What is annoying is that these withdrawal affects were not explained at the start!

March 12, 2011 at 10:41 am
(25) sue hirst says:

hi i realise its been a few years for you but i,ve been off them for 4 days now. i was on 40mg i,ve had to reduce quickly 30mg for 2 days 20mg again for 2 days then 10mg for 2 days now nothing for a week until i start on sertraline 50mg i,ve no idea what these are going to be like my dr never warned me about the side affects they are really bad evrything people are saying plus for me my skin is itchy and its affecting my hypoglicemia (dont know if that is spelt right) how have you been since hope things ok for you

June 18, 2006 at 2:41 am
(26) Jeanette says:

I’m so relieved to have found your comments – I thought I was losing my mind! I tapered down from 40mg over a period of two months and only got side effects when I stopped them completely three weeks ago. I got the fireworks in the head thing alternating with feeling like my head was full of cotton wool and the feeling that when I turned my head my brain took a while to catch up (I still have these sensations, but not as bad). After a week I was having incredibly vivid, disturbing nightmares that have only just started to subside. What’s just started to happen now is that for the past three days I’ve been feeling incredibly tearful and angry (alternately). Has anyone else felt this way and if so, how long has it lasted for?

November 18, 2011 at 9:03 am
(27) Lynda says:

YES, same here. I originally was on 60 mg. Had the heart palpatitons, saw the new warning, and my doctor tapered me off and started me on Wellbutrin. Wasn’t sure which was causing me these wierd sensations. I’m so glad I found this site. I have had the dizziness, nausea, brain swooshing (love that description) and emotional swings. Want to cry at everything, want to kill my poor husband (no, not literally- just seem to take my anger out on him-always gets the brunt of things). This SUCKS. So tempted to take it again to make it stop, but I certainly don’t want to ever deal with this again, so I’m trying to ride it out. Thanks to all for sharing.

June 18, 2006 at 6:30 am
(28) JL says:

I’ve been taking 20mg of Cytalopram (UK name for Celexa) and stopped ‘cold turkey’ a two weeks ago. I am sleeping fourteen hours a day, and by the time I get home I’m too exhausted to do anything but climb into bed. The reason I came off the tablets is because I put on 12kg while I was on them. I’m eating a salad for lunch, and pita bread for dinner, but I have put on an extra 4kg this week alone. I feel really low, but I know I have to be antidepressant free for the future. I have now ordered vitamin supplements 5HTP and L-Phen after reading that they have a positive affect on serotonin levels. I hope they work. All the best, J

June 19, 2006 at 3:15 pm
(29) Scott van Slyck says:

Hi JL,

Sorry to hear you are struggling…

You may want to check into the vitamin supplements, from what I can gather from Citalopram it works as a Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitor, so I wonder if it’s correcting a low level of serotonin per se or is it allowing the seotonin to stay in your brain longer to get picked up by other receptors.

If it’s the latter, boosting the serotonin levels by vitamins may not do the trick completely…

Just something to look into…

Either way all the best


June 21, 2006 at 5:54 am
(30) Jane says:

Hi there every1. I have been on Citalopram for a few years and decided i do not want to be on any medication for anxiety for a bit to see if i feel any better as some of the side effects make you feel worse!!! I am having funny movements in my head and in my body I do not think any1 else can see them but it is like i am juddering inside and it makes me feel a little breathless. I am also feeling really agitated and angry i am hoping this will all pass. I think the side effects of this tablet being on it and stopping it has just magnified my problem and when out of the system will hopefully be better. I also have terrible jealousy and anger issues which i am going to try and deal with and hopefully not being on it will help!!

Speak soon


June 22, 2006 at 5:33 am
(31) elaine says:

hi clair i also have m.e which i take citalopram for i have been weaning my self of it for weeks as the doc thinks im ready to come of it,and i fill crap with dizzines i fell misreable and i cant sleep which is making me really tierd. like you i thought my m.e was geeting worse but thanks to this website i know its withdrawal symptoms

June 22, 2006 at 7:21 am
(32) alfRed says:

Hi hello.

I too experienced brain shakes a few times, but when getting used to taking citalopram, also some nausea and a little dizzyness.
The symptoms eased after a couple of weeks, and I was supposed to go up to 40mg, but cut it to 10mg instead after noticing the severe reduction of libido. 10mg is half the pill, so I’ve been wrapping the other half in clingfilm for the next day.

The reduction is going fine, although I was snappy and suffered a return of stress for a week. I would carry the other half of the pill with me to work, so that if stress got to bad I could take it, and did a few times. Drugs seem to work pretty quickly and well for me.

The break from stress symptoms and the clarity of mind the stuff is giving me is very worthwhile. My work performance, alertness, confidence and assertiveness have improved dramatically – probably mostly due to not being depressed any more.

There are relaxation, goal setting , assertiveness training and other techniques, (like practising breathing control) that have helped me make the adjustment to lower dose. I think mostly I just needed a break from the constant grinding stress..

Knowing that this was normal side effect of reducing dose helped me ride that out. Will be breaking the pills into quarters next – 5 mg.

Changing swing shifts from night to day work and back is also difficult. I’ve been delaying taking the next pill at the changeover time for about 12 hours. That way it doesnt interupt my sleep as much. Other ppls reactions to being 12 hours late may not be so good as mine, as everyone is different in how they react to medicines.

June 25, 2006 at 8:31 pm
(33) Lesley says:

Hi all,
my twenty-two year old daughter has been on Citalopram for about three years, and has managed to reduce her dose down gradually to the point that she usually only has to take one every three or four days. However, if she tries to come off them, she describes her withdrawal symptoms as ‘flickering in her eyes’ and feeling really ill. I wondered whether anyone else has experienced these visual disturbances. She also experiences palpitations at times, regardless of whether or not she is taking them. Is this another side effect of the drug? She has been checked out and doesn’t seem to have any heart problems.

June 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(34) dollyp says:

hiya hon, on my 3rd time coming off citalopram, allthough its a wonder drug the withdrawels are pretty rubbish. just smiled to myself when i read you comment about your daughters vision, was reading and watching jelly floating across the screen, bloody weird or what but ive been through this befor and i promise everybody it does go and the dizzy nightmares will go and the fatigue or perhaps the insomnia will pass. a bigpart for me wasgetting my libido back, thats been driving me up the wall, i’m single but just not interested because of my medication. have reduced to 1 every other day but not functioning very well so gonna go on half every other day. head up guys, i promise your withdrawels will stop eventually, just TRY to keep busy and occupy yer brain so your not constantly thinking about it. gonna go and change my beds again and clean my windows for the 2nd time this week but no ladders coz i feel like i’ll fall off. good luck to you all and dont forget, you will be fine xxxxxxxxx

June 27, 2006 at 1:53 pm
(35) Andrew says:

Hi everyone,
I have had M.E. for over 20 years and thought I would give Citalopram a go following a consultant’s advice. (Although I didn’t like the idea)

I’ve been taking 10mg a day for about 8 months.

It did help with the associated depression and did make me a bit more lively and even with the ME symptoms (muscle aches etc) – coming off even this low dosage was initially difficult. I tried a few times but went back on – this time I have not been taking any for over a week and I seem to be aware of the odd feeling of my brain being present – I liked the analogy of ‘the rice in the box’ which almost describes it. Also not sleeping very well at moment. This seems so common I don’t know how doctors have the nerve to say there are no side effects.


June 28, 2006 at 10:09 am
(36) jacqueline says:

I stopped taking 20mg 9 days ago and boy do I feel crap. Please can someone give me hope that theses dizzy symptons will subside. I am not going back on citalopram, as I am reclaiming my life.

July 1, 2006 at 9:56 am
(37) Nicola says:

I have come to the conclusion this is a terrible antidepressant to presribe in terms of its withdrawal symptoms. I had post partum depression and was on this drug on a 20mg dose for over six months. On the way “up” (when you start on 10mg and increase over a few weeks) it wasn’t the greatest feeling either, but once established in my system I began to get strange dizzy feelings if I was so much as an hour “late” taking my pill. My doctor made out I was mad saying that he doubted something which takes a month to reach full effect could engender such immediate withdrawals but it does. I fell pregnant and had a nightmare time withdrawing cold turkey from these pills. Anxiety, shaking, nausea and that feeling that you are leaving your head behind took a long time to leave me. I am happy to report that I have no further withdrawals although I did read somewhere that someone who had been on this drug long term took a long time to get past it. Hang in there people, it does get better, you have to ride it through, but i would definitely speak to a dr, one with slightly better bedside manner than mine.

July 6, 2006 at 5:05 pm
(38) Andy says:

I am so pleased to have found a thread where we can discuss symptoms that I know I didn’t think anyone would understand!

I have been on citalopram for over 4 years. Initially it was prescribed for severe panic attacks, but over the years I have reduced the dosage from 20mg a day to 10mg and then recently to 2.5mg over about 3 months and 10 days ago I stopped completely.

I had tried to stop several times previously, but took the leap at too high a dose (5mg). Having dropped to 2.5mg made the difference in being able to cope with the withdrawal whilst holding down my management job (at least so far)!

I too had researched the ‘half life’ of the drug and thought that the withdrawal symptoms would be over quite quickly. However, it seems that the drug leaving your system is only half the story. The receptors in the brain apparently need to adjust, even after the drug has gone.

My doctor seemed almost slightly amused at my suggestion that I couldn’t ‘just stop’ at 5mg. He said that the minimum suggested dose was 20mg and that 5mg was so low that I shouldn’t experience any problems. How wrong he was (and is)!

I have struggled to explain to my partner and friends what I am experiencing. Tiredness, wooly-headedness, dizziness, the time-lag feeling of my brain inside my skull when I turn my head, the visual flickering effect, and muscle spasms (although mild).

I am yet to look forward to the ‘fireworks’ effect! Although I am experiencing some vivid dreams, they are not too bad so far.

I hope that they will begin to wear off soon rather than get worse. I do carry some tablets to work with me just in case I can’t handle it. I am determined to finally be free of this drug. It did help me out through rather a bad time, but I am through the other side now and my biggest problem these days is the withrawal itself!

I empathise with everyone who is going through the same thing and I wish you all the strength and stamina to make it through to the other side. I’ll post again if things change (for better or worse!)

Keep posting to this thread – it really helped me, and hopefully it will help others. Thanks.

July 8, 2006 at 5:35 pm
(39) julia says:

Hi everyone, well thank god I am not alone, although I am so sorry you are all going through this too!
I have been on citalopram for 9 months now and have been trying to quit for the last 3! After going cold turkey and becoming so ill I thought I had flu my doctor advised me to go back on them at the original dose of 40 mg per day and slowly wean myself off, he suggested I did 2 weeks of 40mg 1 week of 40mg 1 day and 20mg the next, then 1 week of 20mg, then 1 week of 20mg 1 day and 10mg the next, finishing with a week of 10 mg. I tried this and finished my last tablet 10 days ago, and I feel terrible!
I too have the brain shakes, the wooly head, eyes that judder like electric shocks, I feel dizzy and sick, headaches are something else! sleeping is a major problem due to twitching all night like I am on a sugar rush, dreams aren’t a problem yet, boy something to look forward to i can’t wait!! Why isn’t there more info about all this?? Trying to hold down a job and keep 2 children happy whilst being a single parent is not good!.
I hope I get through this as I want to be me again, although the urge to turn the house upside down looking for another packet of tablets is overwhelming.


July 9, 2006 at 2:43 am
(40) Nicola says:

I have been searching all day for a thread like this one and feel a kinship with you all! I am 5 weeks pregnant and have been trying to come off citalopram for four months now. Originally on 20mg for anxiety for 1.5 years, i tapered to 10mg each day, then eventually to 10mg every four days to curb the withdrawals. Now that I have found that I am preg, I have come off them altogether and am finding it very tough one week down the track…..dizzyness, cotton wool mouth, heaviness in my head, zaps and spaced out feeling, pins and needles, you name it, i think i’ve felt it! I don’t think it matters how long you try to taper off, when you actually stop you will still feel the withdrawals. I have another child and was taking citalopram during that pregnancy as I was informed it was safe….maybe it is…maybe it’s coincidence, but my beautiful and much loved baby was born missing a bone in her arm and only has a thumb and forefinger, so I’m not taking any chances……best of luck to all….hang in there – it can only get better!

July 9, 2006 at 4:30 pm
(41) julia says:

Hi Nicola, congrats on the pregnancy hope all is going well. If it means anything I am 100% positive you are doing the right thing by giving up, hang in there with the rest of us, it can only get better right? As for your other child , maybe you should dig deeper on the effects of citalopram in pregnancy it needs looking at I am sure.
As for me…well another sleepless night and yet another dizzy, wooly, brain juddering day.

July 10, 2006 at 5:36 pm
(42) Jenny says:

I’ve been on citalopram since October – initially just 10, and then up to 20. It didn’t start working till Christmas, but by about May I felt ready to try coming off them and the doc put me down to 10 again ‘for a month’. Unfortunately, this coincided with my deciding to take grapefruit juice first thing in the morning to help me get out of bed, not knowing that this interfered with the absorption of many drugs, so I’ve had to extend it for a month; but now I’ve stopped I feel so dizzy! All the side effects I had in the Autumn are back and I’m so fed up that all the benefit I had from it has just evaporated. Maybe I should go back and get a smaller dose – I thought the month on the lower dose was it.

July 11, 2006 at 8:57 am
(43) jan says:

Wow, what a site of knowledge, and im so glad im not on my own, i thought i was going mad. i to have been on citalapram for approx 2 years 10 mg a day, this was px for anxiety as previos to that i was considered i may have ms but this was never concluded. I dont know whats worse the symptoms of comming off the citalapram or the symptoms which i had before the citalapram was px, which ever way i feel absolutely lousey,but im going to persevere and put up with it, i cant believe that im reading all this , this is so not good, does any one no how long before you actually start feeling your self again . thanks

July 11, 2006 at 6:01 pm
(44) julia says:

Hiya, well it’s been 8 weeks since i started weaning myself off these horrible little pills, and its been 2 weeks since my last tablet and like i mentioned on an earlier post the dizzyness and brain shuddering is a nightmare, but i think its getting better…today the dizzyness didn’t start till almost dinnertime although i really do feel ill. driving is a hazard which i try to avoid if i can, my new partner says i have been distant and pre occupied i am sure its the pills i have no idea i am being like that! fingers crossed the road to recovery isn’t much longer i will never ever go back on these things again they have messed up my life completely.

July 12, 2006 at 7:42 am
(45) Annike says:

Hi guys. I’m probably a lot younger than you all – I’m 15. I was prescribed cipramil by a doctor when I was 14, even though it wasn’t a wise choice of anti-depressant for someone my age. Being younger, I’ve had a tough time stopping taking cipramil. I’ve experienced convulsions, hallucinations, changes in appetite and all sorts of things including tinitus like some of you mentioned earlier in the discussion. It makes me feel more comfortable knowing that there are people out there who have experienced the same thing, and are willing to share their experiences. I have to say from personal experience – If you are under 18 years old I don’t think you should take this drug no matter what a doctor tells you; It can wreck your health!!

July 12, 2006 at 4:19 pm
(46) julia says:

Hi again, after one of my worst nights ever i went to the drs today, he says i am suffering from vertigo probably due to withdrawel of citalopram, so now am on anti sickness drugs 3x a day, nice huh.

July 12, 2006 at 6:17 pm
(47) Sandra says:

I’ve been off these drugs for 44 days now, and I feel sick. I decided cold turkey was the way, and now the symptoms are there regarding withdrawl. I’m getting tingly feelings in the hand and fingers. I feel like I’m ill…dizzy, and get hit with anxiety…after awhile it all goes away…how long does this last?

July 13, 2006 at 2:46 am
(48) Mandy says:

So sorry to hear what you all going through but so relieved to know I’m not imagining what’s happening to me. Have been on these things for couple of years, only 20mcg a day, reducing over past three weeks, stopped completely 8 days ago. Have had dreadful headaches, dizzyness, appalling nightmares and spend all day in tears – it’s a wonder my partner hasn’t just left as all I do is scream and shout.

Hope it doesn’t last too long but I’m damned if I’m going to let coming off these things ruin my life.

Good luck to everyone else – hang in there.

July 14, 2006 at 4:43 pm
(49) julia says:

Waaahaayyy, i feel soooo much better i can’t begin to tell you! Ifyou are suffering, please go to your doctor and tell him/her, get them to prescribe you some anti-sickness tablets,they are great! i wasnt feeling sick, just dizzy etc after 2 days on these i am starting to fel like myself again. yayyyy thank god.

July 18, 2006 at 3:31 am
(50) Richard says:

Thanks for the comments everyone. I’ve been on Citalopram for 8 years with dosages between 20mg and 50mg. My GP is shifting me over to something else called Mirtazapine for my depression. He advised me to cutdown 10mg a day on the Citalopram and start on 15mg of Mirtazapine immediately after I finished the Citalopram and I feel like crap. I was expecting the dizziness and the “brain whooshes” (great description whoever came up with that) from the times when I accidentally missed a couple of days on the Citalopram, but the vivid dreams and the irritability are something else again. I’m thankful that so far I haven’t had any other side-effects but it worries me how some people have reported the symptoms going on for weeks and months. I’m a teacher and its really hard to do my job feeling like this. Thanks for everyone’s comments. I feel better knowing that I’m not the only one going through this. By the way, just for your information, the first day I took the Mirtazapine I couldn’t stand up from headspins after 20mins. I then crawled into bed and fell asleep for 16 hours straight. I was groggy for a day or two after that, but then settled down. Make sure you have someone around when you take it and that you have some time off too.

July 18, 2006 at 2:01 pm
(51) Jackie says:

i stopped taking citalopram 5 days ago and today feel very strange. I can’t think straight and feel i can hear the blood going round my head. I would be interested to know if anyone put weight on whilst taking this drug. over 9 months i have put on one stone!

May 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm
(52) very sad patient says:

I have been on citalopram for almost three years and have been weening off for one month(with my phycisian’s supervision,) and completely off for 4 days. I feel as though my brain is floating above my head. I also feel sad, irritated, and have difficulty coping w/situations in which I had no issues with handling a month ago. I am very upset that my doctor prescribed me this medication when he has no idea what the withdrawal symptoms are and clearly, like many other doctors, is not 100% familiar w/the cons of the medication. I am hoping that these symptoms subside and that my irritability does not cause me to chase my loved ones away. This is a completely disregard for human life the fact that doctors are freely prescribing this when they are not even psychiatrists or psychologists to begin with.

September 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm
(53) Jules says:

I feel that I’m in a very similar place to you, very sad patient. Although I have felt the benefits of Citalopram over the past 3 years my doctor never mentioned withdrawal only that it wasn’t addictive so I thought everything would be ok when I stopped taking them as directed over a number of weeks. I’ve been without tablets now for about 2 weeks and can’t believe how horrible it all is. At first I thought I was just ill until I started to research on the Internet and found forums like this. At least now I realise that this is ‘normal’. I feel so nauseous, my eyes move but the rest of my head takes seconds to respond making movement of any kind very difficult. I am exhausted. I am short tempered and because my job involves helping others with problems I am very worried that I’m not going to be able to cope. I really don’t want to resort to going back on this drug now I know how difficult it is to come off it but I just wonder how much longer this withdrawal will last. Plus I don’t want to push my loved ones away in the meantime. I really wish I had never taken this drug and worked with the ‘talking therapies’ This is obviously a quick fix for doctors and much cheaper than putting us in touch with people who can make a difference.

July 19, 2006 at 1:25 pm
(54) Graham says:

I have been on Citalopram for 2 years at 20mg per day…I was put on for Anxiety because my heartrate was 120bpm when sitting down…had ECG etc nothing wrong with heart. I have mixed feelings about the drug, it certainly has made me happy, to much so sometimes, but it comes at a price…2 stone in weight to be precise…

I discussed things with my doctor and I have been cutting down…10mg for 4 weeks, then 5mg for 4 weeks then on Sunday I stopped altogether…Monday was hell on toast…mood swings from one extreme to the other, irritable, tired and by the end of the day tears…for no reason at all. It is now day 4 and the mood swings have stopped but now I have the strangest feeling in my head…can’t describe it…but I don’t like it at all !!!

I am strong mentally and don’t really believe that I ever really needed the drug…but I am not going back…I am determined to get through this and kick the drug forever !!!

It is nice to see that I am not the only one going through this…we should all be strong and work through it !!!

July 21, 2006 at 8:06 am
(55) Holly says:

I have been off citalopram (20mg) for about a week and feel so horrible, I have none of the dizziness or strange fireworks in the head but I am so unbeleivably irratable and tearful. I feel like my mind is trapped in my body and wants to escape. All the smallest things like a small bit of mess or an unhoovered carpet in my house makes my cry and feel like I want to smash everything up including myself!. I just want to drink but that is obviously not a good answer to it. Is anyone else feeling like this? I feel as though I am being pathetic as I have only been on a low dose. :(

July 21, 2006 at 6:23 pm
(56) julia says:

Hey holly, ur not alone its horrible, feels like yr more depressed than ever. Good news you can and ill get through it. If you read my previous posts u will see how much better i am now.
keep going don’t give up, definately don’t drink, try to smile, know its withdrawel and everything will get better.

July 23, 2006 at 5:05 pm
(57) Mandy says:

Sorry to know that hell on earth is still out there for some of you, but wanted to let you know how much better I am feeling. Have been off these things for 18 days now and my body (and head) is starting to get sorted out now – yippee.

Still have a problem with lousy sleeping but the nightmares have calmed down, irritability and mood swings are much less extreme and the dizziness has almost gone – I almost feel like a member of the human race again.

My partner has been brilliant and it helps so much if you can get some support from those you love whilst you are going through this.

Once again, hang on in there, I promise you that it does get better, honestly.

July 24, 2006 at 6:21 am
(58) Sarah says:

I’ve been taking Citalopram for 18 months, and have been trying to come off it for the past 6. Each time i drop the dose down, i’ve been getting anxiety and panic. I’d finally gotten down to 10mg, and was trying to take one every other day, but i felt sooooo ill! Like i had flu, or some sort of virus. My doctor said it was due to the withdrawal, and that i’d tried cutting down too quickly. I should have missed one dose on one day of the week, then miss two days of the following week, etc. My doctor has now prescribed prozac for me to take for a month, and then come off, as it’s easier to withdraw from (i’ve taken prozac before with no withdrawal problems) Apparently, Citalopram only stays in your system for 24 hours, so once you miss a dose your body is crying out for it, whereas prozac lingers around for 3 weeks. I’ve now been on the prozac for 2 weeks, and i’ve been having the worst panic attacks and constant symptoms of anxitey, it’s been hell. i’ve been back to see my gp today, and i can choose whether to go back onto the Citalopram and steady myself on a 20mg dose, and stay on it for a while, or continue with the prozac. I’m going to stick with the prozac, i’ll never go back on citalopram. it took me weeks (with the aid of valium) to get on it in the first place, and i’m back on valium again now coping with the withdrawal. I would suggest that anyone who is suffering with bad withdrawal ask their doctor for a valium-type drug, it will help see you through the worst symptoms.

July 25, 2006 at 10:07 am
(59) Nic says:


Reading these comments is interetsting, I started on Citalopram last December (05) 20mg per day. It was prescribed for depression. It seemed to nothing for the first 6 weeks or so, and i brought this up with my GP. She suggested that i try CBT with the A/D’s. I started to feel better little by little. However i was still getting side effects of the citalpram, and that was puting a little downer on my recovery. The CBT was then starting to help me, by giving the skills needed to help tackle this horrible illness. Then at the end of April i decided i wanted to reduce my dose, so i started 20mg every other day. This seemed to make no difference some days i felt a little weird but i coped and worked through. At other times i felt OK. I must say at this point that even ppl who DO NOT suffer with depression will get off days etc. I beleive its how you handle these ‘bad’ days is important to your recovery. Anyway i told my GP that i had reduced and she was a little concerned about the half etc and suggested i went down to 10mg daily. I went along with this and for 1 month followed her plan. Again felt mostly OK, with some bad days in there, but i could mainly put my finger on why i didnt feel to good, EG a hangover, a little flu like etc etc. Anyway i then reduced to 10mg every other day, and after a few days of this felt weird again, negative thoughts, dwelling etc im sure you know what i mean. But again this did pass after a couple of days, I just tried to keep busy and enjoy myself. I must admit that the World CUp did help me in this.

2 weeks ago i decided to go on to 10mg every 3 days, and last week (thur) i took the last one. Im not sure if im suffering withdrawal, but sleeping has become a little more difficyult, and in the mornings i feel a little tingly in my stomach. I am certainly not anxious about it

I am putting all of this down to withdrawal. I am determined to beat this and will try to continue to ride it out and confident that i will !

to all of you try remain positive and give your self time.

Stay Strong and look forward.

July 26, 2006 at 5:10 pm
(60) julia says:

Hi again, just wanted to put in an update…3 months after begining to wean myself off these horrible tablets I am almost feeling like myself again, the vertigo has almost gone and I am feeling better than I have done in over a year. I am regaining control f my life and starting to feel positive. We all have bad days but we get through them.
My advice to everyone is to try to focus on whats important in your life, where you want to be and what you want to achieve and it can only get better from there.
Good luck,

July 27, 2006 at 2:11 pm
(61) Sandra says:

It’s over, it’s finally over. NO more out of body feelings, no more drunk feeling, no more mood swings, no more crying spells, no more pins and needles in my hands or legs….after two and a half months of withdrawals it’s over…you do get past it…..hang in there. I was on them for four months…went cold turkey when I stopped taking them….had flu like symptoms for a week…than on and off for three weeks…but I’ve been not feeling any withdrawal symptoms for 7 days now….I wanted to share that you’ll get throught them….it was scary thinking it’ll never end….it was scary feeling like nobody understands….it was this site that eased my mind….so hang in there people…..love and prayers sw

May 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm
(62) susan says:

I have been taking 20 mg for about 3 months and I have RLS at night and now during the day so bad that I can’t stand going to bed. Can anyone tell me if they have experienced this. I am strongly considering stopping this drug. It is not worth feeling a little better for the creepy crawly feeling I have at bedtime. Help me!!!

June 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(63) patd says:

hi there sandra, i read with interest how you came off citolpram cold turkey. I have taken this also 10mg for four weeks and 20mg for five weeks, i have stopped it, i am experiencing headaches, tiredness, sneezing, yawning, anxiety in my tummy and sometimes just feeling vague, i have been off them 11 days its quite scary because you think you are taken a backwards step but how long does it take to go away. thankyou

July 28, 2006 at 1:44 pm
(64) Teresa says:

Thank goodness I have found this site! You are all describing the sort of symptoms I’ve been suffering from since I had a full fortnight without Citalopram.

I’ve been on it for a year, only a low dose of 10mg because I’ve been breastfeeding. I have to give the drug credit, it has worked miracles for me in terms of getting rid of my depression and anxiety.

I’ve been cutting back as instructed, fewer pills each week, but I’ve finally been pill-free for a fortnight and every day I’ve been getting dizzier and dizzier! The last few days I’ve started feeling like I’ve got very mild flu, and I’ve definitely got that weird “my brain’s taking half a second to catch up” whenever I turn my head. With a sort of electric shock jolty feeling too.

I’ve been really worried that the tearfulness and irritability and tiredness were signs that my depression was coming back and I should stay on the drugs but perhaps it’s withdrawal instead.

I really hope these symptoms go away soon, it is really hard work coping wiht the dizziness and fatigue while looking after two toddlers.

July 31, 2006 at 2:46 pm
(65) Sarah says:

Hello all! I am about 5 days off Citalopram and I feel ISHY! If I stay super busy, I am okay, I feel absolutely manic, dizzy, odd vision, body is “floaty” when I sit still (like at work!) I have been taking lots of Vitamin B complex, Benedryl helps to sleep (ALOT!) Also, try Detox Tea, and fish oil….any other natural/herbal ideas would be appreciated!

I decided to quit Citalopram because I could not sleep without some type of “helper” anymore….meaning either I took the Rx Trazadone (ish) or drank too much (becoming a problem) or suffered….

I have also been on Depakote, which the doc swore would have no side effects, yet made me psychotic for the first time Ever.

Don’t believe the alleged side-effects or lack there of, listen to your own body.

Thanks and good luck to all!


July 31, 2006 at 2:56 pm
(66) Sarah says:

Also, I have this vision thing, seems like there are shadows over my eyes, honestly, feels like an acid flashback, haven’t done acid in 10 years and never had a flashback, but I feel trippy……well, I should try to work! Good luck!


August 1, 2006 at 6:16 pm
(67) goffir ali says:

ive been of citalopram for about three months iam still getting thease side effects feeling dizzy my head feeling num my brain being a couple of seconds behind my vision its nasty going threw it i cant work or exercise for that matter iam having problems doing anything and no one including my thick gp understands what iam going threw this is the first time after reading thease comments that i now there people out going threw the same promblems and that iam not imagening it iam feeling badly depressad becuase of all this going back to the gp in a few days to see if can get some help going to take some of thease comments as amonission if theres any body out there who has had theases symptoms for this period of time would like to hear from you or if any body can tell how long this will go on for please let me know hope every body gets better from this crap sorry about spellings

August 2, 2006 at 3:39 pm
(68) Teresa says:

Since I last posted a couple of days ago I am feeling worse and worse, major psychological symptoms kicking in, I am very angry and having very depressive thoughts. I have been doing some reading and found a couple of sites where doctors talk of giving people Prozac during this time, to reduce what they call ‘SSRI discontinuation syndrome’ because apparently Prozac has a much longer half life in the body and therefore you don’t get any of these bizarre symptoms when you come off it. Has anybody got experience of using Prozac to help during withdrawal from another SSRI? If so, did it help?


August 4, 2006 at 12:30 am
(69) Mandy says:

Sorry to do this, but when I last posted 10 days ago, I felt really good. Am now sitting here ate 5:30 in the morning having had 45 mins sleep and am wondering how long it really takes to go away. Or is the depression coming back? Maybe I’m just going quietly mad.

August 4, 2006 at 5:10 am
(70) Jane says:

I am currently on a withdrawal plan from citalopram. I am doing it very slowly with the help of my GP (who has been fantastic and really understanding) I have Betablockers and small doses of Amitriptyline (to help sleep) to take as and when I feel really bad. Both are non addictive (as I have been on them before full time and had no problems getting off them)I hope this helps any one else.

August 5, 2006 at 1:55 am
(71) ss says:

wow! i also am so glad to hear that it’s not just me going through all of these withdrawal symptoms. i am up still at 2 a.m. because i felt like i was going to have a panic attack if i stayed in bed and tossed and turned any longer. i have these funny feelings, sort of stifflike, in my hands and feet, in addition to the dizziness, headaches, mood swings, etc. i am supposed to start a new job (teaching high school) in a few weeks so now i am really worried that these symptoms won’t be gone by then because it has only been a few weeks and many of you are saying 2-3 months. i hope i can do it! thanks to all of you for making me feel like it’s not just me going crazy! i feel so bad for my kids. i feel like i am always on edge with them and they are too little to understand that i am tying to stop taking these meds. i hope they forgive and forget since they are so little still! take care.

August 9, 2006 at 7:49 am
(72) goffir ali says:

has anybody had these withdrawal symptoms for a long period of time meaning sevaral months if so when do the symptoms start calming down. i would like to hear from someone who has got threw this to give my self some hope

August 9, 2006 at 10:41 am
(73) Charlie says:

IŤve been on 10mg of citalophram for a year and a half now. IŤve tried to go off the mediction twice. After the first time I went back on it after a week. After dealing with some personal issues my gp said I should increase my dose to 20mg. I did for a couple of weeks and then reduced to 10. IŤm trying to come off it now. I take 10mg every 3 days or so when the dizziness and neediness become too overwhelming. IŤve had a severe case of vertigo and had a CAT scan. No one mentioned withdrawl from the drug. Thanks for posting your experiences, I thought I was going crazy! IŤm going to try cold turkey now as no one seems to get off this stuff easily.Has anyone experienced a tingling under the ears.

August 10, 2006 at 2:10 am
(74) Karl says:

I have been on Citalopram for 3 years, had little trouble cutting gradually from 40mg to 20mg over 4 months but when I tried to go further I felt like about 200 years old, weird nightmares etc. etc. I left it for a while and now am trying again…I have cut back to 10mg every other day for about a week now – effects: disturbed sleep, vivid dreams, feeling a bit manic and “speedy”, irritable, aggressive, and gradually worsening “wobbly brain”. On the positive side I feel I have had more energy and am feeling less “dulled down”…I am going to persist. Haven’t had the flu type symptoms yet…I think exercising has helped.

Hang in there folks…you are not alone!


August 10, 2006 at 4:42 pm
(75) tanith says:

i have just been taken off my citalopram cold turkey after suffering a manic episode,and hence there is no way i can go back on it. if i ever forgot to take a dose before,i got this wierd tingly sensation and the brain somersaults everyone else seems to be experiencing too,but it is getting much worse now, and is coupled with palpitations and buzzing noises. it is starting to get really annoying and interfering with my day to day life: I just wondered if anyone knows any way i can subdue the symptoms,as my psychiatrist seems ambivalent to the fat i have withdrawal symptoms, and certainly won’t advocate me going back on them due to my bipolar. and it’s HORRIBLE!!!!! any suggestions? or do i just have to sit it out (and for how long…?!!)

August 19, 2006 at 12:09 pm
(76) Teresa says:

It’s just over two weeks since I last posted and my symptoms are getting much better – the dizziness is nowhere near as bad, fatigue much better and my mood more stable – I actually felt cheerful this morning! It is about a month since I took my last tablet. I have hope now that I might feel back to normal in a couple more weeks. I’m just posting this to give people some more feedback on the timeline of these discontinuation symptoms. I was so close to giving in about a week ago because I was so down, but it’s getting better. Good luck to everybody else.

August 23, 2006 at 4:30 pm
(77) irene says:

i have Bipolar disorder and due to oncoming manic attack my pdoc stopped my citalapram. three wekks on and i feel dreadful, headaches. nausea, perception problems irritabilty an dth emost awful migraines. not withstanding th efeelings of impending doom, eventually thought i was going off my nut. saw pdoc today who stated oh its normal just withdrawal. AHHHHHH , Just put onto lamotrigine which is likely to caue heap of side effects. doc also said withdrawal symptoms should las another 14 days whoopee!.. love to fellow sufferers

August 24, 2006 at 10:55 am
(78) shazzbat2000 says:

Hi people, came of citalopram 5 days age (only taken 1 tablet in last 8 days) have been experiencing “flashes/jolts” 1/4 sec in length for the last few days….anybody else had these? anybody know how long it takes until symptoms stop??

thanks in advance for any help!!!

shaz x

August 28, 2006 at 5:49 pm
(79) Tom says:

Hey all.
Was told by my GP that side effects will last from 1-10 days and from what ive read above, thats a bit optimistic. Im on day 5 of my ‘cold-turkey’ stage, it aint much fun. Im having most of the symptons listed above and day by day they are getting worse, i simply dont feel myself.
The above comments have made me feel much better though, knowing that if i stick at it, these side effects will bugger off. I know that these posts can help people though this awful time, so i’ll try my best to update my own mini journey of hell :)

August 29, 2006 at 7:48 am
(80) Linda2 says:

Hello to all,
My partner is going through similar symtoms listed above, anger, snappy, no patience, generally very agitated.

Is there anything that the partner of people going through this, like I am, can do?

I am trying to be very supportive of my partner, talking and just trying to be a comfort but I feel that, that isn’t enough.

Please help! Linda

August 29, 2006 at 3:27 pm
(81) Stacey says:

Hiya all
Thank you all for posting your comments, I have only been taking Citalopram for about 8 months 20mg then started 10 mg for one month and stopped just a couple of days ago. I never realised withdrawals came so quick my GP said i should not suffer any but as I started getting the most strange sensations that feel a bit like nerve spasms and as described above my brain taking a second to catch up, I also have flu like feelings. I was so pleased when taking the tablets I felt like normal?! I cant beleive how i feel now I want to cry.

Your comments have made me realise that this is probably due to withdrawals and not my depression returning and made me more determined to stay off them, although the time to get over them is a bit worrying.

Good luck to you all and thanks again

September 4, 2006 at 5:03 pm
(82) Kirsty says:

I am just about to come off citalopram for the second time. The first time was as you have all described – the head flashes, and I had flu /virus symptoms and I eventually took a week off work which helped a great deal. I’m going to wean myself off it really gradual – like at least 3 months if not longer and I’ll not be afraid to tell my doctor what I want – it’s my body after all! If anyone has any advice re alternative treatments that help ease the symptoms whilst going through withdrawal please let me know.

September 5, 2006 at 10:02 am
(83) Eloise says:

Wow, how lovely it was to read all of your comments and know I’m not alone or mad, I was on 20mg for 2 and a half years following the death of my father and have just recently gone down to 10mg. I have also had the fuzzy ‘brain wobbly’ head and had heart flutters. I also have had stabbing pains in my lower leg muscles!! I am determined to get off them altogether eventually but I agree that it is going to be a very long process. I hope you all are feeling a lot better soon and if anyone wants to discuss, my email is eloise.bulmer@chemdry.co.uk.
My GP has been very understanding about my symptoms and has given me the encouragment to perservere
Be strong! xx

September 6, 2006 at 2:38 pm
(84) goffir ali says:

dose any body know how long thease withdrawal symptoms last would be a big help ive had them for at least three months and still have them

September 11, 2006 at 11:56 am
(85) Jenna says:

I took myself off Citalopram 2 weeks ago, my doctor isn’t aware and I’ve been getting dizzy spells and a fuzzy head even when sat which I expected. But after reading about the ‘little sounds’…….I though OH MY GOD….that’s what they are. I thuoght I was going mad, because I keep hearing things, mainly whistles and blips. Do you think it’s related?

I’m sinking back into my depression I think. I’m aggitated, angry, short of temper, apathetic and I’ve started cutting again. But I don’t want to rely on them anymore. I feel out of control and I gained 16lbs……!!!

What would you advise?

September 11, 2006 at 4:48 pm
(86) Mandy says:

Hey, all you guys who are thinking of giving up weaning yourself off – DON”T DO IT! After 2 and a bit months I feel GREAT – still get a bit snappy, but can put that done to being a woman, and the flashes are still there but that apart I’m back to being me again, taking decisions, sleeping properly and really in control of myself.

So .. from one who seems to be out the other side, be strong and stick with it – you can beat this.

Thinking of you (and all your partners who are suffering with you but are too afraid to say anything).

September 11, 2006 at 11:15 pm
(87) Karl says:

Hi all

It’s about a month since my last post. I was down to 10mg every 4 days and feeling OK so I thought I would scrap it from there. That was just over a week ago now and I am getting major wobbly brain, feel extremely irritable, angry, weepy etc etc. I am getting really sick of this but after reading some more of whay you guys have posted I’ll stick it out a bit longer. I don’t recall feeling this bad before starting citaloprom! I can’t believe such a small dose can have such a dramatic effect…although I guess it is more that the neural receptors have to readjust as others have said.

Good luck to one and all and thanks for the support.


September 12, 2006 at 2:08 am
(88) Tim says:

I`v been on this stuff for a looong time now, this is the second time I`v havnt been able to pick up my prescrition. I hate the feeling it gives, the buzzing in the head and the rest of the body.

I also get a feeling of a feaver with head aches which as someone aboved described as coming and going in waves. The nausia and muscle aches really gets to me too.

One thing I think they should put on the box is the side affects of withdrawral. I think its awful that we all have to come online to see whats wrong with us.

Anyone that has any connection with this drug please consider adding the symptoms of withdrawral on the leflet inside.

I found that some paracetamol took care of the aches and pains. This may sound strange but it seems to work, i sit in my underwear and wrap myself up in a blanket, for some reason it seems to really help. Not sure if its just phycological but it seems to work for me.

Well good luck to you all that are trying to get off it. =]

May 11, 2011 at 12:13 am
(89) Dianna says:

It actually is extremely sad Tim to have to go online to find out information from civilians such as all of us instead of our own physicians. I am actually wondering if there is a movement which supports the unuse of Citalopram, if you have been made aware of one, please let me know so that I can check it out and perhaps join.

September 13, 2006 at 7:55 am
(90) Eleanor says:

ive been taking citalopram now for since september 04 20mg a day ive finally had enough and decided to go cold turkey, previously when ive forgotten to take them or not taken them with me when ive gone on short trips ive had the extreme dizzy spells and felt like theres the time lag between my eyes and my brain.

I decided that ive had enough and that i really don’t need them unfortunately my body still wants me to take them!! Ive but on weight that i just cant shift my breasts have grown by 3 bra sizes. just reading these threads have made me feel like im not alone but scares the hell out of me as i really dont know if i can cope coming off them as the side effects are so extreme.

Im off work at the moment with acute tonsillitus and a couple of weeks ago i had acute broncitus so my body has been pumped with so many other drugs i don’t know whether im coming or going!! and having been sick my body hasn’t really had citalopram constantly since the end of august. the side effects of withdrawel is mainly the dizzyness and the brain eye lag it was so bad earlier today i had to take half a tablet i felt like id been at sea for a week! my hearing is also screwy but im not sure if that has anything to do with the citalopram or my other illness!

i to have been told there are no side effects coming off the drugs both my gp and my therapist have just looked at me as though im a loon when ive said about how i feel when ive not took them, so im hoping cold turkey will work and i wont have to sneak to many half tabs to stop the feeling ive taking a trip!

September 15, 2006 at 2:17 am
(91) samadhi says:

what a sanity-saver it is to come across this site! i’ve been on 40mg citalopram for 7 years, and started weaning myself off about 6 weeks ago. since i cut the daily dose to 10mg, i’v noticed a drop in my mood, and a week after stopping altogether i have all the vertigo, nausea, etc that most of you are enduring.

i’ve come off an ssri abruptly in the past and had severe flu-like symptoms, which my gp dismissed as “imaginary”.

i’m having a lot of problems at night, with snoring, twitching, and disturbed sleep.

my best wishes to you all, hang in there and ride it out. and thank you all for shring this information – it rocks to know that i’m alone.

September 15, 2006 at 2:18 am
(92) samadhi says:

doh! that last line should read “it rocks to know that i’m NOT alone”!

September 16, 2006 at 7:10 am
(93) Tom says:

Hi all.

This is an update from my first post.

I have now been off them for almost a month. I took 10mg for around 3 years. The first week was hell, i had the majority of the symptons listed above. After the first week, these symptons started to slowly fade and by the thrid week, id say im about 90% “better”. Still get the odd palputation, but ive just learnt to ignore it.

I have found this site SOOO helpful during the crappy time in my life and i thank each and everyone one of you, it would have been much harder without finding this site.

The most common sentance here (besides my doctor sucks) is “hang in there” and its true. It will get better, some people have long side effects, some get lucky like me and have them for a few weeks.

During the first hell like week, i found the best thing to do is a hobby that requires 100% of your attention. For me this is video gaming (much to my GF’s delight). Keep your mind ocupied and its much easier.

Anyway, thank you all for your comments and i’ll try to come back every now and then. But for now, im gonna go and enjoy life, its short, it smells a bit, but its fun :)


September 17, 2006 at 2:19 pm
(94) woollyhead says:

I’ve been on 20mg of Citalpram for about 12 months now and have been thinking about coming off it for a month or so now. Fills me with dread as about 5 years ago I had a really nasty time coming off Seroxat.

Anyway, I forgot to pick up my prescription on Friday so have been off it for 3 days now, and already I feel awful. Got the electric shock brain thing and aches, pains, tingles and dizzyness. My Dr assured me that it was much easier to withdraw from than Seroxat, methinks she was misinformed! I’m in two minds about picking up the prescription, not sure whether to wean myself off it or just go cold turkey, as from reading all your comments either way you get all the symptoms :(

September 25, 2006 at 7:41 pm
(95) Diane says:

Like so many others I’ve found this thread so helpful and informative. It’s wrong that we should have to get our information this way but at least we can get it. I’ve been on 20mg for just under 12 months and cut back to 10mg 6 weeks ago. Then 3 weeks ago I cut back to one 10mg every other day then tried to stop altogether. I managed 1 week but the symptoms became so severe I had to take a tablet again. As soon as I’d taken it I had such a rush of energy and such a high. I was up until 2:30am cleaning my house from top to bottom. Ever since I’ve been wondering how I am ever going to get off these tablets but reading the messages on here it seems the only way is to just take the plunge and go through it. I’ve had all the symptoms described, headaches, dizzyness, nausea, brain lapses which are the weirdest feeling, tiredness and palpatations.

My main reason for quitting is the weight gain – i’ve put on at least 1 1/2 stone. That’s a real help with depression – not.

Apart from anything I don’t think these tablets have done any good anyway. I was one them for depression but I don’t think they helped at all. I wish I’d had some idea how bad withdrawal had been – I never would have taken them if I’d been told.

I seems the longest time for the withdrawals to last according to the messages on here is 3 months – has anybody had them for longer than that?

October 1, 2006 at 12:03 pm
(96) emily says:

oh my god ive been on antidepressants for 10 years and im only 28. im waiting for a doctor to ring me now. i lived in london with my boyfriend and ran out then we split up. i couldnt leave the flat for over a week as my docs wasnt in london so couldnt help. i went violent, crying, shaking, sweating, weird head feelings, couldnt sleep, horrible, suicidle. my horrid ex was no help but eventually brought me bavk to my mums. im allown and waiting for doctors call. i cant cope and i feel sorry with anyone who suffers from depression. all my relationships end, im nasty and all i want is love. i hope someone comes soon.

October 4, 2006 at 10:06 pm
(97) Angie says:

OMG! I’m really glad to have stumbled upon this site! A year ago, after my grandfather’s sudden death, I developed anxiety/panic disorder and, although I have NEVER wanted to go on drugs for these issues, my doctor urged me to go on citalopram for my anxiety. I started at 40 mg a day and reduced it to 20 mg a day about half way through. I have been on it for about a year. About a month ago, I realized that much of my weight gain (20 lbs in the past year!!) is due to the citalopram (it always made me really tired/lethargic, and a lack of energy to exercise, and I believe it also made me more hungry), and so…having overcome an overweight issue as a teen and then anorexia later on, I decided I never wanted to go back to being overweight (and getting over my anorexia didn’t mean that I wanted to gain more than what would be healthy for me!) Anyway, to make the long story short, I ended up being DEPRESSED (something I have never experienced) towards the end of my time on citalopram, because of the weight gain it had caused me. A month ago, I reduced to 10 mg a day and 5 days ago, I stopped all together. I am trying to make it through, although I now feel a little anxious again (probably because my ENERGY levels have returned!!)…and I just wanted to say, that I am really feeling quite dizzy/lightheaded/and a little spacey. It’s the weirdest feeling: I went for a jog today, and the whole time, I felt like I’d end up fainting by the side of the road, and I also felt like my eyes were kind of ‘super-sensitive’ to the light outside. I’m getting a kind of unusual “unreal” feeling nowadays. I’m really glad I’m not the only one. I never want to go back on the citalopram because it made me too tired and I hate the thought of fiddling with my brain chemistry! Anyway, good luck to all getting off of it! I assume these DIZZY feelings will subside after a few weeks. WISH ME LUCK!!! :)

October 6, 2006 at 10:14 am
(98) Steve says:

Thsi is my first posting as I have only just found the site.
I am currently working offshore in Africa and forgot to take my citalopram with me before I left the UK! I have found that I’m experiencing the same symtoms as the rest of you but I’m trying to hide it because of the job I do.
At the moment I’m super light headed and have started sleeping much more than is normal for me. I’m glad I found this site and can definately put this down to withdrawal from citalopram. For a while I thought I maybe had a brain tumor or something!
Maybe this forced withdrawal is worthwhile as anyhthing that makes you feel like this can’t be a good thing. I’ve also learned from this site about the weight gain factor of the drug. I’ve been a constant weight since I was a teen but have noticed over the last year that my weight has continually risen month on month. I think I can now put this down to the drug although it hadn’t occured to me before that citalopram may have been contributing.
God knows hows long the dizzyness is going to last for but after reading the other postings I am now more confident that at least it’s normal for people withdrawing from citalopram and not likely to be permanent.
Thanks everyone for their postings, reading similar accounts has really made me feel much better about the situation. Now I intend to “ride the storm” (because I have to) and not to go back to the drug when I get home.

October 11, 2006 at 5:56 pm
(99) Roger says:

I have been on a 20 mg dose of Citalopram for a couple of years now to treat mild depression. Citalopram had been substituted for Celaxa. Like many of the posters on this site (glad to have found it!) I have experienced the energy rush, strange dreams, food cravings, weight gain, etc. The withdrawal issue began for me this last weekend as a result of not renewing a prescription in time and was out of town. By the fifth day, I had flu-like symptoms, nausea-like motion sickness, extremely tired, even difficulty in typing letters on the keyboard in correct order–requires a lot of concentration, just really lousy.
There has got to be a better way to combat depression than having to take these drugs. I am in the Pacific Northwest and we are heading into the dark days of winter….those have been an issue with me…. time to get the special lights!
My wife says I am much better to be around when I take the meds but it didn’t always used to be like that. Ah, for the good old days!!!
So….I pick up my new prescription today…had a couple of pills in my desk at work…took those yesterday and the day before…feel much better now. I am 56.
Life is precious, prostate cancer survivor———-Roger

October 15, 2006 at 8:48 am
(100) ann says:

hi, i really want to come off citalopram but am dreading the side effects, please leave a note if anybody has been through it and is now free of this horrible medication. all the best of luck to you all ann. good luck angie.

October 15, 2006 at 3:39 pm
(101) Stacey says:

This posting is a bit more hopefull since my first on 29th August when i first came off Citalopram. My first few weeks was awfull, muscle spasms, flu symptoms nausea and sickness then i had a short time of feeling quite irritable but after that the symptoms gradually got better each day.

Now I feel OK I get the odd muscle spasm but I can cope with that as they are very occasional. Although I would probably not take that drug again it still has worked in curing my depression. My mood is not as good as when i was taking the tablets but it is not too bad i would probably say this is ‘normal’ mood.

For anyone coming off Citalopram id say it is not too good but stick with it as it does get easier.
Good Luck to all, Take Care.

October 17, 2006 at 5:39 am
(102) Rach says:

I like everyone else on this site am very relieved to know why I feel like I have the flu and my brain is slow to move with my head. I have been off it (cold turkey) for 4 days now and cannot get enough sleep. I work in a prekinder and have 2 ch’n myself (one with autism) and I really don’t know how I will get through the next 24hrs. My partner is great and is also relieved it is withdrawal and not sickness. I have Graves Disease also and am not well with this so it was hard to tell what was happenning – my symptoms are so exact to what I am reading on this site that I know it must be withdrawal. I went on this drug to help with anxiety that is a symptom of Graves Disease (an autoimmune overactive thyroid disease)however even though it dulled it, I lost all libido and gained 10 kgs in 4mths. I also found I felt a bit numb on it – like I wasn’t really me. Anyway thanks for all the great support – I am going to hang in there and focus on Staceys comment that it does get easier. I am looking forward to withdrawing from this and then having my thyroid fixed over the next few months. Hopefully a fresh start for next year. I will stay in touch with how I am going and will be reading this with great interest for more support. Thankyou everyone – you are all very brave.

October 17, 2006 at 7:08 pm
(103) Eoin says:

Hi everyone,
firstly, thank you everyone. It feels like Ive been welcomed into a new family (albeit a weird dizzy, jittery family!!).
I cried my eyes out after work today. I had felt terrible all day. Came off 10mg’s a week ago and I feel awful this week. First thing in the morning I feel “wow, the feelings are gone” but within an hour they are back. I was gritting my teeth from an awful feeling of restlessness and desperation earlier too. I hate these body jolts i get too. I feel so alone but for what i read here everyday. I read the same comments over and over just to put my mind at ease for another few hours. I have been so tempted to go back up to 10mgs a day. But something is stopping me. Thank you all. Lets do it together.
Eoin (NYC)

October 18, 2006 at 3:41 am
(104) rach says:

I feel like you Eoin, it really is a welcoming and comforting feeling to be a part of this family. I have just arrived home from work and cried my eyes out too – I have never been so close to tears so often. I also have feelings like ‘wow it has gone’ only to find it is back stronger than before. I am into my 5th day now. I had my first feelings of panic with it today. I think this site is really helping me not to give in. There is something about knowing so many other people are going through it as well.
Rach (Australia) 6.40pm

October 19, 2006 at 9:56 am
(105) Mandy says:

Hey guys – just to let you all know, its been 3 months now and I can definitely say I AM OUT THE OTHER SIDE (cheers wildly and dances like a maniac – normal behaviour at last!). So, don’t give up, it will happen, just be patient and remember that this site (as one of the earlier posters said) is your family to help you get through the withdrawal. (By the way Rach, I also had Graves disease but had my thyroid removed 16 years ago, my depression started following my daughter’s birth 3 years ago, but having a hormonal imbalance certainly doesn’t make you feel any better – just stay with it).

Thinking of you all

October 19, 2006 at 10:27 am
(106) Eoin says:

I’m about to leave for work and all i want to do is cry uncontrollably. Physically this second im not dizzy but I know i will be in the next hour, and for the rest of the day. Thats whats killing me. I waited in the ER for 3 hours last night. I just needed help, someone to tell me it will all be okay. But i had to leave because I needed to go to bed. Oh god, I hate this. 9 hour work day ahead of me and all I want is to cry and sleep.

October 20, 2006 at 4:51 am
(107) Rach says:

Hi everyone,

Thanks Mandy – oh to be normal!Congratulations!! You must be thrilled!

I am up to day 7 now. The dizziness, brain lag and crying are getting worse and the flu symptoms are still strong. How long until your symptoms started decreasing Mandy? I would be really interested to hear others comments too. It seems 2-3mths sounds normal for it to continue but does it stay this bad the whole time? Also does it keep getting worse for a while?

Hang in there Eoin – whenever I am crying I have been thinking of you and knowing there is someone else going through it at the same time as me who is probably crying too. We will get there it is just going to be a hard journey. Isn’t it hard to work whilst going through this? I thought about taking some leave but then there is the financial side of things as well as I wouldn’t know how long I would need.

A friend told me about Bach Bush Flowers and in particular the Rescue Remedy in this range. It was cheap and I have found it has been good to take. Just all natural and 4 drops on the tongue when it all feels too much. It seemed like a better alternative than going back on the medication.

I have embarrassed myself crying in front of people I would never normally do that with so many times this week. What a stress!

October 20, 2006 at 5:13 pm
(108) Eoin says:

well Rach I am here for you. I am ALWAYS here for you. Don’t ever feel like youre crying alone because youre not. Somewhere half way accross the world there is a 24 y/o boy crying in the bathroom of his place of work! So remember that if you ever feel alone.
Today at work I was so so dizzy and out of it. I describe it as disorientation, although you might have a better word for it.
Anyway, the tears havent come today but they im not counting my chickens yet! I just want to feel physically normal again, I hate being dizzy and out of it.
Talk soon guys,
day 9 of withdrawal,

October 22, 2006 at 3:52 am
(109) Rach says:

Hi there,
Thanks Eoin. How are you now? How is day 11? Thanks for your kind words. Have you found that it has started to ease at all yet? I think the dizziness is getting worse for me. I think disorientation is a great word for it.

I am looking forward to hearing from people about when it all started to ease. I don’t think I can bear 2-3mths of it at this level.

Day nine today and counting (and trying really hard not to go to the doctor and get another script!!)


October 23, 2006 at 3:41 am
(110) Carole says:

I am soooo glad to have come across this page. I have been on 20mgs of Citalopram for 6 months and decided to go ‘cold turkey’ a few weeks ago and I have never felt so ill in my whole life. My doctor diagnosed me with an inner-ear infection (???) but after reading all your comments I now know it’s the withdrawal symptoms.
I’ve felt dizzy/floaty, been throwing up, had massive headaches and when i’m talking I keep saying the wrong words, like my brain is on a go-slow.
I’m currently on 10mgs a day and I am petrified of cutting them down any further, although I know i’ve got to if I want to cut them out all together.
Seeing my doctor next week – going to show him this page and see what he says.
I’m interested in how people cut down? Did you start missing out tablets or cut them down further and further i.e. 10mgs to 5mgs etc.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

October 23, 2006 at 4:17 pm
(111) rach says:

Hi everyone,
I have been diagnosed with ear infections too Carole! I suppose because of the dizziness and the fluey feelings. Saying the wrong words is on my list too. I feel very go-slow. I actually went cold turkey although now I wish I had come down really slowly. Although some people seem to think it doesn’t matter how you do it you still get the effects??
Anyway hang in there and know there are lots of people around feeling the same.
How are you Eoin?
I am still keen to hear from others when the withdrawal symptoms started to decrease – I just need to know to give me some hope.

October 23, 2006 at 8:42 pm
(112) Eoin says:

Hi guys,
well the flu symptoms are completely gone for me. Im still very, very dizzy and full of tears and all sorts of regrets about life however.
I live in NYC but Im from Ireland so I have no family here at all. I spent alot of the day in work texting my parents for support. I promised myself I would come home tonight and go back on at 10mgs like i was before. I thought “i just dont have the support network to come off these at the moment” but now that im home and laying in bed, i dont want to take one. Its very tough because i know tomorrow i will again want to take one to make this all go away, but i just dont want to give in. If this goes away after a month or even two, and i have come this far (13 days) why shouldnt i just go the rest of the way. Of course its easy to say now because im in bed and im not dizzy or disorientated or even sad. The TV is on distracting me, I have my two mini-dachshunds cuddled into me and in a while ill get some ice cream – life seems okay at this moment in time. But come tomorrow, the hell will begin again and ill cry, and ill feel dizzy and ill promise to give in.
You know what scares me most? What if i do give in and go back on the 10mgs and the dizziness doesnt go away? I am a huge “what if” person so maybe im not the best person to listen to, however!
So for now i shall enter day 14 in approximately 12 hours when i wake up for another day in this cruel, ‘take no prisoners’ world. i will wake up, and i will face my fears and do it all over again.
I love you all and ill see you on the other side,
Eoin (NYC).

October 23, 2006 at 9:06 pm
(113) Tom says:

Hi all.

I first posted here 2months ago (posts 67 and 80) and i promised to give an update. So, here i am, feeling better than ever. After about a month, most of the side effects went, i know a month can sound like a long time, but looking back, i aint :) . The only side effect i had from after the first month period was sligh palputations, but they have gone as well.

Been reading up on some of the posts since my last post and people are going through exactly the same as what i went through. Trust me, it will get better. This site gave me great strength through a crappy time in my life, but finnaly, its over and someday it will be for you.

Good luck everyone, i’ll be coming back every once and a while to check on you! :)

October 25, 2006 at 9:16 am
(114) Kirsty says:

I’m at day 9, and still hanging on. I have suffered the same sorts of symptoms, ranging from dizziness, diarrhoea and vomiting at first to huge panic attacks more recently. I got to the stage last week that I could only calm down if I was holding a knife, and therefore had the choice to kill myself if it got any worse. Looking back that sounds silly, but I nearly did do it. Instead, I called the Samaritans (I am currently living alone for five months) then NHS 24 and managed to see a doc. I was terified I’d be sectioned, as I’d had never felt like this before. Luckily managed to get my partner up to stay with me for a few days, and was put on beta blockers to stop the panick. Seems to be working enough for me to cope with life again. Never been panicky like this before!!! Doc wanted to put me back on citalopram, but having read this board previously I refused as I’d only have to do it all again (and I reduced my dose v slowly like advised). Still got poor memory, and variable mood, but am feeling mroe myself in several ways. Things smell better, and feelings seem stronger. I can see the end, even though it sometimes seems to hover out of reach.

I would suggest anyone having probs asks their doc for meds to take for a few weeks to dull the withdrawal effects. If they say there aren’t such effects, ask for a second opinion. Or print some of this out. Oh, and my other advice is to prepare before stopping if you can. Get in lots of food that can be nibbled, take last dose a couple days before days off/weekend and don’t be scared to take some time off work (I told boss change of meds making me dizzy/sick and no Q’s asked!).

Good luck everyone :)

October 25, 2006 at 9:22 am
(115) Kirsty says:

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that a few days ago I walked home crying the whole way. And I NEVER cry in public!!! Happened a few days in a row before went on the beta blockers. And for anyone who does go on beta blockers, don’t worry if it makes you feel a bit unfit – they keep your blood pressure lower and heart rate down so you don’t panic (used for other med probs too, obviously). So, can make you a bit breathless or dizzy if you do too much exercise. Other than that, I’d really recommend them for panic.

October 26, 2006 at 9:10 pm
(116) Eoin Ward says:

Hi everyone,
well the dizziness is definitely getting better. The tiredness is beginning to sort itself out too. My body physically is beginning to realise that no matter how much it begs and pleads for one more little 10mg pill of celexa, I just wont give it to it. So i think its starting to give up and deal with it.
I’m on day 16 now without celexa/citalopram/cipramil so it will take longer for my mood to change. I am still teary and anything sets me into tears but at least I am beginning to see a physical change.
Hang in there folks. Everyones withdrawal time is different and i know i have longer to go still, but the only reason i have stuck to it is because of this website.

October 27, 2006 at 10:16 am
(117) Loo says:

We are all very brave to be treating ourselves as best as we can, and good to read we are all in this same strange boat of dizzy withdrawals. Yuk. We are not going mad at all; it is simply this dam drug leaving our systems. So here is my story (so far)- it’ll sound familiar if you’ve read these 100 or so comments… I have been suffering this past week with an awfully disturbing, bloody weird noise in my head, sort of like crickets chirping, or rattling, or clicking. Specially if I shake my head. If I lay still, (like when I wake up) there is nothing. Reading all the comments has been a godsend., and I am pleased to contribute as writing about it is a release for the writer, and an assurance to the reader. I took 10 mg of citalopram for three years., and I increased it to 20mg per day about 10 months ago when I went through another very tough personal callenge. That was ok, it certainly helped me cope better altho I felt like I was in a daze or a haze, much of the time. Then 2 weeks ago I explained to my doctor I was worried, feeling dizzy a lot of the time, dopey at work, hard to concentrate on my stressful job, cannot sleep, and soooo tired. She suggested I try, for just two weeks, Lexapro, 10 mgs. One per day. I did this for 10 days, and it didnt seem to do much for me – So I decided to just stop taking all this crap, I am not a drugs person anyway. This is where it gets to you – right? First week of cold turkey is unfolding like this….. so everyone, watch out. – you will relate. Day One – fine. Next day, had some energy back.,yeah, great! Felt more ‘on to it’., more energetic. Third day – aware that I have these weird clicks in my head. Fourth day – crash… my god, just like that (and these things arent addictive?) feeling very weepy, feel hopeless, unloved, useless, clicking in the head is worse. Day Five – disaster… today has been an absolutely crappy day of real dizziness, feeling extremely light headed, very spacey, crying off and on much of today, head clicking and weird feelings. So I have now taken 20mg of citalopram., and know its the sensible thing to do. I found this site by trying to find out whats the main features between Lexapro and Citalopram. Having read and thought about it all, I have decided to take the citalopram daily again, and see how that goes for a week then cut it down to half. Its time I am recharged, I want to feel I am operating on 8 cylinders instead of four. Oh yes the weight gain, thats true it’s just dawned on me. The sooner I am off this antidepressant altogether, the better. I wonder how long it will take. We’ll all be OK, we’re only human, doing our best to be happy, motivated and feel good about ourselves and our life.

October 27, 2006 at 12:18 pm
(118) Husni says:

Yeah! that’s a huge relief to know that you are not alone in this crap.Now after i read all the previous comments i am gonna prepare myself psychologically to what will happen during with withdrawal> It’s much coforting to know what will happen before it kicks. So whenever the symptoms start you will say ; yeah I know this will happen, but i am sure it will last for ever.
Thank you guys for your participation and i wish all of best luck.

October 29, 2006 at 7:28 am
(119) rach says:

Hi there everyone,

Well it’s been over 2 weeks for me now after going off citalopram. My comments were numbers 89, 91,94,96 and 98. I now only get the symptoms every now and then – eg dizziness when going up stairs or bending down, fluey aches when tired like at the end of the day, teary when tired rather than all the time. I don’t get the brain lag much at all anymore.

I think it peaked at 5-7 days and then started to get a little easier after about day 12 and each day after that became easier. It was quicker than I thought it would be.

I found some organic sleep herbal tea with peppermint, valarian and chamomile and I really think this stopped the nightmares and insomnia. I would really recommend this! It was great to drink 10 mins before bed – sooooooooo relaxing and such relief. I also would recommend some detox bush flowers or rescue remedy bach flowers. I think these two things really helped support me. I also took some B6 vitamin for the nervous system on the advice of my pharmacist. I must admit I also took paracetamol every 4-6hrs for the first week – 11days and that was the only way I could go to work.

I am so relieved to be coming out the other end. It felt like one of the longest fortnights of my life. It almost feels like years ago now. I knew I was starting to get better when I stopped checking this site twice a day.

I will keep visiting this site to encourage others that it will end and I wish all of you the best.

What a great inspiration these comments have been – thankyou to all who contribute.

A special thanks to Eion in NYC who was withdrawing when I was in Australia – Thankyou Eion for your kindred support.

I feel things are starting to become well in my world and now I wish you all well…

October 29, 2006 at 7:31 am
(120) rach says:

ps sorry Eoin, I just realised I spelt your name wrong! Take care. x

October 30, 2006 at 10:26 am
(121) Alex says:

Reading all these comments has really helped. I’ve started getting the giddies today as I’m down to one every 4 days and withdrawing. I have put on 3 stone since being on these darn things (in 4 years) and am determined to stay off this time. I know there are places I can turn to when I feel the panic rise and I don’t want to run back to the medication. Fingers crossed the wobbly head is the only sympton from now on. I’ve come off slowly before and had this so I know what’s coming I just didn’t know it was so common – you always assume you’re the only one!

October 31, 2006 at 6:50 pm
(122) Andrew says:

iv only stopped taking them for 3 days and im getting the same thing. its like ur brain twitches inside your head its really wierd and at the same time i get a twitch im my chest and dizzyness. its horrible.

November 2, 2006 at 2:29 am
(123) elizabeth says:

i’ve been trying to “taper” for six months. i’ve succeeded in going from 20mg to 10mg. When i took the plunge to 5mg the shit hit the fan (like it did from 20 to 15–that took many months), this time really horribly. For me it’s not the brain shivers anymore (though I’ve had those too), but the fucking mood swings. The shadow side that comes to dominate. Major self-loathing. I thought I was doing well before and that’s why I wanted to get off this shit. Really, I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about in my life. Before I used to be relatively stable in my moods, a stable and subtle melancholic albeit, but stable nonetheless. Now I’m volitile. I teach and last week, for the first time in my life, I blew up at my class and walked out. I am NOT someone prone to hysterics or Wagnerieran drama. I just can’t believe this shit.

November 3, 2006 at 6:07 pm
(124) kerry says:

hi all. thank god i found this website. i thought i was cracking up.i have been on 40mg for the last 18mnth.tried to cut down to half with dr approval. experienced all above fireworks in head, dizziness, fatigue, etc it took me to get up for kids for school.i felt so horrible decided to go back on them till i seen my dr.seen dr today she made excuse saying that was my body telling me i wasn’t ready to come of them.she obviously didn’t read this website. i would love to wean myself off them but i am to scared. since starting citalopram i was 8 half stone since then went up 2 12stone. im dwn to 11 but cant shift anymore. i dint know so much people had put on weight with this drug.i couldnt cope with the withdrawl looking after my 3 kids and husband working i felt so alone but reading this is giving me the encouragement to do so. knowing that i am not going mad and other people are feeling and have felt what im feeling. good luck to every1 and congrats to any1 who has beaten this horrible drug x

November 5, 2006 at 4:02 pm
(125) Zoe says:

I’ve been on Citaolopram for about 10 months now, and over the past few weeks, I felt like I wasn’t getting any benefit from it at all. Saw my GP who decided that I should stop the citalopram straight away and start Mirtazapine. I took one of the new tablets and it made me sleep as though I were unconcious, and I felt awful the next day. I decided not to take the new tablets, but I’m now getting severe withdrawal from the citalopram….dizziness, feeling sick, feel like im drunk most of the time and I’m seeing flashing lights whenever I stand up. I chickened out and took a 10mg tablet – I just can’t bear the withdrawal effects. I feel so fed up with this and I can’t see an end to it. I want to stop taking the citalopram, but I’m just too scared of the withdrawal. I also have a phobia of being/feeling sick which isn’t helping matters! Please someone tell me there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!!

November 6, 2006 at 6:27 am
(126) Pete says:

Blimey, I’m so pleased to have found an explanation for this wierdness I’m experiencing. I feel like i can hardly keep my eyes open, and keep getting the feeling that I’m about to fall into a deep deep sleep. Since coming of Citalopram a week ago (I was weaned off over a 1 month period) I’ve needed about 10 hours sleep per night. I normally only need 7. I’m getting headaches and nausea too. I was begining to get paranoid, thinking I was going to have to add another illness to my ever growing catalogue of maladies!

November 6, 2006 at 4:28 pm
(127) kerry says:

hi all. me again.stopped the citalopram on the 4th by that night i had to give in and take one even taking just20mg is making a bad withdrawl.is it meant to do that. i feel like i will never be able to get off them.i dont have much will power when it comes to feeling like this.i will have to get my head round it and put my mind to it. it’s just so scary and the mood swings i feel they are twice as bad as before i started taking the citalopram.can any one who is going through this or has been through this offer me some tips to try and beat it….PLEASE!!!!!! x

November 6, 2006 at 5:16 pm
(128) cleep says:

Holy crap am I ever glad to have found this site. For those of you in week one or starting your scale back program – YOU WILL BE OKAY! You will not feel like it, but you will – just breathe. Here is my story….

I was prescribed Celexa (Citalopram) for acute anxiety; started on 10mg (half a pill) and did that for about 2 years. Then something happened (can’t remember what exactly) and I went to 20mg (full pill). All was ducky except for the 10+ pounds I have piled on over the 4 years. Then I read this book about the Pharmaceutical industry and that it is in bed with the FDA and many of these drugs are poorly researched and are VERY mis-leading (i.e. they fail to tell you that getting off the stuff will bring you to your knees).
So I had a month off from work to restore our house and decided I was going to give it a go; I went from 10mg to 5mg each day; not too bad. I had about a weeks worth of the “brain shakes”, vertigo, nausea and fatigue – but I sucked it up and forged onward – it was bad, but not tragic. Then I went to 5mg every day and a half and gradually stretched that out over 3 weeks to where I had gone without for 4 days and I pulled the plug then thinking it would be like the first ramp down……could not have been further from the truth.
Week 1 – The brain shakes are back with a veangance, along with all the other fun visual flaoties etcetera.
Week 2 – Brain shakes subsiding; but add on mood swings; allbeit rather mild.
Week 3 – I am in hell; I feel like I will never be happy again (bear in mind I did not suffer from depression, I was wound a little too tight :) . I could cry at the drop of a hat; add on that it is the rainy season here in Seattle – just fricking perfect! I even had to change what music I was cycling through on my iPod; if it is too emotional my eyes water – !@#$%

The good news is that I have had some success in dealing with this in the form of Acupuncture – it is not bullet proof and does not “cure” your symptoms – but it sure helps me to feel a little normal like I am fighting back and that there is hope.

You do not have to lie there and take it – sometimes doing anything to combat it empowers you. I have been doing Pilates more regularly as well. My best advice? DISTRACT YOUR SELF – do not allow your self to just sit there and bathe in these feelings – try something simple (crosswords, Sudoku, read a book, take a walk if you have the energy, find people on the internet who could be helped by your story and talk it out :)

I am here for anyone who needs it – you are not imagining what you are going through, just speak up.

November 7, 2006 at 5:48 pm
(129) kerry says:

hi cleep.just read your story there.im thinking of stopping the citalopram again? (well giving it another go)
im sick of going to doctor and them telling me that im not putting on the weight because of the tab and that aint the reason for me feeling so crap when i stop them.
im just a bit scared to do it. i have 3 kids and getting them up int the morning and out to school is really hard when i tried to stop them the last time.i found it hard to walk to school to pick them up as i felt faint and tired and the brain shakes! wow wot a horrible feeling.
can you help with a pew questions i have as.. how long does these feelings last so strong and do the start to ease of abit as each day passes.
it’s just the thought of going through it you feel so alone. i feel like no one would understand or even believe me that it feels like this. if my doctor wont even believe me it feels like you have no where else to turn.
any help you could give me would be very much appreciated

November 7, 2006 at 6:41 pm
(130) cleep says:

Hi Kerry! Sounds like a new doctor might be a good option to evaluate – finding someone who you feel believes you and is genuinely interested in your well-being is important (both mentally and physically).
I understand your trepedation (especially after reading through this thread), but here is what I took out of it…please bear in mind I am not part of the medical community and these thoughts are merely my opinions:

1. Lay out a schedule of how you will do this; if you are taking one pill a day now, go to 3/4 of a pill for say 6 to 8 weeks and then to half a pill for 6 to 8 weeks and so on and so forth – GO VERY SLOWLY and remind yourself that this is a process and that it will take time but you are committed and CAN DO THIS.

2. Try a simple diary; maybe just a few notes about how you felt and what you felt. These feelings are REAL – there are a couple hundred other people on this thread who felt it or are feeling it now. If you are dealing with someone who does not believe you, perhaps a little distance there is an option – you need support, not skepticism.

As far as the withdrawal symptoms and the severity….Well, it is different for everyone and I did not taper as slowly as I should have – in retrospect, I would have done it differently….MUCH longer :)

I tapered from 20mg to 10mg over a 4 week period; some brain shakes and queasiness, but tolerable. October 11th was the last 10mg pill I took.

Weeks 1 & 2 were “okay”; the brain shakes which were significantly worse if I was in motion (walking, driving). My feeling is that the brain shakes actually trigger a motion sickness effect in me and that is what made me queasy and then tired – so I tried to be more still whenever possible and take a nap if you can – and be prepared for a headache now and again.

Weeks 3 & 4 – early in week 3, the brain shakes started to decline; still a little queasy though. But in the middle of week 3, I started to notice feeling a little “blue” and being on the verge of tears for absolutly no apparent reason – very weird for me. I am in week 4 now and although the waves of emotion seem farther apart, they can be intense if I do not stay busy.

Exercise seems to help, but nothing strenuous – a good time to try a little yoga with your kids or by yourself. Drink plenty of water and avoid refined sugars (soda, candy etc.)

Last night was one of the first times I really felt held hostage by the “blues” and I did not like it. So I made some Tea and watched a low-key movie – nothing with too much emotion or drama. If you knit or crochet, that would probably be perfect.

I think it would be good to include a friend in your plans so they are aare of what you plan to do, what the risks are. Have an agreement that if you feel yourself taking a dive, call this person and they can help you calm down and be rational – this person should have a lot of patience and be prepared to handle whatever comes; if this is not an option, you might research local 24 hour helplines and keep those numbers close by. I know this seems like over-kill, but being prepared can reduce the anxiety of a scenario if it happens. Also bear in mind that I tapered in 10mg increments, if your plan is to do it by 5mg increments (like I should have done), then you may have a more comfortable array of withdrawals.

Here is an email address to contact me at if you want to continue a dialogue – I am happy to help anyone I can get through this – udmiou1@yahoo.com – I check it generally once per day.

Good luck Kerry and hang in there – you have several hundred people silently cheering for you – you are not alone.

November 8, 2006 at 7:36 am
(131) kerry says:

hi cleep. thanks for replying to me so quickly. your opinion has really helped and from today i am goin to start taking the 3/4 of the pill. im so glad i have finally found some1 who unerstands what it’s like.
it’s amazing how many people who are going through the same feelings.
i know it’s going to take quite alot of time and willpower when i get further down the scale to stick to it. im so determined now. i just hope i eventually get to see the light at the end of this nightmare. i don’t want to depend on these for the rest of my life and being on them will make me think twice before starting any other medication i may ever need to take in the future.
i will email you soon and let you know how it’s going. you can tell me how you are coping or even if you need some1 to chat to.
you can get me at kerry-duffy1@hotmail.co.uk and to any1 else who ever needs some1 to talk to that is fine as well. speak soon

November 10, 2006 at 3:47 pm
(132) Melanie says:

Found this site after searching for some advice on why I am feeling so strange. Have been taking citalopram for 8 months, and have decided, with my GP to stop taking them completely. Like most others on this site, my GP said there would be no side effects, but I too have started to get the ‘brain behind the head’ feeling and dizziness. Its just been 2 days now and it’s getting worse. But I’m determined to regain control of my body and never to take the little pills again. I’ve put on almost 2 stone in weight- doesn’t help when you’re depressed does it. Reading eveyones comments has reassured me that I have made the right decision, even if I will feel bad for a while. I will persevere, and hope that my three lovely children and husband can bear with me until I reach the other end of the tunnel !

November 11, 2006 at 5:57 pm
(133) kerry says:

melanie.i am actually going through the same i have 3 young kids and it is like living a nightmare.i was on 40mg but after speaking on this site as you would have probably read i have now cut myself down to 30mg.
i tried just cold turkey but after 3 day the feeling got worse i was taking my mood out on everybody i couldn’t handle the feeling anymore but since i have bben doing it gradual even tho it has only been 3 day or so i feel great i get the odd shake maybe twice a day and tingling round my mouth now and then. i don’t know if it will get worse it’s the first time i’ve tried it this way all thanks to cleep on this site whom i am know in contact with and who offered me advice.
it’s early on for me but the withdrawl is alot easier to cope with if you do it slowly and wean yourself off rather than go cold turkey. as yourself i have gained 3 stone in weight lost 1 but can’t shift anymore so i am determined for that as well if not just for my kids sake. if you ever need a chat my email is just a couple of lines up. all the best melanie

November 12, 2006 at 4:32 pm
(134) Alf says:

Hi there. came across this site as I feel Im ready to come off citalopram. I have been on 20ml for 18mnths. Must say Im abit reluctant after reading what Im heading for. But at least I will know Im not going crazy!! I am interested in other people who have noticed major weight gain I have put on nearly 20kilo since being on these tablets. I didn’t think my diet had changed so much and beleive you are what you eat but this is extreme.Anyone noticed that their weight has balanced back to normal after finishing these pills
Hey wish me luck with the withdrawl!!!
I’ll come back and keep you posted.
Alfie New Zealand

November 12, 2006 at 7:43 pm
(135) cleep says:

I am inthe end of week 4 (after cutting completely from the 10mg) and I “think” I am out the other end! But let me tell you, that last week was a killer. Becaaus the other symptoms had declined, I got a little excited because I thought that it might be over but then there were two evenings where I was relaxing and started to slip in to a scary depression. I called a friend and just chatted for a while and then went to bed – otherwise I am fairly certain I would have flipped out; very intense and scary. What I have noticed is that I have more energy and feel like exercising and actually DOING something.
I had a long discussion with a friend at work and feel that the drug paralyzes not only the negative feelings you have (the stuff you are trying to forget about), but it also dulls the side that is positive and motivates you to do healthy things like exercise – hence the weight gain.
Something to think about when discussing with a doctor; if they have never been on this medication before, then how would they know what the withdrawals feel like? It pisses me off that they continually tell patients that there are no withdrawal symptoms when in fact they do not truly know. I blame the pharmaceutical industry for hiding it from the public; they are making millions so I am sure it is not a priority.

Kerry – sounds like you are in control and doing great! Hang in there; if you can raise 3 kids, you can do this!

Alfie – I provide some advice further up the thread that you may find useful, as well as my email address if want support. I too packed on weight (10 pounds) and have already lost 2.5 pounds in the first 4 weeks (I have been exercising a little but still noteworthy).

November 16, 2006 at 9:19 am
(136) jo says:

Thank god I found this site! I thought I was truly going nuts or had a major brain tumour etc and was going to die.I have been on cipramil for 4 years and have spent the last 11 months slowly reducing my dosage under my doctors supervision. Finally stopped 2 weeks ago after being on 10mg for 4 months. Have had every symptom described by everyone else. Am feeling constantly sick, dizzy and foggy. Today has been horrible. Am not depressed or anxious, just so “not with it,” tired and sick. I need to get it together to be able to work and look after my 3 young children on my own. How long does this last???? Not sure if I should go back to my doctor, start taking a small dose again etc? Help! Help! Help!

November 16, 2006 at 12:43 pm
(137) cleep says:

Jo – You mentioned you were cutting over from 10mg? You might try ramping down to 3/4 of that for 6 – 8 weeks and then down to 5mg for 6 – 8 weeks and so on and so forth. I cut over from 10 mg (it says 5 above but that is a typo) and it was pretty intense – in hindsight, I would not recommend it – bear in mind, I am not a doctor (I think most doctors are all full of crap after what I have been through :) )

The only thing I can recommend for the dizzy/sick/foggy, is to try and sit still whenever you can (nearly impossible with 3 kids I am sure) and get as much rest as you can; try some peppermint tea, that seemed to settle my stomach a little but these are merely coping mechanisms. My story is above beginning at comment 115; it details the general length of my withdrawal symptoms, but remember that everyone is different. My email is also up there if you want to correspond on the side. There is another person on here (Kerry) who also has 3 kids and is taking a try at ramping off – perhaps you guys could trade secrets about how to do this while caring for little ones? I do not have children so I can not truly understand what you are going through, but I will certainly try :)

Keep telling yourself that “I will be okay” and keep repeating it – there were moments that I was quite literally mumbling this to myself for most of the day. You are not losing your mind – you are taking it back!

November 18, 2006 at 2:29 pm
(138) Steven says:

I posted here a couple of months ago when I was forced to come off citalopram because I’d gone to work in Africa and forgot to take my prescription with me. At the time I felt like was going to die and didn’t know if the withdrawal symptoms would ever pass.

I haven’t had a citalopram tablet for over two months now and I can genuinely say that I’m completely free of the effects of the drug.

The first month was absolute torture but after that the withdrawal effects became so slight that I hardly noticed I was experiencing them except when I suddenly remembered that I was meant to be withdrawing!

The second month was much better and now I’m probably cured and have no intention of ever going back, even if the depression hits hard again.

If I can do it, you all can do it. Stick in there, it will get better.


November 18, 2006 at 7:45 pm
(139) kerry says:

jo. hi doll. kerry here.im going through the same. i have 3 kids and i was on 40mg i have now cut it down to 30mg for 4 or 5 wks then to 20mg. so on. it is hard to start with just dont do it on your own people do care and know what yoou are you are going through.i didn’t think that at first but after speaking to cleep (and you are my saviour) thank you. i feel so great . compared to what i felt like stopping the whole pill
i feeel greaT

November 18, 2006 at 7:59 pm
(140) kerry says:

im glad every1 has found this site and is getting tips on how to beat this horrible drug.it does feel horrible to start with but if you speak onthis web it gives you all the support u will need.i have found it very helpfull. thanks every1 xx and you cleep speak to you soon xxxxx

November 19, 2006 at 7:26 am
(141) Cath says:

Well thank God for you lot. I’ve been off the citalopram for about 3 months now. I never experienced any of the awful dizziness and inability to sleep that you all describe, but oh boy, in the last month or so I’ve turned into an intolerant, short-fused weepy person. It’s like having permanent PMT, except when I get PMT on top of it. I’m not depressed again, because I’ve got lots of creative things going on in my head and I’m putting my ideas into action, which I couldn’t do before (if I had an idea at all which I didn’t) but all this anger is starting to get me down. Is there anyone out there who’s been off citalopram for longer than 3 months who can give me some hope that it will get better? I like the Rescue Remedy idea, and will give it a go.

November 20, 2006 at 9:09 am
(142) sane at last says:

Been off cit for just over a week , still a bit of a weeping mess crossed with a prizefighter! Did cut down gradually. You have to keep busy.. walking , music , reading if you can. Paracetamol also very good as are magnesuim supplements. You can do this, this will pass.

November 20, 2006 at 12:55 pm
(143) cleep says:

Hang in there Cath – I have found that an excercise that allows you to beat the crap out of something is helpful in releasing the pent up angry feelings – mostly becasue you are too tired to give a damn when you are done – I used to take an aerobic kickboxing class twice a week – also taught me some self-defense that I hope I never need to use.

Sane – you crack me up! (weeping mess crossed with prize fighter…) I completely agree on the staying busy; once I got over the brain shakes, that is the only thing that kept me in one piece.

I have been off for 5 weeks now and I feel pretty darn good. I have been walking on weekends and am so much more motivated to do things. I do not feel weepy or depressed or wacko any longer; but I am still waiting to see how I respond to a high stress situation (that is why I went on the stuff in the first place). I have lost 5 of the 10 I packed on courtesy of Citalopram – whoohoo!

I see a post or two from Kerry – I am SO happy to hear that you are having success – very liberating isn’t it? :) . I think the timing is good because you should be stabilized on your 3/4 dose through the holidays which can be hard on everyone. I also think that helping others on this thread kind of pays it forward – even if it is just some words of encouragement.

Hang in there everyone!!!

November 21, 2006 at 5:10 am
(144) Samantha says:

I too am grateful to find this site. I had a very hard time yesterday, cramps, dizziness, nausea, aching joints, permanent headache and the rattling brain syndrome. Also sensitivity to light, shivers, sweats and chills. I couldnt do anything, it totally floored me.
I’ve gone from 40mg to 20 in just over a month, having been advised by a neurologist to get off it asap following a seisure (fit) I had just over a month after my GP blithely doubled the dose.
The siezure made me unconcious and broke my jaw leaving three teeth loose. My dentist has braced them pending my jaw mending. I hope they can be saved.

No-one tells you this when they put you on it. Nor was I monitored at anytime (blood pressure etc.) I’ve been on it just over 2 years.

Nightmare! (Literally)!


November 21, 2006 at 10:59 am
(145) sane at last says:

Has anyone experienced the hyper sexuality side effects ie become a weeping , prize fighting sex crazed ass ????? This is a very common side effect of withdrawal also.
At least if you know that these feelings are part of withdrawal you can keep a lid on them. We can all do it. Hang on in there.

November 21, 2006 at 12:28 pm
(146) cleep says:

Sam – 20mg is a pretty big jump in 4 weeks; any chance your neuro would support a slower ramp down? This might make things a little more tolerable for you and it sounds like you have enough to deal with already given the injuries from your seizure.

I am not going to lie, there will be some bad days – just keep telling yourself that you will be okay and that this too shall pass. You may want to prepare a few friends to help you should you feel like you need to have support if you feel like you are near the edge; I spent the better part of an evening one night on the phone because I thought I was losing it.

November 23, 2006 at 1:45 pm
(147) Nina says:

Thankgod i have found this web site.. I came of 20 mg of citalopram after 6 years of the filth a10 days ago and trying to explain to your boyfriend that you get jolts in your head everytime you move makes you feel like a bit of an idiot. thought i was going crazy, will this hell ever end, i can cope with the depression but feeling like no’one understands just how weird you feel is the hard bit, you have all saved my life, its great when you wake up and think its gone but as soon as you sit up and move you eyes you realise your not that lucky!! it gets worse when i’m stressed and it stresses me when it gets worse, i feel clumsy and almost like living in a cloud.. but have to say the one benefit so far is mr libido had returned..yey!!! thanks so much and if anyone wants to go through it together pls email me on Nina_c_hanson@hotmail.com.xx

November 24, 2006 at 12:20 pm
(148) Nails says:

I was on 30mg of cipramil and cut it down by 10mg a week then stopped. I have the head thing that feels like electric shocks like my head is being shaken, I have been trying to explain it to my husband. I have M.E. anyway which has got worse since I went from 20mg to 30mg and has got even worse since coming of cipramil. My sex drive has come back as well, which is the only good thing. I am going to start taking 10mg for a while I think, cos I can’t handle this head thing.

November 26, 2006 at 5:20 pm
(149) Graham says:

Hello everybody. I have been on Citalopram for about 5 years, mainly for OCD as opposed to depresion. I made the decision to come off a few months back, mainly beacuse I was fed up with the sexual dysfunction side effects and a lot of tiredness. I was on 40 mg for 4 years and now down to 10mg every few days after gradually reducing my intake over the last few months. I’m getting a lot of “numbness” in my head and sort of “feverish” feelings too. Of course, if I start taking the tablets again these symptoms disapear. I’m now trying to go “cold turkey” and just not take them anymore and get this whole thing over with as quickly as possible. Any thoughts from anybody would be welcome. Graham

November 28, 2006 at 6:21 am
(150) sane at last says:

Graham , you can do this . We functioned before this drug and we will function afterwards. I’ve gone from 60mg – 0mg over a few months. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Keep busy, explain to loved ones whats going on and enjoy the lttle good bits they increase as time goes by.

November 28, 2006 at 8:53 am
(151) jo says:

Well it has been 4 weeks and 5 days since I stopped taking cipramil. I wrote before about the chronic dizziness and sickness, foggy and brain shocks that were just so debilitating. In the last 5 days I have no longer felt sick 24 hours a day. The foggy feeling has improved dramatically and the brain shocks have gone. Sleep patterns are returning to normal. Sex drive is up and I feel fantastic!!!! No depression, anxiety and boy does that feel good. I still have a slight ” lag ” when I turn my head but that is improving every day. I felt so damn horrible when withdrawing that I thought about going back on just to feel physically better. Those horrendous physical symptoms do pass!!!!! Get lots of rest where possible, eat small, frequent meals to help with the nausea ( I also found that ginger such as in ginger beer, ginger travel sick pills and chrystalized ginger really helped with the nausea.)It does get better. Hang in there.

November 28, 2006 at 10:32 am
(152) Mandy says:

Hi Guys (and Gals) – my last post was October 19 and i just wanted to let you all know that life is still GOOD – been off these thing for over 4 months now, and in retrospect, the really bad stuff “only” lasted for 4-6 weeks, after that I felt like I was in control of myself again.

Yes, i still get irritable over pathetic things but I reckon everybody loses their rag occasionally over petty stuff, so I’m not going to stress about that too much. Yes, looking after a 3 year old can try your patience to its limits but show me the parent of any 3 year old who doesn’t breathe an enormous sigh of relief at bedtime!

So, I think I can safely say that I (luckily) am back to being a member of the human race – you guys will get through this as well, remember we know what you’re going through, we are all thinking of you and we all know that you can beat this stuff and “just be yourselves” again.

With my love


November 29, 2006 at 7:38 am
(153) amanda says:

Hello I’ve been taking these damn things for past 3 or 4 years previously it was seroxat (work of the devil) I’ve been reducing the dose over months but have ran out now and have decided to face the deaded withdrawal day four – weeping, strange physical feelings – heart palpitations and really pronounced ‘sweats’but the comments here have given me the strength/hope to carry on with it and see it through to the bitter end :-) especially from those who’ve come through the other side, good luck all and thanks to everyone who have posted words of encouragement :-)

November 30, 2006 at 12:08 pm
(154) Georgie says:

I’ve been on 10mg citalopram for around 12 months and have now stopped as I want to see how I cope without them – been “on the wagon” for 5 days now. Feeling a bit dizzy and just really, really sleepy. It’s good to know that this is probably down to withdrawal and not some other unknown problem! Good luck to all other waggoners ;-)

December 2, 2006 at 6:13 am
(155) Amanda says:

Just a quick tip, drinking vast amounts of chamomile tea helps :-)

December 3, 2006 at 11:07 am
(156) sane at last says:

Sunday again folks almost another day under our belt without mind altering drugs , keep the faith you can all do it – I am and I’m a wimp !!!!!

December 3, 2006 at 6:35 pm
(157) Amanda says:

apart from not being able to sleep – and some weeping I think I’m going ok, so yes heres to another day :-) (I’m a bit of a wimp myself!)

December 4, 2006 at 5:16 pm
(158) cleep says:

For any of you who are open to Eastern medecine, I found acupuncture to have a calming effect on me which I beleive reduced the weepy outbreaks and low feelings.
I forget how many weeks out I am from taking any of the citalopram (maybe 8 or 10) and there are still some moments where I feel a little strange, but those a few and far between – you will be so glad you did this – HANG IN THERE!!!!

December 14, 2006 at 2:39 pm
(159) kelly says:

After reading several of these I realize that my doctors are all ignorant to the fact that medicines like this are so risky. I always hear “tell your doctor about other side effects”, well obviously that does no good, especially since none of them know about these similar feelings we all have! I’ve been tired, angry, crying, anxious, unable to sleep through a night (and the nightmares are awful), my sociability has decreased and I can’t cheer myself up no matter what I do. I’ve tried to wean off of this for months but I can’t stand the feelings you get. If I had only known about the terrible effects it has I would have never started it. Now I’m sure I’m just going to have to deal with the side effects of withdrawal for a couple weeks, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to work when I constantly feel like I’m shaking and dizzy and I can’t focus on anything at all, I feel like my eyes are jumping around in my head. Can’t wait till it’s out of my system.

December 17, 2006 at 4:54 pm
(160) Melissa says:


I have been taking 40mg Citalopram for 8 months. I had a friend from overseas stay for a few days who was also on Citalopram 40mg and had run out – she was off travelling again and couldn’t register with a GP so I gave her a weeks worth of mine. I didn’t give it a second thought to being without for a week. I’m glad to have helped a friend out of a tight spot but I won’t do it again in a hurry!

The last 5 days or so I thought I was going crazy. I’ve been nauseous and dizzy and unable to focus on any one thing for too long without stumbling around or falling over. The weird part is my brain only following suit with the rest of me a second or two late. I also get this funny feeling in my body that I interpret as it blinking as if it was an eyelash. It doesn’t hurt it just feels bizarre.

I’ve just spent the last couple of hours on the net trying to figure out what was wrong with me… I did one search and found a site where you can enter sypmtoms and it gives you possible matches which told me I could be Schizophrenic. Yikes.
I am extremely pleased to have found this and that I’m not crazy at all! Thank heavens for the internet : )

All the best to you all and thank you for sharing what you’re going through because it really helps.

Melissa x

December 21, 2006 at 5:26 am
(161) sane at last says:

Happy holidays fellow waggoners. NO more electric shocks dowm my legs at night, the ability to sleep a whole night , no more sight and sound effects , things are still improving day by day. Stick with it and be good to yourselves , take life a day at a time the good and the bad. I prefer life without this lifesaving but at the same time hellish drug. x

December 23, 2006 at 7:33 am
(162) kas says:

I’ve been off the citalopram for about a week now. Getting the dizziness thing, and feeling so low today! I end up really disappointed with myself when I cry in front of people. They think I’m better, and then this. And it’s almost Xmas, and everyone’s excited, and I really have NO reason to feel sad. Everything in my life is good, so come on, what’s the problem? ;-)

Oh dear, isn’t the brain the weirdest thing? Anyway, I’m gonna try to grin and bear it – at least I’m off work for a week now.

A big THANK YOU to all of you for these posts – it’s the most useful site I’ve found on the topic. I haven’t read all your comments, but I’m going to print it all out and keep it close at hand for the coming days. I have a feeling things might get worse before they get better.

Merry Christmas all, and take care xx

December 28, 2006 at 12:08 pm
(163) Arleen says:

Well. I’ve been on Citalopram for a little over five years now. I tried to come off once – suffered all the associated horrible side effects, etc.

Well, a few days before christmas, I decided it was time once again.

My reason, well, over the past five years I have gained about 40 pounds, I have suffered hair loss, my face has aged, I am always tired. In addition, I no longer cry or laugh — my emotions are always in check. When I saw recent pictures of myself from five years ago, I couldn’t believe how much I had changed — no one should age that much in such a short period of time. This is a bad drug.

I am in a high level management position at a health care facility. The Citalopram helped with the stress levels that go with the job, but it has done so at a cost.

Coming off of this crap, I feel drugged, hungover, dizzy, nauseaus, etc. I even awoke on Christmas morning with overwhelming nausea and vommiting — while my two young children opened the gifts that Santa left.

You may feel like Crap for a little while getting off of this drug — but, it is a bad drug to be on. Please take my advice. The withdrawal symptoms will go away after a couple of weeks. Best of luck and Happy New Year!

December 28, 2006 at 7:00 pm
(164) Sarah says:

Hi there. I stopped taking 10mg citalopram (having been on it for a couple of years) when I went away for a few days and forgot my tablets. I stayed off it because my libido (which had been gone for so long that I had forgotten it ever existed)returned. Hooray! However, a month on, the dizzy, fizzy head stuff has gone, but I find that I am really irritable and angry a lot of the time, which I have never really been before(either on or off anti-depressants). This has been quite challenging in work situations (I actually hear myself banging on about people not respecting me, in a way that sounds completely mad even to me) and at home over Christmas (just managed not to say anything completely unforgiveable over the old Christmas dinner. Has anyone else experienced this, and how long does it last? Am I doomed to being angry forever?!

December 29, 2006 at 9:31 am
(165) Kasia says:

I posted a couple of days before Xmas. The holiday period was hard work, but I’m back at work now, and less dizzy and fuzzy :)

Regarding Sarah’s question above, maybe this time of year is just a bit difficult for most of us – I know I’ve been dead irritable and angry a lot of the time. Also, I’m sure there are better ways of controlling our emotions than popping pills. We need to work out some coping and calming mechanisms to use when we feel like this. Sometimes, simple as it may sound, just a bit of counting, breathing and imagining “happy” thoughts can help. Sorry, hope this doesn’t sound condescending, it’s certainly not meant to be. This kind of simple technique helps me sometimes.

And also, just an afterthought, I’d rather feel the anger in order that I can also feel the joy and other positives, than have all my senses and feelings numbed! Good luck with it.

January 2, 2007 at 12:05 pm
(166) Amanda says:

Hello All, I stopped taking citalopram sometime in November. Its been a rocky road so far, but all in all one I feel better for taking – the one thing that struck me here is Sarahs question regarding anger, as I’ve realised that has been my biggest concern. In response I’d like to say that for myself, I’m experiencing a big rush of feelings on all levels, and this does include the ‘negative’? ones, ie anger and sadness, but I’m starting to laugh like I haven’t laughed in years (when I’m not internally combusting that is :-P )
its just a bit of a balancing act that will take time. So Sarah and All, just hang in there and see how it goes…from what I’m reading it does get better and in my five or so weeks I’m already seeing improvement :-)

Take Care All

January 2, 2007 at 2:03 pm
(167) paul says:

hi everyone ,this forum is a godsend ,i too was wandering what was up with me ,i had enough of the devils drug on xmas day an went off cold turkey,not advised i know but couldnt stand being a zombie no more,well 8 days on its been hell ,from nausia to suicidal thoughts to irritable all the time and also nightmares .i am also getting a lot of dizzyness and lightheadedness ,which i find the worse ,i am gonna see this out and get back to the happy person i once was before being given the drugs ,and also told that there is no side effects and no withdrawal symptoms,total lies. can anyone please advise me on how long it takes to get back to yourself and your own head again,anyone with views or support ,or going through the same things as me can gladly email me,an well fight this evil drug together,email; paularmy@blueyonder.co.uk,i look forward to hearing off you ,an keep your heads up an get off this evildrug,paul.

January 3, 2007 at 8:39 am
(168) Kasia says:

Hmm, the question of how long it takes to get back to your own head again is probably a bit like how long is a piece of string. It’s probably different for all of us. It’s been about 3 weeks off them for me now, although I did reduce gradually over several months. I’m feeling a lot better than during the first couple of weeks, but I don’t feel like “me”. But then, what is “me”? I think the citalopram or the depression has played real havoc with my memory. I was a bridesmaid 2 years ago, and don’t recall anything about it, even the venue! So, if my memory’s gone to pot, how can I know what I was like before the depression and the drugs??

So my view is to find ways of dealing with who I am now. Eating good stuff, exercising, and spending time with positive people, etc.

I dunno, what does anyone else think?

January 3, 2007 at 1:38 pm
(169) paul says:

hi kasia,what symtoms of withdrawal have you been having,mine are awful ,foggy head, lightheaded,long dizzyspells,feel worthless ,and very moody,as if i could explode at any time i also just want to lie down all the time ,i just cant wait to get back to the person i was before going on the evil drug ,ive vowed i wont take another one ,even though its so hard ,ive goto stick to it an get back to being me instead of an emotionless zombie.

January 3, 2007 at 9:24 pm
(170) Scott.B-H says:

Hello to everyone…Although I was told that there would be no withdrawal I knew differently. When I cut down from 20mg to 10mg I occasionally had attacks where I suddenly felt like I was going to cry for no apparent reason. I also had lightheadedness and the wierd brain symptoms when I missed a dose (I did not experience this until I had cut down to 10mg). I took my last pill on Dec. 30th. I have not had any mood problems but the weird head feelings are getting more severe and lasting longer. I am glad to know that I am not alone and I want to add my presence to those who felt alone. I conquered my depression. I can and will conquer this. I will not be ruled by a drug.

Stay strong. Life is worth living.

January 4, 2007 at 3:56 am
(171) paul says:

keep going scott ,we are in this together ,im having a really hard time ,im on day 11 of withdrawal ,and i was only on them for 3 months,and its a nightmare ,but am staying off the evil pills ,can anyone tell me how long does it take for the fuzzyhead and dizzyness an lack of energy last .as im finding it so frustrating .keep going scott an lets get rid of this evil together.

January 4, 2007 at 3:59 am
(172) paul says:

scott what are the weird head symptoms you describe ,are they the lightheadedness and feeling like theres fog in your head.

January 4, 2007 at 6:18 am
(173) Kasia says:

Hi Paul. Symptoms were mostly feeling very dizzy for much of the time. That lasted about 2 weeks I would say. I can also relate to your fogginess, and the moods and irritability. But it does get better, so please bear with it and stay strong. Thinking of you!

January 4, 2007 at 11:05 am
(174) Lisa says:

I just stopped 20 mg completely. Been on them for 8 months. I feel like I am thawing out. Lights seem brighter and I feel a bit disconnected.

It also feels like my eyes are floating in my head. I feel weird, this is day 1. My tongue is also weird feeling.

January 4, 2007 at 1:13 pm
(175) paul says:

thanks for the support kazia ,its really appreciated,so kasia ,do you get back to relatively normal once the evildrug is out your system,and does the dizzy lightheadedness dissaper fully ,keep going everyone ,we will come out of this alot stronger .take care,and keep posting as it keeps us all hanging in there to conquer this,paul

January 4, 2007 at 9:05 pm
(176) Scott.B-H says:

The wierd brain symptoms are shocklike feelings that come from the base of my skull and shoot through my head and down my spine (especially if I move my head suddenly). I also have dizziness, vertigo and difficulty concentrating. At times there is also a totally disconnected feeling. Today I had an emotional attack that made me feel like I wanted to cry. I managed to fight it off though. Overall I just feel lousy…kind of like having the flu. My therapist and I agree that I no longer need the pills for depression and so I will be damned if I am going to go back on them just to avoid this. It may still get worse for me, but it will get better again. I believe that. I know that. I truly hope that the rest of you can believe it too.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Keep fighting.

January 5, 2007 at 2:41 am
(177) paul says:

can someone who has experienced the fuzzyhead ,lack of concentration,and dizzyness and vertigo please assure me that these symptoms do dissapear ,as they are really bugging me ,im on day day 12 of withrawal from the evildrug,and would just like reassurance that there is light at the end of the tunnel ,cos im certainly not going to take another zombiepill.

January 5, 2007 at 2:57 pm
(178) lorraine says:

Good Luck all , i have been on ciprimil 10mg for over 2 years, and recetly found out i was pregnant and was told by my doctor to just stop , which i did and have been feeling more and more anxious by the week , nightmares not sleeping well sadness , i am now 5 months pregnant and am having a racing heart all the time , the doctor has given me valium 5mg one a night for 5 days , hope this eases as i don,t feel i can enjoy my pregnancy with this hanging over me .best wishes lorraine

January 5, 2007 at 3:25 pm
(179) paul says:

good luck lorraine .we are all in this awful predicament together ,but we will get rid of the nasty pill and reclaim our lives .im finding withdrawal a nightmare.i made a point of flushing my remaining pills down the toilet ,so theres no turning back for me now. i just wish i could shake the dizzyness and foggyhead then id feel like im getting somewhere.be strong everyone and we will get there. take care.

January 5, 2007 at 4:23 pm
(180) kasia says:

Paul – for the dizziness, I found motion-sickness tablets quite helpful. I used “Kwells” from any chemist (in UK). Maybe this would help you. Keep with it!

January 5, 2007 at 5:36 pm
(181) Sarah says:

Thanks to all for their comments here – particularly Kasia and Amanda. Once you realise that the unwelcome feelings are normal and common withdrawal side effects, they are so much easier to deal with. I have stopped being so angry, but am doing my very best to hang onto the good feelings that have come back after being on citalopram in different doses for a few years. Like Amanda, I find myself laughing a lot more (in a quite normal, non-maniacal way, in case you were wondering!) as well as feeling excited about things – I think I used to be a bit flat. There are definitely high notes among the low notes!

January 6, 2007 at 6:24 am
(182) lorraine says:

Hi Paul , thanks and good luck , i have been off these tablets for 4 months and all dizziness and foggyness has gone along with the other feelings that go with it , i think that my anxiety is prob a mix of withdrawls and pregnancy , i know i will beat this and am sure you all will too .!!
bestwishes lorraine

January 6, 2007 at 7:27 am
(183) paul says:

thanks lorraine ,can you tell me how long it took for the dizzyness ,lightheaded and foggy head to go ,does it go gradually ,or just go,thanks,paul.

January 6, 2007 at 1:06 pm
(184) Arleen says:

I have been off 20mg. Citalopram since 12/22. Stopped cold turkey. It has been a funky couple of weeks. Dizzyness, almost like an out of body experience. I have had to work full time plus take care of two active kids. I am finally feeling like the side effects are starting to dwindle.

Something funny — people at work have been joking with me about how happy I have been and want to know what I am taking! I had been on that evil drug for over five years and although it kept my emotions in check…it masked the true me. I am happy to be back again. I am hoping now I can shed the 40 lbs. I gained since going on the drug.

Stick with it guys…I cannot believe how much happier I feel already. — Arleen

January 6, 2007 at 1:15 pm
(185) paul says:

hi arleen ,how long did it take for the dizzyness to go and the lightheadedness ,and do you start feeling back to yourself ,im on day 13 an im still quite dizzy and just dont feel me .does this feeling lift and stay away ,please reply ,thanks,paul

January 6, 2007 at 5:19 pm
(186) Michelle says:

Hi there. I am day 12 off Citalopram, and am feeling awful. The dizzyness and the feeling of detatchment from my brain are less now. I’ve had terrible headaches, to the point I nearly called the hospital ’cause I thought I was having a stroke!

I am just feeling very angry and weepy! The kids are getting on my nerves with the slightest thing and I have been irrationally jealous too.

My husband thinks I should go back on them, but I’ve had enough, and want to stick it out.

Thanks for sharing your feelings, as it has given me some light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m back to work on Monday – fingers crossed I can cope.

Michelle x

January 6, 2007 at 5:21 pm
(187) Michelle says:

Meant to say – I have gained about 3 stones since going on this drug (great for your depression!) and my libido has been rock bottom…

Anyone else experienced these too?

If so, did the weight come off easily after the withdrawal? And what about the desire?

January 6, 2007 at 8:27 pm
(188) Arleen says:

Hi Paul and Michelle — hang in there. Where I once felt dizzy 24/7 and my eyes floating in my head with every footstep — I am now getting the occasional dizzy spell – usually with going from a sitting to standing or bending over and standing up. They are getting less and less. My mood is lightening every day as well. I feel as though I have more energy.

Michelle — I hope you are getting the support you need from your family. Right now is the most important time to take care of yourself. Perhaps your husband can pick up the slack a little bit more with your children and cut you some slack when you get a little irritable. Your once numbed emotions are now coming back and it is going to take a little time to get them in balance again. During the five years I was on them, I tried to come off for a few months, but after being just like you, my husband convinced me and I believed him that I needed to be back on. What I really needed at that time was loving support and time to rest and heal — and yes, some slack when cranky.

Hang in there — your ultimate happiness depends on it.

Paul, hang in there, each person withdraws a little differently and your body may be just taking a little longer. It will be worth it in the end.

Take care — Arleen

January 7, 2007 at 9:37 am
(189) Michelle says:

Thanks Arleen.

I do feel better today, just knowing that I’m not the only one going through this, and I’m actually quite normal.

That’s a great way to put it, my once-numb emotions are coming back! I should actually celebrate each one that returns!

Keep going everyone, together we can beat this monster!

Michelle x

January 8, 2007 at 10:49 am
(190) paul says:

im on day 15 an its still a nightmare ,the dizzyhead and now im feeling severe anxiety ,irritable ,i think its my body getting desperate for its next pill ,im glad i flushed away my remaining pills because i think id have gave in by now ,this is so damn hard ,i just hope that its all worth it and i can get some relief and my head back to normal as soon as possible .please someone give me some positive replies that im hopefully over the worst and it can only get better.

January 9, 2007 at 2:36 pm
(191) Michelle says:

Hi Paul, well done for getting to day 15 without going to the doc for another script!

I am on day 15 too, and I can honestly say that I am feeling a lot better. the dizzyness and nausea have subsided, and I only get the occasional spell when I get up or turn my head too quickly. Still having trouble finding words mid-sentence, but I think that my short term memory is improving!

I was only on 20mg, so perhaps that’s why the symptoms are alleviating quicker for me.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Hang on in there, I’m sure you will feel better before you know it.

January 10, 2007 at 2:44 am
(192) paul says:

hi michelle ,well yesterday day 16 was a bit better ,dizzyness went after an hour or so ,i still feel a bit giddy,and not myself ,my head still needs a bit of rebalancing but hopefully each day will get a bit easier and the memory will come back to normal,im so glad im off the damn evil drug ,i was only on 20mg aswell ,and only for 10 weeks or so ,but it was long enough to know that they just make you like a zombie ,good luck michelle and look forward to reclaiming yourself back in the very near future.paul

January 10, 2007 at 6:41 am
(193) Eileen says:

Hi there
I am now 6 days off cipramil and I am a mess. I do not feel depressed at all but feel like I am off the planet. I am dizzy, not focused, feeling like i have to blink all the time, does anyone know how long this lasts and is it dangerous. Eileen

January 11, 2007 at 3:11 pm
(194) Kasia says:

Hi to all
I had my last cipramil tablet on 15 December, so that’s 27 days ago now. Things were really tough over Xmas (see above) but things are improving daily. Dizziness only occasionally hits me now, and although I don’t really feel like “myself”, whatever that is, I feel quite good. I just wanted to check in with you guys who are still going through it, and assure you that it does improve. Hang on in there, and remember, spring is only just round the corner ;)

January 11, 2007 at 3:56 pm
(195) Susan says:

I’ve been on Citalopram for a number of years (six?) and had to quit cold turkey because I lost my job and therefore my health insurance. I was also taking Trazodone for insomnia, and had to stop that as well. I am having so many of the symptoms you all have written about, except that I have been having to interview for jobs whilst going through this. How do you explain to someone that if they’d just hire you you’d be mentally “with it” in a matter of hours, once the insurnace kicks in? It’s been about three weeks of withdrawal symptoms for me so far, most noticeably the sort of seizure-like head feelings, feeling of it being difficult sometimes to concentrate…and the dizziness, and wondering as I’m walking down the street if I’m going to suddenly seize up and trip and fall. It;s embarassing. I’m a smart person who is definitely not feeling smart and doubts she is appearing at all smart. I’m feeling almost suicidal and worried I won;t get a job without being on the meds but can’t get the meds without having a job. THANK GOODNESS FOR ALL OF YOU HERE! I am so relieved to know it’s not just me going completely insane…honestly, I am in tears as I thank you. THANK YOU.

January 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm
(196) Michelle says:

Well done for getting yourself the interviews in the first place. I’ve asked my husband, and he did not notice my spaced out moments that were so bad at the beginning, so I dount that your interviewers will! They expect people to be nervous, and will probably put it down to that. Is there no health provision for low income families that would enable you to get some – although, you are definitely better off without it.
Take care, and I’ll keep you in my prayers,

January 12, 2007 at 4:59 am
(197) Alfie says:

Hi there, I have been on Citalopram for about 18mnths for a severe episode of anxiety at a time of stress. I feel the stress is well behind me, not only that I have put on 15 kilos which seemed to just appear from nowhere which I want to shift (so would appreciate any feed back to whether it leaves as quickly as it arrived!!!!)
I am now 5 days cold Turkey, feel as if I have the flu, very dizzy, have a twitch in my left eye. I to am wondering how long it will take to subside??? I do fear that I may have picked a bad time to stop these pills as we have school holidays in NZ and are off for a family holiday but I guess I have started now. Good luck to all other ‘withdrawlers’ and I will watch your progress with interest. I will keep you posted with my progress (makes you anxious just thinking about it!!!!) and I look forward to hear how others are going. Good luck to all and have enjoyed reading your progress Kaisa am looking forward to getting to your stage.

January 12, 2007 at 12:46 pm
(198) JP says:

I am so glad to read all these comments. I was doing great trying to withdraw by taking 10mg. every 4 days, but suddenly my body has decided to reject citalopram and now when I take it I get a horrible anxiety attack and feel extremely ill with all the other side effects that go with it. So I have had to quit cold turkey. Because my body is used to the every 4 day thing I am sure I will begin experiencing bad side effects on the 5th day. Has anyone else experienced that their body suddenly rejects the drug? Good luck everyone! I would appreciate any response! Thanks!

January 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm
(199) JP says:

PS…and yes everyone, I have gained about 15 lbs., mainly around my middle since being on citalopram (celexa), in just four months.

January 12, 2007 at 8:01 pm
(200) Arleen says:

Good day all — I have been off since 12/22 after having been on for five years. This week I have had no dizzy spells at all. My mood is great. I am experiencing all normal emotions. I am craving sweets where I never really had a sweet tooth — I will occasionally indulge but I am looking forward to losing the 40 pounds I packed on while on the med. I commend those of you who are staying commited to getting off this evil drug. There is a light at the end of the tunnel — for some it may be a little longer or shorter. Good luck and stick with it — each day it will get better — Arleen

January 14, 2007 at 1:34 pm
(201) JULIE says:


January 14, 2007 at 2:34 pm
(202) Michael says:

HI crazy gang,

what am I missing? I have been on this stuff (20mg) for 4 months to treat severe freaky suicidal depression and overwhelming anxiety after kicking a ‘skunk’ marijuana habit and I feel great. I feel like I’m 10 years old again (I’m 31). I now have no regrets (where before i was totally messed up from all my regrets) and have no fear about the future although I know that everyone I know and love will die one day. Today I got stopped walking down the street by a total stranger who couldn’t understand why I was so happy.
My sex drive is back, my music is back, I can relax without drugs alcohol food etc.

I have found that swimming running and cycling helps keep the weight off ( I put on 2 stone or 14kg on Olanzapine before…i’ve kicked that bad boy aswell).

Why are people coming off this stuff?

All my love


January 17, 2007 at 5:33 am
(203) Guy says:

Hoorayy, i’m not alone and there is hope.

I had no idea that this drug is attributed to weight gain. Having previously always been slender, over the last 5 years I have been on it I have put on 4 stone and now pretty overweight!!!

5 days I have been off of the drug now, and I think I will continue, although from what I have read it will be a tough few months. Already I feel terrible and contemplating going home sick from work for the day.

As one person pointed out, it is probably a case of the brain having to literally rewire itself over a period of months, to cope with the sudden lack of the drug.

One thing.. I drive an hour to work and then back again every day. I don’t have much choice, but surely it can’t be that safe as my head is always ‘whooshing’ and my vision feels cloudy at times! Will have to be careful. Why is there so little official text written about the withdrawal from this drug??

Good luck all!

January 17, 2007 at 7:17 am
(204) emma says:

wow – thought i was alone – my symptoms are worse at night and also i have been mis pronouncing my words a lot – does anyone else get this?

cant believe that bit about the weight gain either – was on these tablets on and off for last 6 years and solid for last 12-18 months – i have moved house and got a new job and love my life and decided time was right to get off them so i just cut back to every other day every three days etc until i ran out as have had the withdrawal before and thought it wouldnt happen this time but it has – doing your hair is the worst thing! i feel like my brain is trying to squeeze down my neck! also i am very very short tempered but hope i can control that over time – deep breaths!!
i will stick at it now and i know that others feel the same

good luck to all of you

January 17, 2007 at 9:10 am
(205) bars.girl says:

hi all,
ive been on these pills at 30 mg just over 6 months,ive reduced them to 20 mg for past 3 weeks,
i used to get demititis on my hands,and it has recently flared up and also my skin all over seems sensitive!!!anyone else had rashes from these pills when reducing them?
also put on a stone!!!which i cant seem to lose,
reading through the posts on withdrawing from it is really worring

any advise would be great
ta all

January 17, 2007 at 11:16 pm
(206) lost mitten says:

Thank God! I’m so relieved to have read all your comments. I’m trying to come off 20mg citalopram that I’ve been taking for last year and am feeling so rough. Am writing this at 5a.m. after lying awake for last few hours feeling the weird drunken wooshy brain thing and finally decided to look up google for any advice. I stopped taking the pills 3 days ago because I want some control of my life back. Whilst I was on it I put on about a stone and a half and had constant neck rashes and generally itchy skin. I also identify with the problem of mispronouncing words or just not being able to get the right word out at all. It feels like my brain is wired up all wrong. This happened to me when I was withdrawing from venlafaxine (Effexor) a few years ago too. Am just going to take it one day at a time but am completely terrified of the withdrawal symptoms getting worse or slipping back into the hellhole of depression. Anyway, thanks for all your comments, and good luck

January 18, 2007 at 1:51 pm
(207) bars.girl says:

totally relate with you lost mitten,
just tryed to reduce to 10 mg,my brain and body isnt havent any of it!!!
been really ratty at kids and myself,i know im not needing these pills no more,
think they are so hard to come off due to serotin in them that changes the brain,
still gonna try again soon,think il seek medical advise from doctors
take care all

January 18, 2007 at 8:16 pm
(208) Kim says:

Hi, I came off citalapram in the last 4 months. I followed doctor’s orders of reducing my dose over a 4 week period. It was way too fast I have experienced all of the withdrawal symptoms that you guys have described. The “brain shifting” was the worst. I have also gained about 20 pounds. Since coming off this drug, I am also experincing some symptoms that may be Multiple Sclerosis. I am in the process of testing for MS. Finally, most of the symptoms seems to have stopped. But I’m wondering about the weight gain. As anyone managed to lose the weight? And as any one experienced MS like symptoms?

Take care everyone,

January 21, 2007 at 9:44 am
(209) lorraine says:

Hi all
Good luck
Well i was on ciprimil 10mg for 3 years the when was 7 weeks pregnant i stopped had struggles cold turkey am nown 5 and a half months and the doc had put me back on them , feel so upset wwith myself and worry about what i am doing to my child inside me , buy the doc said it is safe to take than not too due to my anxiety , hasbeen 8 days back on them now and the side effects of starting again have been really bad but are getting better , i will try again once baby is born . well done everyone ! lORRAINE

January 22, 2007 at 10:11 am
(210) paul says:

ive been off the evil drug for 4 weeks today cold turkey after 11 weeks on them ,ive had an awful 4 weeks ,fromm brain wooshes tobreaking down ,tosevere anxiety to ,poor memory ,even had to stay off work for the 4 weeks.starting to feel a bit better ,but still got very poor concentration ,also just dont feel like me ,and quite aggrivated easily ,does your head go back to full normality ,as i just dont seem upto speed ,any replies would be greatful.

January 22, 2007 at 12:13 pm
(211) Kim says:

Hi Paul, you should not have come off them cold turkey. I can just imagine how miserable you must be feeling!! Even when I was weaning myself off of them (I started at 20 mg a day, went to 10 mg for a week, 5 mg for a week and then nothing). If you take half your dose when you are feeling really bad, it will help. I was doing that for a while. Then it was less and less and now I don’t even think about them!! Thank GOD!! It all does eventually go away. So hang in there!! I’d say it took me 3 full months to get over the awful dizziness and brain shifting. Plus the anxiety settles down as well. Good luck and remember it’s something that will get better.. and you are not alone.


January 22, 2007 at 12:23 pm
(212) paul says:

hi kim ,thanks for the reply ,when im concentrating and with someone the head thing doesnt bother me ,but when im alone and trying to relax it just seems to foggy up a bit ,it does seem to be the last thing i just cant shake off from the withdrawal,does it just gradually go away .please reply ,thanks again,paul

January 22, 2007 at 2:36 pm
(213) Kim says:

Hi Again, That’s a hard one for me to answer. I’m thinking yes, it does eventurally go away. I am still have a bit of that though. It has only been 4 months for me, so I’m hoping it will soon disappear. I continuted to work (and drive!) through this whole ordeal but definititely should have taken some sick time.

Take Care,

January 22, 2007 at 3:41 pm
(214) paul says:

hi again kim,what exactly does your head thing feel like ,mine is like ,stops me from getting deep into concentration ,and leaves me a little irritable ,just stops me thinking as clearly as i used to ,take care ,paul

January 22, 2007 at 8:12 pm
(215) Kim says:

Hi Paul, I have had a very hard year and I attributed the lack of concentration more so on my situation and not a withdrawal symptom from the pills. I think I may have felt the lack of concentration more so when I was taking the pills. But now I am very anxious all the time. I thought that my hectic life of a very stressful job and a single mom of 2 kids was what was making me feel so overwhelmed. I have days when I don’t think I can actually do my job (which I have had for a good few years). I sure if you just hang in there it will disappear, just like the other symptoms.. I know one thing. If I had done any research on this drug, I would never have taken it. My doctor told me it wasn’t addictive.. He was wrong…


January 23, 2007 at 2:47 am
(216) paul says:

hi kim ,i was told there was no withdrawal aswell ,i would never have took it if i too knew the withdrawal ,they are a nightmare to get on and even worse to get off ,totally mix you up .am glad im off them now ,just wish the withdrawal symptoms would completley go , i just want to return the the person i once was ,before taking the evil thing.

January 23, 2007 at 5:08 pm
(217) Kasia says:

Hello guys. Thought I’d check in with you all as it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote. Paul – hang in there mate, you’re doing brilliantly. As I said, I’m really not sure what “me” is, but I’m trying to just accept how I am now. Dizziness is gone now, finally, but the foggy feelings come and go, and concentration is sometimes difficult. My worst symptom is my memory issues. I really am struggling, but hey, I made a decision to just get on with it, so that’s what I’m trying to do!!

So , just to say, take care all, and keep up the good work!

January 24, 2007 at 10:53 am
(218) Jacqui says:

Hi all,
Been reading through there comments since I first went cold turkey 2 weeks ago and it has helped me cope with withdrawal a hell of alot. I was on 60mg Citalopram for about 4 months (started on 10g like most people 12 months ago and my doc has been increasing my dose ever since) and 200mg Carbomezapine the last 2 months on top of the citalopram. I was going completely crazy on the drugs even tried to kill myself 2 months ago. I decided enough, that the drugs were making me worse and went cold turkey. I wouldn’t suggest this to most anyone reading this by the way. I have had the most severe withdrwal. Some days I can’t even stand without wanting to pass out. This week has been worse than the first week I quit. Severe muscle cramps, dizzyness, feeling very surreal, terrible headaches. I haven’t told my doc that I’m off them yet, he’ll probably freak when I do, but despite the withdrawal I actually feel better! I still have massive mood swings from very high to low but at least I’m not like a zombie that sleeps all the time anymore. I’m determined to stay off these tablets and I’ll wait to see what the psych doc says when I see him (I’ve been waiting 8 months now to see one). My doc told me I need to go onto lithium but from what I’ve read elsewhere there’s no way I’m taking that either. I wish all of you luck quitting these evil drugs and I hope you have an easier time than what I’m going through. All the best. Jacqui (UK).

January 24, 2007 at 2:15 pm
(219) Gerald says:

I gained a ton of weight and had NO sex-drive, but kept refilling the rx due to “whoo whoo” in brain, horific nightmares, dizzyness ,etc. I went off of it and am now on Wellbutrin. I don’t have the terrible dreams, but I am tired and all the other symptoms are still there. This is day 20 and just when it seems it’s over the pulsing dizziness comes back. I feel good that I am going to make it, but it is going to take longer than I thought it would.

January 26, 2007 at 3:18 pm
(220) paul says:

hi kasia ,thanks for your asking how i was ,im still in the middle of hell ,and im 30 days without the evil drug ,dizzyness has gone ,but im left with spaced out feeling ,and carnt concentrate at all ,my memory is really poor now aswell and my mood is all over the place,im determined to beat the thing though ,even though its so damn hard ,feel like am losing my mind at times ,does this happen to you kasia, hi there to jaquie ,im also in the uk .strap yourself in jaquie cos it gets tougher ,im cold turkey aswell ,and its a rocky road ,never have i felt so many ups and mainly downs and emotions,and scatty head in my life .hang on in there ,paul

January 26, 2007 at 4:07 pm
(221) Kasia says:

Hi Paul – I’m in the UK as well. I can completely understand your memory issues. My memory has deteriorated drastically over the last year or so. It was one of the main things that lead to me being so determined to come off citalopram. My GP was adament that the memory probs were down to the depression rather than the drug, but I wasn’t so sure. Now that I’m off the drug, I don’t actually feel depressed. My mood is up and down, but then who’s isn’t? But my memory is still atrocious. It’s particularly hard at work, but I’ve just had to be honest with people and ask them to bear with me, and try to find coping mechanisms.

I know what you mean about your mood being all over the place. One good thing about this is that if you’re having a crap day, you can tell yourself that tomorrow might be better! I’ve also recently joined a gym, cos they say exercise can really help.

So, that’s about it from me for now. Take care all, and Paul – stick with it, we’re rooting for you :)

January 26, 2007 at 6:15 pm
(222) Gerald says:

Hi-Just to correct my post #206–I am only on day 14, not 20. Things are better today–no brain zaps. Took a dramamine for the dizziness-seemed to help. I flushed that Wellbutrin garbage down the toilet yesterday after I read on line about how evil it is. So now I am wondering if I will have any withdrawal ( excuse, “discontinuation” lol) discomforts. I will say that I didn’t get the nightmares-although I thought I might last night but I just tried to keep something positive in my head as I drifted to sleep-even if was just how nice it will be to lose the 35 pounds I put on on this drug.

January 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm
(223) Kim says:

Hi, just wondering if anyone reading who put on weight on this drug have actually lost it. And when does it start to come off? The weight gain has depressed me more than why I went on this stupid drug in the first place!! And Paul, glad to hear your dizziness is gone. I’ve been reading the comments since I posted (# 195 was my first). I’m amazed you managed to go cold turkey and not given in and taken a pill. I did a few times. You are definitely a strong guy, Hang in there..it all gets better with time.
Take care,

January 27, 2007 at 3:44 am
(224) paul says:

hi kim ,i probably would have given in to another pill ,but i fushed them down the toilet on about day 12 .i feel like ringing the neck of the doctor who put e on them drugs and toldme there is no withdrawal.pitty we couldnt put him on them for a few months ,then cold turkey him off them ,i think his answer would be a little different then .i long to beback to the person i was before the damn things .hang in there everyone ,we will all get there .kasia,how long have you been off them now, paul.

January 27, 2007 at 5:27 am
(225) rach says:

Hi everyone,

My story is documented on comments 89, 91,94,96,98 and finally 106. If you want some hope and some tips read these. It was much quicker than I thought it would be – a big relief. Kim – once the withdrawals finished the weight dropped off with walking 45 mins each day. There is hope and it does end quicker than you would think when you are in the thick of it.

Hang in there everyone – you are all very brave. It is worth every bit of the pain.

Rach – Australia

January 27, 2007 at 10:13 am
(226) paul says:

hi rach ,just read your october posts,can you please tell me how long did it take you to fully regain your head and body ,im one month on from cold turkey ,and its been hell ,think im seeing a bit of light now ,just cant think as good as i used to ,and my head foggys upat times ,when does this go away fully ,paul

January 27, 2007 at 12:29 pm
(227) Kim says:

Hi Everyone, you know it is amazing we are all pulling for each other and we live in all the four corners of the world (I’m in Canada). Thank goodness for the internet. We have such a LARGE circle of support. It makes me feel so much better. I’m going to continue to check this thread. It has brought an awful lot of people together who have experienced the same terrible withdrawal. I hate to think of those out there who haven’t found the support we have. I just wish I had searched earlier when I was first experiencing the withdrawal. Even knowing that the weight gain is part of it makes me feel a little better.. I couldn’t understand why I was gaining. (it’s a big issue with me if you haven’t gathered). Keep going Paul.. and everyone out there wondering if it will ever get better..time is what heals. Chat soon…

January 27, 2007 at 6:16 pm
(228) rach says:

Hi Paul,
I think the first fortnight was definately the worst. The next month was hard and then it really was only every now and then that I became really teary over something small that wouldn’t have normally upset me. So I would say 6wks until all the physical withdrawal symptoms left altogether.
Good luck – hang in there. Get lots of rest and drink lots of water. It will all be over soon. Well done for sticking it out.

January 27, 2007 at 6:30 pm
(229) Kasia says:

Paul – I took my last citalopram on 15 December, so it’s about 6 weeks now. I’d been on 40mg for about a year, but I gradually reduced over about 2 months, first dropping to 20mg, then to 10mg, then to every other day till they ran out. Bit different to your cold turkey approach :) But however we stop, we just gotta deal with it. And you’ve come this far, so you gotta keep with it. It just may take you a few more weeks than me. As I’ve mentioned earlier, my current “method” is to try and relax about the whole thing, and take it as it comes, and not worry too much. I can be a real worrier, and it never got me anywhere, so it’s time to stop!!

Anyway, I’m about to go to bed in this neck of the woods, so sweet dreams all and cheers for listening x

January 27, 2007 at 8:34 pm
(230) Gerald says:

Hello All-if I had known about this thread I would have gone off them sooner-I am on day 15 and it is getting better. I started taking a multi-vitamin on the the same day I last took cita and I think it has really helped to preventnightmares. I haven’t had any this time.
I started taking a tsp of fish oil-thanks to this thread so thank you all and it can be done.

January 29, 2007 at 3:28 am
(231) Adrian says:

Dear all, it was a big relief to find this thread and to realise that I am not alone in experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I have been trying to cut down from 20mg – which seemed to go ok, then to 10mg and then to 10mg every other day. I stopped completely a few days ago and today I feel awful, its like the depression is back again – but its har to know whether it is or its just part of the cold turkey process (which is seems it is). I have been trying to avoid too much stress recently as well, but a recent car accident and hating my job haven’t helped. I am going to see the dr today. I think I may have to go back to 10mg every other day for a while – but who knows. Anti-depressants are a miracle but coming off them is no fun. I didn’t have this problem at all with Prozac in the past.
Good luck to everyone – i am not sure if its a worry or a relief to see there are so many of us!!

January 29, 2007 at 4:38 am
(232) rach says:

Hi Adrian,
I read on line that prozac leaves your brain slowly (over weeks) and thats why the discontinuation syndrome (supposedly the name of what we go through) doesn’t happen with it?? It’s like this drug leaves your brain instantly and the brain goes into shock – hence the withdrawals (probably a very simplistic laymans explanation!). I went off cold turkey but I wonder if cutting back to half then a quarter and then a quarter of a quarter over weeks would help (maybe it would then leave the body slowly – like prozac). I found paracetamol really helped with symptoms and I also felt real depression too after coming off them but I thought you might like to know that in my case it went when the withdrawals stopped. Good luck Adrian and eveyone else,

January 29, 2007 at 5:32 pm
(233) caitlin says:

I guess I’m just going to reitterate what everyone else is saying, but finding these comments has been really helpful to me. I took citalopram for the past 12 months and was taking 40mg for the past 6 months or so. I weened myself off it over the course of a week and haven’t had any for 3 days. Now I feel like I have the flu but I don’t want to go back on it for fear of drawing out the process. I’m extremely dizzy, alternately cold and hot sweats and really tired and achy. Also I’ve been sneezing a lot and feel tingly all over. I feel pretty much more depressed than ever and now I feel resentful that doctors act like it’s no big deal to go on medication. I didn’t notice any drastic change in my moods while I was on the stuff and now I needlessly feel physically unwell. I’m so sorry all of you are going through similar things and I hope you feel better soon. good luck,

January 30, 2007 at 3:23 am
(234) penny says:

what a crock of a drug, didn’t help my depression thought the side effects kept me occupied to much to think anout anything moods, and now after 5 days of no citlopram i’m getting the brain moving dizziness like coming of a waltzer, gone cold turkey and will keep it so and keep posted of how long it takes, for a depression treatment the withdrawl physically should be addressed, came off flouxentine (prozac) as caused serious heart burn of all things but came off without probs, wish i’d have left it at that but my doctor doesn’t keep an eye on things so have to self assess all the time if thinking of using this drug, have a good think about it and talk to people here who have used it for symptons like yours, so prefer prozac as anti of choice but here goes ay..

January 30, 2007 at 3:48 pm
(235) bars.girl says:

Hi all ,
Just following up from my last comment back in January 18, 194.

finally down from 30 ,to 20 ,now on 10 mg a day for the past 2 weeks,can honestly say,apart from my hands bright red and itchy,head aches,manic-ness,irriatable,dizzy spells,OMG THE AWFUL DREAMS THAT SEEM SO REAL!
im proud of everyone on this site getting off this evil drug,
these doctors have alot to answer to…
im just wondering why my doctor said no matter what i had to stay on this citlopram at least a year,anyone else told they would have to be on this a set period of time at least….
would really like to know
many thanx


January 30, 2007 at 4:25 pm
(236) trish says:

I was prescribed the drug at 20mg just over a year ago for anxiety and decided to stop it after Christmas. After discussing the matter with my GP he gave me a prescription for 10mg to be taken once a day for a fortnight and then one every other day for a fornight. The supply finished last week. I am so relieved to read of other people’s problems with the awful withdrawal from this drug. The giddiness is awful and I have had an incessant twitch beneath my eye for the last few weeks, which is driving my around the bend, especially as people are commenting on it. I don’t know if anyone out there has experienced anything similar. I am very snappy to my nearest and dearest, irritable, feelings of despair etc. etc and I am finding it very difficult coping at work particularly as I have never confided in colleagues that I was on antidepressants in the first place. I would never have taken this drug if I had known about the withdrawal problems.

Will keep you posted and let you know in 2 weeks how I am getting on.

Good luck to us all.


January 30, 2007 at 8:21 pm
(237) Linda says:

I’ve been reading this thread prior to going to my GP today. I’ve been on Citalopram close to a year, it helped a lot, and now my body is saying “enough”. My GP recommended dropping my dose from 20 mg to 15mg per day for 2 weeks, and then decreasing it by 5 mg (a quarter pill) every 2 weeks – so a 2 month process to wean myself off. I had some nausea and fluctuations in feelings when I went on, so I hope the withdrawal is slow and mild.
I appreciate all the comments I’ve read.

February 1, 2007 at 4:46 am
(238) Hannah says:

Am I glad I found this site too!! I thought I was going mad with the ‘brain flashes’ and dizziness. I expected it was withdrawal symptoms but to know they’re extremely common is so helpful. The info about the weight gain is also a blessing. I couldn’t work out how I kept putting on weight when I was eating less… and now it makes total sense. I just never thought Citalopram was the culprit! It’s strange how the side-effects of taking the drug are well explained, but not the side-effects of coming off…

I’ve been on a course for 6 months, and then weaned off one every two days over two weeks. I stopped altogether on Monday. These side effects are horrible but I hope they’ll go fairly soon…

February 2, 2007 at 4:10 am
(239) Jacqui says:

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your reply to me. I’ve just reached week 4 today and It’s so hard. I find myself thinking about the tablets I still have in my medicine cupboard and wondering if I’ve done the right thing going cold turkey. I’ve been in a solid low depression for over a week now and I can feel myself slipping deeper down the rabbit hole. I’m not sure if i’m still suffering withdrawal or what. Added to the fact I haven’t slept at all for 3 days so I think my judgement may be a little clouded right now. GL to all of you hanging in there.


February 2, 2007 at 12:27 pm
(240) paul says:

keep goin jaquie ,im in week 6 ,gettin better some days ,still a rocky road though ,has been the most difficult thing ive ever done ,still get the foggy head at times and my concentration isnt too good ,hopefully it will pass though ,take care and good luck,paul

February 3, 2007 at 6:47 pm
(241) Jack says:

Having just spent the last month following my doctor’s advice and slowly weening myself off celexa week by week, and feeling the rather severe withdrawal effects, permit me to disagree a bit with those who are trying to buck up the people who decided to go cold turkey. I think you’re making a big mistake. And your doctor does too. Why would you want to disagree with your doctor, and the advice of the overwhelming majority of people who have taken this drug? Yes, withdrawal is REALLY REALLY REALLY bad when you go cold turkey – that’s why you’ve been told not to do it. Yet you’ve chosen to do it anyway, and now you seek our support.

Well, I can’t in good conscience enable this kind of behavior by saying “hang in there.” It’s reckless behavior, and probably kind of dangerous too, in terms of what you’re doing to your mental well-being while going through the withdrawal. And the worst part: you know all of this, yet you’ve chosen to do it anyway.

Call your doctor. Or get ready for one hell of a nasty ride, and the real possibility of messing with your mental state pretty severely, and whatever that might eventually entail. But please don’t expect us all to enable what you’re doing. I think it’s reckless and harmful. A better friend will tell you just that :-)

February 5, 2007 at 12:16 am
(242) rach says:

I think people are just trying their best with the info they have Jack – not trying to be reckless or dangerous. It is such a hard time for people – a time where compassion is needed. I don’t think there is a sense on this site that people are ignoring doctors or encouraging others to go cold turkey.Sometimes when you are on a low dose the doctor may not recommend going off them slowly – as we know though, the discontinuation syndrome (withdrawals) seems to come for some of us even when we come off a small dose. If you read my threads at numbers 98 and 219 you will see that even though I came off cold turkey I wished I had come off my very small dose slowly.Good luck Jack with your journey. Best wishes to everyone else – my thoughts are with you all.

February 5, 2007 at 4:24 am
(243) Alfie says:

Hi there guys. Well I said I’d come back and let you know how I got on. I cam off citrolpram after 18 months. I was on 20mg then 10 then 5mg. I came off on 5th January. I had the following withdrawal symptoms – twitch in eye, flu type feeling, brain lagging behind when I moved eyes, vivid dreams and ears ringing – the symptoms seemed to last about two rotten weeks for me then I started to feel heaps better just a bit of brain lag. My advice would be to take a couple of weeks off work or any pressure situation that needs concentration. I know it seems like a waste of annual leave but I think its worth it. Mums save hard for abit of child care for young kids and try and give yourself some time to withdrawal and take a nana nap if needed I had kids home with summer holidays but just went to the river where they swam and were happy so I could just sit and read, stare into space just chill really I know its not always possible but ask friends etc for some help with child minding etc just to make it easier on yourself. After finding this site and realising what I was feeling is normal side effects from withdrawal I think it is less frightening so try and ride the storm the suns not that far away…. So take good care of yourselves guys and gals Im thinking of you. I will log on if anyone wants to ask me any questions or just need reassurance – Look after yourself and if you feel your mental health is slipping toooooo bad get back to your Doc it might not be your time to finish yet but if you feel you can cope go for it I am now a month down the track and feel fine Take Care Alfie

February 5, 2007 at 10:30 am
(244) james says:

I’m trying to come off citalopram. I have been on them for nearly a year, at a low dose. I have tried to come off them before, but I get feverish and a sort of salty/bitter taste in my mouth that just gets intolerable. Also the dizziness that is mentioned, and ‘head shocks,’ and I get very angry or sad and frustrated.

I really want to be rid of these tablets, but I am scared I won’t be able to stop them. Has anyone else had any fever-like symptoms, or the taste alterations I mention?

I’m going to try and see my doctor tommorow.. if I am not in too much of a state.

Another thing, is that I keep needing to take more of my tablet to stop these withdrawal symptoms. My psychiatrist said take them two times a day… but it seems like an addiction to me.. No one listens when I tell them this.

February 5, 2007 at 9:40 pm
(245) Ann says:

Thank goodness for everyones comments. I thought I was going crazy….been trying to get off citalopram for a few days now and I am experiencing all the symptoms that everyone has listed. I am even having trouble typing this response because of the dizziness and “brain farts.”
Thanks for letting me know I am not alone in this.

February 6, 2007 at 8:22 pm
(246) Dave says:

Yep! got the weird brain bouncing thing. Feels strange,almost like you’re drunk when you turn to one side sharply or stand up quickly. Almost feels like lightening or your vision skips. Good news is it goes away (or it did for me). Really pleased so far as this tablet gave me a strange taste in my mouth like breathing through wool along with a wicked sense of smell. Fortunately everything is gradually going back to normal.Plus the brain bounce is gone. Also since I’ve very gradually come off (I’m down from 40mg a day to 5mg every 2 days – now thats slow) I seem to have a sharper persepctive on life. Less fuzzy and dull. Anyway this stuff got me out of my depression and gave me massive confidence so I’m grateful. Everyone keep your chin up, it doesn’t last forever.

February 9, 2007 at 3:27 pm
(247) Amanda says:

This is my first day lowering my dose of Citalopram. Have been taking 60mgs a day for 2 years. Today I tried 40mgs. Was ok until about 4pm then anxiety set in. Lasted until 7.30m and had to give in and take another 20mgs. Its nice to know that there are people out there who have been through withdrawal. At least I know that there will be an end to it and know what to expect.


February 11, 2007 at 4:48 pm
(248) pj says:

I have read many of the concerns about withdrawing from citalopram. Many people are trying to wean off of it themselves. It is unwise–and must be done under the care of a physician. Also, citalopram is meant to be used for the short term (6-9 months according to my doctor)–so maybe the symptoms are severe because people are staying on it for so long. I was on it for 4 months, then was weaned off of it. I had some “brain shakes” but nothing too severe, and did not last more than a few days. the severity of the withdrawl is associated with length on the medication.

February 13, 2007 at 3:50 pm
(249) Brian says:

Hi all

Came across this thread on google, i have been on Citalopram for about 4 months now and decided last week to come off the tablets. I have been taking 20Mg everyday and decided to quit last wednesday when my last prescription ran out. up until yesterday (monday) everything was fine, but today i am feeling jittery and i have really bad palpitations, to the point were i can count to five between the beats when i have one, at a bad time during today i had about 15 palpitations one after the other and it made me feel a bit light headed. i don’t want to be dependant on them and having to pay for the medication every time isn’t helping. i’m gonna wait till the end of the week to see if they die down before i go back to the doc’s.

February 14, 2007 at 2:38 pm
(250) Pat says:

I started to take citalopram ten years ago when the menopause started and for SAD in the winter months. I have tried to come off it 3 times now. I have been on a 10mg tablet a day now for almost a year. Nobody suggested i stop it until i changed my doctor. Both times i tried it before i got such anger and nausea that i couldn’t stand it and each time i told my doctor about the nausea she just laughed and said she’d never heard of that before…..This time i’m doing it very slowly and down to 10 mg every 3 days, but the symptoms aren’t lessening. I have awful nightmares involving strange sounds and terrible fear. When i read this site i cried; i thought i was just being weak. I’m so angry that doctors denied any withdrawal symptoms (other than returning anxiety), and so glad that my new doctor in the same practice understands the difficulty. He was a psychiatrist who went back to general practice. Maybe that’s what it takes to understand the potency of this drug.
I’ll stick with the weaning off, but i’d like to be sure i’ve not inflicted any permanent damage from taking this monstrous drug. Glad to hear i’m not alone, – hope we all recover soon.

February 15, 2007 at 12:15 pm
(251) Gail says:

Hi all
I’m on citalopram’s ‘sister’ drug, escitalopram, and am really worried about the side effects when i try to stop. i used to take citalopram and once ran out of pills. within days i had started to vomit and have really severe diarrhoea, and i ended up in casualty hooked up to an ECG machine cos my heart kept missing beats. the palpitations were terrifying.
the troube is im emetophobic (have a severe fear of vomiting) so now i’m scared stiff to wean myself off my escitalopram incase they make me sick too.
it’s a relief to see i’m not the only one whose system went mental when i stopped citalopram – but it’s a bit freaky that they seem to make everyone so ill.
love gx

February 16, 2007 at 3:13 am
(252) Lisa (Australia) says:

Hi everyone,
Like most of you I am so glad to have found this thread. I have been on anti depressants on and off for about 5 years. I was on Zoloft for along time and had no trouble coming off when things were good then had a relapse and doc recommended citalopram as it was supposedly less of a libido inhibitor than the other. I have been on it now for about 8 months. I have been feeling good and have life back on track so decided to slowly drop my dose. I was taking 20mg a day and just went to half and like most of you thought it was easy for the first few days then started with the sweats, dizzyness, trouble sleeping, headaches and extremely moody… Snapping at my husband & kids ….. feeling very low at times. At first I thought I must be tired and coming down with some kind of virus as I was told this drug has no withdrawal…… then I even thought it might have been hormonal with the sweats and all. It has been 2 weeks on 10mg now and I have had some really bad days this week. Today the sweats seem to have stopped but have massive headaches and i just feel like I want to cry. I am so glad to have found that there is a reason for this and that I am not going downhill again and that it is common and will get better with time. I have decided to go see doc next week before I drop my dose to 5mgs and see what she recommends. I will certainly be looking in here each day as it is nice to read the support offered here. I have an supportive partner but it is hard for someone who has never had these troubles to understand whats going on in your body and mind at this time..
Thanks for sharing your experiences :)

February 16, 2007 at 5:54 am
(253) rach says:

Hi Lisa,
I am in Australia too. I really feel for you and hope you feel better soon. I have threads earlier on this site and am now over the withdrawals. Sounds crazy but paracetamol really seemed to help me and drinking lots of water. Take care of yourself – lots of rest if you can. xx Take care everyone else too!

February 16, 2007 at 11:49 am
(254) tammy says:

Hi everyone,
I have been on citalopram for 14 months now after suffering with panic disorder and panic attacks 1 after the other. The drug did make me feel better and I have managed to keep the attacks at bay now before they happen. However 2 weeks ago I decided to come off them after speaking to my doc. I have gone from 14 months on 20mg to 10mg for the last 2 weeks…first week was ok but OMG the sweats, vomiting, dizzy spells and the visible twitching on either side of my mouth are driving me insane plus the flu symptoms and sharp pains in my head have left me in tears. And yes u guessed it the bloody panic attacks are back. I would like to say thanx to the doc who said I would not suffer any withdrawal…are these people for real!!!!
Im contemplating reducing to 5mg next week but dreading the thought…..?

I wish everyone good luck xx

February 16, 2007 at 4:16 pm
(255) Lisa ( Australia) says:

HI everyone,
WEll its saturday morning here and everyone in my house is still sleeping …….its so not fair …why can’t I ????? I have been up and down most of the night and its driving me crazy. Trouble is when you can’t sleep there is too much time to think and I am like Tammy thinking or should I say dreading droping my dose again next week. Wondering what little surprises my body & brain will bring…. I am scared at the thought but determined to get off this drug and get myself back to “NORMAL” whatever that may be. I was so tempted to just up my dose again this morning then looked in here again and have strengthened my resolve not to let it beat me.
Thanks so much for your kind thoughts & support Rach. I have read back over your posts and will try your advice. Off to get some recue remedy, B6 & panadol when the shops open…. Hmmm stop taking one tiny pill and replace it with a load of others….but willing to try anything to ease this journey…. Take care everyone Hugz :)

February 16, 2007 at 4:32 pm
(256) robert says:

Thank you so much,all of you for your comments.i feel so much better after reading them.ive been taking citalopram for 8 months and experienced all of these things every time ive tried to cut down !thank god im not going mad .bless you all and good luck.REMEMBER yesterday is gone and today is a BRAND NEW DAY . from robert

February 16, 2007 at 8:03 pm
(257) rach says:

Hi there,
Lisa – if you are struggling with sleep I would strongly suggest a sleep herbal tea with valarian in it or blackmores valarian tablets. It really made all the difference coping with the children once I was getting a better sleep. Be assured once the hard withdrawing was over (2wks of acute symptoms) I stopped all of the natural stuff and didn’t have any problems coming off them!!
good luck,

February 19, 2007 at 9:48 am
(258) sheeesh says:

I was on one 20 mg Cipramil a day for 3 years – post marriage break up. I have always been a slim person until this last 2 yrs I realised I was piling on weight (after seeing a photograph!) I decided maybe it was time to kiss these tablets goodbye. Slowly I cut down about 6 weeks ago, then ceased all tablets about 3 / 4 weeks ago. Thought I was doing ok but I feel awful this week, weepy angry sad confused tired lost shaky, weird tightness in throat, feel like taking a half dose :(
I know that’s giving in. Starting to wonder if it’s worth going through these withdrawals. If a 20 mg tablet is going to keep me sane well … Oh I don’t know.
I’ll keep trying as long as I can, I’ve never had to take pills in my life until these things :/
sorry I’m so negative
Thanks for listening xx

February 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm
(259) Kim says:

Hi Sheesh, don’t be sorry you are so negative. I’m the same way. I want to have better outlook but I wonder if it is still the withdrawal? I have been off these awful pills for about 2 months now and I think I should be ok by now. But I’m not. I want to crawl away sometimes. Maybe the long cold winter with all the snow is getting me down too. I wish I never, ever took those pills. I check this site every day, looking for someone to tell me when all this will go away….

February 21, 2007 at 5:06 am
(260) Alfie says:

Hi there guys I have been off cipramil since 5 January like Sheesh I too have piled on the weight within 18 months I have put on about 15 kilos UNBELIEVABLE the withdrawals do go away and although I felt my personality did not change when I was on these tablets I do find my emotions seem to be more extreme, when I get angry I feel very angry when I watch a sad movie I cry but it has been so long since I felt this way so maybe these are normal feelings. I personally feel that the withdrawals were worth it as I feel 100% fine except my emotions seem stronger, as for the weight I just don’t feel as hungry as I did before and also feel alittle more motivated to go walking so I am hopeful the weight will drop.
Anyway guys and gals thinking of you all. If you really feel you can’ cope with the withdrawal don’t beat yourself up it may not be the right time for YOU just try again another time the important thing is to feel well enough to enjoy life. Good Luck

February 21, 2007 at 8:10 am
(261) Pat says:

Hi everyone-
Well, i was slowly cutting down form 10 mg per day to every third day…….and then i got the worst flu i’ve had in my life – been in bed 4 days and it’s still not feeling much better. The pains in my head have been apalling. Today i started to feel a bit beter adn i’ve been hit by the worst nausea….sweats, prickly skin, wanting to vomit, shaking legs..I think i’ll have to go back to maybe 5 mg a day and see if that straightens out a bit. I feel so confused today, what with the flu aswell and very weepy.
Things i want to know are – ar ethe pains in my head from the Ciotalopram? How long does the nausea last? I’ve only had migraines in the last five years and the pains ar ethe same pains i get then as i have now……..were they migraines? or was it the citalopram? My doctor was useless regarding any of these questions. I have a new doctor – i think i’ll have to go back and ask. It’s so difficult to get an appointment.
Does anybody ever get clear of this stuff?

February 21, 2007 at 4:31 pm
(262) Sarah-jane says:

I was presribed Citalopram 2 years ago at the age of 37 after being suicidal due to severe chronic pain caused by a lower back injury. I initially took 40 mg and then last october weaned myself down to 30 then 20mg.

Each back opration i have had has decreased rather than increased my mobility and life seemed to be a futile struggle of drugs (morphine etc. etc.) and pain. The citalopram did the trick, and with counselling life seemed to be on track and i accepted the disability and pain as being part of me.

Just before xmas i had a car accident which caused whiplash and left me unable to use my crutches and more or less housebound for 3 weeks. just after this time i forgot to refil my prescription and late on a wednesday night realised i only had enough tablets to take half a dose (10mg) until i could get more on the Monday morning. The reduction was no problem and by monday i had decided that i wasn’t going to go back on the tablets.

that was about 3 weeks ago.

I then had ‘Flu’, then electric shocks in my tongue. i mentioned it to the GP in passing who shrugged it off. slowly these shocks, which for those of you who remember it are like eating ‘space dust’ seemed to spread and by the end of each day i am left with them shocking my head and arms.

I panicked last night convinced the pains were as a result of the car accident and that i was going to be left with neck problems as well as the lower back.

it was all too much and the tears and tantrums reared their ugly head along with panic. i was up early again today waiting for the GP to open and get in there.

I was seen by a different dr today who said she didn’t have any idea why i had these symptoms and to go back to my spinal specialist. My heart sank and i sobbed.

Tonight i found your messages and i sobbed again. this time tears of joy. thank you all for letting me know i’m not falling apart ( even more! ).

The weight gain , exhaustion, mental numbness, caused by these drugs are warned about, so why could no one explain the withdrawal effects.

at least tonight i am smiling. lets hope this natural, non drug induced smile lasts.

good luck to you all.

February 22, 2007 at 5:53 am
(263) matt says:

Hello all.

This is my first day of taking a reduced dosage. I’ve been on 20mg of citalopram for about 5-6 weeks but due to side effects (sexual disfunction) I have decided to come off them. My mood has been so much better since taking the drug and things in my life are going great at the moment. I hope I can use all the possitive things I have to get me off the drug.. I’m now on 10mg and will take this doseage for 5 days, then it will be further reduced to 10mg every other day.

After reading all the above threads I hope I don’t experience severe witdrawl symptoms. The fact that I’ve only been on them for a short period hopefully means it’s not going to be as bad as what I’ve read above.

Goodluck to you all and I’ll let you know how I get on. Stay safe and keep positive x

February 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm
(264) Sarah-Jane says:

Hi all,
with ref to thread 249, Can anyone tell me when the jumping/fireworks effects stop?? I am 3 weeks into this.

February 26, 2007 at 1:19 am
(265) julie says:

hi, ihave been off cittalopram for 8 weeks now. i have had a really bad week with anciety , all of a sudden. i will be starting a new job so maybe that is on my mind. i do not want to go back on the tablets as i feel i am doing really well, but can anyone tell me that this is normal feeling great for a cople of days and then bad, it is like a rollercoaster ride.

February 26, 2007 at 4:11 am
(266) Sarah-Jane says:

Hi Julie (252) even in the last 3 week i have been roller-coastering… Had a great day yesterday despite still having the jumps. Couldn’t sleep then, so i was worried i was sick again and needed to go back on the tablets. I don’t think my husband liked me asking him at 3.45am either. Oh well !!. Today i feel fine again . I am sure that other people who have been off this longer will be able to reassure you more but already the good times seem to be lasting for longer periods than the bad. Try to reflect and i am sure you will see how much you have acheived. Good luck with your new job, maybe it will help distract you while your symptoms pass.

February 26, 2007 at 9:22 am
(267) angela says:

Hi, I’ve been on 20mg citalopram since November 2006, they have really worked for me and I feel back to normal now. My doctor says to wean myself off them now by gradually cutting down the doseage. I’m going on a carribean cruise in 3 and a half week and have cut down to 10mg a day but am concerned as my doctor says to carry on taking 10mg a day until I go on holiday and then just stop. I am very concerned about this after reading this website, can anyone give me any advice? I really don’t want to ruin my holiday as its a special holiday for me and my partner and we’ve been saving for it for nearly 2 years


February 26, 2007 at 2:02 pm
(268) josephine says:

Relieved to have found this site.My GP was very dismissive when I told her I was having withdrawal symptoms. I was on 20mg for 4 years and have been reducing the dose very slowly over the last year. I’d stabilised on 10mg a day but cut it to 10mg every other day about 10 days ago.I feel disorientated and trippy and have that thing other people described of turning my head and it taking a while for my brain to catch up.I also feel weepy,anxious, jumpy and hyper-sensitive to everything around me.Today I had a panic attack.The doc seems to think that because 10mg is a “sub-therapeutic” dose I shouldn’t have withdrawal symptoms from cutting down to 5mg. It’s bad enough trying to cope with the symptoms without the GP implying that I’m imagining the whole thing.I wish I knew how long this would go on for. If it’s only a couple more weeks then I’ll grit my teeth and push on through.Does anyone know if it makes a difference how long you’ve been on it for? I’ve been on it altogether for 5 years. Thanks and good luck to anyone else going through this.

February 26, 2007 at 2:37 pm
(269) Kelly Louise says:

Hi there

I was wondering if someone could help me. I have recently come off Citalopram on a very slow process. Everything was fine but I have been off it for nearly 2 weeks completely and I have ( what I can only describe ) as heart fluttering sensations. It is nearly like a strong pulse coming from my heart that travels up my neck.

It is horrible but I think if others have had similiar experiences I would feel better and not as if something is seriously wrong with me.

Anyone help?


February 27, 2007 at 2:46 am
(270) Helen says:

Hi all

I am so glad to have found this thread with all you people giving your version of withdrawal events! However it also scares me reading about how long some people’s side affects last, but we just have to remain positive I guess.

My psych specialist told me to go on reduced dosage of half a tablet for a month, then stop altogether. I have the utmost respect for my psychiatrist, but I think maybe I didn’t listen close enough to the withdrawal sideaffects. I have been cold since the 19th after having taken half for a month as directed, but have suffered from tingling, dizzy ‘twinges’ and severe vomiting on two occasions (today, for instance, I have spent most of my afternoon staring at the porcelain of the toilet bowl). I don’t know when I’ll be able to go back to work, but have been told the withdrawal should have now peaked. I started to feel ‘weird’ about three days after going off citalopram as prescribed.

I am thinking perhaps healthcare professionals don’t tell you the full withdrawal details as this would probably put us off taking it in the first place! However, I have to say, I am able to rationalise this whole process much better than I could ratinalise life when I was depressed. For that I am grateful – the days of getting out of bed at noon feeling depressed I hope to never return to. Although i feel like crap right now on day 8, i know that by hanging in there and making sure my GP sees me and knows what’s going on, things have to improve!

I have complete empathy for all the people sufering above!


February 27, 2007 at 2:52 am
(271) Helen says:

Angela – I personally would suggest you withdraw off citalopram after your cruise – the side affects clearly differ from person to person and you never know, you might spend your holiday rugged up in bed like i am right now – that or reschedule the holiday for after you have come off citalopram and the side affects have stabilised. But remember, stay positive. You will get through it!

February 27, 2007 at 5:19 am
(272) Alfie says:

Angela I too would definetly advise you to keep going with the 10mg until you return from your holiday after all whats another 3 weeks I fortunately only had side affects for 2 weeks but they weren’t that pleasant and basically felt like crap I just think that the whole idea of being here is to enjoy life so don’t jepodise your holiday. Have a wonderful time – look at it as the end of your time on these pills happily throw them away but do it after – but your choice . have FUN

February 27, 2007 at 5:38 am
(273) angela says:

Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate it. Think I will stay on 10mg until after my cruise. One reason I really wanted to come off citalopram before was so that I could have a few drinks on holiday. My doctor told me I couldn’t drink of citalopram and I haven’t had a drink since November, has anyone else been drinking alcohol? Maybe I’d be ok drinking on the reduced 10mg doseage

February 27, 2007 at 12:46 pm
(274) Jo says:

I have been drinking wine whilst on citalopram and to be honest it makes no difference to the tablets or the way I feel, just take it easy, try and see how it goes before your cruise. I stopped the pills last thursday and feel really strange. My doctor said to just stop and if I get bad side effects to take half a pill. I was on 20mg. I am so dizzy, haven’t had the brain zaps as yet. Dreams are so vivid that sometimes I wake in the morning and find it hard to seperate reality from the dreams. I want to come off them as I want to reclaim my emotions and empathy. The pills made me emotionally dead. I know I will have ups as well as downs but I want to feel human again! So glad I found this site, it’s good to know I’m not alone!

February 27, 2007 at 12:59 pm
(275) jo says:

Just realised in my last post I sound so anti citalopram, I’m not, they really helped me over a tough spell and I am glad that I took them, however short term was right for me. Another reason for stopping them is that I have put on over 2 stone, even
though I have been watching my diet. I assume that maybe they decrease your metabolic rate? just hope it comes off as quickly as it went on. Also hoping for an improvement in my love life! (mind you being so overweight won’t help me even if my libido does come back,) Can anyone who has come off cipramil tell me how long before I feel like my old self?

February 27, 2007 at 2:59 pm
(276) Althea Doeg says:

Angela have a knees up I have drunk alcohol the whole time and I was on 20mg pills I felt no different to prior. My doctor said it was fine to drink but she said some people said to her that the effects were quicker!! However because you haven’t drunk for a while take it easy because the ill effects are more likely to do with your abstinence than the pills. Go have a great time enjoy the ‘champers darling’ Don’t let these little white pills handicap your holiday at all!!!!!

February 27, 2007 at 9:07 pm
(277) kara says:

Oh thank goodness i found you guys!! I stopped 40mg of citalopram 7 days ago and the symptoms seem to be getting worse. I have had the brain shakes, feeling about 2 seconds behind, headaches, fatique and now nausea. I am determined to just be done with citalopram but this is brutal.

February 28, 2007 at 5:54 am
(278) angela says:

Thanks so much for your comments! Going to have a test run of alcohol this weekend – can’t wait to have a drink or two! Will deal with completely stopping citalopram after my cruise. After reading this website I am really shocked at the withdrawal symptons, really do think we should have been warned about them before starting the tablets in the first place

March 1, 2007 at 5:20 am
(279) sarah-jane says:

Angela, make sure you send us some details of your holiday so we can all enjoy it with you. don’t worry about the side affects til they happen, as you can see some people have no or little withdrawal. don’t let the anxiety of stopping ruin your fun. Sitting here in nice cold england i wish i was going with you. ENJOY IT ALL.

March 1, 2007 at 10:43 pm
(280) Helen says:


I see a few people have given Angela feedback – it’s great to see that although we have taken citalopram to stabilish our life, (and maybe a little negative about it in our response to withdrawal issues), we all seem pretty level headed with advice for others! For me, I think I have to thank citalpram at least a little for helping me stabilish my thought processes in a level-headed enough way to post suggestions and responses on this thread!!

As for the alcohol issue, my specialist never advised me against drinking it and to be honest, he is a professor in his field (that isn’t supposed to sound snobbish, more to put you at ease). I think some health professionals would like to wrap people up in cotton wool, but there’s nothing wrong with having a glass or two – as long as it’s not something too pathological of course as a hangover can easily turn into a depressant in itself….

My update: it’s 12 days now since I stopped taking citalopram after being taken off them slowly by my specialist. I can honestley say I’ve turned the corner – third day without vomiting! Admittedly I do have the shocks and dizziness, which tend to be there or not there at different times of the day, but I am happy to report you get through the really bads bits. I can now cope pretty well with the dizziness now that the other big problem of vomiting/nausea has disaapated. Other symptoms still include feeling a bit teary when someone asks how I am etc, vivid dreams (I woke myself from one last night!), pins and needles and incoherance to some degree – but in no way are things as bad as I had it a a fee days ago. I feel semi ‘normal’ after what my GP told me I had had a more strong withdrawal than most patients she’d seen.

I have been taking homeobotanical drops for the nausea, dizziness, stomach pain etc and these remedies have so far done wonders in the two days I have been taking them. If you can find a GP specialising in homeopathy or a naturopath etc who knows what to prescribe and who you can get to quick enough, then homeobotanicals specifically for things such as dizzines/motion sickness/vomiting etc and ones to calm an active mind/restlessness, definitely help. Of course these remedies haven’t got rid of everything, but in two days, I certainly feel like being a bit more social and am upbeat about the future.

Hang in there – it definitely passes.


March 3, 2007 at 6:08 pm
(281) Sarah- Jane says:

It’s only 2 day since i wished Angela good luck on her holidays but what a 2 days. I hit rock botom after 26 days citalopram free and called the crisis care team.
i have had a huge amount of help over the past 48 hours and have had to finally accept that my symptoms are not only withdrawal but also the return of my depression. Seeing psych consultant for a full overhaul next week. we can’t all make it drug free and it took more guts to admit i’m ill than it did to deal with the ongoing withdrawal.
found a great quote that has helped me by Le Rochefoucauld, ‘The defects & faults of the mind are like wounds in the body, even when every imaginable care has been taken to heal them up , still there will be a scar left behind, and the are in continual danger of breaking the skin and bursting out again.
to all those managing-keep at it, to all those struggling-don’t go it alone.
Good Luck

March 4, 2007 at 6:07 pm
(282) amanda says:

im 6 days into withdrawal ,after taking cipramil for 7 years at 60mg a day, i dropped down to 40mg for 6months then 20mg for 3 months now having shocks in hands terrible headache to the front of myhead and face, really angry feeling and absolutely everything is playing on my nerves, i have 3 kids and got soo wound up earlier that i took half a tablet and feel ive already failed to come off the cipramil!! im scared to drive incase i go dizzy ,i feel like ive got sinusitus is this normal? IVE ALSO PUT WEIGHT ON ABOUT 3+ stone my doctor reckons cipramil isnt addictive but within a hour of taking half a tablet my withdrawel symptoms got a bit better so i rest my case,will drop to quarter of a tablet for a week or so and see how i go ,didnt realise how numb these pills kept me till now!!!!!!

March 4, 2007 at 6:31 pm
(283) Wendy says:

Hey. None of us are alone it seems! Its interesting to see how we’ve all described the weird dizziness. I stood in front of a local pharmacist yesterday and told her I had “Star Trek” sound effects in my head and once I mentioned citalopram, she pretty much knew what I meant! I stopped a week ago after coming down from 20 to 5 in about 3 weeks and I’m still feeling rubbish. I guess we just have to give it time but its frustrating isn’t it? !! Keep going is my message to anyone going through the same feelings. Its got to stop soon! Good luck xx

March 4, 2007 at 7:19 pm
(284) Phillipa says:

Hello all,
I just wanted to say how great it is to read this website, i told the doctors that after 10yrs i want off this tablets and that i need help with the withdrawal symptoms, – well 3 psychiatrists decided that i was just a depressed person underneath the tablets and that the tablets are stopping me from being depressed so i should stay on them for the rest of my life – has anyone else experienced this with their doctor?
Well i have tried to come off these tablets a number of times, last year i got down to 2mg – but i was told to go back to 20/10mg alternate days as my parents thought i was getting depressed again.
Its been 6 days now since i have taken my 10mg tablets, today has been the worse, iam currently having headaches and what i can describe as body judders – a bit like when your shaking from the cold. went shopping today and walking downstairs was a nightmare – thought i was going to fall down with the dizziness, also had aches and pains at back of neck – fell asleep for 2 hrs too.
the previous comment about keeping yourself occupied seems to work as it was only after stopping playing a computer game that the body judders started?

I hope everyone the best with getting off this citalopram x

March 4, 2007 at 7:33 pm
(285) Phillipa says:

I was just wondering if anyone has used a SAD lamp to help with depressive symptoms? i bought one 5 days ago and the 2 days that i used it – i actually felt positive, will let you know if it was a passing phase or if it is useful.
Please let me know if there are other things i could be doing to help manage withdrawal symptoms.

March 5, 2007 at 7:02 am
(286) angela says:

Hi all
Thank you so much for wishing me well on my holidays, its not long now! Can’t wait! Had my test run of alcohol on saturday night after not drinking since November, think I went a bit mad, as ended up having 6 glasses of wine, then was extremely sick! Probably because I hadn’t drunk for so long. Am feeling positive though today as having felt quite depressed for the last couple of weeks when I cut down from 20mg to 10mg, that depression seems to have passed now so think I’ve just successfully completed my first stage of withdrawal. Going to stay on 10mg for another5 weeks til after my hols then cut down to 5mg.

Funny you should all mention weight gain as I put a stone on in the first 5 weeks of taking citalopram, since then I’ve been exercising a lot which definately helps with the weight issue and makes you feel a lot more positive. For the last 8 weeks I’ve been dieting and lost half a stone, it really has been a struggle as I’ve gone to bed hungry most nights, but am desparate to lose weight for my hols.

I so feel for Sarah-Jane, really wish I could help you in some way. Think its a good thing to stay on the tablets though, after all if you have diabetes you wouldn’t think twice about staying on tablets for the rest of your life! As long as the tablets make you feel better keep taking them. Good luck to you

March 5, 2007 at 1:43 pm
(287) Sarah_Jane says:

Angela, thank you …. don’t know what else i can say to you, but i mean it . we are here & all able to support each other, remember that we need to be selfish in our approach to our health. Safety is my most important priority right now rather than worrying about failure or acheivement, as far withdrawal goes. maybe there is something out there to help me that wont give me the side effects while i’m taking it that citalopram did and mean that i wont be as determined to need to stop taking it. it seems my depression ”is for life, not just for christmas”.

March 7, 2007 at 6:17 am
(288) Darryn says:

hi all, not glad but relieved to see its not me going completly isane with these really nasty tablets ive been on 40mg for about a month after increasing from 20mg for 3 months, the strange thing is i was getting these horrible effects while taking these things so decided to go cold turkey off the 40mg with a srtaight cut off point,a week later and i have my brain in a gold fish bowl and as for the the nightmares which were bad allready have moved into the absoloutely rediculous catergary as not noing what is fact from fiction, dont know how long this will go on for but cant take much more, i would never ever taken these things if i had known about this, from now on i will check all my medication online before taking anything and make my own decisions, sadest of all was realising that due to chronic 24/7 pain which is still undiagnosed my doctor put me on apache which is its street name which is 80 times more powerfull than morphine, so here i am trapped incredably unhappy and not noing what to do,what a great life! hope you all do better than me gl everyone..:(

March 7, 2007 at 1:44 pm
(289) Sarah-Jane says:

despite my entry 2 days ago i feel i have turned a huge corner. saw a great consultant today who said even the suicidal feelings are as a result of withdrawal. It may be that i will always have a pre-disposition towards depression but he thinks that right now i am safe and well and will manage.

SIDE EFFECTS DAY 30. the tongue fireworks, brain mush, odd stuff etc all seem to reduced to late evening now and are not exhausting like they were before.He said i should not have been on them 3 years. i am taking a low dose of st. johns wort to get me through the last of the side effects and out the other side.

DARRYN check entry 249 I also have chronic pain syndrome . cope with one thing at a time.. be gentle with yourself and take time out when you need it. try being in a place with less noise or stimulation. Rest as much as you can and keep in touch.. good luck

March 9, 2007 at 4:38 am
(290) Darryn says:

Hi all, just a quick update and thanks for the reference sarah-jane,if anyone is thinking of coming off these tablets what ever you do i would not advise a straight cold turkey aproach unless there is a specific reason like apparent conflict with the other drugs so really i had little choice when it came to my decision , went to funeral yesterday of my mums sister and seeing my parents in so much distress i was completely useless and fell apart like a hopeless human being ,was supposed to be there to support, being of a fragile metal nature or wreck as i call it i was a passenger, but i suppose these things happen, hoping soon i can stand on my own without falling over like a drunk and stop being sick being off food completely for ages and lost over 3 stone also concerns me tired, weak, but still cant sleep for more than 2 hours this is so annoying trying to think of good things….c-ya and gl all..

March 9, 2007 at 4:06 pm
(291) amanda says:

hi all ,day 13 had 20 mg tablet last sunday felt like id failed but am trying not to give in and take another one ,feel really ill ive got this weird feeling when i walk , its like head to toe tingling and i feel like im walking like a spaceman if anyone else has experienced this please let me know as im freaking out a bit about this!!!!

March 11, 2007 at 2:52 am
(292) Kat says:

I have been on Celexa for over 6 years. Recently (about 3 months) I have been experiencing extreme fatigue. I couild sleep 14 hours a day easily. My Doctor said it was an effect of Celexa because I have been on it so long. Has anyone else experienced the fatigue after long term use? I am weaning myself of now and I feel pretty bad. My worse symptom is the dizziness. I feel like I am floating 2 feet above my head and if I move my head to quickly I get a vertigo sensation. I am determined to get off this med as I have been on so long. I have put on 20+ lbs and my libido is nearly non-existant. I am sorry others are going through bad times with this drug but I am glad to hear I am not crazy! Good luch and God bless to all.

March 11, 2007 at 10:44 am
(293) Sarah-Jane says:

AMANDA – don’t feel you have failed at all, failing would be being beaten by the depression and not being here to read our odd little notes to each other.the tingling gets worse with movement and tiredness in my experience . I am day 35 now and only getting it when i’m really tired.
KAT- i was sleeping 16 hours & awake 8 and then every 8-10days or so i would wake up have a drink take tablets and go back to sleep for up to 28 hours at a time. didn’t matter what was happening around me or how much noise etc i still couldn’t stay awake. vertigo and head rushes have all more or less passed in me now and despite being suicidal and going to mental health unit last week, they are convinced this is all withdrawal.
Consultanat told me in Germany and many other European countries St Johns Wort is the 1st drug prescribed to help with depression and also with withdrawal syndrome. but when you want to stop taking this even though it is a herbal remedy a slow withdrawal is still best.

DARRYN sorry for your bereavement but at least you attended the funeral which is an acheivment for someone in a fragile state. staying at home would have been not showing or offering any support, i’m sure your family appreciated it. pat yourself on the back for what you did acheive. Apache is Fentanyl which can have deppresive side efects (it is used as an anaesthetic) maybe a total drug review, some TLC and time out would still do you good.

Feeling really upbeat about withdrawal now, its that making me mad not me.Hang in there those of you at the start you’lll get there, but ask for help..I have learn’t to ask when i need it, family, friends, not just doctors, use other people , because if the roles were reversed we’d do it for them

March 11, 2007 at 9:41 pm
(294) Laura says:

Please help me – I am with someone who has come off antidepressants (Cipramil) after 18 months of taking 2 pills per day. He’s been off them for around 3 months, cold turkey

He’s experiencing nausea, dry-wretching vomiting, and feels like he wants to cry all the time.

The pills were originally prescribed for anxiety, not depression, but these pills have MADE him depressed and sick coming off them. I feel like they are making his life horrible and it is heartbreaking for me.

I want to hear, PLEASE, from anyone who has had withdrawals go on for 2-3 months or more, and when can he expect this to end? He’s at the end of his rope and it breaks my heart to see him so sad and unwell.

The sickness (dry-wretching) isn’t as bad as when he first came off them, but its still there.

It would be of comfort to know other people who’ve had long withdrawals.

Please help me, I love this person. HOW LONG DOES THIS GO ON FOR?

March 12, 2007 at 7:49 am
(295) Sarah-Jane says:

LAURA- THERE IS NO DEFINATE ANSWER. get your friend some help from a professional. anti reflux tablets are available (Nexium). the withdrawal symptoms can last a long time and i was told by the hospital last week that after 3 years on drugs it could take me months and even then the symptoms could recur. Don’t forget we have been messing with the brains chemical balance. that is why it affects each person differently. you sound desperate yourself.. get some help for both of you before you fall apart. well done for being so supportive , going through withdrawal with support is much easier.
Good Luck to both of you

March 12, 2007 at 6:10 pm
(296) amanda says:

thanx sarah-jane i really appreciate your comment, took 10mg cipramil on saturday night because i could’nt stop shivering, as usual symptoms improved !!im trying not to be negative about taking the odd pill by telling myself that 30mg in 15 days is nothing compared to my original 60mg per day,SIDE EFFECTS SO FAR ARE-crampy feeling in my neck, tingling mostly in my hands, really bad headaches which at the moment are constant ,extreme tiredness, breathless and suffocating feeling,very agitated,wierd shivering feeling, IMPROVEMENTS SO FAR- return of sex drive ,take care everyone write again soon xx

March 13, 2007 at 4:44 pm
(297) Sarah-Jane says:

Amanda – well done.. day 36 for me today and its headaches, disturbed sleep and nausea. there doesn’t seem to be one lot of side effects to just get used to.
maybe it would be good if you tried to reduce the wa the hospital told me to. take a low dose maybe 5 or 10mg for six days, then miss a day. do the same the next week, theen take it for 5 days and miss a day. do this for two weeks. and keep going reducing by one day every other week. research from them seems to be that this way there is less withdrawal reducing frequency than reducing milligrams
It seems like it will take for ever but at least you can get on and have a life and some fun while stopping. St Johns Wort may be helping me but who knows how nutty i’d be without it!!

Amanda stay positive and stay in touch.

March 13, 2007 at 9:35 pm
(298) Pip says:

It may not be an original comment but hey what a relief to know the ‘brain whooshes’ are normal.
I’m 5 days off it now and struggling. Although the drug did stabilize my mood I am certain it was not dealing with the underlying cause of my depression. Anyone out there got any experience of talking therapies that have helped – my gp seems very pro medication and hasn’t discussed the alternatives in much depth. Any suggestions?

March 14, 2007 at 5:44 am
(299) Sarah-Jane says:

PIP – i have worked in the mental health field for about 10 years but haven’t worked for 5 now because of my back injury, but i would definatley try cognitive behaviour therapy. i have taugt the technique and undergone some treatment for myself in the past and will be restarting again soon.
CBT basically tries to get us to look at things from another angle. Negative thinking lowers pain thresholds so for me it is looking at my pain and saying i can do x y or z and its going to hurt but thats ok.
its worth a try and its got a good long term track record, and unlike some other things it gives good practical coping stratagies rather than trying to decide wether you should or shouldn’t have been breast fed as a baby.
persevere you’ll get there and the fact that you want help is a great step forward.

March 15, 2007 at 10:42 am
(300) John G says:

Hi and thanks to everyone for their comments. I feel much better now. I was prescribed citalopram for anxiety and depression I was experiencing after 20 years of active alcoholism. They were a great help and I didn’t experience too many side effects while I was on them. They helped me cope with work and address many of my issues.
6 months ago I started working out and felt my mood and confidence improving. So I decided to kick the citalopram cold turkey. That was a big mistake. I never realised how powerful this drug was until I stopped taking them. I had dreadful headaches and whenever I turned to look at something, it felt as though electric shocks were passing through my brain. I went back to my doctor and he put me on 10mg. It took a couple of weeks for my system to accept them again, causing me more headaches and depression. But after that I was fine. I eventually cut down to 5mg and now I’m nearly 3 weeks off them. I’m still experiencing headaches, dry mouth and sensitivity, but after reading these comments I can see that I’m still experiencing withdrawals and they will pass eventually. Thanks to all. Spirituality is helping me with many of my life issues. I have a higher power in my life.

March 15, 2007 at 4:28 pm
(301) amanda says:

cant even remember how many days ive been off pills starting to get things mixed up very bad headaches ,neck hurting, crying ,feel like ive got a cold im shivering and really worn out finding it hard to cope with normal daily activities,total lack of concentration which seems worse in the evening has anyone experienced breathlesness ? this is still concerning me !!!hi sarah jane thanx again x

March 17, 2007 at 12:04 pm
(302) Sarah-Jane says:

Amanda – all of your symptoms are the same as i have been through. some of the breathlessness seemed to be linked in my case to increased activity when i had severe brain shake / head shocks and think it could have been like mild panic attacks, which don’t forget these tablets have also been supressing.
DAY 41 TODAY most symptoms going or gone and its not until i go back over previous entries i realise how well i am now.
The change of mindset over just one small thing is really helping me. Ican finally live day to day reasonaly normally and feel positive its all getting better,. good luck

March 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm
(303) amanda says:

well done sarah jane!!!!!!! ive looked through my comments and im on day 20..cant believe ive got this far ive been on anti depressants for 13 yrs altogether but only on cipramil for around 8 yrs ,when i look back to the early days i realise how far ive come along and i know ive got a long way to go but im determined to get through this oh well talk soon take care everyone xx

March 19, 2007 at 2:55 am
(304) Kristi says:

For those of you going through this withdrawl, I sooooo feel for you. I have been going through the same thing, but I was on effexor and stumbled upon this page to research Citalopram, to see if it did the same thing and apparently does! It’s awful & just so you know Effexor does the same thing. Those wierd brain “zaps” and the dissiness is absolutely horrible. My doctor told me the way to get rid of that is to give me a one time does of Prozac at 90mg and this works because Prozac has a half life of about a week and no withdrawl symtoms, where Effexor and Citralopram have a half life of only 48 hours. So take the prozac so you feel normal again, (within about 3 hours) and the prozac will stay longer in you and your symptoms of the withdrawl of the other med is gone.—Does that make sense??I know what to think, it’s just hard to type it into words. I now feel completely normal, so hopefully you can talk to your doctor and see if a big one time dose of Prozac will work for you!
Best of luck to everyone who is going through this hell, it will go away!

March 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm
(305) makalou says:

i feel i’m going crazy.
i stopped taking generic celexa about a week ago.. have been sleeping alot and then snapped today. snapped. took off in my car.. can’t stop crying. feel sick to my stomach.. like i have vertigo or something. constant aches. is this going to end? is this going to end? i feel like i’m in a black tunnel. i was on the meds for about a year.. came off slowly.. my parents and boyfriend are trying to understand.. but i feel very aggressive, angry.. and ready to throw my future away. is this normal ? will this end ? ??????

March 20, 2007 at 9:03 am
(306) amanda says:

hi makalou, tell me about it !!!!! went shopping yesterday and had to phone my husband to come and get me as i couldnt drive cause i felt so ill, im off cipramil for 22 days now and can say im now having a really bad time coming off i thought id got thruogh the worst of it already but now im not so sure, DONT GIVE UP take it a day at a time at the mo i feel like giving up but i got 3 kids and dont want to be a zombie anymore its not fair to feel so low !!! write back will check in this evening . amanda x.

March 20, 2007 at 2:49 pm
(307) Sarah-Jane says:

MAKALOU – don’t worry your not on your own, i’m now 6 weeks drug free if you read back to my previous entries started at number 249 and basically every 2 or 3 numbers since then you can see i have been high and very low, almost commiting suicide and wanting the drugs again, then within a couple of days feeling better about my mood. If you are in the UK phone your local hospital and ask for the mental health crisis team. this sounds drastic but they are so used to people going through withdrawal that they can help within hours. stick in there and look at the conversations above with amanda as well, she is a few weeks ahead of you and a few behind me so we are all following the same road and here to offer support with what limited info we have.
six weeks on it has been, hard work for me and my whole family but it is paying off now. Just be Safe and stay calm & positive.

March 20, 2007 at 6:03 pm
(308) amanda says:

hi sarah jane, can you make sense of this i felt so ill today yet by late afternoon i was with my middle child at school in a parents evening and not a shake or tingle to be seen whats going on? i feel a bit sick and the loo’s been my best friend today but im fine at the mo, i just cant make sense of it..one minute my heads exploding with pain the next its gone..you just dont know what to expect next, ……makalou take care we’re all here in the same shitty situation just tell us whats going on with you and 9 out of 10 times i bet we can say ” been there done that” speak again soon amanda xx

March 20, 2007 at 7:03 pm
(309) amanda says:

hi sarah jane, worst day so far or so i thought then this afternoon went to my sons parents evening and there wernt a symptom in sight WHATS GOING ON!! i was ready to throw the towel in and give up at around midday now i feel ok and quite possitive, god knows what tommorrow will bring, a yoh yoh’s got nothing on me !! up down up down , …MAKALOU stay strong we’re all here for the same thing if we can help we will take care all talk soon amanda xx.

March 21, 2007 at 8:58 am
(310) Sarah-jane says:

Amanda- distraction is probably the answer, while your brain has got other stuff going on it doesn’t have time to react to withdrawal. just keep going your almost there.

March 21, 2007 at 2:30 pm
(311) Allen K says:

This is the greatest thing I’ve found on the Web. We are not alone! They are right. Don’t give up. I was on 40mg/day for 4 years. I started while recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Lost the craving for the stuff but started feeling a lot of depression and anxiety last fall. Decided to taper off over 4 weeks. Felt lousy, edgy, restless, less patient, electric like shocks and a swoosh sound when I moved my eyes. It’s been almost 2 months since I quit and now and I feel great. I have much more energy. Lobito has revived. (I’m a 54 year old male). I obviously never really needed it once I got past the alcohol and drugs which probably caused my depressions and mainly anxiety. It’s a lifesaver if you need it but TAKE CARE WITH WITHDRAWING!

Love you all

March 21, 2007 at 5:17 pm
(312) amanda says:

hi ,me again day 23!! good day today a few shakes, a headache but nothing too horrendous, thanks for writing back sarah jane r u ok if every day was like today i could sail through this withdrawal but im not counting on it one thing i noticed today was that i was short tempered with everyone if its not one thing its another ,but atleast i did’nt feel as bad as yesterday morning, well done allen take care to u all speak tommorrow amanda xx.

March 22, 2007 at 3:01 am
(313) Kyle says:

Just quit after 3 months into a 6 month stint on Citalopram for acute anxiety. The anxiety was gone but I was experiencing a plethora of strange and indescribable side affects, the most unpleasant of these was a twitchiness and loss of coordination. When brought to the attention of my Dr, he casually stated that these were par for the course.

I am experiencing many of the withdrawal symtoms that have been previously indicated. Getting off this awful drug is motivation enough to put up with these symptoms. Despite the claims, citalopram did not restore my “normal” self. I am closer to my normal self each day since I have stopped swallowing that ugly little pill.

Brain chemistry is not yet even close to being understood, so I don’t think we should be so cavalier about manipulating it. Take an SSRI as a last resort and make sure you understand the ride you are getting on.

March 22, 2007 at 12:32 pm
(314) Liberty says:

I’ve been suffering from severe depression for the last three years, and have never had much luck with anti-depressants. I have been on Prozac for just over a year, and it’s just not seemed to have a postive effect. I really wanted my doctors to refer me to a mental-health community care centre, so I could concentrate on getting better through counselling, but they wouldn’t do it because apparently, I am not in sufficient danger to myself. This is a ridiculous statement for them to make considering I have three suicide attempts on my medical records; the most recent of which was just last week.

Anyway. All that aside, my GP diagnosed me Citalopram earlier today, and as I always do before taking a medicine, I Googled its side effects, long term implications, and withdrawal symptoms. After reading this page, and empathising a great deal with all of you, I am worried about beginning to take the tablets. I am still only 18, and feel I shouldn’t be taking drugs at such an early age. Would you recommend going back to my doctor and asking for a different medication? I don’t really know what I should do. I’m a massive worrier, and I also suck at taking medication regularly. If it’s going to seriously affect me, I don’t think I should do it. What do you all suggest

P.S. Sorry for my incoherence. My head is a little messed up right now.

March 22, 2007 at 7:36 pm
(315) Sarah - Jane says:

LIBERTY – by pass your GP and contact the crisis team at the mental health unit yourself, if you are that suicidal they will not turn you away, look for alternatives to the drugs which will just mask your problems rather than find their cause . there are many different therapies out there. your gp has just gone the cheapest route. hold out and be strong for what you feel you want . You are young & you have a long and happy life ahead of you and i am sure a good diagnosis and therapy will see you through. take care of yourself..
AMANDA hope you are doing ok today. i have had no symptoms for about 3 days now !!!! its only taken 7 weeks to get here. not so long considering how long we have been medicated for.
I got signed off by the mental health unit today who say i am through withdrawaal, not depressed and on a good road to recovery. i wonder how long ago i could have done this, but i have never felt strong enough before, so maybe just listening to our bodies is the right thing to do. feel like patting myself on the back. all i have to do now is lose weight, quit smoking, resolve to be tidier blah blah blah, by then i should be really boring. life is fun today though.
i hope it will be for all of you soon ..
i will keep in touch & amanda keep writing so i now you are getting there too.

March 22, 2007 at 7:41 pm
(316) amanda says:

hi liberty,your doctor sucks “big time” you need to see a pshyciatrist they would be the ones to refer you to stress management coarses etc.i cant believe your doctors lack of concern and can tell u now that you should be a priority case and be admitted for help my brother worked in mental health for 11 years and he’s dissgusted with your doctor!!!I’d insist on getting a referral to a mental health team and play hell until you get it !! as for taking cipramil it helps but id try an alternative first p.s you dont want seroxat either cause they’re the same as cipramil.. take care liberty write again soon and let us know whats happening ..be strong..amanda xx

March 22, 2007 at 8:08 pm
(317) amanda says:

hi sarah jane , we must of been writing our notes the same time, but it took me forever to concentrate on mine!! I had a not bad day until about 5 oclock then things got bad the headaches from hell were first to appear then electric shocks,followed closely by what i think was a sort of mild panic attack then came the wierdest thing i went cold and shivering and my toes turned blue !!which scared the shit out of me ,i walked to the kitchen and my toes returned to normal then i forced a sandwich down and now ifeel better than i have all day but im scared that those feelings i had earlier are my panic attacks coming back! anyway enough of me ..CONGRATULATIONS Im so proud of you !! I hope this is the beginning of a new life for you from the bottom of my heart i really mean it , oh god im crying now, when is this ever gonna stop? look after yourself and write again soon i’ll keep trying as hard as ever its been 24 long days i hope i can make it .love amanda xx

March 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm
(318) amanda says:

CONGRATULATIONS SARAH JANE!!!! left comment earlier but didnt get printed for some reason…had good day until 5 oclock then the headache from hell arrived followed by what i think was a mild sort of panic attack..then the weirdest thing i went cold and shivvering and my toes turned blue!!!! which terrified me.. so i got up and walked about and they returned to normal i ate something and hey presto i feel good again ,im a bit scared cause i keep thinking that my panic attacks are coming back, but am still determined to be free from the pills talk again tommorrow love to all amanda xx

March 24, 2007 at 9:22 am
(319) amanda says:

DAY26. i feel really good today a bit irritable but thats it nothing else!!!!!! I dont know what to do with myself, i feel like jumping for joy cause ive got no horrible withdrawal symptoms BUT dont want to count my chickens before they hatch either, anyway ive decided to go and watch my hubby playing rugby and get some of this lovely spring sunshine at the same time will let u all now what happens in the next few days (fingers crossed this could be the turning point for me) love amanda xxx

March 24, 2007 at 8:21 pm
(320) Sarah-Jane says:

AMANDA – well done , knew you were strong enough to do it, hope that other people reading these threads back track on them to see where we have come from and finally gotten too.
I have almost forgoten how dark and hard it has been and am enjoying my new found freedom, laughing till i cry type of stuff. stay strong and positive for your man and your kids, they have been through hell and back with us, we must be special!!!.
Keep in touch
PS Did his team win

March 24, 2007 at 10:22 pm
(321) amanda says:

hi sarah jane, his team lost but i still enjoyed being out of the house and getting a bit of sun , been feeling good all day but started feeling shakey at about 9 oclock ,now thats gone and i cant sleep now!!!so decided to browse the net , its like being super alert,oh well its 3.20 in the morning and im knackered so im gonna just lie down even if i dont go to sleep, amanda xxx write again soon love amanda xxxxx

March 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm
(322) paul says:

blimey… im just rattling from tramadol withdrawal and citalopram withdrawal is just topping it off with the brain shakes, thoughtr i can just stop these things and concentrate on my tramadol…… got that well wrong! good to see there are others feeling the same

March 27, 2007 at 6:46 am
(323) Sarah-jane says:

Paul – welcome to the weird and wonderful world of withdrawal. its crap it takes ages and its hard work, but it is worth it in the end.
Amanda – Funny you should say that i was reading at half 3 this morning
WEEK 9 ( i think) withdrawal has been back to get me big time. felt for the last 48 hours like i was starting again. electric shocks, sickness, brain shakes, vertigo, knackered etc etc. got so bad saw gp who gave me some tablets to stick to my gum to stop the sickness, they are working. the penny has dropped!! its Hormones. yes you guessed it its that time of the month. does anyone else react differently during periods(sorry about this lads), and does it happen for long. at least i can type today, yesterday i couldn’t even see the screen. god why can’t you spell check these entries. stay focused to all of you on the road to recovery, in case you hit a speed bump!!

March 27, 2007 at 6:48 am
(324) Sarah-jane says:

WHERE’S ANGELA- she went on her cruise ages ago,hope shes havin fun. when you get back get in touch and let us all know how your doing

March 27, 2007 at 6:50 am
(325) Sarah-Jane says:

PAUL _ Why are you doing both withdrawals together and making it harder on yourself..

March 27, 2007 at 7:46 am
(326) amanda says:

Sorry SARAH JANE..cant help with period advice had hysterectomy 3 yrs ago so im post menapausal but can give u a insite on whats to come AH! AH! you really dont wanna know! coming to think of it when i was due on i used to get really breathless and panicky oh well at least my ops stopped that it has’nt done much else good! I had 2 hrs sleep last night im super knackered today,god if its not one thing its another feeling a lot better though but got a strange wobbly feeling in my head ,think i’ll try and have a kip this afternoon.

March 27, 2007 at 7:58 am
(327) amanda says:

PAUL, I cant find my pill pack but are you supposed to take tramadol with cipramil when i read your post ‘alarm bells started to ring ‘ read up on it but im almost sure they advise against taking that combination, i may be wrong but double check (just incase) let me know, getting the withdrawel of these tablets over and done with in one go might be tempting but it could end up being a bit much for u to do all at once,and you could end up failing so take your time and think about it a bit more, but if you decide to continue we’ll be here for u.

March 27, 2007 at 1:32 pm
(328) paul says:

just in now from docs he say 4 days and morphine is out my systm NOW ok i not really feeling anything all day (im in UK)and off cipramill too was taking 60mg daily but said i want to wean off what you do for me ??? so now on Mirtazapine….mmmmmmm you are so right i know it say on pack about the contra stuff from different drugs i looked and its there not with not to mix them ……. so we will see ive been on tramadol for 10yrs and cit.. for 9 months over to you truth speakers ….

March 27, 2007 at 6:43 pm
(329) Sarah-jane says:

Paul- i have also taken both together. didnt mean you shouldn’t be taking them , just maybe not stopping them at the same time.
I take Morphine, diclofenac, pregablin (Lyrica) plus the usual diazepam etc all for severe chronic pain syndrome from a lower back injury. i have come off of tramadol in the past to change drugs and seem to remember it wasn’t a long process but did have side effects like not sleeping, anxiety etc . as Citalopram withdrawal can also cause similar things you could be doubling your trouble. we aren’t your doctors though and as long as they are supportive and you trust them and have a good network of help around you i am sure you can do whatever you decide. you have already done the hard part and that was deciding you didn’t need the drugs. I was on them 4 years not three as i thought ( must have slept through one of them) and no one thought to tell me to stop i just felt i was better and strong enough to do it. So far, apart from minor glitches ( & a major hiccup week 3/4 ) I am 9 weeks out. so keep going and use everyone here to shout and rant at, ask the silly questions and we’ll probably give you silly answers (only messing) .
good night to you all.sleep well and write tommorow
oh and AMANDA Ta For that just waiting to go in to gynea myself!!

March 28, 2007 at 10:23 am
(330) Michelle says:

I stopped taking Citalopram about a week or two ago. I was taking 40 mg but it left me absolutely unable to sleep and I thought I would go crazy! The last few days though, I have been getting these little dizzy flashes. Very quick and not really obvious but still, I knew something was wrong. I visited the mighty internet to see what I could find and lo and behold! It must be the withdrawal from this drug. There’s no other explanation. Unbelievable. Citalopram is horrible. When I’m on it I can’t sleep, my palms are sweaty, and I felt like a zombie at my boss’s funeral a few weeks ago. Now going off of it I’m getting the nausea and dizzy flashes. Fun! Thank you guys so much for making me realize I’m not going crazy (Depressed, yes. Crazy, no.) :)

March 28, 2007 at 3:22 pm
(331) amanda says:

hi everyone, day 30 been a very good day so far,few brain zaps and thats about it,MICHELLE…WITHDRAWAL… whatever way it goes expect the unexpected…keep using this site and posting your comments ,questions or general grumps and we will all try to help and advise as best we can PAUL.. stay in touch and let us know how ur doing take care,SARAH JANE…much love 2 u look after yourself talk soon Amanda xxx.

March 28, 2007 at 10:20 pm
(332) Matt says:

WOW! I thought I was the only one. I had no way of describing the feeling. It feel s like a short circuit in my head every once in a while. I have been taking just 20mg for about 6 months and stopped a couple weeks ago. I would rather deal with the anxiety than deal with this stuff. It sure is nice to know I am not the only one, cold turkey how long will it take to stop?

March 29, 2007 at 6:42 am
(333) sarah-jane says:

Amanda am sorting out a hotmail address, let me know if you want it then we can chat without clogging up this site. Cognitive Therapy!! found a great web site that is really helping and good fun,part of an australian university site, try it see if you like it.
Love to all of you S.
MATT – no answer to that one, some people only have a few weeks, average seems to be about a month, but its not full on all of that time, symptoms decrease in frequency and strength and get less bothersome. dont be suprised if when they have gone one day they come back again. thats just what this stuff does. stick with it life is far better 9 weeks out than it was with the drug. good luck be strong

March 30, 2007 at 11:00 am
(334) dawn says:

Hi Ive been on citalopram for 7yrs and have put on 3 stone in weight.managed to come off it for 6months in 2005 but got really depressed again when I found out my sister had a brain tumour.The first time I reduced slowly from 20mg and took fish oil.I want to try to come off thm again.So far have gone 4 days cold turkey as ran out and didnt get another prescription.I doubt this will work and will probably have to wean off slowly.The withdrawal symptoms usually take about a week to affect me.Have 3 weeks off work over Easter and am temted to go cold turkey.Any suggestions would be welcomed!

March 30, 2007 at 11:33 am
(335) Sarah-Jane says:

DAWN you’ve already started so why not try to keep going. ST JOHNS WORT will lessen side effects. from my own experience (10 weeks without) and many of the other threads on here, there seems to be different reactions in each person regardlesss of the speed at which you withdraw. I did the same as you and lost the plot completely for a while but came out the other side.we all log on regularly and can be your screaming post and answer questions when we can. your body and brain has obviuosly told you already enough is enough. So plan ahead, lots of support, lots of water and sleep as much as you can. keep in touch and stay strong.

March 30, 2007 at 12:54 pm
(336) dawn says:

Thanks Sarah-Jane it’s great to hear from others in the same boat!Tried St Johns Wort years ago and unfortunately it gave me stomach problems.Will keep trying and with support hope to succeed.You have done fantastically,well done you have inspired me to keep trying.Dawn

March 30, 2007 at 10:06 pm
(337) amanda says:

hi day 33!!! a heady feeling and weak feeling today, cant sleep ! its 3.10 and im wide awake but really shattered feeling, but lifes good ,still scared my panic attacks will come back but only time will tell,SARAH JANE ill have your hotmail address and we’ll chat on that then talk soon Amanda xx

March 31, 2007 at 10:02 am
(338) Sarah-Jane says:

DAWN- GO GIRL you’ve started so you CAN finish. keep in touch remember you are recovering now which is great
W.U.T.I.W.U.F. —What U think is what U Feel !! rule number one.
think panic attack – panic attack happens – think recovered and calm guess what may happen. Have you had one yet, if not then maybe your old Amanda had them not my new friend Amanda, who is fun and happy, confident and brave ( and Knackered). Started that therapy course yet. it will help. When barry is back from watching footie i will get him to tell me my hotmail thingy. Behave yourself or next time i’ll email even louder at you !!!!!

March 31, 2007 at 9:17 pm
(339) paul says:

well here again another early hours blog but not cos im down with this withdrawl, but cos i just finished talking with my girlfriend and am now going to sleep after a busy day of completely cleaning my flat today 14hrs ago !!!!!!!! im super and want you to know it CAN be beaten and IT DOES GO and YOU WILL GET UP AND DO THE HOOVERING… 7 days ago i wasnt even sure what day it was now i know i will be married in 18 months on the beach in lima …. paul

April 1, 2007 at 9:10 am
(340) dawn says:

Hi all 6 days since I took a pill and dont feel too bad.Had a bad night last night,mind racing,shaky brain,numb leg&strange dreams but ok 2day and feeling positive!Going on a 5 day break to Poole 2mrw so hope Ill feel ok.paul glad to hear ur feeling good.Thanks for your encouragement SJ and hope you are feeling ok.I just hope I lose the weight Ive put on once off these pills.i know they ‘ re referred to as evil on here but I couldn’t have survived without them when i needed them…just hope I don’t need them anymore.Good luck to you all!!Speak when I’m back from my break.

April 1, 2007 at 4:04 pm
(341) amanda says:

me again, feeling depressed and panicky oh god is this ever gonna stop!!!! whats happening to me i was so happy last week and now im feeling crap, sorry to be so negative but it seems like u lot are the only ones that understands,sarah jane, i will try to be more possitive but at the moment im struggling.take care love amanda xx

April 1, 2007 at 6:14 pm
(342) Sarah-Jane says:

Amanda – While you are feeling this bad its ok to be self indulgant. read back to your first entry and see how far you have come. It will stop, it has to, this chemical has affected our brains for a long time and is going to take a long time to let our brains cope normally, evenly and positiveley. you have already had these little glimmers of the real you (watching rugby) I have had the most extreme a low can get and needed professional help to get me back and you are being soooo good and managing without this help. think positive. eat junk. watch your kids. look at you hubby . one of them will make ou pull through and fight just enough to get yourself the rest of the way. will sort out hotmail in morning and post on here for you. have a good nights rest and wait for the sun in the morning. s.
Paul – congratulations on the forthcoming wedding it is great to have something that you can plan to keep your mind busy..do you want to hoover my lounge its a mess!!

April 2, 2007 at 7:17 pm
(343) Sarah-Jane says:

Amanda my hotmail address as promised is s-j.house@hotmail.co.uk
contact me there and we’ll chat about other stuff. Take care Love S

April 3, 2007 at 1:58 pm
(344) John says:

Hey everyone glad to find a thread with so many similar posts. I wish I could bring you all to my doctor’s office so we could line up and tell them our stories. I’m a 25/m taking hypertension medications (10mg lisinopril and 360mg verapamil) and quit my dosage of 20mg of citalopram a few days ago, after having been on it for approximately 7 months. I have the cotton/wool feeling in my head moreso now than I did while I was on the medication, and feel like my head is caving in while having the drunk and dizzy feeling and feeling like my brain can’t keep up with my eyes. When I get jittery I take a small dose (12.5mg) of xanax (alzaprazolam) which helps with the nerves but not necessarily with the dizziness. Last night I slept pretty well, yet I still feel exhausted and draggy today. Its making it very difficult to work and concentrate. I also have intermittent palpitations which may or may not be related to the citalopram withdrawl. Some nausea as well. I took citalopram b/c I had a few panic attacks which got worse after I was diagnosed with hypertension that I inherited from my mom’s side of the family. I’d never wish panic attacks on anyone!

Anyhow, sorry for the long post – hang in there everyone, for together we shall overcome. Or just remain sleepy and draggy, but at least we have pillows to fall back on!

April 4, 2007 at 2:51 am
(345) amanda says:

hi John! sounds like your caving in head may be the same as my head with an axe stuck in it!!!(thats what i used to tell my family when i was about 6-7 days into withdrawel)but hey youv’e just entered what could be the wierdest time of your life…I felt like I was walking like a spaceman for about 2 wks,im on day 37 and its all good now, but if u feel any wierd feelings just look through these comments and youll find someone else has ‘been there done that’ if u need us we’r always checkin in to see whats going on take care x

April 4, 2007 at 2:57 am
(346) Jonathan says:

Hi there all. This is my second time viewing this site. I had previously beaten the dreaded withdrawal symptoms in August of last year and have recently lost all the weight I gain whilst on Citalopram. Over the last 3 weeks, however, the same symptoms have reared their ugly head. That is a whole 7/8 months since I stopped taking the drug. Has anyone ever experienced such a delay in the side effects of withdrawal? Iím half hoping its something different as I donít want to go back on them but Iíd happily get rid of the tremors and palpitations, etc. Please get in touch.

April 4, 2007 at 4:44 pm
(347) amanda says:

hi jonathan,id get it checked out with the doctor it may be a bit of anxiety but that does’nt mean youv’e got to go back on the pills again,your doc will run some tests to make sure ur ok and theres no other why your feeling like this, take care amanda xx

April 6, 2007 at 6:32 pm
(348) jane says:

Iam SO relieved to hear it’s not just me. My GP told me the side effects of brain lag/extreme tiredness/weight gain/crying and mood swings , was the depression coming back and told me i migh be on 10mg for the rest of my life. This thread has given me the hope that i can do it – i already tried relly slowly over 2 months to come down from 20mg, but by the time i was on 5Mg every other day i was a mess and am now back on 10mg daily. Am going to have nominates day – end of June when work isn’t as stressfull – to give up. After my last experience of citalopram withdrawal, i’m scared. Is there anyone out there who’s lived through this and is ok now – i’m scared of the suicidal feelings i had during withdrawal. I’ve lost track of what’s me and what’s the drugs.

April 10, 2007 at 5:44 am
(349) Sarah-Jane says:

jane- i am 3 months out and won’t say its easy,it wasn’t for me anyway. i had suicidal feelings and became very desperate and had to phone the mental health crisis team late one sunday evening because i didn’t think i could make it through til the next day without trying to OD. i had sicknesss, nausea and brain lagg but worst of all were the ‘electric shocks’ in my tongue and head. all of these symptoms hit me after a rapid withdrawal, but only two weeks later, so the penny didn’t drop, nor did 3 GP’s get the hint either. As soon as i phoned the mental health team they knew and were great in their support. If you have time now to do it get reffered so that you are are under their care and they can get to know you. don’t be worried about asking for a refferal to them they don’t treat you like your ‘mad’.but prevention is easier than cure.we are all here but only as friends not as professionals. also rememeber that you can be prescribed anti sickness tablets etc and also maybe try ST JOHNS WORT which the hospital recommended once i was off the citalopram as it is a natural non synthetic anti depressant and really doesn’t have the associated side effects. make use of us all even in the lead up to coming off as the decision to do so can be frightening as well.
3 months on and life is NORMAL. all the regular mood swings a woman has and the ability to laugh til i cry and cry when i want to. life hasn’t been so much fun for years. the extra energy is weird, don’t know what to do with it and the fact that i don’t think about being ill every day is a novelty. i hope that life remains this good.
good luck stay in touch

April 10, 2007 at 8:42 am
(350) Erica says:

Hi all – in final week of withdrawel – been reducing from 2 years at 60 (then 50 as too many side effects). Very reassuring to read others experiences – i’ve had flu-like symptoms, fear, panic, nausea, headaches, cotton wool head, tiredness, dizziness (partic ehen turn around quickly) and weight gain! So one more week at 10mg then hopefully not too long to be free from weird feelings!! Erica

April 11, 2007 at 12:05 am
(351) amanda says:

hi me again DAY 44…its 4.55 in the morning and ive been awake 2 hrs,woke up feeling breathless and panicky, got a really tight chest and quite congested feeling,a little depressed but nothing compared to what i used to be,also had tummy upset last 2 days and ireally think normal illness seems magnified by about 1 zillion!! when your in withdrawel ,or at least im hoping thats why i feel like this,take care everyone check in again soon xx

April 11, 2007 at 8:16 am
(352) angela says:

Hi everyone, got back from cruise on saturday, first day back at work today unfortunately! Had fantastic holiday, would definately recommend a cruise to anyone, put a stone on in weight though!

Well, I’d been cutting down citalopram for a few weeks before cruise and really did feel like I didn’t need it whilst I was away so I cut down again to 5mg every other day. I then decided to stop altogether last thursday, feel really off now, can’t concentrate, head is all muzzy. Not sure if its all withdrawal or jet lag aswell, felt that “wobbly” last night that I ended up taking 5mg, probably becuase I was dreading work, feel v disappointed in myself now though.

Other thing is I haven’t been able to sleep properly since my holiday (again not sure if jet lag or withdrawal). Think I could possibly cope without taking citalopram if I could take something to help me sleep, does anyone know if it would be ok for me to take a nytol tonight. Also I notice that a lot of people take St Johns Wort whilst withdrawing? Is that safe to do as I though you couldn’t take citalopram and st johns wort at the same time?
P.S. Sarah Jane you seem to be doing really well, am v pleased for you!

April 11, 2007 at 11:56 am
(353) Lucy says:

Hi everyone, new here after googling withdrawal – wondering if anyone has had what seems like a delayed withdrawal reaction? I’d been on 20mg Cipramil for nearly two years, and did a fairly gradual tapering off. Thing is I felt pretty damn good for a couple of weeks after I stopped, I only really noticed my emotions were a bit wobbly. But three weeks on I am feeling worse, foggy, woozy, exhausted, apathetic, mood up and down and very tearful. I don’t feel depressed, if that makes sense?! Just all this other stuff. I didn’t think it would take this long to withdraw?

April 11, 2007 at 12:56 pm
(354) amanda says:

hi everyone its me again! follow up from comment no 338. feeling good today was terrible last night nothing seems straight forward when your in withdrawel, ANGELA.. glad to hear you enjoyed yourself,dont diss yourself about taking 5mg,read my comments i had to do the same !!LUCY…i had bad symptoms within a few days but it does sound very much like withdrawel that your having, im on day 44 and still getting them but only now and then, thats why i was surprised when i woke up at 2 oclock this morning feeling panicky and sick just take it a day at a time no 2 days are the same!!

April 11, 2007 at 9:25 pm
(355) Vicki Knight says:

I was on this drug for about 4 years while I was going through hormonal depression linked with menopause. As I am through menopause now I didn’t see the need to continue with this medication and for the last year I have been weaning myself off it. One tablet, then 1/2 for six moths until finally 1/4 daily. My depression has not returned due to the fact that menopause caused the imbalance but what a time I am having from a drug that my Dr said was not addictive! I have just started the dizziness after being off my 1/4 tablet for 3 weeks. I thought it was just vertigo but reading everyone’s comments I see it has a more sinister root. Has anyone been having sleep problems? I had NO problem sleeping…ever in my life. I could sleep anywhere and any time. But since being off this medication I can NOT sleep…I have a feeling in my body and legs at night that is hard to explain. It’s like they are full of pent up energy and if I don’t move them it feels like they will explode. I have never had anything like this before. I will certainly be telling my Dr that there ARE withdrawals so that he is aware and can warn others. Thanks everyone for giving me some inner peace about what has been going on. I thought it was just all in my head!!

April 12, 2007 at 12:58 pm
(356) Carrie says:

I took 20mg of citalopram for depression for 1 year, and quit cold turkey 5 days ago. I have been very irratable for the past 3 days — like the depression, exept not hopeless or unreasonable, just really irratable.

I haven’t had the weird dizziness lately, but I did get that if I skipped more than two days of citalopram.

Thanks for all of the posts — I had thought that the nasty mood was just my depression coming back, but I’ll stick it out if it may actually be withdrawal.

April 12, 2007 at 5:48 pm
(357) Jens says:

Well. Never was an evening’s surfing better spent. Been on Citalopram for almost 7 years now, starting straight in at 40mg after a bout of severe depression. I have to admit that I felt wonderful when I first went on it, but began to get fed up with the walking around in a bubble feeling – which is very much the same as depression anyway! Have tried to reduce and then come off every year for the last four, very, very slowly. Always got scuppered by the shortening days in about November though. Sounds like I’m a SAD case!

However, now been off the darn things completely for seven days – only suffering mild dizziness and brain pings, but compared to many of you, pretty mild. I have a cold as well and am finding that the aspirin I’m taking for the sore throat is helping the pings.

Incidentally, I have had these brain pings before, years before I ever took an antidepressant, but only very occasionally and usually at night or in a dark place. Perhaps the symptoms are perfectly normally, but the Citalopram has been supressing them.

I am SOOOOOO glad to find I am not alone – but SOOOOOO mad to find so many people being made to suffer by something that was supposed to make them feel better!

Good luck to all of you!!

April 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm
(358) sarah-jane says:

Angela – welcome home. well done girl, as you’ve probably worked it out i’ve done it !! 3 months out.
the hospital told me to take st johns wort and yes you can take nytol as its also herbal. do what you need don’t struggle. your gp can get you stuff for antisickness, giddiness, not sleeping all sorts. heroine addicts have a shit time for 5 days and are knocked out yet we seem to be so stoic and try to go it alone with no physical or emotional backup and this stuff can stay in your system for months. despite my 3 months my gp is still checking me again in 2 weeks because of monthly hormones etc so even i’m not out of the woods yet nor have i had to deal with a major event, like family visiting or going away so who knows how i will react then. heres looking forward though
to all of you at the begining keep going you’ve forgotten what a real life is like, it’s great.

April 16, 2007 at 3:29 am
(359) sarah-jane says:

ANGELA – welcome home & well done. Glad you got your money’s worth!! You’ve got the hardest part, the mental seperation done. the hospital advised me to take st johns wort to lessen the withdrawal side effects and yes you can take nytol as its also herbal. there are lots of things your gp can do for you aside from the mental support there are anti sickness drugs, vertigo tablets etc so don’t suffer any side effects without asking for help.
i’m 13 weeks out now and loving being a real person again. more energy, real emotions, just normality i’d forgotten how suppresssed this drug made me feel.
Lucy my symptoms started witht the flu then everything else kicked in two weeks later as well.
Good luck to all of you who are just starting you can do it and we are all here to suppport you

April 16, 2007 at 2:50 pm
(360) John G says:

Hi everyone. I visited this site 4 weeks ago and was comforted by the support from everyone. This has got to be the weirdest wthdrawal. I’m 7 weeks off citalopram now. The good spells are getting longer. I had about 4 days there where I felt great and thought I was over it, but for 2 days the headaches were back. Feeling a bit better today. Thought I would check into this site and remind myself that I’m still suffering withdrawals and not losing it. This is one hell of a drug to shake off. Thanks to all for the support.

April 17, 2007 at 10:00 am
(361) anglela says:

Having really bad day today, it does help to know I’m not alone. Thought things were going to be ok until today, just felt dizzy and had funny brain zap type things. Unfortunately things getting a lot worse, feel very sick, confused and brain zaps getting v bad – feel almost like I’m losing consciousness for a couple of seconds with each one now.
Been reading everyones comments on this site and can only hope tomorrow is a better day!! At least I don’t feel anxious or depressed at the moment!

April 17, 2007 at 3:55 pm
(362) Lindy says:

Oh boy – what a find this site is. I’ve been off, after a 4 week decrease, for 2 weeks now. Have taken before and had no side effects when withdrawing but this time my head feels like it belongs to someone else. Electric pulses, brain lag, nausea, soooo sleepy. Am off to see GP tomorrow – don’t know wether to go back on until later date. Hard to cope with day to day like this and a young family to ferry around and look after. I will never take them again once I’m clear of these symptoms. Hope you (we) all feel better soon.

April 17, 2007 at 8:16 pm
(363) Tammy says:

Hey, I am down to 5mg after decreasing over the last 2months. Have been on this stuff for 2 years after suffering with terrible panic attacks after witnessing traumatic things in my job as a police officer. I thought I was on top of it but the fuzzy head and balance problems along with the fact that I feel like I may fall asleep standing up is getting to much. Does anyone else feel like they are going to suddenly collapse when walking along quite normally???? My anxiety is back with tight chest and rapid heartbeats…I am trying to cope with this in a job that is very demanding and to show weakness is frowned upon. Maybe I should just go back on this stuff because I donít think I can cope with reducing to nothing…the thought is terrifying!!!

April 18, 2007 at 6:30 am
(364) Kazzie says:

I’m glad I found this site! I’ve been taking 20mg Citalopram for the last four months but wasn’t convinced I needed it in the first place. In that time i’ve already gained more than a stone in weight and feel worse than I did to start with. My doctor increased the dosage to 40mg which I tried but went back to 20mg. I now think that I would be better off without it and decided to have a look for advice on withdrawal. The sooner I get off it the better!

April 18, 2007 at 9:00 am
(365) Richard says:

My wife suffered a broken elbow in October 2005. She couldn’t sleep because of the pain. We went to our X GP for help. She prescribed citalopram. We were told it was totaly safe and no side effects. HA HA. My wife took 20 mg. for a couple of weeks. Not wanting to be on a drug she stopped. When the side effects started discribed on this sight + more, she thought it was from the broken elbow or other antibotics she was given. So we went back to the X GP totaly trusting her. She put her back on. My wife took 1 20 mg pill and all symptoms left right away. To me she seemed to be a little distant while on it. Not normal. So after the one pill she knew what was causing her symtoms and stopped again. It’s been over a year and last night was one of the worst. Some of her symptoms are lightheaded, feeling like she is going to die, her heart races, mussels ache in her back and neck, gets chills and shakes when trying to sleep. We found about 40 side effects and she experences about 20 of them. It still continues. It puts a strain on our marriage as well. This drug needs to be pulled off the market after everyone gets off it. What a big mistake for her to take it in the first place. We didn’t know, now we suffer. It is so wrong. It’s will be 2 years in October and it still continues. Is there anyone out there who has gotten off it? How long will it this continue? The drug company who made my wifes is Dr. Reddy’s. I hope this testimony helps someone before they take cilalopram. It has totalty messed up our life.

April 18, 2007 at 2:56 pm
(366) Mandy says:

Just to let you all know that there is a real light at the end of the tunnel. I have been off the drugs now for about 7 months (can’t remember when my last post was and now, sadly, so many that I can’t easily find it). What I can say is please don’t go cold turkey – even if our doctors say there are no side-effects from withdrawing they still recommend a gradual decrease so I guess they are aware that perhaps strange things to do happen. My initial symptoms lasted about 6-8 weeks (had been on 40mg for 2 yrs), then just faded away completely. I have to admit I had some depressive like tendencies over the first couple of months this year but have discovered that was only because my self-confidence was still so low – once I identified my problem, I fixed it and all without the help of drugs (I am so proud of myself).

Would just like to say one more thing which is I couldn’t have done any of this without the love and understanding of my partner & our daughter.

I hope all of you can get to feel as good about yourself and life again as I do right now.

Thinking of you all

April 21, 2007 at 1:16 pm
(367) Lucy says:

I’m feeling like a total failure, as after a month being off the pills, I started back on 10mg yesterday :-( I HATE putting this thing in my system. But I was feeling like I couldn’t function properly, and I had to function because I’m self-employed. I’ve also recently been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome – so turns out I probably shouldn’t have been put on the bloody antidepressants in the first place…but now I just can’t seem to come off them…vicious circle.

April 21, 2007 at 9:02 pm
(368) Ness says:

I have been tapering myself of citalopram over the last few months by 5mg incremenets. Usually a week after a dose reduction I get those electric shock feelings you describe, they last a day or two. Finally I got down to 5mg and went of it this week and owwww my head. Its worse then when I tapered of it. Withdrawals happened 2 days after commencing and are better for sleeping and walking and worse for sitting at the computer!

Now if I had money I would buy B6 (as recommended earlier) as it converts tryptophan to serotonin. I would also take St Johns Wort as it is a mild SSRI. Hell, Id even take panadol! All I got tho is a good quality lavender oil and that helps when I rub it on my poor head.

Since my brain hurts after coming of 5mg, I would hate to think what it would be like coming of 20mg! (I had to cut the tablets into quarters with a knife) Also citalopram has a short half life so taking it every other day will not do any good. Will just make the serotonin levels yoyo. I think prozac is the one with the long half life so you can do it with that, but I could stand corrected.

I know what is happening, but it is nice to hear over people have sore brains like me. Hold tight kids! we will get through it

April 24, 2007 at 10:31 am
(369) victait says:

Hello people – you have made my day. I have just seached the net, thinking i had some horrible disease….I came off citalopram three weeks ago, but have been feeling wierd for the last two weeks – drunk, electric shocks, brain two secs behind head, awful dreams, and serious lack of concentration – some of my spoonerism are fab. Also though about going back on the pills to cope with the angry/emotional yo yo. Reading all your postings has given me the confidence to persevere – i really want to be off these tablets, as after 18 month sof them being my best friend, I want to enjoy my life for lifes sake. Hopefully my depression wont return. Good luck to all of you, and please keep posting, as it gives so many of us out here hope, especially when you here about people getting over these awful withdrawal symptoms!


April 29, 2007 at 4:28 am
(370) kayla says:

i’m with you all! lets hang in there, if i have to push through this than i’m taking everybody else along for the crazy, brain-swooshing ride!

April 30, 2007 at 4:42 pm
(371) jane says:

Hi there, this is for Sarah- Jane – after my last post i battled woth nominating a day to start the nightmare withdrawl again, i’m on day 7 of no tablets now. Was fine days 1-3, then on day 4 the brain whooshing and nightmares started. I know i just have to get through this, but as my GP denies any citalopram withdrawal symptoms there’s not much help for me. Can’t remember the start of the sentencfe by the end. Short term memory is sudfenly attrocious. I woiuld love to get a referral to a crisis team, but even when i was having a breakdown a year ago, hospital/GP wouldn’t do anything unless i attempted suicide. I’m in the process of becoming a foster parent and really don’t want to spoil my chances just because of citalporam wirthdrawal. Thanks for all your help and support. Can anyone tell me how long the worst of the syptoms are going to last for?

May 1, 2007 at 3:24 am
(372) Sarah says:

You guys after reading all these posts I am brought to tears – how nice to read that I am not alone. I was on zoloft for 9 years and celexa for 3 – and i was at 80mg towards the end. i ran out and was sick and just decided to go cold turkey. The only symptoms i’ve had is being extra teary at anything, but today at work i kept feeling like i was going to fall over – so dizzy and just felt like i was going to faint all the time, especially when i stood up, bent down or reached up for a few seconds. When it finally dawned on me that it was probably withdrawal it was such a relief! Any insight as to how long this will go on – any other symptoms? How long does it take to leave your body completely. And oh man the sex is already 50 times better! I wish I could take this stuff and still orgasm like i do off of it. haha. Thanks for all your comments – it’s nice to know i’m not alone!


May 1, 2007 at 5:59 am
(373) geordie says:

thank goodness you are all there. here is my assessment. i stopped 20mg a day three days ago and the dizzy thing with the brain lag started this afternoon, getting the screaming heeby jeebies with the kids started last night, loss of concentration ability started today, nausea just started tonight. put on 6kgs in 8 months despite eating healthily and regular exercise. probably have drunk more alcohol than ever before, could that stack the weight on? anyway, worst feeling is lak of faith that i am palettable to be let out in public and fear of how long that will last. i have heard some people have had to get down to scrapings of the drug to wean off it. is it possible to swap to another anti-d and avoid the symptoms of coming off this, then go off the new one that might not give the same symptoms?

May 1, 2007 at 7:02 am
(374) Sarah-jane says:

JANE – well done girl. i’m still here watching you all and can confirm there is life afterwards.
i am 4 months out, happy helthy and completely symptom free. you ca access the crisis team yourself if you really need to by phoning your local hospital and just ask to be put through. also dont forget the goos oold samaritans. at 2am in suicidal moments they are there to listen in confidence, so nothing on your medical records etc.
Good luck to you all it can be done and please ask your GP to get a drug adverse reation form filled in so that the mislabelling of ‘NO WITHDRAWAL’ is altered

lots of love

May 2, 2007 at 10:46 am
(375) Lucinda says:

I am so relieved. Thought I was going nuts. Finally stopped taking citalopram a week ago and having reduced my intake to half a tablet every other day and I’m getting brain shivers/aches/dizzieness. I have been taking citalopram overall for just a year. How long does this last for?

May 2, 2007 at 11:53 am
(376) angela says:

Hi everyone,
Thought I’d write in to reassure people out there that the withdrawal symptons do go away. I stopped taking citalopram very gradually, my last tablet was 4 weeks ago and I’ve been fine for the last week. No sign of anxiety and the funny electric shocks have complete gone now. The first 3 weeks coming off citalopram weren’t pleasant but feel great now, even lost a few pounds in weight without trying (had put a stone on since taking citalopram). Am so relieved its finally over and I can get on with my life!!

May 2, 2007 at 6:14 pm
(377) wil says:

Ive been on cipramil for 3 years. I got a bout of really bad labyrinthitis (vertigo) 4 weeks ago and the meds the doc gave me for the vertigo stopped the cipramil from wrking so in effect ive been in cold turkey for a week or so from the cipramil. doctor has now stopped the vertigo meds and cipramil altogether and started me on Lexapro. I had on of the worst days today – can anyone help me. Im having th brain shivers the dizzyness has been unreal im in bed most of the time i just dont know whether its the vertigo or the withdrawl or side effects from Lexapro. can anyone help me?

May 3, 2007 at 9:31 am
(378) Sam says:

OMG I’m not getting ill again after all! So glad to see my symptoms of withdrawal aren’t unique (though none of us should have to suffer this, dammit).

I’ve weaned off 40mg Citalopram in 20mg increments and just a day after my first day of 0mg the drunken dizziness hit. Oh, and the tiredness, the feeling that I could close my eyes and sleep where I stand. I’m experiencing other milder symptoms but the one that’s the most intense and unbearable is the uncontrollable anger I’m feeling at silly stuff, or sometimes even at nothing. I’m currently a seething, boiling wreck. I’m not giving up though, and if I can really help it, I’m never going on these bloody pills again. Oh, and while I’m in a bad mood, I’m gonna go kick in the doctor who said Citalopram was withdrawal effects neutral and that it’s even possible to go from 40mg to 0mg in one go. What a load of crap.

Good luck everyone! Hope to be able to report back soon that I’m feeling more chilled!

May 5, 2007 at 3:40 pm
(379) Mick says:

Well, reading all these posts has been an eye-opener. My doctors informed me that there would be few or no side-effects to gradual withdrawal from citalopram. Clearly this is not the case. However, I am determined to persevere as the only “true” symptoms I now suffer from (having made some dramatic lifestyle changes to help me with my depression/CFS) are the ones listed as side-effects of taking citalopram in the first place! Make sense of that! Taking the drug as a treatment for taking the drug??? I’ll be on vitamins and anything else I can trust as a substitute for this invidious medication. Wish me luck.

May 5, 2007 at 7:26 pm
(380) wil says:

Good Luck Mick. Im off cipramil now nearly a week. so im right there with you

May 6, 2007 at 6:05 pm
(381) Vince says:

Been taking citalopram for about 6 months- finally felt well enough to come off it about a month ago. Was adviced to got from 20mg a day to 20mg every 2nd day for about 3 weeks -to 20mg every 3rd day for about 3 weeks to eventually stopping.
So far- i’ve been stopped for about 2 weeks and i’m still getting the dizzy head and feeling a bit lower than usual. -Should I just keep going? -tempted to go back to my doctor to suggest 10mg every second day just to try and lift my mood and get rid of the dizzyness. -Would appreciate any helpful suggestions from others who have been in similar situations.

May 7, 2007 at 6:59 am
(382) wil says:

Hi Vince in the same situation as you. Im into my second week of withdrawal now of citalopram now. What happened to me was I had a but of Labyrnithits (vertigo) and the meds for that effectvely stopped the cipramil working properly. So my doc and I deceided to keep going and stop taking cipramil altogether. What I found is that the dizziness was the same as vertigo but not as bad. What sort of dizziness is it you have? I noticed geetting quite low also and crying a lot but remembering that its withdrawal and a release of emotion has helped.

May 7, 2007 at 7:27 am
(383) Melissa says:

Hi! What a relief to see so many people have the same problems–it’s rough going off anti-d’s, but at least we’re not alone! I have been completely off citalopram for about a month (and spent a month before that gradually reducing the dose). The first two weeks were hell, but things are getting better. I had terrible dizziness accompanied by a swooshing sound in my ears (especially when moving, even just moving my eyes), and was often overcome by a strange, detached feeling. I also felt emotionally over-sensitive, cried easily and got very frustrated very easily. The dizziness and detached feeling went away after about two weeks, but now–a month after stopping the citalopram–I still feel over-sensitive and easily annoyed. Hopefully that will even out as time goes by!

Two super-positive things since stopping: sex is a thousand times better, and I can also sleep through the night without having to get up to pee! :) Did anyone else experience “frequent urination” while on citalopram?

May 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm
(384) Vince says:

Hello there wil- thanks for your support- actually feeling a lot better today- i’ve decided to bear with the side effects- also been out doing some running- to try and naturally lift my mood- really want to get back to normal.
The dizzyness i had was the kind of- when you shut your eyes or moved your head- or even turned my head- i felt my head go sort of whoosh- more like vertigo really.
Mood wise- i feel ok- just know that when i feel low- it passes.
Thanks for your support.

May 7, 2007 at 5:06 pm
(385) jo says:

hi all
just thought id share my experience with you
i have been on 2omg of cipramil for 8 months, for anxiety, dropped down gradually to 10mg, then 5mg gradually,
about 4 days after stopping completly, felt dizzy and lightheaded and got electric shock type feelings in my head and left leg, that is easing now, but today, day 7ish i feel sick and dizzy and very weak, how much longer willthis go on?? feel very close to going back to gp, but dont ever want to go back on tablets and this withdrwal again..
i suppose i have just got to keep on going and hopefully i will get over this. i just hope it stops soon
stay strong

May 8, 2007 at 1:14 pm
(386) wil says:

Hi Jo
Dont give up. In the same boat as you. off citalopram a week or so now, electric shocks and brain judders and skipped heart beats etcetc. stay strong. w

May 8, 2007 at 3:57 pm
(387) jo says:

thanks wil
feel a bit better today, not quite so dizzy but still feel sick and soooo tired, lets hope each day gets better

May 8, 2007 at 8:24 pm
(388) wil says:

Hi Jo
Glad you are feeling a little better. Seems were all in the same boat. Im havong the evening from hell. I shook so much tonight the bed shook! and the nausea feeling that came over me was so bad – even my stomach was shaking inside. everyday seems to bring a new symtom of withdrawl – i only hope this is the last one. enoug about me – u take care and be strong – ur doing great – dont forget that – ever.

May 9, 2007 at 1:16 pm
(389) Annie Botes says:

I am so glad that i found this website. I thought i was pregnant!!!! But the test was negative!!! Then i remembered that my psychiatrist said i might get some withdrawel symptoms. This is the wierdest feeling i ever had. It started three days after i stopped the Citalopram, with a severe headache, and now i only suffers from this terrible swinging feeling in my head, or dizziness. Just tell me it wil stop soon, because i don’t know how much longer i will be able to held out. I used citalopram for 6 years

May 9, 2007 at 2:17 pm
(390) Annie Botes says:

I just want to add something. I gained 35kg over a period of 6 years. And i was always tired. My psychiatrist said that all of the above can be because of the citalopram. So i must admit, i feel as if 6 years where stolen from me, because during this period, i was always tired. I am now really struggeling to loose this extra kilo’s again. But i just want your opinion on the following. I was started on welbuterin since March 2007, because my psychiatrist said, it will cause less weightgain, and tiredness. Well i definitely have much more energy, but is my symptoms of citalopram withdrawel not worsened by starting on another drug??
What is your opinion?

May 9, 2007 at 2:24 pm
(391) wil says:

Hi Guys well its over a week now since last citalopram. Almost like a new symtom every day. Apart from the brain shivers tingling down arm funny heart beat weird dizziness and the shakes and nausea(my god!) Im having another weird one. after moving about for a while i get kinda not dizzy but feel i have to sit down as my persception is gone weird and im gonna fall. then i get back shakes? anybody else? help!!

May 9, 2007 at 3:07 pm
(392) jo says:

hi wil
sorry to hear your not so good, hang in there,
ive had a gd day today just the odd bit of whooshing and dizziness, lets hope each day gets less and less , i guess everyday we go through, its one day less withdrawing,
keep going
we’ll get through it

May 9, 2007 at 5:03 pm
(393) tammy says:

Hey everyone, I have been reducing my ose from 20mgs for the last 2months, im now on 2.5mgs and although it dosent seem worth it to some it’s making the whole process a little more bearable. The brain whooshing is terrible and I barely go a day without being sick!! I also seem to wake up in the morning more exhausted than when I went to sleep.!! All I want to do is to come off this stuff and get my life back…if that person still exhists.


May 9, 2007 at 7:55 pm
(394) wil says:

Hi Jo
Thanks for the message and the goodwill. Hopefully things will stat to get easier – feel like a frightened child sometimes. Positive vibes and good health to you.

May 9, 2007 at 7:56 pm
(395) wil says:

that person still exists dont you worry- hang in there – ur on the last lap now and it will get better- theres so much support here keep in touch and keep staying positive.

May 11, 2007 at 6:34 am
(396) Tammy says:

Thanx for the support an I am trying to stay positive whatever this thing throws at me!! Im going to dubai in 2 weeks and hope to go cold turkey whilst relaxing in the sun. Fingers crossed.

May 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm
(397) B says:

I have a dilema; I have been on Citalopram for over 5 years now, due to an ongoing horrible family situation which really bothers me. I had a landmark moment this january when I kind of broke away from this problem – not physically, I just made a decision not to care or bother with the people who get me down.

Anyway, this year so far has been fantastic, so a couple of weeks ago I decided to gradually reduvce my dose and see if I could come off completely. I had my last tablet on 6 May. The day after this, this family problem reared its ugly head yet again and I was unable to stick to my not caring attitude that I had been doing so well with. I’ve had a bit of a bad week because of this.

My dilema is, I’m tempted to go back on the pills as I’m interested to know if I’m feeling so bad because I’m coming off the medication, or whether it’s this family situation that has affected me yet again.

I’ve had the head wooshes – luckily nothing too major. It would seem a bit of a shame to go back on the pills I suppose, but it would be great to feel good again…

Thanks for listening.

May 14, 2007 at 5:06 pm
(398) mpr says:

I’ve been on citalopram (20mg) for the past five months and I am feeling much better…not depressed or have the same levels of anxiety as i previously had.

anyhow, for the last couple of weeks i decided to taper off Citalopram by finishing off my last bottle at a slow pace. I began by taking a pill every-other day instead of the daily pill i took. Things were good, but then i decided to completely stop and i noticed that i would get those weird feelings everyone has mentioned. It got bad when i would drive. Everytime i turned back to see if it it was safe to switch lanes i felt very whooshey. It became too unsafe so I eventually decided to resume the dosage (20mg). After feeling better, i tried again went without it until i felt those feelings again. So far i can’t go more than two days without one pill. I scheduled an appointment with my Doc tomorrow and will request a refill. I’ll also mention this page and, hopefully get off of this med within the next month. Best of luck to all!!!

May 17, 2007 at 3:52 am
(399) Emily says:

Hi everyone,

I have been taking Celexa for about three years, and started weening of of it about 2 month ago. I went from 40 mg to 20 mg to 10 mg to 5 mg, and then now, nothing.

It’s been about two weeks, and I FEEL WEIRD. Mostly dizzy. At the same time i stopped, I also came down with a crazy cold, but my doctor said she didn’t think the two were related. NOW my cold is gone, and I am just dizzy. I am so lightheaded, when I walk around my apartment, I feel like I am going to fall over/faint. Driving me bonkers.

Do any of you have these symptoms? Super dizzy? I am not tired/sleepy, and I know I ‘ve become a little more irritable. I think I even cried when my spaghetti came out overcooked last night, hahah.

Thanks everyone!

May 17, 2007 at 3:52 am
(400) Emily says:

Hi everyone,

I have been taking Celexa for about three years, and started weening of of it about 2 month ago. I went from 40 mg to 20 mg to 10 mg to 5 mg, and then now, nothing.

It’s been about two weeks, and I FEEL WEIRD. Mostly dizzy. At the same time i stopped, I also came down with a crazy cold, but my doctor said she didn’t think the two were related. NOW my cold is gone, and I am just dizzy. I am so lightheaded, when I walk around my apartment, I feel like I am going to fall over/faint. Driving me bonkers.

Do any of you have these symptoms? Super dizzy? I am not tired/sleepy, and I know I ‘ve become a little more irritable. I think I even cried when my spaghetti came out overcooked last night, hahah.

Thanks everyone!

May 17, 2007 at 7:00 am
(401) amanda says:

hi emily, ive been off cipramil for 3 months now ,and i can remember having to wait for my husband to get me from asda cause i was too dizzy to drive home!! i didnt drive for about a fortnight after that cause the dizzy spells kept on coming and going but they do settle down , the problem im having now is muscle fatique and aching all over, any one else get this after 3 months write back and let me know take care all xxxx

May 17, 2007 at 8:58 am
(402) wil says:

Hi Emily and Amanda
Im off citlopram over 2 weeks now and while the brain shivers / whooshing in my head ans ears seems to have abaited I have this awful sensations of falling over to the side (always my right side for some reason). Im not actually falling – its just the sensation in my head. I cant drive and am so anxious and the nausea that comes and goes is awful, anyone else like this?

May 17, 2007 at 8:58 am
(403) wil says:

Hi Emily and Amanda
Im off citlopram over 2 weeks now and while the brain shivers / whooshing in my head ans ears seems to have abaited I have this awful sensations of falling over to the side (always my right side for some reason). Im not actually falling – its just the sensation in my head. I cant drive and am so anxious and the nausea that comes and goes is awful, anyone else like this?

May 17, 2007 at 8:59 am
(404) wil says:

Hi Emily and Amanda
Im off citlopram over 2 weeks now and while the brain shivers / whooshing in my head ans ears seems to have abaited I have this awful sensations of falling over to the side (always my right side for some reason). Im not actually falling – its just the sensation in my head. I cant drive and am so anxious and the nausea that comes and goes is awful, anyone else like this?

May 17, 2007 at 5:08 pm
(405) Emily says:

Hi Wil,
I can’t say I have had any nausea yet. I can relate to the “falling over on one side” bit, though!

Also, do any of you feel extra cranky? Like, yelling-at-your-computer cranky? If so, does this feeling go away? I don’t want to turn into Ms. Crankpants at work and freak everyone/myself out.


May 17, 2007 at 7:51 pm
(406) wil says:

Hi Emily
Yeah the mood thing does pass – its all part of your brain getting used to lack of drug. I relieved to hear Im not the only one with the feeling of falling over to one side – its so scary – does it get better at all – im afraid its a balance thing that i will be stuck with

May 18, 2007 at 6:30 am
(407) Emily says:

Hi Wil,
I called both my family doctor and psyciatrist and they both agreed that the dizziness, as well as the crankiness, would taper away slowly. I asked about the falling down feeling and both of them attrtbuted it to getting off the drug. But I don’t think it should last more than a few weeks. How long have you been off?

May 18, 2007 at 7:17 am
(408) wil says:

Hi Emily

Im off cipramil two and half weeks now. Im hoping the unsteadyness goes away soon – ive lost all my confidence.

May 19, 2007 at 1:35 am
(409) ann says:

Hi all,
what a relief to know that its not just my. The dizzy thing and whooses are bad enough, but the nausea, especially at night is too much to handle at times. I ahev been on citalopram 10mg for nearly 3 years, and I am determined to get through this. I reduced it to 5mg for a week and have been off it for 4 days. I am a nurse and find it increadible that GPs give this drug out without knowing about its full potential for withdrawal side-effects. Will this nausea ever stop, feel awful, and its making it difficult to do my job feeling so ill? Help anyone please

May 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm
(410) Sara says:

I’m doing the withdrawal thing now too and I’m really upset. The head wooshes are terrible. I went from 40 to 20 to 10 and then cold turkey from 10. How long does it last? I’m so angry for being perscribed this drug. I want to throttle my old psychatrist for subjecting me to this.

On the plus side, is anyone losing weight? The pounds seem to be melting off of me.

May 25, 2007 at 8:54 am
(411) Vicki says:

I visited this link April 11th and am comment #342. I am so pleased to announce that the withdrawal symptoms have ceased. Hallelujah! The sleepless nights and restless legs, the whooshing in the brain and dizziness has gone completely and the holes in my concentration resulting in saying wrong words in conversations, or not being able to think of the word at all has also disappeared. It has been a slow process but I am thrilled to say that I am off the medication, the depression has not returned. In saying this, if depression did come back like it was before, I would not hesitate in taking this medication again for while I was on it, I functioned as a normal human being. I would like to add the perspective that when weaning off this drug (it is not evil for it saved me from the pit for several years), but it did give me back my life to a point where I now feel I am in control. The withdrawals, when one is ready, is worth dealing with for without the drug, I doubt I would still be here. I wish ALL you out there well, bear with the symptoms knowing that it won’t last for ever and to be aware that in time it will pass. However, also be wise that if depression persists, to the point of it being as bad as before the medication, seek help, for it is better to go on to medication than live with this horrible disease. I am free at last, continue to strive for that day when you can say, just like me, I am well and certainly on the road of wholeness and travelling the road of normalcy. Bless you all.

May 28, 2007 at 7:43 pm
(412) wil says:

hi Im in week 4 of withdrawal and i am still feeling unsteady when i walk and very panicky. is it supposed to last this lomg?

May 29, 2007 at 1:12 am
(413) Vicki says:

Hi Wil, I started feeling dizzy in February and had associated problems just like the rest of us. The dizziness was the last thing to go, I am still having slight episodes but am getting better. It has taken me about 10 weeks so hang in there, it will get better but we wise, if it continues much longer past say 3 months and those panic attacks continue, there may be an underlying problem and not withdrawals. Keep in touch and let us know how you are going. I am feeling a whole lot better and so shall you.

May 29, 2007 at 6:21 am
(414) Christine says:

Dear Everyone

Like many of you I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with these problems.

My GP is actually changing me to Fluoxetine because the Citalopram just wasn’t working for me any more – I had to face either taking it in the morning and being exhausted all day or taking it at night and being kept awake by nightmares!

The problems I’ve experienced so far are the agitation (and associated imaptience!) and the “whooshy head”. I haven’t read all of the comments but this, the dizzyness and nausea are all things I’m used to because of migraines! It wasn’t until I starting looking for an explanation for my stomach pains that I found this.

To deal with the head problems etc I used Neurofen (ibuprofen) and I checked the BNF and there’s no interactions to worry about (benefits of working in the NHS, there’s a glut of medical books for me to check!) and it’s always helped by migraines. If you’re in doubt go to bnf.org and see for yourself. It’s also good for the physical pains/cramps.

Avoid bright lights, loud noises and sudden movements as that just makes the dizzyness worse – use mirrors more when driving and use what I call transitional focusing – don’t try to switch your focus from near to far suddenly, move along a path so your eyes slowly adjust.

BTW – of course your agitation goes down when you get rid of the headaches. I just had to take the Neurofen because I’m about to scream at my boss for how loud she types!

The “electric shocks” that people describe, is that a strange localised tingling feeling? I’ve been thinking of it as “goosebumps on the brain”!

Of course I’m having words with my GP for not warning me about the withdrawal symptoms and showing him the following link – it’s a paper from the University of Newcastle all about SSRI withdrawal and it’s rediculous that we aren’t better warned about this. It’s useful and you just need to skip through to the relevant areas as it has a good layout….

Thank you all for your comments, they’ve made me feel better – especially the people who got past all of it and are fine now (any of you like me – getting repeated bouts of depression on and off for years?).



P.S. In the process of typing this I had a phone call with my GP and he confirmed the Neurofen etc is fine.

As I’ve added links etc I should say to be careful of the sources you trust and don’t make decisions based on something you read on-line unless it’s very reliable, check with your Doctor etc.

May 29, 2007 at 6:24 am
(415) Christine says:

Sorry the link I added is in there twice folks – can you tell my concentration is going back to its pre-meds state!!!!


May 29, 2007 at 7:45 am
(416) wil says:

Thanks Vicki and thanks Christine for the link. Still feeling dizzy wih huge panic attacks every now and then. It completely wipes me out – the dizzyness is more of an unsteadyness all the time.

May 29, 2007 at 1:55 pm
(417) Michelle (UK) says:

Hi Everyone
I find it amazing that every gp I ave spoken to seems to things the side effects and the withdrawal effects are minimal for this drug. amazing! Was on seroxat for few months then came off over 2 weeks. Totally threw me and i was off work for 6 weeks. Doc then put me on Ciralopram ad although def better my anxiety has never really left me even whilst i was on that. Half the time I think the drugs casue more anxiety than just me. Been on tablets for just over year now and want to come off. Started to decrease dose from 40mg a month ago and now on nothing. Fine for first 2 days and slowly the dizzyness, bad tummy and constant sickness has got worse. On day 5 now and feel very ill. Broke up with my boyfriend today and prob cos of these drugs makin me feel crap again. constantly sick and waves of dizyness. going to bed in a moment (7pm). Praying symptms improve cos start a new job on monday and just feel rotton. Abut to have a ginger tea drink….gross BUT def improves sickness especially for you pregnant ladies.

Good luck to you all – be brave , be strong and believe in yourself ((HUG))


June 1, 2007 at 7:58 am
(418) sue says:

Hello Everyone, was diagnosed with acute drepression a yr ago and given cipramil, 40mg, then dowm to 30mg and over the last 5 wks have been slowly tapered off them, finished my last 10mg on Wednesday and I feel SHIT!!! My ears are whoosy, my brain feels groggy and whoosy, im panicky, agitated, tearful, angry. I flick between rational and irrational for NO reason at all, thought i was being ill agian. THANK **** i have found this site!! Thank you to everyone who has left comments, i know i am not alone and that, at least her, no-one thinks that i am imagining it! I want to stay off cipramil but does anyone know how to stop the side effects, especially the whoosy stuff and anger!!?? thank you xxx Sue

June 2, 2007 at 2:42 am
(419) Helen says:

Amanda – I have been off citalopram since mid Feb and am still suffering. Some weeks I am fine, others not so, but like you, I have weakness in my muscles and jelly legs at times. Chronic fatigue seems to pervade my days, I have times of feeling sick on and off, wanting to vomit, cramps and needing to use the toilet a lot then other days I feel ‘semi-normal’! I found reading the article by the professor in Newcastle UK to confirm that how I am feeling is not me going mad. I suggest going stright to this link and scrolling down reading parts that are what’s happening to you still. See http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha03.htm#t4
It’s all very frustrating – telling people who haven’t been on any medication or know what withdrawal is like is really hard – I’ve struggled with support during this time. However I am hopeful the symptoms will eventually get less and less each week…makes work a little more tougher than usual, but I have tried to not let it all take over my life!

June 4, 2007 at 11:06 am
(420) Natalie says:

Hi All, I have recently come off Citalopram and experienced the most awful side effects, and thought I would post here as this was the most useful site I found for reassurance.

I have been on Citalopram since January 2006 for panic disorder. After going on Cognitive Therapy lessons with the local NHS trust and generally sorting out my demons I started to come off my tablets from first week of April this year – I was on 40mg and it took 8 weeks to come off completely. I took my last tablet 10 days ago and after 48 hours I started with terrible diarrohea during the night and then the following morning felt awful – sickness as well, extremely dizzy with ‘electric shocks’ in my brain, very tired and generally feeling spaced out and unwell. This was very shocking since the doctor had not warned me of any of this and I thought (until researching) that I was going back to how I started before going on the tablets – not a nice thought!
I was off all last week and certainly could not drive due to the serious dizziness that I was experiencing – but for all of you that are suffering with this, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as I am now a week on, back at work, a bit down sometimes and very tired, but a massive improvement on last week.

Having read up on these issues, normally they withdrawal symptoms take about 33 hours to come into play and about one week of bad symptoms followed by another week of gradually getting back to normal.

I think the best thing I have done is to keep the old chin up and try and stay positive (not easy I know)! Try and remember that these are not the original panic / anxiety feelings, just withdrawal – so keep going with it and whatever you do, don’t go back on the tablets as otherwise, it is all to go through again.

I hope this post helps!
Natalie xx

June 4, 2007 at 11:53 am
(421) Anne says:

I was so glad to read everyone’s comments. I have just stopped taking Citalopram after being on a daily 20mg dose for 6 months. During our discussion on coming off the drug my GP made no mention of side-effects. He seems to thing taking one 10mg every other day for a week, a couple the next week and then putting the rest of the packet in the bid would be fine. Adnittedly I felt fine for the first few days. Now I’m hoping that the dizziness, nausea and light- headedness will go away before I go on holiday in 2 weeks. I’m determined not to start taking them again. All my tastebuds crave at the minute is gallons of fresh orange juice. Thanks for all the comments above. At least I know now that it’s not only me.

June 5, 2007 at 11:52 am
(422) Christine says:

Hi Everyone

Can I suggest we start a mini revolution? I gave the document I linked to before to my GP with a note explaining what had happened and hope to talk to him about it when I next see him. I’m going to suggest he seriously considers warning his other patients about the withdrawals when the time comes and, if I’m feeling brave enough, that he talks to his colleagues about doing it too. I’d like to suggest you all do the same.

I doubt we can start a planet wide revolution on this one but a few minutes of searching shows that there is serious academic weight behind this and it’s not just us imagining it (hands up – who at some point thought it must have just been their imagination). If we all tell our GPs this then hopefully the word can spread a bit.

As for me I’ve now started on fluoxetine and am waiting for it to kick in so right now I’m in the unusual situation of having withdrawal effects from one drug and side-effects from another!!! (though the leaflet with my new tabs do warn you about the possibility of withdrawal thank god!)


June 8, 2007 at 3:31 pm
(423) donna stavrou says:

Hi everyone this is such a relief to see im not going mad and not the only one suffering.I was on 20mg of citalopram for 3 months and started to feel unwell on them so the G.P cut the dose to 10mg everyday for one week then alternate days for one week. I have been of completly since tuesday just gone and i feels really awful, i have been feeling so so dizzy and nauseas since and been suffering with bad headaches to. I’ve been back to the G.P loads since then complaing of this and they just put it down to aniexty but they don’t realise just how much it ruins your day to day life i can’t go to work as the dizziness is so extreme and it’s so unpleasent. Does anyone know roughly the time scale the withdrawl symptoms are there for? I feel sorry for everyone suffering with this it’s the worst feeling ever. It’s made me so down feeling like this just can’t wait to feel “Normal” again.

June 8, 2007 at 3:46 pm
(424) donna says:

I forgot to mention to that i was on another anti depressent previous to starting citlopram it’s been a long road to get to this point to come off them then to get these withdrawel symptoms.

June 8, 2007 at 8:42 pm
(425) Ashley says:


I was so glad to see your post. I have been on citalopram since March 2006 for panic disorder also. My daughter was born in July 2005, and before I started to drug, I was afraid to even stay at home with her by myself! It was TERRIBLE! Anyway, My husband and I are thinking about having another child and I didn’t want to be on the medication anymore. I’m hoping that my panic attacks don’t come back. Today is day 6 for me and the dizziness is not quite as bad, but I’m feeling a little short fused with my daughter. And that’s causing me a little guilty feelings. My husband left for the weekend and I am just SO scared that my panic attacks are going to start back, or I’m going to just be impatient with her all weekend! Any words of reassurance would help! Thanks again

June 11, 2007 at 12:01 pm
(426) Christine says:

Accourding to my psychologist the withdrawal effects don’t last too long – but they are one of the key reasons for people getting hooked! It’s been just over two weeks for me and the headaches etc have gone. Of course it also means I’m back to my ratty, miserable old self while I wait for new medication to kick in!

But the upside is that there is light at the end of the tunnel withdrawal-wise and all of you who are coming off the tablets for good reasons will find yourself back on an even keel and ready to enjoy life!


June 11, 2007 at 7:30 pm
(427) wil says:

Hi Im in week 6 of cold turkey of citalopram, While a lot of the major symtoms are now gone im left feeling off and unsteady and im wondering how long does withdrawal ACTUALLY last? i know from reading and talking to people that it does take more than a few days the docs all say but does anyone know how long at all??

June 14, 2007 at 9:50 am
(428) jackie says:

I stopped taking citalopram 6 days ago after 18 months and I dont know who I am anymore. I am stroppy, bad tempered and cant stand to have anyone near me. I feel very unsociable, weepy and to top it all I feel really hungover. Its difficult for other people to understand because they think you are just in a bad mood and tell you to snap out of it. The sad thing is, I just got married two months ago I have a fabulous little girl, I love my job, have a great network of friends and family – I have everything to live for, but I just cant pull myself out of this place. Needless to say Im off to speak the the doctor tonight!!!! Wish me luck. x

June 14, 2007 at 10:05 am
(429) wil says:

Good luck Jackie – let us know how u get on. Im in a similar situation i have a lovely partner and family and yet i am so scared al the time and anxious and nauseas. its just one symtom after another plus i feel unsteady sometimes.

June 15, 2007 at 5:14 am
(430) jackie says:

Well went to the docs and now back on 20mg, only for a fortnight though. Have put together a plan with the doctor to be weaned off these things for good over the next two or three months. Looking at what you lot have gone through, im not looking forward to it. The doc made it sound so easy!!!! Speak to you all soon. x

June 15, 2007 at 8:45 am
(431) wil says:

Hi jackie glad you have a plan – tell me , when the doc and you decided to go back on 20mg did u feel ok immeditatley? Im wondering as Im thinking of taking it again and im wondering will i feel the withdrawal feeling go away immediately? thanks jackie,

June 15, 2007 at 9:31 am
(432) jackie says:

Hey wil, took my first tablet this morning. Felt pretty bad all morning but feel positive this afternoon and have even found myself singing – Good for me, not so much for the people around me! In 2 weeks I am going down to 20mg and 10mg on alternate days, then 10mg each day for 2 weeks. After this I have to go back to the docs for a chat about where to go next. I dont want to be the person to tell you to go back on them becasue its different for everyone but I certainly feel more like myself already. Let me know what you decide. Good luck. x

June 15, 2007 at 12:53 pm
(433) w says:

Hi Jackie, glad you are feeling so well after just one day – thats great. Me Im not sure what to do – was with my doc today and decided to continue staying off cipramil for another while to see how things go – its quite hard though. At this stage (6 weeks) Im not sure whether the feelings Im having are withdrawal or just stress related stuff. Feel very “heady” today like my head is spinning off even though im not dizzy. And Im edgy too. Anyway good luck – do write and tell how you are getting on.

June 17, 2007 at 6:25 pm
(434) Y says:

after a mild breakdown, i’ve been on citalopram since feb, 10mg for a month, then 20mg. but now maybe preg & want to come off. these drugs are a loada crap. just another way for industry to make money me thinks. my main side affect has been that my short-term memory has suffered badly, i’m only off the pills (20mg) for a couple of days but i can’t recall wen exactly i stopped – i told u memory bad. anyone else have memory probs?
i’m gettin the dizzy, electric shock thing & am snappy and irritable, but i determind to go cold turkey and just go for long term psychotherapy instead. drugs suck & i dont want to be dependant.
good luck to all.

June 18, 2007 at 12:40 am
(435) Helen says:

Hi all

I posted back in Feb when I was sick in bed for a week and off work with bad side affects of just coming off the meds. Although it’s now over three months later, I finally talked to my specialist and said the physical affects of coming off citalopram were worse than I had expected and was I being hypchondrical? He put me at ease straight away and told me I wasn’t and that although some research regarding the withdrawal side affects is confusing, there is common agreement that some people can suffer for weeks and weeks with flu-like symptoms – I have good days and bad days – the nausea has been the worse. I think the reason why many GPs don’t know about the long-lasting affects that are possible (ok, not everyone will suffer for as long as I have) is that patients wouldn’t want to have them prescribed if they feel like this when they come off them!
The flu-like symptoms include achyness, lots of tiredness, body weakness, nausea, some heaaches and just generally feeling absolutely knackered. I can’t imagine I am the only one who has good weeks and not so good weeks – I hate to be negative, but my specialist also does research, so I unfortunately have to take his comments like gospel – the flu-like symtoms certainly have made sense!

However, I must say, I do feel as though I have come a long way and am very staunch about not going back on them!! Maybe other people still feel a bit shitty – I liken it to feeling about 75% out of 100%!!

Hang in there….that’s one thing I have lacked, is people who understand and who don’t pass too much judgement i.e. “you’re STILL sick?” (not the reaction you want!).

June 18, 2007 at 12:43 am
(436) helen says:

I am having problems posting…just checking if this works?

June 18, 2007 at 12:46 am
(437) Helen says:

I see that worked…must be that I wasn’t typing past enough….
I came off in the right way from citalopram and posted in February when I spent a week at home with awful withdrawal. However the physical affects since then have been more than I anticipated. I finally got back in touch with my prof/psychiatrist (who also does a lot of research) asking him if I was being a hypochondriac. he said no, and that how I was feeling was in line with a lot of the post-citalopram withdrawal – some people can suffer for weeks and weeks with flu-like symptoms. It totally rang true with me. The worst has been the nausea, but I have also had the weak body, aches, headaches and generally not sleepy like I should be.

I can’t imagien enough GPs know of the side affects even weeks and weeks after coming off them entirely. I guess if patients knew more about the side affects then they wouldn’t want them?
Will post before I lose this….

June 18, 2007 at 12:51 am
(438) Helen says:

…carrying on…I went to two GPs before I went back to my psychiatrist. one seemed more passive, the other seemed to think it was possible to have longer lasting withdrawal issues. My specialist said that although research surrounding the withdrawal affects can be confusing, the side affects suffered by some, and unluckily me, can be much longer than orignally though.

So I guess to those who perhaps weeks and weeks later are still feeling a bit weird (I liken my situation to being only 75% out 100% healthy) then you know you are not alone. For one, the hardest thing in all this is not having support groups like this online chat,people who say “are you STILL sick?” (that’s the crap response I hate) and just a general lack of udnerstanding and knowledge among the GP community.

for those of you in early withdrawal though, the bad stuff gets better, but there can be lingering physcial affects – keep your chin up and know that I have been suffering too!


June 18, 2007 at 11:47 am
(439) jackie says:

Feeling so much better now that im back on these things. Personally if they didnt affect my libido and make me gain weight, id be happy to stay on them forever. However my poor long suffering husband wants his quota and i want my figure back – so, bring on the weaning!!!

June 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm
(440) Emily says:

I thought I was going mad until I started to read this forum! Thanks to everyone who has commented and made me realise that this isn’t just me!

I’ve been on 40mg Cit (for anxiety) for four years and, following a miscarriage (which may or may not have been caused by Cit) I decided to come-off the drug as I wanted to get ‘clean’ to get pregnant. It’s been a long hard slog, cutting down 10mg/5mg at a time. Seven days ago I ran out of pills, after getting down to 10mg, and decided it was as good a time as any to stop completely. Over the last three days I’ve suffered from constant dizziness, feeling like I’m walking around in a dream-world, butterflies, feeling nervous and on-edge, pins and needles in hands and legs, muscle spasms and cramps. Worst of all _ i’ve been feeling like I’m going mad and considered the possibility that I may have serious mental health problems. After reading this forum, i can see that it’s all side effects from this dreadful little white pill!

Before I took Cit I asked my doctor if it was addictive, he said it wasn’t. If I had known how terrible I would be feeling right now, in trying to come off it, I never would’ve touched it.

I’m going through a seriously tough time at work at the moment, so i couldn’t have timed it better :( I’m going to have to go back to 10mg, as I can’t see that this spinning and these depressive feelings are going to go away on their own.

But, I’m not going to give up, I’m going to go back on for a couple of weeks and cut down to 5mg and go from there.

If anyone is reading this forum is in mind of taking Cit – DON’T. Short-term it’s great – but long-term you have one hell of a battle ahead of you and it’s just not worth it.

Good luck to all of you and thank you for making me realise I’m ‘normal’ and not going through this alone!

June 19, 2007 at 9:54 am
(441) Y says:

Well Done to those who have taken the decision to reclaim themselves! Thankfully the electric shock thing has calmed down a bit, every 60 secs now instead of every 20 secs! Feel very dodgy though; physically, emotionally, psychologically…but I am determined. this support network is fantastic. those u haven’t experienced are so difficult to turn to for support, despite their willingness.
STAY STRONG PPL, we will overcome!

June 19, 2007 at 12:54 pm
(442) wil says:

Hi just a query – Im 7 weeks in withdrawal tomorrow and still feel awful – on edge – upset tummy unsteadiness and crying a LOT! I also dont like going anywhere on my own. Is this normal am I losing it?
Please HELP!!

June 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm
(443) Emily says:

Hang in there Y – it’s got to be worth it when you come out the other side.

Wil – why not try a low dose of St John’s Wort, to take the edge off? It takes awhile to get into the system, but if it stablises your emotions a little…

June 19, 2007 at 8:14 pm
(444) w says:

hi emily cant get it here in ireland unfortunately they banned it – i thik u can get it on prescriptoion only

June 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm
(445) Emily says:

hi – maybe go and see your doctor to see if they’ll prescribe it – it’s got to be better than Cit. it makes me laugh that they ban something like st john’s but hand out cit by the handful!

June 19, 2007 at 8:46 pm
(446) Emily says:

the problem with taking st john’s for me is that me and my husband are trying for a baby (which instigated me coming off cit) and they don’t recommend taking st john’s :( can’t win!

June 20, 2007 at 8:30 am
(447) wil says:

I know – its crazy – im not sure what to do. its almost 2 months now since i came off citalopram and im hoping to start feeling much better soon. its such a long time when ur feeling so bad.

June 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm
(448) Emily says:

I know it’s awful. But just keep thinking how strong you’re being by tackling this – 7 weeks really is something to be proud of. If (when) I get to that point I’m going to seriously celebrate :) You may be just a week or two away from feeling sooo much better – so don’t give up – keep going!

June 20, 2007 at 8:01 pm
(449) Emily says:

the more i read into this the more disgusted i am that our doctor’s have prescribed something so bloody terrible without any warning of the longterm affects.

June 20, 2007 at 8:04 pm
(450) Emily says:

Sorry! this is turning into a one-woman forum!

Wil – read post 51 above for some inspiration.

June 20, 2007 at 8:15 pm
(451) w says:

Hi Emily – thanks again for ur words of comfort. I read post 51 and it helped. Do u think as i was on them for 3 years as opposed to months it will take longer – or am i doing the catastrophising stuff again!! Thnaks for ur words again Emily – its so nice to hear words of comfort – particularly after 7 weeks of crying and falling apart and agoraohobia and unsteadiness and fear.
Sending lots of positivity to you.

June 21, 2007 at 1:09 pm
(452) Emily says:

Hey wil, I genuinly think that it’s down to how long you’ve been on them for. It might take a little longer, but I really think that you’ll come out of the other side of this – you just have to work through it a day at a time. You’ll look back on this and won’t be able to remember how bad you felt, but you need to hang on. I know how you feel, I understand what it’s like to feel frightened and upset all the time and the ‘deep-thinking’ you do while you feel like this. Make sure you keep going out (i.e. to the shops, to see friends, etc) even if you don’t feel like it – it’s all part of getting better. Thanks for your lovely comments :)

June 21, 2007 at 5:53 pm
(453) w says:

Hi Emily – thanks again – had relatively good day today was out at doctors who said i was doin well (even though i was told cipramil withdrawal only takes about a week!) dont get my wrong i really like my doc but theres no way it only took a week – what am i feeling now? just anxiety? Anyway hope u had a good day today. Im feeling very tired with anxiety and feeling a bit wobbly – its almost like ive over done it today – even though i havnt.
it seems the more tired i get – the worse the symtoms get – wobbly overstimulated – narky – emotional – feeling unsteady – hopefully this will pass very soon.

June 22, 2007 at 9:59 am
(454) Emily says:

Hi W,
Glad you had a better day. I’ve just been feeling a bit edgy. Saw Doc yesterday who said that it was difficult to tell if my feelings are because I’m going through a stressful time at work (and, as such, is just a natural reaction)or if they are because of withdrawal. Either way – hanging in there :)
P.S. Been angry and moody as anything -poor husband :(

June 22, 2007 at 7:24 pm
(455) wil says:

Hi Emily
Sorry ur feeling rough – do hang in there – I know what u mean about feeling moody – it seems to be all par of it – had awful day today – seems one day fine next day not so fine but tryin to hang in there too, Id ur stress levels are up anyway due to withdrawal – dont underestimate it i duno how many times ive asked myself and my poor other half “what the hells wrong wit me!!” Was very edgy today too and very high anxiety – again im puttin it down to withdrawal and hopefully everyday is one day further away from cipramil.
Be well.

June 24, 2007 at 6:25 am
(456) Val says:

Found this site tonight for the first time. I was put on citipram 5 years ago for fibromyalgia. It started as 20gm, and was then upped for the depression to 40, and then about 3 months ago put up to 60mg, again for depression. FORTUNATLEY in one sense, I had a rather bad reaction to the increased dosage and my body began to spasm whenever I rested or lay down to sleep. It was a bit of surprise when it first started, but then when the bed would shake from them and my husband started to get quite concerned about it I looked at some of the side effects of the drug. It is one of the rare side effects it seems. I went to the doctors and she suggested cutting back on the dosage, but at the same time said that as I had reacted like this to the drug, it might continue even with a lower dose. She was right, and I decided to just stop taking it. I know that this is not a good thing to do, but having given up cigarettes cold turkey after 25 years of smoking, I knew I would be able to handle it and know if I needed to do somthing about it. On a couple of occasions I had to resort to taking half a table just to take the terrible edge of the withdrawal symptoms.
It is now 6 weeks since I stopped, and one of the things I have noticed is that I am not depressed any more. It seems depression is a side effect as well in some people, depending on why you had it prescribed in the first place. So in actual fact the increasing of the dosage for the depression was in fact causing it to be worse. Oh boy.
I too have had the light headed head spins and the whoosing sounds in my ears and about then on to the weeping stage and the anger stage. I have a wonderful husband who has just been here for me through all of it. The nightmares were horrific too. The list just seems to go on and on.
I am going to make an appointment with the doctor this week hopefully to talk to her about it all. Have not been to see her since I stopped taking it, partly because I was so cranky about them not telling us what we could expect in the way of withdrawal.
Do not know how long it will be before all this withdrawal stuff stops, but I do know that I am back. After so many years of being ‘not there’ most of the time, my mind is working again and my memory is so much better.
One of the big negatives of course is the increase in the pain levels, but will deal with that somehow.
Thank you all for sharing your selves on this issue.


June 24, 2007 at 2:21 pm
(457) Tammy says:


Been a while since I last posted, been off the tabs for 7 wks now and im still getting the odd brain whooshes. This week has been the worst with bad sleep, and waking up having a full blown panic attack! this ha got me down and im feeling tearful again and the morbid thoughts of death have started to return…hope this is just a blip.


June 25, 2007 at 4:38 am
(458) julie says:

I have taken this drug on and off for a couple of years. I feel that things in my life have settled down enough for me to stop taking them. I initially cut down to 10mg (from 20mg) and took 10 mg for a couple of months. I stopped taking them all together about 4 days ago and have found that I am getting that funny feeling in my brain. It’s pretty scary to think that I’ve been taking something that effects your brain so much. I just got sick of the feeling of being ‘not there’ a lot. I think taking the drug has effected my memory and have noticed this over the last couple of years. I feel really stupid at times and really wanted to stop this time. I am so sick of the weird feeling in my head and just want it to stop. It does feel as though you are drunk. I have also been very cranky with my children and feel really bad about this. I just get this rage!!
Anyone else feeling the same? Any suggestions?

June 25, 2007 at 5:32 pm
(459) susie says:

Hello…Yes Julie I feel the same as you, its a month since i stopped taking cipramil completely and I still feel awful, if anything i feel worse now than when i fist came off them!!! It makes me wonder if i am going back down into acute depression again…i feel so miserable and weepy and irritable and tired and whoosy..etc etc..!! you all know what i mean!! :) ,,i just have to believe that it WIL stop eventually!..but in the meantime…any suggestions??? Ive had a headwche for 2 weeks now and nothing is touching it and the docs say its stress!!
Anyway….guess we should all just keep going and trust that it will all come good in the end and that we will get our ‘selves’ back.
Having said that i really do feel awful…suggestions most welcome! xx

June 27, 2007 at 11:34 am
(460) wil says:

Hi Im getting some mixed messages from my docs. Im in withdrawal now for 8 weeks and still have high anxiety and feel Im still in withdrawal. My pDoc reckons it only takes a week or so for withdrawal of citalopram to wear off – my other dpc sayd no – it takes longer – and I got asked a third doc recently and he said 3 weeks!
Do anyone have any views on this? Its getting to the stage where I dont know how I feel or why and no-one seems to have the same info as anyone else. Thanks

June 27, 2007 at 4:46 pm
(461) Deb says:

Ay up everyone and best wishes to you all ;-) been on citalopram for 2 years for panic attacks first year 20mg 10mg for a year then i cut down to one every other day for couple months last tuesday decided to take no more and 5 days later the flu hit (without the temperature) and the dizzyness nausea timelagged head-if i hadnt read this i would be thinking that i was imagining it as withdrawl-the docs really havent the full picture for this drug as i was told to do 10mg couple weeks then stop-so glad i didnt and hoping that for me and you all these symptoms will not last too long…chins up :-)

July 1, 2007 at 11:33 pm
(462) Helen says:

Hi Wil
What you are experiencing is what I have experienced. I still feel crappy but the good days seem to be getting bigger in numbers – and I have been off the meds since March! Don’t despair, I think it’s just going to depend on how long you were on them as to how long it will take you to recover. Upset stomach has been horrid for me, but like I say, the bad days seem to be lengthening out though today is not good for me! I never used to be teary at much but I find I am teary at times when normally I wouldn’t be! Keep your chin up and know that the flu-like symptoms are not only happening with you. Pity there’s not a place all we people around the world can meet to hang out when we are feeling like this!

July 2, 2007 at 8:52 am
(463) wil says:

Thanks so much for your reply Helen – Im just so terribly frightened – and now my partner is insisting `i go back to doc and go on another SSRI as Im so debilitated. I jjst dont know what to do. Glad ur having better days. W

July 2, 2007 at 11:54 pm
(464) Helen says:

Hi Wil
It’s probably hard for your partner especially if he/she has not experienced depression or anxiety and has never come off medication. I felt my friend’s reaction (my family lives overseas) was rather slow to realise that I was truly suffering and still am!

The reason why I stopped was because I felt I no longer needed it and was just popping a pill because it was part of my getting up in the morning routine.
One of the things that keeps me going is that my psychiatrist who is a professor here at the med school in the part of New Zealand where I live, confirmed that many people can feel fluey-like for weeks afterwards. These people know as they do the research – unfortunately the average GP does not seemed to be well informed in New Zealand with regards to psychiatric meds – particularly coming off them. In my personal experience also, once you come off them there is no one around for support i.e. no groups you can hang out with and my GP for example, didn’t even suggest I may need to see my counsellor for a bit for support – I took myself there for a session just because I wanted to complain to someone!!

The main thing is that you try and remain positive on the bad days and take advantage of the good days, but still preserve yourself and not over do it. You will get through it (yes, easy to say as I type….but just to tell you, today is a bad day for me!!)


July 2, 2007 at 11:56 pm
(465) Helen says:

Oh yes, the bad day for me today is that I feel slightly weird and off the planet, bit sick, headachy etc – I am sure you can relate!

July 3, 2007 at 4:47 pm
(466) wil says:

thanks so much for ur reply Helen – i really appreciate it. Hope u have a better day tomorrow (hope we ALL have a better day tomorrow :)

July 6, 2007 at 8:50 pm
(467) sarah-jane says:


Just went back and read through all of my previous entries and they seem like a life time ago (first one was 21/02/07). i only recognise that person as me by my name, its funny cos i have also forgotten half of it already.

So here i am 6 months out , no depression, no drugs, just good old st johns wort, no more counselling, just a great life.

yes its was crap and hard work but all of you working towards the end result stick with it and become a real whole person again. you might like what you find . i have

JULIE, SUSIE, WIL, HELEN all keep at it. the side effects of withdrawal will come and go but one day you will just realise they have gone and not returned.
the last few months have taken a lot of work, and this might sound weird…. i have had to learn how to react appropriatly to emotions again, not gettting too sad, too silly, sometimes you just let get and realise others around you aren’t doing the same . years of pent up emotions come flooding back and its like being a kid and having to learn take baby steps.
eventually through taking little steps, and occasionaly falling over we each get to run along our own paths

I Hope you all find your happy path easily.


July 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm
(468) jane says:

Hi everyone -but especially Sarah Jane who helped me through. Thank you.

My comments, including 358 log my story of Citalopram withdrawl. I’ve printed off all the comments on this thread and taken them to my GP to get the practice to understand that it wasn’t just me. I’m now nearly 3 months on and am OK! In the past 3 months i’ve had to deal with pregnancy/miscarriage, family cancer, other sick relatives. All these problems in such a short space of time and I have coped WITHOUT the citalopram. The GP had made me feel i’d never be without them .

TO anyone out there who’s just started with the side effects…. I had to try twice to come off it – I had to take days off work to cope – remember all the time that it’s the withdrawal NOT the depression returning – tell people how hard you’re finding it and don’t blame yourself. Be glad you found this thread – so many people are on their own. xxxxxxx

July 12, 2007 at 11:45 am
(469) theresa says:

hi, i’ve suddenly stoped taking the big C 6 days ago…very grumpy, weepy and candy floss head…dizzy and stiff. i was on 40 dose for 7 months and after a temper tantrum flushed them all. now im sorta regreting it, havnt told my gp, and not to sure weather to go back on them or ride the wave.any advice would be relly appreciated ….xxxxxxxxxxxxx
i also put on 1 stone whilst i was on them, part of the temper tantrum god damn vanity eh !!!

July 12, 2007 at 8:09 pm
(470) Emily says:

hey all
hope you’re feeling a little better Wil.
i’ve had to go back to the big C – just 10mg every other day as the withdrawal got too much. Somedays I was doing great and felt fine and others the lows were just too much to deal with.
I’ve got a lot of stuff going on at work (formal proceedings) so that hasnt helpes. I find it impossible to define if I would feel like this if I had never taken Cit before, as this may just be a natural reaction, or if it IS Cit. Confusing. Had a better day today, but the lows ain’t much fun! Keep smiling all :)

July 13, 2007 at 9:17 am
(471) w says:

Hi Emil and all – I couldnt handle the withdrawals either in the end I was a crying wreck. Have started 5mg of escitalopram now and side effects are yuk – i dunno why I did it I feel so shit. Hope things improve,

July 14, 2007 at 8:10 am
(472) Amanda W says:

Hi all, finally I have found you, I knew you all had to be out there somewhere. I have been off this awful drug for 3 weeks and was convinced that my depression was returning. The fireworks in the head (convinced I had a brain tumour!!) The pins and needles in the hands, the nausea has been awful and……took me a couple of moments to regain my thoughts there…. the loss of concentration. I have put a repeat prescription in to my doctors to go back on the tablets convinced I must still be ill even though I know that I am not! And now I find from reading this comment page that I am not ill but suffering the effects of withdrawel from a drug I only agreed to take because I was advised by my GP that there were no side effects to coming off them. Nice to have someone to aim my anger at rather than my beloved family who have been to hell and back.
Anyway keep communicating as this is the best therapy I have had for ages. xx ps thank you – you have all done me the world of good especially Helen there have been some real pearls of wisdom in what you have been advising

July 15, 2007 at 11:18 am
(473) emily says:

hi i’ve been off of this drug for about a week now, I told my doctor me and my partner were going to try for a baby, he assured me i’d be fine coming off of them and there’d be ‘no problems’ lol lol lol! i’ve been getting the rice shaking and problems with dizziness when i move my head or eyes! and spasms in my arms and down my back. i’ve also been extremely angry and upset with HUGE crying fits! i thought i was going mad (again)! and that i’d have to go back on those evil little pills! not a chance! after reading what everybody here has gone through i know i can get past it! i’m just really annoyed that my doctor told me there would be no withdrawal symptoms, especially after i told him i was trying for a baby! i’m going to refer him to this page!

July 16, 2007 at 6:23 am
(474) theresa says:

still crying over everything..irritable, aching i even forgot the school receptionists name. takes a long time to think about the simplist of processes.
day 9 …and feel like i’m very depressed just want to curl up ad goo night nights !!!lol

July 16, 2007 at 6:23 am
(475) theresa says:

still crying over everything..irritable, aching i even forgot the school receptionists name. takes a long time to think about the simplist of processes.
day 9 …and feel like i’m very depressed just want to curl up and go night nights !!!lol

July 16, 2007 at 7:06 pm
(476) Helen says:

Hi Amanda
My Mum keeps telling me to stick with it (a former nurse) and so I will pass on the same info to you and everyone else!! You get better after the initial acuteness of coming off the drug, but just take life easy. You will perhaps be ‘floored’ every now and then like I have been, which has made me teary (never used to be this way) and very frustrated as I am not one to sit still in life – this has been the hard part! The other sunday I was in bed at 8.30pm and slept until 6am the following morning!
I am going to see my psychiatrist in two weeks’ time so if I have any info I will post it as it helps so much to know that you aren’t the only one goign insane now and then!
Take care Amanda – I have started taking vitamin b and omega 3 (the latter after three incidences of leaving my car keys in the car door when in town shopping for an hour or two)! Also if you ahve had an upset stomach, I have been taking aloe vera juice. I am still getting nausea, but I think it’s from all the worry of knowing I am not feeling right and having to cope with it all and do the usual things like going to work when all I want to do is do somethng for myself and have a lie in!

July 17, 2007 at 12:14 pm
(477) Amanda W says:

Headed for the Health Food Shop on Sunday. Black Cohosh, Cod Liver ( god knows what that has to do with the withdrawals but hey)

July 17, 2007 at 12:30 pm
(478) Amanda W says:

The hand spasms are starting to do my head in, cant even write a flipping comment without stuffing it up half way through. Anyway what I was trying to say was that I am taking all kinds of health products including Ginger capsules which have helped immensely with the nausea, the effects were instant. As for the others dont know whether they are just a placebo or psychosymatics but they seem to be working. My boyfriend is now very understanding now that he realises that I havent totally lost my marbles and that I am recovering from taking the tablets. I really dont get it, I am prescribed cit to get over depression I may as well have not bothered as getting over the medication is 10 times worse than the depression I had. Also part of my problems back then were my physical appearance, and to two years later be 3 stone heavier is a bit of a bummer, although since I stopped taking the tablets I am losing weight. Weird as well is the fact that since I found this site my episodes have been less severe. Work is so hard though, I am running on such a short fuse that I have to not get into conversations with anyone for fear of offending. And at some point in the day the perspiration is absolutely dripping of my whole body. This is when I am at my worst with the pins and needles in my hands and fireworks in the brain. I also get pins and needles in my lips and they go numb making it very unpleasant to speak, does anyone else get that? Don’t know if there is a light at the end of the tunnel yet… as I have yet to find the tunnel.

July 18, 2007 at 4:38 am
(479) Cheryl says:

I’ve been on 20mg citalopram for 7 yrs, 4 of them spent trying to come off under my gp advice, reducing by 10mg then nothing and failed every time! Decided to do it myself reducing 5mg at a time and now I’ve been off them for 2 wks and still feel absolutely dreadful. Crying now as I write this msg, jst feel ill all the usual symptoms described by every1 else, but jst dont know if I can bear it any longer. Does anyone know what the longest time is for getting through withdrawal? Thought about st. johns wort but then is that not still being dependant on a drug, all be it herbal, which also seems to have its own side effects. Any advice? Anybody?

July 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm
(480) Helen says:

Cheryl – not a good idea this stage to go on St John’s Wort – it can interact with citalopram I know when you are on it, but maybe wait a little while and check with your GP if you can go on it. Things do get better over time – which is easy to say but I have had a rough time and I think much of the research on coming off the drugs os secret as people wouldn’t take them otherwise!

July 19, 2007 at 4:20 am
(481) cheryl says:

Hi helen, thanks for commenting, was hoping to feel a bit better today, but I’m worse. My doc reckons I shouldn’t be having any side effects! and that I should do regular exercise to boost my energy levels. A bit difficult when I’m struggling just to go to work when all I want to do is sleep and my motivation is zero. Just feel like I’ve got permanent flu. My worry is my two teenage sons and the effect on them, with my low moods, short temper and being so distant, thats why I thought maybe trying st johns wort. Feel they are too young to explain and they think its because my boyfriend walked out 6 wks ago anyway. I got the courage to quit from him actually, but since I’ve been reducing them he said I made him feel insecure and that most of our arguements were because of my tablets, hence I need to be off them if I am to ever have another relationship. I’m going to give omega 3 a go because my concentration and memory is completely hopeless. Has anyone suffered from cramps? Over the past couple of weeks I’ve also been waking with terrible cramps in my legs.

July 19, 2007 at 11:45 pm
(482) Helen Paterson says:

Cheryl – I had a majority of the withdrawal symptpms – the cramps are the flu like feelings that come with being off the meds. The flu like symptoms can go on for a while, which is the negative part about it, but just think, you have been off them for two weeks and that is not to be sneezed at! Keep at it.

July 20, 2007 at 8:26 pm
(483) Peta says:

Hi, I have been taking Citalopram for almost a year. About 4 months ago my GP and I decided to halve my dose to see if the medication was effective for me.

I had no problems with the halved dose until i accidently missed 2 days before a Uni exam. I had the most severe dizzyness, headaches and nausea and only just made it through my exam before crawling home and into bed where I slept for 16 hours.
Seven days ago I stopped taking the medication while on holidays from uni and work so my stress levels are at nil and I am relaxed and calm. This time i still have the brain left 1/2 a second behind feeling and tiredness (sleeping up to 14 hrs a night).
I know this isn’t a possibility for everyone with lifes pressures and the daily grind but I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend to anyone trying to come off the medication to take some time off for themselves and be AS STRESS FREE as possible. I am sure this is why I did not get the migraines and resulting nausea this time.
My love and best wishes to all the other citalopram withdrawal sufferers out there!

July 22, 2007 at 3:18 am
(484) Nick says:

Firstly, many thanks to everyone who has written on this forum. It has been a great help to understand what is going on with me. Looking at other people’s problems I can see that mine are remarkably minor. I was on Citalopram for about two months and was going to be moved on to something else, but found that on stopping the Citalopram the incredible exhaustion and low moods went away! I have now spent over a week of headaches (spent one afternoon with ice packs on my temples) and dizziness or ‘brain-shake’, just like a bad hangover. I would just like to say that although a lot of people have really bad problems coming off Citalopram, I think that it does do a good job as an anti-depressant, but sufferers and doctors need to understand and be honest about potential withdrawal. I think that it would also be very helpful if people on this forum could be more specific about the experienced symptoms and for how long they occur, and be more descriptive about some of the (eg ‘flu like’ Tired? Lethargic?), as I think that this site is a potentially invaluable resource to people searching for help and understanding. A last quick question – did anyone get a bad cold as part of the withdrawal? It was probably coincidence but I got a really bad one as soon as I came off… Good luck and best wishes to all who are still working through it all. Nick

July 22, 2007 at 3:45 am
(485) Peta Hazlewood says:

Hi Nick,

Yep!!!!! Now that I think about it, I have got a cold. I did not put it down to the citilopram withdrawal but it could very well be as it arrived at the same time as the other withdrawal symptoms. I think it is definately affecting my sinuses too as my partner mentioned that I have begun to snore over the last week and I have never done this before. Pretty embarassing really but hope it goes away soon. (others have suggested flu like symptoms maybe they refer to cold symptoms too!) Good luck with the brain shake. It is really quite frustrating.


July 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm
(486) cheryl says:

Me too! I’ve been snoring for england, even waking myself up,lol! But, I put that down to my wanting to sleep 24/7, total fatigue and going into major deep sleep state, with the weirdest dreams might I add! Brain shakes have eased off for me(3wks off cit), still there sometimes and sometimes worse than others, mornings are still bad (bit like a bad hangova with a loose brain), but seem to ease off if I get myself going and worsen if I dont! Still feel spaced out and distant and know I’m talking slower but my brain wont work any faster and still very forgetful, short term memory is really bad even my boys have commented. Thanxs Helen for comment about the legs, was a little bit worried about that because they can be quite bad.

July 23, 2007 at 2:20 am
(487) Peta says:

Hi Cheryl, Thank goodness!!!!!!!!!! I’m not necessarily becoming a snorer for LIFE! I hope I will only continue to snore for “Australia” for a little while longer or I may end up with my own bedroom. I too am wanting to sleep a lot more than usual and am going into very deep sleep. I seem to become most tired at night as my dizzyness seems to get worse in the afternoon and evening. I have had a couple of very strange but humourous dreams which are not common for me but I am finding it is actually quite amusing. I’m lucky I guess that it isnt nightmares as some people suggest they suffer from and I have had these frequently through my life without being on medication.

July 23, 2007 at 12:03 pm
(488) emily says:

hi again! just thought i’d type about how much worse i’ve gotten been off of these for two weeks now a few days ago i was getting better and now i’m worse than ever! my mood is awful i just feel like crying the whole time! my head is shaking worse.
I can’t even type properly i have to keep deleting and rewriting this! because i’m getting everything wrong! can’t stop crying either! and now i can’t even remember what i writing on here! i’m a complete mess!
i’m getting scared of what i might do because i’m so up and down!
i’m sorry if this post hasn’t made sense but i’m not making sense to myself! i wish i’d never taken the damn things in the first place!!

July 25, 2007 at 2:44 am
(489) Nick says:

Emily – the one thing that I have realised from this forum is that there are a lot of people out there who really do understand what you are going through. Although I have a strong belief in the doctors and psychiatrists, I do sometimes feel like a widget to them. Everyone here feels for you and supports you. Stick with it and focus on the good stuff. I came back yesterday from seeing my psychiatrist and just broke down in tears as I felt completely mentally ravaged and empty, and was just apologising for being useless. I felt that I had been made to look hard into a mirror, and didn’t like what I saw. But after a bit of thinking (and a few more tears) I began to think about all this being like having a broken leg. It will mend. I may limp occasionally, or I may even break it again, but it will get better. When it hurts, it is really awful, but I know that it will pass. If all this was physical it would be easier to deal with, so it may help to try to ‘see’ it as something physical.

July 25, 2007 at 2:53 am
(490) Nick says:

Back onto the symptoms… My psychiatrist seems to think that I am very sensitive to the drugs (I wasn’t on a high dose, only took them for 2 months, was knocked out by them and had quite severe withdrawal symptoms). It is nice to know that I am sensitive! My cold is still here, the head shakes get worse in the afternoon/evening – related to tiredness? I was curious to hear Peta mention dreams… Mine aren’t humorous, but I have suddenly started getting really sexual dreams! I assume I’m allowed to discuss this stuff (I hope this is anonymous!), but I had what they term ‘low libido’ due to the depression, and whilst on Citalopram, but have had some really wicked dreams since coming off… Also I am in a much deeper sleep in the mornings. Sometimes it is quite hard to wake up. Best wishes to all, Nick

July 25, 2007 at 4:40 am
(491) jimbo says:

Hi All,
Oh how simply great to read these comments and feel not alone with these strange and upsetting side effects of withdrawal. I was unable to even describe the sensation I was getting in my head and then I read about the sixth comment down being “like someone shaking a box of rice in one’s head” – that is it exactly!.
Thanks. I really am so glad to have found these comments.
The message is simple “sit it out – it will get better.”

July 25, 2007 at 6:49 am
(492) Peta says:

Hi all!

I had a much better day today! I’m back at Uni and the workload is absolutely hideous but strangely i’m feeling fine about it.
* Today I had much fewer dizzyness episodes.
* Also My partner said I didn’t snore last night (Yeah!!!!)or at least not that he heard :)
Let’s see if it lasts but I won’t hold my breath as I know it is possible it will get worse again before the symptoms disappear all together. I’ll just take one day at a time and enjoy the good days and live through the not so good ones in the knowledge that I will get through it.
Hope you are all doing well.

July 25, 2007 at 6:56 am
(493) cheryl says:

Hi Emily, I’ve been exactly the same, unable to think or talk straight, have you tried sending a text yet!? Phew! impossible task! But I am definitely improving, being into my 4th wk of no cit. Felt like I was going mad and wanted to cry all the time, felt so low and panicky, its so scarey. It’s like an outer body experience, I can see my hands and I know I’m moving my fingers, but it just doesnt seem like their mine, its so weird. But the point is I am DEFINITELY improving, although these feelings are still here but not nearly as bad. If you can, I think you should take a couple of weeks off work to make it easier on yourself. Hope this msg makes a little bit of sense for you, although I’m still struggling to make sense myself.

July 25, 2007 at 4:56 pm
(494) lottie says:

Have never written before but now feel able after spending practically all day reading messages from this site since discovering it in a desperate attempt to find some answers to the feelings I have and am currently experiencing.
I got diagnosed with post natal depression following the birth of my second child at the six week check. Never had depression in past incidentally. I was started on 10mg of cipramil and dose gradually got increased to 40mg. After taking it for 7 months I felt it had become ineffective and depression, anxiety and panic had all returned.
After seeing the GP I was advised to reduce from 40mg to 20mg over a period of a week, then have a two day gap and commence paroxitine (seroxat) 20mg which soon got increased to 30mg after 2 weeks. I was on 30mg for 7 days and then got the over whelming desire to commit suicide. I literally decided over a period of hours that I just couldnít cope anymore. The thought of leaving my husband and two children in the end prevented me from overdosing. I contacted the GP the following morning and was advised to stop the paroxitine immediately and take mirtazapine 15mg. I took this for two days but it wiped me out completely and all I could do was sleep. No help to me with two young children to try and take care of. I saw GP again yesterday and am currently taking no antidepressants since Sunday but am using 2mg diazepam when required as am currently experiencing horrendous withdrawals which initially I thought was the depression coming back before logging on to this site when doing my own research on these drugs. I, like many of you, was naively totally un aware of any side effects from these drugs as was told withdrawals would be minimal especially with cipramil. I am experiencing feelings of total exhaustion, dizziness, hallucinations, visual disturbances, flu like symptoms, sore jaw, stiff neck and aching lower back, headache, dry mouth, vivid dreams and feel like when I do sleep I am sleeping with my eyes wide open. I have little ability to care for my poor children and am just barely struggling through taking every minute at a time. I feel totally useless. It is truly horrible and far worse than any feeling I have ever had before. Just felt by writing this it may help also to let those who are experiencing the same or similar that you are not alone. I just pray these withdrawals donít go on for too long as so unpleasant and difficult on my whole family.

July 26, 2007 at 1:44 pm
(495) lynsey says:

How do i come off citalopram. I was prescribed about 15months ago and ive attempted to come off them twice. I was on 20mg for ages then two months ago i cut down to 10mg and have been fine and i wanted to come off them so i cut down again to 5mg about 5 days ago and i feel awful as though i have the flu and the headaches and the nausea and feeling down,any suggestions greatly welcome!! :)

July 26, 2007 at 4:16 pm
(496) cheryl says:

Hi lynsey, just an idea that I wish I’d tried, apparently you can get citalopram in liquid form and think it would be much easier to reduce by 1mg at a time, each month. I know it sounds like a long time but it makes me wonder if the withdrawal symptoms would of been half as bad.

July 27, 2007 at 4:42 am
(497) lottie says:

I’m now day 6 of not taking cipramil or citalopram as most of you refer to and managing the awful withdrawals as mentioned in above entry on July 25 by using diazepam but only because I felt so terrible otherwise i would have tired to ride this storm using nothing. I find diazepam slightly reduces the intensity of withdrawals but I still feel terrible but am coping just. I will also have to withdraw slowly from diazepam but I eventually want to be rid of every drug in my body so I know what the real me is like again. I would advise anyone taking any antidepressants to withdraw as slowly as you possibily can as the side effects are terrible if you stop suddenly despite what any GP tells you about withdrawals being minimal. Have they taken them, probably not, so listen to those that have and take things very slowly. I’m sure these drugs wouldn’t be prescribed in the first place if GP`s were fully aware of the withdrawals, these drugs would probably never even get licienced or maybe people just stay on them for years as just can’t get off them because of the side effects? I just hope I never need them again but just wont know how i truely feel until I’m rid of these terrifying side effects from withdrawing to quickly. Hope this helps?

July 27, 2007 at 6:05 pm
(498) cheryl says:

Feeling ‘really’ low today, feels like the depressions coming back. I’m so irritable, snappy, cant think to organize my days, soooo tired and feel like my head has a really big sponge in it and its trying to burst out, like pressure! Cant decide whether to try st. johns wort or a low dose cit. Cant cope feeling like this, if only we knew how long these withdrawal symptoms were going to last, maybe it would be easier.

July 28, 2007 at 2:15 am
(499) lottie says:

Hi Cheryl
How many days have you been withdrawing now? Mayb just see a diff GP to your normal one and see what they think or if they know anymore or have a different option to help you? I’ve been told bout cognitive therapy, can’t even think bout it yet as still a complete mess. I researched to advoid caffeine, sweets etc which I am also doing now but consumming coffee and tea and picking at sweet things all day is a hobby of mine!! esp with two young children, so again really hard to do. Stay strong.

July 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm
(500) Helen says:

Hi Cheryl
The symptoms you wrote about on entry 485 tend to coincide with coming off the meds. You need to give your body/mind some time to attempt to adjust to not have the meds anymore. I also agree with Lottie, that you do need support at this time and some CBT/counselloring would definitely be a help to you. I would check with your doctor if it is ok to take the St John’s Wort as if you haven’t been off the drugs long, there maybe a bit in the system and the SJW can interact with the meds.
As for me, I have had some different anxiety return after being off the meds for five months, so give yourself time before you go thinking you have had depression return.It may be the case, it may not.

July 31, 2007 at 11:33 am
(501) Maria says:

This is a first time posting for me. I have been off Citalopram for 5 1/2 weeks now and the withdrawals have gotten much better. I still have some feelings of diziness/lightheadness, but that is also getting better. I wanted to mention that I have found a way to increase my serotonin levels through diet. A book I would recommend is “Potatoes Not Prozac” and “The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program”, both by Kathleen DesMaison. The eating program has helped tremendously, also because I am a sugar junkie!

Just thought this might be some “food for thought” for others who are trying to deal with depression without drugs.


July 31, 2007 at 4:19 pm
(502) cheryl says:

lottie and helen, thanks for your comments. It’s 4 wks 3days since I stopped cit in answer to lotties question. No way I could talk to anyone at the mo, maybe in time when my brain is connected to my mouth! Had a very stressful situation today at work and had an almost outer-body experience, afterwards I felt so strange, drugged infact! It felt on the lines of when I first stopped cit. Is it likely that stress could have temporarily exaggerated symptoms?

August 1, 2007 at 4:11 am
(503) Lottie says:

Like the sound of ‘potatoes not prozac’ so may purchase! I’m determined to try anything that doesn’t involve taking drugs.

Cheryl I really think that you should maybe just go and talk to a different GP or health professional bout how you feeling however hard it may be. As like me you obviously get some form of relief/help/solice from logging on to this site and think talking to a ‘professional’ may in the end help you to cope and eventually overcome these feelings you are having? I know it’s hard believe me. I didn’t even tell my husband I was on antidepressants until about a month of takin them. I was on them for 8months and only confided in my best friend a month before i came off them. So i believe i kind of understand how you may feel and just think you shouldn’t go it alone. I wish I’d told my best friend months ago as she is so supportive.

Only a professional would hopefully be able to advice you on whether the feelings you are experiencing are normal. There is a crisis line maybe linked to MIND site i think or get in touch by phone with your local mental health agency as then you should be able to speak with a psychiatric bod who should be far more clued up on anti d’s, withdrawals etc. All anti d’s have half lifes and they should be able to calculate how long your withrawals are likely to be by adding up how much was in your system i believe?

Sorry if this seems bit waffly. I’m day 11 i think of withrawal and took last dose of diazepam this am which i have now hopefully slowly withdrawn from. I’m all over the place still. Very emotional and spaced out. Can’t think straight still and really hard to type, corrected many spelling errors in this. I don’t feel so flu like but not sleeping well and just finding life hard generally as so not myself, so you not alone. I’m thinking of contacting someone for some reassurance/advise also but have yet to find the srength or conversational ability but will try soon i think if i can.

Most dash now as my little baby crying.

August 1, 2007 at 8:52 pm
(504) Suzy says:

It is really great (though everyone having withdrawal isn’t) to see other people are having these experiences. For me, I have been on 40mg of Cit for anxiety for over a year now. I have just recently stopped taking it. I haven’t experienced the “fireworks” yet, but I have definitely been dizzy and feeling kinda out of it. I also have been having crazy mood swings. I feel bad for my husband, but he has been really understanding. I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this cit brain mess.

August 3, 2007 at 3:40 am
(505) Scott says:

Guys, I know all about the brain zaps. I am currentlty in the process of withdrawing from citalopram and the only thing I can say is to just ride the thing out and know it will end.

August 3, 2007 at 1:16 pm
(506) Jay says:

The dizziness, the 3 second time lags, the disorientation…. and another thing, I am getting travel sick in my car on the way home from work!

When does it end friends? I stopped taking them a week ago having been on them for a year.

August 5, 2007 at 3:19 pm
(507) Jay says:

Another question I have… while taking the tablets did anyone suffer with Eczema (or any similar skin conditions)? I got it for the first time in my life.shortly aftertaking the them!

August 6, 2007 at 12:15 am
(508) Dizzy says:

for those that are off citalopram and no longer have withdrawals please let us know how long it lasts.. i’ve been off for 3 weeks and it seems to be getting worse.. super moody and dizzy and brain shakes.

August 6, 2007 at 10:10 am
(509) paul says:

Ive been taking citalopram 20mg for the last 6 months since Feb, I cut them down to one tablet every other day between June and July then one tablet every other day between July and August. Ive now stopped completely and not taken one for a week, just like everyone else Im having the wooshy (thats how it feels) sensations in the head every day, its not actually that bad to be honest as I know that its a withdrawal symptom, my dad has been on anti depressabts for the last 20 yrs and he says thats its perfectly normal, there isnt a set period that it lasts either as it all depends on the person really. Whatever you do, dont start taking them again if you can handle the unplessant symptoms as this will only make you dependant on the drug, it will stop and you’ll feel alot better for it. Good luck everybody and I hope your all feeling 100% real soon.

August 8, 2007 at 11:09 am
(510) Lottie says:


Well i’ve been withdrawing for nearly 3 weeks now. Previous entries 481,484,490 for anyone who wants to read the whole picture! And I am so much better. Now clear of everything in my system and only occasional withdrawal associated feelings but only mild and easy to manage compared to what I have been going through.

I got advice from a GP, basically support and encouragement and GP told me to try and stick it out if I could. GP wanted to see me a week later just to check on me as the terrible withdrawals I had, ment I had to talk to GP over the phone, as i felt un safe to drive or even really go out the house, so therefore couldn’t make the appointment I was offered.

I am so much better now. Never felt I’d get here at one stage but I have, although I feel I have really struggled.

I don’t feel depressed and pray that will never return. I am a bit ‘on edge’ and have a fear that if things get too much I may go back to how I was. Life is hectic most days for most of us I reckon, so think this may be normal feelings especially for a mum of two young children.

I hope I never need prescription drugs again but believe they did help me through a difficult time in my life. However when looking back, I now wish I could have found perhaps an alternative way of coping at the time but who knows?!

Anyway, stick with it everyone, it is really really hard but if I can do it then so can you.

I feel I’m slowly getting back to my ‘normal’ now, and the sunny weather is definately helping!!

August 8, 2007 at 6:36 pm
(511) Jay says:

Hi All.

I saw the Doc yesterday and he told me that it was no wonder I was feeling so terrible, having gone from 20mg to nothing (due to bad advice from another doc). Im now back, after a terrible week of nothing, on 10mg a day and have been advised to continue like that for the next MONTH. Immediately after taking them again, even on a small 10mg dose, I felt better. Then I need to go to 10mg EVERY OTHER DAY for another MONTH.

The over all process of coming off of these tablets painlessly is 2 months -but Im advised I wont notice when they’re gone this way!

Good luck all.


August 8, 2007 at 6:50 pm
(512) Jay says:

In a nutshell… if you are feeling bad, you are coming off too quick. Reduce your dosage over time (not over night) and leave bigger gaps between taking the tabs.

August 17, 2007 at 1:24 am
(513) Louise says:

I came across this site a couple of weeks ago and have been reading it on and off to try and make sense out of what the hell is going on with my body!
Started taking Citalopram (20mg) in July 2006 for depression, anxiety & panic.I never thought I was depressed in the first place – anxious & panicky definitely! – so after a couple of weeks on Cit I invested in a method to cure anxiety & panic and it went away within 3 days!
At my doctor’s suggestion, I stayed on Cit. – tried to reduce the dose from 20mg to 10mg just after Xmas this year and was a wreck!Disorientated, mega mood swings, crying, irritable and went back on them.
I have been reducing now since the beginning of July – 3 weeks at 15mg which was a breeze and the past 2 weeks at 10mg and BANG! I feel like I’m walking on the moon, swallowing paracetamol every 3 hours due to the horrendous headaches, shoulder & neck pain, first week couldn’t stop sweating and awful nightmares and I could sleep for England!Just had 10 hours sleep and could go straight back to bed, the bags under my eyes could hold a weeks’ shopping!
I’m having to keep things ‘normal’ – have a responsible job and have no annual leave left for this year and my sickness record is appalling due to the time I had off last year, so I can’t take any ‘time out’ to cope with this withdrawal.
Will be reducing to 5mg in a couple of weeks for a month and I’m dreading it! I’ve only just passed my driving test (hence I’m a bit shaky on the roads anyway!) and hate getting in the car due to the ‘floaty head feeling’.
Has anyone got any suggestions on how to reduce this medication any further to negate the withdrawal effects or am I just going to have to grin and bear it?!
On another note, came off alcohol and various other substances over 10 years ago and have been sober since and believe me, the withdrawal from that was a walk in the park compared to this!
I have a partner with a similar background to mine (alcohol/substances etc.) who is marvellous but I know that my constant mood swings/lethargy must be getting him down.
Any comments/suggestions would really be appreciated!

August 21, 2007 at 12:37 pm
(514) david says:

Thank you . What can i said that hasn’t been said already. I’m just soooo relieved i have an explanation . Thought i was really really going mad.They don’t tell you about this when they prescribe these horrible pills within 5 mins of seeing them.Phew relief..thank you…So scared the depression was back with avengence. Between the withdrawals and the £150/half an hour psychiatrist telling me to look up a particular problem on wikipedia !! I was not felling so good but i have found so much more comfort reading the postings here…thank you all.

August 22, 2007 at 3:01 pm
(515) Lynsey says:

I suspected that the feelings I got when I forgot to take my dosage were withdrawal, and now I’ve gone straight from 40mg to almost nothing I know for sure! I am actually being ridiculously irresponsible here: I am stopping taking them because I’m going to a festival, and I want to take Es; and I have read studies (and experienced) that show that citalopram inhibits the effects of them. (essentially both work on the same neurotransmitter: serotonin.) Anyway I have no idea what’s going to happen, I just thought if anyone else ever decided to do this and googled, then it might be worth my typing my experience so at least they’d be forewarned! I am sure this is probably a terrible idea anyway so, er, I don’t recommend it… I’ll update with what happens.

August 24, 2007 at 6:37 am
(516) Lottie says:


It’s now been about 5 weeks since i`ve been without medication. Did feel at one stage that i was feeling better but for about the last 2 weeks i have been on a steady decline.

Been feeling really low, emotional, not thinking rationally, feel lost in my own head, unable to concentrate and been having crazy feelings of just wanting to end it all. Can’t understand where all this has come from again or what if anything triggered it. I’m scared for myself and just want to be better and to get out of this horrible state of mind.

Been told the next step for me is effexor, but holding off as to scared to take it in case it doesn’t help or makes me worse due to my previous experiences. Know nothing about effexor except told by GP it is extremely sedating, but i’ve got a toddler and baby so how could i possibly take this?

I am waiting for a referral to psych team who will hopefully be more able to help me or prescribe me something suitable if i do end up back on a prescription.

The GP has basically said they are not the experts and feel I need to speak with someone who knows the drugs better and who can offer alternative help like conselling.

Although I hate the thought of taking another medication I except that I need some real help now as I know I’m really unwell. The GP also said it may also be a ‘kick back’ of the previous medication but I just don’t know what to think or believe and have found this site a better way to source information from those who really know.

Wondered how cheryl was now? and if anyone has taken effexor and could advise me of the real benefits or negatives associated with it as reading stuff on the net about side effects is all very well but I would much rather hear it from someone who has actually been prescribed it and has been living this nightmare also. Thank you.

August 24, 2007 at 9:02 am
(517) cheryl says:

hi lottie, nearly 8 wks for me now!! Looked in the mirror yesterday and actually thought I looked more like my old self! Taking St J W, still having a couple of bad days but mostly good ones, and have discovered that stress definitely triggers strange reactions. I read somewhere, although I cant remember where, that when you come off anti-d’s you have to learn how to cope with emotions again and I think that is case with me. I am going to look into a stress management course as I have a fair amount of unavoidable stress in my life, single parent, two teenage boys (one with ADHD) stressful job and doing an NVQ. Hang in there is the only thing I can say and be kind to yourself. Sorry dont know anything about effexor. Take care.

August 24, 2007 at 10:49 am
(518) Lottie says:

Thank you cheryl. Glad you are doin ok and coping with all that you have going on in your life! Agree with you about stress being a trigger. I am hanging in definately as I know I have so much to hang in for even though it’s hard to see sometimes.

August 26, 2007 at 10:15 pm
(519) Jimr says:

I just found this site by doing a google search. I have been trying to get off this drug for about 6 months. Now I feel horrible when I cut down the dosage and have reduced from 40 to 20 mg. over a month. I then went to 10 mg and the symptoms started this time. I went back on 20 and then 40 mg. I experience nausea, headaches, dizziness, suicidal, and buzzing sounds, etc. I do not feel normal while taking this drug, feel aloof, sleepy, tired, gain weight, don’t care about life. I have been on this for about 2 years and don’t know how to get off of it.

August 28, 2007 at 5:13 pm
(520) cheryl says:

Jimr, the only way is ever so slowly over a long period of time. Thats with with min side effect. 10mg at a time is way too much. I tried for about 4 yrs reducing by 10mg then I tried 5mg then i’m finally managed by reducing at 2.5mg, but still struggled on that. You can get cit in liquid form which is easier to reduce and I would only reduce by 5mg till your down to 20mg then reduce by 1mg a month. Ok, yes I know that sounds like such a long time but I wish I had done it like that and look how long we all waste keep reducing by 10mg or even 5mg then going back up because we can’t manage it. Good luck and keep trying, but take it slowly.

August 29, 2007 at 11:01 pm
(521) Tina says:

WOW!!! I have “surfed” the “depression”/”blogs” before…but never have I found such profound insight into the citalopram withdrawal…

I have been on Citalopram for 4 or more years now….80 mgs…..

Depression started after my ugly divorce…

tried a few different ADs but settled with Citalopram….after a few years on it at 60/80 mgs… it was starting to lose its affect….my psychiatrist and I decided to add “Lamictal”…a drug used for bipolar/seizure patients…but has also shown effectiveness with patients with depression who have not had luck/lost effectiveness with other drugs for depression…

I have been taking Lamictal for around 5 months….initially it helped……but the side effects (sleepiness, blurry vision, increased hunger) have put a dent in my life…

I want to taper off of both/some/….eventually ALL!!!!! Don’t we all…..but I don’t know how…I’ve tried to down scale Citalopram slowly…quickly,…and over many months…but to no avail…..then we added Lamictal…which from my internet research (aka “Dr. Internet) there should be now withdrawal effects for depressive patients (only ones with seizures)…

Just Venting tonight…wanna be “normal”…like we all wanna be…

“No Meds”!!!!





You are SOOOOOO NOOOOTT the only one feeling this way….

Have faith…keep strong….
…save money for the rising prices of gasoline……

And LIVE!!!!

August 31, 2007 at 12:17 pm
(522) Louise says:

Hi all

Just been reading the comments above since I last posted (500). I think simply there is no easy way to withdraw from these tablets – I’ve done the stepping down 5mg at a time over a period of three weeks (3 weeks for each step down, then reduce by 5mg for the next 3 etc.) and am now down to the last 5mg. Will be doing 5mg every other day for a week after that, then 5mg every 2 days then FREEDOM!

I find that for the first week/ten days the headaches, dizziness, exhaustion etc. is the worst and then it seems to ease (and then of course, it’s time to reduce again!).

The only tips I can give (and I’m not totally off them YET!) is to try and keep as busy as possible, keep doing the ‘normal’ everyday things as far as you can and be good to yourself! I’ve found that relaxation CD’s really help (although I was prescribed Cit for anxiety/panic and not depression) and also talking to someone about how you’re feeling is very therapeutic (my partner and best mate are amazing!).

All I can say is hang on in there, as previously mentioned I had to withdraw from alcohol/other substances years ago and was SO GLAD that I went through the withdrawal and got to the other side as the benefits have been life changing!

As they say in the quit smoking campaigns ‘don’t give up giving up’!

September 3, 2007 at 7:15 am
(523) Gail says:

Wow, I am so glad I found this site online today. I started looking because I recently began to go off Celexa 40 mg, after being on it for 3.5 years. First I reduced my dose by half for over 3 weeks. During that time I had some withdrawal symptoms, the flashes and delayed brain responses. Then I adjusted and was feeling good, so I tried again to go half equaling a fourth tablet. I actually forgot to take my medicine 2 nights in a row, so by the third day, I thought I would just see what would happen.

I had also been working out for almost 3 months and things were pretty evened out for me in all areas of my life, so I decided to give a try to coming off my medicine.

Another reason I wanted to come off was because I have been noticing over the past 6-8 months, that I have been having increased weak feelings and lack of control over my left hand. I am a guitar player for 13 years and have been doing weights, and yet this feeling of weakness and tremors has not gone away, but actually increased, perhaps. I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE ELSE HAS HAD THIS WEAKNESS AND TREMORS IN THEIR HAND FROM TAKING CELEXA.

I have been off the medicine 10 days and am still not feeling okay overall. I was mostly fine until about day 4 or 5. Then I felt the worst I have ever felt for the followwing 3-4 days. Intense need for sleep, severe dizziness and nausea, out of sorts, intoxicated, and just overall a feeling of not being well. I don’t drink or used any substances and I get plenty of sleep and eat well. This withdrawal experience has been terrible. I am experiencing irritability and lack of patience, a feelings of severe PMS.

This morning I feel very frustrated because I don’t want my family to pay for any of this. I don’t know anyone near who has gone through this and felt affirmed by reading so many comments. It makes me feel so much saner, knowing I am not alone. Just the comfort of that makes me feel like weeping.

I would like some feedback from someone who has had similar feelings and symptoms and who may know about the tremors and weakness in my hands.

Thanks for reading,

September 4, 2007 at 9:38 am
(524) Julie says:

I started to get the tremor and (don’t freak out now Gail) my GP sent me to a neurologist for a referral for MRI just to be on safe side. Neurologist checked me out and told me I have early onset Parkinsons. Only mid 40′s with 3 kids. After a bit of a think the Neurologist sent word to my GP to suggest I go off Cipramil(20mg) as some indications can cause Parkinsons symptoms. Has been terrible couple of weeks going down to 10 mg in one week and then 5mg in 3 days followed by nothing. I am anxious to see if tremor and muscle cramping stops but doesn’t seem to. ‘Other worldliness’ is horrible and doesn’t help with the scariness of the initial diagnosis of Parkinsons. My suggestion is get the tremor looked at. I’m trying to get an an ‘action plan’ going for myself but can’t think straight but need to sort out what I am really facing.

September 4, 2007 at 9:51 pm
(525) Gail says:

I have been thinking about Parkinson’s long before I made any connection with the Celexa. I have a physical scheduled in the next month, and I may turn up the heat after reading some other stuff on this. I actually found through searching that there have been a couple of studies done in Europe on this connection between Anti-depressants and Parkinson’s. I think it is interesting and terrifying. I too am 40 with 2 daughters that are teens. I appreciate your feedback and I will keep you posted on here on what I find out. Thanks.

September 6, 2007 at 8:03 am
(526) Dean says:

I just wan

September 6, 2007 at 8:12 am
(527) Dean says:

I just wanted to share my story as a hope to others suffering with the withdrawal effects.
Initially i was prescribed 20mg of cital in Dec 06 with propranolol for stress and anxiety.
The side effects were worse than the Dr warned me about so went back to see him after a few weeks when he decided to change my 20mg of cital to sertraline.
That was even worse in terms of side effects so went back to him and was referred to a psychiatrist.
He said 20mg of cital is just an introductory does and 40mg was the minimum to be effective. Took 40mg for a few weeks and began to feel a lot better
Started tapering off in June from 40-20-10-10 every other day .
40-20 was no problem but 10 hit me hard and the withdrawals felt terrible again just like the beginning.
I felt really low, no faith in Doctors and thought there was something much more wrong with me than stress/depression.
Finally took my last 10mg pill last Wed and since then ive felt really good, its taken a long time but im back to my old self (prob better).

I have so much energy now and dont want to ever go back on those pills so will look at my life style to try to keep stres to a minimum in the future

I would say from tapering down to 10mg which really was the same as zero its taken almost 3 months to feel better

Hang in there i say because you will feel better, when i first read this forum a month ago i hope i would be writing a post like this but did not believe it at the time.

I think people feel better sometimes and rush off back to their lives without sharing the other side of this terrible illness i.e. coming out the other side a stronger person

Good luck everyone and be strong and patient and think every day is a day on the way to feeling better again!!!

September 6, 2007 at 12:46 pm
(528) Sean says:

Hi All.
Have read most of your comments and have to say you are all very brave people.
I spent 12 years on seroxat after a nervous breakdown that brought on panic attacks and anxiety.
My GP prescribed Paroxetine. It took about 2 hellish weeks for the drug to actually enter my system but seemed to do the trick when it eventually did.
Let me be straight with you all, even though I was on the medication I still had some very bad days, I think some of us are just naturally depressive people and no amount of drugs can suppress that.
Anyway, my original GP retired and a new and improved GP :) took his place.
He took it on himself to tell me what a devilish drug Paroxetine was, with terrible withdrawal symptoms ( he’s not lying. Paroxetine has some wicked side effects..numb mouth..dizzyness and all the above) so he puts me on a course of Citalopram.
I’m now 3 weeks into a cold turkey from Cit and it’s no bed of roses.
I’m suffering from all of the usual withdrawal shenanigans but I also get very scary thoughts and depression.
I’t really difficult to draw the line between what’s withdrawal and what’s the original problem.
I hope everyone gets their life back together and kicks their personal drug.



September 6, 2007 at 7:50 pm
(529) Gail says:

I appreciate the feedback from all of you. It is actually very comforting. I think part of the issue with all of this is that we feel so alone in it.

The problem of depression runs so deep in my father’s side of the family. There are several generations of severe depression and the same of suicide. I have dealt with depression all of my life, most of it being grounded in inherited DNA and a result of severe sexual abuse from 3 yrs old until I was 14. I have spent most of my adulthood working on recovery from the abuse and trying to reclaim my life.

I agree that depression is part of how some of us are wired, and we can’t change it anymore than the color of our skin, but I also think that there is a part of it we can impact with our choices, like Dean referred to, such as limiting the amount of stress we allow into our lives. We can do this to some degree by saying no to things that over commit us and keep us running from one thing to the next. Getting enough rest and eating well is extremely important too. Through this I have found that sugar is starting to adversely affect me more than ever before, so I need to limit it.

For me, the most painful part of depression has been from the aloneness I have felt so much; the feeling of no one being able to understand what it is like to fight for sanity every day. I never understood depression so clearly as I have the past few years. I really do understand why people go off the deep end and feel so hopeless, not because they are, but because of what their chemistry is causing their thinking to fixate on. Thinking something and feeling something are two different things. I believe I am loved, but I do not always feel loved. And when I do not feel loved and my chemistry is off, I feel hopeless and experience deep self-hatred. I just want the pain to stop and for all of the struggle to end.

The second thing that has made dealing with this so painful is seeing my teenage daughters struggle at times with their own brain chemistry. I have a more difficult time with this because I love them so much.

Today I feel better than I have. I am very tired, but my mind is clearer and I have a better sense of well-being than a week ago. I do not want to go through the withdrawal again, it was horrible.

For those of you who might be interested, there is a web site called http://www.brainplace.com by Dr. Daniel Amen that I have found helpful in the past. He is a holistic medical doctor who offers lots of way to manage depression and brain chemistry. He has written many books and the one on depression is great.

I appreciate being able to talk about how I feel and the struggles with all of this on here. Thanks.

September 10, 2007 at 12:15 pm
(530) S says:

Hi all,
Following the difficult birth of my son I informed the doctors that I had PND, after suffering for six months. I had had depression in the past and was prepared that it would show it’s ugly head again. I initially started on 20mg, then up to 40mg after about a month. I reloacted, bought a house, new job, husband in the forces and always away, you know, nothing too stressful! After I settled in my new location I decided to get a job, SCARY! try and act ‘normally’ and reduce my dose to 20mg again. The first time was a no no, and after 24 hours I was sobbing, screaming, no-one understood etc. I waited another couple of months and then tried again, which was successful. After this time I would skip a day, and continued to do so for roughly 4 months. Then I forgot to pick up my prescription…after four days there were no withdrawal effects, so I ignored the prescription and here I am SIX weeks later. However! I have been in the foulest of moods and VERY snappy for the last two days. I feel like I want to throttle my Son and Husband, or anyone else that would like to interfere! I really don’t want to go back on them, although it has been suggested by the pharmacist. Is it withdrawal, or am I a nasty piece of work that needs these drugs to control her mmods? I can accept that, but unsure of how long to ride it out for, and it’s unfair to those around me, don’t really want to be sacked from my customer relations job either.

My side effects:- I have experienced dizziness, but only in the last week, my blood pressure has dropped so put it down to this. I now have a reduced appetite, which I am hoping will enable me to loose the pounds that I gained on the drug always feeling hungry and not knowing when I was full. Apart from that nothing else, (oh yeah, no libido) no funny feelings in the head, although I couldn’t sleep for the past few nights and I sat up planning how I was going to take control of my life and leave my husband. He thinks I should go back on it, to keep me quiet no doubt, I just think that he preffered me when he was in control and I was in effect childlike. Am I being paranoid? Please advise me anyone?

September 10, 2007 at 8:37 pm
(531) Gail says:

I really can’t advise you,nor would I try to, but what I can share is what seems to be helping with me. Since it is only a short time, I am not sure. I will say I am feeling more and more clearheaded and rested. I have been taking vitamins some and especially SAMe. You can get it at any store that sells vitamins like Kmart, Target, Rite Aid, etc. I was told that SAMe, Magnesium and Zinc help brain chemistry. I have found it to help some. I am also taking a supplement called Chaste Tree from Standard Process that helps with moodiness from hormones such as PMS and stuff. It is also seeming to help. I have been much nicer to be around and more even keeled.

I DO KNOW that you must get a reasonable amount of sleep consistently and eat well. Chocolate, caffeine, and sugar all impact moodiness. The only way the brain can produce some chemicals needed to make the brain fire neurons correctly is through sleep. If you are sleepy, then sleep. I think of it as a prescription to help my brain make what it needs. Also get plenty of sunshine to make Vitamin D which helps produce good brain chemicals.

Another thing that really does help me as kooky as it sounds is listening to music that calms me. I love Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Country, and Worship music. All of them have a calming effect on me.

More and more I am paying attention to what I put in my body. I cannot afford to take in things that aggravate my chemistry. It is helping me. I have NOT given up coffee, but I avoid any junk food like the plague.

Also, having a friend who will listen and somewhat understands is really good. I find the more I talk about it, the less I think and withdrawal because of my pain.

I hope the best for you. Try the SAMe if nothing else, it really helps.

September 12, 2007 at 5:53 am
(532) Rob, 29 says:

I have been on 20mg for about 18 months now, in that time i have put on at least 3 stone in weight, been very distant from my partner (infact we have now split up) and as well as other lesser side effects (like poor eye sight, strange dreams, forgetfulness etc) I just havent been quite myself.

6 weeks ago I reduced my dosage to 20mg every other day and have continued like this since. I have definatly felt a certain sense of ‘not quite being there’ and even gotten nervous around people as a result, as if I were being ignorant.

The nightmares have calmed down but for the first couple of weeks were quite frightning.

The biggest side effect I have noticed is having hallucinations. I keep thinking I am seeing spiders or mice running accros the floor. It has not got too intense or scary as of yet but I am reluctant to reduce the dosage again, perhaps i’ll wait another month or so.

I blame citalopram partly for the demise of my relationship and partly for the wieght gain (surely thats gonna depress me even more once i come off then?) I’m hoping after having been off them for a few months in the future I will be able to see all of this more clearly.

I do have to say tho, that they have helped me get over a difficult and stresful time in my life and I have been able to deal with many things and overcome certain insecurities etc. lets hope the positive ‘inner’ effects are long lasting and the weight gain, hallucinations, nightmares and sense of forboding will dissapear along with the drug itself out of my system.

September 12, 2007 at 5:56 am
(533) Rob, 29 says:

P.S. lots of pins and needles!!!

September 14, 2007 at 1:22 pm
(534) Jay says:

Hi Al,

I just thought I’d give you all something positive. I am coming off them very slowly by decreasing my dosage for month, drcreasing and decreasing and then taking them less frequently, lesser and lesser and I’m doing great! There is a technique as far as I can see. Take your time!


September 15, 2007 at 5:55 pm
(535) john says:

I’m now been off Citalopram for 6 days.

I went from 80 mgs to 0 in about 10 ten days.

I’m experiencing electrical shock feeling in my head and left arm throughtout the day. I have a slight cold and a little concerned. The shock buzz feeling has not gotten any better in the last six days. Hoping to find someone who had the same symtoms and that eventuallly went away.

Love to hear from anyone who can help.


hoping to finsd

September 16, 2007 at 2:51 am
(536) Louise says:

Hi John

I last posted at 509 and know that for me, reducing very slowly (even though it seems to be prolonging the agony!) worked and I still got withdrawal effects. Only my opinion but 80mg to 0 in 10 days is very rapid! I was only on 20mg but it took me 2 months to come off totally.

I’m now on day 10 completely free, the dizziness is abating, the mind numbing tiredness has really diminished, still have odd mood swings but starting to feel a bit more like the old me (whoever that is!)

I’ve found that relaxation cd’s really help, resting when I need to, and generally being good to me! Can’t remember ever having had so much sleep!

If you can, just keep plugging away – one thing that really helped me was remembering that I only have to put up with these symptoms for a day (can’t live in yesterday and I’m not in tomorrow yet – who knows what that day will bring?!!)

If you find the symptoms are too unbearable it may be worth having a chat with you GP (although most of them deny there is any withdrawal from Citalopram!) and reducing more slowly.

Good luck!

September 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm
(537) Gail says:

John, I agree with Louise, that seems to be really fast when coming off of the med. I had an aweful time for about two weeks and I was only on 40mg and I decreased over time, about 4 weeks. I am feeling so much better and more like the old me. I am SO glad to be off. I also slept alot and am being much nicer to me, taking really good care of myself, trying to avoid any kind of stress if possible. Hang in there and please be careful.

September 17, 2007 at 2:08 am
(538) Louise says:

Hi Gail

Can I ask you a quick question, as someone who’s ‘the other side’? I’ve noticed throughout the posts that a lot of people put weight on, and I’ve put a stone on in the past year (wasn’t sure if it was the meds or joining in with a boyfriend who lives on junk food!) Did you gain any weight and have you shifted it?
Also, my sleep is still all over the place – I either sleep for England or my sleep is very fitful?


September 17, 2007 at 6:19 pm
(539) S says:

Thank you for you comments. After talking to my local pharmacist and concerns from my colleagues on my behaviour change, I visited my doctor, who has suggested that I try going back onto 20mg a day for a couple of weeks at least, then reducing far far more slowly. I am now experiencing insomnia big time, nightmares, concerns about extreme scenarios and how to cope with them when they happen, and trying really hard to fulfill my customer relations job in the hope that they don’t fire me. I have to go back to see the doctor in one months time and will be reffered to the mental health team as I am certain that this is a long term thing and that I will never be without the medication. Husband is far more supportive now, interflora arrived yesterday which was nice. I think that he has realised that he has to give me the space and support in order for us to survive. God I am such a bitch right now, I really hate myself, this is not me! I yearn to be my happy outgoing, carefree self and am counting the days.

I gained weight, and lost it quickly when I came off of the drug for a period of six weeks, so it will come off. The drug increases your appetite and slows your metabolism down from what I’ve experienced. Now I’ve started taking it again, I’m waiting for the scales to move in a negative direction. Because you feel so tired and lethargic you are also less able and less willing to exercise and more able to sit in front of the TV and dunk biscuits in a nice hot drink!

Take care

S xx

September 18, 2007 at 1:52 am
(540) Louise says:

Hi Gail

Thanks for your reply, the fact that I’ve gained a few pounds is miniscule compared to what you’re going through at the moment.

I have a very wise friend who has always said that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength as there’s the admission that there’s a problem that needs to be rectified. And even if you do need medication for the rest of your life – so what?!
I think there’s such a stigma attached to depressive illnesses – if you had diabetes and had to take insulin to have a ‘normal’ life, or a thyroid problem etc.no one would bat an eyelid!
Is your company understanding? My boss suffered from anxiety/panic disorder so was an angel when I was ill, and our Chief Exec (who i used to work for) uses the analogy that if you break a leg, you get loads of sympathy but if your mind’s a bit broken, it can leave you open to ridicule.
So glad your husband is being supportive, and don’t look at yourself as being a bitch – a chemical imbalance in the brain or inherited DNA IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
I’m a recovering alcoholic and have always believed that this is an inherited illness, and didn’t ask for it anymore than you’ve asked for depression!
Try to keep positive and remember, you only have to cope with how you’re feeling for today as you can do nothing about yesterday and you may feel better tomorrow!

Stay in touch and take care x

September 19, 2007 at 8:31 pm
(541) Gail says:

Wow, maybe we need to start a support site for people like us, one that is official and exists for that sole purpose. I feel like I have a bunch of friends and I feel very supported by your responses. Thank you, it makes dealing with all this much easier.

I am afraid now that I am off of the medicine and things feel pretty okay, that my depression might come back. I do not want that to happen and I am being very careful to take care of myself.

I would like to know what others of you do to take care of yourself, support good brain chemistry and to keep stress out of your life. This would be a good opportunity to share what we do that is good to take care and avoid a depressive episode. PLEASE SHARE!!

Thanks, and have a great evening,

September 20, 2007 at 1:39 am
(542) Louise says:

Hi Gail

Just realised that my last posting should have been for S and not you, sorry for the confusion!


September 26, 2007 at 12:28 am
(543) Louisa says:

I read the posts and wonder just how messed up the people were before they went on Citalopram, therefore trying to judge if they are of sound(ish) mind when coming off so as to compare to myself.

I only took the drug stupidly as my asshole boss said he thought I was being anxious (long story, but I kind of agreed at the time he might have a point plus the fact that I wasn’t told the withdrawal effects when offered Citalopram).

I have only been on 20 mg for less than a year and really, to be honest, I had no trouble with it except I lost interest in going to the gym and perhaps lost a couple of pounds of weight (strange combination of effects!)
But now, coming off for 4 days, I am suffering some dizzy bouts, headaches, vivid but interesting dreams and emotionalness that I never bloody had before the damn drug. I am not a whacko, but how can I explain that without sounding like I was a whacko for taking them in the first place.

Please tell me that i will get through this in a few weeks, I am not naturally a mess.

September 26, 2007 at 5:58 am
(544) jacqui says:

hi im so glad i found this. i stopped taking citalopram and started prozac. stopped citalopram at 20mg and started prozac at 20mg. i heard that changing meds wouldnt be as bad as stoppin altogether but the withdrawal is hell. has anyone else changed from citalopram to prozac and how did it go??please help xxx

October 2, 2007 at 8:56 am
(545) Kris says:

So Glad to read everyone’s comments. I was given Citalpram after suffering a brain injury in a car accident. Less than one month ago I stopped the drug and got through the first couple of weeks, but yesterday was fighting the flu and felt I could have been a good source of electricity for my town! Very scary and felt that my brain injury would require me to take this drug for the rest of my life. But after reading all of this, I will just stick it out and wait for things to settle down. Am trying to work and be responsible and don’t want others to see how I am struggling so. This drug apparently helped me get through some really difficult times, but what a terrible withdrawal. Thanks all.

October 3, 2007 at 1:22 am
(546) Sophie says:

I am trying to get off this drug but the withdrawal is intollerable. I’m scared that when I want to get pregnant I will have to go through this. I was on 20 mg for six months, then reduced to 10 for one month. I ran out the other day so I thought I’d stop and man was that dumb. I had to wake my roommate up to drive me to the pharmacy tonight…I feel weird and convulsive, can’t wait for the med to kick in again so I don’t have to feel this way. I am so angry at my doctor and pharmaceutical companies for not telling me that they were putting me on a drug that I feel like I can never stop taking.

October 5, 2007 at 5:11 am
(547) Dee says:

Can anyone tell me how long the withdrawal symptoms are likely to last. I’ve been taking Citalopram for about 7 months and decided it was time to stop. My doctor has been great and advised me to do it slowly. I’ve been completely pill free for about 4 days now but am feeling seriously weird. I’m finding it very difficult to cope with work as I feel so completely spaced out, dizzy, almost drunk. It’s starting to make me feel nauseous too and slightly on edge.

Is this likely to last for a while???


October 7, 2007 at 10:53 am
(548) Lucy says:

Hi All – I have been having a lousy time trying to come off just 10mg of Citalopram – weeping, terrible irritability, night terrors etc. This is the second time I have tried and I have chosen to start back on them until I find a proper plan for coming off them – it’s pretty hard to do it when you’re trying to hold down a job etc – if I could take three months off to go and stay at a beach spa resort while I did I’m sure it would be better! During my research I came a cross thiss website, that I hope some of you may find useful http://www.benzo.org.uk/healy.htm all the best, Lucy :)

October 7, 2007 at 1:38 pm
(549) Lucy says:

Hi All – I have been having a lousy time trying to come off just 10mg of Citalopram – weeping, terrible irritability, night terrors etc. This is the second time I have tried and I have chosen to start back on them until I find a proper plan for coming off them – it’s pretty hard to do it when you’re trying to hold down a job etc – if I could take three months off to go and stay at a beach spa resort while I did I’m sure it would be better! During my research I came a cross this website, that I hope some of you may find useful http://www.benzo.org.uk/healy.htm all the best, Lucy :)

October 9, 2007 at 3:47 pm
(550) Russell says:

Hello ive been on 20mg citalopram for a year. just started tapering my dose went to 10mg a day now im on 5mg a day but get a weird dizzy feeling and constant headaches and tiredness. How long do these symptoms last or should i go back to 10mg a day?

October 10, 2007 at 1:48 pm
(551) kara says:

I’m trying to find a way to be patient. I’m in a relatipnsip with a FANTASTIC guy, and about a month ago he started tapering off and has been completely done with his rx for about a week. Being a MH therapist I worried he was doing it too quickly…he’s been wonderfully insightful, we check in on the state of our relatipnsip sometimes..it’s been great!! excited to talk to me, lots of txts and emails throughout a day but now, the last 2 weeks I’ve noticed something is off, he was irritaed that I called him while he was watching tv, seems to have lost interst and I’ve been so insecure anyway that I’m having a hard time not taking this as a sign that it’s fizzling out. Is this what he’s really like or is it part of the withdrawl? He almost seems a little depressed, I didni’t know him before, maybe this is him. Any words of encouragement would be appreciated, I did my share of withdrawl and needed to try a different medication, the effects suck,,,the “shocky thing” was awful, had to learn to ignore it, but the worst was being just plain DUMB, couldn’t remember napkins AND cream when I was a waitress, just one thing at a time and it took several weeks for that to fade away. Thanks, have a great day!!

October 10, 2007 at 3:55 pm
(552) Jill says:

I have been on citalopram since June 2002 20mg for PND, about a year ago I dropped to 10mg and three weeks ago I stopped altogether.
I felt great at first but fo rthe last week I have been feeling really low again, been getting those brain wooshes, flu like symptons and generally crap. i am so tempted to go back to the doctor and go back to 10mg. I keep thinking my depression is coming back again. I’m snappy, irritable, teary and just can’t seem to see the good in anything. Paranoid too.

My sleep is disturbed with waking up in the night again and weird dreams.

What shall I do?


October 11, 2007 at 4:38 pm
(553) Louise says:


If you note my posting at 523, I’d been off for 10 days and now it’s been five weeks.

The pluses – the weird withdrawal symptoms have gone! No more headaches, floating, feeling spaced out or weird sensations going off in my head. And I have more energy!

Now for the minuses – my mood is low, there’s no disputing that. I went through being really angry and irrational – my poor partner must have thought he was living with a potential serial killer! For the past few days, I’m just low – could cry at nothing, can’t be bothered with anything or anyone. And I’m so sarcastic and cutting I’m surprised someone hasn’t knocked me out!

Had a call from my partner earlier asking if I still loved him as he didn’t feel it as I’m so distant and remote. Then I really could have cried!

What I keep hanging onto is that the Citalopram altered my serotonin levels and they’ll take a bit of time to readjust. Am I depressed? NO!!Nothing in my life has changed since I was taking the tablets, the only thing that’s changed is my thinking!

I’ve reassured my partner that this is all about me (well, there’s a suprise!) and not him but know that I need to make more effort even when I don’t feel like it.

Am I tempted to go back on Citalopram? NO! I know through having spoken to friends and reading postings on this site that it does get better – it took about 6 weeks for the medication to start to work, so me expecting to feel ok straight away is unrealistic.

For anyone struggling, hang on in there! I’ve been and am going through this withdrawal and my decision is that I don’t intend to go through it again, once is more than enough!

Keep plodding, you’ll get there!

October 12, 2007 at 4:15 am
(554) cheryl says:

hi everyone, been off cit for over 3 months now and everything is great :-) jst want to say hang in there cause its worth it. I thought I was suffering depression again when I came off, crying all the time, moody cudn’t cope and wanting to sleep for ever, but think it was all the chemicals in my brain jumbled up and they jst needed time to even out. I go to keep fit and power walk to increase my seretonin and energy levels and am feeling great. Good luk to every1 and remember to be kind to yourself! One word of advice though, REDUCE SLOWLY!! you will have more chance of success.

October 12, 2007 at 7:38 am
(555) Jackie says:

So glad that I have found this thread, I have been on 20mg for the last 2 years and have felt totally braindead to be honest. During this time, I have had my son, my doctor said that it would be safe to carry on through pregnancy and breastfeeding which I have done and regret to be honest after realising how horrible this drug is. I have had majority of the side effects and have now been diagnosed with fibromyalgia which has many similar symptoms to the side effects, starting to wonder if there is any connection here. I am wanting to come off the Citalopram but I am worried about the withdrawal as I tried before and my moods became awful and I was very volatile and nasty. Also my son is now 14 months and since having him my weight has increased steadily by almost 2.5 stones, even though I have been breastfeeding and my lifestyle is healthier. I think there is a definate link between weight gain and Citalopram and that more research should be done on its saftey, especially during pregnancy.

October 13, 2007 at 8:17 am
(556) Gail says:

The shelf life in the body for Citalopram is 11 days, though I would argue it is longer. If you are going off and can get past that, you should start to feel better. My pharmacist told me this and it helped when I was feeling so bad from days 5 to 10.

I have been off of my med for over a month now and I feel so much better. It was hard to go off, I am not gonna lie, but now it was worth it. That DOES NOT mean I will be off of it forever. I have to monitor my health and my depression. Stress drives it for me so if I can avoid long term stress and anything that would exhaust my brain chemistry, I will.

I found a great web site and an interesting doctor to read who specializes in brain research. Please check out his stuff, he is very knowledgeable and interesting. His site is http://brainplace.com/ and http://amenclinics.com/. It is worth reading his book on depression. It allowed me to take more responsibility and control over my depression.

Good luck and have a great day!!

October 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm
(557) Dee says:

Hi folks! I posted comment 534 and thought I’d update you all on how I’m feeling. I was on citalopram for 7 months and reduced fairly slowly (20mg – 10mg for 3 weeks; 10mg – 5mg for 2 weeks) and I’ve now been completely pill free for almost 2 weeks.

I was taking 10mg every other day for 2 weeks and felt pretty crap. Saw my doctor and she advised me to go cold turkey as sometimes doing it every other day can prolong withdrawal.

The first week was awful and I experienced the ‘brain-shakes’, nausea, dizziness, nightmares etc. After about 10 days these symptoms really started to disappear. I’m still feeling a little strange – the odd panicky and blue feeling but I am coping. I find it’s better when I’m not under stress. I’m a teacher and took a few days off work last week as I really couldn’t cope. When I went back I really struggled. It’s now the school hols (thank god!) so I intend to take it really easy – you all should too.

I was prescribed Citalopram for acute anxiety/panic attacks and there are moments when I think they’re coming back but I am able to control it through breathing and trying to reassure myself that nothing bad will happen (much easier said than done). I would recommend that you all stick with it as I’m going to try.

I’m not sure if it is helping but I’ve been taking the following vitamins etc which help the mind apparently (all to do with serotonin levels): Vitamin B6, Magnesium, 5HTP and Zinc. It’s just a thought for anyone out there who’s struggling.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes for me. Hope you’re all coping!

Dee :-]

October 16, 2007 at 2:13 pm
(558) Louise says:

Hi Dee

I was also prescribed Citalopram for panic/anxiety. Have you ever heard of the Linden Method? Type it into a search engine and it will come up with their website.

I bought this last year, and yes it was expensive (over £100) but since then I haven’t had a single panic attack or disproportionate anxiety.

May be worth having a look.


October 16, 2007 at 5:01 pm
(559) Dee says:

Thanks Louise. I’m just about to have a look. Will let you know how it goes.

October 16, 2007 at 10:05 pm
(560) liz says:

Thank God!! Really thought I was having big relapse. Came off citalopram a couple of wks ago after trying to reduce gradually. So shocked by the magnitude of the withdrawal symptoms. Wouldn’t have believed it without experiencing it. So relieved to read there are hundreds of us about, and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the citalopram iceberg! Feel stupid as i’m a mental health nurse and should know better, but never imagined it would be like this. Just hoping the brain lag, the flashes of dreams like deja vue, the nausea, the tearfulness, the disjointed, disconnected feeling and exhaustion clears up soon or I might have to go back on the horrid things. Trying homeopathy as it seems to be very effective. Have just had a remedy for the nausea and it’s helping. Good luck everyone!

October 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm
(561) Jane says:

Wow I have been looking for a site like this for ages and it confirms my view that drugs don’t actually help anxiety and panic disorder. Best way is to learn tools to retrain the brain to stop the anxiety and panic in its tracks – this is a lot easier said than done and I am still learning but as lots of you say regular exercise, sleep and a good diet are essential. My story is that I stopped taking Citalopram altogether yesterday after reducing from 40mg per day to 20 and then 10 over a 2 week period (under doctor’s guidance).
I’ve been taking anti-depressants for nearly 5 years to treat anxiety and panic disorder but have come to the conclusion that the drugs were making me worse (I’m sure the doctors would disagree) I went cold turkey off Effexor (Venlafaxine) 8 months ago and lasted 4 days before my doctor prescribed 20mg Citalopram which has been far from successful as I continued to experience panic attacks at least once a month. So doctor prescibed 40mg a day which made me very drowsy so after yet another panic attack I and the doctor decided to come off.
Unfortunately I’m experiencing vision problems which are akin to the flashing lights migraine sufferers get and actually started 4 days ago when I was still on the drug. This is making work very hard as it’s difficult to focus on anything until the vision re-sets itself and then it quickly goes wuzzy again. However if this is the worst symptom I have to suffer then I can cope (oh also very emotional and headaches)- just concerned about the length of time some of you have experienced withdrawal symptoms.
Good to see that I am not alone especially as those around me struggle to undertand depression which makes me feel very isolated at times.
I’ve heard of the Linden Method however the cost put me off and have bought Panic Disorder CD’s which do help. My way to fight this is to keep occupied, exercise and deep slow breathing when you feel uncomfortable – it isn’t easy but is achievable and I know from personal experience. I successfully overcome anxiety and panic and was symptom free for 5 years without the help of drugs or doctors – just plain determination and facing those dreaded situations which act as triggers for attacks. Bloody scared stiff these days but now have a better understanding of how the brain works and stopping Citalopram is the first step.I really hope my story helps others…

October 23, 2007 at 12:49 pm
(562) Louise says:

Hi Jane

Just a very quick post – please, please if you continue with the panic/anxiety look at the Linden Method again! I know it’s expensive but they do offer a payment plan whereby you can pay in three installments and offer a complete moneyback guarantee.

I had the onset of panic/anxiety come on very quickly and after being on Citalopram and Diazapam for 8 weeks, bought the Linden Method in sheer desperation. I couldn’t go to the shops on my own, or on a bus and being around people was hell! After trying the Linden Method for 3 days I was out and about again and not giving it a second thought and have not had a single panic attack/inappropriate anxiety in 15 months!

I know I must sound like a salesman for them, but I can’t advocate this strongly enough, it gave me me back!

October 26, 2007 at 5:00 pm
(563) Jane says:

Thanks for your post Louise, I’ve been on the Linden website and am considering.

Decided to keep a blog/diary to help those of you suufering the withdrawal symptoms like me. My first post was at 548 and I reduced dfrom 40 to 20 to 10mg to 0 in 2 weeks. So how am I now…

Yesterday was oure and utter hell made worse by the fact that the old anxiety and oanic feelings were constantly present threatening to appear in full force. I have never felt so entirely helpless, terrified, alone and emotional ever in my memory – even poanic attacks are not as bad as this as they only last a few seconds.
So by the time I left work I was in a comlete state and ready to call the doctor and start taking something anything to feel normal again.
After drinking a Complain (nutritional supplement) talking to my mother who kindly passed on this via her genes so she understand how I feel I heded for bed after taking 0.5mg of Lorazepam – this may appear as cheating but I take this very rarely as they make me extremely drowsy.

Woke up feeling a little anxious and wanted to go straight back to sleep. Spent 30 mins in the gym before work so by the time I arrived felt a little more in control and was able to eat breakfast. Vision continues to be a problem and started to get these weird headaches and brain whooshes as described in other people’s posts. But it’s the multi-coloured flashes that are most annoying.
Anyway I do feel a little better today and have actually eaten lots of food today which will obviously be helping.

Will I feel better tomorrow? I hope so but reading previous people’s posts I suspect not. Plan is to not take anymore Lorazepam so I can see the effects over the weekend, keep occupied, physical exercise (wall paper stripping will achieve this) and eat healthily.

No matter how bad I felt yesterday and may well feel again I am never going to take these tablets again. It’s such a shame that the withdrawal is so bad because when you take the correct dosage these drugs do give you your life back.

October 27, 2007 at 4:23 pm
(564) Jane says:

Slept well, still have multi-coloured flashes and began to feel a little nausea this fternoon but think that was down to the fact I was using the wallpaper steam stripper with the windows shut.
Appetite better BUT bad headache which killed when I sneezed.
Worst day so far – Day 4.

Roll on tomorrow

October 28, 2007 at 6:19 pm
(565) Jane says:

Not a good day. Vision completely gone with constant flashes and blurred vision AND constant headache. Anxiety bad although have been able to control to prevent any full blown panic attacks. Appetite not good. Purchased the Linden Method and so far so good. More tomorrow…

October 28, 2007 at 9:32 pm
(566) Kris says:

What a godsend this site is. I have been on 20 mgs of celexa for about 1.5 years- went on it due to panic disorder/anxiety. Since going off have felt like my brain is another entity. Also have been very sensitive to patterns (ie on carpets/walls/etc). Has anyone else experienced this? Also have had major mood swings (which I usually don’t have) but haven’t experienced the ‘noises’ yet. Have been off it for 9 days now and am hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon. Thank goodness for this site tho- it’s reassuring to see how many of us there are experiencing this!

October 29, 2007 at 5:44 pm
(567) Jane says:

Vision is a little better, flashes have now moved to my peripheral vision so a little easier to focus. Brain feels very whooshy as Amanda describes, Bad anxiety at work this morning and took all day to feel less panicky. Appetite OK.
Went to the doctor today and he was impressed that I had perserved for the past week and that I wasn’t looking for an alternative drug.
Still have headache which I tried to relieve using accupressure points – sort of helped.
Am I over the worst?

November 2, 2007 at 4:34 am
(568) Paul says:

Jane, if you feel up to it, please keep your daily diary going – it’s really helpful. I’ve been on Citalopram for a few months and would love to come off it but I’m concerned that I will have to take even more time off work. I find that I feel lethargic and slightly doped and I can’t work out if that’s the effect of the episode of depression episode or the citalopram! I hope you are feeling better. Please post if you feel up to it. Wishing you well.

November 2, 2007 at 10:00 am
(569) Jane says:

Thanks for your post Paul, my vision has been pretty bad the past few days nd mornings have been horrendous so didn’t have the energy to post.
I’m off work today as headache was so bad yesterday I spent some time lying down on the toilet floor at work before taking some Nurofen. This is coming out a little jumbled so let me organise it a bit better.

DAY 9 & 10
Both days pretty similar. Very anxious in the nornings and not helped when I went to the gym early only to discover I hadn’t re-set the clock on my phone and had woken at 5:45 instead of 6:45. Felt dreadful in the gym, all out of sorts so after session headed back home and slept for an hour before going to work. Luckily work is not too busy and manager is quite lax so I have the time and luxury to get through the day my way which includes reading this site as it helps so much to hear that I’m not alone in felling so crap. Appetite is so-so but I do feel better after eating as the food provides the brain with the fuel to operate. Evenings are ok and the Linden Method is helping with the various relaxation CD’s and info about anxiety and drug withdrawal.

DAY 11
I was expecting miracles this morning as an earlier post stated that the shelf life of Cit is 11 days. This morning the headache was dreadful (read earlier comment about lying on the floor)Took until lunchtime to feel OK but vision is worse so much so that I was worried about driving home. It’s constantly blurry and then get the flashes from time to time, feels like I’m wearing a visor made of 16th century the kind you can’t see through.

DAY 12
It’s Friday and not much happening at work so decided to take the day off and use the weekend to allow vision to sort itself out. And am I glad, headache was extremely bad this morning so slept until 11:30. Feel less anxious but that may be because I’m not at work and therefore not having to “put on a brave face”. I realised yesterday that I should not have been at work because any normal person with these symptoms would have gone home sick straightaway. We are some of the bravest people I know, puting ourselves through the mill just to feel normal again – but we can do it as many others have done judging by the posts.

So a summary from last week. The worst symptoms hit on Day 4, and 7 days on I am still struggling but in hindsight I am better. Less emotional, feel more in control and a little positive about the future.
Please don’t be put off by the magnitude of the symptoms and length of time I’ve been experiencing them, it has only been 12 days (albeit long) and the symptoms are exactly as everyone else has described.
More tomorrow

November 3, 2007 at 3:43 pm
(570) Jane says:

Typo from yesterday, end of third paragraph should read”…16th century glass the kind you canít see through.” Told you my vision was difficult.

DAY 13
Anxiety very bad today and seems to waver between manageable and acute with no rhyme or reason,. Think I’m suffering from what’s called rebound anxiety i.e. not the original for which I was prescribed drugs but my body’s response to withdrawal. I read this week a useful analogy for withdrawal, it’s like shaking up a bottle of fizzy pop with the lid on whereby the lid is medication. Once the medication is withdrawn and the lid comes off then all hell breaks loose as the pop explodes and then after a while settles down.
Thankfully the anxiety hasn’t morphed into a full blown panic attack but still very unpleasant. I did manage to meet some girlfriends for lunch today even though it was the last thing I wanted to do – just ate a salad and ahared some dessert but felt better for going.
Vision is still bad and not so much better as different, still blurry with the flashes affecting more of the left side of my vision and makes me feel like I might fall off an edge – very weird. Plus reading a document this mrning was like reading russian, all the letters were reversed so I apologise if there are any spelling mistakes.

November 4, 2007 at 5:52 am
(571) Dee says:

Just thought I’d update some of you on how my withdrawal is going:

I’ve almost done 5 weeks now and things are getting better slowly but surely. The electric shock type feelings have gone completely and I’ve been back at work for 3 weeks, only had 3 days off in total. I’m not going to lie and say it’s been easy cause it sure as hell hasn’t!
I do find that keeping busy (as hard as it may be) helps. The more I mope about and dwell on it the worse it seems to get.

I had a bad day last week which I’m putting down to a stressful presentation I had to give at work but since then I’ve perked up again.

I’m still feeling a bit spaced out and detached from my surroundings but it is improving. I’m finding the worst thing at the moment is getting episodes of feeling anxious or quite down. I was prescribed citalopram for panic attacks and anxiety and there have been several occasions where I thought it was all coming back. However, I’m convinced it’s just withdrawal and am hoping it’ll all be gone soon.

I’d say to everyone in the midst of withdrawal to keep going. I know how hard it is but it has to be worth it. I’ll update this when the symptoms have gone completely!

take care!

November 4, 2007 at 8:58 am
(572) Paul says:

Jane, thanks for continuing with your log. It’s really appreciated. I know it’s hard for you to go through this. Are you drinking enough fluid? One of the commonest causes of headache is dehydration. Then again, apparently one of the commonest side effects to anything is a headache. If you don’t mind my asking, is your doc aware that you’re coming off citalopram or did you just decide to come off it yourself? I’ve stopped taking it just 2 days now and I’m hoping that I can get back to full function soon. Best wishes to Dee, too. My doc says there are no withdrawal symptoms to this drug – but reading a lot of these comments convinces me there are. Also, a lot of the reactions to withdrawal are very similar.

Best wishes.

November 4, 2007 at 3:27 pm
(573) Jane says:

Hi Paul- yes I’m drinking lots of fluid and probably more than I usually do. Dr is fully aware of what I’m doing and his colleague suggested I withdraw over a 14 days period – see first post 548.

DAY 14
Struggling today and probably not helped by the fact that I’ve not been occupying my mind in the past few days. I was hoping that by now I’d begin to see light st the end of the tunnel, instead the symptoms are really getting me down. It’s much more of a mental battle today (excuse the pun) I’m so fed up and impatient by nature so there lies the problem.

Symptom wise anxiety has been bad again, vision I think is a little better tonight; still getting headaches and felt a little dizzy earlier.

Can I cancel Xmas please?

November 4, 2007 at 8:17 pm
(574) Paul says:

Hi Jane, just re-read 548, missed the bit about the Dr. first time. Sorry.
going from 40mg per day down to 10mg in two weeks – is that not pretty quick?
Glad you’re persevering. The light will soon be at the end of the tunnel and I know what you mean about Christmas. It’s apparently one of the most stressful times of the year. I think the secret is to do what you want to do at Christmas and refuse to get caught up in the ‘rush’. We’ve just told all the relations that we’re not buying presents for any adults, just the kids – to take pressure off us.
I hope your eyes sort out soon.
I’m actually feeling OK – after two whole days off citalopram. Feel a bit delicate and head feels a bit funny, but coping. Best wishes.

November 5, 2007 at 6:41 am
(575) Mandy says:

Hi Paul, Jane and Dee. I have spent the last hour or so reading this entire thread and feel so much better. I was on 10mg of Citalopram for 2 months and started to get panic attacks again. I believed that these, coupled with the Diazepam, were responsible. I spoke to my GP last Friday and I stopped taking everything. My last pill was last Thursday night. I’ve been to the docs at least twice a week and am having blood tests today so that my doctor can prove to me that there is nothing else wrong with me. I have been taking a homeopathic remedy called Aconite (you can get it from Holland and Barrett) and when you feel jittery you just let one or two dissolve under your tongue. Also, I find reading light-hearted books helps (not watching TV, though.) I also take Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc (one combined tablet) as anxiety has apparently been linked to a low level of essential minerals. I see a psychiatric nurse every four weeks, which also helps a lot. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year (the panic attacks started in January) is that I can’t go to the doctor and expect him to ‘fix’ me. I have learned (slowly) to take responsibility for my own health and to learn about things that can help, to recognise the things that give me strength and minimise the things that cause me anxiety. It is so easy to fall in to a spiral of anxiety and everyone on this forum needs to realise that despite the way they are feeling right now, the strength of will that each and every one of them exerting is testament to the fact that your brain IS stronger than these tablets, that you WILL overcome the symptoms, that you CAN recognise withdrawal for what it is, and that it ALWAYS stops. We can all find strength in each others comments – because we can see that we are not going mad, it’s a natural side-effect and that the body will flush it out and re-balance itself. Thank you all for posting your comments – we can all help each other through this. Mandy

November 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm
(576) RJ B says:

I have been on citalopram, 10mg. and just quit. Just wanted to advise you what I found out was my real condition causing depression, weight gain, fatigue….hypothyroidism. Have a complete thyroid profile done. It can be a real cause for depression. I am now on a thyroid pill and feel so much better mentally. I had slight things going on with giving up citalopram…vivid dreams, slight dizzyness, some irritation, dry mouth. But all gone now about 3rd week. And feel so much better now than I ever did on citalpram because my thyroid is getting under control. And my libido is back. Didn’t know how bad it was til I went of citalopram. Oprah Winfrey was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Thyroid being off can affect heart rate too, which is why I went in to see my doctor in the first place. Even if you have had a complete bloodwork done recently, as I did, they don’t usually routinely check your thyroid for problems and over 30% of women, especially over 50, have a thyroid problem. Check it out. Read about it on about.com

November 6, 2007 at 4:32 am
(577) Jane C says:

Hi everyone. So nice to see I’m not alone. I was on 40mg and came off slowly over about 2 months thinking this would be sensible. Been off completely for about two or three weeks and am a wreck. I – who am normally a calm person who rarely cries – have been pitched into weeping sessions over routine problems. Horrible mood swings. Diarrhoea. Headaches almost every day. And SO TIRED. I slept about 10 hours last night and could happily go back to bed now. Oh and the electric shocks – these have eased slightly but are worst when driving.

I came off prozac a couple of years ago and I don’t remember it being quite this bad…

November 6, 2007 at 6:16 am
(578) chris says:

hello i was taking this evil drug for a while i think it made my problems worse so i stopped taking them yesterday i have been taken 40s does any 1 think this is wise 5 november 2007 last night the first night with out them had bad dream woke up in a panic got a jaw ache from grinding my jaw and feel tence this morning i feel like ive done lsd things are moving ive just had enough of taking them mabee i wont get the side affects but then again there is a lot of people here my temples ache and i feel like ive shrunk i lost 3 stone on these tablets is that normal didnt really eat proper what should i expect does any one have funny coloured snot feels like my sinuses are on fire and my snot is brown my wife said i was shaking in bed last night at the moment i feel like im doing the right thing but i have read some of the stuff and now im a little worried but ive just had it with them nearly lost my house my life my familly and my buisness what were they supposed to do my verdict so far dont even start taking them i dont get it

November 6, 2007 at 6:18 pm
(579) Jane says:

DAY 14
Awful anxiety all day and didn’t start to disappear until last night. Vision is different again but better. Still getting headaches. Took ages to get to sleep lsat nigh and the woke up feeling absolutely exhausted

DAY 15
Dare I say I feel better. Very little anxiety today, appetite much better, vision was better until 5pm when went haywire again and took over an hour to settle down. Feel exhausted again and difficulty getting to sleep last night.

2 weeks in, I believe I am over the worst.
Paul – hang in there, you may start to get the worst symptoms in the next couple of days and will feel so ill but sounds as if you have support at home. I am 400 miles away from family and lived overseas until last Xmas so most of my close friends are over 4000 miles away – if I can stick it out, so can you.
Chris – may I suggest you talk to your doctor. Stopping from 40 mg a day is a massive change for your system and you’re already experiencing some unpleasant symptoms. In hindsight I wish I had weaned off slowly to make the withdrawal more manageable. The last 2 weeks have been absolute hell and I would not wish anyone to go through it if there is an easier way. Good luck.

November 7, 2007 at 4:08 am
(580) chris says:

jane thank you for your advice, but i cant seem to move forward with taking the tablets, i had such a nice day yesterday i just got on with stuff around the house,which was a big effort to do on the tablets,lets hope my motivation stays,so i can move forward and get my life back in order, second day in ive woken up with a headache,but im not going to blame the tablets, as i have a cold and had it for 3 weeks or so,got woken up by the children at 6.30am. woke up a little moody,my little girl is being nautee, in the monings at the moment she keeps taking her nappy and her brothers nappy off, and what ever is in them ends up on the floor, any cures anyone?. i still have my wife here to help me, when she is here, as she started work full time, so i look after the children most of the time, until im in order, we have had a very hard 3 years, i wish she would be a bit more understanding, what i am going through, feels like shes not interested, i try to talk but everything ends up with a argument, mabee its me anyway thanks beter get on
chris x

November 7, 2007 at 5:21 pm
(581) Jane says:

DAY 16
Feel better again today, still not 100% as vision is still distorted but flashes have reduced in frequency. No headaches at all today and only a slight attack of anxiety this morning. Still having difficulty getting to sleep and feel exhausted when I wake up but this is not bothering me.
Do not see the need to update daily (sorry Paul) but will I’ll check in at the 3 and 4 week mark.
Chris – has your wife looked at this website, I’m sure she’s very concerned about you but like the rest of us just tired of the struggle.
My thoughts are with all of you.

November 8, 2007 at 1:51 pm
(582) Paul says:

Hi Jane, glad you seem to be improving. The vision disturbance is strange. Did your doc give you any comment on that? I’m actually glad that you feel you don’t need to give daily updates (although I will miss your very honest and very articulate descriptions of how you are feeling. I think with illnesses like depression and anxiety it’s often hard to put into words how you’re feeling. You do very well!
I’ve been of the stuff for a week now and feel ok except for being a little bit unpredictable emotionally. I was listening to someone on TV quoting from the poem ‘Footprints’ – it’s a bit sentimental, but meaningful if you have a Christian faith, as I do, but suddenly I was choking back the tears! I couldn’t believe it. Then later, I got an annoying call from a call centre trying to sell me something, and they probably just made a mistake and hung up on me without saying anything, but I had their number on caller display and phoned them right back and was really irritated at them! Only afterwards I thought: ‘gosh, that was a bit over the top to react in that way’!
The only other symptoms I have are a dizziness and slight short term memory problems. But, I can’t tell if that’s been caused by the depression over the summer or the citalopram. Generally feeling a lot more alert and less ‘drugged’ if you know what I mean.
Best wishes to all who are trying to move on in their lives!

November 8, 2007 at 1:53 pm
(583) Paul says:

By the way, I’m in Scotland in the UK which is why my posts sometimes appear (seemingly) in the middle of the night!
The post I just submitted (569) says 1.51pm, wheras it’s actually 18.51 here in cold, dark Glasgow!

November 9, 2007 at 4:39 pm
(584) Michele says:

OMG—All I want to do is cry and I have no energy to do anything else. I have been On 40mg Citalopram for approx.2yrs. I have not had the money to get my med and it has been about 6 days without them.
I feel like such crap. I feel as if I have the flu(achy,neck hurts,tired,coughy,etc.),I want to cry all the time, I keep getting dizzy, my mind is foggy, I cant concentrate,I am sooo not sleeping well(waking up, strange dreams), hard to breath sometimes,shaky,jittery,exhausted,I dont even know myself right now.
It was my understanding no side effects would occur if I stopped this medication. At the moment, I need to get the script filled, and talk to my GP about getting off of this. I was also taking Ativan a while back and getting off of that was nothing like this.

November 9, 2007 at 4:50 pm
(585) Paul says:

Michele, going from 40mg to nothing at all is a huge change. No wonder you’re having the side effects so severely. Most people try to cut down to 20mg for a few weeks if not a month or two, then 10mg and then even drop a day at a time each week until free of it. This must be horrendous for you. Go back and see your doc and try to borrow the money to get your medication – chat to your doc about that. I really sympathise with you. I’ve had lots of weird dreams as well, and my family got lots of amusement out of hearing me describe them. I really think you should talk to your GP very soon. Best wishes,

November 10, 2007 at 4:06 pm
(586) chris says:

Yes im suffering too, electic shocks, shakey brain, head aches,emotional, nightmares which seem so real, but im hanging in there, i was on 40mgs and stopped 5 days ago, michelle i wish you luck mabee you should come off them all together,now you are half way, i feel that this medication nearly cost me everything, even my life,now going to try brain will power, i cant change my past, and cant forget it, but ive had enough of living in the past, which put me on this shit, it going to be hard, taking the tablets are just stopping the root cause of our problems, im in a place i want to get out of, but the tablets kept me there, if any one knows what i mean, michelle hang in there, TIME TO WAKE UP! love and respect peace out x

November 14, 2007 at 7:09 pm
(587) Diane says:

WOw! its great to know i am not the only one feeling withdrawls from citalopram. i have been taking 10mg for only 2 months and have’nt taken it in 4 days. i have been really tired and dizzy the last 2 days. my dreams seem so real and are honestly really scaring me. my whole body feels really fragile and like its just been shook. i also am irritaded and just want to cry. After reading a lot of these comments i still havent decided if i should get back on them and try to ween off them when my life is less stressful or just deal with it now before my body builds up a tolerance. im soo confused but like i said before i do feel soo much better that i am not the only one going through this. nothin is worse then feeling like your the only person on this planet suffering and cant relate to anyone. There definlty needs to be a withdrawl warning on the bottle. i hope all of you figure out whats best for you and feel better. thanx again for puttting yourselves out there and allowing me to do the same. good luck to you all!!!!!!

November 15, 2007 at 9:01 pm
(588) sara says:

I am so relieved to be reading this. I was on 40 mg of citalpram for 8 months, then my MD weaned me down to 20 mg for one week, then nothing. I took my last pill 8 days ago and have felt so incredibly horrible I am at my wits end. I have the dizzyness, nausea, tearfulness and overall malaise. I have never felt this horrible in my life and it is just such a RELIEF to know that I am not alone. thanks to all who have contributed. it is really a shame that it seems that the prescribing MDs tell us that there are no side effects. If I had known that the withdrawal would be like this I would have never started it in the first place.

November 18, 2007 at 3:14 pm
(589) Sarah says:

Thanks to everyone who has written on this site. I’ve been off cipramil for 2 weeks now. At first the withdrawal was so bad that I needed to validate what was happening to me was real. This site showed me how bad the withdrawal really is for everyone not just me. It’s hard to explain to someone how bad you are feeling when you physically look OK. The brain shake, nausea and dizziness stopped around day 10. Thank goodness because it is debilitating and I nearly went back. I realised if I did that all that would be for nothing. I am very lucky that I have a job where I can hide and do what I want. I just do admin work and there is no pressure from anyone to perform. Otherwise, I do not think I could have gone to work. Tears and irritability slowly subsiding but feeling very low and afraid of going back to the crazy person I used to be (panicky, feeling out of control). Still, I’ve been on them 2 and a half years (40mg) and would like to get back to real life – sick of feeling like I’m in a bubble stuffed with cotton wool. I came off the pills quite fast and although I notice a lot of people stretch out the tapering down of the dose, I found I was experiencing very bad yoyo emotions when I got to one day on, one day off. Like everyone says, going from 40mg to 30mg to 20mg is nothing BUT when you don’t take it for one day then your body really starts to complain about it! Good luck to everyone. I really wnated to post because I noticed a lot of people want an answer about when the brain shake/electric shocks will stop. I know everyone is different, but I want to give hope that it does stop!!!!!!

November 19, 2007 at 12:21 pm
(590) Lucy says:

Hi All – I have been following this forum on and off. My story goes that I have been on Citalopram for two and a half years – mainly because when I tried to come off I felt so dreadful I went back on them. No-one told me you could get discontinuation/withdrawal symptoms, I had to figure it out for myself, and now realise that is what happened the times I tried to quit, even from 10mg. I’ve done my research and feel much more educated about what has been happening to my brain and body while being on these things (‘Coming off Antidepressants’ by Joseph Glenmullen is well worth a read). The best help I have had though is from reading The Mood Cure by Julia Ross – I really recommend people trying to get off anti-D’s to read this, as she gives you strategies for supporting your brain chemistry. I have been supplementing with 5-htp, which is an natural supplement that raises your serotonin levels, and dropped to 5mg of Citalopram with NO side-effects. I am going to continue this way for a couple more months, then drop to 2.5mg (using a pill cutter). And once I have quit the pills, continue taking 5-htp until my natural serotonin levels are restored. I don’t advise anyone to run out and just start taking 5-htp without first reading the book or speaking to your doc, and think it should only be taken when you have managed to get down to a low dose of Citalopram, 10mg or so, as you have to be careful of serotonin syndrome. I just wanted to share this with you all, as I have battled with the withdrawal symptoms, and this has really been a saviour. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the best, Lucy.

November 24, 2007 at 11:49 pm
(591) Wendy says:

Wowsa! Thought I was the only one!! I was on the drug for only six months or so, decreased from 20 mg to 10, I’m dealing with terminal cancer, caretaker for a brain injured son, his future and my own funeral plans, no wonder I’m depressed! Doing this all alone is really hard, I’m so glad I found you all! I stopped a few days ago, then stopped caffeine cold turkey AND refined sugar AND meat products in preparation for a Vegan diet to try and cure my (incurable) disease. One of the very first symptom was the brain thing, and dizziness (that is part of my cancer too) ringing in my ears like crazy, and tonight I thought I had an hallucination. First in my life of 54 years….Stupid me trying to do all of this at once. I went to the gym and exercized for 30 minutes and left there high as a kite, found myself walking sideways due to the brain thingie. Boy was I dumb to do all of these things at once. Finally after 15 hours of head pain (severe) extreme fatigue I took a Vicodin and it helped somewhat, now I took 1.5 mg of Xanax to fall asleep. The most STRANGEST symotom is that I cant type right, I mix my words up in both written and oral methods….for a minute I thought I had a stroke with the head pain and dyslexia. Anyone else have this strange problem???? Thank you all for being here and helping sort this all out!

November 25, 2007 at 3:39 pm
(592) Lisa says:

Hi Everyone
My name is Lisa and I was on citalopram for almost a year and a half. It was so good when I was on it. Its like my quality of life changed and became so much better. I loved how I felt when I was on the pill…. Recently I found out I was expecting my secind child. Since I have been off the drug.. my life has been a whirlwind. I get nasty mod swings, anger, outrage, tears, and sadness. Its really bad. I can’t see my Dr for another few weeks to ask her what I should do. I just want to feel ”normal” again. My family life has been affected by this. My boyfriend is at his wits end b/c he is fed up with my moods and anger and flip outs. Does anyone have any a advice they can give me to make it seem easier.. at least so I can wake up feeling happy.
Thanks for listening.

November 28, 2007 at 6:09 am
(593) Michelle says:

Hi I have been on citalopram for 10 yrs I saw put on it to help me to deal with my daugthers terminal illness. I have been weaning off this medication for 2 wks now. I was taking only 20mg. The side effects of withdrawel have been horrific, shaking, slurred speak, zombie fied brain, shuttering inside my head, short term memory loss and motor functions its just been aweful. I stopped taking them almost a week now. The symptoms are getting less and not as intense, my doctor also told me that their should be no side effects, which is total bullshit considering everyone thats been on it and now stopped are experiencing similiar withdrawel symptoms.

December 3, 2007 at 12:07 pm
(594) Franca says:

I’ve been on Cipram for 4 months now. I started off at 10mg but after about 3 weeks went on to 20mg. I lost my appetite and then my ability to tell when I was hungry. I knew I had to force something into myself once I started feeling dizzy and energyless.
Now I ran out of my pills and have had to discontinue Cipram for the last 3 days. I am going to pick up new pills tomorrow but I feel horrible. I woke up this morning and my head has been feeling really empty and light headed yet heavy. It’s kind of like a hangover only the opposite extreme if that makes sense… I can’t concentrate I feel like I’m going to be fainting and I get hungry but food makes me feel sick and I have no real appetite. I can’t really react to other people. I get these impulses. When I came home from work about an hour ago I wanted to go for a run with my ipod on full volume and then take an icy shower. As soon as I came home I no longer craved a run and I wanted everything to be quiet. Now I crave a hot shower and just want to curl up next to my boyfriend and sleep. But on the other hand I just want to curl up by myself because within the last few hours my ability to interact with people has decreased a great deal. I can’t answer simple questions and my brain feels cramped up. I’m so tired but I don’t want to sleep. I don’t know how I’ll be feeling tomorrow morning.
This is horrible. I’m supposed to be full stopping my treatment in 2 months..I have no idea how I am going to be able to do that. This experience has just made me very scared of getting off it completely but I also got a little glimpse of the ‘me’ before antidepressants. It felt comfortable but if I go back to being that person I’ll probably run a great risk of jeopardizing my relationship and I’ll also probably ruin my chance of going to Uni for yet another year – I went to Uni last year but got o depressed I stopped doing any work and got kicked out. Now I’m taking a year off and doing one internship after the other. My family doesn’t support me emotionally, rather the opposite. They also put a lot of pressure on me to start Uni again, but I’m not allowed to really study what I want so it’s all a bit difficult. My doc wants me to do a therapy but I’m not insured and my father won’t pay so I’m a little screwed that way. I don’t see how I can stop treatment in two months without having therapeutical support. The lack of a mother and the fact that my friends are all gone at Uni makes everything just a bit harder.
wow..long post. anyway. It was really interesting and helpful to read the other posts. So thank you.

December 3, 2007 at 6:21 pm
(595) Mag says:

To the last girl that wrote. Im 21 and Ive been on these stupid pills for over two years. My period of depression has come and gone. I was in a horrible relationship which made me take them in the first place. I asked my psych about lowering my dosage and he wouldnt let me. My advice is to, one, fine a doctor whom you feel comfortable with and who doesnt want to heavily medicate you. I would recommend going to a psychologist to whom you can actually talk to and not someone whose going to drug you right away. Also, the pills you may be on may now be the right ones for you. Talk to your doctor, there are lots of different antidepressants out there and one is not right for everyone. This may be the reason your feeling so awful. Im a university student and I had a hard time dealing with this myself so dont hesitate to ask any questions.

December 8, 2007 at 12:58 pm
(596) Val says:

I have been off work suffering from stress for three months. When told by my doctor I was suffering from anxiety and depression, I told her initially I didn’t want anti-depressants but she and friends persuaded it may help me so I gave in and was prescribed Citalopram which I have been on for six weeks. At about week three, I began getting giddy spells when I was lying down in bed or if I looked up or bent my head down. At first I just put them down to stress but they increased and I also started getting visual disturbances. For instance, if I looked at the curtains, they were moving. I can only compare it to being in a train and how you see things rushing by when you look out the window. They became a daily and nightly occurrence and I started dreading going to bed and would wake up in the middle of the night sometimes having a panic attack or feeling really awful and worried I was going to have a stroke or something. The feelings in my head were really scary, pressure and a feeling of my brain going up and down like a wave all the time. Driving was a nightmare (probably I shouldn’t have been) and I lost a lot of confidence fearing a dizzy spell. Although some of my initial depressive feelings had more or less disappeared, they had been replaced by this daily misery which set me back. About a fortnight ago, I had had enough. I went to my doctor who suggested changing them for something else but I said ‘thanks but no thanks’. She suggested I take half a dose a day which I did for about three days but then decided I would rather have a few days feeling lousy than continue with this constant misery of feeling dizzy etc. I haven’t had a pill for eight days and I still have strange feelings of waviness in my head, occasional visual disturbance and now nausea but I’ll put up with these until they hopefully disappear altogether. I should have listened to myself rather than other people and not taken them at all!

December 8, 2007 at 3:42 pm
(597) Jane says:

I last posted at 568 and before that on a daily basis so you’re all overdue an update. And after 6 weeks I am pleased to announce that for the first time in a long while I feel normal. The dizzy head finally went after about a month, appetite returned gradually and the anxiety has finally gone although I suspect not for good.
To all of you out there who are suffering withdrawal or contemplating starting I would say hang on in there as it DOES get better and the rewards are well worth the hell you have to go through. And it is hell or in my case pure terror, I have never felt so scared, out of control and emotional and all caused by the brain and it’s chemicals…we still know so little about it.
And a huge thank-you to this website, an invaluable support tool.

December 14, 2007 at 3:08 am
(598) Mar says:

Hi everyone
I’ve read all the comments and I am happy to find out that the things i’m going through, doesn’t mean that i need the Citalopram. Allthough I feel that my story is a bit different. I’ve stopped with my 10mg 9 weeks ago(been on 40mg almost 2 years and started to reduse after a year). After 1 week I got so dizzy, thougt I was on a ship all the time. It lasted a week or so and dissapeared. I then had problems with my eyes. Couldn’t focus. When I reached week 8 it started to get really worse and i’m feeling so bad. nausea, dizzy, nervous nasty mod swings, anger, outrage, tears, and sadness. I also feel strange things happening under my skin in my face. Has anyone tried that?

I apologize for my written english, I’m from Europe

Thanks to all of you leaving your comments

December 18, 2007 at 12:01 am
(599) J says:

I was taking Citalopram for a just over three years, after a bereavement. I didn’t actually feel I needed them, I merely told my doctor I was having trouble sleeping, He prescribed me Citalopram (he gave me another type before these, but they knocked me out within 25 mins of taking them).

I told my doctor I wanted to stop taking Citalopram, he said to take them on alternate days (20mg per day was the dose given to me). In the past, when I ran out of tablets and couldn’t get them for a few days, I suffered the ‘whoosing’ sensation when I moved around, or simply moved my head, so I knew what was to come.

I tried to stop a couple of times by missing a dose every other day, then two or three. The withdrawals, which until I read this site today, I thought I was alone in feeling, got worse with the more days I missed the meds. The last times I took a pill, I’d gone for around 9 or 10 days without any, but felt so bad that I just had to take it to stop the light headed, whoosy feelings. They did stop within a few hours. But, they came back within a couple of days. It took around 4-5 weeks to feel ‘normal’ again, but I did, and still do.

I just wish I’d known about this site whilst I was going through it, because the worst thing is not knowing what’s happening, or if it will get better. As many people have written here, their Doctors claim there’s no side effects from withdrawal, so when you feel so bad, it’s quite worrying.

Good luck to everyone going through it right now, you WILL get over it and the withdrawal symptoms do go away. As I said, it was hard, but over a sliding scale of five weeks, I was completely over it by the end.

It really does get better, believe me.

December 20, 2007 at 10:21 am
(600) Val says:

Its nearly two weeks since I last wrote and I’m glad to say, even in that short time, I am feeling a lot better. Most of my dizzyness has gone, I am only having visual disturbance now and again when I am lying down and for the first time I feel more like my old self. For those suffering from nausea, I recommend taking peppermint, it has certainly helped me. As others have said, keep at it, even if it takes several weeks for those who have been on pills a long time, it can only get better and, believe me, it will. Just focus on finding the real you again. All the best.

December 26, 2007 at 7:27 pm
(601) Roofus says:

Aw i’ve had those, does anyone have confusion/Short term memory issues/or feeling like you’re aware of whats going on but your brain doesn’t GRASP it? I know it sounds weird but yeah, it’s freaking me out. >_

December 30, 2007 at 4:18 pm
(602) Lynsey says:

Hi everyone. I was on citalopram 20mg for 15months and then cut down to 10mg as my doc said i should be coming off them. I weaned myself slowly off taking one every other day and so on. Around 9 days ago i got tonsilitis and felt rough so i didnt take any more and after 3 days of stopping, i have felt dizzy drunk tearful angry depressed no appetite weird dreams and feeling panicky for no reason (I was put on them for panic attacks originally). Any advice would be appreciated, should i give in or stick it out? Every time i tried stopping them before my doc said “stop them slowly” but easier said than done! I went back to him a few times after tring to stop and in the end he said i would just have to suffer and put up with the withdrawal effects,charming! What should i do??

January 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm
(603) Krissy says:

Lynsey- Stick it out, unless you are SUPER miserable. I went thru withdrawal myself (was on 20 mg for about 15 months as well, for panic disorder). Everything you’re feeling is what I felt- definitely was super emotional, felt drunk and dizzy (I actually walked straight into a wall one day). These effects lasted, for me, about 2 weeks after I quit- now I just get the occasional panic symptoms and have to talk myself out of them. One of the ways I dealt with the withdrawal was to just think of everything as funny- I was drunk without drinking, and no hangover! Just keep positive and remind yourself how great it is that you are getting off that stuff! Best of luck!

January 2, 2008 at 5:15 am
(604) Christine says:

Dear Colleagues
What a joy to find this site still going. I stopped Cit in June/July but by September felt as though all the structure to my thinking and personality had gone so allowed myself to be talked into going back on the med “as some poele need help to keep their serotonin levels up”. Got steadily physically sicker – tired, confusd and (thank you science)dropping blood sodium levels (which meant I wasn’t hypochondriac)This turned out to be a relativelt unknown side efect of Cit which I had to stop. I took the last dose 21 Dec and have felt awful since. With sodium going back to normal I think this must be the withdrawal. See the doctor most weeks – nausea, dizziness, electric brain, spatial disturbance. Thought I should go to Emergency tonight increasing blood pressure and nausea but it seems to have settled now. It’s 12 days off cit now – hopefully it will turn a corner soon. I got such support from reading the lived experices of others. Thank you

January 2, 2008 at 4:32 pm
(605) Lynsey says:

Thanks Krissy for your advice. Im on my 12th day now and the dizziness isnt as bad as what it was,but when it does happen its not as strong either! Im still feeling low and im snapping at my partner more,i dont want to snap at him but i cant help it and thats when i think to myself “shall i start taking them again”. I wanna keep off them cos i dont wanna be on them for ever, i just want to feel happy again!

January 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm
(606) Christine Smith says:

I think just keep going. Day 13 is better than day 12!

January 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm
(607) James says:

Hi All,

I have been on and off citalopram over the last 10 years. I have primarily experienced the the ‘electric brain’ effect which I managed to narrow down to being triggered by quickly looking to the far right and up with my eyes (strange I know.

Good to know i’m not the only one with these symptoms

January 12, 2008 at 10:49 pm
(608) Cathy says:

Wow I am so glad I found this discussion. I went on Prozac in Sept 07 then switched to Citalopram in January because prozac made me so tired I’ve now started experiencing a lot of nasuea when I exercise which is a real bummer because I work out really hard, but I just can’t seem to put in the same effort without getting sick! So I’ve decided to try and come off these kinds of drugs, never have liked taking any kind of medication anyway, and was kind of wondering how to wean myself off. I’ve seem some that have gone down in dosage and others that skip days until none at all. Which is more effective in reducing the side effects? I know there will be some but I would like to narrow them down to the most tolerable. I would appreciate anyone’s feedback.

Thanks, Cathy

January 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm
(609) Anna says:

I am really glad I have found this thread!
I have only been on Citalopram for 8 weeks and only a 10mg dose as I have been suffering from mild post natal depression. Felt great while taking it but about 5 days after I stopped it hit me, everything you all say – feeling drunk, the brain taking longer to catch up, I was really worried there was something wrong with me. Hope it doesn’t last too long, finding it really hard to cope with an 8 month old feeling like this, have been too scared to go out in case I keel over!! Does anyone know how long this is likely to last?

Many thanks, Anna

January 18, 2008 at 10:56 am
(610) Val says:

Its difficult to advise others what to do as we are all suffering in our own way and have been taking them different lengths of time but for those trying to come off, the doctors’ advice is try lowering the dose gradually. I decided I would rather have a couple of weeks feeling lousy from the withdrawal than continue feeling how I did taking Citalopram so after less than a week halfing the dose, I stopped completely. I had only been taking them five weeks – that was enough! That was about six weeks ago and I can now say I feel NORMAL! No more dizziness or visual disturbances, my brain has totally cleared and I feel much more alert and like my old self. I can only suggest, stick at it – there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel.

January 20, 2008 at 9:58 pm
(611) Susie says:

Like others, i am grateful to have found these posts. I’ve been on the Cit for 3 years, maximum dose was 40mg but i’d weaned myself back to 10mg for the last 6 months and stopped about a week ago altogether. I’ve got the drunk feeling, dizziness (esp after stairs), memory problems, irritability. teariness, alternately huge energy (mowed the lawn for 3 hours yesterday and felt high afterwards!) and lethargy and depression. I showed my husband these posts and we was fantastic – asked what he could do to be supportive :-) Thanks All, hope it passes soon – my biggest fear was that the symptoms were ‘me without meds’ – ugh.

January 20, 2008 at 10:02 pm
(612) susie says:

forgot to add… i’ve been really restless, wanting to make big changes like enrol in study, change jobs, fly overseas, build a deck etc….in consult with my sweet partner we decided to NOT make any big decisions for at least as long as it takes to get the meds out of my system.

January 21, 2008 at 12:51 pm
(613) Jill says:

Hi, these posts have really helped me out. Just wanted to let everyone know that I am on day 9 right now, and as far as brain zaps, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, they peaked at day five and are pretty much gone for me. My mood is pretty stable, however I was taking the medicine more for anxiety then depression. Just hang in there, in my experience it gets better pretty quick.

January 24, 2008 at 3:10 am
(614) Mr G says:

I am almost over the hill of giving up. This is the second time I have gone off in the past 2 months and the brain zaps are far easier to manage this time, probably because I know what to expect.

The doctor explained to me that the withdrawals are from your body trying to regain the ‘natural’ function of your whole nervous system i.e. not controlled by the drug. Citalpram has been controlling the nervous system for so long that the body has to readjust to running by itself. That includes emotions and the way your brain reacts to pain and sensation.

The symptoms should clear totally by 2 – 3 weeks. The symptoms will most likely peak at around 7 – 8 days for most people, but everyone is different. After 4 weeks there shouldnt be a trace of Citopram left in the body.

Hang in there people. It’ll be worth it.

January 24, 2008 at 3:10 pm
(615) Louise says:

Hi there

I haven’t posted for a few months and just wanted to give a quick update for all of you who are struggling.

I came off Citalopram at the start of September 2007 and experienced all of the symptoms that everyone has spoken about and didn’t think I would ever get back to ‘normal’!

It’s nearly 5 months now and all I can say is – HANG ON IN THERE! My life has returned to how it was before I took Cit (I was on them for 12 months) – in fact it’s even better. No panic, no anxiety, no depression and I can now feel all of the emotions that Cit deadened.

I was SO TEMPTED in the first few weeks to start taking them again as the withdrawal was so horrific, but thank God that I didn’t as I’m now free!

Please hang on in there, the rewards are worth it!

January 28, 2008 at 1:21 pm
(616) melee says:

Don’t be stupid! If you’d read up on information- available ALL over the net- you’d have seen that you shouldn’t stop this drug. It’s an SSRI, and can cause withdrawal symptoms. You GRADUALLY taper off this medication and you don’t have those side-effects. Why on earth would you take something without being informed about how it works…?!?!

January 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(617) Louise says:

In response to the posting at 603, I’m a bit confused. You state that ‘you shouldn’t stop taking this drug’ – do you mean that people should take it for life?! That’s ok, if it’s needed, but not if someone has had a short term illness and, with GP advice, wants to come off it.

And I find it really insulting that you would tell anyone who has posted on here ‘not to be stupid’. If you read the hundreds of comments, you will see that most people that have posted have been desperate, lonely, afraid and without a clue of what is happening to them.

You will also note, that many people asked a medical practioner if there were any withdrawal symptoms and were told there weren’t. Why wouldn’t you believe a GP that allegedly knows what they are talking about and who you put your trust in?

Many people like myself, tapered off these VERY GRADUALLY and still had awful withdrawals.

I find your comments to be really judgmental especially when they’re directed towards people who are going through a really tough time.

January 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm
(618) Rachel says:

Hi everyone,
I have just been prescribed Citalopram and after reading this im not sure if i want to carry out the course – ive been started off with 10mg a day then after a week up to 20 mg, are the withdrawal symptoms that bad? do you really gain a lot of weight? or loose it? Im really confused and have only taken one dose today but am thinking i might try and get through this alone without drugs if this is what is going to happen to me..
any advice, anything, my email is racheldeehalliday@hotmail.com
Thanks everyone,

February 6, 2008 at 2:02 am
(619) Marjorie says:

I came across this site purely by accident while searching for something else. I am horrified to read of all the terrible withdrawal systoms experienced.
I was put on this drug when my son was murdered. I have been considering going off it as I hate chemicals in my system.
The drug definitely helps one cope but is only a masking devise – like a band-aid. The reason or cause for being prescribed this drug, must ultimately be dealt with. I needed counseling both mentally and spiritually. I also needed healing for my damaged emotions and deliverance from the anger and bitterness I was feeling.
Doctors are so quick to prescribe drugs without investigating underlying causes for illness and depression. It can often be a hormonal imbalance. There is big business in pharmaceuticals. Take responsibilty for your own life and well-being. Do research and ask questions. Don’t just accept drug prescriptions – they are definitely not the answer. I should know.
With prayer and God’s help and grace I plan to gradually come off this drug. Will keep you updated.

February 7, 2008 at 4:29 am
(620) Kelly says:

Hello, I feel a little better to know that these symptoms are somewhat normal and Iím not the only one. Is really hard for people to understand how I feel because they donít know how I feel.
Is my 5th day off Citalopram. I feel sick to my stomach, dizzy, disoriented, cranky, lightheaded, forgetful, sad, lonely, things easily irritate me, I cant sleep, i’m beginning to have nightmares, my body hurts and donít really have motivation to do anything.
I was advice to stay on it longer. While I was on Ci things started to look better and I was happy, however, I have gain 40 pound over the last 6 months and itís not fun!
I hope the over the next few days, I begin to feel better because. I donít want to relapse or keep gaining weight.
Thank you all for your advice and sharing your personal experience.

February 12, 2008 at 12:35 am
(621) Melissa says:

I am so glad to see everyone chatting and knowing that my husband and I are not alone. We both have these weird feelings in our head – kind of like a hangover that never goes away, horrible headaches, upset stomachs. However it seems that my husband is going through the withdrawl a little easier then I am. I was curious if anyone knows exactly how long it takes for Celexa(Citalopram) to leave your blood stream? I am currently going on Week 3 of withdrawl effects and my husband is going on Week 4. We just want this to be over and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Luck Everyone!

February 12, 2008 at 12:46 am
(622) Melissa says:

Also in responce to comment 603.
I have been consulting with my doctor on the need for the Citalopram and the ways to taper off the drug. I did weeks worth of investigating the drug and its side effects and not one place tells you how bad it will actually be and my doctor tapered me off the medication very carefully and very slowly and I still suffered withdrawl and I still am after 3 weeks. I was told by my doctor that I should not suffer any effects – because we tapered so slowly off of them. Not everything you find on the internet about these drugs is accurate and not everything that you doctor tells you will be accurate. That is why they make wonderful sites like this that allow you to express what you are going through and to get out to others thinking about going on or coming off the drug to know what to expect. So, there is not one person on here that is stupid for taking the drug and going off it. Not one person made a bad decision to ask for a little help and guidance. Sometimes we all just need a little help.

To Everyone else on the site. I wish you all the best and hope all goes well for you.

February 13, 2008 at 8:32 am
(623) Russ says:

I have just been prescribed this drug starting at 20mg for four days and then 40mg. I am considering not taking it after reading this forum! I would to have drug help me deal with this horrible anxiety and depression but the withdrawal symptoms described here scare the hell out me! It seems that many posts here are female. I would love to know if the withdrawal effects male and female differently. I am male. Good luck to all.

February 13, 2008 at 12:08 pm
(624) chris says:

Been very usefull to find this .. its suprisingly rare to find this info on the web.. there is some talk of post SSRI withdrawal.
I think that depression is still not really understood and the crossover into how we all function on society leads the GPs to consider this body of commentry and user experience as simply the depression comming back. or something allong those lines.I have only ever had 20mg and taken for 7 months. i weened slowley down to 5 mg every other day and two weeks into being off completly it had to get on the web and see whats been going on.
I feel largely ‘car sick’ confused even and my eyes are dry and cant see as good as usual. I thought it might be excessive PC use but now im sure this is my withdrawal. I too like everone here now wants to be free of the drug but am considering taking 5mg jsut now in an attempt to releive the car sickness feeling ive been having most of this last week! peac and love all !

February 13, 2008 at 12:11 pm
(625) chris says:

Been very usefull to find this .. its suprisingly rare to find this info on the web.. there is some talk of post SSRI withdrawal.
I think that depression is still not really understood and the crossover into how we all function on society leads the GPs to consider this body of commentry and user experience as simply the depression comming back. or something allong those lines.I have only ever had 20mg and taken for 7 months. i weened slowley down to 5 mg every other day and two weeks into being off completly it had to get on the web and see whats been going on.
I feel largely ‘car sick’ confused even and my eyes are dry and cant see as good as usual. I thought it might be excessive PC use but now im sure this is my withdrawal. I too like everone here now wants to be free of the drug but am considering taking 5mg jsut now in an attempt to releive the car sickness feeling ive been having most of this last week! peac and love all !
oh and im male and yegh think there are largely diff in how this drug effect the individuals sex life. I think you should still try the drug but when coming off take weening more serously than your GP will have any info on advising you.

February 13, 2008 at 3:16 pm
(626) Tanya says:

HI all… 4 years ago I developed severe baby blues and depression and my doctor prescribed citalopram,now I want to quit the medication but after spending 2 hours reading all these posts i’m not too sure if I want to and how to do it the right way. It is now 3:15 PM and i usually take my pill at 7:00 AM and I already feel like crap because i have not taken it yet. I just don’t feel like myself anymore, and I want to feel like I did before starting to take this medication. I have been getting boils all over my neck, stomach, and back because of the medication, and this is also another reason why I want to quit. Anyone have suggestions on how to quit the right way and how long it will take????

February 15, 2008 at 1:28 pm
(627) MDJ says:

Hi All,
I’ve been thinking about weaning myself off of citalopram also. I haven’t had the brain shakes or the noise in my ears, but I have had involuntary muscle jerks. It’s the weirdest thing. I also don’t really care about anything anymore other than family, friends & pets. I have absolutely no motivation. Has anyone figure out how to solve that? Anyway, since I kinda feel citalopram is helping worse than my original reason for taking it, I’d like to stop it. I’m taking 20mg. Can I cut them in half for a few weeks and then maybe quarter them for a week or so? Thanks!

February 17, 2008 at 2:51 am
(628) T says:

Hi. I would talk to your dr. or pharmacist about how to properly come off cit. I did it over a couple months reducing my dose by half every week or two and then skipping days for a few weeks.

Don’t know if doing it different would have worked for me, but while I was reducing my doses I was feeling the withdrawals. I was very sensitive to noise and light. Very easily aggitated and upset. Then I took my last dose and was great for a couple weeks. Then I started to have a few hard weeks. And then a couple good weeks. This week is bad again. I have been off cit for over a month. I am glad to see I am not the only one feeling these things. I feel like a demon right now. I have been so moody and cranky and irritable the past few days. I just don’t even feel like myself. I have also in the past two weeks started having breathing issues, like panicing I guess. Probably due to the anxiety of the withdrawal. I was on the drug for 2 years and wanted to stop them. I thought I did it the “right” way, but still experiencing crumby withdrawals. Hopeing it will get better soon.

February 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm
(629) Erin says:

I was just prescriped citaophram after being diagnosed with Dysthymic disorder. I am new to all of this and wanted to double check on-line that it was safe with breast-feeding. I have a 6 month old and just returned to a job I am not sure I like. Your comments have me scared me. I have only taken one pill today and I don’t know now if I will continue. I am wondering if my indecisive/weepy/low level anxiety state may actually be more bearable than these side-effects and withdrawl symptoms. Out of curiosity, why is everyone going off of the drug?

February 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm
(630) Carrie says:

I’m coming off the drug (answering Erin – hi, by the way), because I am sick of feeling so numb. I hate this feeling of “being in the next room” all the time. I was on 20 mgs (only from November last year) but feel no benefits at all – but I feel sleepy all the time, and so lazy….it’s horrible.

I would honestly rather feel a bit wired, and nervy (like I was) than a lazy slug!

So I’m cutting down to 15mg (on 4th day now) and will do this really slowly…perhaps for another month, then will cut to 10mgs…when I’m ready.

If I’d known how I would feel when I started taking these – then I never would have!

Re: breastfeeding: I don’t know – ask your GP or pharmacy for reassurance? That’s what I’d do.

Thank god other people understand – I read this thread when the chamomile tea and the Kalms fail to work.

Take care.


February 18, 2008 at 8:03 pm
(631) T says:

Hi Erin…don’t be scared. This drug definately helped me make some decisions I needed to make in my life. It helped me gain some control over everything that seemed so out of control before I took it. I didn’t notice until I was off it that while I was on it I was kind of complancent. No really high or really emotion. But I was able to feel calm again. I went off it in hopes of having a second child. I will not take meds during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary.

Talk to your GP again about the breastfeeding. http://www.medicinenet.com/citalopram/article.htm This article says no, don’t do it. BUT you have know the risks. Do the risks outweigh the problem? I know for myself when I went on it the side affects and the risks were nothing in comparison to the destructive, depressed person I was. Though I wasn’t fully informed of how severe the side affects could be. And they only lasted a few days (4 I think) when I went on it. And I am sure now that had I known I would hit a low coming off them I could have been prepared. But the GPs never told me. I told my regular GP once that I worry less when I know exactly what to expect. I am just that way. Some people aren’t. But anyway, please talk to your GP about the breastfeeding. Your little one deserves the best you can give him/her!!! :) Take care….T

February 18, 2008 at 8:11 pm
(632) T says:

PS – I also felt drowsy on cit. Always yawning. Not so bad now that I am off it.

February 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm
(633) Erin W says:

Hello everyone. I feel so much better after reading everyone’s posts. If I had known this before, I would have NEVER gone on citalopram. I started taking the pill last September for anxiety. I plan on stopping the pill over the summer (I’m a teacher and want to stop while off work). Over this past weekend, my husband and I went out of town and I forgot my meds. I didn’t really think anything of it, but I spent the entire weekend with a horribly upset stomach. Today, I started having the dizzy feelings. It feels like any time I turn my head or move, it takes my brain a second to catch up with myself. It’s a really horrible feeling, especially since one of my main symptoms with anxiety was dizziness. So anyways, I plan on stopping the meds in May, and hope that this horrible dizziness doesn’t last too long.

February 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm
(634) Peter Nelson says:

“i usually take my pill at 7:00 AM and I already feel like crap because i have not taken it yet.”

That’s probably psychological. Citalopram has a 35-hour half-life in your body, so being a few hours late with a dose – or even a day late – won’t be noticable.

For the same reason when you go off of it you must taper VERY slowly because it can take a long time for withdrawal symptoms to appear. An earlier poster said he “tapered” from 20 mg/day to 0 in four days! That’s not “tapering” – for Citalopram that’s practically cold-turkey!

A better tapering strategy from 20 would be to take 20 mg every OTHER day for a week or 10 days. Then 10 mg every other day for a similar length of time. And some patients may have to go to 5mg for another week or so. The key to avoid withdrawal problems is to do it very gradually.

February 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(635) Kelly says:

Iíve been off Cit for over 2 wks and Iím not feeling as sick anymore but those feelings are being replaced with depression. The feelings are increasing everyday. Somehow is easier to talk to strangers, it may be that I feel alone and that I have no support system. I also feel a connection to the people that read these blogs because we are experiencing the same feelings.
Need support system. Please e-mail me !

February 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm
(636) Peter Nelson says:

“I was just prescriped citaophram after being diagnosed with Dysthymic disorder. I am new to all of this and wanted to double check on-line that it was safe with breast-feeding. ”

I’m appalled that your doctor didn’t discuss this with you! And earlier we saw a poster report that their doctor told them not to expect ANY withdrawal problems. Who ARE these doctors?

Citalopram is a powerful SSRI that has helped many people suffering from depression and anxiety. The majority of people who take it have only minor side effects, but a certain percentage of people have major problems, either when they first start, or when they stop, or both. In the studies I’ve seen about 10-15% of patients have significant problems at some point. (note that this is lower than some other SSRI’s such as Paxil/Paroxetine).

The keys to success are patient education:

1. It’s not a magic bullet – Citalopram can signficantly take the edge off depression and anxiety but it can’t turn you into a laughing Buddha.

2. Like all SSRI’s it takes a long time to kick in – don’t expect any improvement in your symptoms for 3-4 weeks.

3. Many side effects – especially nausea and agitation – wear off after a few weeks as your body adjusts, so patients should try to stick with it for a few weeks if they can.

4. When you stop taking it, do so VERY gradually, especially if you’ve been taking it for a long time or at a high dose.

5. The above are generalizations. Some people can’t tolerate Citalopram or get no benefit. (as we can see in this thread) There are many, MANY antidepressants/anxiolytics available and they all have different benefits and side effects for different people. Many patients try several different drugs before they find the right one for them.

February 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm
(637) Peter Nelson says:

Sorry for making 3 posts in one day, but after making two didactic posts I figured I should introduce myself.

My undergraduate degree is in neuroscience and I work for a medical products company (we do not make or sell drugs), so I’m good at reading peer-reviewed research.

Last fall my wife was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer and I became depressed and anxious. My GP put me on Paroxetine/Paxil. My initial side effects were mild – a little nausea and excessive yawning – and after about 4 weeks my emotions got a LOT better. But I was worried about what would happen when I tried to get off because it’s clear that Paxil is the worst A/D to try to get off of. In the research Paxil withdrawal makes Citalopram withdrawal look like a walk in the park. I’m a Glaxo stockholder and recently GSK settled a huge class-action lawsuit by patients who could not get off of Paxil.

So about 4 weeks ago a shrink at the Dana Farber Cancer Center switched me to Citalopram. I had no trouble coming off the Paxil – I hadn’t been on it very long.

I’m on week 4 of the Cit and I’m just starting to notice some clinical improvement (my depression and anxiety returned after I was off the Paxil). My Cit side effects are a persistent, mild headache and weird cravings for sweets and other carbs.

February 19, 2008 at 7:23 pm
(638) T says:

Hi Peter! Thanks for your posts. It’s good to know that the method I took to get off Citilpram was a proper one. It took me over two months of “tapering”. And I’ve been doing much better for the past few days just knowing that all the stuff I was feeling wasn’t just “in my head” per sei. I am trying to get into a counsellor this week to see if there are some coping strategies I can use and also to monitor the possible come back of depression. I don’t want to go back through it again but it is rampent in my family history, so I want to be more aware the next time it might be “out to get me”. :)

February 21, 2008 at 7:35 pm
(639) Susan says:

Hi, I am starting to wean myself of citalopram after about 7 years. I was taking 40mg at first, then 20mg for the last few years. I am just wondering if there is anyone who can tell me anything good about weaning or does everyone get these horrific symptoms.
Please, tell me there is hope!

February 22, 2008 at 6:03 am
(640) Emma T says:

I found this site in much the same way as other people – came off Citalopram and hit a wall. I was absolutely fine for exactly 3 weeks after stopping the drug and have now cried, raged, been upbeat and had 2 panic attacks in the 3 days since! It reminds me of the days when I first had these symptoms. I have had a bit of personal trauma this week though so this could account for my decline. I’ve made an appointment with my doctor this afternoon but am scared to go because I don’t want to go back on it, I think I just need reassurance that these symptoms are just from coming off the citalopram and will go away. This site helps in that there are others who have been there and done it. I was on 20mg last year and for a long time previously (40mg at highest dose years ago) and decided to half down to 10mg which I did with no trouble at all and stayed on 10mg for 6 months until 3weeks, 3 days ago. I wonder, having read some of these posts if I should have gone to 5mg for a while. I decided to come off them because I want to have a drug free existance and to get my libido back (which happened almost immediately after stopping) and perhaps have a child. I was prescribed them initially for schizo-affective disorder which basically means I have depression and psychosis. I have hearing hallucinations anyway, so any weird whizzing and fireworks in my head were put down to my psychosis! I’m laughing but it’s actually true. Does anyone know how long the symptoms last and how long you suffer before you give in and go back on them?

June 20, 2008 at 1:16 pm
(641) Mindy says:

This is wonderful – now I know what the symptoms I’m having are – and that they’re “survivable”. Have been taking 40 mgs for about 8 yrs, noticed there was something kind of lacking, finally took note, and decided I’d try to back off, possibly quit. Has anyone felt that they can actually think better when they lower their dose? I noticed I was being silly – no, not euphoric, but dumb silly. Now, I still have my sense of humor, however it seems to be at a higher intellectual level. So glad I found this site! Mighty thanks!

June 28, 2008 at 11:48 pm
(642) Rachel says:

I’ve been on citalopram 40mg for 5 1/2 years, and have made several attempts to come off it, because I’ve now been completely well for two years. The first time I was advised to taper it over a few weeks which was a disaster. Apart from the side effects most people describe I kept having episodes where it seemed as if I fell asleep or almost asleep for a fraction of a second and lost muscle tone then ‘came to’ with a jerk – all while standing and working. I also became suicidal quite quickly during the dose reduction. I had less physical symptoms while tapering more slowly (5mg/month) but couldn’t cope on 30mg and am now back to my original dose and still trying to work up the courage for another attempt.

July 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm
(643) Cam says:

First off thank you all for posting your experiences.

I was only on Citalopram for 2 months and knew I had to stop because some of the side effects were too much to handle. First I thought it was just normal body “feelings” that everyone goes through but began thinking no this just started 2 months ago.

I was put on it after describing depressed feelings to my neurologist (got west nile and my after effects are seizures). I am taking 3000mg of Keppra, 200mgs lamotrigine and 1200 mgs of Carbamazepine to control my seizures. I was always against anti-depressants for me but figured this is a neruo-psychologist recommending it to me so I figured what harm could it really do(silly me).

Pretty much each of the side effects people are describing I am going through. The brain wobbles/whooshes are the most evident for me but others sneak in here and there too. When I am walking it feels like my feet are about an inch off of the ground which makes me a bit unsteady.

I was weaned off over a 2 week period and have been off of them for about a week now and it has been only the last few days that I have been getting these feelings. At first I thought it was forms of seizures happening to me until I found this site and found out the truth.

I hope I get back to “normal” again soon as I was only on it for 2 months but with all my other brain meds, who knows?

Best wishes to all of you with your recovery from this damned pill.

July 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm
(644) Stephanie says:

I took citalopram for only a few months and stopped after I forgot to take it a few nights in a row – I felt fine so I thought there wouldn’t be any harm. It’s now 3 weeks later and the dizziness and vertigo makes me nauseous. I don’t know what to do; I don’t want to go back on the citalopram but these feelings are horrible. I also feel unbelievable anger at times and it is crazy as I was not like this before citalopram. Reading everyone’s comments is definitely supportive.

July 9, 2008 at 4:52 pm
(645) stephanie says:

Also, after reading about the “fireworks” and “buzzing” I now know why I thought there was a bee in my car the other day. I picked up my baby from daycare and put him in his carseat; I started to pull out of the parking lot but heard a buzzing sound and I thought it was a bee – I was worried b/c I didn’t want a bee around my 8 month old so I stopped and got out and tried to find the bee but couldn’t find anything. I now realize that it was my own head buzzing at me!!

July 15, 2008 at 6:23 am
(646) Jill says:

Thank Goodness for this site .. I’ve been taking citalopram for 3 or 4 years and as things have improved, looked several times at coming off. Over the past year I’ve reduced from 20mg daily, to 10mg daily, then 10mg every other day. About 4 weeks ago I cricked my neck and began to get dizzy spells and yes, the “brain whooshes” which leave me unable to drive or attend my job. However, I am beginning to notice a small, very gradual improvement. Yesterday I saw a GP (mine is on holiday) for a repeat doctor’s note and she casually dropped in – oh, dizziness can be a side effect of withdrawing from the drug!!!!! Reading each of your posts today leaves me in no doubt as to what the cause of my problems has been, so thanks all for sharing. However, having come this far and recognising a gradual (if slow) improvement I’m going to resist taking any more medication – in the knowledge that these feelings will go away in time. (I think I read way back in the entries it took someone almost 3 months but she did get there) It’s great to have a site like this where we can support and encourage one another – keep up the fight everyone :)


July 16, 2008 at 7:12 pm
(647) Rich UK says:

Hi guys. I feel a bit of a coward. I have been on 40mg for 18 months after suffering a second episode of depression but this time with the added bonus of severe panic attacks.
I saw my GP last week and we decided it was time gie withdrawal a go. He got me to cut down to 20mg for a month then 20mg every other day for another month then stop.

Ive lasted 4 days on the reduced dose but have had to go back to 40mg today. It was killing me. I can handle the head-shocks etc which Ive experienced badly beofre when coming off venlafaxine after my first episode of depression but my mood just crashed….became very “down” and felt very anxious. Stopped sleeping very well and had really wierd dreams/nightmares.

I now dont know whether its the withdrawal that is making me feel like that or that is how I really feel once the mask of the meds is taken away…anyone understand?

July 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm
(648) p says:

I totally understand. Don’t worry, this is not what you turned into, this is just a chemical reaction your body (brain) is going through as a result of the lowered dose. I found that after I first stopped taking it all together I was much, much worse than I had ever been, but I knew from reading what others had to say that this is not how it would be forever, it is just a phase your body has to through to get the stuff out of your system. The only thing I can say is that it WILL GET BETTER and chances are, it will be worth it to go through with it. For me, the really bad withdrawal symptoms lasted “only” a week. I can deal with a week or even a few weeks of this, knowing that after that time it will be out of my system completely. I almost feel like I am rediscovering my real personality, which is kind of exciting. In the end, if I find it too hard after a while to be without the meds, I can still start again, but in the meantime I feel good knowing that I CAN get off them, even though it’s super hard.
For what it’s worth: you are not alone going through this and it will get better. Time heals.

July 17, 2008 at 3:58 am
(649) Rich UK says:

Thanks!! Guess I just paniced a bit. The panic attacks I used to have before i started on the meds were so bad that I ended up in hospital and was scared to be on my own in case I did something stupid to myself…i felt totally out of control. When I cut down the meds, I felt like I was heading straight back there. Feel much better again after a couple of days back on full dose but I think I will give it another week and then try cutting down again. Its great to know you guys have all been through similar experiences and it will give me the confidence to stick with it…thanks!

July 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm
(650) Megs says:

Hey Everyone, this site has been more useful to me than any doctor could be! I am on day 10 of going off the Citralopram and it has been hell. I wound up in the Urgent Care Unit a few days ago because even though I suspected it was withdrawal from the drug, I felt like I was going to totally lose it and wanted to make sure there wasn’t something neurologically wrong with me. I can’t even turn my head without getting brain shakes and when I last went to the doctor’s I was hysterically crying and couldn’t stop. The doctor I saw told me it was “serotonin withdrawal syndrome” and had no clue how long it would last. I just want these feelings to stop so I can go on with my life! He gave me Mezcaline to take for the dizziness and that atleast helps me get through the work day, easing the brain shakes for a few hours…I was on 20mg then 40mg for about 6 months and tapered off over the course of a week and a half. Probably should have tapered longer, but just wanted to get off these damn drugs as I’ve gained 20 pounds in just a few months and was feeling weird from them. Good luck to everyone and thanks SO MUCH for all your posts and support…I read them every day.

July 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm
(651) p says:

I hear you about the panic attacks and ending up in the hospital. Have you ever had any counseling? After I ended up in the hospital once I ended up going for counseling for a while at the same hospital (out-patient basis) and I did Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). I find it helps me a lot to sort of activate the more rational side of my brain to asses a situation when I feel a panic attack coming on (yeah, I know, when things are REALLY bad there is pretty much nothing that will help) but the more I tried to use it, the more it actually helps. If there is no counseling available where you are, there are some books you could probably get at your local library that might help a bit, like Dr David Burns’ Feeling Good handbook. He also has a website http://www.feelinggood.com/ I personally found that CBT has literally been a life saver for me. Perhaps it could make a difference for you too. You can totally do this! Cheers, p

July 19, 2008 at 6:55 am
(652) Trish says:

i’ve been on Citalopram for nearly four years now. Started at 40mg and am now trying to reduce and eventually be drug free. my GP has put me on 20mg for the last week and although I didn’t feel any different at first, I am now feeling really agitated, tearful and yes have that strange feeling in my head. I have also stopped taking beta blokas so maybe i should have continued on a low dose of those for a little longer. i seem to be having disturbing dreams as well….. if this is what its like on 20mg and i worried how it will be when i decrease the dose and eventually come off it altogether. I have been getting palpitations as well. Does anyone know if its harder to come off this drug, the longer you have been taking it?

July 21, 2008 at 8:47 pm
(653) p says:

I was on it for a long time, as well -approx 5 years- and the worst of the side effects were over within about 10 days. Wean yourself off slowly, all the way down to 5mg if you have to and then at the end go 5mg every other day, to average out to 2.5mg a day. It will be rough, and different people react differently, but it will pass eventually. Some folks report getting some interim meds to help calm some anxiety and other side effects and that might help, too. Good luck, and hang in there, you can do this.

July 22, 2008 at 4:53 am
(654) In the same boat says:

Hi there, I have just come across this site after googling to find out if my withdrawel from citalopram is normal and just how long it will last. I had reduced my 20mg to 10 over 3 months ago and finally on saturday felt strong enough, after a few wines, to knock it completely on the head. After feeling very excited for the first couple of days i now feel like ive got someone constantly sitting on my head and feel so tired. I guess I just wanted some re-assurance from this forum and to know others are in the same boat. At the end of the day, we have to come off these sooner or later, so I guess the riding it out stage is going to come at some point.

July 22, 2008 at 12:15 pm
(655) vicki says:

Hi, I’ve been on several different medications intermittenly over the last 20 years. I had 30mg citalopram for just over 18 months and have come down slowly. 30mg every day followed by a week or so of taking 25mg one day and 30mg the next. Then 25mg every day for a week and then 20mg alternate days etc. I felt down a couple of times but simple went back to the previous stage for a week and tried again. Apart from significant weight gain whilst on them I hadn’t realised I had any symptoms until I finished completely when I got the dizziness that prompted this search. After about 3 days off the tablets I was feeling ok but then I started to get the dizzy vertigo feeling. One week on and I have read this column which has been reassureing but made me realise I’ve actually had more side affects than I realised as I hadn’t linked them to the tabs. I can associate with the upset stomach and tiredness and aching. I’ve found Berocca the B vits supplement has helped with the tiredness. I’ve had mad and very vivid nightmares the last 3 nights too. All in all I still think the benefits of this medication by far out weigh the side effects. I had not realised how constantly anxious I was until the bliss of experiencing the absence of anxiety that this medicine brought me. Its shown me a totally different life after 20 years of intermittent depression and counselling. I would also say don’t give up on counselling – I saw 2 different counsellors that made me feel worse at different stages over the last 20 years but then last year I met a counsellor that really helped me. This in combination with a really supportive and well informed GP & citilopram have really made a huge difference. Hang on in there it really is worth it.

July 23, 2008 at 6:08 am
(656) In the same boar says:

Vicki, thanks, I am going to try the Barocca today as funnily enough was thinking yesterday that that might help. One thing I would stress to everyone in my relatively short withdrawel period, but getting enough sleep seems to have a huge impact on just how bad the symptons are. Also staring at a computer screen seems to make the dizzyness ten times worse. Onwards and upwards!

July 28, 2008 at 5:31 pm
(657) Jill says:

Two weeks later and I’m happy to encourage you by saying things are improving – still having occasional dizzy moments .. the odd vivid dream but actually KNOWING the cause makes me feel somehow stronger … almost stubborn I guess, like I’m not about to be beaten by a pill!
Someone mentioned Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – I was fortunate to take part in a course and it really helped me to understand what triggers reactions and different ways to deal with the feelings and situations – if you get chance, do give this a go – you do have to be prepared to be open to it though!

I’ve been very grateful for Citalopram – it really helped, but I’m equally grateful to be off it!

July 28, 2008 at 10:05 pm
(658) Bubba says:

8th day since taking Citalopram for the last time. Reading all these entries with the side effects of going off the medications is wonderful. Thanks.

August 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm
(659) Mary says:

I’m grateful for this site, because I have been going through a very difficult time. About three months ago, a bat flew into me and bit me while I was walking in a park. This happened within weeks after I broke up with my boyfriend of 3-1/2 years, and lost three friends to cancer, suicide, and liver disease. I got rabies shots, but then learned that my asthma inhaler was known to cause the shots not to work. I was such a wreck that a psychiatrist put me on citalopram, increasing me from 10 mg to 50 mg over the course of 6 weeks. About 3 weeks into it, I started having tingling in my leg around the site of the bat bite. I went to an infectious disease specialist who confirmed that my rabies antibody level was above the minimum protective level (i.e., the shots worked), but who, based on the reflexes and clonus in my foot and leg, told me I had a serious neurological disorder and rushed me into a neurologist at 7:30 the next morning. Nothing conclusive came from that visit, but over the next month, my symptoms progressed to numerous involuntary muscle movements and muscle stiffness. I called back the infectious disease specialist, who told me that I should stop worrying about rabies and instead worry about “the serious degenerative neurological disease I actually had,” which I, being Miss Worst Case Scenario, interpreted to mean ALS. My psychiatrist, suspecting citalopram could be contributing to all this, reduced my dosage from 50 mg to nothing over the course of a week. One week later, I felt like I had been hit by a bus, which then backed up and ran over me again. I ache all over and it’s an effort to even walk. I was only on citalopram for 2 months, and I’ve been off it for almost a week, so my psychiatrist told me tonight that the citalopram could not be causing the intense body aches and difficulty moving. This leaves ALS as the only other possibility that has been suggested to me. I made another appointment with the neurologist, two days from now. Sorry for rambling on like this. I’m sorry that other people on this site are suffering, but I’m also relieved to see that others are experiencing muscle aches like I am. Thanks for listening. Wish me luck.

August 8, 2008 at 5:59 am
(660) In the same Boat says:

It is 3 weeks today since i stopped citalopram and things really do get better. I was lucky enough to have a 10 day holiday in the middle of this and I can only say this worked wonders rather than sitting indoors or at work worrying about it and noticing the side effects even more. If this cant be acheived then just keep busy! Must also agree with the comments above about CBT. Not only does it help enormously but you meet people in the same position (in a group session) and also sometimes with much worse problems, all of which really help and can put your own into perspective.

August 12, 2008 at 10:55 pm
(661) City of angels says:

I have been taking Citalopram for 3-4 years for depression (after being on Paxil for a year) and was on only 10mg of Citalopram for most of the past 2 years. I weaned down to 5mg per day for a few months then 5mg every other day for a few months – eventually stopping 2-3 months ago. I felt fine for the first 2 months till one week ago when I started to feel dizzy, poor concentration, and “blurry” vision. These symptoms have been fluctuating from day to day – better today. I’ve been VERY tempted to refill my prescription but after reading your posts, I will try to stick it out and get back to feeling “normal”. Hopefully each day will be better than the day before!

August 15, 2008 at 10:44 pm
(662) G says:

So I have just read 30 or so posts. I have only been on the drug for almost 3 months now following divorce, and I was researching on how to wean myself. I only have been on 20mg a day. Do you all recommend me taking 10mg for a week or so, then even less? I am so scared that the depression will come back, but I don’t want to be on this stuff any longer than I have to. On another note. Funny… I have noticed VERY vivid dreams the last few weeks. Did anyone notice this while they were still on the drug, not just as a side effect?

August 18, 2008 at 5:36 am
(663) raising9kids says:

Hello all, same feelings and thoughts as most of you. Anyone here wonder why in the world the drug companies can get away with putting us all through this hell??? Of course thats just in the back of my mind. More important is how to feel better! As my name states, I am raising 9 kids. That pretty much explains why I went on the meds to begin with. But after months realized I was not the same person on meds. Some parts were good, like more patience with the kiddos, but I was a little too mellow, not having the drive to follow through with dicipline or even care if the house was kept clean. Anyway, I’m on day 5 of no meds. I tried to stop once before, and even did it very slowly reducing them, but at a certain point, I still ended up with all the withdrawal symptoms. So this time its cold turkey. I just came across a website that I’m hoping will help. It’s theroadback.org. I’ll let you know if the program works, cause I’m gonna try it. In the mean time, I apologize if I wrote anything that didn’t make sense, and for any spelling errors or typos. It’s the lovely brain fog. Take care all.

August 18, 2008 at 9:59 am
(664) In the same boat says:

G, in answer to your question, yes I had the crazy dreams when on the drugs and when coming off them! They do say though, that generally people are on this medication for a minimum of a year, so as it has only been 3 months, i would be really careful of coming off them too soon. I was on 20mg and i reduce to 10mg as a starting point to see what would happen. To be on the safe side I stayed on this dose for about 2 months and had no side effects, apart from when I then went to 0. maybe going to 5 would be advisable after the couple of months on 10, but just be careful trying to come off them too soon or quickly?

August 20, 2008 at 9:02 am
(665) Dougie says:

I came across this site whilst trying to prepare myself for coming off Citaopram.

Thank god I have found this, after reading these comments I’m now braced for the problems which might arise.

I’ve been on 40mg per day for around 3 years and it is about time I come off them.
My Doctor suggested take one miss one over a week or so, but i’m glad I’ve found this site.

I’ve started taking half a tablet per day, I’ll see how this goes, and keep you posted on my experiences.

August 20, 2008 at 11:24 pm
(666) G says:

In the same boat… thanks for your comment. It has been a few days since I was on this site and in those past days I decided that I was a “strong woman” and cut my dosage very quickly. I went from 20 mg a day (for almost 3 months) to 10 mg for 3 days, and then 5 mg for 2 days. Today was the first day that I took none. I seem pretty cool so far, but did notice myself feeling very tired and kinda going into “daze modes” for a few (20-30 seconds) moments. I was at home alone doing cleaning and housework… boring and necessary things. But all in all, today was not bad at all. Tomorrow I plan to take no drugs either, but I am a stone sculptor and I am going to be caught up in my sculpting all day. I am hoping that work will take all of my focus, and I can have another good day. I’ll keep ya posted. On another note…Thank you all for your words and sharing your experiences. Although I do not know any of you, I feel like I have a place to “talk” and be understood if the withdraw symptoms do start to hit me.
Thanks for being there all of you… wish me luck on day #2!

August 21, 2008 at 4:43 am
(667) john spooner says:

iv been take this citaopram for just over a year now and i really wish id never went on them

August 21, 2008 at 8:11 am
(668) stella says:

just stumbled across this site/blog, while searching online for symptoms related to coming off citalopram/cipramil to try and explain why i’ve been feeling so whack the last few days.

I have been on and off it at various doses since i was 16 (i’m 25 now) to help me cope with what was initially more like anxiety & extreme mood swings, but over time has sort of settled into steady (but managed) depression. having to deal with the day-to-day management of type 1 diabetes doesn’t help much either.

previously when i’ve come off my meds, it’s been because i’ve felt i either didn’t need them because i’d been feeling good for a while, or because i was sick of popping pills all the time and didn’t want to feel i was reliant on them. But inevitably i was and my outlook on life & general mindset would revert to being gloomy again, along with the unshakable tiredness that comes with feeling down, so i’d go back on the cipramil again.

recently i’ve been running out of tablets & putting off getting my prescription filled – the result i guess of being disorganised, and often broke ahead of payday and not able to afford to fill the script as well as pay for insulin & diabetes supplies (the cipramil i can live without, but the insulin, i can’t).

The early withdrawal symptoms i’ve noticed up until now are a general dopey, foggy, sleepy, not-quite-on-the-ball sort of feeling combined with extreme lethargy. they seem to come just a day or two after stopping the tablets. Usually that’s enough to get me bolting to the chemist to stock up on cipramil again.

This time around i left it longer (due to a stupidly hectic week and low bank balance) and seem to have ‘progressed’ to the next stage of withdrawal which is something else completely (the expression ‘withdrawal’ sounds melodramatic, but i suppose that’s what it is).
In the last few days i’ve experienced extreme light-headedness to the point i feel like i might faint even when sitting down (made worse by standing / walking); constant dizziness; feeling physically edgy/agitated , albeit extremely focused at times; racing heartbeat/palpitations; all-round spaced-outness & weird out-of-body moments; totally physically exhausted at the end of the day, but my mind’s still racing; weird, trippy dreams. It’s like a kind of nervous energy that’s been bottled up for 9 years. This has come after about 5 or 6 days of being off my regular cipramil dose (which was 40 – 60 mg / day) cold turkey.

While some of these symptoms are of course hideous, they do occasionally give way to extreme focus & clarity, which is something i haven’t felt for years and was part of the reason i was taking the cipramil in the first place (although now i think the cipramil may have actually been contributing to the dopey feeling).

So in some ways i’m kind of enjoying the slightly sharper brain that stopping the cipramil has resulted in, but i hope the palpitations & dizziness stop soon – it’s making work tiugh to say the least.

I’m a much happier person now than i have been in previous years, so perhaps now is as good a time as ever to come off cipramil, but i do wish i hadn’t stopped quite so abruptly and instead weaned myself off gradually.

It seems everyone posts on here just as they’re going through this withdrawal stage, which might explain why not much has been said about how long the feelings last. So i will try to make a point of posting an update when those symptoms have passed.

Of course, i’m just putting 2 and 2 together and assuming that it’s the lack of cipramil making me feel this way. I could be wrong. We all could. But i somehow doubt it.

hang in there people & enjoy the good bits.

August 23, 2008 at 8:16 am
(669) Erin says:


I have been on 30-40 mg per day for the past year or so, but due to extreme drowsiness caused by the cipramil, am just changing over to new meds right now. However, this is (with supervision from my shrink) by going complete cold turkey on the cipramil for several days, before starting the new meds. The first few days were horrible – pain all over, dizziness, extreme shivering and sweating at night, vivid dreaming and that weird head fireworks feeling.. but it definately is improving after several days. My anxiety has also increased severely, but I’m hoping this is just until the new meds kick in a bit better.

It’s SUCH a huge relief (for myself and my partner) to have found this blog and be able to hear others experiences and know that other people are getting through things. My only advice would be to try and ride out withdrawl symptoms for a few days to a week if you can. And find a supportive doctor. It took me 10 years (and all those terrible years of not getting treatment) until I found someone I could talk to and trust, and it has made a world of difference.

Thank you to all for having the courage to post, I know it’s not easy at all.

August 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm
(670) Rach says:

I just want to Thank Everyone who had the courage to post here. I was getting really scared because I wasn’t sure what was going on with my brain, and after seeing these comments I feel so relieved. Thanks again!

August 25, 2008 at 2:46 am
(671) David says:

I had beed on Citalopram for years, taken anong with HIV regiment and other meds to fix additional side effects of the citalopram…but I am finally on a DR perscribed Drug Holiday to detox.
I would decribe the disturbances like a flash from a powerful camera, usually like a migrain cluster. When it happens, I feel like it’s going to knock me down. I have also had Tinitus (ringing in my ears) and nausia. I have decided that there is no way I will be going back on this medication, and I am trying to ride it out.

Seriously though – any suggestions for dealing with this? Low light exposure and rest seems to be helping, but I am open to other ideas. Tired of feeling like I’m getting a solid beatting around my head, and it would be nice to make sense when talking LOL.
Hugs all – be strong and remember that you have others out there who relate.

August 25, 2008 at 5:37 am
(672) Dean UK says:

Hi all

Glad to be hear and i intend to post daily updates to help anyone else reading this now or in the future as some of the past posts have helped me.

Im withdrawn from 20mg-15mg-10mg-5mg of cipramil to now zero over a period of 4 months.

First 3 days of zero i felt great but then around day 4 felt worse and since then have felt really rough (light headed, nausea , general lethargy and sort of “hungover”)

August 25, 2008 at 5:44 am
(673) Dean UK says:

Day 12 of withdrawal

Following on from the above day 13 (sunday 24th) was a particularly tough day but to cope with the nausea my wife bought me ginger root capsules (take 2 500mg capsules twice daily apparently). So far so good as no subsequent nausea all day, i’ll update further tomorrow.

Im determined not to go back on the pills and have created a chart where i tick off each day as a small milestone achievement of being drug free. Ive also set no targets of feeing better and just take one day at a time.

Bad headache all day and im sorry the olympics have finished as this has been a welcome distraction to feeling rough all the time.

August 25, 2008 at 4:54 pm
(674) Bastian says:


I’ve had the most awful day today, and stumbled across this website when I did a google search on my symptoms.

Back in February of this year, i was started on 20mg of citalopram, and have taken it at that dose every day since, and it’s worked marvelously for me – no more panic attacks, and no more laying awake at night panicking about things…until this weekend!

I went to see madonna perform at the millenium stadium in cardiff, and left my citalopram at home, 3 whole days suddenly stopped. On the 3rd day I became suddenly very dizzy, very very agitated and teardul, and could see white flashes occasionally.

On the train journey home, after feeling great for months, I felt very panicked and desperate. As soon as I got home, i took the 3 days I missed all at once, which is 60mg – I know this sounds silly, but 60mg’s isn’t a dangerous dose – afterall, citalopram is prescribed in the UK at 20, 40, and 60mg’s right?

Well boy did that make me feel awful, I couldn’t sleep a wink, was very sweaty, and yet felt extremely tired at the same time. The next day I felt really sick and tired all day. I’ve started back now on my 20mg a day, and hope that I will feel better after sleeping properly tonight.

It’s been really encouraging reading all of your posts, and is good to know I’m not alone.

Keep up the good work people, and carry on trooping on!


August 26, 2008 at 2:50 am
(675) Erin says:

For most meds, if you’ve missed a few days you should *never* take all the doses you’ve missed at once!! Unless you are being closely supervised by a doctor. Even if 60mg is an ok dose for some people, they would never start smack-bang on 60mg but taper up over a short period. Your body cant deal very well with the massive hit, in the same way that you shouldn’t stop cold turkey (again, except under close supervision and with proper information)..

I think the main thing regarding these withdrawl symptoms / side effects that I would say (I posted my actual experiences up above a few days ago..) is to firstly get as much information as you can. Despite how hard it is to talk to doctors (at least, that is me personally), talk to as many as you can until you find one that you respect and they respect you; that you can talk to and feel as though they are looking after your interests and giving you good information. Also, from other people’s posts and from my own experience, the side effects / withdrawls (even the quite severe ones) seem to last for a couple days to a couple weeks. Try and ride them out, as you should be feeling better after your body has had a bit of time to adjust. Hang in there everyone, you can get through it :)

August 26, 2008 at 5:57 am
(676) Dean UK says:

Day 13 of Withdrawal

Monday 25th was a really tough day with a killer headache that paracetemol didnt get near!!!

In terms of nausea the ginger root capsules seem to be working as nausea has almost gone from 2 days ago.

Really agitated yesterday probably due to the constant pain in my head. Im not working at the moment and im lucky to have my wife at home looking after our 3 young boys.

Withdrawal would probably have been easier after the school hols but im not stopping now and keeping the end goal of feeling well firmly in my sites.

Best news for me amongst all this pain is no depressive thoughts at all!!!

August 26, 2008 at 5:53 pm
(677) Basty says:

Hi Erin!

God i know, it was such a stupid mistake to make – but i couldn’t stand seeing Friday, Saturday and Sunday labelled tablets still sitting there. Do you really think my symptoms will really last up to two weeks? I have exams in 2 weeks time, and don’t want to be feeling this way. Today I felt quite a bit better…a bit of a general run down feeling and constant head ache still, and still some shakes, but hopefully another good nights rest and I should be fine!

It’s interesting reading everyones experiences on this matter, I wish you all the best of look with your treatments


August 27, 2008 at 5:53 am
(678) Dean UK says:

Day 14 of Withdrawal

Tuesday 26th was a slightly better day. Hardly any headaches and although i didnt feel up to venturing out anywhere i did feel better for most of the time than previous 2 days.

Started feeling rough and headaches around 6pm which i think was tiredness as in the past week or so have been sleeping solidly and early (around 10pm) which i see as a good thing.

Brief history about me is that i had a stressful job which i left with a generous redundancy after a takeover which coincided with the depressive episode.

Since then March 07 i have been struggling to get the right dose and meds and have been on Citalopram, setraline , back to citalopram and finally escitalopram (sister product of citalopram).

First 3-4 days of no drugs was fine so its now day 14 in total but more like day 11 of feeling rough if this helps anyone.

August 27, 2008 at 8:15 am
(679) Basty says:

Keep to it Dean!

I due to start tapering off my citalopram (20mg) mid september – not looking forward to it!

I don’t know about anyone else in here, but I don’t see citalopram as a negative drug to be on? I don’t see it as a “happy pill” that belittles me, and makes me out to be some fruit cake?

I feel it empowers me, and I’m a lot happier for it – why should one feel the need to come off?

I’m just chatting crap now…

August 27, 2008 at 7:09 pm
(680) Brad says:

Your Doctor is really irresponsible. You are experiencing the common withdrawal effects. I’ve been off the drug for two weeks and am experiencing the same things. Your description of it feeling like “my brain is shaking” is perfect. Hang in there.

August 28, 2008 at 4:35 am
(681) Dean UK says:

Day 15 of withdrawal

Wednesday 27th August

A better day today, less headaches and generally more upbeat.

On a scale of 1-100 where 0 is feeling really rough to 100 feeling great i would rate the following 3 days

Monday 15/100
Tuesday 35/100
Wednesday 45/100

Still quite dizzy but the headaches werent so bad.

I bought a book yesterday that lifted my spirits (Coming off antidepressants by Joseph Glenmullen)

Some really good stuff in this book if you are coming off, i would strongly recommend buying this one!!

As i said earlier im setting no targets and will take each day as it comes.

August 28, 2008 at 9:33 pm
(682) josie says:

Thanks to everyone for the great information, and support. Be Well!!!

August 29, 2008 at 4:17 am
(683) Dean UK says:

Day 16 of withdrawal

Thursday 28th August

Didnt feel as good as Wednesday yesterday but better than Monday.

Ive been reading the book i recommended again and its very useful in explaining the difference between withdrawal symptoms and relapse of depression.

Withdrawal depending on the drugs half life will for example surface after around 3-4 days for those on citalopram. Main symptoms being dizziness , headaches and nausea (all which i have which is encouraging)

Relapse will not happen immediately and depression thoughts will not return for at least 4-6 weeks, so if you have withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and headaches after around 3 days of stopping then think of this as a positive.

Oh yes and buy that book i mentioned in an earlier post for peace of mind.

August 29, 2008 at 5:44 am
(684) David In Tacoma says:

Hey all – still muddling through this, but trying to not get to irritated. As someone else had said, the best part is that I have no depressive issues currently, which I find to be a light at the end of a tunnel.
I have been wearing my sunglasses a lot, keeping noise and distractions down, and looking for activities to take my mind off things. For me, I surf youtube or watch a funny movie and try to get a good laugh – natural endorphins give me a little relief. I also tried to go to the gym, and soaked in the tub & Steam room for a bit..very relaxing.

The only thing I have disliked recently is a little trouble with my reflexes and motor skills whenever I have a “flash” or a cluster flash. Think the old time flash bulbs that burst, whine and crackle, and string together 6-8 bursts that go off behind your eyes. Even right now, the TV sound is off and the lights are as low as I can get them, but the tv and monitor seem extra bright and my ears are ringing. This is pretty similar to when I had a drug interaction with my Serzone ages ago…wish I could remember how long it took before I felt better.

So, as crappy as I feel physically, I appreciate you all letting me carry on here. I hope that maybe something I write will help someone in some way.

August 29, 2008 at 4:14 pm
(685) Nicole says:

I praise God for this site thanks so much you all. I have been taking this drug for about a year and a half and decide not to anymore gained tons of weight in the process and found out that some of the migran med my doc put me on had major reactions to this drug. Kinda scary so I have decided to with the help of God get off of this med I have been off for a week and feel sooo yulky. I am so glad others on this web page put the words to discribe how they feel because I have had all these symptoms. Its so crazy! So the life of the withdrawls lasted about a month for you all? I have 7 kids one is a year old and I homeschool another I just cant loose time feeling this way. thank you all for the post I will let everyone know how it goes.

August 30, 2008 at 4:56 am
(686) Dean UK says:

Day 17 of withdrawal

Friday 30th August

A much better day in fact the best day since i started with these withdawal effects, at times i felt like my old self and forgot about the withdrawal symptoms.

Still one day at a time and i feel you need to pace yourself and not over do things if you can when have a good day (regardless of the temptation)

Still taking the ginger root capsules that seem to have cured the nausea from last week.

August 31, 2008 at 5:46 am
(687) Dean UK says:

Day 18 of withdrawal

Saturday 30th August

Not a good day today compared to Friday but i think that was down to not having a great nights sleep on Friday night.

I was out of my sleep routine and had 90mins less sleep than usual and i think that showed during the day.

I think at this time during withdrawal a good sleep routine is vitally important.

Still no depressive thoughts and the side effects are certainly more manageable than the first week – 10days

August 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm
(688) hannah says:


I have been on citalopram for 7years after having my child young and having really bad depression (self harming, panic attacks, ect) not good!!! i was at a stage in my life where i was really happy again i just got engaged and everything was going really well. I was on 20mg a day and decided to cut down to 10mg a week ago because i am having my contracepion implant out and want to try for another child. But it has all gone horrible wrong i am having really bad withdrawal effects – nausea, dizziness, hot sweats, funny taste in my mouth!!! I had a really bad night last nite i felt like i was going mad and having a breakdown im so upset that im feeling like this.

Has anyone got any advice they can offer me???

August 31, 2008 at 10:34 pm
(689) Louise says:

Hi Everyone!
I was talking with my sister today and told her I think I need to drink more water because I feel dizzy. Then for the sake of boredom I looked up withdrawal symptoms from Citalopram, I have been taking them 4 months, and decided to come off of them because I find it hard to wake up in the morning and I am groggy, etc. After reading everyone’s comments I know realize I am having withdrawal symptoms. It makes good sense. Nicole I will pray for you through this, it is a blessing to read your comment. With God everything is possible, and I am encouraged to continue with this even more. Please keep me posted on your progress. To everyone that is posting also, thank you for sharing your experiences, it does give me hope in knowing that the symptoms do pass, and that there will be rough days, but that they will subside, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you, Thank you!!

September 1, 2008 at 4:19 am
(690) Dean UK says:

Day 19 of withdrawal

Sunday 31st August

A much better day similar to Friday. Ive read somewhere dizzyness is the last symptom to subside and i do still feel dizzy but the other withdrawal effects are subsiding at the moment.

Minor headache yesterday but that could just be to do with having 3 small children indoors on a rainy day.

Found a fun internet game yesterday which acted as great distraction from thinking about withdawal side effects and certainly lifted my mood.

In short although you dont like feel like doing much you need to try to do things to lift your mood naturally i.e. go for a short walk, get some fresh air, read a book preferably do something light and fun that may even make you laugh.

I challenged my wife the other day to make me laugh and she managed that by doing something quite daring though im not going so say exactly what she did!!!!!

September 1, 2008 at 4:23 am
(691) Dean UK says:


Read the posts on this forum and you will see what you are going through is quite normal withdrawal effects.

It wont last forever but it will be nasty in the short term, you will have to be strong for a couple of weeks if you want to get off the drugs.

Keep telling yourself it will get better and the pain will be over soon enough!!!

September 1, 2008 at 3:39 pm
(692) Louise says:

I hate pretending to be happy. I am miserable.

September 2, 2008 at 1:20 am
(693) Andrew says:

Just another testimonial for you all.

I am 23, a college student, and was put on Citalopram after heart palpitations were attributed to stress & anxiety.

I have taken them the last 5 months and have finally run out. Since I completed my “hell semester” and my stress went out the window, I felt it was best to stop my medication as if I don’t feel stressed, why continue the medication right?

Well, as most of you have said, I get the light headed, eyes flickering type of thing. It really feels weird if you move your eyes side to side as your brain doesn’t feel like it can keep up. It feels like its just a step behind and makes it a very weird light headed feeling.

It seems to happen more and more throughout the day, so I’m curious if it has anything to do with being tired? Seems to follow that pattern for me.

Anyway, I have been off the pills for 2 weeks and am still having symptoms unfortunately. Although, I will say my symptoms are lower than when I started, and it slowly seems to be getting better.

Hopefully all symptoms will be gone within another week or two. I can deal with it as long as I know it’s normal – So I thank you for everyone writing their experiences as well as it helps those of us searching for answers to know that “real people” have the “same problems”. It’s a little different when you ask your doctor and he/she says “oh, I’m sure it’s fine” or “Doesn’t sound like a big deal” It’s nice to know that its a normal thing.

Good luck to you all!

September 2, 2008 at 5:49 am
(694) Dean UK says:

Day 20 of withdrawal

1st September

An ok day!!

Felt good enough in the morning to venture out to the gym just for a sauna and steam no exercise.

Didnt feel that great afterwards, a headache developed and felt dizzy driving home. Took it easy for the rest of the day and felt ok .

Still going to the gym was major progress from a week or so ago.

definetly feeling better from the first 2 weeks which are the worst so hang in there everybody!!!

September 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm
(695) Nicole says:

OH Wow,
I am only 9 days into stopping this med had a really rough weekend almost like I had the Flue My body and joints are so sore once I got some rest I felt a little better. It seems like the more sleep you get the better the effects are, you can almost last all day. Thank you Louise for the comment. I know with God all things are possable and I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me. I homeschool my daughter while chasing around a baby and take care of my other six children before and after school and can do it only through him, cause these side effects are really bad. I pray that God will be with you all. talk soon

September 3, 2008 at 4:36 am
(696) Dean UK says:

Day 21 of withdrawal

September 2nd 2008

Really irritable and bad tempered all day, no real other symptoms just in a bad mood.

Hopefully this is one of the last side effects to rear its ugly face.

I meant to say earlier i take a benadryl capsule each morning as i read somewhere the help with the side effects.

September 4, 2008 at 4:27 am
(697) Dean UK says:

Day 22 of withdrawal

September 3rd 2008

A day of 2 halves where again i felt really irritable and bad tempered in the morning (i even had a big argument with myself in my head which was very strange), and then i felt a lot more calm in the afternoon evening.

I went for a drive to the shops yesterday afternoon but felt really dizzy and weird with lots of noise and big crowds so came back home quickly but that is still progress from the early days of withdrawal.

September 5, 2008 at 4:54 am
(698) Dean UK says:

Day 23 of withdrawal

Thursday September 4th

Tried to go out again to the shops and again felt dizzy and spaced out but not as bad as earlier in the week.

Beginning to feel a bit down which is not the depression returning but more to do with being fed up with these on going side effects that cripple my day to day life.

I believe I will be better than ever soon and i need to keep focsing on that and not succumb to anymore of these evil little pills.

It seems like a daily battle with the pills at the moment where initially my brain threw at me nausea, headaches and general lethargy , that failed so it moved on to extreme dizzyness and finally now low mood all in an effort to make me succumb to taking the pills again.

Im not going to take them again, im over the worse and im going to keep moving forward to that light at the end of the tunnel!!!

September 6, 2008 at 4:48 am
(699) Dean UK says:

Day 24 of withdrawal

September 5th

Not a good day at all, felt like i did around the 2 week mark.

I though i was over the worse but obviously not.

I think from reading a lot on this subject there are times when you feel worse after thinking you are on the mend and you just need to keep going and ride out the storm no matter how hard that appears to be!!

Tomororw is another day!!!

September 7, 2008 at 5:31 am
(700) Dean UK says:

Day 25 of withdrawal

Saturday 6th September

A better day than Friday but not great, still short tempered, headaches and general lethargy.

Rained all day which didnt help, feel like i need to get out more but to date that hasnt made me feel much better.

Struggling to remain positive but am determined to keep going as the thought of going back on the meds is not even something i want to consider ever again!!

September 8, 2008 at 4:24 am
(701) Dean UK says:

Day 26 of withdrawal

Sunday 7th September

The day started a bit like the previous 2 days but then i summoned up some energy and gave myself a talking to and decided that i was not going to get through this by sitting around hoping these symptoms would go away – I had to do something on my own!!!

I didnt feel like it but i went to the gym, when i got there i pumped up my ipod and did surprisingly well. I was pleased with myself and felt better afterwards and will now do this as much as i can in the coming weeks even if its just basic walking on the treadmill followed by a sauna!!!

Also yesterday i reseached some upbeat happy songs via google and youtube for my ipod for when i go to the gym.

Also check out this site with tips to help you beat depression naturally as you see exercise and music feature prominently!!!


September 9, 2008 at 4:13 am
(702) Dean UK says:

Day 27 of withdrawal

September 8th

A pretty good day again!!

Went to the gym again and had a positive morning , also updated my ipod so enjoyed listening to upbeat songs.

Only real symptom was a shortness of breath i.e. being aware of my breathing which seems like some sort of anxiety. This was my original symptom nearly 2 years ago which prompted the Doctors to first put me on propranolol.

Im waiting for a call back from a chinese acupuncturist to discuss potential treatment to help with depression, stress etc… as ive read good things about acupuncture and would be willing to give this ago now im off the dreaded pills!!!!

September 9, 2008 at 10:00 am
(703) Erin says:

Hi everyone.

Don’t know what I’m posting for today really. Have had a couple of recent posts re. my withdrawl from cipramil. Have been on fluoxetine instead now for 1.5 weeks.. started out great but have been feeling really down since then. Don’t know what to do, do I go back to the cipramil or try and stick it out with what I’m on for a bit longer until my next psych appt in a week or so? (haaa, I had much better advice for everyone else when I was feeling better!)

Anyway, I’ve mentioned a few times about how important I think it is finding a doctor you can talk to (after some terrible personal experiences with doctors who didn’t want to give me the time of day, or who wouldn’t explain anything about the meds to me etc..) – i found this link (for Australian readers only, sorry) – don’t know if it is any help to anyone, but here ’tis in case:


Best wishes for best health.

September 10, 2008 at 7:15 am
(704) Dean UK says:

Day 28 of Withdrawal

September 9th

4 week milestone and a pretty good day im pleased to report!!

I think a lot of that is down to dragging myself up a few days ago and adopting a more positive outlook no matter how hard that seemed at the time!!

Didnt wait for a call back from the accupuncturist and went out to a different one and booked a course of 13 sessions which started straight away.

The chineese doctor seemed to think acupuncture could help and he has prescribed some chineese herbs (non addictive, no side effects just natural herbs) to take daily alongside the acupuncture and massage which initially will be twice per week.

Herbs taste horrible but im willing to give eastern medicine a go seeing as the western option has been largely ineffective.

Anyway i’ll post again at a later date with regards the acupuncture.

September 10, 2008 at 9:14 am
(705) Doug says:

I had been on citalopram @ 60mg for about 2 years. I did not think it was doing all it should and the doctor recommended my taking Lamectil. I wam up to 100mg of Lamectil and 4 days ago dropped from 60mg to 40mg of Citalopram. Today, per the Doc, I dropped to 20 mg of Citalopram.
Not a good day today; lost any good edge I had to interact socially. Am hoping it is due to the discontinuation of the citalopram. Has anyone had experence with Lametil as a replacement for Citalopram?

September 11, 2008 at 3:44 am
(706) Dean UK says:

Day 29 of withdawal

September 10th

Another good day, went to the gym pumped up the music and felt ok.

Still a minor headache cured by paracetemol and occasional shortness of breath but no nausea , lethargy or low feelings.

Of all the 4 weeks of withdrawal this one has been the best partly because ive stopped feeling sorry for myself and adopted a more positive aggresive stane with myself.

Someone posted this statment much earlier but its worth repeating here.


Remember that and be strong, only you can get through this, depression strikes the strong so you can do it!!!

September 12, 2008 at 4:46 am
(707) Dean UK says:

Day 30 of withdrawal

September 11th

Still shortness of breath infrequently during the day, not a big problem but just being aware of my breathing which is a little uncomfortabe.

All in all another good day, took my longest drive since before withdrawal and no dizziness at all which was my major symptom in the first 2-3 weeks of withdrawal.

September 13, 2008 at 6:35 am
(708) Dean UK says:

Day 31 of withdrawal

Friday 12th Sept

2nd acupuncture session today which went well, still taking the chineese herbs twice a day as well.

Im going to post more infrequently in the future (but will still post as ive got so much benefits from the posts on this forum)

Im much improved from weeks 1-3 and felt i really turned a corner on Sunday 7th Sept when i just summoned up the energy to take a more positive stance with life.

I hope my recovery will continue on this upward curve and i wish you all the best in fighting these terrible symptoms.

September 13, 2008 at 1:23 pm
(709) James says:

I have read a lot of these Posts and saw that Me and Dean have a lot in Common. Like You I have had the problem of being aware of My breathing and its very nice. I too rate My Days and feel it can help a bit when I look back and see a bit of progress. Anyway I have been taking Citalopram for 6 Weeks. The first 4 Weeks I was taking 20 MGs a Day. I then notised that things were getting harder for Me so the last 2 Weeks I have cut down to 10 mgs a Day with the Goal of stoping altogether within the next Week or two. The problem is My Doctor said I could stop straight away as I have only been taking them for 6 weeks. Altho I want to I am concered about any withdrawl symptoms I may get ontop of the effects I am already getting. Things are way to hard as it is without adding To it. After taking 20 MGs for 4 Weeks then cutting down to 10 MGs for 2 Weeks would it be ok to stop dead ? My Doctor said if I am that concerned I could do one more Week of taking 10 MGs every two Days. But I have heard that can cause a Rollercoster effect. All I know is the last few Weeks I have felt too tired all the time. I can sometimes only sleep for 3 Hours a Night and for no reason I then sleep 10 to 16 Hours ! And after being awake for 12 Hours I feel too tired to keep awake. So a sleeping pattern is out of the question at the momment and its making Life even harder. Also My Head feels kind of Numb all the time. Manily the top half of it going round. It never leaves and is causing Me more stress. So thats why I have wanted to cut down before stoping the Citaopram……..But this is where it gets complicated for Me. These symptoms may not be anything to do with the Citalopram. For the first 4 Weeks of Me taking the Citalopram I was taking half a sleeping Tablet every Night as I could no sleep and my anxiaty was too bad. The Name of these were ” Zopiclone ” I stoped taking them 16 Days ago and am not sure if these Symptoms I am getting are from Me not taking them anymore. I stoped taking them as I dident need them to sleep anymore. Anyway with them the first 3 weeks I took half a tablet each Night and then the final Week I took Half a Tablet every 2 Nights then stoped. So I am in a bit of a muddle. I am not sure if these symptoms are from the Citalopram or Me stoping the Sleeping Tablets. I hadent been taking neither of them long term so its all confusing. Anyway like I said I have desided to cut down and stop the Citalopram in the hope that the symptoms are side effects of taking them that can be stoped and its them thats causing all this. I would be thankfull for any imput from anyone as My Doctors left Me more confused.


September 18, 2008 at 5:56 am
(710) Dean UK says:

Day 37 of withdrawal

Thursday 18th September

Im pleased to say im doing really well now.

No nausea, no dizzyness, no lethargy and very infrequent headaches. Im a little tired buts thats only because ive been exercising so hard at the gym.

stick with it everyone it does get easier – just read my earlier posts.

when i was sat watching the olympics on TV a few weeks ago and desperate for a pill to take away the pain i never thought i would be writing this just a few weeks later.

I shall keep posting and updating on progress.

p.s. Still taking the chineese herbs daily and have now had 3 acupuncture sessions which are quite enjoyabe and something to look forward to each week.

September 18, 2008 at 10:19 am
(711) TJ says:

Thank you all. I’ve been taking 10 mg for 5 days down from 20 mg/day. I was only on C. for about 8 months. The withdrawal has been hell – violent vomiting; disorientation; dizziness; extreme irratiblity; irrational rage…. but getting a little better everyday. Helps to know that I’m not the only one and that the end is in sight. Ginger tea seems to help with the vomiting and nausea. Have to say the brain whooshes haven’t really diminished but I’m not crying all day today so that is progress! Good luck to all of you.

September 20, 2008 at 12:25 am
(712) Peter says:

I have been on 40mg citalopram now for 4 years the last 6 months of which have been reduced to 20mg. My MD and myself decided that it was ti to come off of them completely so he gave me a perscription 20mg for 7 days – 10 mgs for 15 days and 5 mgs for 15 days….I have been off of them now for 2 weeks and feel like hell!!

At first I didn’t associate the side effects with the drug and honestly thought there was something wrong with me…and of course I thought the worse (tumor, cancer etc) but after reading this forum and others like it I now know it was the citalopram.

The whoosheness, dizzeness, insomia and light headiness has kept me off work and afraid to drive my car for a week!!

I have very little choice but to go back on the horrible things just so I will once again be able to function normally.

My MD and Pharmacist said they have never heard of citalopram having side effects like this. “Safest anti-depressent on the market with no withdrawls”

The pharmaceutical companies probably keep things like this hidden so MD’s will keep giving it to unsuspecting patients.

There must be some place where a ordinary person can file a complaint about a drug?

What an awful drug!!

September 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm
(713) scott says:

I too share the dizzyness, though it’s not unbearable at all, just weird.

One thing that just happened disturbs me greatly: I bled from my anus.

When I started citalopram, I noticed a lot of “regularity” – I had full bowel movements at least twice a day (which is unusual for me).

I was happy with that change, actually, but now I’m worried that the withdrawal is doing something to my excretion system.

Anyone else experience this? I have no concurrent conditions that would explain the bleeding. Also, it wasn’t very much, but of course any amount is shocking to find.


September 24, 2008 at 8:04 am
(714) Kat says:

Just given up on my second attempt at coming off these things! I can’t drive, can’t walk down the stairs, can’t change direction when I’m walking across the floor or I fall over. Feeling really really fed up now. I’m off them for 10 days and feeling worse now than I was last week.

Congratulations to all who have managed to get off them! You’re stronger than I am :o ( Same as most of you, I went on these ’cause I was assured that they were non-addictive so they were easy and safe to stop. I don’t think so! My brain shakes are so bad that I can’t even get my kids to school in the morning anymore.

Sorry for the whinge, I’m just totally and utterly fed up.

September 24, 2008 at 11:55 am
(715) Hannah says:

Hey Everyone

Looks like so many people have been suffering after stopping citalopram.

I am currently being weaned off mine as i am feeling better (except for the 2stone weight gain) and although the idea of withdrawl is a little scarey…it must be better than being stuck on pills forever?

Not sure if it will help but i have been here before, i came off a different anti depressent about 5 years ago, weaning me off it was hell so my psychiatrist told me to go “cold turkey”- one week of my life was pretty much hell but then, like the flick of a swicth is all stopped and i felt great again. So please don’t worry, withdrawl symptoms do pass… :-)

Good luck xx

September 27, 2008 at 8:16 pm
(716) lianne says:

hi, i have been on citalopram for about 2 1/2 years, i too was told it was not addictive and i have tried to go cold turkey but i couldnt sleep for a whole month and ended up going mental! i seem to get none of the symptoms you describe such as your brain ‘shaking’ but i get tingly feet that drives me insane.i really want to come off them and its been a week since i had any at all as i forgot my prescription and i havent slept for 2 nights again.how long does it take to stop? last time i was still getting tingly feet for over a month and i cant face that again, i have 3 children so i need to sleep!!

September 29, 2008 at 5:50 am
(717) lucindafreeman says:

Thanks to everyone for being open enough to share your thoughts and comments. I am the end of day 5. I had two weeks of 1/2 my dose before stopping completely. I was on 20mg a day for almost 2 years. I started taking them in response to an acute anxiety episode, and have suffered from (and been medicated for) depression in the past.

I am completely shocked to learn through everyone’s posts, that Citalopram has such severe side effects for some people. I am experiencing the brain short-circuiting, dizziness, nausea, sensitivity to sound among others. I am determined to get off these!

September 29, 2008 at 10:25 am
(718) stacey says:

glad to see that i’m not crazy…after being on citalapram for several years and noticing a decline in my libido, i have decided to try and wean off for the second time. the first attempt was a nightmare…i tried cutting 40mg in half for 2 weeks, then every other day, then nothing (on the recommendation of my PCP)…day 2 of having nothing i went into massive withdrawal at work..crying, panicking, head fuzzy and spinning…i had to immediately take a full 40mg dose and felt back to normal within 30 minutes. i am again trying to wean but slower this time..40mg cut in half for 1 month, 20mg cut in half for 1 month, then 10mg cut…i’m praying this works this time. wish me luck!!!

September 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm
(719) lucindafreeman says:

Day 6. I just found this website (it’s probably been posted before but i will post it again) which I am planning on giving a go for nutritional supplements. Could be a winner! http://www.theroadback.org

I’ll try to keep updating on my progress – there is definitely a way to conquer this beast!

September 30, 2008 at 4:10 am
(720) Dean UK says:

Day 49 of withdrawal

September 30th

Yes i’m still here and 49 days out from taking my last pill. Most days are pretty good some days i do feel really tired and have headaches but most days im good and a million miles away from where i was in the first few weeks of withdrawal.

The key to getting through this is for you to take control and to take positive steps to improve your life. I have to keep reminding myself of this when i start feeling sorry for myself and i feel so much better when ive acted positively.

For example although i didnt feel like it i started going to the gym to do what i could a few weeks ago. I also started accupuncture which presumably is helping my recovery and is very relaxing, im not working at the moment but have an interview next week for voluntary work on a p/t basis to get back into the work arena.

Sitting around waiting to get better will not cut it im afraid!!!!

September 30, 2008 at 5:05 am
(721) Hannah says:

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all doing ok :-)

I’m only on my 4th “pill free” day and i feel a little better today. I took my last 10mg tablet on friday afer 2 weeks of weaning down (was on 20mg daily). Saturday i felt fine, then sunday evening i started to feel a little groggy and then yesterday i felt horrible, was so dizzy and i felt like i had been punched in the face. It almost feels like i have a sinus infection or something. Has anyone else had that symptom before?

But as i said, i feel a little better today so i’m going to be positive and hope the worst is over!!!

Hope you all have a good day today :-) xxx

October 1, 2008 at 2:03 am
(722) lucindafreeman says:

It’s day 7 today for me.

This morning I felt great! I got a lot done at work and was feeling super postive. (I own my own small business which is pretty challenging at the best of times!)

But by this afternoon, about 3.30 I went downhill. I had severe head flashes and feeling very tearful for no reason! But I am so determined not to go back.

I am looking for a gym, and waiting on my nutrition supplements. Looking foward to tomorrow! Thanks for your lovely remarks too Hannah – it’s nice to hear them. Wishing you a great day back! xx

October 1, 2008 at 2:08 am
(723) lucindafreeman says:

Oh yeah, hey Hannah, just around the time I stopped them completely, I got an awful cold, but not sure if it was related or not to the withdrawal.

One thing I have noticed, is my concentration is very low, and I struggle to get my sentences out in a cohesive fashion whether talking or writing. LF

October 1, 2008 at 5:07 am
(724) Hannah says:

Good Morning All :-)

Hope you are having a good day today…. Mine seems to be ok so far….yesterday turned out to be a little rough after all…same old dizzy shock feelings!!!

Lucinda- your comment really helped…yesterday i thought i was going mad, words were coming out the wrong way round, i was forgetting what i was saying half way through sentances…ut was a little worrying. Obviously i wouldn’t wish these symptoms on anyone but it’s good to know im not going crazy!!!!


October 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(725) HJ from London says:

Having read through lots of the comments on this site I can also say I was very relieved when I realised that the feelings I have been having are due to withdrawing from citalopram. I was taking 20mg for about 2 months for anxiety but decided to stop with my GP’s agreement as I felt the side effects were too much to put up with – the main ones I had were a feeling of dizziness and being “off balance” plus tinnitus. I decided to cut down to 10mg for a week and then 5mg for a week and then stop completely – that was just over 4 weeks ago.

Initially I felt quite good, but then I felt the dizziness got much worse – the best way to describe it would be a wooshing feeling in my head (as a lot of other people here have described it), plus a very tight feeling behind my eyes which felt a bit like having congestion in my sinuses. Having put up with this for 4 weeks I think it is starting to get better – I went back to work this week but on shorter hours, and that definitely helped. My best advice would be to try to distract yourself as much as possible, and get out in the fresh air if you possibly can. Also it is very reassuring to feel that you are not the only person who has experienced this – I was told categorically by my GP and a Psychiatrist that the feelings I was having couldn’t be anything to do with citalopram as it would have been out of my body after a couple of days – but I now know they were wrong. I hope this helps other people who are going through the same thing – thanks to everyone who has written their comments as they have definitely helped me!

October 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm
(726) kitty says:

I’ve been off citalopram for nine days now, and still feeling pretty rough!

Dizziness, spaced out, shattered and very teary. BUT! After reading the many, many comments left on here, i am feeling much more positive.

Yes, it’s an awful feeling, but to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, makes me feel so much better. So a massive thank-you to everybody who has took the time to put their stories out there for people like me who are just starting out on the long road ahead! I will never go back on the tablets, and i am glad i’m on the road to recovery!!

October 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm
(727) Hannah says:

Well, it’s 930pm on day 9 for me! And, i’ve had 3 good days now :-)
I wont lie, i haven;t felt “FINE” but so much beter than i did. The dizziness is much better and i’m starting to feel a little less tired.
I thought the symptoms i was feeling would end but it looks like I’m getting there so i’m feeling really posistive!
I wanted to let you all know so hopefully you’ll feel positive about your progress too.
I spokewith my GP on Thursday and he explained that all the symptoms that i have been feeeling are quote normal when withdrawing from citalopram and he also explained that the two stone weight gain would have most likely been down the they pills too so with any luck, i should start to loose weight soon :-)
I hope everyone is doing ok and has had a good weekend. Take Care xx

October 5, 2008 at 8:51 pm
(728) Linda M says:

I just weened myself off of Citalopram for about a week now, or so I thought. I started having the brain shaking thing too. I thought I did it slow enough but I guess not. Haven’t heard the sounds so far. I have also been so hungry it’s unreal. As soon as I eat something I hungry again as if I hadn’t eaten. Haven’t read all the posts yet to see in anyone had that effect. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this brain shaking, room shifting feeling. I just decided to start myself back on this slowly just to stop the brain shaking. Thanks Everyone.

October 6, 2008 at 6:33 am
(729) niki says:

helloooo all, and boy is it nice to see that im not a loon!!!!!!Have been taking 20mg for a year for pnd and ptsd and now feel great so have been weaning off this cursed drug, 20mg every other day!I feel like absolute crap, its day 8 and am getting all symptoms described, as well as like peircing pains everynow and again in the side of my head!!!!I am praying that this is withdrawals however and not depression coming bak with a vengence?
Grrrrrr, am now going to start takin vit B6, and evening primrose which a friend reccomended, its lovely to know im not alone and this site is fab, everyone keep ur chin up and smile (as hard as it may be) xxx

October 6, 2008 at 8:45 am
(730) Erin says:

Hi everyone,
I posted a few comments a month or two (?) ago.. and wish to extend to everyone my best wishes for hanging in there.. I’m coping better than ever after getting through the tough citalopram withdrawl and finding some meds that suited me btter. Things are still very up-and-down every day but it CAN be done: you CAN get through the side-effects/withdrawls and find treatment that suits you. It takes a lot of time and energy, but hang in there! You can do it :)

October 6, 2008 at 8:45 am
(731) Erin says:

Hi everyone,
I posted a few comments a month or two (?) ago.. and wish to extend to everyone my best wishes for hanging in there.. I’m coping better than ever after getting through the tough citalopram withdrawl and finding some meds that suited me btter. Things are still very up-and-down every day but it CAN be done: you CAN get through the side-effects/withdrawls and find treatment that suits you. It takes a lot of time and energy, but hang in there! You can do it :)

October 6, 2008 at 8:48 am
(732) Erin says:

Sorry for two comments. Don’t know how that happened. But double-emphasis on hanging in there.

October 6, 2008 at 11:04 am
(733) kitty says:


Day 10 and feeling much better, dizziness is a lot less, and now I can drive without feeling like I’m drunk!! It really is true what everybody is saying, it is so worth coming off them and the withdrawal that comes with it! I feel like if I can get through this I can get through anything. Light really is at the end of the tunnel, and it really is worth perservering with.
I hope anybody reading this who is going through a tough time, can take some comfort in the fact that it really does get better!!

October 6, 2008 at 7:49 pm
(734) Linda M says:

Now I feel kinda bad for giving up so soon. I was off them for about a week and couldn’t take the headaches and dizziness. I just took a half dose last night and I feel much better today. I don’t want to be stuck on these things. I haven’t taken any today, I usually take them in the evening. I’m a caregiver for my elderly mother and I just can’t handle the stress of taking care of her with the constant headache and dizziness. I’ll have to talk to my doctor to find out what to do. Any suggestions?

October 7, 2008 at 3:54 am
(735) Hannah says:

HI Linda

In response to your last comment, don’t feel bad about “giving up”- When i first tried a few months ago, it didn’t work for me either and now im on day 11 with no pills and feeling much better! It’s all about doing it at the right time for your body i think.
With regards for caring for your mother, maybe you could arrange a week’s respite care or something for her so you can get over the worst of the withdrawl?
If you really want to stop the pills though, speaking to oyur doctor should help as he/she may be able to give you something on a short term basis to help with the symptoms eg paracetamol for headaches and some kind of dizziness relief (i though of trying motion sickness tablets for a couple of days)

I hope that has helped, Take care x

October 7, 2008 at 4:56 am
(736) Dean UK says:

Day 56 of withdrawal

Tuesday 7th OCtober

I feel good, no withdrawal symptoms at all, if you read my earlier posts then you can see that getting through this is possible.

I feel for people who have major commitments and need to maintain them during the first few weeks of withdrawal, i was lucky and had no work to go to and my wife to look after me and my children.

Re read my posts and you will see it is possible to get through these symptoms, take ginger capsules for sickness and paracetemol for headaches.

Im still having the acupuncture and taking natural chineese herbs which seem to have helped my overall well being.

Keep strong and if you have any specific questions post them here as i shall constantly be checking in with this site which helped me so much through a tough time in my life!!!

October 7, 2008 at 5:06 am
(737) kitty says:

Hi Linda,

Hannah’s right, you shouldn’t feel bad for giving up, I came off them last year and it wasn’t the right time for me, and i went back on them.
This time was obviously the right time, it really is trial and error, and one day will be the right day! And dean is right too, this website is a massive help, cos everyone knows exactly what it’s like.
Stay Strong.

October 13, 2008 at 11:41 am
(738) kitty says:


Day 17 and not feeling great to be honest.
Headache is still lingering and dizziness is coming and going.
Still not enjoying driving.
I’m definately having good and bad days and i’m just hoping it’s coming to an end. This is the first day in ages that i’ve wanted to go back on the tablets, and i know i have to stay strong and keep off them, but it’s hard!

Any words of wisdom from anybody would be a massive help at the moment!

October 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm
(739) Amy says:

Hello, fellow sufferers! I too, like many others, must repeat how glad I am to find this site. No matter how supportive loved ones try to be, I really don’t think anyone can really understand how debilitating these withdrawal symptoms can be unless they are unlucky enough to go through them themselves. I came off Citalopram 7 weeks ago. I suffered the horrid electric shocks, head zaps, wobbly feelings and once actually passed out. But I was determined not to go back on them. I had originally started taking them for mild panic disorder. I had a terrible experience 5 years back coming off Seroxat, so was very reluctant to take anything but my doctor explained “you won’t have any trouble coming of these, there are no withdrawal efects and 10m is such a low dose anyway, stopping the meds won’t be a problem.” Yeah right. Although the physical symptoms have been greatly reduced, I have now slumped in to a depression (I wasn’t depressed before I went on the tablets and convinced it is all part of the withdrawal). I feel irrational anger and sadness and regularly burst in to tears in publc. I cannot work and am so fed up. I read on here and other sites, some written by doctors, that sometimes doctors have treated these withdrawal symptoms (they call it discontinuation syndrome) with a few single doses of Prozac. Some doctors said it only took 3 or 4 20mg doses (1 dose a day) to stop all symptoms. They attribute this to the fact that Prozac stays in the system for longer and therefore has a built in tapering system. So I went to the doctor today and took my first dose of Prozac about 6 hours ago. The doctor wants me to continue to take it for 4-6 months but there is no way I am planning on jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, so I am just going to take one each day for the next 4 days. I will let you know how I get on. Fingers crossed. Amy.

October 14, 2008 at 6:52 am
(740) Adrienne says:

Ohhhh what a horrible thing it is coming off these pills! I felt so awful today that I searched the internet and thank goodness cam across this fantastic site. thank you to all who have posted here over the past five years – I’ve read all your posts and you have helped me enormously.

I’ve been on citalopram for 30 months now and have finally taken the plunge to come off them. I was on 15mg – not hih I know, but obviously enough and long enough to get me hooked. I have over the last three weeks reduced myself down to 5mg a day, and it has hit me like a hammer. Today I felt ill – aching, headache and absolute lethargy. I came home from work, lay down for a few minutes rest and passed out for the next four hours. Having read all of the messages on this board I can see why! I feel fuzzy in the brain, and so flat and sad. Emotionless almost, but not depressed. Just flat. I have two children to raise on my own and I just don’t have the energy or concentration to devote to them at the moment. Having read all this I can see the next few weeks will be tough. I am so over Citalopram. thanks to everyone for your stories, you are so much more help than my GP!


October 16, 2008 at 10:36 am
(741) Kathleen says:

Because of 2 overdoses on other drugs, my medicine is locked up tighter than a drum, and my partner dispenses them before she goes to bed.

This Sunday, during the service, I broke down in tears, I thought it because of all our financial problems, instead I find out I had run out of Citalopram 3 days before that, today is Thursday, and they still haven’t arrived from the VA.

I was having that headshaking thing, but it was long before I ran out of Citalopram. I was taking 60mg. Now I am always tired, depressed, and feel just plan blah.

Is this from the withdrawl.

October 16, 2008 at 11:47 am
(742) kitty says:


Day 20, without my ‘safety blanket’! and I’m feeling good.

Never in a million years did I believe I would get through this, the withdrawal was that bad, but here I am, and all is well.

I never thought this would happen, because my anxiety before citalopram was quite horrendous and I was constantly going to my doctors for reassaurance. The citalopram helped me become what I used to be, and now that I’m off them I’m slowly feeling like me again.

I can’t state enough what a godsend this website is, and how good it feels to not be alone with these withdrawal symptoms. It was a scary time, but I’m hoping I’m through the worst of it.

October 16, 2008 at 8:40 pm
(743) Tracy says:

I have been on this for 11 years. It was prescribed because I have anxiety attacks. The Celexa didn’t stop the bad attacks, so I also have klonipin. I would like to get of the celexa but not sure how. I once ran out, didn’t think much of it because I had a doctors appt. the next week, but after a few days my husband was begging me to cal the doctor. I felt dizzy, tired, didn’t want to do anything. Now I’m afraid to stop. I have gone every other day at 20 mg and didn’t see any difference. Some have suggested shaving a little bit off the pill, then the next month shaving more. Has this worked for anyone?

October 17, 2008 at 6:34 pm
(744) Jenn says:

Does anyone have any idea how long these withdrawals last???? I had only been on Citalopram for 2 months and was taken off because i started feeling these weird side effects.I haven’t took a pill in about a week and 3 days but i feel awful just like everyone described the head flushes, feeling out of it like i;m floating all day long.Very dizzy sometimes i think i may pass out. My dr says the same thing it shouldn’t be the pills they should already be out of your system. Before reading this website i believed i maybe could of had a tumor or something, but now i am conviced it is the med. I didn’t think taking such a light dose for a short period of time would cause these feelings. Does anyone have any answers to how lone these symptoms go on for? I want to feel normal again. Thank god for this website because I had no idea what was goin on with me.

October 17, 2008 at 9:49 pm
(745) Adrienne says:

Hi everyone – well, I’ve been on 5mg for exactly on week now and the withdrawal symptoms are becoming a pain in the neck. I thought if I cut back slowly (ie. 15mg was my normal dose for 2 and a half years, so I cut back to 10mg for one week, 5mg for one week) I would minimise the withdrawal symptoms, but all it seems to do is draw them out for a longer period of time!! My original plan was to cut back to 2.5mg tomorrow for another week (and how the hell do you cut one of those tablets into a quarter anyway?) but I think I’ll just stop them completely tomorrow and get this out of the way hopefully in the next month or so. I have electric zaps a lot in the morning, I feel quite dizzy and unbalanced a lot of the time, and I am extremely tired. This morning I slept in until 10:30 (I went to bed at 9 last night), and my daughter just couldn’t wake me up this morning. She said she tried three times, and I just kept rolling over and going back to sleep. Even right now (12:30pm) I could go back to bed and sleep. I’m also very teary, I just feel like crying for no good reason. It’s weird, almost as though I’m getting depressive symptoms back again. I’m sure this is just because my brain is learning to stand on its own two feet again, having been drug dependant for nearly three years. Oh, and I’m having very vivid and long dreams too! It’s bizarre, my dreams seem to go on forever and are so real and detailed. Seems we all have the same symptoms. If only doctors would tell us of these things the day they start on citalopram.

This website is fantastic – thank God we all have each others stories to help us through drug withdrawal. Good luck to you all!

October 19, 2008 at 1:05 am
(746) becky says:

I know this has been said a thousand times on here already, but hearing everyone’s stories has helped me so much! THANK YOU! It helps just knowing that the withdrawal effects are going to leave, so this living hell can finally end.

I started Citalopram/celexa for the first time two years ago. I was only on it for about 6 weeks and discontinued as it wasn’t helping, however had no side effects.

Then, I started Citalopram again just a few months ago and it was actually working well. However, my G.P. thought it best to switch me to Cymbalta, as I have a bladder condition and apparently Cymbalta helps with pain management.

Well, it worked for about 3 weeks, then I just started having tantrums and crying out of nowhere – plus it stopped helping with the bladder pain and it cost $175 for two weeks work of pills…yeah.

Then I tried Rispidone, and had the most adverse reaction I’d ever encountered. It felt like the veins in my arms were on fire and my heart was beating out of my chest – not to mention lactating! So after this experience, my psychiatrist and doctor thought best to place me back on citalopram, as it was the only thing that remotely worked.

Well, I went on it for about 5 days, 2 weeks ago, and have been going through absolute hell since. I’ve been off for nearly two weeks now, but the side effects are still there.

I keep getting this pressure in my chest, along with pain in my neck and arms. My head feels like it’s ready to black out at any moment, and my heart starts beating like crazy.

These come in episodes that last about 30 mins to 2 hours (which feels like an eternity), and happen at least twice a day. I’ve been given lorazepam to cope with the effects, and clonazepam for sleeping and tooth grinding, and for the most part, they have been very helpful. To be honest, I don’t know what I’d do without them right now.

Another weird side effect I’ve been having is really intense teeth grinding in my sleep and vivid nightmares. It’s extremely hard to get to sleep in the first place, but when I do, my jaw tightens and contracts and it feels like I’m trying to push the teeth clean out of the mouth. All I can is wait for it to finish, and deal with the damage after.

This entire experience has been so unnerving, and I regret ever taking any pills in the first place – hindsight is always 20/20.

Apparently, I’ve got Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized and Social Anxiety disorder and panic disorder….eeks. Weird seeing them all listed like that.

It’s so hard to go solo, but I’ve had nothing but trouble with meds, so appart from the lorazepam, I think that’s me finished for good. I CAN NOT WAIT for these side effects to LEAVE FOR GOOD.

October 19, 2008 at 5:18 pm
(747) Adrienne says:

Hey Becky – your end bit of the story made me smile (not the rest though, that sounds like hell and I feel sympathy for you). But when you list all your diagnoses, you made me smile as yes it’s confronting seeing them all writen down like that, but as I always like to remind myself when I read my medical reports, I may be a woman who has Major Depression, OCD, various phobias and anxieties etc etc but I also have blonde hair, green eyes and a genetic predisposition for chocolate !!

We all are who we are – depression, bipolar, and everything else inbetween. We can’t help our genetic make up, but we can be the best that we can. Sounds like you are having an awful time and my heart goes out to you. We’re all in this together though, and just knowing that helps me in a small way.


October 20, 2008 at 1:13 pm
(748) Hannah says:

Hi Everyone

Itsbeen a little while since my last post!! I Hope you are all doing ok….

Things are much better for me now…lost count of when i took my last pill…must be about 4 weeks now and i do feel lots better…there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you all!!!

I’d like to say i feel fine…im sure i would if i didn’t have such a nasty cold….but never mind!!!

Hopefully you are all doing well….Take Care, Hannah xx

October 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(749) Jenn says:

It has been 2 weeks today that I have stopped citalopram. But the side effects/withdrawals are still here. I feel more anxiety now then before I started this medication. The out of it feeling and head rushes seem to be wearing off. They have been coming and going everyday but not as bad, I can not wait until they completely stop. I still feel like my chest is soooo congested and my anxiety has got worse. I will never take a anti-depressent again if this is what I have to look forward to. Hope these feelings will go away because this is an awful thing to experience.

October 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm
(750) lyn says:

Great site!!I was on Lexapro, then Citalopram (which I was told was the generic for Lexapro??) for the PAST 9 YEARS (went on it after my son was born.) Is there anyone else who has been on it for that long? I’ve weened myself off and it’s been about a week now without a pill. My symptoms, which we all share, started about 2 days ago and are getting worse. I know these will pass with time, I’m just wondering if anyone knows if the symptoms last longer the longer you’ve been on it? Thanks and good thoughts to all

October 22, 2008 at 4:00 am
(751) Adrienne says:

Hi Lyn, oh my God – 9 YEARS! That’s a long time on this drug. I was on it for only 2 and a half years, but the withdrawal is painful.

I’m now down to 1/4 of a tablet a day (about 1.25mg a day) and I get the shocks in the morning only, plus a very bad memory and head spins. I’ll be stopping the tablets completely in a few days time. It has taken me a month to wean down from 15mg to this small amount and I’m happy I took it nice and slowly. The electric shocks in my head and arms are awful – the weirdest symptom but one which we all seem to have in common.

I’m tearful a lot of the time, and last night so tightly wound up with stress I took a valium. I will rely on these to get me through the upcoming weeks when I feel very stressed or anxious. My GP is ok with this, as long as I don’t become too reliant on valium.

For anybody out there feeling anxiety – here’s a good tip. I put some oils in the oil burner in the evening and they really do help. The best combinations I have found are a few drops of chamomile mixed with a few drops of lavender, or a few drops of ylang ylang mixed with a few drops of patchouli. And the added bonus is the house smells lovely too. Believe me, I’m not a herbal hippy but these oils have a calming effect, on not only me but also my young children (which is always a major bonus).

Hope you feel better soon!


October 22, 2008 at 11:39 am
(752) lyn says:

Hi Adriene,

Thanks for responding. I just spoke with my GP (my husband called him) and he told me that the only reason I am experiencing all the symptoms that HUNDREDS of others are experiencing is because I must NEED it. That if I didn’t need it in the first place, I wouldn’t be experiencing this. His response really makes me think about changing Dr’s.! Isn’t that what withdrawal is??? I’m sure my body “needs” it after 9 years of use. But it doesn’t prove that I still need it for the reason I went on it in the first place.

I also weened myself off slowly, and he was just trying to talk me into going back on 10ml a day, so the symptoms would stop. This makes no sense to me at all. I told him how on this site you can see the light at the end of the tunnel because so many have written that the symptoms eventually go away and so many feel so much better than when they were on it. He had the “much talked about response” that there is NO withdrawal symptoms from this drug and that the people writing on this site are not Dr’s. I stuck to my guns and told him I did not want to back tread to where I was 1 month ago, on 10ml a day. He then offered to give me something to stop the spinning, what is it with Dr’s. and meds? I declined and said I would just wait it out.

I will try the scented oil if needed, scents can be very soothing, but so far I really don’t feel too anxious, it’s just the swooshing in my head.

Good luck to you!

October 25, 2008 at 1:08 am
(753) Adrienne says:

Hi Lyn, wow it sounds like your doctor and my doctor have the exact same attitude towards people stopping Citalopram! I couldn’t believe the similarities in attitudes – my doctor even told me about a year ago when I was first considering stopping the drug that if I was comfortable whilst taking it, then why stop it when she knows of people who stay on it “permanently”. She also told me not to read the internet and worry about other people’s experiences when they stop taking the drug, as obviously they were not “professional medical people” who didn’t know what they were talking about. She’s very anti the whole medical info searches on the internet, as apparently none of it is written by people with medical backgrounds!! I’d say having been through all of this ourselves, WE know more about taking and stopping Citalopram than our doctors.

She did advise me to wean myself of the drug slowly (ie. over two weeks, which in my opinion is not SLOWLY, I have taken a month) but she also told me there’d be no side effects except I would probably get depression again (thanks for the vote of confidence doctor!). She was all for me staying on citalopram forever, and said the other day that if I insist on stopping it then I’m going against her best medical advice.

I just fail to see how we will ever know if the depressive illness is actually gone and we are able to cope without meds, if we don’t actually stop taking the stuff and try to live our lives without it!

Maybe these awful withdrawal side affects are deliberately built in by the drug manufacturers so that we give up trying to quit and get back on the drugs again!

I stopped Citalopram for good two days ago and am having a lot of trouble concentrating – my short term memory is zero. I am literally forgetting what I’m saying during a conversation, I read the same page for 5 minutes and still don’t know what I’m reading, and yesterday walked up and down an aisle at the supermarket looking for something, without realising it was the SAME aisle each time. I’m also getting the electric shocks/brain whooshes very very frequently. They go from my head down my arms, into my hands and are scary. They feel like jolts, I feel like I’m just running with electricity. I can’t wait for all this to stop. I’m a lot more snappy and irritable than usual too, I’m probably not the best mother to my kids at the moment, but I keep reminding myself that it’s just a drug withdrawal because I was “addicted” to the stuff, and treat myself with sympathy accordingly. I mean, people on illegal drugs or alcohol addiction get to take time off from life and sit in rehab without the day to day stresses and demands of normal life. But we suffering the horrible withdrawal symptoms of a prescription drug that is supposed to be “good” for us have to live through this and continue our lives with no time out. It’s hard.

I feel better knowing that you and so many others are going through the same thing too. It really really helps to know I’m not the only one.

Oops – I was going to write something else but the thought went out of my head and I lost it almost as quickly as it came in!!! See how bad this is :)

Cheers, Adrienne

October 26, 2008 at 1:47 am
(754) Belinda says:

How heartening it has been to find this thread and to also know I’m not alone in any of the side effect with drawls of this drug. I’ve been on citalopram for over a year now, I’ve recently become pregnant! which is so wonderful and have now found out I will have to go off the drug and quickly, as it passes thru the placenta barrier. I’m experiencing all the same symptoms of dizziness, nausea and a shaking feeling in my head. Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s the with drawls or morning sickness.

The thing that really irks me, is I was put on this drug to stop my initial dizziness. It was suggested that my anxiety could be triggering it. After having a very bad bout of labyrinthitis, I was left with severe anxiety and dizzy spells. No doctor has been able to properly diagnose the condition so for now i’ve just accepted that the ear virus possibly did some damage, even though ENT’s say there is no problems with my ears. It seems funny to me, that I’ve been put on a drug to help me with anxiety, which in turn helps the dizziness, that once you come off, makes you feel dizzy and then will no doubt in turn bring on anxiety. How ironic :P One needs a good sense of humor at a time like this.

It would be really great to come off it slowly but I’d rather suffer and be dizzy than cause any harm to my unborn baby. Currently Im taking one tablet alternate days for a week and then half a tablet alternate days for a week.

Has any other pregnant mothers got any info on how fast they came off the drug and their experiences. Will this feeling of sadness and dizziness go away in time?

October 27, 2008 at 5:22 am
(755) Steven says:

Hi there

I’m currently reducing Citalopram after taking it for about 7 years for obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety. I think its time to try as I have been pretty well for quite a while (still do some pretty odd things but that’s just a part of me now and I get on with it). I have been on 40mg for 3 years and my GP cut this to 30mg for a moth and now on 20mg for 2 months. He seems to realise the importance of reducing over a long time period but I just wonder whether 10mg at a time is a big drop.

Since dropping to 20mg I have found that I have become really irritable and a general pain in the neck for my fiancee. Sometimes I feel really angry and frustrated (mainly with myself) and want to scream. I also seem to beat myself up about things alot. I feel like my mood swings ruin our time together.

Could this be withdrawal?

October 29, 2008 at 5:29 am
(756) Michelle says:

I’m on day 10 of cold turkey from taking 20mg of Citalopram for the last 18 months….i am really annoyed by the weight gain that has been caused by these bloomin’ things….i was on sertraline for 3 years previously and gained well over 3 stone on them. i weaned myself off them prety quickly when i was diagnosed with an underactive thryoid. the whole 3 stone dropped off in the course of the following 15 months. Just really annoyed that my doc has put me on a SSRI which is well documented for piling on the pounds, especially when i have the thyroid condition. i’ve been on citalopram for 18 months (like i said) but it’s only in the last 9 months that the scales are being mean to me….not matter what diet i try (with exercise – when i can actually be bothered, having the two conditions doesn’t really help matters!!!) i just can’t shift a sinle pound. Am on day 10 of cold turkey now, and i’m feeling pretty good all things considered…am very hungry and thirsty, and get a very hot head in the evenings with dizzy spells….but am hoping these will go in the next week or so, along with some of the weight…. has anyone been able to lose the weight they put on, and how long did it take?

October 30, 2008 at 10:45 am
(757) Jenn says:

I am on almost 4 weeks of being off citalopram. And i thought it was getting better with the head rushes and feeling out of it, but they are back. It was coming and going for days but today is a bad day. Last week I went back to my doctor. She said all the medication should be out of my system and that this is all anxiety related problems. She has suggested I go see a psychiatrist. I really don’t know what to do. I keep thinking could there be something else worng that the doctor hasn’t found? Should I go to a psychiatrists or is this just the side effects of citalopram????? After readung this site over and over again I have come to believe it is from taking the medication. People are describing the same symptoms that are very hard to describe. I was only on citalopram for a short time. I don’t even think I made 2 months because i started to feel very strange and my doctor had me stop them. But since then it has been worse. I feel completely out of it. Like my body is floating or like a drunk feeling all day long.I will actually go to pick something up and its like i cant even feel what i’m carrying. Another weird symptom I’ve been getiing is if i have an itch on my arm or something I will scratch but can’t actually feel my self scratch the spot. Like I said very weird and kind of undescribale. I have still been having nightmares and craving all kinds of sweets. I just don’t feel myself. Does anyone have any suggestions????? Or some information on how long this can go on for???? At this point now, I am scared to leave my house because i don’t want to drive feeling like this. I love the gym and have tried to go but have left multiple times because I just can’t be there feeling this way. I am thinking of finding another doctor, but it seems like everyone of them has the same response about the meds. I am so confused and don’t know what to do at this point. Just when it seems like it was getting better it got worse. Any suggestions??????

October 31, 2008 at 11:10 am
(758) mel says:

I read this site quite some time ago and am so glad to find it again!! Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. I started taking 20mg citalopram about 4 years ago when I was going through a really stressful and anxious period. The side effects at the beginning were awful but then I enjoyed being on it because I felt I could cope with things again and didn’t have so many anxiety attacks. Doctors put me down to 10mg nearly a year ago and although it was hard to come down, it wasn’t as bad as I thought at first, I did an anxiety course but I still get panic attacks. After a crazy summer I finally plucked up the courage to cut down to 5mg but I have been finding it quite hard. Now I’m down to my last packet and am supposed to take 5mg every other day. But it is hard work!! My head is doing that crazy turn thing, I’m dizzy and I’m feeling tired and nervous. Do you think I should cut down to 2.5mg each day or stick at 5mg every other day? It’s hard to think at the moment and I have been short tempered with my husband! Thanks for your help :-)

October 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm
(759) Don says:

Hi all,

I have been reading through this webpage and made it through quite a few posts. I am sorry to hear that so many people feel this way after trying to quit. I am on 20 mg and that is what I started on.
I have a question about whether or not I should quit. Here is the thing… I have been on citalopram for about a year now and when I first started taking it I had similar issues that everyone has had. Now a year later I’ve tried to quit once and couldn’t manage to do it.
I’ve found that in the last week I’ve had uncontrollable anxiety, really bad hand shakes and sometimes it feels like I am not in control of my own mind/body. My mind tends to wonder and come to wild baseless conclusions and thoughts of suicide. I have had shortness of breath and all of this has had a tremendous impact on my loved ones and I only want whatís best for myself, and everyone around me.
What were the reasons everyone else quit? Were you experiencing similar problems as I am and thatís why you quit? Or am I just even more depressed and need to go on a high dose?


November 5, 2008 at 10:48 am
(760) kitty says:


I’ve been off my tablets for almost 6 weeks now, and I’m pretty much back to normal.
In reply to what Don say’s I think it would be a good idea to go back to your doctor, if you feel this bad, there is no point suffering unnesseceraly.

November 6, 2008 at 1:40 am
(761) Jeannetta says:

I have had similar symptoms and I have not used it since 2004. Now, when I get stressed out my head feels like it hurts, but it is a different type of pain. I have to stop myself from stressing out or else pay the physical consequences in my brain. It’s quite weird. Actually, I am bothered if I am overly excited as well. If I laugh too hard for too long, my head hurts in this unique way again. I had the withdrawl symptoms for about three months and I won’t take it again.

November 12, 2008 at 6:41 am
(762) Adrienne says:

3 weeks into withdrawal … And it’s still not feeling better. Having just read most of these posts again I can see my symptoms are following the same pattern as everyone else’s. Why don’t our doctors tell us it is hard to stop taking this drug before they get us hooked on it! If only I’d known all this before I took the first pill, I would never have started them.

I’m constantly tired and fatigued and sleeping 10-12 hours a night. Sleep is filled with long, complicate dreams. I ache and feel dizzy. Have been living on nurofen for 3 weeks now. The electric shocks in my head and arms still occur but Ive found they are better with Nurofen Plus ie. Codeine. I am irritable and angry and cry easily. But then who wouldn’t feel like this if they were dog-tired and felt sick all the time???

3 weeks down … Hopefully only another 2 weeks to go. I stopped taking Citalopram because I felt the stresses in my life that caused depression a few years ago had eased. I’ve made changes to my life which I thought provided me with a more “kinder” existence. Plus I was over the total lack of sex drive!! I cannot tell you how easy it is to get going and have fun again :) again and again and again! Such a difference to anti-orgasm citalipram and definitely the highlight of coming off this drug!

Well it’s time for me to get my 28 hours sleep, good luck all and thankyou for sharing your stories. You have helped me so much. I’ll be back in touch.



November 12, 2008 at 6:51 am
(763) Adrienne says:

PS: oops! Blame this stupid withdrawal and the brain fog for the double sign-off of my name in the previous post. I am solo tired I can’t think straight and this is how I feel ALL day thanks to Citalopram ;)

November 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm
(764) sarah-jane says:

I am now almost 2 years out of my withdrawal. it was the hardest 5 – 6 months of my life to begin with. it is only now i look back and realise that the fog that it created around me has lifted and my views are clear, and my own. I still use St. Johns Wort for support with none of the side affects associated with SSRI’s. I have had Bronchitis now for about 6 weeks and at times like this the boredom,self indulgance and isolation bring back feelings i suffered during my depression. I am able to a greater extent to focus on the present and future which allows these feelings to pass, without damage. to all of you starting or relapsing keep at it, its worth it.

November 15, 2008 at 2:34 pm
(765) heather says:

i am going through really bad withdrawal but wasnt sure this was what it was.i am on tramodol and co codamol for a back injury and while visiting family ran out of the tramadol for 4 days i have been unable to sleep, no appetite, flu like symptoms, restlessness, jirky hands and feet , unable to be still forlong, toss and turn all night (last night was my 3rd night with this nightmare insomnia..i was looking on here for info on tramadolconvinced i was withdrawing from that when i came accross this site and yes i am also on cipralex( escitalopram) and had my does doubled last week so maybe its this thats causing the suffering. i will be at my doc on monday to see about coming off it is absolute hell to experience.

November 18, 2008 at 8:53 pm
(766) caroline says:

Hi Clare B (M E patient)

I was prescribed citalopram when I got my clinical diagnosis of ME as I had been bedridden for 5 months after food poisoning, slowly managed to pace myself back into a nearly normal lifestyle and back to work full time within 1 year, when doc prescribed these for ME I cried as I thought he didnt really understand what I was experiencing was physical and not mental pain/exhaustion but he was really good at explaining that my happiness levels were obviously dipping due to being so inactive, and that they would continue to do so until I could get back to near normal, so I agreed to take and within 4 weeks found I was feeling so much more like myself again, this allowed me to then concentrate on building on the physical side of my condition, anyway Im a year down the line and would like to wean myself off 20mg a day but Im actually afraid to do so because of these withdrawels many people are experiencing. What dose where you on and how did you withdraw? To be honest I would be quite happy to stay on them forever but I find I have put on a stone in weight and sometimes wake up thro the night so hungry which is something I have never experienced in my life before. Also I have had a bad experience of being on a night out and drinking alcohol, which lead to a total black out and I am having nightmares about that as it was so out of character for me, I didnt make it home and passed out on a friend’s sofa, did not even have the brain function to know that I should phone home and let my husband know, therefore you can imagine how distressed he was, it took a bit of explaining to him but he knew it was so out of character for me therefore he has forgiven me but I am genuinly worried about drinking any alcohol over the festive period incase I black out again. please share your experience and any advice with me. Cx

November 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(767) cheryl liverpool says:

Hi all,
My question to you all is!!
my specialist as just prescribed 10mg of citalopram for myself daily instead of 10mg of amitriptyline.I am scared to take citalopram now after reading most of your comments. the reason i am diagnosed these tablets is because i wake up everyday with real bad bad headaches. I am so scared of being addicted to these tablets that i only take them now and again. Would you advise i dont take anything and try something that is not so addictive? if yes ,all suggestions would be very grateful. thanks all.I look forward to you replies and help. luv chez x

November 21, 2008 at 8:42 pm
(768) Adrienne says:

Hi Cheryl

It’s up to you and your doctor whether or not you take Citalopram, but from my experience and many others on this site you can see it is a very difficult drug to stop taking.

I can honestly say that at the time I needed help with my depression Citalopram (known as Talam when I took it) helped a lot in that it dulled all my feelings, good and bad, and helped me through a rough patch.

However, I feel that my doctor prescribed it way too quickly, and I had no offer of any other form of treatment – ie. counselling. I think too many doctors around the world just hand out prescriptions for drugs like Citalopram and do NOTHING to warn us of the dangers or side effects. I have also made many changes to my lifestyle and career over the past twelve months that I feel have helped me enormously to manage the stress levels in my life. Perhaps if I’d made these changes sooner and sought counselling to help me with depression I could have avoided anti-depressant medication in the first place. I will certainly be exploring ALL other options apart from drug therapy should I ever fall into a depression again.

I am especially disappointed that I was never told how difficult it is to come off Citalopram. I am now nearly five weeks into my withdrawal, and it has been very very VERY tough. Combine this with about a month spent cutting back from my dosage of 15mg a day, and that is nearly ten weeks of my life completely wasted thanks to Citalopram. And when I say “wasted”, I mean wasted!! I have been sick, ached all over, suffered vertigo, unable to think straight or concentrate, struggling to make it through some days, been horrible to my children and never knowing how I’m going to feel from one hour to the next (crying or angry, crying or angry). This has been the WORST few months of my life.

As good as Citalopram was helping with depression, if I’d known how hard stopping the drug would be I would NEVER HAVE STARTED IT.

Reading back now at my previous posts I can see how hard I was finding everything – I can’t even spell or string two words together coherently in some of the posts! I can remember the first few weeks feeling drugged, suffering constant electric zaps in my head and arms, dizziness and feeling sick, being irrationally tearful or just plain angry, and so exhausted after sleeping sometimes 12+ hours a night. It has been a nightmare. Oh, and let’s not forget the nightmares in my dreams every night for about a month!

After all this time I still have some muscle aches (not very often though) and still have a bit of dizziness. I am still getting the electric zaps, but they are less in severity and occur infrequently. They seem to happen mainly in the evening now, when I am tired.

I think you will see that most people put a timeframe of about three months on their withdrawal symptoms, so I am assuming I have another month to go until I feel normal again.

My clarity of mind and a feeling of ease and “lightness” in my thinking are definite pluses of not taking Citalopram. I feel like my old self in that respect – once I was on the drug and used to feeling numb in the head it became a way of life. It’s only now that I am finally getting it all out of my system that I can see how much nicer it is to think and feel with a complete range of emotions and clarity, rather than the dull-headed brain Citalopram gave me.

Good luck. Think very carefully about taking Citalopram as your doctor will probably never tell you the truth about withdrawal! I think the drug manufacturers would be perfectly happy for us to stay on this bloody drug for the rest of our lives whilst they profit from our misery.


November 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm
(769) sarah says:

OMG…so many poor people like myself. Been on anti-dep’s for around 8 years. Have only taken citalopram for 3 months. Decided to go cold turkey after experiencing head aches and generally just feeling that i don’t need those damn things anymore! After one week of not taking any tabs i feel aggressive, teary, so dizzy and blurry vision!! I have two young children and right now i feel sorry for them. Im determined to see this through..after reading some posts i realise i’m not the only one. Last week i cryed my eyes out to Leona Lewis on XFaxtor!!! What is happening to me!!

November 25, 2008 at 1:37 am
(770) Jim B says:

Responding to Jenn (Post 745)…I’ve been on 40mg of Citalopram for awhile but am also diabetic. Some of the symptoms you describe sound alot like what I go through. Much of it can be attributed to the diabetes. Have you had a doctor check your blood sugar (A1C) lately? Might find some help there. By the way, ran out of my citalopram about a week ago. Started withdrawals several days ago. Yikes!!! What a bummer. I called in to refill my presciption.

November 25, 2008 at 1:39 am
(771) Jim B says:

Correction – Post for Jenn (744)

November 25, 2008 at 7:15 am
(772) Adrienne says:

Jim B,

Hi, I am a diabetic also (Type 1) and yes the sweet cravings and floaty feelings described by Jenn can by symptoms of either hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia, but then again the weight gain cause by Citalopram can also cause/or be caused by strong food cravings, and unfortunately we all know Citalopram can cause dizziness, especially in the early months.

It’s also interesting to note that people with a chronic disease (such as diabetes) are more prone to depression :(

My opinion – gaining weight on Citalopram does nothing to help with depression!! I gained 7 kilograms on that stuff (about one stone) and I didn’t eat any more! My insulin requirement stayed the same the whole time my body was gaining the extra weight, I ate the same amount, yet I still got fatter. I’m now 57 kilograms which to me is FAT. I hate it. I’m used to being slim, half my wardrobe (the skinny half) is laughing at me……

5 weeks into withdrawal and the last few days have been rough with the anger/teary emotions returning. I’ve spent the better part of today crying irrationally or feeling as though I’m about to cry. It’s hell. I can’t wait for this to all wear off and have my life return to normal.


November 26, 2008 at 6:41 am
(773) blossom says:

Hi – I was put on 20mg citalopram for anxiety. I was only on them for 6 weeks and realised they were not for me, so over the last 2 weeks i have started to taper down. And today is my first tablet free day. i have beem feeling increasingly dizzy, spacey and unsteady over the past couple of weeks, not to mention nausea, restless sleep. I am shocked to think I am having these side effects after being on them for such a short time, and am worried i will never feel ‘myself’ again. Really quite scared? Any help advice or similar experiences out there?
Thank you!!


November 27, 2008 at 1:28 pm
(774) sarah says:

HI BLOSSOM. I too only took the tabs for I think 3 months max’. The dizzy spells do wear off as i am now on week two without the tabs. I, on the other hand am now feeling very aggressive which is a horrible feeling (watch out everyone!). Everything is such a hassle. I am starting to feel more positive though, especially now that i’m not so dizzy..(the dizzy spells lasted 2weeks). I’ve learnt my lesson, and that is to never take anti depressants ever again! I don’t have time in my life to accomodate this withdrawal period. If i don’t feel great in a weeks time I think I will purchase St Johns Wort. Good luck and hang in there…I do believe we will all get through this and return to normal thanks to this website!

November 28, 2008 at 3:04 am
(775) Justin says:

First THANK YOU Adrienne and everyone else who took the time to write here and make me realize how real this is. I’m looking forward to seeing what the 3 month, 6 month, 1 yr and 2 yr prognosisises are.

My name is Justin and I’ve been taking 20mg crack cocaine citalopram as a first line anti-anxiety medicine for the past year or so. I say first line because I also suffer from depression, so my doc also has me on wellbutrin 300mg to augment the effects of the citalopram.

Together, the two drugs have worked miracles in my life. I’ve spent many years on paxil and many years on zoloft, but the citalopram/bupropion combo finally did the trick and pulled me out of a real nightmare where panic and depression controlled my life. I was finally able to get clean from a 8mg per day xanax habit thanks to citalopram, and that required a hospitalization. I also take suboxone and have not abused alcohol or opioid pain killers in over 2 years.

I abused alcohol and benzos and pain killers extensively over the past 15 years to try and live each day without insane anxiety that someone I loved would be in a car crash, or I was going to die of cancer, or a comet was going to hit the earth, or Celine Dion would start touring again, etc.

The hardest thing I have ever done is get clear from the benzodiazepine demon. If you are taking alprazolam or lorazepam or diazepam (xanax, ativan or valium) you had better begin planning a trip to the detox unit. It was HORRIBLE.

My ultimate goal is to be completely pharma-free within the next 2 years, and replace pills with exercise and other healthy habits. I am not going to spend the remainder of my life financially supporting the bastards that have lied to us in order to get us addicted to their products by making cessation of their product nearly impossible. It’s not impossible though, as the people above have demonstrated, and so that is why I stopped taking citalopram cold turkey 7 days ago. I will continue taking wellbutrin for the next 6 months or so and fight that battle at a later time!

I am here because I googled “brain zaps” after spending the past 2 days in a complete fog of dizzying withdrawal. I plan on checking in a few times to document my withdrawal. The people who REALLY need to see psychiatrists are our GPs who should NOT have any license to distribute these evil little pills! This web site is proof alone that big pharma lies to achieve profit, the FDA knows about it, and no one cares that our family doctors have NO CLUE about the ramifications of writing a script for an SSRI. Whether it is serotonin or dopamine or norepinephrine reuptake that needs modified, the patient should really be given a fair chance to understand the implications of withdrawal should they choose to proceed. This of course will never happen because it would cost billions in the SSRI market but here I am at least along with all of you in documenting that our plight is REAL.

So after 7 days of NO CITALOPRAM these are my biggest withdrawal symptoms in decreasing order of magnitude – meaning the stuff at the top of the list sucks the most!

– Brain “woosh” or “zaps” constantly, but especially when turning my head or looking out of the corner of my eye suddenly
– Sudden muscle spasms, especially when trying to fall asleep
– Vertigo
– Nausea
– Food obsessions
– Nightmares and vivid dreams
– Out of control libido

These brain whooshes are absolutely terrible! I’ve noticed two types of them myself: one is a clicking noise deep within my brain right between my ears and the other is a 1/2 second blur where its like my brain tries to catch up but it makes me dizzy and there is a freaky whoosh whoosh sound and my stomach drops and my heart jumps – but it only lasts a fraction of a second and it is over. Sometimes these brain whooshes fire in rapid succession (tonight has been friggin unbareable) but usually its just one here, one there. The past 2 days I’ve noticed that they are gone when I wake up, but by the time I get downstairs the dizziness shows up and BAM it will happen. Definitely much worse at night though! Also noticing a general tinnitus – annoying blood whooshing sound in my ears when it is really quiet.

This just sucks and I am feeling so nauseated that its really similar to being drunk, just without the buzz.

The only thing that kind of has me scared are the muscle spasms though. Only a few people mentioned that above so I am not sure if it is 100% related specifically to just a citalopram withdrawal. At any rate, it really sucks and it just started 3 days ago – as soon as I get in bed and try to relax I’ll have an arm twitch, or a leg, even my diaphragm will twitch – and during the millisecond of the muscle jerk I get the same weird butterflies feeling in my stomach and my heart jumps just like when I have a brain whoosh/zap thingy. It must be related?! Last night I had one so bad, I mean it was such a violent muscle jerk, that for a moment I was worried I was about to go into a grand mal seizure or fit of some kind! It was just like that weird jerk that you get sometimes when you are almost asleep and you dream you are falling – but accompanied by that wacky mind/body feeling of a brain zap. Its almost a euphoric feeling, but it only last for like a tenth of a second so its hard to put into words although I don’t think I really have to since THANK GOD (!!!) I am not the only one this crap is happening to!

Food obsession thing is weird. I awoke last night at 4 AM FIENDING SO BAD for Corn Pops cereal and a Pop Tart that I layed there for a second and then literally ran to the kitchen and stuffed my face with exactly those two things as fast as I could. Weird! Never in my life before has anything like that EVER happened. Something really high in carbs will enter my mind and it will consume me until I go consume it!

And of course the nightmares – I just can not believe that EVERY ONE of my symptoms are shared by almost everyone who has posted here. I personally like nightmares and intensely-vivid dreams because they just make me feel so ALIVE – but they are almost scary at this point.

The libido thing was only mentioned by a few people but it is very pronounced in me. My libido is just through the roof like never before in my life and as soon as it’s satisfied it returns again.

Those are my experiences as things stand here on day 7 of this crappy journey and did I mention I am having a hell of a time trying to just create a well-formed sentence? I just hate this and will be so happy when it is all behind me.

If our politicians were not able to be bought by tobacco and big pharma lobbyists there would be a lot less pain in this world.

I really hope someone can learn from my mistakes. Steer clear of benzos if you are diagnosed with GAD or panic disorder and have even the slightest addictive personality! It’s a life wrecker.


November 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm
(776) Justin says:

Day 8 – feeling extremely agitated and aggressive for absolutely no reason. That is not like me at all either — I am usually very happy go lucky but this is definitely pronounced anger. Short fuse for a while I guess — could be worse! Dizzy dizzy dizzy click whoosh click click whoosh…

December 2, 2008 at 12:05 am
(777) Justin says:

Day 11 – Dizzy as can be =( Clicks and whooshes continue without rest… anger still an issue, libido still through the roof. I wouldn’t take another Celexa tablet to feel better again for a million bucks. How long is my brain chemistry going to remain altered like this? Errrrr…….. no sign of feeling better.

December 4, 2008 at 2:17 am
(778) Justin says:

Day 13 – The anger is totally gone today for the first time. Still nauseous. 2 weeks out now and things are finally looking up. The clicks, zaps and brain lag are markedly improved. Feeling REALLY good today!

December 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm
(779) Adrienne says:

Hang in there Justin – it will get better.

I’m now approaching seven weeks since stopping Citalopram, plus add another four weeks onto that time when I reduced my dosage from 15mg to nil, and I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

I still get slight electric shock feelings, mainly at night when I’m tired, and still feel irrationally sad or angry at times, but overall I’m fine and can say at last I think I’m at the end of this horrible journey.

If only my GP or anyone else in the know at told me when I first started this garbage medication that it would take the better part of three months to come off the drug, and that those three months would be hell, I would never have gone onto it in the first place!!

Three months – wow. Is there any other drug in the world that takes this long to stop suffering awful withdrawal symptoms and NO-ONE TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT IT?

What a waste of our time and energy. I for one am disgusted in the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry for NOT having the decency to be upfront and honest about the extreme side effects we experience upon cessation of Citalopram.

Even the other day I saw a new doctor and mentioned the lengthy side effects I’d experienced since stopping Citalopram and she was *shocked*. She’d “never” heard of any such thing before. Did I stop taking it abruptly? No. Perhaps I still need medication? No. Maybe you were sick with something else at the same time? NO! Well it can’t have been Citalopram – IT’S A SAFE DRUG TO TAKE.

Good luck all. If anyone else in the world randomly stumbles onto this page, or like the rest of us Google such bizarre words as “brain zaps” or “head whooshes” (my God, do you realise how ridiculous that looks???) please think about it very carefully if your doctor recommends you start Citalopram. It is VERY VERY DIFFICULT to come off this drug. And you get to do so without the support of the medical profession, who deny the existence of the withdrawal symptoms even whilst you are suffering through them.

To add my symptoms to the list of everyone else’s symptoms, here they are in their entirety:

Electric zaps (badly)
Extreme tiredness and sleepiness
Inability to wake up
Muscle aches
Crying (for no good reason)
Anger (for no good reason)
Inability to concentrate (please see my previous posts for proof of that haha)
Feeling detached
High libido
Clicks in my ears

If it weren’t for this website I would have felt like the only person on the planet who was suffering all those horrible withdrawal symptoms. Thank goodness for all of you, you have no idea how much you’ve all helped me.

NOW – I love my new clarity of thinking and my 2kg weight loss!


December 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(780) Polly says:

Stoped my 40mg of Citalopram last week. Weepy all the time, irritable, angry. An electric tingling when I turn my head. Lots of teeth clenching during the night. I had been on this drug about 5 years, so I know it won’t be easy, but it is better to know that I am not the only one. My doc is another that says I should not be having any effects from withdrawal. HA!

December 7, 2008 at 12:24 am
(781) Steve says:

I started taking citalopram a few days ago and have worsening tinnitus – I understand this is a rare side effect, but has anyone shared a similar experience and can tell me if this does actually diminish? Having read your comments I am strongly considering whether to cease taking it altogether but Im not sure whether I can do another year without some form medication.

December 7, 2008 at 1:21 pm
(782) Rob says:

I was on 40s for about 6 months, was warned about ‘cold turkey’ and learned the hard way when missing a dose here and there. I thought I was being smart by going to 20s for a week before laying off completely. Wasn’t enough but not going back on it.

My side effects on it were: headaches every day at 6PM (dosage time); anorgasmia (look it up); basically had to nap every day (luckily own my own business); took away my creative ‘edge’.

My withdrawal symptoms about day 7:
Headaches every night
Inability to fall asleep (exercise helps)
Irritability and short-temperedness
Inability to concentrate (racing thoughts) – although I had that BEFORE the Citalopram
Brain rushes – annoying but very similar to a problem I have if I’m kneeling/sitting and get up too quick – blood pressure doesn’t kick up fast enough and I get faint. But this is happening every few MINUTES. A beer really helps!

December 7, 2008 at 1:22 pm
(783) Rob says:

Steve – regarding tinnitus

Citalopram actually reduced the tinnitus I had before going on it. Well, now it’s back.

December 7, 2008 at 7:40 pm
(784) sue says:

Hi all, I started taking citalopram february this year for reactive depression. I am a nurse working on a busy admission unit but it was one busy shift too many and my body said “right that’s enough”. I had counselling sessions 12 in total and I was commenced on citalopram 10mg which I would say did absolutely nothing. My dose was increased monthly maximum dose being 30mg which worked well. I’m now back at work getting the full stress levels and coping well! I’ve been taking citalopram for the past 10 months and now I’m completely off them. Just to let people know I to have experienced weird side effects, which are really bad mood swings and dizzy spells associated with the interference in the brain(it’s the only way I can explain it) just like the noise a tv makes when being tuned in.The first 3 days have been the worse and week on I’m feeling much better. I hope this information is useful. Basically hang on in there the side effects will wear off eventually x

December 9, 2008 at 3:49 pm
(785) TCat says:

Just another one for the record. I am a 35 year old female. I’ve been on 20 mg citalopram for aout 2 years for panic attacks and anxiety that may have been prompted by the death of my father. Seemed to work pretty good for those problems or time healed them. Time to get off the drugs. I started tapering off about 5 weeks ago. First 2 weeks I did every other day 20 mg/10 mg, next 2 weeks 15/10mg. I’m now half way through the first week of 10mg every day. The withdrawl came on slowly. The last week though, it has really ramped up. I’ve been wondering for a while why I am so tired and slow (mentally). Physically I feel OK except my heart rate seems to really spike up as soon as I start to exercise, and the return to normal after resting takes a long time. Symptoms so far include: mental exhaustion/tiredness, very wooly-headed, dizzy/drunk feeling especially when I move my head, insomnia even though very tired, crazy dreams the last few nights when I did sleep, some intestinal disturbance. At least I have found the answer to all this weirdness lately, I was really starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. I agree with another poster that doing something that really holds your entire attention helps with this nastiness. Best to try to distract yourself from it all as much as possible. I’m planning on just toughing it out till the bitter end and then hopefully it’s going to be all fluffy clouds and kittens after that! Good luck to you all, sorry for your suffering, may peace be in your future.

December 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm
(786) Cheryl liverpool says:

Thanks Adrienne for your response.
I have decided that I am not going to take these tablets, ( I am on enough medication as it is).
And all’s I can say is thank god for the internet….. makes it alot easier than trying to talk to your doctor ha…. good luck all luv Cheryl

December 11, 2008 at 12:12 pm
(787) Jasmin says:

Hi guys,
I have stumbled upon this site when ‘googling’ citalopram withdrawel.
Here’s my story…

I have been on citalopram for 9 years ( my entire adult life, i am only 25)
It has (ugh, forgot what i was writing now…another side effect!)
Oh..there we go…it has been a long journey for me, a spell in a youth psyciatric centre at 16, many suicide attempts and self harm. I had 12 years of counselling with various proffesionals from CPN’s to psychologists. My counselling started at age 12!
So as you see, it’s been a long struggle, but finally i have reached the other side.
This is the first time i ever felt ready to come off my meds. I just got married and i’m working for the first time! Such an acheivement to actually go out to work!
Things were going so well until i decided it was time to come off my meds. I was on 40mg. My Gp’s advice was to drop to 20mg immediately, for 1 month. 10mg for the second month then stop.
I had my last 10mg citalopram on 28th November. 2 days later and my life has been hideous since.
It started on the SUNDAY MORNING with nausea and ‘out of body experience’ which i had felt for 2 weeks when i first lowered my dose so i wasn’t overly concerned, it lasted about 2 weeks and then i had no other withdrawels, not even when i dropped to 10. What a different story it was now!
SUNDAY PM – intense tiredness
picking at dinner, heavy head
completely weak
Husband was concerned when i flumped at the dinner table so he took me and lay me on the sofa. Within 10 minutes i was-
unable to speak
Husband phoned NHS direct for advice-
twitching arms
unable to move voluntary
complete panic (thought i was dying)
I could hear my husband on the phone, and i heard the lady on the other end say she was calling for an ambulance, i was completely aware of what was going on around me but i couldn’t MOVE or SPEAK!
When the ambulance arrived i could open my eyes and attempted to speak. I was horrified at what was coming out, it sounded like complete baby bable, i couldn’t form a single word!
I was so annoyed that as soon as my husband mentioned i was coming off citalopram the paramedics attitide changed, he treated me as a waste of time, a fake, a DRUGGY! I might not have been able to do much physically but my mind was more alert than ever!
I have never had a problem with drugs, i hardly drink, i have never smoked, i’m just unfortunate enough to have suffered with depression, something not self induced at all.
After an hour in A&E i was starting to feel more awake, i could walk a little although i could not grip with my hands well, i started to write out my symptoms for the doctor, as i was still only babbling. I was given a diazapam and after 75 minutes i got my voice back, WHAT A RELIEF! It had been so frustrating.
I was told it was likely to be withdrawels, to go home and see the GP the next morning.
Having only just moved to the area the GP’s were all new to me. I saw a nice doctor who was really understanding. He said he had never seen withdrawels like it but after a couple of days rest i would be back to normal so gave me a sick note for 2 days.

AT home…
No appetite
Sever head spinning and dizzyness
Head ‘crushing’ feeling
Severe back pains (reduced me to tears!)
Fuzzy vision
light phobic
noise sensitive
I couldn’t get out of bed or even watch the tv!
Another visit to GP…
Suspected Viral Meningitus- referal to hospital.
The following day we went to the hospital, and were sat waiting for hours on plastic seats. By the time i was called by the doctor i was groaning in agony with my back and so dizzy!
Several tests revealed no infection, meningitus or anything else. Doc 1 consulted with another doc and concluded i needed to be referred to psych dept and go back on antidepressants!
By this time i had been intravenously given painkillers which made me high as a kite! I was admitted due to severe dehydration and was there until the early hours on drips until a doctor came to review me and discharge me.
Doc 2…. Not withdrawels or depression but an inner ear condition called menieres disease, advised to go back to GP for referral to ENT specialist!
The next day, back to the GP, prescribed tablets for menieres disease and signed off work for another few days! (these tablets are helping the dizzyness slightly)
How i’m feeling now…..
Cravings for junk food
Not sleeping at night
snappy and nasty
BAD indigestion
Out of body feelings
back ache
numbness in hands and fingers!

I am signed off work until tomorow and have a doctors apointment at lunch time.
I do believe i have had a virus, but mainly i think, after finding this site it is withdrawels! I am scared i am going to lose my job as i only started in October and i have been off sick for 2 weeks now! I have told them i will be back Sunday but i am very worried that i wont be able to cope. Also i work in retail, and at this time of year, with my sudden aggitation and short tempered feelings i think i’m seriously at risk of commiting GBH! lol.
What nobody can tell me is how long this is going to last!
I don’t want to take citalapram, but it’s so tempting to just go back on it to get me back to work and get through christmas! I know it wont help though, as i will have to go through this again, it’s just hard to stay strong!
This is an addiction as knowing picking up the pills will make me feel better! The drug companies are lying!
So many doctors are not recognising this and are so quick to prescribe antidepressants without investigating the real problem before hand.
I’m just wondering if anyone has ANYTHING positive to tell me to help me through, like people who have come through the withdrawels, how long did it take?
I’m getting desperate now, i need to feel ‘normal’ again!
Thanks for listening, i just needed to get this off my chest!

December 11, 2008 at 6:10 pm
(788) Rach says:

Hello all,

I have been on Citalopram since april 2008 for Post natal depression. My experiences so far have been fairly positive until I tried to come off the pills!! Initially I felt much better and could cope with a lot more. After 6 motnhs I felt it was time to do the weaning process of coming off the 20mg dose, My doc said no more than a month go downs to half then quarter then no pill. I will be honest that I am only on 10mg of a pill now, but 2 and a half months on i still cannot drop the finan 10mg without becoming ridiculously irritable and easily frustratable..terrrible temper. I just generally become hard to live with. I have just found out i’m 5 weeks pregnant and would love to hear from any positive stories about coming off the pills!!

December 12, 2008 at 7:07 pm
(789) Rob says:

Withdrawal almost done! It’s been 12 days now and today, the withdrawal symptoms were dramatically lower. My MD had wanted to see me before re-authorizing more refills and I told him my tales. He was particularly interested in the fact that I hadn’t gained but a couple of pounds (most people gain more) and no loss of libido. I told him how bad withdrawal sucked. Well today, after a LONG discussion, he told me he thinks that I’m actually ADHD/ADD and to consider Adderall. I read up on the side effects of THAT drug and I’ve gotta say I guess I’ll just have to be a better person.

December 14, 2008 at 9:29 am
(790) Denise says:

I’ve been on citalopram for about 3 years now. I came off in April but had to go back on again in August. I’ve been taking more than I had originally but still struggling. A friend of mine mentioned a SAD light might help. Does anyone know whether these are safe to use in conjunction with Citalopram or are they just an alternative? Would be grateful for your comments.

December 14, 2008 at 9:43 am
(791) Denise says:

Hi Cheryl
Just reading your story. I know we’re quite different but what I would say is don’t worry about addiction just yet – it sounds like you came off too quickly like I did. I’m back on them for now and plan to stay on for at least a year and then think of coming off over a year instead of a few months. My friend has been off her tablets for several months and uses SAD light treatment which is working really well – that’s why I was asking just now about whether they could be used together. I have read some sites where some people when they are down to their final 5mg come off by one milligram at a time over several months – apparently some doctors will prescribe this in liquid form – so that just shows you how addictive this thing is. Personally, I would say don’t immediately jump out of using it as it’ll probably only end up worse for you. Consider a very slow withdrawal over a longer period but, as my doctor says, don’t even think about this until you have been back on your feet and stable for several months to a year. This is my personal point of view, I’m not a doctor, I’m sure others out there will be able to add lots of good advice.

December 16, 2008 at 8:43 pm
(792) Rob says:

Recap: was on it for 6 months @ 40mg, did 20mg for 1 week and then went cold turkey. Day 12 of cold turkey and it was a good one today. No irritability, a faint bit of nausea as I write this but not a big deal. My clarity is back, but also unfortunately my intensity. But with the intensity comes energy and clarity of thought.

Hang in there!!

December 18, 2008 at 1:36 am
(793) Adrienne says:

I am up to week 8 now. I spent a month tapering down from 15mg a day, and it’s now been 8 weeks and 2 days since my last dose of Citalopram, which was only 2.5mg.

For no good reason I’ve felt strange this last week. Hugely confused thinking combined with lethargy and light-headedness. I can’t explain why, surely after 8 weeks I shouldn’t be experiencing any more withdrawal symptoms, however this feels exactly like I did in the first few weeks.

I’ve been crashing to bed every night totally exhausted at 8 – 8:30pm. And then struggling to wake up 11 or 12 hours later. I spend the day in a zombie like mode, and am struggling to even think straight whilst I type this. It’s worrying me – how can the withdrawal symptoms come back again when I’ve spent the last few weeks feeling fantastic?

I know I’m not myself right now. I’m bahving in a manner that is not my usual self, and I feel I’m functioning at a much lower level than usual, ie. running on auto-pilot. I don’t seem to have my “higher” thinking right now. I can’t explain it any other way, thank goodness I’m not a brain surgeon or someone who needs to concentrate for their job!!

I’m so tired right now I could sleep on the keyboard. I’m not sick, I’m sleeping well and I just can’t for the life of me think of any other reason why I’m feeling this way apart from a continuation of the withdrawal. If it was just physical symptoms I had I could maybe explain it by way of an illness, but what illness causes a person to go foggy in the head and struggle to even carry on a normal conversation?

When oh when will this damn withdrawal end…..


December 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm
(794) Janet says:

I have been on Citalopram for 4 years, 40mg a day. Been off them now for 7 days and I am going through hell. All the symptoms of dizziness, the strange noises in my head. The cotton wool brain feeling. The feeling my heart will stop and the huge thud in my stomach, the light headedness, the dizzy spells when walking, as if I am walking on a bouncy castle. I am either tearful and can’t stop bursting into tears or I am so aggressive I scare myself. I have been horrid to my husband and my work colleagues. I work in a hospital in medicine as a ward clerk and believe me it is a nightmare on a daily basis. My job is stressful enough without all this. People keep asking me what is wrong, I either cry or scream abusive foul language at them. I have become a different person and I am very scared. Why oh why are withdrawal symptoms not put on tablets? I felt I was going crazy until I found this website . On the 4th day off them I smashed up some personal things and wanted to slash my wrists with the shards of glass. Later I cried so hard I was vomiting. I am having strange dreams and I dread getting out of bed as I know the brain will start wobbling. I even thought at one point that I could have mad cow disease. I am walking like I have downed a litre of whiskey and I am slow to react to everything. I am so glad I found this site. I was searching the internet in desperation for some info on withdrawal symptoms from the tablets. I have been off work for 2 days and I have not got washed or dressed and have stayed in pyjamas. What is happening to me??????? Will it get better????

December 27, 2008 at 5:35 am
(795) Tricia says:

Well I too am struggling with Celexa withdrawal..have been on it gee about 8 years… really bad divorce…bad childhood history..put me over the edge.. my life is really good now, I am exercising, eating better (now I know why I gained so much weight), and doing theater and music for fun. I have been weaning myself off…cutting down my pills in 1/2. My biggest issue..I call it jumpy legs…feel like I need to move them..they are twitching inside. Makes it tough to sleep..however I am using melatonin..lavender and warm milk to help. I figure use the old school ways. It is only day 3 on no meds…I had gotten myself down to 10 mg per day…so we shall see how I do..I don’t seem to have the other issues people have so I consider myself lucky. I will say push the exercise…it is a natural endorphin! Tricia

December 27, 2008 at 6:36 pm
(796) Adrienne says:

10 days since my last post. Hope everyone had a happy Christmas.

Nearly week 10 for me now. And the last week has been the strangest.

As I said in my post 10 days ago I was feeling tired, lethargic and foggy in the brain again. I could think of no other reason for this other than a recurrence of Citalopram withdrawal symptoms.

This has been confirmed to me by the past week, as every day I’ve been experiencing the weird electric shock feelings again, mainly in my arms. This hasn’t happened for about two months, when I was in my first weeks of withdrawal.

The shocks/tingling happen from early morning until I go to bed at night. They are not related to tiredness, as they happen whenever/wherever. At times I have real difficulty in concentrating – my head is full of cotton wool and my mouth is disconnected from my brain, getting a cohesive sentence out is an effort at times.

Why am I getting these symptoms back after nearly ten weeks since I last took a stupid Citalopram??!

Moodwise I feel ok, a little emotional at times, but overall I feel fine.

It’s just the physical symptoms which are concerning to me.

Having read back over old posts I did find someone else who also experienced this electric shock recurrence at week 9 of their withdrawal.

So for anyone who thinks they are out of the woods after only a week or 2, be careful and be prepared for the symptoms to come back again.

I would have to say though that most people report feeling symptom free by the three month mark, so I’m hopeful that all will be fine over the next few weeks.

Here’s to 2009.


December 30, 2008 at 7:11 am
(797) Billie says:

@Janet, I saw your comment and felt I had to reply.

I’m shocked that a doctor would advise you to quit cold turkey like that. You must be in agony.

I too have been on Citalopram for several years. I started it on Sept. 11 2001 of all days. My dosage was 20Mg at its highest. I’m now at the final stages of a 6 month gradual withdrawal. I learned with some discomfort that you can’t just stop taking it.

Could I be so bold as to suggest you see your doctor and ask him or her to set out a very gradual withdrawal?

After a failed attempt to quit Citalopram cold I’ve been having much more success with the following routine:

Originally at 20Mg per day
Down to 20 Mg one day 15Mg the next (you can split the pills in half.) I did this for 2 months.
Then down to 15Mg per day. I only did this for a short time as it was a hassle and I didn’t feel anything from the drop down.
Then down to 10 Mg per day for 2 months.
I’m now doing 10Mg every other day. I do notice the symptoms on my ‘off’ day, but they are fairly mild and only really kick in at the end of the day.

You may also notice that other people here have only noticed the side effects when they get down to very small doses. It would appear that the drop from, say, 60Mg to 40Mg is easier than the final stages.

I hope this is helpful.


December 30, 2008 at 9:29 am
(798) LB says:

Thanks, Billie, for your suggestion on paring down on this drug. I’ve been on it for years and can tell that if I miss a doss the headaches are immediate. I anticipate a hard road when getting off and will try your method. My doc acts shocked when I tell him of my sensitivity to changes in dosing.

December 30, 2008 at 12:44 pm
(799) Picklebandit says:

I’ve been off of cit for about 2 weeks now. My sleep has been interrupted by restless movement (lots of stretching for some reason) and vivid feature-length dreams. Seriously, I’m dreaming up some blockbuster scripts on some nights! During the day, I feel pretty damn irritable and find myself tightening up my body just to get the feeling out. One of the things I find that helps is exercise, exercise exercise. It helps keep the serotonin levels up a bit so it takes some of the “edge” off.

January 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm
(800) annie says:

I cane on here because I was feeling a little scared. Ive been on Citalopram since I was 16 (I am 18 now) for severe panic attacks. I vary between 10-20mg, but I decided I’d go cold turkey (you know…one of those new years ‘i am going to change’ resolution things) and I’m sweating copiously, I keep falling into things, I feel dizzy and shakyand my head doesnt feel like its working properly. The thing is reading what everyones put, I don’t know whether I should stick out my withdrawal or just go back onto them, I have exams in January and I’m terrified I’ll muck them up if my symptoms don’t fade. A little advice would be appreciated :) Also thanks to everyone whose shared their experiences or I’d be feeling crazy right now!

January 5, 2009 at 4:10 am
(801) Dean UK says:

Annie – going cold turkey is never a good idea especially in a month you have exams.

My advice would be to get back on the pills , do your very best in your exams and gradually taper of the drugs under medical supervision (very slowly)once your exams are over.

You can read my daily diary of withdrawal in August/September 08.

Im now through the other side and drug free but withdrawal was hard enough without exams and cold turkey.

Good luck

January 5, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(802) Trudy says:

Wow! I am so glad to read this incredible information. I too have been on Citalopram for 9 months. I decided to get off it about three weeks ago; I knew you had to withdraw gradually. But there is more to it than what my Dr. said. Half a tab for two weeks of 20 MG does not get it! I did the two wk 1/2 tab thing, last week on Friday was day 14.
I then quit cold turkey, for three days. Last night was awful! I had the Blockbuster dreams myself, giant butterflies of brilliant colors, people stealing my car and having to find it and fight to get it pack, in pieces… Yikes!
So I went into the next level, the one they don’t mention, diet. To get your braindrain fixed: Eat Salmon, salads, brown rice, citrus; feed your liver – beets, celery & carrot juice. Flush your body with nutrients, B-vitamins, ginseng, there is a Chinese herb concotion I ran into that is also Healing. Remember your body has had this stuff in it for awile, and you need to rid it of all the hooks. Much like quitting smoking, which is a hugely addictive drug 20 times more than Heroin; glad I don’t have that to deal with like Mr. Obama does. But sweat, get some sun, although I noticed this summer while on it the Sun seems to exacerbate the drugs negative effects.
Thank all of you for your honest input, concerns for each other and your healing advice. We all need to help each other to be “All that we Can be!” Good Luck!
2009 is going to be Divine!
Just remember, easy does it, go slow, cut back gradually, it takes more than two weeks. Today, I decided to go to thirds for another week, and then skip to every other day. I think that in another Month I will be done with this hateful beast, known as Citrlopram! Plus diet change, exercise…
Thank you all for your input, it empowers me!

January 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm
(803) Adrienne says:

Just a thought – it seems o me that regardless of whether or not people taper down from Citalopram or just quit cold turkey, they ALL have to deal with negative withdrawal symptoms.

Sure, tapering down may minimise these effects somewhat, but it doesn’t completely stop them.

So one way or another we ALL suffer negative withdrawal symptoms when stopping this drug.

Even those of us who take our doctor’s advice and slowly reduce the dosage.

I am now at week 11 since stopping Citalopram and finally feel fine. Albeit I did have awful withdrawal symptoms and that was despite tapering down over a one month period from my daily dose of only 15mg.

As I thought all along, it takes approximately three months since stopping it to recover from this drug. This website gave me invaluable information regarding the timeframe – if it weren’t for this site I would probably have gone back onto Citalopram weeks ago when the withdrawal symptoms were unbearable.

My recommendation would be to never quit cold turkey, taper your usage down slowly over at least a month (preferably more), but keep in mind that you will still have withdrawal symptoms for at least a few months.

Oh, and ditto the advice re the exams – don’t stop Citalopram until you’ve finished exams. The withdrawal will severely impact your abilty to concentrate, please stay on the drug until your exams are over. Good luck with your exams.

If only the drug company put this information in the Citalopram packet – I would have thought long and hard about taking Citalopram in the first place if I’d know that stopping it was so long and so hard.

I look back over my previous posts, especially those when my symptoms were at their worst, and I cringe. I couldn’t even spell or string together a coherent sentence!! Arrgh – NEVER AGAIN will I go back onto Citalopram.

In the meantime, I am occasionally tearful and emotional and of course it’s always in the back of my mind that I could lapse into a depression again – and then what? It scares me that I feel so powerless to manage depression without the use of mind-altering drugs. (And yes, that is now my opinion of Citalopram!) Diet, exercise, low-stress job, therapy – all these things will become my supports should I find myself sinking back down under. Supports that I should have utilised a few years ago before blindly accepting my doctor’s “good advice” and swallowing my first Citalopram.

What a double-edged sword- yes, Citalopram helps cope with depression. But coming off the stuff is depressing in itself.

A new year, a new start. I am so thankful that I timed my withdrawal from Citalopram to coincide with the new year :)


January 8, 2009 at 2:17 am
(804) Cathy says:

Like all have said – i don’t feel so crazy or alone after reading all these posts. I started on 20mg instead of 40mg this week and after four days am feeling that my head is a bit behind my body thing. As I see this is only the beginning and I am using the school holidays to get off them before I go back to work. That WILL be fun won’t it???!!! Just imagine my bosses surprise when I turn up in a terrible state.

What I have to say backs up most others – diet, exercise, positive thinking, talking to a friend and most of all trust in God. When there is nowhere else to go – go to God. What do you have to lose!!!

Still scary though, and it does take acertain amount of determination (which is sometimes non-existant) – but if you fake it for long enough, you fool yourself into thinking that you can do it (which you can, but you just don’t feel like it!).

So I start this new year knowing I can do it coz a clear head is got to be worth it doesn’t it.

Best of luck to you all… Cathy

January 8, 2009 at 4:13 am
(805) Lisa S says:

It’s amazing how much better you feel when you read these posts and realise that you’re not going insane!! I’ve been taking citalopram for 6 years to reduce migraine incidence…and decided around Christmas that since the migraines are getting worse, I could stop the tablets….if I had known then about the vertigo, the nightmares, the crying, irritability – I might have not stopped cold turkey when I ran out of tablets! I really worry about driving, have already spent an afternoon in ED with major vertigo. My poor family don’t know what’s hit them. When you look back through these posts and realise that the effects of withdrawal have been known for years…why didn’t someone tell us? Anyway, how long does this last for other people? And do you think I should start taking a reduced dosage to break the cycle and recommence weaning? Good luck everyone!

January 13, 2009 at 12:17 am
(806) Michelle says:

hi all.. im weaning myself from 20mg to 10mg of citalapram.. first few days were fine.. but now im fighting tiredness and dizzyness… one day Im ok, the next feeling really rough.. But I know eventually it’ll pass, just wondering how long though… doctor says may take 4 months to totally get off them.. I’m wanting to have baby number 2.

January 13, 2009 at 3:18 am
(807) Adrienne says:

Hi Michelle, it’s took me a month to wean myself off Citalopram and then 12 weeks completely off the tablets to feel 100% fine.

Although I’m still a little bit up and down emotionally, all in all I feel great now.

Thank goodness the withdrawal is over!

But you should allow about 3 months off Citalopram to completely recover from your withdrawal.

Yours is the first doctor I’v heard of who actually tells the truth about the length of time it takes to recover from Citalopram withdrawal – good on them!

Good luck,

January 13, 2009 at 4:26 am
(808) Meagan says:

Hey! I feel bad for everybody who has to go through this, its really tough. I recently quit smoking almost 3 months ago, and its time to kick the anti-depressants too! I’ve been taking 10 mg of citalopram for a year. Ive been taking 1 pill of 10mg a week since November, and i still cant get off them. I have all the side effects. The dizziness is really bad, i can hardly drive myself to and from work. The dizziness started when i tried to stop. I stopped for a week and a half and every since i have been extremly dizzy etc. I have recent taken a pill however. How long does the dizziness stay? i can deal with all the other side effects. Does anybody have any idea how long the dizziness stays for after quitting?

January 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm
(809) schoolnurse says:

Surpising how fast the symptoms come on. I’ve only been on the med for about 5 mo’s for mood stabilizer – to try and not scream at my kids :-) . I forgot to refill pills for a week. Couldn’t figure out why having such crazy, horrible, lifelike dreams. Very dizzy, just starting this weekend and tingling sensation in arm and hand – one side only. Can only chalk it up to side effects of coming off med, while trying to remember to get them refilled!

January 14, 2009 at 2:32 am
(810) Michelle says:

going to be a long 3 months then.,, but Im determined… it seems to hit me hard the second half of the day… mayve because Ive takin 10mg in morning and body telling me its not enough… is it better going by halves or going cold turkey?
I go out on my outings in first half of day, so i had rest the head at home other half.. lucky for my i dont work, and my four year old is wonderful…

January 14, 2009 at 9:03 am
(811) Karen says:

I have been off this awful medication for a week now and can barely cope with any situation. I have no patience, my head is continually in a fog and the feeling that my brain is always 10 steps behind is to say the least. I refuse to go back on this medication, as I gained 40 pounds by taking it. This of course led to high blood pressure medication and low self esteme. I feel worst for my children and husband who have to put up with what this medication has done to me.

Best of luck everyone, I will write back to let you know how long I suffered through this.

January 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm
(812) michelle says:

I gained 6kg since taking meds, but never thought of putting it down to taking meds… I put it down to living a better and happier life and enjoying my food more..
Im now into my 8th day on dropping my dose to half… still feeling like crap, but I know I’ll get there…

January 16, 2009 at 4:40 pm
(813) Thomas says:

I just would like to know if what is the difference between Citalopram and Cipramil? Are they one and the same?

January 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm
(814) Michelle says:

They are the same.
Been of meds for about 10 days now.. and feelling alot better. tiredness so as extreme.. my moods are up and down, but thats the weaning process i guess.. keep you up to date

January 21, 2009 at 4:44 am
(815) Lynn says:

So pleased to have read all the honest, heartfelt descriptions on this site. This is the first time I have ever used this type of forum but am so glad I have. Never been a great taker of anti-depressants – most consigned to the toilet over the years but was persuaded by my doctor that these tabs were different so agreed to take them. Admitedly it has helped me through a difficult time ( on them 3 months now,20mg ) but la la land is wearing thin and have already begun to decrease dosage to one every other day. So far so good, but thanks to all your info it would appear this is the honeymoon period. At least I now have some idea of what to expect. Thank you all so much – forewarned is forearmed. I am going to increase my exercise level, investigate alterations in my diet and hopefully aide my body to get rid of this drug. God luck to all of you also going through this withdrawal process.

January 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm
(816) Cathy says:

Just want to describe what I am going thru in case anyone else is trying the same as me. Everybody’s best way to go off Citalopram seems to be different – as is life – there is no set formula for success… Mine has been like this…

Usual dose 40mg
2 weeks on 20mg (by end of week feeling really good)
Now been on NOTHING for 5 days and it is like the withdrawal symptoms which i experienced on 20mg are doubly bad. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad sleep, jittery, teary (I watched Charlie & the Chocolate factory and cried when he opened the last golden ticket – really SAD!!!) etc.

I figure that i may have gone off too soon (reading some others comments). But I feel quite determined to kick it.

The fact of the matter is, I believe the citalopram had it’s place in helping me cope and recover from severe stress and anxiety and depression. I wouldn’t poo-poo it to someone else going thru a depression etc, but i guess with all things there is a down-side. This is the price we pay for being well and any other person who is recovering from surgery or an illness goes thru some yuck time getting back to normal. This is ours!!!

Again, I encourage you to pray – with all your might – beat your fists on the ground and plead with God for his help in this. I have found that there are not many friends that will listen to what you are going thru and it is a very lonely existence on the road to recovery – but God is always willing to listen and he knows what we are going thru is not just ‘all in our heads’ but it is a big struggle between getting up again or staying down.

Great big hugs from me to all of you – you have been my shoulder to cry on and my ear to listen even tho i don’t even know you.


January 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm
(817) Jane says:

I had been on Citalopram 20mg for 9 months, I tried to come off it slowly via Doctors prescribed dosage and did not do so well, had a little freak out and went back on at 30mg.

I have after 18 months been weening myself off 20mg for a month, 10mg for the following month, 5mg (10mg broke in half) every other day for a month, then 5mg every three days for a month and now nothing!!! And it is not so bad. My advice for what it is worth is to do it REAL SLOW….. No none wants to be on these indefinately.

Good luck to all x

January 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm
(818) Pip says:

I started on Citalopram in March last year when my marriage broke up… They have been great . GP said minimum of 6 months but i decided to stay on them through the winter because suffer from SAD as well and My sister takes Citalopram every winter to get her through it.I have halved my dose over the last 6 weeks and I have been fine.. I have now stopped and I am getting those “electric buzz” sensations… But now i know that lots of other people get them too..i feel ok with it so i am just gonna “enjoy the buzz” now i know Im not a freak

January 28, 2009 at 12:02 am
(819) benjamin says:

Thank God….I thought i was having a stroke…I am 20 and was put on this to keep me from having anxiety attacks they were quite severe. but the side effects were worse than the constant fear of…well.. everything. this medication left me with the strangest side effects nightmares all night long, feelings of suffocation when i slept. and a raging sexual indiference! so i am on my third day off 20mg cold turkey. in three days i have never in my life felt so f@#king crazy! i’ve had everything from brain “zaps” to hallucinations, every couple of minits it feels as though i “reboot” The unfortunate truth of the matter is you, me, and the other people on this medication were guinnea pigs purchaised from our phisiscians for clicky pens and clipboards. If you want the truth about what ever meds you are taking look them up under the european web site they are much more honest!! that and ive never really been to keen on re-uptake inhibitors, its the same mentality of putting the spare on your car for a few years and then putting the flat back on to see if it fixed itself!
-Good luck to all

June 7, 2011 at 4:45 am
(820) dying soul says:

hey guys, I have been suffering severe panic attacks, anxiety and sadness ever since i can remember. Nobody knew it as i hid it will, everyone used to say thet were so jealous of me and my life, but little did they know i was a fraud. i am on 20mg of cipramil since i had my first breakdown at 36. the dr said it was bc i hid my pain i had a breakdown. cipramil took 8 weeks to work but then boom… i was so happy, confident no panic attacks. Then i was bashed and raped by a tradesman and the panic came back, they put me on xanax. I have attempted suicide 5 times and it never works.
i feel really sad and lonely and a failure, i see no beauty in me or my life.
i stopped taking cipramil for 3 days and my head was spinning, very bad flu like symptoms anxiety .
i cant live like this for the rest of my life, who is going to love a sad soul.
i went back on cipramil but still feel really unwell.
im giving this 6 months and if it doesnt work i have a suicide which will def work as im not going to live the next 40 odd years suffering. i dont know why God allows people to suffer like this.
im sorry, thanku for listening

January 29, 2009 at 7:17 am
(821) Jo says:

Hi everyone, Ive just found this site and thank goodness I did. My husband has been taking Citalopram for 20 months now and he made the decision with his GP to reduce and hopefully discontinue his medication. This is week 14 of a 16 week reduction from Citalopram and last weekend I found out my husband was contacting websites of the adult nature and had arranged to meet one of these woman this week. I imediatley, as you can imagine, felt that he didnt want me, that i didnt fulfil his needs etc and because of his deisre to be unfaithful, I asked him to leave. Being a registered nurse mental health for 20 years I thought I knew it all but now I realsise that this hypersexual behaviour is a result from his withdrawl of citalopram! I started to search the web a few days ago as i began thinking about this out of character behaviour of his. I found nothing until i came across this today. What made me search was I know citalopram effects the libido, so I thought, what if it has the opposite effect on withdrawl but with avengence! I feel so bad that i have not been supportive. He told me today that for the past 4 weeks all he can think about is sex and that is why he did what he did. We are meeting our GP today to talk about this. I advised him to start taking his citalopram again but now having read all your advise, thats the wrong thing to do and with my support he will get through this. I wish you all the very very best. Having been lucky to never have had depression you are all amazing to be so open and honest about how this treatment has impacted on your mental and physical health. I will take away from reading your experiences more than you will ever no as I am lucky that my husband is coming home tonight. I feel angry like some of you have expressed, that the terrible withdrawl effects are not widely published, professionally it has made me so much more aware and its something im going to raise at work to highlight how difficult it actually is to come off this drug. Take good care all of you xx

January 29, 2009 at 12:30 pm
(822) Lee says:

Hi.I have been on cipramil for 3 years now 20mgs.I have tied many times to give them up,slow withdrawal etc and am now doing cold turkey.Today is day 8 and is the best day I have had so far and it is still pretty bad.
Withdrawal side effects have been.
1.Extreme Tiredness.
2.Cant sleep.Cant stay awake alternates between the two.
3.Fireworks in brain.
4.Almost migraine headaches.(had one once so know what that feels like.)
6.Dry reaching
7.Angry for no reason.Cant stand the sight of people.Want to hide in my bedroom.
8.Forgetfull,lost it while watching the news cried like a baby.
9.Body aches like i have sprained all my muscles.Swelling feet.Flu like symptons.
10.Having trouble talking,spelling anything that requires my brain to function it feels like i am watching my life happen. From across the room.
But I am not going to give up.I want my Life back.

January 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm
(823) kitty says:


I’ve left comments on this forum a couple of months ago, about my withdrawal, and i come back from time to time to see how people are,and how everyone is coping.
The stories never cease to amaze me, how we are all going through this, and how strong we all are. Getting through the withdrawal is extremely hard, but very worthwhile.
I can’t say it’s always easy, and sometimes I wish i was still on them because they made me feel safe. My anxiety levels are up and down, but not to the extent that they were, so in that respect i’m glad i started taking them, as cathy said you have to deal with the bad stuff after the good.
This forum has done me the world of good, and i feel ‘safe’ knowing i’m not alone. This is what helped me through the painful withdrawal process and i will be forever grateful to everybody who has ever told their story.


January 29, 2009 at 6:31 pm
(824) michelle says:

hi there.. been on half dose for 3 weeks now.. I was doing really well but have now hit a wall… Im not sure if its withdrawals or not.. Ive been feeling really flat, and moody.. my body doesnt seem like my body.. I keep thinking maybe Im coming down with something, but that something hasnt popped up.. my body even aches.. also getting a little anxiety which Im trying to control.. Im still going to hang in there, but this process really sucks..

January 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm
(825) Judy says:

i haven’t been on this kind of anti-depressants,but was on Paxil 20mg..i wanted to go off them so i started taking 10mgs like my Dr. said,that was 2 weeks ago and now i am having these same symptoms as you guys are..i have 3days in now and feel like i have shocking in my head and dizzy at times,i don’t want to go back on them,any advice would be greatly appreciated..

February 1, 2009 at 10:34 pm
(826) Peggy says:

Your comments are all so helpful. I am thinking about quitting my 40 mg Citalopram dose but am doing some research first. So glad I happened onto this site.

I am curious to know WHY you all were wanting off the Citalopram. Side effects? Feeling better? Switching to another drug?

I am thinking that this drug is why I am feeling so numb to everything. I am normally a very passionate person, very emotional, overly sensitive, etc. (called emotional overexcitablity, also have sensual overexcitability). After my two pregnancies I developed both postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety (which no one ever talks about) and started taking Wellbutrin. This helped immensely but over time, it stopped working. Then switched to 20 mg of Celexa and then up to 40 mg when I didn’t “feel” better. Now I just don’t care about much of anything, which is just so weird. I don’t have any desire to do much of anything – which isn’t that a side effect of depression?? I felt so much more passionate before – which does lead to problems.

I want to sleep during the day but then cannot sleep for anything at night. Bad insomnia. I am not being a good mother because of this (I am a stay at home mom).

If I go off of the Celexa slowly, as you all have suggested, I am wondering if my depression will come back (my youngest is now 3) but I would like to have some feeling back whether good or bad. And would love to sleep normally again. I have never had a problem sleeping before these drugs.

Also, those of you with restless legs – a major cause of that is actually iron deficiency. Have your iron level checked!!

Best wishes to you all. I will be praying for you.

February 2, 2009 at 3:52 am
(827) michelle says:

now been on half dose 10mg for around 4 weeks now.. feeling alot better than last week.. am functioning and sleeping well most nights…
My patience has changed dramatically, just like before meds but not as bad.. im trying to use mind over matter, and techniques pyhcologist taught me, and Im getting through it.. Im still very determined to get off them completely as I want to have baby number 2.. But not rushing.. Im going to listen to my body, and go cold turkey when im on a good run for a few weeks… I’m not going to let meself full into that black hole again

February 5, 2009 at 6:02 am
(828) Adrienne says:

Hi Peggy,

I’ve been off Citalopram for months now. I think I’m up to about 5 months….I’ve lost track of exactly how long. Once the withdrawal side effects finally stopped (at three months) I got on with life and didn’t check up on posts here so frequently.

In answer to your question, I wanted to stop taking the drug as I’d been on it for about two years and was tired of feeling as though my brain was on auto-pilot the whole time.

Emotions were hard to create, if that makes sense. It was as though I knew from past memories an appropriate emotional response to something – but I had difficulty in “creating” the appropriate emotion. I felt very strongly that I was missing out on a large part of being myself.

I also was tired of the low libido.

Having said that since coming off Citalopram I have noticed my mood is sharper than when on it, in that I do tend to be short fused with my children.

And I still have a fairly flat libido. During the withdrawal I went into overdrive (which seems to be a common side effect), but I’m now much less and much lower than before taking Citalopram.

I wouldn’t say I have depression again, but maybe some tension and anxiety which definitely wasn’t there when I took the drug.

I will never take Citalopram again. I would never go through that awful withdrawal agian. Never. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. A full three months of misery. Not worth it.

I wish you all luck with your withdrawals. Life on the other side is much nicer :)


February 5, 2009 at 7:21 pm
(829) michelle says:

I think Im on half dose 4 weeks now, maybe 5. feeling pretty good. as with feeling all the motions.. Im starting to get a little anxious with my son at times.. but as friends tell me, thats normal anyways.. and thats only sometimes.. I have off days, and great days.. but Im heading in the right direction.. not ready to go cold turkey yet.. just started my son in kindy, so I want me time before I go through withdrawals again, as I know they take at least 3 weeks to subside..

February 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm
(830) Barbara says:

Hi All Like you I am coming off this drug and thought the brain rattle and electric currents were a withdrawal symptom, so typed withdrawl and came into this forum and now know to come off slower then anticipated. This is week one and am pleased I started a mindset change with diet and exercise and listening to how my body feels a few months ago. I am in my late 50′s and have been 38 years married with a loving and caring husband and have suffered ups and downs with depression since I was young and like Adrienne I never want to go through any withdrawal again, I gave up smoking 30 years ago and that was very hard. This withdrawal is very different with reactions in the body. I was one that lost weight but my eating was very eratic. The mindset way is going to be my way of coping for my lifespan. Just hopes this works to get through these smpytoms over the next 3 months. Will keep any interested posted.

February 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm
(831) Judy says:

Hi everyone,glad to say my withdrawal from Paxil has subsided and am feeling much better..all takes time and it is worth it in the end….

February 9, 2009 at 9:57 pm
(832) Dan says:

Thank you all for sharing your withdrawal symptoms. My doctor never warned me about them. And when I explained what was going on in my head, he gave me a script for a brain MRI. I had already gone cold turkey on Citalopram and was getting those brain quakes. Now after having had the flu for a couple days, the brain quakes seem to be gone. But now I have been hit with a major depression, one I’ve never felt before. My issue before wasn’t depression, but anxiety. And I started with Lexapro. But when my company switched health insurance plans, Lexapro went from $10 to almost $90. So I asked my doctor for a cheaper alternative, and he put me on Citalopram. This real blue depression has hit me hard today and I wish I had an idea of how long it would last.

February 12, 2009 at 11:43 am
(833) Marlene says:

I have been on citalopram for only a week and I am so sick with nausea and weakness that I am going to wean myself off of it. I am only taking 10mg and plan on going down to 5 mg and then 2/5 mg. Do you think I will have the withdrawal symptons that you have had after taking them for months or years?

February 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(834) Jackie says:

A few years ago I searched in web to find out if I was crazy or if I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Citalopram. I barely found any information! Today, I searched again because my PMDD is just so bad that I need to start taking something again and I knew for sure it would not be Citalopram! I am shocked, but pleased to see that the word has spread because my doctor had not had any complaints at the time. So, I used common sense and went back on it to stop the terrible side effects. I don’t even know what dose I was on now, but I think I went from 40 to 20 and was fine. When I tried to go from 20 off, I got very ill. So I started taking 20 every other day for two weeks. Then I cut the 20 in half and took 10 every other day. The I did my best to cut the 10 in half or just try to take a piece at that point every other day. I did this until one day I realized I did not take it. I let the symptoms tell when when I needed a hit as I called it. I have never been addicted to anything. I once saw an Oprah show about a family from OH who was addicted to Heroin and they said that even though they wanted to stop, the withdrawals were so bad and made them so sick they could not do it. I knew exactly what they experienced in a way. It was really, really bad and I will never take this drug again.

Most people don’t want to take a drug like Citalopram forever. That is why we try to come off of it thinking maybe, just maybe we will be okay without it. Well, we are not. I hate the idea of a drug having that much control over me. But what do you do? Well, I will tell you what I think I have learned in the last 10 years. I need something for my PMDD. I am fine two weeks to three weeks out of the month, but then it hits me and for a week and a half I am lost, tired, sick, and worthless! My OBGYN suggested I take this for 14 days – immediately before my period, or take 10 mg ever other day for the month. I chose the ladder because I was scared to experience withdrawal if I stopped suddenly after two weeks of taking it. I had been on this med before and did not have the withdrawal effects I did with Citalopram. As a matter of fact, I was also on Zolfoft, and something else and did not have too much of a problem. I changed a lot because all of these meds cause me to sweat so bad it is just crazy! My whole shirt will be wet and it is like it is raining in my under-arms. Prozac did not seem to cause as much sweating and the low dose taken every other day was perfect for PMDD. I also took vitamins and a lot of B6 and calcium and so on that helped. And of course I take midol as needed, cut caffine, salt, and try to eat heathly (yeah right)and it is better. I don’t feel like I am on drugs everyday and it is just what I need to manage and feel decent.

I hope this helps. Slow is the key. It took months for me to get off of Citalopram. I hated it and I really think doctors should address this. It is just not a good drug.

February 13, 2009 at 12:18 am
(835) Peggy says:

So after leaving my earlier comments, I decided to go ahead and slowly take myself off the Citalopram. Thanks to all of your advice, so far so good. I went from 40 down to 20 and had the brain shiver thing and also dizziness at random times – not related to standing up suddenly, etc. But after two weeks, I am not feeling as many symptoms, so I just went down to 10 today. We’ll see how it goes.

I also tend to have an awful temper but I would rather deal with that than the dullness and emotionless feelings I had before. As I told my hubby yesterday, Oh my gosh! I am actually feeling something! I am angry! I am dealing with the temper the same way I did before: meditation and “mommy time outs.” I am strict with my kids about that – leave mommy alone for 5 minutes unless there is an extreme emergency.

I’ll post again in a few days. Thanks again for all of your help and honesty. God bless.

February 13, 2009 at 2:32 am
(836) michelle says:

Hi there.. still on 10mg, and have been for around 5-6 weeks now.. I now know why I went on them in the first place. Well I think I do.. My hormones and body was out of balance.. I also now know I have food intolerances, and starting to find out what they are.. And feeling so much better avoiding those foods and also eating healthy and exercising.. I also went to see a natural therapist, and he told me I had a yeast infection in my system and had done so for a long time.. So now I have to avoid certain foods, and take certain vitamins.. After a month you notice they work.. They’re also leveling out my hormones.. The only problem Im facing now, and it sounds stupid.. I suffer from allergies, and when its a overcast humid day, I feel so awful. Dizzy in head, headaches weak and tired.. I know its allergies thought, And I know it’ll pass when the sun comes out again.. Very strange but its so true.. Ive kept track of it and its always the same on cloudy days.. So I just rest on those days, and make up for it when Im feeling good..
Plan to drop dose after my holiday soon.. dont want withdrawals on holidays that for sure.

February 16, 2009 at 7:21 am
(837) Michelle says:

I also get the brain shakes with citalopram. It is the strangest feeling and hard to explain to anyone. I am starting to wean myself off of this medication, I would like to see if I am ok off of it. My only suggestion is to wean yourself off and not quit cold turkey. When I miss a day from taking them I feel awful, I couldn’t imagine just quitting without weaning myself off. I hope this helps.

February 16, 2009 at 8:07 am
(838) jj says:

I’ve been on a 20 mg dosage for 9.5 months. AT the time I never intended to be on it quite this long because i really do feel that meds,etc. are generally a band-aid to a deeper root cause whether it be poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or just old-fashioned personal issues that require therapy. That being said, i reluctantly went on citalopram during a horrible lifestage (post break up, awful job,etc.) and felt I “needed” temporary relief from constant anxiety, etc. The other day I made a decision to detox my body from caffeine,sweet, etc. and to start exercising again. At the same time I decided to stop cold turkey on the meds and I had NO IDEA what to expect until it hit me 2 days later in a BAD way. I am reading this post and now understand the dizziness and sleep problems but I wonder if anybody else experienced a major CRASH? I couldn’t stop crying, was severely anxious and ready to fight. It felt like I could really feel all my emotions for the first time in months- problem is, I was feeling them to the nth degree! (and valentine’s day of all times). Yesterday was a lot better because I stayed in bed most of the day and only cried like 4 times. I’ve decided to take work off today because I just don’t trust that I won’t cry there for no apparent reason. My brain and eyes feel really tired. Perhaps cold turkey wasn’t the best idea but I was after all only on a 20 mg dosage. I realize now that even at 20 mg, it’s still a potent drug and has altered my brain such that I can expect to experience these shifts. I do not feel comfortable going back on this pill if even to ween myself off.
I plan to read up on hormonal imbalance and natural treatments because after this experience I will do anything to stay away from pharms. I also take fish oil tablets and have started taking b-12 vitamins which I’ve been told are great. On top of this, have cut out the caffeine and don’t plan to eat crappy foods anymore- and last but not least back to daily exercise.
I too wish I had been warned of the potential serious crash of withdrawal but these days dr.s hand out pills like candy and rarely set up treatment plans for withdrawal. I’ve also noticed they don’t bother to suggest therapy. Thank God for this forum.

February 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm
(839) rebecca says:

Thank you everybody for your comments – it’s great there is a place where you can hear the truth and have fellow travellers on this crazy up and down journey.
I am on my 14th day without the drug and I was just about to go back on them when I found this site. Now i have the courage to persevere.

I have been on the drug for 2 years, mostly for panic attacks and mild depression I have had all my life. At first it worked wonderfully until the bad side was more than the benefits – ie zombie, low sex drive, detached feeling.

I tried to give up on Christmas Eve – of course the worst time when you live by yourself in a new country – and nearly got fired because I was so angry with another colleague (who did needle me, but I overlooked it when on the drug). So I decided to go back on it until a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve had all the symptoms – the worse is the heart palpitations 2 days ago and now the crying jags. I have had suicidal thoughts in a very calm way. I was thinking my depression was returning but now I see that this is part of the withdrawl.

I will try to look at it now as a release of emotions. All those emotions I FROZE when I was on the drugs. Now they want to come out but this site has given me hope that it will pass as a side-effect of withdrawl.

This drug should definitely be looked into for misleading the public. It makes me angry despite it helping me for a little while.

I want to pick myself up but I am so tired at the moment. But after reading this sight I won’t be so hard on myself and ride the waves.

Take care everybody

February 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm
(840) JLJ says:

I feel for each and everyone of you. What you’re going through is hell on earth.

For anyone interested in looking into the hormonal arena, I highly recommend Hormones, Health, and Happiness by Dr. Hotze. His book is exceptionally well-written and very easy to understand (it’s not written in “doctor speak”). In many cases, as he sites, depression, etc., are linked to hormonal imbalances and traditional treatment is generally anti-depressants and sleeping medication. Nutrition, of course is key, but as we age, declining levels of hormones may be the root cause of symptoms you may be experiencing. An interesting note I found of interest from another alternative source noted the long-term use of birth control pills which are being used by younger and younger women. By the time these girls are in their mid-late 20s, they are experiencing significant horomonal shifts and deficiencies.

February 17, 2009 at 3:25 am
(841) SUSAN DOLMAN says:

I have been taking citalopram for approx 6 years at 20mg daily. In january I decided to come off them I went to see my gp who said it would be best to reduce them to 10mg for a month then every other day. I feel horrendous very bad tempered and irritable with my husband and son it a livivg nightmare. The headaches are reslly bad too and have felt like I had a cold since january. I feel like the depression is getting worse not better and am scared and dont know what to do. I dont think I can take much more and I havent even finished the tablets yet. my vision is suffering too its blurred which is concerning me. Nobody close seems to understand and just keep saying hang in there and you will be ok. But I dont feel like myself anymore.

February 18, 2009 at 3:58 pm
(842) Adrienne says:

Hi all,

I stopped Citalopram months ago and I feel fine now, but I check back in on here every now and then and I’m always horrified to read of more people suffering terribly because of this drug and the lack of information surrouding the withdrawal of it.

All I can say to those of you currently struggling with withdrawal symptoms, please hang in there. It will be a rough ride for at least a month, and at least two months before you will start to feel like your old self. You can see not only from my own experience but that of many other victims of this drug, it seems to take three months for the withdrawal effects to completely wear off.

The first few weeks are the hardest.

Constant cold and flu symptoms, brain fogginess, uncontrollable emotions, vivid nightmares, brain shocks, nausea and dizziness…… – these are all the fun and games involved with Citalopram cessation.

I hope you all continue through your withdrawal – please remember it can be done! It’s not easy and the manufacturers of this drug should show some responsibility and tell patients of ALL the side effects, including those during withdrawal. This website is testimony to so many people who have experienced the same negative reactions from Citalopram withdrawal and who were never told by their doctor or pharmacist just how bad the withdrawal experience would actually be.

If these withdrawal symptoms and their severity were actually listed on the packet of Citalopram (under a big WARNING sign), would any of us actually take the tablets in the first place??

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just don’t expect it to be easy or quick to arrive, unfortunately it does take some time.

Good luck,


March 3, 2009 at 7:02 pm
(843) Emily says:

wow! im so relieved i found this. ive been experiencing the exact same things as all of you have described but i had no idea why until i saw my psychiatrist today! ive been dizzy and feeling crazy for about a week, so irritable and agitated. i was on 40mg for 5 months and then ran out 2 weeks ago, i didnt get anymore as i felt fine and didnt know i would feel these effects! kinda went cold turkey and am now wishing i had weened myself off them :( apparently its gonna take about another month for me as im not mobile but normally its 2-3 weeks?! anyway, good luck people

March 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm
(844) holly says:

I have stopped taking my citalopram for about a week (i’m not sure), and i’ve had the same thing happen to me. I was wondering if you find that it is caused by anything, such as being angry or a quick movement?? Because today at school, someone who i was talking to made me extremely angry, and i spun around and stormed away, and started talking to the person next to me about how angry i was, and the dizziness lasted for about 5 seconds (the longest it ever has) and was worse. could this worse spell be caused by anger, or is that just a weird coincidence??

March 6, 2009 at 1:27 am
(845) Wes says:

Wow, so nice to see other people are experiencing this. I was going a bit crazy with these absolutely terrible symptoms. Have been completely off citalopram for 3 days now and it’s quite intense. If anyone feels like talking, drop me an email


March 9, 2009 at 5:07 pm
(846) Helen says:

Brain shivers, brain zaps, brain blinks I don’t care what they are called they are driving me completely crazy. I have been off the pills for two weeks and they are progressively getting worse. When they are happening a few times a minute it makes me feel sick.. What could possibly be in these evil pills to do this to your brain when you don’t take them anymore? How long will this last? And the crying and angry spells….? I wish it would stop (BUZZ BUZZ)

March 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm
(847) Kelly says:

What I want to know is…. IS THERE ANYTHING OUT THERE TO HELP GET YOU THROUGH ALL THESE SIDE EFFECTS UNTIL THEY SUBSIDE??? Maybe something natural like a cleansing or detoxifying of some sort? I just need to be able to get myself to a functioning point so I can work. No work no pay, big problem.
My Doctor swears it was no problem going off these med’s cold turkey nor would I have these side effects but she’s willing to “talk” about it if I schedule another appt. Why would I do that? Seems to me she has ALOT more learning to do than I. I haven’t found one decent Doctor in the state of TN to this date….scary!

March 13, 2009 at 5:58 am
(848) Adrienne says:


Kelly and everyone else who has recently posted, I can sympathise with all of you.

Having come off Citalopram last year I know without a doubt how hard it is to suffer the withdrawals. You will feel terrible for the first month off the drug, fairly ok after about 6-8 weeks off Citalopram, and great by three months. It’s a long and hard withdrawal process.

Some things that may help you – codeine and paracetamol for the aches and pains. I don’t know about you, but I felt like I was sick with the flu for about four weeks, and popping the pain killers helped a lot. The codeine also helped me with the mood ups and downs, in that it made me feel somewhat cheerful. (I live in Australia, I’m not sure if you’re easily able to obtain codeine where you are.) I slept as much as I could. Working was VERY difficult, I struggled for a month with that. Several times I nearly fainted, and keeping my stomach intact was challenging at times, oh how I hated the quesiness and dizzy spells. The brain zaps were the worst – no easy answers for them I’m afraid. They do decrease in frequency and severity, but they can be crippling in the early days.

I can’t provide you with any easy answers, because there are none. I wouldn’t put your body through a detox at present, you are already coping with enough stress and trauma. Your body is in a sense already detoxing, as it’s cleansing itself of a powerful drug. I drank a lot of tea, stayed away from alcohol, and at times took a Valium to help cope with the extreme anger and rage.

All in all I was a mess for weeks, but if you read back through all 833 posts on this page, you’ll see that we ALL suffer severely when coming off Citalopram.

I am not surprised that your doctor is USELESS about the withdrawal as ALL of them seem to be very uninformed about the dangers of stopping Citalopram. Either that or they’re just too dependent on kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies who make this drug to assist patients in coming off it.

Please be kind to yourself – accept that your experiencing major drug withdrawal symptoms, but unlike heroin or alcoholism you will not be welcomed into a rehab clinic with open arms. You will probably not find one single person who understands what you’re going through (doctors included!), except for all of us here on this website :)

Sleep well, take it easy, don’t go out if you can help it, work and rest, eat healthily, don’t drink anything but water and tea, and dose yourself accordingly for any aches, pains and headaches. If you keep telling yourself that this is merely a WITHDRAWAL and that it will END, it may make it easier to cope.

Remember that you did not ask to suffer this withdrawal, and that you were fed this drug by a medical profession that is both ignorant and has no understanding of your pain. If just a few of us experienced these bizarre range of symptoms when coming off Citalopram, then it could easily be dismissed as a few “bad cases” of withdrawal. But when ALL OF US here on this page (how many hundreds??) have the same extensive list of weird symptoms, then the pharmaceutical industry and medical profession are 100% liable for all our pain and suffering.

As I said once in a post several months ago, would any of us have taken that first Citalopram if there was a large warning label on the packet stating these extreme withdrawal symptoms?

I hope you manage as well as can be expected and get through the next few weeks. In a few months time this will all thankfully be a distant memory to you.

I still come on here from time to time to see if I can help out…. it saddens me that there are still so many of you suffering the same thing I went through. There really is no excuse for this – someone should hold the medical profession accountable.

Oh and please find another doctor!!

I’ll check back again in a few days – I promise I’m here if you need me for support. I know how hard it is.


March 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm
(849) victoria says:

oh im deffo goin through these horrible symtoms and oh my god i feel really terrible shakes, trembling, feel like my heads goin to burst, tremors, tearfull, and the list goes on.

i cant wait for this to be over boo hoo

March 15, 2009 at 5:09 am
(850) Libby Smith says:

I have sat here and read so many of these messages and wow…. I have been on Citalopram for 4 months and worked out that this was not for me. I was worse on this than before (Zoloft).
I have stopped taking them down from 60mg to 40mg for 5 days then 20mg for 5 days then nothing for 3-4 days. Which is where I am now. About to start a new drug Prothiaden.
My withdrawls have been dizziness, that brain zap that you all have spoken about and I couldnt put my finger on what it felt like, wierd is all i could think. I have not been moody, upset or angry now off them, however dropping down I was not the best suffering all the above.
After reading this I feel sad, but ok coz now i get it, Its not me but the drug!
Good luck to those of you whom are still weaning or about to cease. Thoughts are with you.

March 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm
(851) joy latter says:

hi there everyone, wow i had no idea how taking this drug really affects people. I have been taking celexa for 5 years or more, and i have never been able to stop taking it for more than a couple days. i am currently seeking herbal remmidies for controlling depression, if anyone has any info or what herbal remmidies work i would really appreciate it. i have been taking prescription drugs for over 10 years, and would like to find something that is not all chemical. tks Joy

March 18, 2009 at 8:05 am
(852) salina says:

oh raptuous joy! how glad i am i have found this site!
I have taken C for 18 months (PANICK ATTACKS STRESS AND DEPRESSION)and have gone from 10mg up to 25mg and last script, back down to 10mg, in antisipation of coming off alltogether. Two months ago i started taking half a tablet a day then down to half every other day and then 10 days ago decided enough was enough and stopped altogether.
first week was fine, bit tired/groggy and a few headaches but no biggy. two days ago the ‘brain zapps’started, infreaquently at first, but today its almost every time i move!
As awfull as it sounds, i am so glad to hear that so many other people have gone through the same withdrawrals, proves that i really am not going out of my mind, just reclaim it!
I hope that all ‘posters’ on this site truly do recover their mental valetudo. I have to say that the meds did do their job when they were needed 18months ago to help me get over panic attacks and the inability to get out of bed in the morning due to the feelings that a heard of buffalo had been dancing on me whilst i had been asleep! but wtf! coming off these things so far has een worse than any of the feelings i had before i started taking them! arghhh! I am hoping that this will all be over in around three months time ( based on research done here!)however I will be taking a printed copy of this site with me when i go visit my g.p. on friday. I have to go now as the brain zap pixies are having strobe party in my head again.
will defo check back here soon to see how everybody else is coping,
BIG LOVE to you all and keep on keeping on!

March 19, 2009 at 5:00 am
(853) Libby says:

Salina, when you said the brain zaps were slow to start with i was the same, but now so frequent.
At first i thought it was wierd and kept moving my head to actually see if I was imagining it…
Now I just want them to stop. I have been off Citalopram now for 1 week and feel like shit still. very dizzy, puffed, tired and the zaps have got worse.
I begun prothiaden 3 nights ago and they are making me sleepy, groggy and tired I also cant get anything right. My spelling is all wrong, memory gone and just feel Daaahhhhh Not sure if its still coming off the other or from starting the new – but fingers crossed that soon I will have no more zaps and feel “normal” soon.
What is normal???
After so many years of feeling depressed it is so hard to define normal.
I think taking the print off of these to your Dr is a great idea, they need to know how we feel.
Sorry Joy I do not no of any herbal alternative, believe me if I did I would be on it……

March 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm
(854) Michelle says:

hi there.. been A while since Ive updated my progress.. recently I had cut down to half dose daily 10mg for about 3 months.. then decided it was time to take the nex step.. I am now taking 10mg every second day.. by the second day I start to get the zaps etc.. but not severe.. So i suggest to everyone take it slow and easy.. Its now day 4 on cutting to every second day, and Im doing fine.. i’ll continue this for about a month I think.. Then think about my next step.. I think every 3 days will be next step, then I think maybe stop all together. wish me luck

March 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm
(855) Curt says:

Wow, thanks to you all. I just came back from a business trip where I forgot to pack my meds. I can only describe that that today I felt all of the above and was actually thinking of heading the ER. Thanks!

March 24, 2009 at 11:11 am
(856) miche says:

i had been thinking that my withdrawals were form cocodomol but after reading many of these post i am not so sure…i hav bn on C for bout 9 months with propranolol but the last few weeks i kinda jus didnt take them but i have been on cocodomol 4 3 month n they always made me feel good inside but at the weekend i stopped them to n omg did i come down 2 earth with a bang…my anxiety has gone throw the roof i cant bring myself 2 go outside..i hav 3 kids which i raise alone n i am finding this a nightmare i saw a dctor and he has told me to continue wiv C and P and also given me mirtazapine and remove the cocodomol…havin done some probably unwise research ive found out that M has a real bad weight gain side affect so im thinkin not taking them as half the reason for feelin depressed n anxious is weight related so y the f… would a doctor go n give out these drugs do they not know anythin..anyway my sister is gna take me back 2 docs friday so i cn explain clearer n hope he listens his time..

March 24, 2009 at 7:25 pm
(857) Luke Davidson says:

Wow. I just want to thank everyone here who has left a post, and particularly those kind enough to check in after they got better and give us the benefit of their experience.

I’ve been on Citalopram for six years. I always experience side effects when changing dose and even when I change brand. Pharmacists never believe me but EVERY time I have to change brand (because they’ve stopped supplying the one I was used to) I go through a month or so of dizziness, poor focus, slowness, flatness and suicidal thoughts etc etc.

I would love to be free of the drug but find it scary. I do get depressed and anxious and find it debilitating. But I also want to have my brain back; I would love to know what it I might be like without it.

It feels like a Faustian pact – you seek something to make your life kinder but in the end you are trapped.

Anyway, I’m glad this page exists and wish every one who is coming off it the very best of luck.


March 24, 2009 at 7:27 pm
(858) Janis says:

I started weaning myself off Citalopram a couple weeks ago. A couple days after I took the last pill I noticed a chirping sound which I first thought was a hummingbird nearby but when I looked at my cat I could tell she wasn’t hearing anything.

It happened every time I turned my head a certain way. Now it’s happening all day long, whenever I move my head or my eyes. In addition I have that dizzy, lightheaded, head-stuffed-with-cotton, slightly drunk feeling, like my feet aren’t quite on the ground.

I was afraid it was a heart or circulation-related problem and a friend said it sounded like inner ear problem so I made an appointment with an ENT doctor for later this week.

Now, from reading all this I can see the buzzing or chirping, dizziness, etc. are all just side-effects as my brain (or liver?) slowly releases the medication.

I wanted to get off it because I never had any interest in exercising and as a result gained 10 pounds over the year I was on it. I’m already feeling less lethargic, and my libido and ability to have orgasms without major effort has come back. Now if the darn hummingbirds would go away and my brain would get sharper.

Lastly, the first few days after I stopped taking it I made one error after another at work, was extremely grouchy and irritable, so much so that co-workers commented on it. I’m usually a “how can I be of service” person to our clients but instead I was feeling like saying “you idiot! figure it out yourself!”

March 25, 2009 at 7:21 am
(859) Michelle says:

Hey there. Im still trying to weaning of citalapram.. I agree on one thing.. Ive changed brand of meds today, and I seriously think I had some sort of different reaction.. they do say there’s no difference, but I dont agree.. My head was spinning out majorly today.. I’ve dropped down to 10mg every second day, for about a week now.. Anyone have any suggestions on what I should do next.. 5mg daily? every 2nd day? Im not really to drop dose yet, but when I do I want to do it right.

March 27, 2009 at 1:19 am
(860) Ileana says:

I started taking citalopram last year for anxiety. I was supposed to take it for three months and then stop. The doctor never told me that I was supposed to slowly get off of it. I just stopped taking it. After one week I started feeling withdrawals, only I didn’t know that’s what the symptoms were related to. I thought that lightheaded feeling was due to vertigo. Anyway, I decided to take citalopram again and I felt great but as soon as I got off them, the symptoms came back. So for a few months I went off and on the pills. My doctor never told me you can’t do that with citalopram. Finally, recently I had it with the symptoms. I was tired of always feeling nauseas and dizzy. I would feel like the inside of my head was going to start spinning. I went to a different doctor and she told me citalopram isn’t a medication you get off just like that. You need to slowly get off of it. So now, I started taking 20 mg for one week, 15 mg the next week, 10 mg the week after that and this week I’m on 5 mg. Sunday is the last day I’ll be taking the medication. I won’t be surprised if my body has withdrawals but hopefully this will work. I completely understand how all of you feel. It’s an awful and hopeless feeling when no one gets what you’re feeling.

March 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm
(861) Luke Davidson says:

Hey Michelle,

I KNOW changing brands make a difference. I’ve been experiencing it for years, so don’t think you are imagining it!

Is there anyone else reading these pages who has experienced side effects when changing brand (while staying on the same dosage)??

I’m still struggling to think straight. I still feel flat. And that’s three weeks after switching brands. I find cognitive activity hard. I can respond to people emotionally but not read and think intensively. It’s a kind of AD, or so it seems.

What is other people’s experience on this?

March 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm
(862) Luke Davidson says:

May I ask if anyone else has found that they suffer from side effects if they changed the brand of the drug. I and Michelle have suffered them and I’m really keen to know if this is experienced by others!

Also, I’ve really noticed that a) I don’t want to exercise and feel tired and b) I want to eat more and eat sugars. Do other people find this? I think this is why I put on such a lot of weight on Citalapram.

March 28, 2009 at 12:05 am
(863) Ben says:

I suffered sever depression on 4/6/09. Went on Lexapro until 9/9/08 and switched to Citalopram 10mg (cutting in 1/2 20mg)on 1-15-09 began 10 mg every other day things were fine until 3-16-09 then it all hit. Dizzeness, feeling like brain moving around,jumping out of skin, hot flashes, deppression for 2 days. Today is 3/27 still going on. Dont know what todo? Am I ok? thinking of going back to Doctor 3/30/09 thanks for any help!!

March 28, 2009 at 12:19 am
(864) Ben says:

sorry the above date is wrong not 4/6/09 it began 4/6/06.

March 28, 2009 at 10:19 am
(865) Bonnie says:

Hi all,
I had been on the drug for @ 8 years and tried to come off…….got so bad I went back on, that’s when I went on line and realized that all my smyptoms were real……….then recently switched to Wellbutrin. The first few days on the new drug were great. It felt like I was seeing the world clearer, more vivid….I was happy, my old personality/pre celexa……then about 1 1/2 weeks it started and I don’t know if I can do this. The brain rattles, the nausea, the electric shocks in the head………sweats, exhaustion, motion bothers me, lights, loud noise. I went to a seminar and the run pattern, which was vines…….looked from an angle like it was moving. I was so ill after two days in rooms with this carpet…….
I am horrible to live with……….nasty, don’t care either, because I feel so bad………
I asked both the pharmacist and the doctor who both told me that it should be a smooth transition……….hah, don’t these people know what these drugs are doing to us?
I am now almost 3 weeks off of it, but it seems to just be getting worse instead of better!

March 30, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(866) andy says:

I have the “brain shivers” too. I am withdrawing from Cymbalta as well and I feel the same symptoms. I could never explain the shaking in my brain either.

March 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm
(867) Lee H says:

hello all. i’m the same. ive been on these pills for years. I’ve tried several times to cut down and come off them but havent had any luck. the dizzy spells and feeling out of it is horrible. If i dont take my pills for a few days, i get very very short tempered. The doctors dont seem to understand.

April 1, 2009 at 11:31 am
(868) Ben says:

Well I never went to the doctor, as all the comments on here reassured me it has been withdrawls thst I have been going thru. Mot of the dizziness has subsided. Still a light headed now and then. I have had trouble focusing from different distances(close in then far away). I started with 20 mg a day. it has been two months now that I have been trying to wean myself from this drug I am doing 10 mg every other day. by mid April I am going to try to go to 5mg every otherday if I can get this pill cut that many times. I have had during this process Weird rythm hear beats, Sweating, two days of crying spells(and I dont cry) Dizziness,brain swooshing.I will get thru this as so will the rest of you. Any one out there that beleives in Prayer? It has helped me the most. Without hope in Jesus Christ I would not make it. It has helped me to have stronger faith. I pray for recovery for all of us. Encourgament will give each of us more strength every day.

April 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm
(869) julie says:

I started taking Citalopram about a month ago and it still makes me very dizzy and slow/sleepy. I now break my 40mg pills into 1/2 and take one in the morning and one in the evening. I’d change meds, but it’s working very well on my depression. I’ve been on Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft in the past. Paxil was the only drug that had this level of side-effects, and was also the only one that was this effective on my depression. Prozac was my best tolerated drug, but pooped out after 4 years. One nice thing about Citalopram is that my ability to have an orgasm has came back after only 3 weeks and is more ‘normal’ than it has been in years. :) Grateful for that- it’s almost worth being a dizzy zombie.

April 2, 2009 at 9:24 am
(870) tracy says:

Hi, ive been on anti depressants for nearly 16 years now. I first got depressed when my grandmother died just three weeks before my daughter was born, i was very close to my gran and found it very difficult to get over her death. I was put on to prozac about 8 months after continuallt visiting my gp. i found that the prozac made me not care whatever happened in my life and hense went though a very bad relationship later in my life. I met a wonderful man who is still my partner today and he had suffered with depression and was on citalopram and said it really helped him. he has been off the drug for 7 years and he did experience side effects from coming off the drug, I am now on citalopram and during the change over i had to come off my prozac for seven days before i could start the citalopram. during the seven days without my prozac i didnt have any side effects at all and i had been taking it for 10 years. when i went on to the ciptalopram i was givin it in a liquid form 40mg. i was told to take 0.5ml which is the equivilant to a 20mg dose i was told. My liquid is citalopram but called cipramil as its the liquid form. it has a slightly lower doseage as compared to the pill form in a 20mg dose. I had a very stressful and anxious time when i first started the citalopram but after about 2 years things started to inprove i took time out for me and my daughter and lived alone for a 2 years, then got a job which i loved and eventually all signs of depression and panic attacks went away. I moved back in with my boyfriend and all has been fine for 3 years. i have tried to cut down my dose of citalopram once by taking 5 drops rather than ten so i was taking the 10 mg dose within three days i was panicking and depressed and i hadnt felt that for at least three years. i went back to usual dose of 20mg again. i find t

April 2, 2009 at 9:33 am
(871) tracy says:

after going back to the 20 mg dose i felt ok for a while until i lost my job due to the state the country is now in. then my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy then my grandad died since then ive felt so down and teary. that was back in december, i still feel as bad now. i told my new gp who is lovely, about this and she says its normal to feel down when things like this have happened. im just so tired all the time these days its just too much effort to do much. I also have a fear of catching bugs, which my daughter has just had so im all over the place at the moment. my partner is very good he has been very supportive. I just at present cant see any way im ever going to be able come off the drug. i would thlike to, as ive experienced a dizzy feeling myself the last week and a feeling that im falling even when im sitting down securely. a feeling of my body jumping also. I must admit that i havent been taking at a regualar time each day lately as ive been so tired and down

April 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(872) Michelle says:

have dropped down to 5mg for past 3 days now.. first 2 days were fine.. but Im struggling today.. found it really hard to drag myself out of bed… Im going to stay positive and ride it out if I can…
I wish this didn’t have to be so hard. Im so desperate to have another child that I need to be really stong and get through this..

April 5, 2009 at 11:28 pm
(873) Ben says:

Michelle, and everyone. Well I have been off of Citalopram now for four days. Still dizzy blurry vision off and on depressed, Mainly fear of going anywhere. Stick with it Michelle…you can make it. Iwill be praying for you. We all know how tough this is for all of us. Hopefully I can stay off Cit.. the next few days will be the true test. Anyone else out there expreince the Vision issues like me? Thanks

April 6, 2009 at 2:35 am
(874) Sarah says:

I have been off of Citalopram for about a week now. At first it was not by choice though. I am in college and every time I need a re fill my mom gets it and mails it to me. So she has been lazy and has yet to send it to me. So I ran out of my last bottle about a week ago and I would say the withdrawal symptoms started almost immediately. Although at first I didn’t know what was wrong with me I thought I was just maybe getting sick or something. But then I started looking up side effects yesterday because my sex drive is err…non existent. So on top of finding out that is a direct correlation of taking this medicine I also saw withdrawal symptoms and started clicking around. I am really glad to know finally what has been so wrong with me. I am constantly breaking into horrible sweats, feeling nauseous, headaches, extreme irritability, HORRIBLE diarrhea, always feeling tired, I also have the feeling that when I move my head in one direction my eyes are about a half second behind my head. I hope this helps anyone who has recently gone off it as well. I have decided I am never taking it again, its not worth the horrible side effects I also experience or the horrible withdrawals I am still going through.

Also- My doctor did not ONCE tell me I would experience any of these side effects or withdrawal whatsoever. She also didn’t tell me that she gave me an antidepressant. Because when I saw her originally for ADD she tried to put me on an antidepressant for it and I refused simply because I had been on one when I was about 15 for depression and I hated it. So I did not ever want to be on one again. And she has me on record saying that and then when I come to her telling her about my anxiety and stress what does she give me?!?! Yeah, definitely done with this medicine, and probably my doctor…I think I’ll just deal with my anxiety on my own even though it sucks…its better then going through all this crazy stuff. Anyways I hope I was helpful and most of all I hope that you all and myself start to feel better soon!

April 7, 2009 at 6:24 am
(875) Libby says:

Hi All, I have been off Citalopram for 3 weeks now and I am feeling better. I am not off anti deppressants all together but on another one – prothiaden.. I had suffered such bad withdrawls when coming off even when I startewd the new.
Dizzy, zaps, moody the whole lot. The zaps reduced over time and I still get them but only every now and then.. I look back as I have kept a diary of the withdrawl and find it hard to believe that I went through such a hard, draining time. You really need people around you who care and can be very understanding. If you dont have that go to your Gp or Psycologist coz it helps to talk and realise its not you but the withdrawal of a powerful drug!
Good luck to you all I have come through the other side and there is lots of hope, good times and loving to be had..XX

April 8, 2009 at 5:38 am
(876) Jessica says:

I have been on Citalopram for almost 2 months now. I got really sick a week ago and stopped taking them because I thought that it would react to the flu medicine I have been taking. Today marked 9 days that I had been off of Citalopram. Starting yesterday, I became extremely moody and anxious, I started crying at everything, I felt extremely depressed and helpless and I started showing suicidal behavior. (I’m not the crying type, and most things don’t change my mood quickly at all — so this wasn’t normal.) I became snappy with the people I work with and in turn got myself in trouble. When my managers confronted me, I started to shake and cry and then could not stop crying for the most part of the 4 hour shift I had left. When I came home I cried more and then decided to look up the side effects of the antidepressant as one of my friends had suggested. I am really relieved to find that I am not alone in the crazy emotional roller coaster I am on right now. I am due back to see the doctor in 3 weeks and I am definitely going to talk to her about my medication and what other options I have.

Thank you all so much for posting your experiences. I am relieved to find that I am not the only person who has been experiencing these things.

I will keep my fingers crossed for all of you.

April 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm
(877) Adrienne says:

Luke – I too noticed a difference when my brand of citalopram was changed. Sometimes a pharmacist would try to get me onto a generic brand, saying my usual brand of Talam, was out of stock. This happened a few times and every time I felt worse on the change of drug. Both doctor and pharmacist said it was in my mind, that there is NO DIFFERENCE on a different brand. Rubbish.

I have made several posts on this site about my withdrawal experience from Citalopram – it is frightening to look back and read them all. The effect this drug had on my mood and personality is obvious to me when I see my old posts. The withdrawal took a total of three months and was horrific – I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I feel fantastic now and I would never take anti-depressant medication again. Citalopram has put me off them all – why don’t doctors and pharmacists tell people the truth about the horror of Citalopram withdrawal?

I’m sure none of us would ever take the stuff if we knew how hard it is to get off it.

Good luck. This drug is evil. I am a happier, calmer, nicer person without it :)

April 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm
(878) ANDREW says:

im having all the stuff as well..ive been on citalopram for 17 months now..ive been on 20mgs…i tapered down to 10mgs at the beginning of march had a few side effects..only for a few days..then i stayed on 10mgs till end of march where i took one every otherday.. for about a week…again very few if any side effects..so i thought..well im better now ill just stop all together..and for about 4 days no effects at all…then..WHAM…ive been off them for about two weeks now and im having all the symptoms as described above…including anger!!ill tell you if anyone crosses me at the moment i snap..i drive for a living and i want to get involved with road rage..i want to get confrontational all the time..this is coming from a very calm placid guy normally…i feel as though my whole personality has changed!!..im thinking im going crazy with all the vivid dreams and electrical brain twitches ect….then i found this site…and see a lot of you are going thru the same…im a bit horrified to read that it lasts upto 3 months though..i was hoping a couple of weeks till its out of your system but no!!ive got to go thru this for 3 months…weaning off them is not a issue as i now know… until you totally come off them ..it takes a while for your brain receptors to get used to living without the drug….but after having severe deppression at the back end of 2007 i feel “with the help of cbt”they got me well again…took about 6 months though… but now im determined to come off them..ill post on a regular basis to let you know how i get on…is there anyone out there who felt better sooner??? andy.

April 14, 2009 at 1:30 am
(879) Michelle says:

been on 5mg of ciprimal for 2 weeks now.. feeling abit better now.. Plan to stop altogether in next couple of weeks.. wish me luck

April 14, 2009 at 4:02 am
(880) Karen says:

I have been on this drug for about 5 months. My Doctor said it was okay for my nursing baby. I now want to get off it. Does anyone know how it affects a nursing baby?
Thanks and good luck to all.

April 14, 2009 at 5:35 am
(881) Sarah says:

Hi guys,

I’ve been on citalopram since January. Lots of stressful things happened at the same time and I suddenly just felt completely overwhelmed and like i couldn’t cope, so my doctor recommended them. They did help, but I think she was a bit too quick to prescribe them. I’m now coming off them; she said to take one 20mg every other day for 2 weeks then stop completely, but this has been making me feel rubbish. The day I take the tablet I get quite hyper and can’t sleep, then the next day I’m really tired and spaced out and tearful. So, I’ve decided to break the tablets in half and take 10mg every day, then maybe next week or the week after go down to 5mg (if i can break the tablets in quarters….). I don’t think stopping completely is a good plan at the moment as I’m just about to go into the last 8 weeks of my teacher training year, a very stressful time!
Its weird that doctors don’t know about the withdrawal symptoms though….my doctor told me citalopram is not addictive and just lifts your mood, and has only minor side-affects. I think I need to go back and get her to prescribe me some more so I can come off more slowly, but I’m not sure she’d agree with me….she’d probably just tell me I’m imagining things. Hmmmm.

Anyway I’m glad I found this website, its good to hear that other people have had the same problems. I would definitely advise people only to take these tablets as a last resort!


April 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(882) andrew says:

hello again
this is for sarah…i asked my doctor about the side effects of coming off them as i had heard of horror stories…you dont seem to have been on them long..about three months i believe..not sure if the coming off them will effect you like other on here including me who have been on them a lot longer..but what i can tell you is that when i took one every other day i had no side effects at all…
the doctor told me that they are well into my blood ..meaning that it would take a lot more than stopping them for a day to have any effect…so maybe it is
a psycological effect on you..”my doctor warned me about this too”..thinking yourself into not being able to manage without them…hope this advice is useful..i… my self..is still suffering from the weird head spaced out felling..and today i felt i little anxious …something that ive not had for a long time..im putting it down to coming off them and the side effects…my philosophy is though ..try and be possitive from when you wake up in the morning …try and dismiss the bad thoughts and challenge them…it does really work..as i learned during my 6 weeks of cbt…in fact i would put that down to 90% of my recovery….good luck…andrew x

April 15, 2009 at 11:27 pm
(883) Dirk says:

I was on Citalopram for four months after a bout of Graves disease which left me very stressed. Fortunately it has gone into remission.

I found the drug gave me arthritis (it would be interesting to know if anyone else had this side effect) chest pain and low libido. I guess it may have helped my mental state slightly but I decided to taper off it.

I went from 20mg to 10mg (Half a tab) for a couple of weeks then down to 5mg for a week and then off altogether. I had no side effects for two weeks then all hell broke loose! Brain shakes and dizziness, flu like illness, lots of heart palpitations (which I also had during the Graves episode). Depression intermitently – usually in the morning and late afternoon. Aching limbs, weird spaced out sensations, constant headache, chest pain, vivid dreams and nightmares… the list goes on.

It has now been just over four weeks and I still have a mild headache and flu like sensation most of the time and some intermitent weepy feelings however I do feel I am improving. The arthritis seems to have gone and the dizziness and brain zaps also.

Having hung out for this long I will continue without taking another AD and would never consider letting such a drug pass my lips again!

I have tried 5htp and L tryptophan for a few days but found they worsened my heart palpitations considerably although they did seem to help my mood a bit. I am now trying a St Johns wort liquid suppliment and am taking EPA HDA fish oil every day which is recommended as a treatment for the head shocks – I have had very little of that symptom so I’m assuming it is effective. A good magnesium suppliment (preferably magnesium citrate) is incredibly effective for anxiety if that is your problem. Fortunately I haven’t had much anxiety – probably because I take the magnesium regularly.

Well that’s my story so far. I’ll keep you posted.

April 19, 2009 at 1:45 am
(884) Michelle says:

hi there..

Im now taking 5mg every second day.. Im getting the brain zaps, but I’m trying to get through that.. the key is to take things very slowly, no rushing.. I went from 20mg daily, then 10mg daily, then 10mg every second day, then 5mg daily, and now 5mg every second day.
Hope this helps.. every 2 weeks I change the dose.. As you can see Im taking things really really slow.. My next step will be taking them every other day, when my brain zaps takeover.. But they may not, so I may be off them altogether soon.. Wisha me luck.. Doctors dont know much about these meds, they just know how to fill out a script.. There are definately withdrawals symptoms!!!

April 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(885) Dirk says:

Thought I’d update progress for you.

Today I have to say I feel a huge improvement. I would say I am 95% symptom free now and feeling 100% confident I am going to completely recover. So the news is good.

It would seem that there is a par for the course two month withdrawal syndrome from this drug regardless of how you taper off it. Knowing this should give people the strength and patience to wear through it without going back. It is worth the perseverence.

Things that have really helped are:

St Johns wort – really effective for mood.

Magnesium – works great for anxiety and sleep.

EPA HDA fish oil for brain zaps etc.

Take a good intestinal clearing agent to get rid of any candida you may have – coming off citalopram seems to throw out your gut balance. Then take a probiotic for at least a month.

DON’T EAT ANY SUGAR!!!! Can’t stress this enough. Small protein meals and a few carbs lots of veges. Sugar is enemy number one if your metabolism is unstable you will feel way better quicker without this crap but it takes a lot of discipline to avoid the stuff because it’s in everything.

That’s my recipe for recovery. Good luck!

April 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(886) Joel says:

Greetings everyone. Sorry it’s a biggie but my store needs some background.

I first approached my family doctor for help with what I thought was ADD. He sent me for tests. I scored low for ADD but moderate for mild depression. As I was ramped up, I gained a lot of weight (25 lbs on a 5’7″ frame) and was becoming more and more tired: sometimes sleeping for 12-hour stretches. I wasn’t going to the gym and was yawning constantly. The ADD symptoms persisted. So I was easily distracted, forgetful, clumsy, absent-minded and now listless and fat. I didn’t need a health professional to tell me that Citalopram was a bad idea. And then I cut my finger making a sandwich…
The cut was deep enough to warrant a visit to the emergency ward. The attending doctor inquired if I was taking medication. Foolishly I told her that I was taking Citalopram for mild depression. End of story? Not by a long shot.
Two weeks later I received a letter from the Ministry Of Transportation (Department of Motor Vehicles) informing me that recent events suggest that I might be a danger to myself and others and that my Driver’s License is suspended. My family doctor was to forward all relevant medical files for review before the license could be re-instated. Can you say “Straw on the camel’s back”?
Here I am five days without Citalopram. Someone reaches into my head and gives my brain a little tweak sometimes. Other times I feel dizzy. I’m tempted to take a half-pill. And then I snap out of it.
I remember the ten months of side-effects. I now can relate to recovering alcoholics who are tempted to take a shot of vodka to keep the shakes at bay. Now that I have some energy back I take long walks, even in the rain, to get some oxygen into my blood. Remember that each time you feel a little dizzy, it’s a good thing. Your brain is re-wiring itself the way it knows best and not remolded according the specs of a pharmaceutical company.
Like Stuart Smalley, you need a daily affirmation. Mine is “I will not take that half-pill of Citalopram and as God is my witness, I will not take public transportation again!”

April 20, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(887) Michelle says:

after reading that, there’d be millions of people taken off the roads..
Me for one.. Im always feeling dizzy etc going of these meds.. just try not to do long trip drives..
Im on 5mg every 2nd day now.. Im feeling very edgy and starting to get anxiety.. But thinking thats the weaning process and I hope once drugs is out of my system I’d feel better.. I just dont want to fall in that black whole again.. I wish to have another baby, and wished i felt like I did on the medicine as well as off.. Life can be a pain in the arse sometimes.. I’m so excited to go off meds so my dream of becoming pregnant is closer, but as I get closer it gets harder.. I’ve never been a religious person, but I pray I’ll get through this.

April 24, 2009 at 1:09 am
(888) Dirk says:

Week 5 of withdrawal.
I’m still much improved but still have intermittent bad days. Symptoms now being mainly confined to muscle aches and fatigue.

Looking back though I’m worlds better than the first few weeks.

It does seem that the withdrawal process is not linear but more a decreasing scale of symptoms that come and go, eventually fading out altogether. During the process they can come back with a degree of the initial intensity if you are under stress or overdo anything. The symptoms do however recurr for shorter periods as time passes.

The withdrawal process really does require endless patience and the knowledge that your body and brain will re-adjust to not having the drug over time.

At 5 weeks I believe I am not quite halfway through the process but certainly through the worst of it and can state that at this stage none of the symptoms are unbearable as they were initially.

Hang in there everybody!

April 24, 2009 at 9:18 am
(889) Ashleigh says:

Hi everyone,
Wow, I am just so stunned to find this website. I’ll try & keep my history with Citalopram brief but I’m amazed & angry now that I realise how many other people all around the world are suffering because of this drug. Been on it nearly five years. Doses ranging from 20mg to 60mg a day & have made up my mind to get off it for good :o ) Originally prescribed for depression, anxiety and bulimia and was very effective at tuning out anything that stressed me. Saw a specialist about feeling so numb and was told to double the dose!!! Weight has gone from 56kg to 122kg and it doesn’t matter if I try and eat sensibly or give in to really powerful sugar cravings. Thought they were because of the shiftwork I was doing.Made up my mind to get off it for good as I’ve tried four times in the last year and gave up because I thought it meant I wasn’t ready for the real world and still needed it’s “support”.So grateful to find you all. I am actually really mad at my Dr after reading so many of everyone’s posts.It’s like they read a journal that says this drug is perfect and don’t bother to listen to the real effects. Cit creates more problems than it solves. In hindsight I should never have taken it. Much love and support to everyone :o )

April 25, 2009 at 10:51 am
(890) maria says:

I am so surprised to see this blog, maybe the one I was looking for after I typed the search eterm “discontinuing cipram”.I have been on cipralx since 5 years and then a year back was switched to cipram, recently my doc told me to reduce the dose o half and I started having “zaps” “electronic brain signals, I always do, I can’t wean off this med, so my doc said if u feel these zaps switch back to 10mg , and now I can’t stop sleeping I am so exhausted all the time, any idea how to wean this off?
Michelle: do u do this like 1 day 10 mg and 1 day 5 mg?
I have to get rid of this! its so frustrating ,like I am so dependent on these meds, like they control me, my mind

April 26, 2009 at 1:35 am
(891) anna says:

hi everyone, just joining this blog as am coming off this drug. have been on it for 4 months for PND and want to ty for another baby. cut down from 20mg to 10mg 6 days ago but caved in and took a 20mg tablet yesterday due to severe headaches. sounds like this is just the beginning. will keep you posted! keep sharing your stories everyone, it really helps.

April 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm
(892) Sherry says:

Wow I’m like so many others – really surprised to find this blog. I have been on it for 6 months, 10 mg a day. I have to say that it really truly helped. I feel better than I have in a VERY long time. I’ve actually rejoined life. Now I’ve decided to get off it, and I’m just exhausted all the time, have a mild headache most of the time, and I’m getting those brain shocks. From time to time I get the sweats and am very slightly dizzy for a split second. I didn’t hear back from my doctor about weaning off it, so I’ve decided to go cold turkey. I’m on day 5. The symptoms seem to have been lessening, but in reading these posts, I hope I don’t get a sudden ‘relapse’. If what I’m currently getting is as bad as it gets, then it was definitely worth it for me to have been on it. I definately got the munchies though. lol Wish me luck – as I wish all of you!

April 27, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(893) Megan says:

I quit taking it a week ago and just now started feeling withdrawal symptoms today. It’s a horrible feeling. I have been dizzy, light-headed, and nauseous all day. I had been taking 40 mg. for approx. 6 months and couldn’t even tell that I was on it… didn’t any good for me, and made me gain almost 15 pounds. I seemed like I was hungry all the time and had lost all will-power to eat right. My husband said I seemed more depressed while on it (due to gaining so much weight).
Any one else have this problem???

April 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm
(894) Ben says:

My last comment was April 1st. Well a update of coming off this drug. The dizziness has continued. Crying o acouple more times actually just yesterday out of the blue! It seems like it s going to take more time before all this goes away. I have also cut out all sugar and caffine. As someone else mention, I believe this is amust. I dont drink alchol at at all, so I dont know the effect of it. I have lost 11 lbs by cutting out this sugar and getting off of this Citalopram> Hopefully some words of encouragment.

April 28, 2009 at 2:19 am
(895) James says:

Megan, I’ve been on and off anti-depressents for almost three years now trying to find the right dosage and switching… Throughout all of this i’ve gained an obscene amount of weight and it’s been fueling the depression in an endless cycle. I really think that getting active and seeing a councilor helps as my mood is getting better even though the weight is relatively the same.

So yeah, you aren’t alone in having that problem. My friends all agree that I have been a bit off with the medication as well.. more mood swings and the like.. and they don’t even make me feel better any more. Pure withdrawal effects all the time. Now i’m rambling though. :) Good luck Megan! And everyone else.

April 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm
(896) chris says:


Have been on Citalopram for about 1.5 years.
If your experiencing the brain zaps and feel unwell it means your in withdawal. All you have to do is wean yourself off. I note a lot of people are feeling determined to come off which is great but dont suffer unnecessaraly!!!! :s

You can split the pill and take it every other day Im sure Docs should be advising the same but as we all know they dont really know any diff than the drug co’s tell em.

WEAN!!! WEAN!!! WEAN !!!!

Chris X

April 29, 2009 at 4:12 am
(897) Michelle says:

well guys Im hanging in there.. Im down to 5mg every other day.. meaning minimum 2 days straight without them, and when I feel my head is freaking out too much I’ll have another 5mg to take edge off..
I found it hard to get to sleep lastnight because of the brain zaps, but didnt want to cave in.. So now Im about 3 days of not taking anything.. Experiencing alot of brain zaps and off balance.. but noticed my mood is a little more steady today.. My moods are all over the show these days.. But Im going to hang in there, I have to if I want another baby.. Cross your fingers for me guys and gals

April 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(898) Michelle says:

hey there me again.. had a bit of a rough night lastnight.. Found it difficult to sleep.. Head was zapping away and spinning out.. hard to relax.. And had major night sweats.. it was like I was having withdrawals off heroin, not that I know what thats like.. But im so proud that i didnt cave in again.. I just grabed a pillow and blanket, layed on the lounge with tv on till i fell asleep.. I find that background noice helps.. Takes my mind off it all. so im not feeling to bad today. plenty of zaps, but can get things done

April 30, 2009 at 10:40 am
(899) Sherry says:

Wow I’m so sorry to hear so many of you are having such severe problems! I’m on day 9 of going cold turkey. So far the withdrawals seem to be lessening. 3 days ago I started taking magnesium for the aches like someone in a post above suggested and it helped a lot. Helped my headache too, which now alternates between slight and non-existant thank goodness! The exhaustion was my biggest problem, so I doubled up on my dosage of a Mega B vitamin complex and it helped a LOT! I have been MUCH less tired. As for the brain zaps, I’m not getting nearly as many unless I try to exercise. I went out to go for a walk yesterday and got a LOT of them right in a row! Whew! THAT wasn’t fun! My munchies have lessened though. So, so far it seems as though I’m coming off it ok. I hope everyone else is doing better too!

April 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm
(900) Meagan says:

Hey guys! i have been trying to follow this thread closely. I was taking 10mg of Citalopram for roughly a little more than a years time, and i have tried to stop about 6 months ago. My first attempted seemed hopeless, all the side affects literally take over your life. I recently stopped taking them the day of Easter. It will be 3 weeks now ive been off them and it seems the side affects just keep getting worse. It worries me to think there is somthing wrong with me because i am so dizzy but im sure its just withdrawals. I’ve heard most people dont start feeling better until 3 months after quitting. It that true, when can i expect to feel better? Please i need some comfort when i can get my life back on track and feel like myself again~! Thanks so much, you guys are super strong, and would not wish this on anybody! – Meagan.

May 1, 2009 at 2:32 am
(901) Michelle says:

hi there guys and gals.. I just read someones thread that he/she got the munchies while going off ciprimal.. Ive gone cold turkey for 6 days now, and man I want to eat all the time.. When everyone goes to bed, Im hitting the choccies and chips.. im not sure if all the dizzyness and brain zaps are making me not think straight.. But all i want to do is eat.. And I cant even exercise to burn it off without feeling dizzy and zaps..
I’ve had really bad days, but keep going.. Im desperate to get through this. Ive noticed that Im really emotional now. I cry over everything!! I watched tv lastnight, people dying etc, and I’d be in tears within seconds.. im sure this will ease after a few weeks.. goodluck to everyone.. I’ll keep you all updated

May 4, 2009 at 12:58 am
(902) Michelle says:

Hi there.. Am doing really well. Im feeling alot better now, and seem to get through the days alot easy.. Not as many meltdowns, and starting to feel more myself.. Im might get a few brain zaps and dizzyness, but more so at night when I start to get tired..
And my libido is coming back.. which I find strange..
Been about 8 days now taking no meds

May 7, 2009 at 8:11 pm
(903) Michelle says:

Day 13 now without any antidepressents.. Doing fantastic.. Brain zaps almost non existent.. My mood and energy has increased, and had a great day yesterday.. My theory is you are going to feel terrible dropping doses, your depression will come back for a bit.. thats just your brain trying to level out again.. I eventually levels back up to where it should be.. So everyone hangin there.. Im living proof that if you just hangin there its worth it.

May 8, 2009 at 4:44 am
(904) kev says:

I just finished reading about 400 replies.
I’m on day 5 without citalopram and now I feel a lot more normal thanks to you all.
We should all wear T shirts “I survived citalopram” and wear them proudly.

May 8, 2009 at 6:26 am
(905) kev says:

Hi again,
I just found this site,
Hope it helps :-) ))

May 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm
(906) PB says:

I just found this thread today after feeling horrible the past week or so – it just occurred to me maybe it was withdrawal! Stopped 20 mg/day Citalopram for about a year, about 1.5 weeks ago. I’ve been having brutal depression, crying, anger, heart palpitations, lassitude….going crazy. I don’t see so much about these kinds of symptoms in this thread? anyway just started SAM-e today as I don’t want to go back to my dr. (who will prescribe a higher dose of Citalopram!). Fingers crossed….

May 10, 2009 at 6:24 am
(907) Michelle says:

PB you stopped too quickly.. I did it over 4 months going off 20mg.. I still didnt feel the greatest, but probably no where near as to what you’re feeling now.. maybe take 10mg daily for a couple of weeks then drop again..
if you rush it then you wont get through this believe me

May 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm
(908) joanne says:

hi there everyone!
i had been taking citalopram for just over 6 months when i decided i no longer needed it in my life anymore. i like too many others felt like i wanted to regain control of my life again and weaned myself off over a two week period. i felt like totaly crap i really did, had the head zaps, sickness, mood swings, agitation, chronic tiredness and weight gain, you name it! its been two weeks since i have been completely off them and im still not much better. my head zaps and the tiredness are the worst thing ever as they make you feel like you just cannot be bothered with anything!after reading your posts i am determined not to give in and take one of these tablets ever again. although i have to say they did help me come to term with awful things that happened to me last year, the withdrawal i have been experiencing is just not worth it. i was told over and over by people that these tablets are (a) none habit forming and (b) safe to use with very mild side effects. i would never have taken these tablets had i known from reading these posts just how difficult it is to come off them. it makes you wonder why people do stay on these tablets, not because of people cannot cope but because they make you feel that lousy getting off them! thanks to everyone who has spared the time to post on here with their experiences of citalopram. it has been a huge help :-)

May 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm
(909) Michelle says:

Joanne you are going off them too fast.. I cant stress that enough.. I tried going off them 6 months ago, and had to go on them again because I weaned too fast.. This time I did it over 4 months.. off them 2 weeks now, and feel great, found myself again.. TAKE IT SLOW

May 11, 2009 at 10:50 am
(910) Mike says:

I had only been taking it for 8 weeks (40mg dose) and tapered down to 20mg for one week and stopped. I was tapering down due to starting a new medication, but i felt like that medication wasn’t working out so I stopped it.
For the past 4 days I have been very dizzy, and become very angry, anxious or sad at small things, or nothing at all… This is not good for me to feel, and it sucks for my girlfriend as well. Though as much as I like to think its not me.. It is and its obviously upsetting to her.

May 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm
(911) Pat says:

I’m tapering off, I do 1/2 a 20mg every 2 days. The light headedness doesn’t bother me but I’m having a real problem focusing on tasks, sort of a mental lethargy. Physically I’m more active.
Anyone have experience with their libido coming back? That is a big issue for me. I miss my MoJo!

May 11, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(912) Michelle says:

My libido came back in a major way.. My partner couldnt believe it.. About two weeks after going cold turkey, I started to feel fantastic again.. And Then I started to feel normal down there to.. haha

May 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm
(913) Jerry says:

Hello, I am amazed that so many people are experiencing awful side effects. I experience fatigue and an extreme increase of anxiety. I’m often feel aggitated. What is the answer to this problem?

May 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(914) Jerry says:

I would like to add to my last comment that I did stop cold turkey and not only do I feel fatigue and always tired, the last few days I have chest pains and difficulty breathing. As I fall into a deep sleep, I gasp for a breathe in a panic. Not sure if I will wake. Wish there was abetter answer.

May 12, 2009 at 9:47 am
(915) Tammy says:

I found out I was pregnant about three weeks ago and quit 40mg of citalopram a day cold turkey. I felt HORRIBLE but hung in there thanks to some of the comments on this blog. I am doing better now but still not 100%. I really feel bad for everyone here–I wish someone would have given us more information about this drug. I probably would have never started taking it had I known I’ld feel even worse after quitting. Someone’s making money off our suffering and that’s not nice.

May 12, 2009 at 9:52 am
(916) Tammy says:

Oh yeh…the best part is I called my doctor to find out if there was something I could do to make the withdrawal symptons less severe. His answer was excercise and therapy–if that wasn’t a load of BS. I think a three week stint in a rehab would have been better.

May 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm
(917) Diane says:

Was on Citalopram for about 8 yrs and have tried to ween off them. I went down to 10mg every other day and when I re ordered them, the Dr refused to give me them and told me I need to discuss it with her… So in my stubborness, I am going cold turkey and have been off them for 10 days now. I feel really weird kind of fuzzy and dizzy,which I am fighting through – usually by now, I would have taken a tablet, but this time I won’t let myself. I am tired, irritable, and having trouble focussing which is really scary when I am driving :(
Please tell me there is a light at the end of the tunnel….

May 13, 2009 at 6:15 pm
(918) Nick says:

Hi Guys,

Reading from all your posts I’m glad I’m not the only one. I have been tsking citalopram for about 8 months. I was taking 40mg and weaned down to 20mg by taking 20mg and 40mg on alternate days for about 2weeks. That was fine to begin with but I had mood swings for about 2 or 3 weeks a few weeks later, however, i felt better on 20mg once it had stabalised than i did on 40mg. I tried doing the same from 20 to 10 and started experiencing a ‘whooshing’ feeling in my head and mood swings. I am going to go alternate for 21 days before taking 10mg per day. I really wanna get off them now as I feel like a different person but am afraid of the withdraw and how long it lasts, heard it could be a month or two. Any advice?

May 14, 2009 at 1:37 pm
(919) PB says:

does anyone know if you can take SAM-e with or right after quitting citalopram? It might help with some of the mood stuff for withdrawal (i’m hoping this myself, seems to have been a difference over the past few days)– it’s natural and apparently has no side effects except for people with bipolar disorder (it causes mania) — it would be a good question for a good doctor.

May 14, 2009 at 1:45 pm
(920) Amanda says:

OMG!!! What a lifesaver to find this site, I was put on Citalopram 20mg daily 2 years ago for post natel depression, and then went through a divorce so decided to stay on them until everything settled down. Went to drs and he advised me to cut down from 20 to 10mg per day for a month, then take 10mg every other day for 2 weeks, i was actually ok doing this and didnt feel much different, but as soon as i stopped altogether i got the symptoms you all mentioned, the woolly head, dizziness etc, its been just over a week since i stopped and i thought i was going mad or had a bloody brain tumour lol!!!The doctor told me that i wouldnt experience ANY withdrawels by cutting the doses, but it seems they dont know what they are talking about after reading this. I now have SOME hope that its going to get better, and actually read on here one of you guys took an antisickness tablet that helped, so might go to chemist tomorrow and get some travel pills and see if that helps, will let you know, if anyone wants to chat about this my email is amaj2@hotmail.co.uk would love to swap stories, keep your chins up xx

May 14, 2009 at 6:08 pm
(921) Diane says:

Today I slept all day, and now have a loss of appetite. I tried to eat a little of my favourite foods and have felt sick all day. I am so tired, wobbly on my feet and agitated. Bring on the weekend so I can try and get some rest. I won’t let it beat me…. Being citalopram free is the only thing that lifts me when I suffer my wobbles or sweats!

May 15, 2009 at 7:42 am
(922) JENTIM says:

My Gp put me on Citalopram 10mg for anxiety following a cardiac diangnosis. I reluctantly took them for 4 weeks but anxiety increased & developed insomnia. GP stopped citalopram & startd Mirtazapine 15 the next day. Slept the 1st night but room spinning all the next day. This continued so halved the dose to 7.5. Felt like a drugged up zombie & did not get more than 2 hrs sleep a night. Stopped mirtzapine after 12 days on GP’s advise. Now on no AD. 1st day extreme muscle weakness & tongue rolling, tingling pins & needles especially where there has been pressure. flickering eyes. Numb no emotions & feel depersonalized. 10 days later muscles improving, but confused & still depersonalized & pins & neeles. No sleep so my Gp prescibed 6 doses of zopiclone 3.75mg. Reluctantly took last night & did sleep for 4 hrs & woke then eventually slept another 2 hrs. Still pins & needles, flickering eyes & depersonalized. Will these ever go away?

May 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm
(923) Amanda says:

Just an update after yesterdays post, went out and bought some travel sickness pills and took 2 hoping they would help the head whooshes, but really didnt make any difference, have noticed i am really short tempered today which i know is because i am getting so fed up with this head feeling, its SO disheartening to wake up each day praying it will feel better and it isnt, I dont have trouble sleeping like some other people thank god, in fact i can sleep more. I have also noticed that the only thing that seems to make me feel a little better is when i have my Gin and Tonic at night!! Seems to ease the head whooshes. Course, it aint possible to spend the day drinking, if i could i would :) ! Fed up of being short tempered, impatient and feeling drunk all the time. I swear I am going to dance naked round my garden when these side effects disappear!! best wishes to you all xx

May 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(924) Joanne says:

Hi this is just a follow up really to a post i left about a week ago and in particular to “Michelle”. Hi michelle, thanks for your concern i think you are right that i probably did not wean myself off them long enough. however… i feel sooo much better this last week! the head zaps i dont seem to notice them much and my tiredness has improved so much so that i can now stay up when i get home from work and chill out! i cant tell you how much better it feels to just be able to have the energy to do whatever i want to :-) i just want to say to people on here to NEVER GIVE UP! you will get through this and it will make you SO MUCH STRONGER. as each day passes, you are another day closer to reclaiming your life and loving yourself again. take care each and every one of you X X

May 17, 2009 at 2:15 am
(925) Michelle says:

hi there.. have been off ciprimal for 3 weeks and feel great.. were planning for baby number 2 now.. yey.. I havent felt this good in years.. Hang in there everyone, its worth it in the end.. The brain zaps, etc… and feeling of depression during withdrawals, if will go away.. just hang in there

May 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm
(926) Marc says:

My son wants to get off citalopram but his one try resulted in several bad days and we thought it was depression related and went right back on. From this site we now know it is withdrawal. The doctors don’t know about this and it is disappointing that peole don’t know this. I am building a social networking site that allows for free group rooms and want to add this type of blog and Forum set up to bring more attention to Prescription Drug withdrawal. The site will be up in a few weeks and the name of it is Vastloop.com. Membership is free and we will be looking for a Group Administrator for this group so if you want to hear more about this volunteer function let me know.
We are looking for more holistic products to help ease the withdrawals for my son as he begins to drop from 20mgs to 10mgs to every other day at 10 and then to 5mgs. We assume it will be two weeks for each stage at least.
We developed our assumptions from what we have read here and are open to suggestions. Thank you and let me know if an ongoing help group would be valuable to you.

May 18, 2009 at 6:21 am
(927) sarah says:

hi, i’m trying to come off this horible drug after a heart scare. My new g.p. thinks it may be this tablet so coming off quite quickly and boy am i suffring. reading the messages on here has helped so much as people generally find it hard to understand and the withdrawal symptoms are difficult to describe. My G.P has been amazing at the end of the phone when i need it. I’ve gone from 60mg to 10 in 4weeks. 4 weeks of hell! but hope it will be worth it.

May 18, 2009 at 10:31 am
(928) Diane says:

Am now into week 3 and not feeling that much better. In fact, I felt compelled to contact a Doctor for advice – his advice was stick with it, or start them up again! WOW! Mind blowing info there Doc!!! Not really what I wanted to hear, but he did say that Citalopram is one of the easier drugs to withdraw from! I am so grumpy and tired at the moment and am still feeling really woozy. Have had great support and friendship from Amanda who I met via this page and with her support and the help of other friends and family I am gonna kick this drugs ass!

May 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm
(929) Amanda says:

Hi everyone, just thought i would update you with my progress, i am on Day 10 of withdrawel and the brain shakes HAVE got a tiny bit better i have to say, they are still there and i find they are worse in the morning and at the end of the day.I am currently going through what i can only describe as complete exhaustion, somedays it is hard for me to put one foot in front of the other and i am drinking more coffee than ever to get through the day, I cant beleive this withdrawel process is taking so long, but there is no way that i am going back on the pills and will see it through. Please have faith everyone, when you are at your worst you will honestly start to see slow improvements, it takes time but hang in there it DOES get better xx

May 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(930) Michelle says:

hey Amanda,, it took me 2 weeks to start to feel great again.. hang in there.. Im now nearing week 4. I still have that coffee in the morning to give me get up and go.. but no brain zaps etc… plan to start trying to get preggers next month.. Im actually very nervous about the idea because having a baby is where it all started.. I need to control my anxieties some how

May 20, 2009 at 11:15 am
(931) Amanda says:

Hi everyone, just wanted to update you all with my progress and give you all HOPE that its guna get better, I am on about Day 13 and GOD do i feel better today, head whooshes have all but gone only slight if i move too quickly, tiredness has gone, i no longer need to go back to bed in the day and feel like i have lots more energy (without the need for coffee). PLEASE PLEASE dont give up it DOES get better…. my email if you want to chat abou this is amaj2@hotmail.co.uk, hang in there guys xxx

May 20, 2009 at 11:48 am
(932) Tammy says:

Hello My daughter and i have been taking citaloprm 20 mg for about a year. We recently ran low on both of our prescriptions and my daughter had not taken it for 4 days. She called from shcool this AM feeling many of the withdarwls you are all describing. We have thought about getting off the drug as the severe circumstances have passed, but reading theses comments scares me to death. Have any of you been suicidal or gone back to the actions that required an antidepressent in the first place?

May 21, 2009 at 5:26 am
(933) Austin says:

I am so nervous after visiting this website. Have been on 80mg (which apparently is a really high dosage, although my doctor never mentioned it was so high) for 4 years now. No longer have health insurance and can’t afford the prescription. I have about 30 days worth (at 80mg a day) and just began tapering to 40mg for 2 weeks and now 20 mg every other day. Having awful side effects. I always noticed if I missed my dosage one day I would get the brain flashes. Now I have had a mild fever almost every day for a week, extremely dizzy, sleeping 14-18 hours a day, completely unmotivated and sad. I just feel discouraged that it may take a lot more time for these symptoms to taper and may even get worse.

I actually lost weight when I first started taking it, but eventually gained it all back and more. I am worried about gaining a lot, because weight anxiety and bulimia were what got me on this prescription in the first place. Needing some guidance and am realizing this is the only place to get it … from people who have or are going through it!

May 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm
(934) Kristen says:

I talked to an oncology psychologist only once and she had my oncologist mail me a prescription for citalopram 20mg. Nobody told me anything about it and I’m not being monitored by any doctor. Fortunately I don’t need to be because I took just one pill and I was so sick that I can still feel some effects 6 days later. While I was too sick to do anything else, I did some internet research and found this site, THANK GOD!! Thank all of you for being so brave to get off this drug. I am so angry that it’s dispensed with absolutely no responsibility or knowledge by the medical profession. I’m already in the process of switching to a new clinic and a new oncologist, and hopefully the next one won’t be such a f@#$-ing idiot. Wishing everyone here all the best–you are in my thoughts!!

May 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm
(935) debbie says:

I have been on citalopram since 1996 after the birth of my second child. I had a relapse in 2001, so had to go up to 40mg, which I have been on every since, as i have tried numerous times to cut down with an end result of getting of them. I had a downer just recently, the dr now thinks my body has got so used to them, its no longer working. I am not happy about trying another anti depressant, as the last time they tried to get me on Lofepramine, which had awful side affects which made me worse. i am going back to the dr in 6 weeks time, and take things from there. they say antidepressants arent addictive, so why is it so hard to get off them.

May 23, 2009 at 10:52 am
(936) Alistair says:

after reading all the comments on this site I thought I’d comment.I am currently in the Withdrawal process of Citalopram(been one week now)I was on 40mg for about 2yrs and decided to go cold turkey which I DO NOT ADVISE.I was previously on Seroxat(Paxil)For years and when I stopped I used to get the same WD symptoms which I complained to my Doctor about and he then convinced me to take Citalopram saying I would get no WD symptoms.I feel Angry again,because they give these tablets out like they are harmless and I often wonder what AD’s really do!When I see my Doc I am telling him straight NO MORE anti-depressants for me!The withdrawal symptoms aren’t worth it!After reading that I am not in the same boat I just want to give anyone some encouragement to get off them,for me when I came off seroxat the symptoms lasted 2-3 weeks,so the horrible whooshing in the head does go after awhile.I know how bad it is and just want to say to you all to stick in,A gradual reducal of the dose is the best method and I hope you all feel better soon!

May 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm
(937) A.J. says:

Okay so I read down to about comment 20. I see there are 922. I would imagine they are all about the same, as the first 20 were. I have taken this med for about 7 months now. I was prescribed to 20 mg for anxiety. I decided I did not feel I needed to take it anymore about 5 days ago. First few days were fine, until today. I was feeling light headed and occasionally nauseous and thought I might be getting some kind of flu or something. Got to thinking about it and figured it might be withdraw symptoms (even though doc assured me when I started it there wouldn’t be any), and low-and-behold, I found these near 1000 comments. Thanks all, I know I’m not dying LOL. Will tough it out, this sucks though.

May 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm
(938) mike says:

Thank God im not alone. I was on 60mg daily for about 1.5 years for social anxiety mostly in school. Man, did it ever help. I dropped down to 20mg in the past month, in which I had no bad symptoms except slight anxiety, which I feel more comfortable with now. (but no panic attacks ie. blushing, uncontrollable sweating, trouble breathing) I suddenly dropped from 20mg to 10 and then to nothing in a matter of 1.5 weeks. Bad decision. Withdrawal symptoms are horrible. I have alot of trouble sleeping, and I feel dizzy alot, and “spaced out”. I dont feel like working out (running, weights, and boxing). I also have a bit more road rage than usual, lol. So im back on 20 mg, in which I just took now, from seeing these reviews posted on this website. Its an amazing medication, but im thinking I will reduce meds. alot slower next time I try to get off them.

May 28, 2009 at 2:51 am
(939) Michelle says:

hi there.. been of meds for over a month now.. Have suffered a cold twice in a month, but still in great spirits.. Cant wait to feel better and get on with my life.. things are working out great for me now

May 29, 2009 at 11:51 am
(940) Bethalee says:

I’ve been off citopram for 6 weeks now and still get very nauscious,,,,,lately have been crying alot and it is difficult to work because of it.Is severe nausciousness one of the withdrawals and how long will it last..thanks to all for honest sharing

May 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(941) Carol says:

My 19 yr old son has just started taking citalopram for dysthymia (mild depression). He just flunked out of his freshman year of college (in spite of being a really bright kid) and in desperation we had him see a doc. We suspected ADD, but the doc said the questionaire he filled out indicates depression. I am very much anti pill, but he’s been struggling with fatigue, no motivation, and inability to focus, so we are hoping this will help. However, I am really alarmed after reading all of these posts. Why did you all decide to stop taking it? Considering the difficulty with withdrawal, was it worth starting it in the first place?

May 30, 2009 at 2:40 am
(942) Susan says:

As so many of you have said, it is such a relief reading your comments. Makes you feel far less alone! I have been on citilopram since 2003, only being on 10mg for the last couple of years.

Three weeks ago, I had a sickness bug, I forgot to take the citalopram for a few days, and once I remembered, I thought this is it, I am going to come off them.

In the first week I had what alot of you are referring to as the dizziness – I just thought it was part of the sickness bug. However, what I began to notice was increasing tiredness. Last weekend we went out for our usual walk in the country. Half way round I had to sit down, I don’t how I completed the rest of the walk. I have been like this for the rest of this week plus (!): very tearful, breathless, palpitations, aches and paines almost everywhere and horrible heartburn/indigestion. My husband asked me last night how long I thought this could go on for. Just wondered if anyone had any ideas/experiences?

May 31, 2009 at 3:54 am
(943) Mary says:

Hello All,
I was prescribed with Citalopram about 12 years ago for panic attacks.
I tried to get off of it several times, but went through a divorce and raised 4 young children in a foreign country while trying to re-enter the work force as a nurse, then going back to uni to get a business degree.

Needless to say, I relied on the med to help me get through these memorable moments…
Now life is better for me and I feel strongly that I don’t NEED this crutch (I remember the inner shame when far-away family members would comment “I don’t know HOW you manage! You’re so strong!” and I felt like an imposter for not truly managing it).

From past attempts at withdrawal, I know the palpitations, the itchy hands, the panicky feeling, the foggy mind, the flashes in the eyes,saying the wrong word, and the sheer fear upon awakening that the day will be scary and bad and that most importantly, YOU are incapable of dealing with life unless you have a drug.

I want to share what I learned about depression and about weaning off citalopram.
Are you depressed because you are inherently depressive or because:
– you get severe PMS
– you have seasonal depression (living or moving to a northern area can cause severe reactions to lack of sun)
– you have NO SUPPORT SYSTEM in your life. Hey, who wouldn’t be depressed if they are alone and dealing with work, raising children and feeling totally unloved (which leads to feeling unworthy of love).
– you have lost someone or something (job, sense of identity, end of pregnancy…) in your life
– other life changes

Many of those causes of depression should be ruled out or dealt with BEFORE considering meds but doctors tend to pass out prescriptions without considering the alternatives.

If you want to get off Citalopram:

1) Take it VERY slowly. Don’t go cold turkey or you can precipitate problems at home or at work. Remember, that you are not withdrawing alone, others (friends, family and co-workers are living with your side effects as well).
Try reducing your dose from 20mg to 10 mg but stick with the 10mg for at least a month before reducing further, say to 5 mg then to 2.5 mg.
2) Take vitamins, ESPECIALLY B-Complex, as these really help to deal with stress.
3) Avoid coffee, tea and sugary snacks.
4) Take walks every day and think positive thoughts. No time? Take your bike to work instead of your car (if you can).
5) Exercise every day. Not only does it release endorphins but ALSO you feel like you are the boss of your body when you exercise and this increases your feelings of self-reliance and confidence.
6) Reduce stress factors in your life, including people, duties, situations.
7) Do something you like to do every day and don’t let someone else keep you from it.
8) ALWAYS have a nice moment planned for the near future (a party in your home, a vacation, a visit, or road trip, someone’s birthday…)
9) Give some time to another person (forget yourself for a while).
10) Bach Flowers: The Rescue remedy really helps at panic moments.
11) St John’s Wort: this tea is also a powerful yet natural antipressant. DON’T DRINK IT IF YOU ARE STILL ON MEDS!
12) I almost forgot: get regular hours of sleep (lack of sleep is bad on the nervous system)
13) Build up your support system. People who live with big or extended families that actually spend time together have fewer problems with depression. Our society is always pushing us to “live our own lives” and there are SO many people living alone in big cities, on campuses, in foreign countries! If you can live closer to family, DO IT. If you have a partner, invest more in the relationship. If you don’t have one, it is almost impossible to be fully happy in life. Being alone is the worst human condition. Get out and meet people regularly and you’ll find the right one.

I wrote all this because I think weaning off Citalopram or other anti-depressants is not just about the drug itself but also about dealing with why you took it in the first place. You need the healthy life balance to be present before you stop taking meds.

Hang in there everyone! This is a great site for information and support.

Hugs to all,

June 1, 2009 at 4:54 am
(944) ron says:

Since my wife has been taking “Citalopram” (for 6 months) her personality has changed. She was always anxious and nervous prior to taking them, but now she has become more bolder. She would be willing to argue about a parking space or if she was short changed or treated badley in a shop. This seems ok, but now she turns on me for any reason she can. Making arguments out of anything and always insisting she is right, with no reason. Now we are separated. I blame these pills for altering my wife’s personality. Has anyone out there had a similar experience?

June 1, 2009 at 11:02 am
(945) hal says:

Hi, I managed to wean off of celexa, but then went back to not sleeping. I found a product called AloeRest. it has st. johns , magnolia bark and other stuff. really works. I just ordered some more

June 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm
(946) Michelle says:

Hi ron.. I can relate to your wife there.. for soon long I didnt say anything, in fear of a fight, or getting overwelmed.. just kept everything in because I couldnt cope with anything outside the box.. So when I went on meds and started to feel better, I also started to get stronger.. My self esteem was so much better, and wouldnt let anyone walk alover me.. So anything that made me angry or frustrated, eg.. with my partner, I was finally able to pike up and discuss or argue issues.. She’s probably letting out all that anquish and frustration that she’s held in for so long, and finally to beable to argue this and that without meltdown, she’ll probably on a roll and cant stop.. Before I used to let my partner win all the arguments because I wasnt stronge enough to fight him, even though I new he was wronge.. now, lookout charlie!!!! No-one is ever going to walk alover me again.. So I say good on her!! She finally feels she has some power in life! I did a home course to let off some of that energy I had

June 3, 2009 at 12:17 am
(947) teresa says:

I have been taking Citalopram for about a year and a half. Three days ago I decided to quit them cold turkey after gaining 27 pounds, and I feel extremely ill. I have felt like throwing up and over all just crappy. Have also had the goofiness feeling in my head and the sparks, but the absolute worst is the nausea! I thought I had something majorly wrong with me. This is more of a desperate feeling than the panic attacks I had. Really didn’t want to go back on them, but guess I may have to wean myself off. Why don’t the doctors ever tell you about these horrible side affects? Do they just think you’ll be on them forever? I never felt this bad when I was pregnant. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of needing to throw your toenails up all the time. Is this ever gonna get better? I was soooo glad to find this sight and all the comments. Now at least I don’t think I’m losing my mind. Sure hope to hear from someone. Thanks

June 4, 2009 at 11:03 pm
(948) Tammie says:

I’ve been and Citalopram for approximately 18 months. I’m beginning to feel a sensation of sharp brain piercing on the right side of my brain and my right eye is beginning to twitch. I plan to visit my Dr. next week and request assistance getting off this medication. Three months ago, I went from 20 mg. to 10 mg. and slowly tappered off by myself. The week after taking my last pill, I had a frown on my face all the time. I felt more depressed than before and I was unable to complete the planning of dinner because the effort of planning and preparing a meal seemed impossible. I’m grateful for the insight of others and I’ll continue to update my progress. My plan is to discontinue Citalopram.

June 6, 2009 at 5:04 am
(949) Steph says:

I know I am repeating this but I am SO happy that other people are able to describe the same physical and emotional feelings in regards to the Citalopram withdrawal.

I am almost off the meds (About a week to go) and am going through some ups and downs.

My head feels heavy and i get the “brain whooshing” too. My vision is sometimes blurry as well.

I’ve had a day or two of feeling like i’m on the verge of tears and feeling generally quite rubbish. Just wondering how long it will last?

I am so glad to see that some of you have gotten over it and said the strange symptoms diminish after a while. It really gives me hope!

Best of Luck to you all.


June 6, 2009 at 5:34 am
(950) Tree says:

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for sharing your thoughts and your feelings – this forum goes back over so many years!
I just quit Citalopram last week cold turkey – I did not do any research beforehand (bad girl) but I had gained alot of weight (also quit smoking 7 months ago) and decided that the pills had to go. I am so relieved to hear that I don’t have an inner ear infection which is what I thought the dizziness was! and the fatigue and nausea aren’t from the swine flu! all of your comments and heartfelt help and assistance is so very helpful and gives me so much hope.. Thank you, thank you, thank you and to all of you – YOU CAN DO IT..

June 6, 2009 at 9:23 am
(951) Saz says:

I ran out of citalopram on friday – i ordered a prescription last week but went to pick it up on friday and they said i had to see dr b4 they will give me more – there was no dr in at time so now i have no tablets until monday at earliest. That is three days without it. Worst thing is i have an exam on Tuesday. I am scared i am gonna start with these withdrawals and am not gonna be fit to do the exam !!

June 8, 2009 at 6:09 am
(952) Mike Gray says:

Doc started me on C back in December when my 10-year-old son ended up in a horrible school situation. I couldn’t sleep nights and had a constant panic feeling. Since then, he has been able to change schools and got off to a wonderful start in a new place about two months ago.

I quit C cold turkey about 2.5 months ago. I was planning to taper off, then I forgot to to take my meds along on a week-long vacation. Since I had another two weeks at a seminars for work following the vacation, I just decided to stick with the cold turkey thing and let nature take its course.

The first 2 weeks were pretty damn miserable – dizziness, headaches, weird dreams, some panic attacks. After that the withdrawal symptoms gradually dwindled away. Since I had a lot of (good!) company and relatively few professional demands, that worked out OK. It wasn’t fun, but in retrospect, I’m glad I got it over with in one shot instead of dragging it out over weeks or months.

I’m also delighted to have lost the feeling of having my head stuffed with cotton, and to have my energy level back – I felt that way the entire time I was on C. I didn’t suffer much loss of libido (the I could deal with sexual frustrations better) and I didn’t gain wait – but I didn’t feel mentally and physically sharp either. I have also realized, in hand sight, that I’d let a number of things slip at work during that time.

What I do miss from my months on C was having a much more even-keeled emotional life. I don’t think I’d have ever quite realized how much worrying I do, how many panic attacks are part of my life, how I get worked up about things that aren’t all that bad. And then, I just stopped feeling that way – for 4 months. I have to say that I miss a lot of things about the “chilled out” version of myself I had while I was on C.

On the other hand, I think that learning to live with my negative emotions is important, and it would be nice to think that C has even shown me a little more about how to do it. I certainly enjoy feeling sharp and energetic again.

Anyway, whatever your experience and your decisions, happy roads and God bless!

June 9, 2009 at 12:12 pm
(953) Kathryn Atkins says:

I just started to take 10 mg every other day after being on 10mg for a long time. I have the worst headache ever. Nothing takes the headache away. I am glad to read that eventually the symptoms subside, but I don’t know if I can take this. I want to get pregnant and I know I need to get off this. Thanks everyone for posting and giving me hope!

June 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(954) shiv says:

hi i am relieved to find this site i no know im not the only one with these withdrawerals ……well i have been reducing my citalopram over the last 2.5 months and have gone from 40mg down to 10mgs.this was hard but was able to cope , i have been on 10mgsfor 10 days now and over the last 4 days i have felt awful depressed,electric shock things in my head and headaches and have been so angry!!went the docs today told her all about this and she has told me that after 10 days it is probably my panic/anxiety/depression coming back…i explained i thought it was withdrawels and she said you dont get withdrawels on this drug i am probably just a bit SENSITIVE [last thing i needed to hear]she has now prescibed me diazapam to help with these side affects but i am not sure taking these are a good idea …has anyone else being prescribed these and were they hard to come off [dont want to go through this again]or is 10 days to long a period for withdrawel and it is my panic etc.. coming back again
any advice would be a great help!!!

June 11, 2009 at 1:26 am
(955) jojo says:

wow , i cant believe what im reading !!! this is really scary … i just took my first pill today and dont know if i should take another one tomorrow . i guess its not to late to quit now … i hope . i really dont want to experience what everyone here seems to be going through . im feeling so drowsy , but not sleepy , its strange . thanks everybody for sharing , its unbelievable that drs are not informing us about this horrible symptoms !!! good luck to each and everyone of u !!!

June 11, 2009 at 4:11 am
(956) Degon says:

Thank God…….I really thought I might be going crazy! I have had the same brain symptoms….for three weeks and have I slept alot, it seemed to take so much engery to do the basic things. At work I had such a hard time focusing with the dizzy spells and fireworks going off in the head. This is week four and I feel much improvment and even less despressed then I have been. One symptom that no one has mention that I have from taking the drug for three years is skin problems on my face….I have done some research on it and know I am not alone. I am thrilled to report my red face sores are almost healed! I do fear that my darkness of depression will return but hope to battle it with herbs and excerise. So please hang on you are not alone and it does get better!

June 12, 2009 at 1:58 am
(957) Simon G says:

Wow this post is fantastic.
I have been on 50mg for two years and have decided to go off citalopram after researching alternative natural therapies and deciding that “SAMe” is promising as being more effective without the side effects.

Conumdrum #1 You can’t mix the citalopram and SAMe.
So I decided to go cold turkey and start SAMe straight away so I wasn’t without support for a period.
I realise that my doctor would advise against this, but I believe only we truly no-ourselves.
I am experiencing headshakes and woolyheadedness to the extent I went home from work today because I could not think clearly.
I very rarely am off sick, so a one off is not a problem but hope I don’t feel like this for long.
I would be happy to report on my SAMe experiences if anyone is interested.

June 12, 2009 at 4:11 am
(958) shiv says:

hi simon
i would like to noabout your sam e experience i have never heard of it before!! good luck with coming off citalopram ,i am comin it slowly from 40mgs ,i am now down to 10mgs and get all the symthoms you have experienced they are definately not nice but mine have started to ease of now after 12 days [until i cut down agaIN]hope it all goes well for you and please let us no about the sam e

June 12, 2009 at 8:31 am
(959) Simon G says:

I found a couple of snips from the net about SAMe:

“SAM-e (pronounced “sammy”), short for S-adenosyl-methionine, will revolutionize the treatment of depression in the U.S. as it has for two decades in Europe, claim authors Richard Brown and Teodoro Bottiglieri. Not an herb, not a prescription drug, SAM-e is an over-the-counter natural supplement that has undergone extensive testing and has just become available in the U.S. “Study after study has confirmed that SAM-e works as well as or better than any other antidepressant,” say the authors. ”

“In clinical trials conducted in Italy, SAMe was reported to be as effective as the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine (Desipramine) for relieving depression but free of the side effects commonly associated with tricyclic antidepressants. In addition, using 400 mg of SAMe daily, symptoms of depression abated in seven days compared to the 3-4 weeks it takes for tricyclic antidepressants to take effect. In other studies, SAMe was used along with prescription antidepressants to reduce the dose needed and provide faster relief from symptoms of depression.”

June 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm
(960) shiv says:

hi simon thanks for the info i will definately look into this sam e when i get get off the citalopram but hopefully if all goes well i wont need too
hope you feeling well youself coming off the citalopram thanks again

June 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm
(961) Simon G says:

Day 5

I made a typo previously, I am coming off 40mg, not 50.

I feel great today. Libido returning. Still some brain shakes.

Mood lifted. It seems SAMe (see above) is making it tolerable to go off 40mg

I wouldn’t necessarily advise such a move, it’s up to you, but since I’ doing it I may as well report it.

Day 3 was awful, and day 4 barely better. I may have had a virus at same time. Hard to know. Fuzzy headed, lethargic. dizziness, brain shakes when turning head.

I do feel like I’m doing the best thing for me. Obviously I hoe I don’t fall back into depression, which is why I’m using a natural support like SAMe. St Johns Wort or 5-htp would be other alternatives.

The sun is shining (a cold winters day here in New Zealand in June). But the sky is blue and I feel excitement about the future.
That’s quite a turn around from severe depression!

June 15, 2009 at 8:53 am
(962) Henry says:

I’m so glad I found this! I was going crazy looking for something that explained all my symptoms… How do you explain “time slows down when I move my head but I don’t realize it until after” without sounding like you’re crazy?! Or trying to find the symptom on a list when it’s, “like having double vision but your eyes don’t see the double, your brain does”? I didn’t even want to try to explain, it was embarrassing!

I’ve only been on the pills since October ’08. My psychiatrist prescribed them to me as I was dealing with an extremely stressful time in my life. I’m a stress junkie and a workaholic, but the new owners were pushing it so that I had to work 16+ hours to keep up. I was “let go” (quit, in the privacy of the office, really…) and left to spend time with my family. The stress factor is gone completely so I decided to quit. Since I was only on 10mg, I thought I’d just quit cold turkey.

Within a day I felt like the world was kind of spinning, and if I moved too much it felt like my brain couldn’t keep up with the room or my body. My legs and arms will spasm and jerk sometimes, and I’ve gotten kind of sore and achey all over. Sometimes I sleep all day and keep waking up sweaty from nightmares… My grandmother came running into my room because she thought someone was hurting me or something. I don’t remember, but she said I was yelling “WHO ARE YOU?!” or something along those lines. I’ve NEVER had nightmares that crossed over into yelling! On top of it, I’ve been having night terrors. I wake up and can’t move my body, but my brain is partially there. It’s terrifying, and I feel like my heart can’t calm down for hours after I’m fully awake.

Other times, I am completely unable to sleep, which is actually pretty normal for me. (I’ve had insomnia off and on all my life… Though I found a medication that works for it most of the time.) I’m afraid that it’s just making the withdrawal symptoms worse.

If this lasts three months…! Well, I guess I’m finally relieved I’m unemployed, because if I tried to work I don’t think I’d be able to function. Has anyone found anything that helps alleviate the problem? I don’t want to take any more drugs, I was hoping for something natural.

June 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm
(963) maria says:

I cant believe the doctor never expained the withdrawal symptoms being so terrible , dizziness etc as eveyone has described. i thought i was still depressed and was having some attack. i didnt have a choice from stopping taking citilopram 40mg as im currently overseas and the pharmacist has refused my script, so i have no choice now and after reading everyones comments perhaps it will be best to live without them. Last night i had 3 vivid terrible nightmares, its 40 degrees hot here and cannot sleep, and am dizzy and tired. take care everyone. just a question…does panadol or asprin help with the headaces and dizziness. may be a try

June 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm
(964) Doug says:

Hi all. I took this drug for about 3 months. The day I found this blog I decided to immediately start tapering down – I’ll do everything I can to avoid going on this type of drug again.

The withdrawal definitely impacted me, though seems like less than many others here. I found the withdrawal symptoms about as impactful as the side effects I felt when I started taking the drug. I had the “brain swooshes”, tiredness, and irratability/anger. I was able to maintain my normal work schedule and impacts to my personal life were managable. In the whole, I didn’t find the withdrawal much worse than being on the drug in the first place (yawning, lack of focus, lack of libido were always with me the 3 months I was on the drug). Did a good taper for over the course of a month, and now 4 weeks completely off, feeling like I am finished with the withdrawal.

June 17, 2009 at 10:20 am
(965) Amy says:

I have been on the pills for about 3 years now. I came off them last year but it took me 6 months of really slowly decreasing the amount every couple of months. Sadly i wasn’t over my depression so I came back on to them as I have tried a number of different medications and the citalopram worked best for me (even with the side effects). If you try and come off them really slowly then there should be minimal side effects …but sadly there will still be some! :) x

June 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm
(966) Simon G says:

Day 10. Cold-turkey from 40mg Citalopram after 2 years continuous use, with the support of supplement SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine).

I’m feeling great. Head shakes have almost entirely passed. I’m clear headed. Good mood.

While I experienced 4 or 5 days of unpleasant but manageable withdrawal effects including a ‘fuzzy’ mind, head vibrations on turning head, and a feeling like having a mild flu for a week, I would have to say that in my case, when I read of others experiences (and everyone is different) SAMe made withdrawal manageable and brief.

I had a half day off work due to extreme foggy-headiness on day 3. That was the peak of withdrawal symptoms.

I would advise anyone following my cold-turkey method to be prepared to take 1 or 2 days off work if necessary to avoid impaired performance.

It should be noted that to my knowledge no doctor would advise cold immediate withdrawal from 40mg. If you feel apprehensive, don’t do it.
I felt robust and ready. The timing felt right.

A note to depression suffers; I had unexpected, non life related moderate to severe depression, probably the result of chronic anxiety which I did not recognise.
I had two long periods of anti-depressents, one on prozac (fluoxitine) the other Citalopram.

In hindsight my preference would be natural substances such as SAMe, 5-htp or St Johns wort. Though if these were ineffective I wouldn’t hesitate to take a pharmaceutical, to provide a sustained period where one can evaluate, find a passion (or passions) and gather some momentum before launching back into life unsupported.

I got into astronomy, which for me made my problems seem small. The universe is pretty big! You may have something you always wanted to get into DO IT!

I got some therapy while on Citalopram, using the mental ‘holiday’ to change my depressive thinking habits.

There is hope. After experiencing 3 to 5 years where life was something I endured, rather than enjoyed, and ending at all seemed like the only possible respite, I am now excited to be alive and almost over-stimulated by the infinite possibilities before me. It’s as if life isn’t long enough to do all I want to do.

I hope this help someone out there hang on, be patient and set up a trajectory for a great life. You deserve it.

Anti-depressants provide

June 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm
(967) Edward says:

Hi, I know EXACTLY what you mean and it’s actually quite funny to read it from someone else (even though it still sucks). In my case I am still on the drug but I ran out of pills and have spent a few days without them and there ARE side-effects to this despite what a doctor may think. I get those odd brain-jolts like a little shock, slightly odd vision, speed thinking – all classic anxiety symptoms. It’s nothing to be scared of though, they go away by themselves but I guess the idea of coming off them gradually is so you dont have to feel like crap for a week.

June 22, 2009 at 11:32 pm
(968) Simon G says:

Day 14: Worst day of my life.

I had my first panic attack yesterday. I don’t think I even knew what that term meant.

It started in a mall. Then dissipated. Then as I was driving to work (I start work at midday) it hit me.
I realised I had to pull over.
My senses were going. I was frightened. I called 111 (our 911 here in NZ).
I couldn’t tell the operator where I was!
Started to feel better. Hung up.
Attacl came back. Thought I was going to die. It was terrifying. Called emergency again.
Couldn’t tell them where I was. Immense frustration! I’m an intelligent person, what was going on!
I got out of my van and gave my phone to strangers so they could give the location, but they didn’t speak english.
Found a council worker. Gave him phone. Got into backseat in van and lay down. Horrible sensations. Regret that had had harsh words with partner that morning (not really bad but thought I was going to die so regretted word were not loving).
Ambulance arrived after I don’t know. 15 minutes?
They helped me to ambulance. I could speak and walk only with difficulty.
Arrived ER. Managed to phone work. A wave swept over me, couldn’t phone partner. Handed phone to ambulance officer. She phone partner. Emergency staff awesome.
On bed, wheeled into room.
A supenatural kind of sleepiness was over me, Pressing me into sleep. Irresistible.
Awoke with partner there. Unsettled. Surreal.
Nurses, doctors.
Docor told me I have a panic attack. What! You mean this is all in my mind? I felt like I’d wasted everyones time.
Eventually discharged.
Next day (today) feel like my brain has been through a seriously traumatic experience. Feel ok but not “right” yet.

Found out panic attacks can be symptom of citalopram withdrawal.
No point going back on after 2 weeks (wouldn’t want to anyway, I consider the stuff nearly evil, now).

So my positive experience of cold turkey turns out to be the worst day of my life.

June 23, 2009 at 5:13 am
(969) Taryn says:

Wow you are all amazing! I can’t tell you how much I appriciate your efforts in getting off citalopram!
I have been on citalopram for about 10 years and have tried to get off them, but the withdrawal side efforts have kept me on them!

The longest was 4 days and I thought I was going crazy, I think at one point I locked myself in the clothes cubbord too scared to come out! Reading all of your comments has made me re – think about getting off them.

Thank you for all your posts, it gives me a strength I felt I didn’t have, being alone in this struggle, and too embarassed to tell anyone I was on them to start with, thank you :)

June 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm
(970) Tegs says:

Hi, i was diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago and 18 months ago was put on citralopram for mild depression.I have tried to reduce my medication from 20 mg to 10 but found i am struggling with my sugar levels which constantly are high. Has anyone else suffered from this? In the past i went cold turkey and suffered the flu like symptoms, awful headaches, mood swings and had to go back onto 20mg and then grdually reduse dosage again.

June 26, 2009 at 7:51 am
(971) Matt says:


I ran out of citalopram 3 days ago (getting more tomorrow), can’t believe how bad the side effects of withdrawal are! When i go back on them tomorrow, will i be okay straight away?

June 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm
(972) shiv says:

hi all
simon i hope your feeling better soon these withdrawals really are nasty….
well i have been slowly coming off these from 40/60mg and i am now down to 10mg i have been stuck at 10mg for about 5 weeks now the first 2 weeks were horrible then i had 2 good weeks now the last 2 days i seem to be feeling anxious ,angry and stressed.
i dont no whether it my depression/anxiety coming back again or it the wilhdrawels [still] any advice would be great
hope every1 is doin well

June 26, 2009 at 10:32 pm
(973) Jeremy says:

Hello everyone,

Thanks for the history of posts here. I’ve been taking Citalopram for two years now, and just this week have begun the weaning process. I’m going from 40mg everyday to alternating 40mg/20mg for a month, and then 20mg daily for a month, and then 20mg/10mg alternating for a month, and then 10 mg daily for a month. My doctor has experience with folks on this drug and he says the best thing is to really take my time.

I’m getting off of C because I’m so numbed out I don’t feel engaged in life any longer. I have no emotional connection to anything even though I have a wonderful wife and two great kids.

I’m just deeply concerned that I’ll go back to the anxiety and the anger I used to feel before starting on C.

Has anyone found therapy to be a good replacement for the drugs?? I used to do both but stopped therapy after the C helped and I got pissed at my therapist.

No amount of talking ever took the edge off like these drugs. But soon, hopefully, I’ll be back to life without the drugs but I’m more concerned about my mental state off the drugs than I am any of the withdrawal symptoms.

June 30, 2009 at 4:07 am
(974) Anne C says:

A HUGE KUDOS to ALL of you who are taking a proactive vitality to treat your depression, by the simple selfless act of sharing your personal sustained pains, a true gift of love and counsel! You should all know that this is the true measure of your road to recovery, (without the aide of the Pharmaceudical industry). May you continue your march in numbers and facts to beat the marketing powers that will have to rely on ignorance of the masses that continue to drive to their perceived all-knowing pcmd to get well.

My 83 year old mother was recently prescribed 10mg of Citalopram to get the edge off of feeling frustrated that her health is declining and her diabetic ulcerated leg has not healed in over 6 months. My dad was also diagnosed with dementia and also prescribed another symptom treating drug to slow down its progress.

Thanks to this and other blogs reflecting first hand experience with these dangerous drugs that have no business messing with our natural biological systems, I have been able to share testimonials from hundreds of wonderful people like yourselves, willing to disclose these drug related effects that their md has poo-poohed away as minimal to unlikely.

Love and thanks for your self empowering journey! gaianam

July 3, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(975) Mac says:

This drug has completely ruined my life. I took 40mg of Celexa for 10 months and have recently begun to taper off gradually. Back in December I had a horrible reaction and I have only just now begun to realize the cause of my problems have been related to Celexa. The first really bad reaction put me in jail overnight and cost me thousands in legal fees. I flew into a rage one night and got charged with criminal mischief. After trying to explain to my doctor that I did not feel right and that I felt “different” I was told to continue taking it. Well, during the first week of June I went to Mexico with my family and forgot to bring my pills with me. After 5 days of not having them I began to feel really badly with all of the symptoms described in this blog. When I returned home I immediately took my dosage but later that night I flew into a rage again and I was completely out of control. I realized that I needed to get out of my house as I am licensed firearms dealer with literally hundreds of guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition stored there. I left in my truck and was driving when all of a sudden I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin and as if I were not in control of my body any longer. Apparently I was speeding and a police officer pulled up behind me while I was driving down the tollway. I immediately flew into my rage again and stepped on the gas. I was driving a heavily souped up
800hp nitrous-injected 8000lb diesel truck down the freeway at almost 150mph. In Texas, it is now a 3rd degree felony to do this. I ended up getting away but was picked up later and taken to jail. I am now looking at losing EVERYTHING that I have worked all of my life to achieve because of this evil little pill. These bouts of rage have NEVER been like me. I have never been in trouble in my life except for the occasional speeding/parking ticket. I have a Top Secret security clearance and have worked as a network design engineer for almost 15 years as my day job. I will now never be able to secure decent employment to care for my wife and daughter again. I will no longer have a firearms license to work with guns as I have planned on doing during my retirement years. I will be a convicted felon with no rights at all. Celexa is the only possible answer as I only take Motrin here and there and no other drugs whatsoever. I do not drink or smoke so there is not likely any other answer. Two days after getting charged with this last offense was enough. I went to my dr and told her take me off immediately. She is gradually reducing my dosage but I am feeling absolutely horrible and I have not slept in almost 4 days now that I am down to 10mg. This stuff is nothing but pure evil. I had no idea it could have the kind of effects on a person until I recently really began to dig for more information on the web. Best of luck to you all out there. If you are considering taking Citalopram DO NOT DO IT!!!! Find a safer medication. Best wishes to all.


July 5, 2009 at 6:07 am
(976) Tan says:

The message is not to come off yourself but be adamant with yr GP that u r coming off C. When u first think about it do some visualisation then when u do slowly reduce ur dose realise and openly comment on your progress, e.g. memory return. The next best thing to drugs is exercise, if not the best thing b4 drugs! as u increase ur exercise ur natural levels of seretonin will rise and u should feel beta. Yes strange dreams and jet lag type symptoms will come but know they will go and don’t wait for depression – tell urself u r over it and plan for ur clear headed future. Make sure u take it a few steps ahead at a time so u don’t set urself up to fail but seriously guys as u get ur human brain back from zombie land u’l realise what u’ve been missing. Even ur sense of humour will return and u’l notice little things in life. Try to mix ur time with friends, hobbies and being alone but KEEP POSITIVE. Love to all. U CAN DO THIS XxX

July 5, 2009 at 7:32 pm
(977) Sarah says:

I haven’t read all of the messages (too dizzy!) but I am so glad I found this site. I was on 40mg for post natal depression for about a year. Decided to come off them and have gone from 40mg to 20mg to 10mg then every other day until last week when I ditched them altogether.

I thought I was going mad with this brain shake and am so pleased that I’m not imagining in. I was trying to explain it to my husband that it feels as if my brain is on a spindle inside my skull and when I move my head there is a two second delay while my brain spins round separately. Also my eyes. I think if you look at my sockets very quickly when I turn my head my sockets would be empty for a second until my eyes catch up!

I’m not going back though. Enough of this.

July 5, 2009 at 7:59 pm
(978) Natalie says:

I have been on Anti Depressants for 5 and a half years now after being diagnosed with depression. Meds halped, tho it took a few different tyoes weaning off one and onto the next one before I settled on Cit. Antidepressants have made a huge difference to my life, but through counselling et al, never found a “cause” for the “depression”, and after investigating other (non-emotional) issues I was experiencing, have been diagnosed as ADHD. So, long and short is that underlying issues causing depression is ADHD and two years later, its time to get off the Cit.
I have tried weaning and pretty much experienced the same thing I am experiencing now going cold turkey.
I did not initially make a decision to stop taking them. I went to get a script filled and they didnt have any in stock, and I didnt make it back for when they expected the stock in. After a few days off them, i decided to wait it out. I dont feel any worse than I did “weaning”, and after reading many of the above posts, I am not convinced that it makes a difference to many of the people who have posted here, but perhaps depends on what the pills are being used to treat.
In my case, I know now that most of the symptoms I was experiencing leading up to my diagnosis of depression, were in fact, symptoms of unrecognized ADHD.
I am experiencing the “brain shudders”, tiredness (thought that may just be my schedule), I am unmotivated to do anything, but its not anxiety, I think its just coz I feel crappy and would rather be comfortable at home. I am also grumpy, snapping very easily, and having trouble concentrating. In fact, it feels a lot like what I feel like when I havent had my ADHD meds – very cloudy.
What I dont think I have experienced, is the fireworks thing… I have however had the sound of popping bubblewrap in my head… its really bizarre… and I kidna feel like there is bubbble wrap wrapped around my brain.

July 6, 2009 at 9:08 pm
(979) Ntalie says:

Just to elaborate on the above, I am 13 days off Cit now, and feel like crap, but the symptoms I am experiencing now were just as bad when I tried weaning, which is why I am not convinced that weaning vs cold turkey makes a difference.
To (957) Matt: How did you go going back on? I used to find that if I had missed a couple days, it took a few days back on before the withdrawal stopped. Im keen to hear how you went.

July 7, 2009 at 6:55 am
(980) jj says:

Hey everyone,

Thank you so much for sharing. I have been on 20mg of citalopram for a year and a half now, and am considering going off soon.
I often skip a day, which is all right, but when it gets to two I get that swooshy brain feeling like so many of you mentioned.
The scary thing is my doctor, who prescribes these things seemingly all day long (works at a university..) had no idea what I was talking about, and said citalopram was real easy to ween off..!
I’m wondering if many of you out there take this for anxiety. And if you do, have you had anxiety attacks while weening, or just these unpleasant brain/flu-like side effects. I am scared to death about the anxiety attacks returning, as I am now at a job I really can’t afford to miss for any period of time.

And those of you who’ve gone off citalopram prescribed for anxiety.. any relapses? How long after?

Many thanks!

July 8, 2009 at 9:31 am
(981) Debra says:

Hello. I have been taking Citalopram 20mg for the past 3 months. I experience the above mentioned affects that some of you have stated such as the foggyness and time lapse in the brain while on this med daily. I have cut my dosage back to 20mg every two to three days or as needed and I really do not experience any effects except a clearer head and no depression. I do still feel a little sleepy all the time, but it’s hard for me to say that is due to the Citalopram.

July 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm
(982) Gloria Lamb says:

It is so wonderful finding this site. I was put on Paxil several years ago. I went off of it with no problems. A few years later went on Lexapro. It helped me tremendously. I found I could not afford the prscription as a result the Dr. put me on Citalopram, a generic. I have gone off of it before with minimum side effects, but was put on it again and then due to major problems raised it from 20mgs to 40mgs. I decided to go off of it completely and went through a gradual process of crying along with the synapsis brain firing in my head, I knew that was coming, because I had experienced that before when going off this drug, but did’t expect the day when I cried all day, angry and wanted to kill my self. I went back to 10mgs and feel much better. I still want to quit. I want to be able to handle my problems on my own. After reading all of these posts, I know why I am so sleepy all the time. After having the suicidal thoghts, I became afraid of myself.

I feel more in control of my life, my thoughts and am not drinking at all since I have gone down to a lower dosage.

July 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm
(983) Louise says:

Im so glad to have fallen upon this thread! I decided just over a week ago that i didnt want to stay on these tablets so went cold turkey..up untill 2 days ago i felt fab! thought ‘this is a breeze’!! but the last 2 days have been horrific. I am soo dizzy but not in a dizzy kinda way(?) its an awful feeling of lightheaded dizzy strangeness, my mood has also gone down hill massively, i even sobbed today because my mobile phone wouldnt spell a word using the dictionary! how mad is that!? On the verge of crying and i HATE it, i dont wanna get another prescription and i dont wanna start taking them again to come off them slower, i have been taking 60 grammes a day for 11 months now, does anyone know how long this god awful feeling will last?x

July 9, 2009 at 12:14 am
(984) Ed says:

Hi all, i just wanted to say I have been on this stuff for about 18 months, and probably needed it. I am thankful for that stuff but even more grateful that I am off of it. I have been off of it for about 2 weeks and am feeling Less of the symptoms by that day, I have to say I believe the side effects of the detox did not go away on there own. I have been taking St johns wart (herb that you can get from any walmart) I take 2 capsules in the morning, 2 more at night, and one anytime during the day when my head feels like the “Firecrackers” are to much to handle. Its working very well for me and I thought it might help some of you as well. I hope it does. I still get some odd sensations when I ascend stairs quickly, due to what I think is slight blood repositioning. So if nothing else is working try this, and FYI Please get a hold of your doctor to ask if this is a good choice for you. Herbs are medicine too, and are the basis for what most of our most care giving drugs are based on, so please dont forget to tell your doctor what herbs you are taking it is important. Things like B12 is a drug called Thiamine. Be informed about your body, and what goes in it. Peace and best wishes to you all.

July 13, 2009 at 3:50 pm
(985) Michele says:

Wow I thought I was crazy when this happened to me I felt like my brain was short circuiting. I ask my Dr about this and he said it was from not taking my meds correctly. I want to get off these also but I’m afraid I will get that awlful feeling. I think maybe I’ll take some of you alls advice and cut back slowly. Thanks to the Joanne66 1st person who posted this. Letting others know we are not alone or even better CRAZY
Thanks Michele

July 14, 2009 at 6:15 pm
(986) Jack says:

this is my 3rd week off C and experiencing the same symptoms. I have been tapering off it for several months from 40 to 30 (for 3 months), 20 for another 3 months, 10 for another 2 months and then alternate days with 10 but still got the withdrawal symptoms.
I am determined not to take a pill to alleviate the symps but not sure how long these will last.

July 15, 2009 at 7:56 pm
(987) Mica says:

Wow – I wish I had read this before I started on escitalopram… I have been on 10mg/day for the past 12 months and last night I didn’t take it because I want to wean off to 10mg every 2 days, then every 3 days etc etc. Today I had the weirdest feeling – like my brain is pressurized and about to explode. I have a bit of a headache, I am dizzy and I feel like I’m having an out of body experience. WTF – I was SOOOOO reluctant to go on anti-depressants because I thought it would be hard to get off, but I really needed them so my Dr suggested Cit because there are few withdrawl symptoms. How long does it take to go away??

July 16, 2009 at 5:35 am
(988) shiv says:

hi everyone,
i would likesome advice please if you can ..i have been coming of c for 4 months got down to 10 mgs but got stuck at this dose and didnt feel confident to cut down again had a bad week last week [feeling down and anxious]went to docs and she has now put me on paroxitine but i didnt want to be put on any more anti depressants now i dont no if its withdrawels or side effects but i just dont feel good at all i am at a stage now where i cant stop thinking about the meds and feeling really anxious i have only been on the paroxitine a week and i am thinking of stopping it and trying st johns wort which i have read is supposed to work and has alot less side effects……if anyone can give me any advice that would be great
hope everyone is having a good day

July 20, 2009 at 12:06 am
(989) anne c says:

Dear (974)shiv:
Read (929)mary posting and see if that helps.
Peace and luck to you, gaianam

July 20, 2009 at 7:44 pm
(990) shiv says:

hi all
thanks anne for the post really did help
well i decided to stick with the paroxitene see how it goes got through the weekend didnt really think i would without going crazy but i am still here side or withdrawels seem to be easing off now but now it just another tablet to wean of somewhere down the line but i will worry about that when the time comes ..
hope everyone is having a really good day x

July 23, 2009 at 11:05 am
(991) Curliegirly says:

OMG I never imagined I’d find so many people out there who are feeling as lousy as I am right now. I had THE most peculiar sensation going on in my head yesterday. I turned my head to ask my workmate a question and when my head stopped turning my brain just kept on going. I’m also aware that my ears hurt, just a little. Not ear-ache exactly but just sensitive. I have been on 10mg for almost a year but when outside stresses started getting too heavy to bear my GP recommended upping the dosage to 20mg. However for the vast majority of the time with the stronger pills I have only been taking them every other day anyway as I didn’t like the idea of increasingly stronger doses just to help me cope. I’m not sure exactly when I took the last pill, it must have been about a week to 10 days back, however as I’m about to move house in 4 days time I decided to take a very low (5mg) dose to see what happened. And blow me down I feel better. Not completely but the symptoms are definately better. So I’ve decided to take 5mg every 2-3 days until I’m settled in. I know it’s only delaying the withdrawals but the stress of moving is bad enough without having to cope with spinning brains too. Once I am settled in I’m gonna wean myself off the 5mg. Good luck to all you guys too, I’m with you in spirit and hope you all feel better soon.

July 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm
(992) Jackie says:

It took me a month to adjust to Citalopram when I started it so I am assuming it will take that long to feel better since I have stopped taking it. I was on 20 mg. of Citalopram for 6 years and reduced to 10 mg. for a month and felt fine! I decided to stop taking it. I felt no different for 5 days or so and then the dizziness hit. Same things as I have seen posted – worse as the day progresses, worse when I am moving a lot… I am only on week 2, but am scared that my anxiety will come back with a vengance!!!

July 23, 2009 at 4:16 pm
(993) Lizzy P says:

I had been on this awful drug for 3 1/2 years after experiencing post natal depression and a nasty divorce. I came off 4 days ago and feel absolutley shocking, it feels like my head is going to explode, I feel totally knackered and very iriitable. I wish I have never gone on this drug in the first place, what was my doctor thinking. Am I ever goingt o feel better

July 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm
(994) BeauS says:

I know this drug can seem awful and downright evil to some people, but we have to remember this is just some little pill, with a few choice substances in it. It is meant to help, and can for some. This drug has definetely been a double edged sword for me, and I’ve had to weigh the pros and cons several times. You really just have to ask yourself is the juice worth the squeeze. If you feel that your feeling worse than you were before after trying for a few months, get yourself of it asap. Your doctor (bless them) can recommend anything he/she wants, but considering this is a mostly physically harmless drug, and will not cause direct death, while either during consumption or coming off it, the decision is up to you. For all the posts who are worried that this drug is making matters worse, then come off it, but slowlyyy. If you have not read Mac’s story, this is a tragic, but rare result of Doctors who have good intentions, an educated opinion, but who recommend something to a patient who ends up being that small percentage of people who react VERY badly to this drug. Citalopram is a powerful drug, and targets your brain, which results is unreliable outcomes. Mac, I am so sorry for what has happened to you. Your actual identity has done nothing wrong, and to you citalopram was an evil drug, but does not have to be for all. As I said you must decide. I found the pros to be considerably greater than the cons, so I have decided to continue taking it, but being ever watchful. I suffer from or rather fight! an anxiety disorder so I’m always nervously looking for any warning signs. Lol with anxiety comes a paranoia that has been rather useful at times. But not all of us take this drug for that reason, and so once again unpredictable results can be expected (lol that was clever uh? :)

Well anyways I hope that what I have written some will find useful, and best wishes to all.

Good luck

July 25, 2009 at 5:32 am
(995) NICOLE says:

Hi everyone, Ive just been reading about your experiances withdrawing from citalipram. I have been on citalipram for 5 years and have tried to withdraw on two other occassions but failed as i tried to do it too quick. My doctor told me to withdraw over a much longer period so I began withdrawing about 18 month ago. I was on 60 mg and dropped to 10mg in six months by reducing ten mg each time in this time I experianced the same symptoms you have all had but persisted. once reaching 10 I still felt unwell even after being on 10mg for a month. I returned to my docter to said I had done the reduction still too fast and suggested I stay at 10mg for a at least 6 months to let my body and mind adjust. I took the advise and after another month symptoms became less and for six month life seemed normal. I returned to the doctor after six months and she perscribed me two 15ml small bottles of citalipram in liquid form so that I could further reduce from 10mg to 5mg from 5mg to 2mg. (you take your dose in drops i.e 4 drops, 3drops, two drops). It is the first week that I have not taken any citalipram, I stopped at two drops, i felt dizzy and sick but no where near as bad as the symptoms during the early stages. I have taken a week off work but feel confident that I shall return next week citalipram free at last. Please if your going to withdraw take it over a Period of at least two years if you are at 60 mg and ask your doctor to perscribe toy liquid form citalipram for the last 10mg it really does help. take care and stay with it from nicole

July 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(996) Chuck says:

Stopped cold turkey, 10 mg/day, initially had some mild anxiety, have that weird brain feeling like your in a fishbowl, slight dizziness if I move abruptly,slight headache, insomnia–body clock re-arrangement of time since I finally fall asleep but not when I want to leaving me tired all day. Had this been explained to me I never would have tried Citalopram.

July 27, 2009 at 9:56 pm
(997) jenn says:

hey im 22 female from canada, started with 20 mg at 16 now im at 40mg daily.i was in a rough relationship for the past 7 years which gave me extreme anxiety and depression however alot has changed in the last 7 months and i feel no anxiety or depression whatsoever now so i wanted to go off them. Tried cold turkey an thats why im on this website . boy do i feel like crap. my head is so foggy and dizzy its unbearable. not only that but i havent been able to keep any food down for the last 3 days ( i stopped taking them about 9 days ago) today is by far the worst. After reading most of these posts ive decided to take my pills until im able to speak to my doctor to taper off slowly and possible get somethig to help with the dizzyness. noway im going through 6 weeks of this!!

July 27, 2009 at 11:48 pm
(998) Chuck says:

I have realized that the withdrawal sensation that has widely been described as dizziness is more tied to the movements of my eyes. As strange as it seems, if I just move my eyes from side to side with my head still or roll my eyes I get the strange sensation in my head; dizziness is close as a description but does not adequately define it.

Anyone else out there trying to withdraw from it: try to just move your eyes from side to side with your head remaining still and see if you feel it?

July 28, 2009 at 8:59 pm
(999) Norman says:

I am so pleased that I found this website. I had been on citalopram for four months at 20mg per day. It did help to start with. At least I think that it helped to start with. I am not too sure now. I was told by my doctor that it was safe and very easy to come off. I went to see him to tell him that I wanted to come off the tablets because I was starting to experience some unpleasant physical side effects. The problems that led to taking the medication in the first place had been resloved and I no longer wanted to be on them. He said that I should stay on them for at least a year. I then decided to take my self of them unilaterally. I knew that it would be unwise to cease abrupty so I decided to reduce the dose by 5mg per week. I went down to 0mg over a period of 4 weeks. I have now been off the medication completely for two weeks. I can only say that I feel absolutely awful. I have experienced all the unpleasant symptons that others have talked about here. I thought that I was going mad. It is good to know that I am not. I see from the comments made by very people that I am not alone. I am just going to sit this out and that is my advice to anyone else.

This is an excellent discussion group. Keep up the good work.

July 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm
(1000) jack says:

I was having significant withdrawal symptoms after stopping C for two weeks (check my prior post # 972). I caved in and took one 10mg for one day which helped the symptoms go away. I’ve never felt like I needed to take another after that.

July 29, 2009 at 8:55 pm
(1001) Norman says:

I probably came off Citalopram too quickly. Perhaps it would have been better to have reduced by 2.5mg each time instead of 5mg? It does not matter now. What is done is done. I have no regrets about coming off them. Can anyone tell me how much longer these symptons are going to last before it gets better? I never fully appreciated what cold turkey meant until now.



July 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(1002) Stacy says:

I was very excited to find this site and know that I am not crazy or alone! I too have quit taking C and have been feeling these withdrawal side effects…this sucks! I started taking C after christmas due to stress/depression and finally was feeling like a normal person again so I decided to stop them without talking to my doctor (I weened myself from 30mg to nothing in about a week and a half). Stupid but after reading these comments it doesn’t sound like weening stops the withdrawal anyways. I was laid off while weening myself off and thought I would be okay but now feel like crap and my husband thinks I should go back on them for awhile longer. I am considering it as I don’t like feeling like this (dizzy/brain lag, nausea, tingly arms,hands, legs etc, etc) and have lots to do around the house but just don’t feel like it. I am scared though if I start C again and then get a job and have these withdrawal symptoms that I won’t be able to work feeling like this. HELP…any comments would be appreciated…what should I do???? I want to feel normal again!!!!!

July 30, 2009 at 10:11 pm
(1003) Norman says:

Hi Stacy,
I would hang in there. Don’t go back on Citalopram. You have come this far. I know what you are experiencing because I am going through it myself. I am sure that you will feel normal again. Just give it time because that is what I am doing.


July 30, 2009 at 10:57 pm
(1004) Chuck says:

It’s been over a week for me and I still have persistant withdrawal symptoms but I feel that they are gradually dissipating. As I explained in prior postings, I did this cold turkey because I developed severe insomnia.

For everyone going through the same set of symptoms, dizzy feeling, tingling etc. hang in there.

July 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm
(1005) Stacy says:

Thanks Norman and Chuck for your comments! I have decided to wait it out over the weekend and see if I feel any better. If I still feel like crap next week then I will go to the doctor and see if he has any suggestions.
The worst thing I think is the nausea and feeling like I have electic shocks going through my body (mostly arms,hands and head). This majorly sucks but I’m going camping this weekend and hope to have a relaxing time. Wish me luck!

August 1, 2009 at 7:19 pm
(1006) Chuck says:

Hi Stacy, Norm,

I did not have the electric shock feeling, thankfully. But the residual dizzy feeling is more like the feeling you get in your head on an amusement park ride–roller coaster or spinning wheel. Its dizziness and dull lightheadedness combined. Now just turning my head produces the symptom, initially just eye movement did it. The larger issue that is most disconcerting is not knowing precisely how much time must pass before the symptoms disappear. But faced with the choice of going back on the drug (now knowing what kind of side effects one has to endure) makes the option of taking them again impossible for me.

I think we should all just stop taking them if we can (always check with your MD), but report back in this forum to help others get through it.

What has helped me get through it are daily distractions like work and after work activities.

August 1, 2009 at 10:48 pm
(1007) Carolyn says:

Its 3.45am and my 2nd day off Citalopram completely. Have cut down gradually or so I thought! I seem to be wide awake and quite hysterically happy!I suspect this is just another quirk of leaving off Ciyalopram! Am just scared that theres more to come…… Thankyou everyone that has contributed to this forum. Its a life saver!

August 2, 2009 at 4:53 am
(1008) Amy-Rose says:

I have accidentally not requested a repeat prescription twice now and both times experienced the ‘shaking of the brain’ or throb as I would describe it. When coming off Citalopram and SSRI’s in general it is important to slowly reduce the amount of mg over a period of a few months. The withdrawal symptoms are similar to a comedown following taking a drug like ecstasy, for a day or two you experience the brain throbbing and dizziness. Having not taken Citalopram for over a week I became overly emotional (usually when seeing something nice that I would usually laugh at). It is common to have these symptoms but just go to prove that coming off them should be by reducing your intake over a long period. I found I was quite dehydrated too, so perhaps ensure you drink plenty of water.

August 2, 2009 at 2:29 pm
(1009) Julie says:

I have tried to stop taking C two times now and both times i have had such serve withdrawal including the all the brain stuff, dizziness, very bad depression…i tired to cut back and then about four or five days ago i stop completely and these last two days have been so awful. Today i took 40 mg ( what i was originally on) because i couldn’t take it anymore i literally though i was going to either hurt myself or have my head explode. The reason i wanted to go off was because everything feels so disconnected and bland, it does help my anxiety but i have no motivation anymore.

August 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm
(1010) Norman says:

Can some one please, who has been through this and come out of the other end, please reassure me that I am not going mad. I have been off the medication for 3 weeks and the withdrawal symptons seem to be intensifying. I can not sleep because my stomach feels as if it is in a knot. I had a meal the other day, the first hot meal for a long time. A couple of hours later I was vomiting. I do feel fine mentally and my ability to work has not been impaired in any way at all. I am absolutely determined not to return to my doctor. What is it that is in these tablets that seem to linger in the body long after diconntinuing the medication? I have a few days off work and there is a lot of heavy physical work to be done. I am really going to throw myself into it. I am also going to start up a gentle exercise program couple with deep relaxation exercises. It can not do any harm. I would be grateful if someone who has been through this could reassure me that everything will be alright.
I remember taking Dotheipin a few years ago when there was a death in the family. I only took it for a few weeks and then took myself off it by dividing the tables in 1/2s, 1/4s, 1/8s etc. There were no withdrawal symptons. In fact. I do recall feeling a little bit better each time there was a dosage reduction. I thought that it would be a similar process with citalopram, but I was obviously mistaken.

August 4, 2009 at 1:26 am
(1011) Norman says:

I would like to add that this has been a wake up call to me. I will never ever take antidepressant medication again as long as I live.

August 5, 2009 at 9:13 am
(1012) Sue D says:

I am going into hospital to come off Citalopram suddenly as it is no longer working and my depression is coming back. With a certain sense of dread, I’ve read many of your posts. I have been on 80mg per day for over a year. It looks like I’m in for a rough, cold turkey time and will be needing prayer. I’ll be moving to another class of antidepressant during my hospital stay. I feel serious and full of dread about what is about to happen. I am usually a very funny person.

August 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm
(1013) vicki davies says:

Hi i have been on citalopram 3 years now. I am too come off them. The problem is when i do come off the i get the sentation in my head. It feels like i am wired, And then when i get these feelings i have to take another tablet. I just want to know if it last a long time has i end up giving into the side affects and take another tablet, so im back to square one. The doctor assured me there was no side affects from coming off the tablets. i’m in a no win situation, i think it is i either put up with the side affects of coming off the tablets or i keep taking them, i just wish i knew how long they last. And if the side affects get worse over time or better with time.

August 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(1014) Stacy says:

I wanted to let everyone know how I’m feeling since my first post (988). I think the withdrawal symptoms are slowing down or at least I think I am starting to feel better day by day. The last 2-3 days have been great, mostly only nausea and some lightheadedness, with mild jolts through the body and I even have energy to do housework. I started taking gravol once a day and it seems to help.

Last Friday was one of the worst days for nausea and brain fuzziness, I actually was dry heaving which hadn’t happened before. The electric shocks seemed to be going non-stop all day! I talked to the pharmisist when I got the gravol and asked her about the withdrawal symptoms..she said she had never heard of anyone on C having the electric shocks throughout body before (only on other drugs)and found it kinda interesting. She told me the withdrawals could happen for a couple weeks and if they don’t subside to maybe try 10mg every couple of days. This made me feel better that I wasn’t crazy and it will go away.

I waited it out over the weekend and seriously considered going back on C just so I would feel better. I couldn’t get into the doctor right away which I think was a good thing as hopefully the side effects are subsiding.

Chuck posted in 992 about the feeling in the head like an amusement park ride like the roller coaster…this seems to be exactly what it feels like. It is still happening most of the day (seems bad actually right now as I am typing this)but I have been keeping myself busy and that seems to helps.

One thing though….since the weekend I have been feeling like an elastic twisted really tight and just waiting to let go…it is hard to explain. My body feels really tight at times and irritated. I think I actually felt like this before going on C…I feel like I could explode at any moment over nothing and have been tearing up over happy things watching tv. This probably isn’t a good thing but last night in bed I had visions while fully awake of beating my husband to death…I love him dearly and would never do this!!!!!!! He has done nothing but for some reason I feel really angry towards him and am starting to blurt out or yell again. Now that I am writing this….could this be a sign of depression again??????? Oh my god I hope not!!!!!!

Ok…so I’m feeling better in some ways and not in others! I’m going to try to keep myself really busy organizing and doing spring cleaning of my house which should take some time and hopefully this will go away soon.

Is anyone else feeling like this?

August 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm
(1015) Chuck says:

Hello everyone, I just wanted to say how saddened I am about the suffering everyone has gone through with this medication. Happily I also wanted to report that over ten days into withdrawal from the medication I am losing the side effects. I was not taking the med for depression however. For me it was for PTSD symptoms. Please don’t dismiss ideations that are destructive go to your doctor immediately to get an evaluation. After reading the posts on here I am convinced that the more your dosage is the more time it takes to get through withdrawal symptoms, just hang in there. For those who have taken the med for depression, if it has failed you, ask your doctor if you could have a DNA test to determine which anti-depressant med would be optimized for your genetic type. There have been many recent reports that the future of mental health medicine is in matching DNA and pharma to optimize outcomes. Check a site called NARSAD for white papers on this subject-www.NARSAD.org. Your all in my prayers, I wish you well.

August 7, 2009 at 11:56 am
(1016) Dianne Towalski says:

My son has been on Citalpram for about 10 months for mild anxiety caused by Concerta for ADHD. He was on 10mg and it wasn’t helping at all, so we decided to take him off it. The doc said to give him half tablets for 5 days and then none. It has been the worst week of our lives! He is very sad and worried, sometimes about irrational things like having swine flu and sometimes he just doesn’t know why he’s worried. He also said he felt the head swooshing thing last night. Does anyone know how long this will last? He keeps asking me!

August 8, 2009 at 10:51 pm
(1017) john says:

Thank all of you for your comments. I’ve been on citalopram for about 3 months for anxiety. It worked great, it made me realize a lot of things were not that important. When I tried to go cold turkey, the brain quakes, double vision but not really double vision, etc, started and I just attributed it to working too much or was coming down with a bug. All of your comments hit the nail on the head. Going to start taking it again for a week or so and taper down. Thanks again.

August 9, 2009 at 11:58 pm
(1018) Stacy says:

Well everyone…I decided to go back on C after my post (1000). I started again on Friday night after a horrible nausea, crying day and I am feeling way better now!!!! Since I was laid off only a couple weeks ago…maybe it wasn’t the best time to go off them. I’ll give them another try for awhile and next time…I will wean myself for a longer time!!!!!! At least I know what the withdrawal feels like and I can be more prepared for it.

Good luck to everyone going through the withdrawals…I think I was almost done but with other stresses in my life, I needed to go back on C right now.

August 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm
(1019) Roger says:

I’ve been on citalopram for about 6 years and have learned to use it to my advantage. I used to be on 40mg per day but dropped to 20 recently. Basically I now only take a tablet once ever 2 to 3 days. As soon as I get the whooshes I’ll take one, or I’ll even cut one in half and take that and have a lay down for half an hour, if that doesn’t work then I’ll take the other half. And then all’s fine. Don’t let the C rule you, learn to use it to your own advantage. Monitor how you feel and react to that.

For the men on the C, you may find you have problems coming. You need to plan ahead, avoid the C for a day or two and then you’ll have a fantastic orgasm. And so will your partner.

August 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm
(1020) Casey says:

Well, I have spent the last 2 days reading the comments, and I also have stopped taking citalopram 2 weeks ago. I too am feeling ratherly poorly to say the least. Between the fuzzy head, headaches, upset tummy….and this horrible feeling of my brain being “Slow” I have had enough. I was taking 20 mgs for the past 4 years, then 10 mgs for the past 6 months. Then down to one everyother day.
I have read a lot of positive posts of people starting to feel better, I just wish it was sooner then later.
I am so glad I found this website…the posts really do help.

August 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm
(1021) shell says:

I’ve been taking 40mg (citalopram) for over 1 year. I recently just stopped taking it because I don’t want to have to take it any longer. I think It’s been about 1 week since I’ve taken one. I’m experiencing the following symptoms: extreme fatigue (sleeping 14-15 hours on a Weekend day and getting 9 hours of sleep per night), headache began today, clammy, disoriented, nightmares, flu-like symptoms, floaty head feeling, lag time when I turn my head, back aches, waking up to charlie horses in my calves, pin-prick feeling all over my body) . This is day 1 of these symptoms and it made for a long/hard day at work. How long are people noticing their withdrawl symptoms lasting? In the history of posts – people are saying that an herbal tea with valerin is helpful for the nightmares/sleeping. Also, using an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce the extreme symptoms. Is anyone having any luck with these remedies or have other ideas? I’m very thankful that I may be figuring out why I’ve been so tired and feeling terrible. Thank you to everyone who has been sharing! I’d love any input or advice and hope that I may be able to help others as well – Good luck everyone.

August 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm
(1022) Casey says:

Hi Shell, I am now day 18 with no meds….still have the fuzzy head feeling, but it does not seem to start until the afternoon. Headaches are less mild then they were. But I am still having the strange eye lacking feeling….not as tired, but still tired. I have had to take something for the headaches. I am finding that lots of water and walking or excerise of some sort seems to help clear the mind. I try to do a quick run at least 3 times a week. I have not tried the herbal tea, but I also read that it helps. The flu like symptoms come and go…..but slowing down from last week. I agree, its very reassuring to know that others are going through the same things that we are feeling. Lets hope in 2 months time we will be feeling like our old selves again. Good Luck.

August 14, 2009 at 5:41 am
(1023) Kathryn says:

Wow wow wow! I’ve just read the whole thread. Have been on citalopram for several years and have had several tries at weaning off it and everytime I get close to kicking it I either get electric shocks down my body etc or have a reoccurance of depression and have to go back on them. So, according to all of you, I’m not crazy after all.

It helped so much when I was unwell but we’re planning a baby. All the drug company reports say it’s relatively safe to take while pregnant and that only a minor amount is transfered to the infant in breast milk, but can you imagine an infant in that kind of withdrawal?? Holy crap! DOn’t know that I can come off it. It’s too hard.

August 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm
(1024) Clarence says:

I’m terrified reading all this! I was put on Citalopram at 20mg about 7 months ago for depression and anxiety. It was amazing for the first few months- like a cloud had been lifted, I’d never felt so happy in my life. But then I got TOO happy and ended up doing some crazy and stupid things, spending all my money on a whim, not sleeping etc. Went to GP and he suspected the Cit had induced a manic episode.
Psychiatrist then tried to prescribe me Seroquel (antipsychotic) and told me to start taking that at the same time as stopping the Citalopram over the course of a week. He told me Seroquel had no side effects- I researched it online and oh my god- there are actually 1000s of lawsuits against the manufacturer because of terrible side effects- these psychiatrists are awful. How dare he lie to me about a drug that will have an effect on me, my mind and my life, when I should trust him as my doctor.
Anyway, have just reduced my Citalopram dose to 10mg a day for a week to see if that helps the mania.
Already I am feeling it- I am absolutely exhausted. I feel weak and lethargic, every movement is a colossal effort.
I also feel extraordinarily hungry. The hunger is constant, and I am in danger of seriously overeating- and I really don’t want to gain weight or get the bad effects from eating so much junk food (that’s what I crave!) has anyone else had this?
I almost feel as though reducing the dose to 10mg has reduced my blood sugar levels- I have that hypoglycaemic feeling along with the intense hunger.
I’m scared about totally coming off it now, if I already feel like this just from halving the dose.
Psychiatric drugs are a minefield: best avoided i fpossible I think.

August 15, 2009 at 8:18 am
(1025) Jenny says:

I had to add my comment to this discussion as two weeks ago I was climbing the walls and was in fits of tears looking at forums about this subject worried that I would never feel better again but there is a light at the end of the tunnel…! I was on citalopram for about 10 months, mostly on 20mg then towards the end on 10mg, then I had one day on and one off. The first two weeks when I came off them were pretty bad – sickness, brain jolts, dizziness, hot flushes and teary. Then gradually they started to fade and two weeks on I feel lots better! I’ve had the odd feeling of being a bit down and this had terrified me as I donít want to feel depressed again but I realise that have the odd depressing feeling is part and parcel of being human and the majority of time I feel good again. The tablets helped me at a bad time in my life but I feel like they numbed me and now Iím feeling more like the old me. Another downside of the tablets was the fact that I had sexual problems when I was on them. I had no sex drive and I wasnít able to orgasm when I was with a boyfriend but that seems to have gone back to normal which is a weight off my mind ( :

August 15, 2009 at 9:26 am
(1026) Shell says:

My 1st post was 1007. That night I took only half (20mg) of my dose and within a couple of hours I was feeling much better. I’m trying to take 1/2 dose every other day to start the weening process. I’ve made an appointment with my PCP next week to figure out the best way for me to get off this drug. I’ll let you all know what he says! Hope everyone is doing ok… thanks to all for all the support.

August 15, 2009 at 9:35 am
(1027) Shell says:

Clarence – Oh… I am right with ya on the constant hunger! I constantly am eating and have gained about 20 lbs while on this drug. I NEVER feel full. I also feel like my blood sugar has been low lately. Weak – constantly fatigued. I was sitting at a bar with my girlfriends and I couldn’t stay awake. We had to leave the bar because I fell asleep. I’m 28 years old!!! Hang in there… you’re down to 10mg… I’ll let you know what my doc says next week about weening off it! Thanks for sharing ;)

August 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm
(1028) Karen says:

Hello, I am very glad to have found people going through the very same things I have. I have only been off of citalopram 20mg for one week but had been taking it 3 months. I have to have a tonsillectomy Tues and I am very nervous. I have been having alot of hot flashes and the pins and needles feeling. I actually took a cold bath a little while ago to see if it would help. My husband and i want to try for another baby after having a 2 yr in Nov. so I decided to stop cold turkey on the citalopram. I don’t want to take any chances being on meds. while pregnant. Maybe after another child I will return to taking it. It did help with the crying spells I had before going on the meds and I am glad for that. Wish me luck Tues.

August 17, 2009 at 6:10 am
(1029) Carrie says:

Hi everyone

Firstly, I empathise with all of you going through nightmare withdrawal from Citalopram.

I have withdrawn twice now, differently each time, and I have to say it is virtually impossible (in my experience) to withdraw without the awful side effects.

The first time I withdrew I gradually cut down by 5 mgs per month (both times I was on 20). Finally, after a few months, I was taking 2.5 every other day – within a couple of weeks of stopping this – I got all the brain shakes, nausea, etc.

The second time, I just stopped, but always had 10 mg (half a tab) with me, and took one when it all got too much. I haven’t taken anything for a month, and still had the brain shakes, etc.

So what I’m trying to say is there is no easy way to stop these drugs. As many of you say, I would never have started them in the first place if I knew what was in store.

But, there is light at the end of tunnel. Here are the things that helped me.

Think positively. When you feel really rough, and the room is spinning and your mind is zapping along like a fireworks display tell yourself GOOD! Because this means that your brain is adjusting and working hard to get rid of the substance. Go with the flow. Distract yourself. Take paracetamol for aches and pains. I took a herbal remedy called Quiet Life when things got too much and the anxiety returned – it helped. Drink lots of water. Chill out. Go easy on yourself. Remind yourself that the drugs were surpressing the good emotions and the bad, and that things will settle down.

Hang in there. Go easy on yourselves.


August 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm
(1030) Kim says:

OMG!! Im so glad I found this web Site. I Really Thought I was going crazy. Im just wondering what I should do to make it stop. Its Effecting everyone around me.

August 19, 2009 at 12:54 am
(1031) Chuck says:

Thread 925 memorializes that on July 25th I initiated my initial withdrawal from citalopram; later threads document my gradual reduction of withdrawl symptoms. Today is August 19th, now I am free from withdrawal symptoms altogether. Upon reflection on the experience the most frightening part of it for me was thinking that I might have permanently altered my brain functioning and thought I would have to live with the side effects. It turned out not to be the case. The drug needs to have a stronger warning addressing the symptoms and experience of withdrawl!

August 19, 2009 at 1:01 am
(1032) Chuck says:

Correction the initial thread that I wrote on July 25th was thread number 982.


August 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(1033) Kris says:

I have been on Citolpram and Xanax since March 09. The 1st couple of weeks I had side effects. Started out on 20mg. By May was taking 80mg. I started going mad about mid June. Told the Pschy my symptoms (fleeting, random thoughts, not able to concentrate, not able to remember things I did, etc..) He decided the Citolpram was not working for me. I was diagnosed with Severe Social Anxiety and mild OCD. I cut back to 40mg one month, 20mg the next month, now I am on 10mg, in Sept I will not be taking it at all. Right now just on the 10mg, the withdrawal symptoms are somewhat annoying. Light headed, Sometimes seems like when I see something it takes a while for my brain to process it, I find it hard to work. I will be so glad to be off this med.

August 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm
(1034) Kimmy says:

I have been taking citolpram or other drugs like it 20mg per day for 9 years. I have decided the drug co in not keeping my money or emotions down any more. Since 05/2009 I have been weening myslef off little by little. It has not been easy who wants to be in a dizzy foggy state? I have just had to deal with it. Iam now down to 5 Mg once per week, almost there. I have a feeling that freedom will be at my door soon. I still have times that I feel down, but I tell my self you have it good compared to others, it could always be worse. Be thankfull for all you have. We are so lucky as americans to have freedom. Now it took a long time for me to get to this state of mind, thinking positive is always harder than not. I hope to be completly off this drug that helped me through some tuff time soon. Good luck to all who are trying.

August 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(1035) sharon says:

WOW i never knew that so many people suffered so much, i have been on the drug for 18 months now and decided last week i needed to get my life back on track. I saw my gp and she said i could come off the drug as slowly or as quickly as i wanted.So i have gone fron 40mg to 20mg been going for a week now and so glad to see that my cotton wool head is a side affect from the withdrawl of the drug. my memory has been terrible since i started taking them which is one of the reasons i wanted to come off them oh yes and the lack of my libido.I foolishly thought my life would be back to somekind of normality soon but looks like it may be a long road ahead. My poor husband will have to wait longer than i hoped for his old wife to re-appear,lets just hope she does. Many thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences it is nice to know you are not alone and going mad.
good luck to each and everyone of you x

August 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(1036) Courtney says:

I have only been on Citalopram for a couple of months. When we went on vacation, forgot to take my meds a couple of times in a row. I didn’t put it together until today why I was feeling so weird! We went to eat lunch today and all of a sudden I felt like I was getting the flu and my head felt weird. I am on edge and crabby and generally feel like crap! I realized with the beginningof school coming on Monday, I have been neglecting myself, to take care of my children and my husband’s grandmother that lives with us. I haven’t taken my Citalopram in 3 days. I had no idea why for the second time this summer I felt like I was getting the flu! I came home from lunch and realized that I hadn’t taken my pills! I just took one and decided to set and see if this was a withdrawal effect. Thank you all for posting! I know now that this is what’s wrong with me and I am wondering how long it will be before I start feeling normal again! I won’t be ready to get off of this med for a while if this is how I am going to feel.

August 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm
(1037) Mary says:

Hi all….
Oh, i am so happy to have found this sight!!! i am not happy to hear of all of your awful symptoms from your trying to withdraw from the big “C”!!!
i started taking C three years ago after my best friend pasted away unexpectantly.
started with 10mg then increased to 20mg after about 1 1/2 years. i have had boughts of depression most of my adult life, but i am now in the process of weaning myself off of this awful drug! i’ve been taking 10mg for about a week……
1) awful dreams
2) trouble going to sleep and staying asleep
3) flu like syptoms
4) uncontrollable leg twitching
i have never taken hard drugs but last night i felt like i was coming off of some hard drug (from what i’ve heard).
can’t wait to feel like myself again (???).
and lets not forget the libido (what libido??), but by choice i have been celibate for almost three years and do not have a boyfriend at this time.

i hope all of you will get through your tough times, stay as positive as you can and PRAY to the GOOD LORD!!!

take care, ‹
1) awful

August 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm
(1038) Casey says:

Hi All, well my last tablet was taken on July 27th so I am at 3 weeks now. Starting to feel better everyone, please be positive it will improve. I am sleeping a bit better, still have the fuzzy head but not until later in the day…..I am starting to see the light….this site is a great way to keep updated on everyones progress…stay strong.

August 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm
(1039) Michael says:

I just flat ran out of cash and couldn’t but it for a week. I feel drunk, dizzy and like the middle of my brain is slizzling with light. Weird.
Back on a few minuets ago! Hope it works!! I am on 40mg

August 21, 2009 at 7:27 am
(1040) sharon says:

Hi hope everyone is doing ok and things are getting easier, i am glad to here from some that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.I am 7 days now on reduced dose from 40mg to 20mg and :-
Restless legs
Cotton wool head
Sleepless nights
No libido [which i have had since starting the drug]
They are all still with me not looking forward to reducing the dose again.I will keep going though and hope things improve for not only myself but all of you aswell. x

August 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm
(1041) GLENN says:

hello everyone, i am feeling like total shit right now. im so depressed and have alot of the withdraw symptoms that all of you are having. i just started a new job 2 months ago and have missed like 3 or 4 days because of this stuff. my job is very hard physically and some mental. i love it thou. im just vented cause i dont have anyone to talk to that knows what im saying. i hope all of you are doing better as each day goes. i just have a question- is it worth coming off of this med. or should i stay on it. im worried cause ive been off of it for like 2 weeks and its not getting any better. i feel like i should just stay on it. thanks

August 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(1042) Claire says:

Hi All

I have been on Citalopram for approx 4 months now & have just suffered a miscarriage (over the weekend) I was told that there “should’nt” be any increased risks of this but I have found info to suggest the opposite.

I would like to try again but have decided to come off citalopram first. It’s frightening to hear some of the descriptions of the possible withdrawels but I’m glad that at least I’ll know what’s causing it by being forewarned by you all!

My only major concern is the possibility of a relapse … because that’s one downward spiral I don’t fancy re-living … as I have an extremely complicated life at the best of times!!

I think I will try to wean myself off them slowly at this time, simply due to the fact that I am struggeling emotionally with recent events … and my depression is the “reactive type” so I guess I should probably not try stopping for the next couple of weeks.

The funny thing is … I’m an ex mental health professional who has always been against the use of medication, much prefering psychological therapies … but going through 5 major life events all at once finally altered this idea, but I now wish I had listened to that little voice in my head telling me to just ride it out and talk about it.

Wishing you all strength on your prospective journeys.

August 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(1043) izzy says:

Hi all,
Currently my girlfriend of 4 years is on citalopram and its really affecting our relationship in that it seems that it has killed love. any insight would be very appreciated. also for those of you getting off the drug i would try eating chocolate because it is used to boost serotonin levels. i would like to hear if withdrawal symptoms are eased by the consumption of chocolate. I wish the best for everyone on this thread. my best wishes to all of you.

August 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm
(1044) Tessa says:

I am SO glad to find everyone feels the same as I. I was on 40 mg of the god-awful stuff and took a few months to slowly taper. I was fine as I tapered, which surprised me. Thought it would be awful. Even at 10mg, was still fine. But OMG! The past week and 1/2 of NOTHING and it’s just as everyone describes. Of course, when I told my doctor the symptons he said he had never heard of such a thing with Citalopram. They must get a kickback to say that from the drug company. I’ve been exercising, though feel totally dizzy but figure it’s GOT to all go away at some point. And I will never go on these hideous drugs again. My briliant doctor also said they wouldn’t affect weight gain a I gained 20 pds in 2 years eating/exercising exactly as I always did.

August 23, 2009 at 7:50 pm
(1045) tessa says:

Hi Izzy,

Yes, it DOES kill the love. I was on 40mg for 2 years and didn’t even realize how I just could basically care less about my significant other, which led to our break up. Next boyfriend, same thing. I had feelings, of course, but it really masked all the highs and lows for me. Which is one of the many reasons I’m getting off it now. And already I’ve been told by friends that “You’re back” Didn’t even realize I had been so sort of out of it in the expressing or feeling of emotions till now I’m feeling them all! Good luck. And the chocolate is an excellent idea! ha ha

August 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm
(1046) Tina says:

Well, thank God I’m not going crazy again! I was on 60mg for about 6 months then reduced to 40mg which was fine. I decided about a week a go to stop taking the tablets as my life has changed all for the better and I feel strong enough to cope without any medication. Well since day 2 I have felt worse than ever! Headaches pretty much all the time, and the dizziness is awful! I feelpunch drunk! It’s making me grumpy and miserable with my family! It feels a bit like I’m back to day 1 of having to take the tablets in the first place! I was happy to take these tablets because all the health professionals assured me that they were non-addictive! Well how wrong could they be!! It’s so reassuring to read that the way I am feeling is ‘normal’ when trying to quit these things! I’m so tempted to just get the prescription from the Docs and start taking them again tomorrow – I just want to feel better again! On the other hand I want to come off them! Ahhh I don’t know what to do – persevere or give in???!!!

August 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm
(1047) Jennifer says:

this website really helped me. I was about to go into the Walk-in clinic tonight because for the last two weeks i have had numerous dizzy spells, Fatigue, nausea, and a dry throat. There were even times I would burst into tears for no reason just from the slightest little thing. At first I thought I had the flu, then I thought i was possibly pregnant or something. I never thought withdrawl symptoms would last this long or be this intense. I have been taking 20mg for one year and a student. Now I know I am not going crazy.

Thanks everyone

August 28, 2009 at 11:12 am
(1048) Vanessa says:

Thank you all for your comments, I feel reassured now!
I have been on the drug for 10 months (20mg) then on 10mg for 2.
Even if I have to admitt that Citalopram did help, I am please that I can now stop taking it.I was told to come off slowly, well, I did for a couple of days taking the tablets at alternative days then I got fed up and stopped all together and now (just over 3 days) I am having the funny lightness in the head you describe and a sort of slow motion when I try to coordinate movements, I though it was something seriuos but reading your comments I feel reassured.
Hope you all will feel better soon.

August 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm
(1049) Casey says:

Hi everyone, just an update. I took my last tablet on July 27th, so its been a full month now. Feeling much better, sleeping well. I am focusing better and its great to feel like myself again. I am even getting a lot done around the house. I would like to think that I am past the worst of this, and on the road to finding ME again. Yes its worth coming of the meds. Please be positive, and keep trying. My best wishes to everyone.

September 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(1050) Mary says:

Hi all….
I am still taking 1/2 dose, and i’m not sure but i think (?) this is my third week. next week i will cut the dose in half again, take that dose for probably two weeks, then go every other day, and so on.
glad to hear that Casey is now been off this drug for one month and pretty much back to his self!
i am feeling better and the withdrawel syptoms are getting less….
there is a “light” at the end of this tunnel!!
hope all are doing better, keep with it so it doesn’t beat you!
take care,
Mary ‹

September 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm
(1051) Jen says:

they are call brain shivers and very common with most SSRI withdrawal. It took me about 2 months to stop having them.Good luck

September 2, 2009 at 4:48 am
(1052) Sharon says:

I was on 20mg of Citalopram for 3 years. I have previously tried to come off it twice without success, mainly because GP said I wasn’t ready and he said the head whooshes could be due to stress! I went on them for stress and anxiety due to bullying at work. Just recently I weaned myself off them, firstly cutting down to 10mg a day for about a month. (Never miss out a day). I then cut down to 5mg for about the same length of time. I had to see my GP for review and I told him I was down to 5mg. He said, in his opinion 5mg was not doing anything so I could just stop, but if I wanted to to continue he had no problem with it. I decided to continue as I was having minor whooshes and hand tingling, occasional dizziness when in the gym and the feeling of faintness on occasions. I set a date for my last little piece of tablet, as I had tried to cut a 20mg down to small pieces. Since stopping 5 days ago, I have had eye flickering (very annoying) lethargy and extreme sleepiness, occasional grumpiness, woolly headedness, the feeling of slight anxiety. The secret is to keep busy, not dwell on it. My withdrawals this time around apart from the sleepiness and eye flickering have been mild.

My advice is do it in your own time, do not miss days out or else you are just setting yourself back and fluctuating your dose too much and you will make it more difficult for yourself to cut down due to the half life. If you cannot put up with the reduced dose increase by a tiny bit for a while. (set your own targets, dont worry if you have to increase a little for a while. Do not have a larger dose one day and a smaller dose another, keep to the same current dose.

I have had a very supportive GP who understands I am not a person to be told what to do. I do it my way in my own time. I hold him in high esteem for recognising this and supporting me through my difficult time.

I still have a way to go as I am having mild withdrawals but coping with them. I don’t know how long they will continue for. My GP thinks a couple of days. I think perhaps a couple of weeks, but time will tell. Even now the eye flickering is improving.

Good luck, I hope this works for some at least!

September 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm
(1053) Dorrie says:

i have been of citalopram for about 2 weeks now and i know what you all mean. i have had headaches and the funny brain shakeing. i thought it was from a cold but after seeing all this now i know :) but i ran out of citalopram and now take like 2 or 3 paxil in its place it doesnt really help just makes me angry all the time citalopram really worked for me but now i dont have anymore so paxil is the best i can do for now.

September 3, 2009 at 9:21 am
(1054) Mark L says:

Hi All,

Many thanks for all your comments! It is great to know that what I am experiencing are withdrawal symptooms and not something else.

I had a major car accident 12 years ago, where I fractured my skull, and had some minor bleeding on the brain, coupled with an initial left side paralysis. I did recover and am now a practicing martial artist of 9 years. I used the exercise and martial arts to regain the use of the left side of my body.

A few years ago, I became severely depressed and started taking citalopram (20mg). I spent about 18 months on 20mg, then came down to 10mg for about 8 months, and most recently I have been on 5 mg for 2 months. I found that the 5mg dose did not work for me, as it was not strong enough to do it’s work properly, but was just strong enough to cause anxiety / panic attacks & extreme & very rapid anger.

I knew about the dizzyness and ‘zinging’ sound in my head when from times that I had previously forgotten to take a dose, so knew more or less what I was in for if I stopped completely.
As a result, I decided to stop completely. (since my doctor told me that my dose was so low as not to have much effect anyway – boy was he wrong). I also figured the ‘zinging’ would be better to deal wih than the emotional turbulence caused by being on a 5mg dose…..

I have now been off the citalopram for 1 full week now, and am experiencing the following:
- dizziness
- constrant ‘zinging’ sound in my head, majorly aggravated by eye movement or other sudden body movement. (increases as the day progresses)
- general feeling of not being well (initial nausea, but that has subsided)
-insomnia and very wierd dreams.
-still quick to anger sometimes

In know that eveyone’s system is different, and as a result, the time taken for withdrawal symptoms to subside will be different from person to person.

However, I can’t help wondering whether exercise / increase of blood flow to the brain may help get the remaining citalopram out of the body faster and help me get back to normal a lot quicker…..

Has anyone tried this, adn does anyone know an average as to how long the withdrawal symptoms will last………….?
(I have an karate instructor evaluation coming up within 3 weeks and need to know if I will be ready for it…..)

Another method to speed up the withdrawal process might be to use Reiki treatment to return the brain to it’s normal function as soon as possible …………. anyone else tried this…….?
Many thanks for all comments & suggestions.
Mark :-)

September 3, 2009 at 10:41 am
(1055) Bonnie says:

What a relief to read your comments!I am not alone!
I was on 40mg of Citalopram for 2 years along with Wellbutrin, Trazadone and Clonazepam (I have also weaned of the Clonazepam, but I am still on the other two). I started weaning by cutting to 20mg for 2 weeks then 10 mg for two weeks then 0. I was completely off Citalopram starting 3 weeks ago. Today is the first day that I have not felt weird!
In those 3 weeks I have experienced:
-feeling like I am drunk
- just feeling “off”
-difficulty keeping track of my tasks at hand without a list in front of me
-weird dreams/nightmares
-depression symptoms
I mentioned this to a friend as I thought something was the matter with me. I NEVER equated it to weaning off the Citalopram! He mentioned that he had similar symptoms weaning off a different anti-depressant and recommended that I research it on-line (he had read a lot of testimonies that got him through his withdrawl period). He told me that it may take weeks for my body to readjust to not having the drug. Wow! He was right!
Today is the first day I have felt normal after 3 weeks of symptoms. I am SO glad I didn’t go back on the medication (I did not go back to my doc with the list of symptoms as I felt sure she would put me right back on it she had before)!
Hang in there!

September 3, 2009 at 11:25 am
(1056) Mark L says:

Many thanks for your reassurance Bonnie.
Much appreciated & well done yourself for successfully coming off the citalopram :-)

September 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm
(1057) Ana says:

Hello everybody!! I’m from Canada and I’m taking citalopram 20mg for last 18 months, I want to stop taking it, because I want to have a baby, On moday August 31/09 I started taking only 10 mg for the next 3 weeks and after that still 10 mg every other day for another 3 weeks after that I will stop. But last night OMG!!! I felt terrible my entire body was numb and at one point I felt like I have no control of movement and then the anxiety came in place, it was bad, so I start breathing deeeply until I felt sleep again.Does anyone know after you stop taking the drug how long it takes to feel better???

Thanks for sharing your experiences, it is very good to read others that understand this condition

September 7, 2009 at 1:47 am
(1058) jennifer says:

O.K. This is botha relief to find and real scary. I stopped cold turkey almost a week ago because I was having major itching all over my body sometimes with a hive-like rash. It only happened a few hours most evenings. I would go nuts scratching sometimes. I usually take my med in the evening so I wasn’t sure if this was a reaction to the meds or totally unrelated. Anyway I went off cold and yesterday the dizziness and a nightmare I woke up crying to. Today I was miserable. Headache, dizzy, nausea, TIRED, irritable and crying about everything. Also sent my poor husband to bed mad at me and me crying about something rediculous. I felt more relaxed, less irritable with my family and just more at ease when I was on it. I don’t want to feel that way again but this drug sounds scary. Is life better dealing with those things or being on a drug for life with who knows what long term effects. If the docs say there aren’t any withdrawal symptoms are they also “right” about no long term side effects? What to do?? Did anyone else have the itching????

September 7, 2009 at 7:28 am
(1059) Murat says:

I’m suffering from certain shock like feelings in my brain, which I
believe may due to cutting off my daily Cipralex dose (10mg in the
morning)three weeks ago. I’ve discussed this with my doctor and he
thinks this is due to the withdrawal effect. I dont quite
understand is the fact that I’m having almost none of these feelings in
the morning. They start around noon and peak in the evening. Could you
please help me?

Is this pattern normal/usual, no shock sensation in the
morning but evening?

September 7, 2009 at 8:41 am
(1060) Karen Hughes says:

Its been amazing reading as many of the posts I am able to in my lunchbreak. I had only been on 20mg of citalopram for two weeks. The side effects were absolutely horrendous, the nausea, dizziness, sweating and such like – but the most awful was the total sufferance of insomnia – I went three full nights without a wink of sleep. Climbing the walls and generally feeling like death and having to function at work. I am not going to go into my total reasons for being prescribed this awful drug, but what I will say is that I used to be on another AD for 10 years called Trimipramine which a new doctor just told me to stop without being weaned off them. Big problems. Then the depression came back which was when I was prescribed citalopram. Anyway, after two weeks of hell, I decided to take the remainder of my medication back to the GP and told him where to shove them. I took my last one last Thursday morning and even after only taking them for two weeks, the withdrawal is horrendous. I wish I had never taken them. My doctor gave me Zoplicone sleeping tablets to help me get some sleep at night which have helped, but the daytime is awful. Withdrawal is definitely the solution I know and I will never ever take another AD as long as I live. Honestly, everyone around me thought I was on a different planet and not the same old Karen who I used to be. I start counselling on Thursday and I am sure that will help me. I live in hope. Take care everyone and I hope you dont suffer like me. xx

September 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm
(1061) Suzie says:

I have been on SSRIs for 7 years. Have tried to wean off without success many times. Even tried the liquid to make dosing down more easy. The liquid is aweful and I felt aweful. I am going to try again, because now I am hypotensive (high blood pressure) and have weight issues. Boths can be associated with Citalopram. As much as it helped….coming off is hell.

September 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm
(1062) Jo says:

Hi. I am so relieved to to read this page, I am actually sitting here with tears running down my face.
I am desperate to have a second child, but my husband told me I couldn’t get pregnant again until I was off the citalpram as he didn’t think he could cope with me hitting rock bottom again, being medication free. I have been on anti depressants since I was 17 on and off (I am now 36), and have been on 40mg citalopram for the past 6 years.
Over a perios of 6 months, I weaned myself down to 20mg. I tried to start alternating the days I took the tablets but found myself not being able to remember what days I had taken a tablet, and what days I hadn’t taken one (since suffering from depression, my concentration and memory isn’t great – as aren’t my organisational skills). Then on 24th July, I went on holiday for a week and didnt take my medication with me. I felt ok and decided when I got back that I should continue to stay off them. I am getting aching and twitchy legs, my libido is lower than ever (my husband takes this very personally, which makes me feel terrible), I am not sleeping well, and wake up tired and snappy, my eyes ache and sort of flicker – for want of a better description – and ache.
Although I am really pleased I am off the tablets (it’s now been about 5 weeks an dreally don’t want to take them ever again, but want to feel so much better than I do now.
Anyone know how long before my body is free of the medication completely so I can feel drug free?
I don’t want to talk to my husband about it, as he finds it very difficult to understand.
I have also put on so much weight since being on this medication – but I dont know if I have the strength of character to lose it.
Now Im whinging!! Sorry I will stop now.
Good luck to you all coming off it.
This is one battle I am determined to win x

September 9, 2009 at 6:28 pm
(1063) Zombie says:

Wow… comforting to read this! I was on 10 for 3 months and 20 for a month, been 6 days since i stopped. Was worried about the symptoms and this is the first page i found – I’m also experiencing a ‘fizzy’ head, my body feels like its buzzing and I feel generally on edge. Glad to know i’m not alone, but I think its pretty bad that so many others are going through the same horrible side affects. Going to buysome 5-HTP and take that instead of phamaceuticals….

September 10, 2009 at 11:42 am
(1064) gina says:

ive been on citalopram for two years between 20 – 60mg. going up a dose and down a dose has always been tricky. I feel a bit like Dr Jeckel and Mr Hyde. The head zaps, whoosing and ringing in the ears are the worst.

However once i was established on the drug i was able to attend psycotherapy which i really needed . The combination has really helped me deal with some fundimental issues and has been lifesaving.

I have been off citalopram for two weeks now. I was quite polite this morning! and last night i slept through the night for the first time in two weeks with no nightmares (a side effect for me when getting on, dropping doses and coming off citalopram) .

Someone asked about excercise – this really helps me. Every morning i go for a jog or cycle to work.. it helps with the surge of energy / rage i get in the morning and i feel so much calmer when i get home/to work. I have also avoided caffine and sugar and eat alot of rice.. i seem to have become slightly fixated on rice which i put down to a side effect! Anyway i feel my true self emerging…

This hasnt been an easy journey for me and to hear from all of you who have been in the same position is so helpful and reassuring. so thanks . good luck

September 11, 2009 at 3:21 am
(1065) Karen Hughes says:

Hi. I have been going cold turnkey from citalopram for a week now and feel no better. I had a very adverse reaction when the doctor put me on these tablets a month ago – really really bad side effects when i was on them and the withdrawl is even worse. How long will thse withdrawal symptons take to leave me completely.I feel like death, have to work and function and look after my family and feel I am going out of my mind. Doctor prescribed me zoplicone sleeping tablets to help me sleep at night – am averaging a couple of hours a night – I have aged twenty years in a month – its horrendous. Can anyone please please help me and let me know that I am not alone and that my brain will get back to normal soon. I have having 12 sessions of therapy to cope with the depression I am suffering with and to cap it all am going thru severe menopause. I just dont know what to do with myself – just sometimes feel like ending it all. Its that bad. Please help me. my home email is karen@khughes.co.uk. Please :(

September 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm
(1066) gina says:

poor you.. i really sympathise. For me the side effects starting citalopram seemed to make my depression worse and it took about two to three weeks before i felt that they were working and I began to benefit from them . i have read on similar sites that this is familiar situation to lots of people startig on them. once i was established onthem I felt so much better and less anxious. Coming off them was hard too but i am feeling a bit more my happy myself now i am in my third week. In one month you have done both so it must be very disorientating for you. Id talk to your doctor for some guidance and support. good luck.

September 13, 2009 at 10:49 pm
(1067) joann says:

I was only taking 20mg of the medication, and even tried to taper it off by taking it every other day for two weeks, but when i stopped i experienced dizziness within several days, which lasted over a week. after about a week off the medication came the negative emotional side effects. extreme feelings of irritability, hostility, and suicidal thoughts. quite an ordeal… be ready if you want to go off it. It took about three weeks from the onset of emotional symptoms before i started to feel normal

September 16, 2009 at 6:37 am
(1068) michelle says:

so pleased to know we are all feeling the same thing, but even more pleased that we are off the stuff!!!!!

September 16, 2009 at 11:00 am
(1069) hannah says:

hi. i stumbled on this site when i started to feel horrible withdrawal symptoms from citalapram, and i was desprate to know how long these feelings would last. i have now been off citalapram for 4 weeks and im glad to say that all side effects have now gone.i was on 20 mg for a year.i then had my dose lowered to 10mg for 3 weeks then was left to go cold turkey. i had side effects of lightning running through my head which would make me feel sick and dizzy.. i felt more depressed then i ever have and was so so tempted to go back on the tablets just to stop the strange symptoms.i felt like water was flowing free around my skull and sometimes i thought i could hear the water in my ears.i felt pins and needles slowly bubbling around my body. now they have all gone. i have energy again. i honestly thought these symptoms would never go away but they have.i just hope this helps someone in the same position as me.during withdrawal i was so snappy at my partner that i felt i should go back on the tablets to save him from having to put up with me but im so glad that i hung on and although it feels like forever the side effects do go away.

September 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm
(1070) jw says:

Thank goodness I found this post!! I completely stopped taking my citalopram about a month ago. I was only on 10 mg, but took it for over a year. I broke the pills in half and took 1/2 the dosage for the last 2 weeks before stopping completely. In the last week my withdrawal symptoms have been unbearable. I’ve been dizzy, disoriented, sleeping most of the day, awake most of the night, having extremely strange dreams, and my tinnitus(something I’ve had for years) is SO LOUD I can’t stand it. I’ve also experienced extreme pain in the ear and bad headaches and nausea. Not sure if the ear pain is from something else or the withdrawal. Has anyone else had ear pain? I’ve been afraid to drive and have missed work for the last 2 days. I went to my regular GP last week about the dizzyness, fatigue, and ear pain. I told him I had quit taking the cit. but he nor I made the connection. I have an appt with an ear, nose, and throat specialist in 2 days.

I’m so glad I found this post…now at least I know what it is. Thanks :)

September 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm
(1071) hannah says:

hi jw. i also had the ear problems you talk about. I had pain running from ear to ear that no doctor could explain and i believe it was a withdrawal from cit.i also could hear high pitch buzzing constantly that drove me crazy,i became so clumsy i would walk into door frames instead of through doors..i felt like i was walking on a bouncy castle.i could not settle at night and so i slept most of the day too…i felt so tired constantly like i had ran a marathon so i would stay all day in my p.j s indoors where i felt safe,i became so depressed over the withdrawal that i believe i felt worse then i did before i started taking citalapram.i was told that the dose i was on was mild and i should not really have bad side effects but that was wrong.the last few weeks withdrawal have been the worst few weeks of my life,but i can honestly say all side effects have now gone. i no longer have the aching head.. ear pain.. wooshing sounds like water in my ears and head and for me it took 4 weeks.i dont no how you cope with working whilst having these symptoms but hats off to you,i took 3 weeks off work and stayed indoors because i just could not cope with the dizzy spells,i felt like i had a 4 week hangover ,but then one morning on the 4th week i woke up with enough energy to get dressed and clean…then my head started to feel better and before i knew it all symptoms had gone.

September 18, 2009 at 11:02 am
(1072) tracie dehart says:

I have taken cit for only 2 weeks(last month) and immediately stopped because i was not comfortable taking med’s. i quit cold turkey–and for the last few weeks i have experienced chills in my head. i could not understand what was happening to me. i don’t know how this will last but i cant wait until this weird feeling is gone. it’s side effects like this, that discourage me from taking all this man made medicine. good luck to you all.

September 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm
(1073) Brad says:

I wish I had never gotten on citalopram, it has some of the worst withdrawl effects of any medication. This is my second time trying to get off this nasty medication. I weened off for awhile, but now am trying to stop completely and i feel exactly as everybody else has described. I hope this does not last for more than a few days, because i feel liek total crap. And i understand why people commit suicide when going through this shit, its a nightmare. NEVER EVER EVER EVER GET ON CITALOPRAM IT IS THE WORST ANTI DEPRESSENT THERE IS.

September 20, 2009 at 4:14 am
(1074) fccoft says:

I was on 60mg for about a 6 mos, and before that 40mg for about a year and a half. I went down to 40mg a month ago and randomly would have the weird elevator head feeling/also described as brain is moving 10 sec behind your head/eye movement. I saw my doc last week and we agreed it might be the citalopram or my strattera. I felt more strongly about the citalopram. He told me I could stop cold turkey and that some people do have withdrawl feelings and others don’t. So I took 20mg the last two days and today am going to try taking nothing. Hopefully my effects aren’t as bad I fear. B/c I work 12 hour shifts about 3 days a week, usually back to back, and cannot miss any work as I just recently got hired. I read that omega 3 can help with the feelings so I have started taking that. As well as keeping Dramamine on me so when the feelings get horrible I can take them and hopefully they will help. Good luck to everyone.

September 21, 2009 at 10:06 am
(1075) Karen Hughes says:

Hi its me again.
Well I have been going cold turkey now for over two and a half weeks and still feel like total shite. Out of body experiences, head swirling, dizziness, migraine – feel like I am drunk and going to collapse – head all over the place and having to function at work with no sleep at night. I feel like going into my GP and giving it large to him and asking him why the hell he bloody well prescribed shite citalopram to me in the first place. SSRIs are BAD news. My counsellor says cold turkey probably wasnt the best way forward but I just want to be clean and go back to being human and me again. How much longer will this take to get out