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Withdrawal from Celexa
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Withdrawal from Celexa

I started taking Celexa (20mg) in October of 2000 for situational depression.  I tried to stop taking it before but could not because of the withdrawal symptons.  In December 2001 I started slowly going off of it.  I am down to taking 10mg every 5 days.  Once the 5th day comes I experience dizziness, I'm tired, vision is a little blurred and it feels wierd when I blink (like a head rush).  Right now I am pregnant and the withdrawal effects along with the pregnancy effects are just too much for me to handle.  My obgyn said it's okay for me to continue taking Celexa.  So I've continued to take 10mg every 5 days.  Once I stop all together how long do you think the side effects will last?

Many thanks.
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My guess is that if you could go beyond the 5th day, the side effects would stop in two to three days after that. Its probably better to try that sooner if you don't need the medicaiton any longer.
27 Comments
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I stopped taking paxil and then a few months later effexor, cold turkey, felt like death for about 3 to 4 weeks little by little you start to feel better.... just my experience.
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Please educate yourself on the effects of SSRI withdrawal at:

http://www.drugawareness.org

DiscloseTheTruth
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I have been antidepressants over the past 2 years. I was started on Celexa in October of 2001. It took me 5 weeks to wean from large does ultimately to nothing. The process seemed quite innocent until about 3 days into non-medication. I have kept a journal documenting my experiences 'coming off' Celexa...
I Have experienced severe electric shocks, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite and extreme headaches. The physical withdrawls are giving me great frustration, a sense of hopelessness, and a general crazed feeling.I attribute this solely to the physical withdrawls. Despite the physical side effects I feel OK emotionally. I will not let these withdrawls trap me in a lifetime of medication.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your answer.  I will try to make my 5th day a Thursday that way the weekend will be the worse!

Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
All the best to both of you.  Moshka, hope everything goes well, you might need to wean off more slowly, but also understand the predicament you're in because of pregnancy.  Am in a hurry here, but there are SSRI support sites posted here (I've put some in one to John John further UP the board I think) in case you need them.

Sally, I'm glad you already recognise that its WITHDRAWAL effects, not YOU, that is giving you the zaps and other physio/neurological symptoms.  But be prepared, in case, for emotional episodes too.  Hopefully you won't get them, but if you do try to hold on to the fact that it is not YOU, its the drugs.  Maybe you can also find the message to John John with support sites on it.

OR could go to search engine and type in:
Celexa SSRI zaps (and Moshka could add 'pregnancy' too) and you may find a support board specifically to do with Celexa as there are for Paxil and Prozac.

Hope neither of you get it too badly.
All the best.
Paula
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I have a 20 yr old daughter that seems to have a low level of chronic depression.  While living in an apartment with one other person her second year of school it escalated to a major depression.  She was on 20 mg of celexa..and I saw an increase in her connectedness and energy level...Apparantly she also has some obsessive compulsive behaviors (not apparant to me--but interfere with her ability to read and not match or sort letters)  At any rate, the doasge was increased to 40 mg a day...Now she seems rebellious and angry and wants to move out--although she does not have the money to do so (she is home only for the summer with plans that we are helping her with to live with a group of friends when she returns in the fall) I  am wondering if it is possible that that level of celexa could give her inappropriate feelings of confidence or make her rebellious?  She acts towards us as if we are keeping her from moving --but if she had teh money or it seemed like she had the potential to earn it I woudl be okay with the move...She is out late very night with firends and thinks next week she will get more work hours but.....
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, Celexa can do this - and it can cause lack of concentration etc in the first instance.  And the side effects are then read as deeper depression, etc....  and the medication is then increased or changed to another SSRI.

Please look into the messages where the links and support sites are given (on this board) and get more information.  Too many people have started on this road and are now stuck in the system due to side effects and withdrawals being misunderstood by the professionals.

Thoughts are with you.
Paula
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I am noe up to 60 mg's of celexa and am more deppressed than ever(even though I am quite giddy). It makes no sense at all! It does seem to have increased my mood somehow, and at the same time, I feel just as hopeless as ever. Maybe even a little more because at age 43, and new to the world of mental health, I had somehow thought it would help me! And yes the withdrawells are hellish! They make me feel comepletely insane after 2-3 days.Call me crazy, but I swear I had better results while using street drugs to self medicate! At least I got things done then!
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Avatar_n_tn
No I am not promoting the use of street drugs!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi - as far as I can remember, Eli Lilley concocted Prozac from LSD 'technology' and all the SSRIs are clones of Prozac.  In which case street drugs aren't so far away from SSRIs :}  

Can't remember which info site I first got that from, but vaguely remember something about Eli Lilley having had a patent to LSD or something years ago?   If I remember I'll try looking for it another time and post it here for you if I can find it. Might be on my own Information Site somewhere (but there's an awful lot of links and stuff to trawl through to find it) so I'll put that here too:

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/182310

Paula  
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been on Celexa for almost 2 years and I relate to everything your all saying.  I decided that I wanted to get off because I didn't want to be taking a daily drug anymore.  Its been hell ever since.  I went from 40 mgs to 30 to 20 to 10 and now i'm starting to not take any.  I have tingling in my feet and all the way to my head.  If I turn my head I have a headrush and its very scary.  I really think the Celexa added to my depression because I had no sex drive whats so ever and I gained weight which made me feel even worse about myself.
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Avatar_n_tn
WEAN OFF FAR MORE SLOWLY.  Tapering off, shaving off a little extra from the tablet for a while.  Try then saving off a little more and see if you have the symptoms come back.  Brings a new meaning to the Art of a Good Shave LOL...  It's VERY important to wean almost painfully slowly. Not by cutting down in jumps.
Hope that helps?  Check out a support site where people explain the weaning thing in more detail.  Cos I went cold turkey (from Paxil) and am still suffering 5 months later.
Peas
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I am now beginning my taper from celexa.The loss of motivation has become too much. I truly am worse off than when I started! The main problem is,through all of the research that I've done,The alternative's dont seem to offer anything better. Is marijuana the better medicine? Why aren't there any studies being done on the medicinal (mental health) benefit's of this drug? Aren't different properties of chemical make up's singled out through genetic or chemical structuring? Perhaps those quality's that seemed to help me could be identified and isolated for more effective, natural alternative's.   I will be tapering from 60 mg's. I'll keep everyone informed on my progress.
                good luck to those who try!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thats funny.  My doctor had me on Klonopin and Celexa.  I dont think he realized I was on Klonopin.  I have a upcoming surgery and he told me to discontinue all meds.  I didnt even realize I was having withdrawals until I asked a LCSW at work.  
I havent taken anything in a week.  I still fell dizzy but otherwise I am over it.
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Hi I have been on klonopin for 11 yrs and clexa for yrs  I want to come off all but afraid of the terr withdraw i get .. please committ thanks
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I feel your pain!!!! Celexa has ruined my life and the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms are hell.  I started taking celexa about a year sgo for anxiety at work....i din't really need it but my doctor convinced me it would ease my tension.  I was on 20 mg for a year...but then changed jobs and really had no reason to stress...also i had no sex drive and missed having drinks with people after work so decided to go off of it.  It was such hell....dizziness, disconnected feeling, anxiety, depression, vomiting (one day only) that i couln't take it and went back on it....it was really after the third week off of it that it got unmanagable....now i have been back on it for three weeks and am hoping i will slowly balance out.  Now, i am depressed because i mistakely got adicted to an antidepressent and am having obsessive thoughts that i will never feel normal again....which makes me feel worse.  Basically, celexa has done more harm than good and i wish i could go back in time and never have started. I just don't know how to handle the anxiety nd weird "not totally in my body" feeling when i am off of it....and also...my right eye vision was a little blurred....it sucked:(
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Wow wished I would of never started celexa ,, This was the secound Day and I felt that out of body thing like here but not here It was heak.. I have three Kids and cant do it... I wish I wouls of never started this Im on klonopin to any sugestions.. To quit........???????? My first brother died of cancer then my other brother died when my daughter was 2 weeks old so I went on this mess.. BOy what a mistake.. The withdraw is to much to handle.. Thanks
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I have been on 50 mg zoloft for 2 1/2 years..i have been wanting to get off for over 2 years..Doctor tells me the longer i take it the better off i will be ???  In a few months dr. is going to wean me off.  Now, i am terrified with all the news of withdrawal symptoms.  I never wanted to be on the drug for this long, and dont want to be taking a daily drug for mental health.
Mentally, I know I will be fine...but its the physical symptoms that worries me. I already have *optimal* blood pressure 110/70, am i at risk for even lower blood pressure and dizziness?  I also have *twitches* at rest, i guess u could call them elctrical shocks.  My husband says I scare him, because I jump alot while sleeping.  I now am at the point where I feel them, too.  When relaxing to fall asleep, my body jumps and flinches and it kind of wakes me up again.  If I sit still my nervousness just takes over, ie..bouncing my legs, and have to be doing at least 2 things at once!  My sex drive was nil for 2 years, its slowly improving on med..but will it get better when i discontinue med.?  Just need some input to ease my worries.Thanks,J
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I've been off 40 mg for one week now and I could cry.  But....the nausea is getting better.  It only comes at intervals.  The total head rush thing is bad.  It's like I'm in a movie and when I turn my head it takes my eyes seconds to catch up.  I keep telling myself to just enjoy the feeling.  The dreams!  Anyone else having dreams that are intense.  I feel like I'm not getting a good night sleep because the dreams are crazy.
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I'm so very sorry to hear all this.  I wasn't going to come back to this board, but now and again I pop in and see so many questions its hard not to at least try to help.

Celexa is an SSRI, all SSRIs are clones of Prozac.  ALL SSRIs will do the damage any other SSRI does, but its Paxil/Paroxetine/Seroxat (name differs in different countries) that has the fastest start to its withdrawal symptoms cos of its halflife.   And so Paxil has the worst reputation for withdrawal, more sudden = more of it at the same time = feel even worse sort of :)  BUT ALL SSRIs  give these side effects and withdrawal symptoms sometime during the course of things.  So any support board dealing with any SSRI will help you with information on whichever SSRI you are on.

Further up on this thread I think I mention about LSD and its connection to the original SSRI, Prozac.  Here is part of an article that will explain and you'll see the full article at this url:

http://www.painstresscenter.com/mall/Prozac.html

Extract:

"....Time and time again, a new drug is promoted as being safe and effective. Users claim great things. Before long, terrible side effects and addiction or worse result. Finally, after a long list of casualties, it becomes a controlled substance and an illegal street drug.

Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, also produced Heroin, Methadone, and LSD.  Heroin was supposed to be the safe alternative to Morphine. Later, Methadone was prescribed to get people off of Heroin, but it was just as addictive. LSD, initially produced for use by the CIA in mind control experiments, was promoted as being safe for psychiatric use.  Eli Lilly also introduced Darvon in 1957 and promoted it as non-addictive.

Twenty years and many deaths later, warnings were finally required. In the late 1950's, Parke, Davis & Company introduced PCP (angel dust) as a painkiller. "Medical studies" had shown that PCP had a large margin of safety. Valium was supposed to be safe, then found to be very addictive. Xanax was introduced as a safer drug to replace Valium, but it turned out to be even more addictive.  The same story goes for cocaine and amphetamines - once promoted as safe and effective, now controlled substances."

That was a small part of that particular article.  So from the above you will see that pharma industries create poisons for use by agencies such as the CIA when it wanted to do mind control experiments. Why are they called pharmaceutical industries?  I wonder whey they simply don't call them the chemical or poison industry - a more realistic name that wouldn't make us feel we could trust them.  All the best to all of you here. Here's my information site again if you need more info on SSRIs, akathisia (the symptom some of you might find worse than the zaps etc and which can lead you to taking overdoses etc  to stop the feeling because this part affects the mind and the motor senses).

http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/182310

Its now 6 months since I took my last Paxil.  Yesterday I was discharged from a 2 day stay in hospital because of severe akathisia that led me to trying (not the first time) to get rid of it.  Not a suicide attempt, just trying to stop the wired-up feeling and not able in that akathisia episode to think clearly.

I hope you people are not going to be some of the many people who do get long term serious effects.  But if you are, you are not by any means alone - and that knowledge will help you a LOT of the time.

Love to you all.
Paula


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Avatar_n_tn
I just started taking Celexa for depression and the first night i took it I woke up with extreme nausea and was up all night with my head in the toilet.  Every morning I wake up with nausea and its hard for me to get to work, i have called in many days now.  I get dizzy all the time.  I have only been on it for about 4 days and havent noticed any change in my moods and the side affects are awful.  How long does this usually take to start working and when will I stop getting sick every morning? I took a whole pill the first night and now I am taking a half pill every other day. Any advice????
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You look like you're going to have a hard time on it.  Please read info site a couple of messages up as a start.  Don't mess with them every other day, wean off them very slowly and all the best.
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Hi.  I have been on Celexa for about 8 months for mild depression. I felt so in control when I was on it, it felt like a true cure, but everytime I would miss a pill or two, that day would go like hell.  I would have extreme mood swings and fatigue.  Anyway, now I have missed a week and have decided to just stop taking it.  It is soooo hard to be without it.  I am having the worst case of withdrawals, but it is good to know that I am not alone because I know that is isn't me, it is the medication or lack of actually, that makes me feel so tired, dizzy, extremely frustrated, and so much more.  But I don't want to go back, I have to fight it, though it is hard.  I really hope that everyone else going through these withdrawals will hang on for just a little more.  I don't know how long these withdrawals will last, but to go back on Celexa will not solve anything for the long run.  Wish I knew before how bad it would be to be off it!  Take care everyone.
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I just realized that I should talk to the doctor about getting back on Celexa and then slowly cutting down.  It is too harmful if I just quit, which I did and it has made things worse.  Getting back on it and then working for a few weeks at smaller and smaller dosages should help reduce these horrible withdrawals from Celexa.  Take care everyone.
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Hello!
I've been on Celexa for 2 years now. I too want to go off but my doctor is telling me not to. I wanted to see how I would do on my own, free of prescriptions in me.

I have noticed that most days I do not want to get out of bed, but at night I have the hardest time falling asleep.  The Psychologist then prescribed Ambien.  I take that just about every night.  I am so tired of taking prescriptions.  

I've also noticed that about once a week I get a rash either on my leg or my arm.  I've read that is one side effect of Celexa.  It goes away after about 1-2 hours, and after putting cortizone cream on it.

I too forgot to take my pill one day and thought for sure the day would be fine. It actually was a tad hellish.

Something new? Has anyone experienced abdominal pain? Diarehhea? Experienced the feeling like your stomach is on fire and it just feels like someone has just completed major surgery on it?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello!
I've been on Celexa for 2 years now. I too want to go off but my doctor is telling me not to. I wanted to see how I would do on my own, free of prescriptions in me.

I have noticed that most days I do not want to get out of bed, but at night I have the hardest time falling asleep.  The Psychologist then prescribed Ambien.  I take that just about every night.  I am so tired of taking prescriptions.  

I've also noticed that about once a week I get a rash either on my leg or my arm.  I've read that is one side effect of Celexa.  It goes away after about 1-2 hours, and after putting cortizone cream on it.

I too forgot to take my pill one day and thought for sure the day would be fine. It actually was a tad hellish.

Something new? Has anyone experienced abdominal pain? Diarehhea? Experienced the feeling like your stomach is on fire and it just feels like someone has just completed major surgery on it?
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