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Celexa (Citalopram) Withdrawal Symptoms: How Long Will They Last?

Celexa (Citalopram) is a drug used to help treat symptoms of major depression. It is considered an SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which means it influences the serotonin in the brain to help ward off depressive symptoms. It is also used as an off-label treatment for anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). For many individuals, this drug is effective and serves the intended purpose of treating depression.

The problem with Celexa is that many people find that it leads to unbearable side effects including: weight gain and sexual dysfunction. Not only can this drug provoke unwanted side effects, in some cases it just doesn’t work as well as expected. There have also been disputes as to whether the R-stereoisomer of the drug has any effect. Some have argued that it is better to take Lexapro, which is essentially Celexa without the R-stereoisomer.

In any regard, most people that take Celexa will end up wanting to withdraw from it eventually. Most people do not want to be on antidepressants for life in order to cope with depression. There are simply too many side effects and most people notice that the antidepressant effects tend to wear off over time. In any event, if you withdraw from this medication, it is pretty much guaranteed that you are going to experience withdrawal symptoms.

Factors that influence Celexa withdrawal include…

There are various factors that play a role in influencing withdrawal from any psychiatric medication. These factors include things like: time span, dosage, your physiology, and whether you decided to quit cold turkey or conducted a gradual taper.

1. Time Span

How long were you taking Celexa? In general, the longer you take an antidepressant, the more difficult it will be to withdraw from. Your brain becomes accustomed to getting the extra serotonin activity as a result of the SSRI that you are taking. When you stop the drug, your brain isn’t get the extra serotonin that it was getting and may have a tough time readjusting to functioning without Celexa.

2. Dosage (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg)

Most of the time people are on a 20 mg dose of Celexa, but it can be administered at doses up to 40 mg per day. Some people may be on smaller doses than 20 mg, but in general, 20 mg is considered the standard dose. In most cases, the greater the amount of the drug that you have taken, the tougher it is to withdraw from.

3. Individual Physiology

In many cases, withdrawal symptoms are largely due to individual reactions to the drug. One person may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms that last months, while another person may feel back to 100% after a couple weeks of discontinuation. Many individual factors including: withdrawal sensitivity, environment, social support, and physiology can have an influence. If you experience a more extreme withdrawal than most, it could be largely due to individual differences.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

How did you quit taking Celexa? Did you stop abruptly without conducting a gradual taper? Or did you conduct a gradual taper over the course of a couple months? In most cases, the more slowly and cautiously you taper off of this medication, the easier it is to readjust to functioning without the drug.

If you quit cold turkey, it leaves most people in a state of mental disarray and chaos and the symptoms may be more severe. If you were on a high dose of Celexa (i.e. 40 mg), the weaning process should take longer than someone on 10 mg.

Celexa Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below are a list of common symptoms that you may experience upon withdrawal from Celexa. Understand that you may experience a few of the symptoms, none of the symptoms, or most of the symptoms – it all depends on your individual circumstances. This list was created to help people so that they know what may occur during withdrawal.

  • Anxiety: The anxiety that you experience during withdrawal may be pretty severe. It may be so severe that you feel nervous everywhere you go and/or have panic attacks. This is a result of your brain being left without reuptake inhibition of serotonin.
  • Brain zaps: Most SSRIs can lead to a person experiencing “brain zaps” or electrical shock sensations upon withdrawal. These can be very uncomfortable and actually feel like your head is plugged into an electrical socket. Just know that these will subside the longer you are off the drug.
  • Concentration problems: Many people report that they are unable to focus during withdrawal. It may be difficult to complete work-related tasks or school work during withdrawal. In many cases the concentration problems are due to the fact that physical symptoms distract our mental focus. Additionally a person may feel mentally slow and/or foggy when they stop the medication – this is likely due to changes in levels of neurotransmitters.
  • Confusion: Your cognitive functioning can become impaired when you quit taking Celexa to the point of experiencing general confusion. This confusion may be a result of memory retrieval problems, but could also just be confused thinking.
  • Crying spells: Some people report increased depression to the point of crying spells. Low serotonin can cause people to cry excessively. You may cry more than you have in your entire life during a withdrawal. Know that these spells will lessen in severity and eventually stop.
  • Depression: Most people feel significantly worse when they stop taking Celexa in regards to depression. Many people feel as if their depression is actually worse than before they took this medication. This is a result of their brain no longer inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin to the degree that occurred on the medication. It will take an extended period of time to fully recover from the withdrawal depression.
  • Diarrhea: Some people experience an upset stomach to the point of diarrhea during their withdrawal.  This is not as common of a symptom as others, but can be difficult to deal with if you are dealing with this.  An easy solution for coping with this is to get some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: Feeling dizzy is one of the most common symptoms to experience during SSRI withdrawal. If you suddenly stop taking Celexa cold turkey, the dizziness is thought to be longer lasting and more profound than during a gradual taper. Either way, you are likely going to experience some degree of dizziness when you quit.  The longer you are off the drug, the more this symptom will improve.
  • Fatigue: You may feel excessively fatigued for awhile after you quit Celexa. It may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning or even make it through a work day. The tiredness and lethargy may be pretty severe. Just recognize that this will gradually improve and your energy levels will start to return over time.
  • Headaches: This is another classic symptom of SSRI withdrawal. Some people feel minor headaches for awhile, yet for others the headaches are pounding and feel more like migraines. Having a headache with dizziness is certainly uncomfortable – but both of these will gradually improve.
  • Insomnia: Since some people take Celexa for treating insomnia, it is no wonder that they may actually experience insomnia when they stop taking it. Additionally even if you have never had insomnia before taking this drug, you may experience it during withdrawal.
  • Irritability: Most people report a high amount of irritability in the first few weeks when they discontinue this drug. This is because the brain no longer is receiving the calming effect of the drug and it can be difficult to regulate emotions.
  • Memory problems: It is common to experience memory problems to the point that you think you have lost your memory. Although you haven’t likely lost any memory, your thinking may be impaired so that your memory retrieval is impaired. As you recover during withdrawal, this will eventually heal itself.
  • Mood swings: It’s very common to have bad mood swings when you stop taking Celexa. One minute you may feel pretty good, the next you may feel more depressed than ever. Just understand that these mood swings are all part of withdrawal. They may persist for a long time, but will eventually subside.
  • Nausea: Some people experience nausea when they first quit this drug. You may feel nauseated all day and in some cases, want to vomit. Most people do not have nausea extreme enough to lead to vomiting, but it can be a tough withdrawal symptom to deal with.
  • Sleep changes: It is very likely that your sleep cycle will be affected when you withdraw from this drug. You may notice that you have crazy dreams and/or that you aren’t able to get a good night’s sleep. You may sleep during the day and be unable to fall asleep at night. Just know that things will return to normal if given enough time.
  • Suicidal thoughts: It is very common to experience suicidal thoughts when discontinuing an antidepressant. Any SSRI that is withdrawn from is likely to lead a person to feeling suicidal. Many doctors view this as a worsening in depression, when in reality it is a result of antidepressants causing suicidality upon withdrawal.
  • Weight changes: Most people gain weight when they take Celexa – this is a result of serotonin changes. When a person stops taking this drug, they will likely drop the weight that they gained while taking the drug.  For more information read about antidepressants and weight gain.

Celexa Withdrawal Timeline: How long does it last?

Most doctors will tell you that the withdrawal symptoms should subside within a few weeks of withdrawal. If your symptoms subside within a few weeks, consider yourself lucky and in the minority. Most people experience withdrawal effects over a month after they have quit their medication. I recommend giving yourself at least 90 days before evaluating the withdrawal symptoms.

I have gone through my fair share of antidepressant withdrawals – including that from Celexa and have found that three months time is good for re-evaluation. The problem for most people is that the symptoms are so severe in the first few weeks of withdrawal that they feel as if their life will never be the same. During withdrawal it is important to do your best not to get caught up in the symptoms – rather focus on what you can do to recover as fast as possible.

Things that will help you recover quicker include: eating healthy, forcing yourself to get some light exercise, and getting a proper night’s sleep. If you are struggling to come to terms with symptoms and/or cope, be sure to talk to a therapist or professional about what you are experiencing. It can also be very helpful to talk to others on forums that are also going through Celexa withdrawal – many people that have experienced it are better to talk to because they actually “get it.”

Feel free to share your experience with the withdrawal process in the comments section below. This may give someone else some reassurance that they are not alone in dealing with difficult symptoms. I personally have withdrawn from this medication and know that it’s not easy, but I also know that as enough time passes, you will eventually experience a full recovery.

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{ 1013 comments… add one }
  • Karen March 22, 2018, 12:48 am

    I was on 20mg citalopram for 14 months. They did help to elevate my mood and calm the menopausal mood swings. I especially liked the “don’t give a f***” phase because nothing stressed me any more. Unfortunately this led to me being emotionally flat and I felt that was not a good place to be.

    I weaned myself off them literally by nibbling a tiny crumb off for a week, then a bit more each week until I was down to less than half a tablet per day. Even with such careful weaning I had terrible withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps, that feeling of leaving your eyes behind, dizziness, nausea, even a hospital visit for the kind of abdominal pain I never ever want to experience again.

    It had me rolling about the floor, but luckily just wore off after a couple of hours in the emergency room. I kept my diet healthy and took plenty exercise and after a few weeks I was down to just the odd brain zap. I never want to experience any of this again.

    Would just like to add that I now have memory issues. There are huge blank areas in my memories now that I just can’t recall anything about. On a daily basis I can remember things that are important but I readily forget things less so. I did gain weight while on the drug but have managed to lose that and more at a slimming club so it can be done.

  • June March 21, 2018, 5:57 pm

    So happy to have found this site. I have been on Citalopram 40mg for 4 years and it has really helped me through some trying times. When I started taking it, it was the first time I think I have ever felt ‘normal’ – I actually think I didn’t cry for about a 2 year period, when I had been weepy previously.

    The lesson I have learned is that I shouldn’t take for granted what the drug does for me. I sent in a refill and have been so busy that I didn’t get it picked up. The upshot is that I have been cold turkey for about a week and it has not been fun. Lethargy, crying jags, low esteem and a feeling of being alienated have been awful, along with nausea, severe headache and gastrointestinal issues.

    I just phoned in my refill after speaking with a friend of mine (a retired RN who also takes it) who pointed out that I was having withdrawal symptoms. I honestly had no idea. I think I will work on weaning myself down over a long period of time and see where it takes me.

    I’m so glad to know that others are on the same journey. Best wishes to everyone.

    • Michele March 22, 2018, 9:21 pm

      June, I’ve been off my citalopram for a week and have felt exactly the same as you, it’s been miserable! I keep hoping that in a few weeks it won’t feel so difficult being off of the SSRI, I’m tired of crying already!

  • Allison March 20, 2018, 3:38 am

    I have been on 20mg of Celexa for 11 years. I have had a heck of a time losing weight and went to a naturopath to discuss my health. She looked and my food diary and said there is no way I shouldn’t be losing weight. She tested my thyroid and it all came back normal. She said the last option was to come off my Celexa.

    I started doing 3 days on, 1 day off for 4 weeks then 2 days on, 1 day off for 4 weeks. Then every other day for 4 weeks. I finally made it to 10 mg every day. I did 2 on, 1 off for 2 weeks and now I am on 10mg every other day. This is the first time I’ve felt significant withdrawal symptoms.

    They include, irritability, confusion, dizziness, and mood swings. I know I should’ve kept on with 2 on 1 off for a few more weeks but I felt so good. I’m going to push through and see how it goes. A last option is getting the drug in liquid form and coming down by 1mg increments. Good luck everyone!

  • Tsure March 13, 2018, 7:17 pm

    I posted about a year ago when I went off of the 10 mg prescription I had been on for about 8 years, and wanted to give an update. For the first about 4-6 months I experienced: crying spells, anger, dizziness, brain fog, all the typical symptoms. I thought it would never end, and then slowly the bursts of emotion slowed down.

    However, a year out, I still feel as though I don’t have the mental focus that I once did – I search for words and feel foggy mentally which is super frustrating as I typically have a great memory. Concentration levels can be lacking. The extra lbs I gained (about 7 lbs) haven’t come off, and I exercise 6-7 days a week and am an avid runner, and always have been.

    The depression and anxiety I am prone to is back in full force, though never truly went away on the meds. I find myself overly emotional on a regular basis and less able to deal with standard annoyances. After all this work to get off, I don’t want to go back on another med because I believe it may need to be a lifelong process.

    I do feel as though maybe some of us just need the extra serotonin boost. Perhaps some of us don’t have situational depression that goes away after a stint on meds, and are more prone to anxiety, as I have been for most of my 30ish years. Anyone else been off for this long who can share their experience?

  • Ron March 13, 2018, 6:25 pm

    Hi everyone, I’ve been on citalopram on and off for about 7 years. I decided to wean myself off these tablets, I was going to the gym and feeling really good! I was on 40mg then went down to 20mg for 3months. Then thought I’d half my tablets which took me down to 10mg.

    I told my nurse and she said she would like me to stay on 10mg for a while. So I continued for a few weeks then stopped in September. I had no side effects at all. Until January when I started to feel very low then started to suffer with severe anxiety worse than I have ever experienced before.

    I couldn’t sleep, eat and felt I couldn’t cope. The symptoms have eased but I’m still suffering quite bad, I don’t want to go back on this drug. But I don’t know what to do. Do I persevere? Will it get easier?

  • Andy March 13, 2018, 2:31 pm

    I am 47 years old and I have been taking 20mg Citalopram for about 15 years. Although I am keen to stop taking this medication, I cannot deny how much it helped me over the years. I really felt the benefit immediately and have been lucky with hardly any troublesome side effects.

    I recently made a big change in my diet (90% vegetarian, very low dairy, very low sugar etc.) and have lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of energy and mental focus. Due to my doctor stopping my prescription, so I would go and see her, I found myself without it for a couple of days.

    I decided to use this as a spring board to begin a tapering procedure to stop taking it or at least dramatically reduce my intake of this medicine. I went 2 days without then almost fell over I was so dizzy, so I took 10mg. It took another 2 days before the dizziness returned so I took another 10mgs this morning.

    I think I will continue on this basis and hope that I can stretch out the time between dizzy spells. I am prepared for this to take up to a year to complete. The other side effects I am experiencing are: brain fog and a little insomnia. Although I have had a cold, allergies and the clocks went forward all in the same weekend, so not knowing what day it is might be normal!

    I work in a very fast paced and mentally challenging environment and so any issues with concentration are a real problem I hope I can keep on top of it all. Good Luck everyone.

    • Lorraine March 13, 2018, 6:12 pm

      Hi Andy, good luck. Was really interested how you feel your dietary changes have helped. I tried to come off bout 18 months ago and anxiety went through the roof, so reluctantly went back on. Now on 10mg daily and hope to taper off at some point very slowly. All the best of luck.

      • Andy March 14, 2018, 7:28 pm

        I made changes to my diet almost a year ago now in an effort to fight increasing lethargy and brain fog. I hope that the lift in my underlying well-being that I have experienced since making these changes will help with the side effects caused by reducing my citalopram dosage.

        Apparently my mind likes me to be hungry! Its still too early to say how much my new diet is helping withdrawal though. After reducing too much over the last week I have decided to stick to 10mg per day for at least a month or two from now.

  • Rachel March 11, 2018, 5:44 am

    I was on 5mg for a week. Nothing, right? I’m just relaying my experience to validate everyone’s real struggle – my dose was so low and so short, I should have had no problem, but it’s been hard!!! It’s a week after coming off and I’m nauseated, have had terrible nightmares and a big fat, unrelenting headache. All very not normal for me.

    While I was on it, the muscles controlling my eyes did not want to focus. Even while driving. It felt unsafe. Also, even though I am an athlete and work out multiple hours a day, Citalopram made me eat less and gain several pounds. Other than eating less, I was exercising the exact same as usual. My metabolism slowed down for sure. The drug felt like a toxic overload.

    I’m now alternating taking L-tyrosine and SAMe instead. So much better! My metabolism is righting itself. I am hoping by next week the other side effects will be done. I would tell everyone to stay far away from these drugs. They do more harm than good. Amino acids are better for sure.

  • Rachael March 10, 2018, 8:13 am

    I’m on day 7 of cold turkey off 20mg Citalopram, apart from vidid dreams I’ve so far been lucky and not suffered any other withdrawal symptoms. I was on this dose for 3 months, before the increase I was on 10mg for about 11 months. I wanted my life back, since the increase I’d been suffering with quite intense alcohol cravings.

    This side effect is not mentioned on the paperwork that comes with the tablets here in England but it is in America!!!! Since stopping I’m a completely different person, no cravings for alcohol so go figure!!!

  • Chris March 8, 2018, 3:25 am

    Been on Citalopram since 2005, tried to get off it once and had a horrible time but this time I’ve cut it out by using a very long withdrawal process over 3+ months. However, still going through the side effects even though I’ve now been off it about a month. Dizziness is the worst, but also nausea, irritability and lethargy.

    Even considered going back on it for life just to start feeling physically less sick but I’m hanging in there for at least 3 months to see if the symptoms go away. It might be that my baseline state actually needs the extra serotonin but I will make that decision based on what sort of a person I am after the side effects stop.

    Having gone through this, I think the following points are critical:

    1. Tapering off is the only way.
    2. The longer you take and the smaller the dosage reductions the better.
    3. It will hurt – don’t believe the doctors, you are not going to enjoy the experience.
    4. It will get better.
    5. the final stage is the worst, going to a zero dose is the hardest bit.
    6. It does get better.
    7. There is a final hump to get over and once you have hit that the end result is worth it.


  • John March 8, 2018, 2:46 am

    I left a comment last year when I started my journey to quit taking Citalopram, but it isn’t here. Anyway, here is a quick rundown of my journey. I was on 20 mg for about 3.5 years after a nasty divorce. I decided in Feb last year that I was going to come off of it because some of the side effects were undesirable.

    My plan was to cut my dose in half for 2 weeks and then in half again for another 2 weeks and then every other day for 2 weeks. After 4 weeks, I just stopped taking it. I was really worried about this because of some of the stories I read here but in the end I was lucky. I had some brain zaps initially but by the 3rd week, they were gone.

    I had some tingling in my extremities that lasted for about 2 months. I didn’t have a lot of the depression or migraines I read about. I did take some supplements to help me out but I can’t remember what they were. I did a lot of research before I stopped so I was prepared.

    The best part of coming off the depression meds is that I feel like myself again. I am no longer a zombie just going through life waiting to take my next dose. I am slowly losing the weight I gained while on the meds and try to get to the gym 3 times a week. To those that are dealing with this, I say hang in there. There is life after the meds.

  • Frances March 6, 2018, 2:01 am

    Hi, I’ve been on citalopram for about 3 years now. Started at 20mg and had to increase to 40mg because of stress, anxiety basically I just couldn’t cope. Am in a better place now and about 10 days ago reduced my dose by 10mg. The first couple of days were actually not too bad but today I can’t stop crying, have headaches and cannot sleep unless I take a sleeping tablet.

    It’s 2am and I feel exhausted. It’s not the first time I’ve tried reducing the dosage but each time it’s been the same, the anxiety I feel is dreadful! And my nerves are on edge. I really want this to work and be free of tablets. My stomach feels sick all the time too. It’s been such a relief and help to read other people’s comments just to know I’m not imagining all these side effects!

  • NPGirl March 5, 2018, 11:03 pm

    Bit of a success story for anyone struggling with withdrawal symptoms. I’d been on 20mg for 5 years, cut down to 10 for 6 months and came off completely 4 weeks ago. Admittedly the first 3 weeks were terrible – the brain zaps and anxiety were were almost unbearable (several times I wanted to cave in and have another tablet).

    Normal Panadol/paracetamol really seemed to help as did taking Magnesium tablets. Now, in the 4th the brain zaps have (very almost) stopped and I’m feeling good. Just persist, you’ll get there :)

  • Kelly March 4, 2018, 6:30 am

    I have taken Celexa twice in my life. I am going off it now. I am taking 5mg and will do this every other day for 3 weeks. Both times while taking celexa, I have experienced “rapid weight gain of 30+ pds in a 3 month period. This is why I am discontinuing this med.

    One symptom I have had is a thickness in the area from the pubic bone to the area above my breasts. This is a definite symptom taking this med both times. Also experienced fluid retention. I hope I will never feel the need for a med for depression again. The weight gain created other issues for me.

    More depression, lower self esteem, and hopelessness. I am a retired professional who pays very close attention to my health and wellness. No doubt in my mind that LOTS of unhealthy weigh gain. Good luck to anyone who is told that your appetite improves and this is why you gain weight… false… it’s the drug.

    A pharmacist told me the average weight gain is 50 pds on these drugs. I look forward to losing weight, feeling better about myself… been a long time a coming. CBM

  • Clayton Brannon March 3, 2018, 4:36 am

    I have been taking Citalopram 20 mg for many years. I stopped taking it a week ago and so far I have only had a small headache. I have not felt any other symptoms except for a little anxiety over not taking the medication. I keep waiting for the shoe fall. I hope I can stay off the medication.

    • Jackie Grande March 13, 2018, 1:08 pm

      I have tapered off citalopram within a months time. I originally started it more than 10 years ago because of a medication that causes depression. After doing research on teeth grinding, I discovered that anti-depressants can and do cause Bruxism. SSSI’s are worse than the others.

      My dentist told me my teeth have hairline fractures from grinding and clenching my teeth (day and night) and I should plan on future dental work on at least 5 of my teeth. I am going into week three of Citalopram withdrawals. I feel mentally unbalanced, extremely agitated, and it is 8:00 in the morning and I have not slept a wink last night.

      Nausea comes and goes as well as the extreme fatigue. If I sleep well I usually feel pretty good in the morning but the symptoms return in the afternoon. I am not giving up! But what I find disturbing is how the withdrawal symptoms are not discussed with you when they are prescribed, and the bruxism caused from being on them is real! (Look it up on the internet).

      This drug is ruining my teeth and will be costing me a small fortune to eventually fix. The symptoms of the Bruxism are lessening as I go through my withdrawals, but not gone yet. All I ever heard about were the side effects of going on this drug, not the withdrawal effects. Pardon my French, but this is bulls**t.

  • Jennifer Beech March 1, 2018, 9:19 pm

    I’ve been on Citalopram for over a decade, on and off, and a year ago went up to 30mg. I’ve made some life changes in the past year, and was feeling really settled, so discussed with my doctor about reducing my dose.

    She suggested reducing by 10mg every other day initially then every two days etc. No mention of any possible side effects. Nothing. Two weeks after I began I started with these unrelenting headaches everyday. Furthermore I’m now struggling with lethargy and heart palpitations. This has now been going on 3 weeks.

    I have now decided to go back to my original dose for a month and start again but even slower, 5mg reduction next time. The symptoms have been hellish and not something I’m prepared to put up with for a possible 9 more weeks, minimum. I was in a great place before this started and now feel a little like I’m going backwards ☹.

  • Tiffer February 24, 2018, 11:12 pm

    So glad I found this site!!! I have been on Celexa for 15 yrs. Also the same for Klonopin which I am very slowly tapering off. Can you believe that my doctor told me I could go cold turkey on the Celexa without and trouble?! I sort of didn’t think that sounded right – so went searching and here I am. I know now what I have to do – taper!!!! Thanks for being there. I so do not trust doctors anymore!

  • YoginiJen February 21, 2018, 7:04 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa for 2 years / 20mg. My anxiety was getting worse which suggested that my need for the med had passed. My doctor said quitting cold turkey can be very dangerous so I’ve been tapering with 3 weeks of 3/4 pill, 3 weeks of 1/2 pill, and now the final 3 weeks at 1/4 pill.

    So far everything has been going great and I’m been absolutely amazed at my memory and ability to multi-task, my thinking is clear and I’m really excelling at my demanding job (where I was starting to experience a lot of brain fog).

    I do recommend tapering to get your mind/body time to adjust to the change. It’s not really fair to do that to your brain and expect it to function “normally” – whatever “normal” even is lol.

  • Taylor Trettel February 21, 2018, 1:29 am

    I know it wasn’t a smart idea, but I stopped taking 20mg of citalopram cold turkey after only being on it for a week! I couldn’t deal with the side effects. Even worse, after a couple of weeks of withdrawal, I took one in hopes of trying to get myself back on them. WORST IDEA EVER.

    I’ve been having brain fog/confusion/worsened anxiety/loss of memory over the past couple of weeks since taking one of those damn pills. Any advice on getting it out of my system once and for all?

  • Shane February 20, 2018, 11:57 pm

    I am so glad I have found this page today. I stupidly felt I was the only person in the world going through this now but now I know I am not alone. I have been on citalopram 20mg for 3 years now and feel it is time to get myself back. I am day 10 off cold turkey and to be honest I haven’t been feeling too bad.

    I have some of the symptoms of withdrawals that others have spoke about. Crazy dreams, nausea, zaps and shocks and today for the first time I feel anxious but I believe I can handle it. That’s what I took them for in the beginning and am not going to give up. I have took some time off work and have started building a trailer in my garage which I enjoy working on at my own pace just to keep my mind occupied.

    I am in a good place in my life with good people around me. I have the support of my wife and without all these factors together I might struggle to get away from these tablets. If I had been told about these side effects and read the small print before I took these I probably wouldn’t have taking them.

    Be sure you are ready before you make the break and when you do, don’t give up. 💪

  • Victoria February 19, 2018, 5:08 pm

    So comforting reading all these comments but I would need some advice. 6 weeks ago I went off Citalopram 10 mg cold turkey more or less, it was an accident as I forgot to take them and in the beginning I felt better than expected so I thought that this might be the time to quit as I’ve been in a good place for a while.

    When getting severe symptoms I took a tablet which lead me to take 1 tablet a week since then. Going into week 6 I’m feeling worse than ever, constant anxiety, disoriented and just having a really uncomfortable feeling in my body. I’ve become really sensitive since I stopped. I’m both studying and working and just started dating someone.

    I’m used to keeping myself busy but now I don’t know what I’m doing. At school and work I feel disoriented and not being able to focus, I find it hard having conversations with people as it’s difficult to remain eye contact and their words just disappear as I space-out. I’m finding myself cancelling things that I usually would want to do including dates.

    I don’t know if I should just carry on and wait for it to get better or maybe go back to my previous dose. Exam periods are coming up and at the moment it just feels as its affecting my school and personal life way to much. I don’t know how much time I should give it. The doctor said it would take 1-2 weeks to get of my dose which isn’t accurate at all… In just over a year I’ve gone down from 30 mg to 10 mg and it wasn’t to bad even though I had symptoms. What do you think?

    • Christina February 23, 2018, 6:48 pm

      Victoria, It sounds like the taper was too fast for your body. Taking 1 pill a week isn’t doing you any good. Maybe try taking 5mg per day for 90 days then go off. My doctor says symptoms can last that long.

      I understand the confusion because I feel like I’ve gone from smart to the dumbest person in the world right now. I’m on day 33 of going from 20mg to 10 mg. For some of us it takes a bit longer to get our brains back to normal function without SSRI’s in our system. It will be worth it when it is over.

  • Bill February 16, 2018, 5:16 pm

    I started with Prozac 20mg in 1991 for chronic depression since 1974 after having tried every therapy and drug available without relief before Prozac became available. I changed to Citalopram 20 mg around 2001 and went to 40 mg in 2006 due to an episodic depression but never went back to 20mg after the episode was over.

    In late December 2017, I ran out of Citalopram and forgot to order refill. It was just last week (February 10, 2018) about 50 days that I remembered that I needed a refill. The point is, after 17 years of Citalopram and a total of 27 years of taking a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor.

    I have had no symptoms of withdrawal, with the possible exception of strange nightmares which I have attributed to withdrawal from Diazepam 5 mg 1 at night. Further, I am not depressed. I hope, at 76, I can finally stop taking any anti-depressive medication. I am sorry that others have had such a miserable withdrawal.

  • Kim January 30, 2018, 5:52 pm

    It’ll be a week since I’ve been completely off Celexa. It has been HELL! I have major vertigo. Crying ALL the time. It’s only Jan 30th and I’ve used 4 of my sick days already. It’s SO hard getting thru work. No one understands what I’m going thru.

    People think symptoms like this will improve in a few days, but I can tell this isn’t going to get better any time soon. I have no desire to do anything either, which I hate. Nothing at all interests me. I almost wonder if this is a mistake, but reading other posts, I’m going to try to get thru it. I’ve been having really weird dreams as well.

    I’m tired during the day and can’t sleep at night. I do think the vertigo has gotten better than it was a few days ago. It’s my only thing right now that I’m holding on to that is positive. UGH! I just want to feel better and be happy and normal!! :(

  • sue January 25, 2018, 1:00 am

    When I reduced citalopram from 20 to 10 mg. I had headaches, nausea, dizziness and like a brain cloudiness. Reading the posts was so helpful to know that others had many of the same issues. As I read each post I was looking for an answer of how long this would go on but I couldn’t find a good answer.

    I decided when I felt better I would come back and let others know how long it took. At about 6 weeks, I was ready to go back to 20 mg. as I couldn’t take the way I was feeling but decided I had come too far to give up.

    By about 8 weeks, I began waking up without a headache/nausea and only minor dizziness. I was so thankful for feeling better and I want to encourage others that eventually the symptoms do stop. Maybe you will have better luck than me and you will recover sooner:)

    • Amelia February 21, 2018, 1:48 pm

      Hello, currently on day 3 of dropping from 20mg to 10mg and I’m so glad I’m not alone, I thought I was going crazy! I have an awful headache, have episodes of nausea and dizziness and my vision just feels so out of focus and blurry.

      My Dr told me this is the easiest antidepressant to come off! He’s put me on 10mg once a day for 2 weeks and then 10mg every other day for 2 weeks. I’m just hoping things improve quickly as I have a 10 month old son to look after and all I want to do is sleep!

  • Toni Martin January 24, 2018, 10:41 pm

    Well, I’ve been on Citalopram for 10 years due to alot of emotional abuse. I’m currently weaning off of it after my life has been much calmer and normal to say the least. The way I did it was taking 1/2 of my 20mg daily dose for 6 weeks. Then totally off.

    I’m experiencing the sleeplessness and tried to continue my prescription of Trazodone. Hmmm…NOT, hyper and sleepless night!! Brain over working, restlessness and taking nearly 2 hours to go to sleep. So I’m trying 1/2 of my dose of Trazodone, nope, still restlessness. Tonight not taking it either. Ok, so now I’ve had a week of diarrhea, I know, butt…lol.

    The end (no pun intended) result is weight loss🤣😂 Yay. I’ve gained 30 pounds and hoping to slim myself down 20 pounds…hopefully. I’m also hoping that this withdrawal doesn’t last 90 days but I do hope the weight loss lasts forever. Good luck everyone. Glad I’m not a drug addict😂

  • JenG January 18, 2018, 1:42 pm

    I have taken days to read through everyone’s comments, each day taking inspiration from the power of positive thinking from everyone. Over the years I have been on different antidepressants, but in more recent time, it has been citalopram. Never a high dose by my own choice, as part of me always suspected that something which took so long to start working and altering brain chemistry, must surely take as long if not longer to return back to normal.

    I do not blame my Doctors for prescribing this drug, as they are following guidelines of treatment, and here in the UK, restricted on time for each patient, i.e 5 minutes. What can they do when a person presents weeping and distraught, but produce a list of criteria, which if met means you are depressed. There is not time, and so your are given a prescription and told it will take up to 6 weeks to be fully effective.

    What is not said is what you lose, and for me it was a sense of anything. They could have said we have to cut off your legs, and I would feel nothing, but oh well, c’est la vie. Of course there is the loss of libido, but when feeling so bad, it seems a small sacrifice. However eventually the low dose stops being effective and symptoms of depression, anxiety return, and so the Doctors suggest increasing the dose, something I would not do, as to me that suggested addiction, if you need more to sustain the same effect, and how much harder to stop.

    I decided to reduce my 10mg dose, shaving a tiny corner off each pill, over several weeks, until there was nothing left to shave. For some reason, the brain accepts this, until there is none at all, and then the whoosh, falling off a cliff, jump shocks start, the anxiety and dread, especially on waking, the vivid crazy dreams, the nausea, and no way to escape it, so now you are worse than when you started.

    However the good news is that, it does get less and less over time, and now 4 weeks on from base zero, I can cope just about. All the posts on here have helped me continue. I know I will get through this eventually, but I cannot deny it is extremely tough. As I have no one, I have walking the streets as fast as I could in the pouring rain to try and stop the terrible panic, searching for help that isn’t there, and told to go the A&E if I feel suicidal.

    I have found that magnesium before bed, plus omega3 helps a little, if only on the placebo level. Trying not to think further than today, or worry about what I need to do. The world will continue with or without me. For me information helps, and an understanding hug. There are some relaxing teas out there too which contain lemon balm etc. Taking a good multi vitamin, and B complex, and keep focusing on anything that gives the tiniest pleasure, even if it’s curling up in bed with a hot water bottle for a while without feeling guilty.

    Fifty years from now, no one will believe such brain altering chemicals were prescribed, just as we think leaches and iced baths, unacceptable treatments now, and hopefully there will be a better ways of helping. There are so many here, going through, or have gone through the same ordeal, to a greater or lesser degree, who are determined to get past the now, and have a better future. Stay strong, in the knowledge that this will get better, and there is a end goal. Love to you all.

  • JC January 8, 2018, 9:26 am

    Ahh, the brain zaps! Wondered where it was coming from. Had this when younger and taking too many E’s in London (1980’s). Sort of connected the two as similar in action if you will. Thanks for clearing this up as it is a concern for me. I did taper off Citalopram in accepted fashion but the “brain zaps” seem to persist. Hopefully gone soon :) Thanks for the info and good luck to all.

  • Jody January 7, 2018, 5:56 am

    Trying to get off Celexa after 6 years 40 mg. Tried to taper off, but want to get this over with, so now cold turkey. Worse withdrawal symptoms! Went off xanax a month ago and it was nothing like this. Headaches, nauseous, can’t sleep. Please pray that I can do this. Tired of supporting pharma companies.

    • Kim January 30, 2018, 5:58 pm

      6 years, 40 mgs for me too. I had 2 pills left so broke both in half, did 20 and 20 then 20, then 10 & 10 to wean off. Don’t think it made a difference. I feel so awful now. Not just sadness but physical pain. I hope you are feeling a little better! :)

    • Julie Yarish February 23, 2018, 7:52 am

      I’m trying to get off 40 mg of Celexa also. It’s day 10 and not too bad but worried about what’s to come.

  • TINA December 29, 2017, 9:53 pm

    I was on celexa about a year and decided to get off, went cold turkey. I have been off for about a month and a half. I thought the symptoms were all gone but they tend to keep resurfacing. I have really bad digestive problems, and I am really dizzy all the time. I am going to try the 5-HTP, and the L-tyrosine to see if that helps. Has anyone tried supplements?

  • Dori December 20, 2017, 6:25 pm

    Last March my Celexa meds stopped working. I stopped “cold turkey” (not recommended) and experienced unbearable withdrawal symptoms for 9 months! During that time, I increased exercise, ate healthy foods, and regularly saw a psychiatrist. I was given different drugs (anti-depressants, other SSRIs), but did not get any relief. In fact, I got worse. After all that, I gave up and went back on the Celexa. I feel fine now. Wonder if it will last?

  • Tsim December 19, 2017, 12:24 am

    I was on 20mg of Celexa for almost 2 years, I have slowly tapered off for 2 months from 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 to eventually none. I am sooooo tired, I am sleeping 12 hour nights and napping during the days I don’t work.

    At work I can’t focus or function very well. I am on week 3 of side effects, please tell me this gets better.

  • Janet November 27, 2017, 4:21 pm

    I stopped Celexa 6 weeks ago and had my Wellbutrin dosage increased to 300 mg per day. At first I was okay and really didn’t feel any different; however, that has changed drastically in the last 2 weeks. I am constantly on the verge of tears, have trouble concentrating, feel very irritable and am moody.

    It is awful and I am tempted to go back on Celexa, but then I think of all the side effects and realize I need to try to get through this. I am hoping that it won’t last too long and that I won’t destroy relationships in the process.

  • Kt November 26, 2017, 11:29 pm

    I just quit cold turkey two weeks ago because I’m almost in my third trimester in my pregnancy. I was alright the first week but it’s on 2 and half weeks and the cry spells, mood swings, and everything is so hard. Being pregnant (second pregnancy) is hard, but with the withdraws it seems too be 100 times worse. This read did give me some hope, I’m just scared.

  • sue May 31, 2017, 4:50 pm

    I have been on 40 mg of Celexa for five years or more. I have been wanting to change for quite some time to a different anti-anxiety drug. I have wanted to speed things up so I cut back to 20 mg for a week and then 10 mg for a week. Now I am Celexa free.

    I have the usual symptoms of being dizzy and feeling like I am getting sick with the flu or something. Once I realized I do not have other physical problems at this point I can ride this out. It’s really no different to having side affects when you first start taking an antidepressant. This too shall pass. Hang tough. :)

  • Rebecca March 28, 2017, 2:36 am

    I’ve been on 40mg citalopram for a few years. I’ve taken the medication for approximately 3 years starting at 10 to 20 and up to 40. I quit taking this cold turkey about 8 days ago. I have had dizziness, am very irritable, and I feel like I’m getting a cold with headaches and body aches. I have problems remembering things which makes me even more irritated. Plus on top of everything, I got an awful bladder infection.

    I took this for anxiety. Yes it helps, but after taking a certain dose for a while I feel like it gives me the “I don’t want too’s”. Meaning I can’t get motivated to do anything. I fall a sleep just sitting in a chair. I hate that. I feel like even though it helped, it is stealing my life. It’s messed with my sexual life, my everyday chores, just everything.

    I’m hoping things will keep getting better and I can get back to my old self, minus the anxiety. Prayers are very appreciated.

  • Grahame March 26, 2017, 10:25 am

    I’ve been on Citalopram for approx 4 years now, I take a 40mg dose, 20 in the morning and 20 in the evening. I decided to reduce my dosage, the aim was to go onto a different antidepressant. I changed that to coming off altogether as I didn’t think the meds were helping. I reduced my night time dose to 10 all at the same time in a week. I then reduced a few of the daytime ones to 10, this is when I hit a mental wall.

    I had really bad dizzy spells, high anxiety etc. I’ve gone back on to 40mg and now waiting for the anxiety to settle. I have a beta blocker that sometimes helps, I’ve been given a few 2mg Valium by my doctor. I’m hoping this passes soon, I have had the withdrawal now for about 10 days. I’m unable to work. I will try again in the future, but will take my time – probably as long as a year.

  • Athena March 23, 2017, 10:33 pm

    I’ve been on celexa for 7 months to treat a panic disorder, and it was great. I just got to a point where I felt like I didn’t need it, and I slowly started coming off of it for a month and a half. It’s been 8 days since I’ve been off of it now, and at first I didn’t feel any symptoms and I thought I got off easy. Then it hit me like a truck exactly three days after stopping completely.

    The worst part for me is this horrible disorientation that I kept trying to explain to ER doctors because I was shaking and stuttering and I was advised to go in. After reading this article I now realize this “disorientation” could just be the dizziness, confusion, issues with memory recollection and fatigue all mixed together. I just feel delayed in my movements and speech and it’s irksome.

    It’s like I’m here but I’m not at the same time. I’m having a hard time staying focused and awake. The second day of withdrawal I slept for fourteen hours straight. The “disorientation” as I’ve coined it for myself has been getting a little better in the sense that it’s not lasting the entire day, so I see that as a good sign. It hits at the worst times possible though.

    Yesterday I had been feeling much better so I finally was able to go check in to some places that I had applied to work for, and as I’m speaking with one of the managers the dizziness, confusion, and memory issues kick in and I’m doing my best just to act normal. It’s all very frustrating – but I have to say this article was a god-send. It’s very informative and I love how each little section of the withdrawal symptoms ends with “just give it some time it will get better”.

    It’s very easy to get caught up in these symptoms and in my anxious mind to believe they will last forever but this article was very positive and I’m so appreciative of that. The first three days of the withdrawal I had minor anxiety attacks and a lot of crying spells and I was very irritable- but all in all the symptoms that have persisted for me remain the dizziness, fatigue, and confusion.

    The doctors have told me it will take about two weeks to get out of my system completely, and my therapist told me a month. I’m leaning on the two weeks and hope I won’t have to endure this much longer!

  • CJ March 20, 2017, 4:36 am

    Thank you to all of you brave survivors for exposing parts of your life others cannot relate to. Your posts were a salve on an a painful journey. I chose to withdrawal from only 10 mg of Citalopram after my doctor informed me My blood work up tested positive for ANA (antibodies attacking healthy connective tissues) and he added Wellbutrin to the Citalopram.

    One week of those two and I weaned off the Wellbutrin. I was informed my positive blood test could be a false positive and that it could be medicine induced. I chose to wean myself off Citalopram also. Two weeks weaning off 10 mg. I cried when I read your symptoms. I was suffering in silence because I did not want people to think I was faking it.

    The sensation that I had huge hands squeezing my head, the dizziness, the brain matrix when I turn my head and even when I just sit, the fatigue hitting early afternoon and sometimes whenever, the heart palpitations, the occasional crying, lack of appetite but weight gain, and the memory fog… oh, and on occasion my muscles feel like they are being zapped. We will make it, you can make it!!!

    I can make it. Kudos out to our significant others walking beside us through our withdrawals. Spouses, partners, family, friends… therapists… need at least one of them but prefer all. 🤗 God’s healing hands upon you all as he walks with us through our withdrawals.

    • Tshe March 20, 2017, 7:23 pm

      Hi CJ, I’m in the same boat here. In fact I have mixed connective tissue disease which includes ANA antibodies. May I ask if a rheumatologist has connected the medication to the presence of ANA? I suffer from occasional (though now constant) extreme anxiety and depression and was on a low dose for the last eight years.

      Currently I’ve been off for about 5 weeks. Just when I think I’m getting better, I crash. Yesterday was a very off day and today was better until I was overcharged for a coffee – a coffee! – and it brought me to tears. The mood swings, frustration, sadness, anger even, is making every day very difficult. It’s not been a great time to get off meds, had a major move to somewhere I dislike, a new job, tons of stressors.

      Have your docs said anything about the process of getting off the meds and what to expect? I wonder often – if these meds don’t work that well, then why the hell do I fee so crappy? Tempted to just go back on because at least I get more normal and less zombie-like. Best of luck to you all!

  • Smith March 15, 2017, 5:11 pm

    Writing this on behalf of my wife, who took 30mg of citalopram for the past 8 years, but stopped last October (cold turkey). The withdrawal has been gradually getting worse since January, where now in mid March, she basically is fighting panic attacks 24/7. After reading all of the other common symptoms of withdrawal, she is suffering “all of the above” (lack of sleep, pins and needles, electric zaps in her brain, ringing in her ears, diarrhea, etc.).

    Very little or No support from doctors or the hospital (they don’t know what they are prescribing to people nor understand that there are terrible withdrawal symptoms that go along with it) so there is no advice there, except to get back on the drug. Questions are:

    1. How long will these panic attacks and withdrawal symptoms last for (again stopped in October, so five months ago), until everything has resided (daily doses of 30mg)?
    2. Is there ANYTHING that can be taken to subdue the withdrawal symptoms. We are living in Europe, so numerous drugs/herbs might not be available here (or at least under the same name) but open for suggestions.

    • Debbie March 15, 2017, 9:35 pm

      I’m sorry I don’t actually have any advice for you, but just to say that I stopped in October too and am still having horrible withdrawal symptoms, very similar to what your wife is suffering. Unfortunately I have heard of people taking up to 2 years for the withdrawals to settle completely (though that is extreme); my sister had 10 months of withdrawals.

      And like your wife, my doctor said withdrawals should only last a few weeks – they really don’t understand these drugs and seem much too keen to get us back on them! Reassure your wife that what she is experiencing is actually withdrawal and not a return of the depression (or other) that was the reason for going on this drug in the first place. Really hoping for a reprieve soon for both your wife and I!

      • Smith March 17, 2017, 3:02 pm

        At least appreciate your response. It’s somewhat comforting to know that she is not alone in this. You are so correct that doctors just want people back on the stuff… the truth is that they don’t have answers as the big pharma cannot give them any either! She does know (and the doctor actually confirmed) that it is withdrawal, so she knows what it is.

        She said that this is the worst thing that she has even gone through in her entire life. People need to be warned about this stuff, and doctors must stop prescribing it! We know all about the damages that it does to the brain, and really puts people’s bodies out of whack.

    • Mary Lynn March 15, 2017, 11:50 pm

      I too went cold turkey from 20mgs on Nov 8 last year. I was doing okay with the withdrawal symptoms (brain zaps, feeling as if I was hooked up to an electrical outlet) for over a month. A pharmacist told me to take magnesium, drink plenty of water and exercise. These symptoms were really infrequent and I thought I had this kicked. Not so.

      As time went on those symptoms got much worse, plus started getting anxiety attacks and bad ringing in ears. I had to give up and go back on it on Feb 10 after visiting my doctor. All withdrawal symptoms are gone but the ringing in my ears. I’m thinking I should have NOT gone cold turkey.

      Not sure what I’m going to do about this drug but so glad to not have some of the other side effects. Ringing still drives me crazy at times when it is more pronounced. I wish your wife the best of luck. I’d be happy to hear from the people who have kicked this drug.

      • Smith March 17, 2017, 3:14 pm

        My wife was fine until January, then the withdrawals started kicking in. Obviously, there is not a common pattern. She’s been also taking magnesium and a few other items from a company called “the way back” (JNK). She just started having to go back on the “junk” yesterday since it’s become unbearable, but the plan is to SLOWLY get off it once she stabilizes.

        I just have no idea how doctors can keep prescribing this stuff, and that the big pharma still gets away with making this stuff (and ruining peoples lives). I know why and how they can (until its brought to light, they will continue to do so) and the amount of control that they have, but it’s absolutely inhumane. The FDA was originally created to protect people from big pharma, however, the FDA is now run by the same group of people that produce it.

        It’s not encouraging finding out how everything is mapped out. Scary thing is that a large percentage of people in different countries are taking this medication. The reports say that 20% of the population in our country where we live are on it… People need to know, and it’s far too easy to have Celexa prescribed from doctors these days.

  • Jared March 11, 2017, 2:12 am

    I’m so, so thankful that I found this post. I had been taking celexa for the past year. I was so fed up with my poor short term memory, along with many other side effects that came along with celexa. I recently decided I was going to stop taking it. Cold turkey. Man, what a terrible idea that was.

    I have never felt so hopeless in my life than I have the past week. It’s really hard to explain to a person just how bad the withdrawal symptoms are if they never experienced it themselves. This post has given me hope. I know I’m not alone. And while I still have some time to go with getting through my withdrawal, seeing this has given me some confidence that I so desperately needed.

  • Tom March 10, 2017, 10:58 pm

    I had been on a 20mg dose of citalopram since 2010, when work-related stress turned into anxiety, then depression, and all those wonderful suicidal thoughts become worrisome. For the first two years, it was like a wonder drug, with no adverse side effects and effective at treating the depression. At that point, I started to gain weight in spite of maintaining the same diet and exercise regimen; incredibly frustrating.

    Made a pledge this past New Year’s Day to taper off citalopram; after following the recommended regimen, decided to go cold turkey approx. one week ago. The first 2-3 days, I’m like “no problem whatsoever!” Now, I’m experiencing dizziness, the “leave my brain behind” sensation + whooshing noise when turning my head, irritability, mood swings, and a bloated feeling.

    I’m REALLY hoping this will subside; reading everyone’s comments is very inspiring and I’m grateful for this message board.

  • Valery March 6, 2017, 4:37 am

    Hey guys, I’ve been on Citalopram for over 3 months and I quit cold turkey just about a week ago. The withdrawal symptoms have been killing me, my depression seems even worse than when I started the medication and my dizziness and brain zaps are absolutely the worst. I didn’t even consider it would be this bad. Hope it’ll be all gone in a few weeks, good luck to you all!

  • Diane March 4, 2017, 4:53 pm

    Has anyone else had shaking/tremors in their hands or legs? Also I am not sleeping well. I was on it for 20 yrs after going through cancer, and had tons of anxiety/depression, also I have SAD.

    My doctor cut my dose in half 6 months ago. Initially had quite a bit of anxiety, but now feel pretty productive and hopeful. I have gained weight since, but am working out, etc. and have more energy. Not sure what is related to the drug, what isn’t.

  • Taylor March 3, 2017, 9:35 pm

    I have been on 40 mg of Celexa for 2 1/2 years. After a 25 lb weight gain and not wanting to be on medication my whole life, I have decided to cold turkey it. I am currently on day 5 without it. Anxiety is through the roof. I feel like my arms are shaking if that makes sense.

    I have a hard time getting rest because I am having so many dreams. It leaves me feeling unrested. I have more energy though and feel like I can get things done now. Before, celexa made me groggy and lazy. My sex drive was non-existent (poor husband). I know I can get off this medication… going to keep going on with my life!

  • Moni26 February 27, 2017, 9:38 pm

    I had a host of anxiety-like symptoms, though wasn’t officially diagnosed with it, and my doctor put me on 10mg of Celexa in mid December. Within a day I started to get joint pain, chest pain and muscle tightness and twitching. Called my doctor and he insisted it wasn’t a result of the drug and to continue.

    Tried to keep going but after 4 weeks couldn’t take it anymore. Foolishly or not, I quit cold turkey. Since then I’ve ended up in the ER, but no one acknowledges Celexa as the possible culprit.

    It’s been a month and a week since I quit, and I’m still getting muscle twitches and random pains in my legs, far fewer twitches in my arm but also tricep, forearm and wrist pain, and just this week chest pains have returned. Is this really connected to Celexa withdrawal? I’ve had several brain/spine/angio scans and blood tests and all have come back fantastic. Don’t know what to do at this point.

  • Mery February 12, 2017, 3:33 pm

    I withdrew cold turkey from 20 mg of Celexa which I had been taking for 15 years. It has been one month and in addition to insomnia, dizziness, headache, I also have a general malaise. It’s hard to make plans because I never know how I’ll feel. How long will this last? I might want to go on something else, but I want to clear the drug out of my body before trying something else. Even my Ativan doesn’t get me to sleep.

  • Lorraine February 9, 2017, 5:28 pm

    Have withdrawn from citalopram for about 2 months now, had lots of crying, irritation and muddled head. Now seem to be having mood swings, low and unmotivated one minute, strong the next, has anyone else experienced this?

    • Debbie February 10, 2017, 3:14 am

      I’ve had the same Lorraine. I’ve lost track of how far along I am – I think it’s been about 4 months now. In that time I’ve cried more than I have in about the last 10 years!! So humiliating. But it is passing now! I’m still getting a bit irritable and have the mood swings, but that is so much more manageable than the crying. Just hold on a bit longer, I am convinced we will all be so much better off once we are through this withdrawal and finally off this terrible drug!

      • Lorraine February 11, 2017, 3:20 pm

        Hi Debbie, Thank you, so comforting to hear from others. It’s been about 10 weeks and crying has reduced. But same as you, it’s the dramatic mood swings – one minute so low, unmotivated and scared I am never going to cope – and then I feel ok. Although at the moment, the lows are more common. Yes we can do it and I wish everyone well.

      • Nicola February 12, 2017, 5:26 pm

        Aaaagh, I am only on week 6… It’s REALLY helpful to hear from other people doing the same thing. I worry that the feelings I am having are returning as I just need the drugs to correct my body’s chemistry. I don’t mind taking them long-term as I am on a very low dose, but was curious to see if I could live without it. I am definitively more crass in the latter part of the day even if I am well rested.

    • Nicola February 10, 2017, 7:06 am

      I am on about week 5 of stopping. I am very emotional, have diarrhea most days and in the last week have headaches every evening. I have had a tingling sensation in my hands since about day 3 and that persists. I am considering taking 5mg every couple of days as although I could persist I don’t feel it’s that fair on my family. I also don’t know how long it will last as you are at 2 months! I do have highs but can come crashing down from them with very little stimulus!

  • Beautiful Sharon February 7, 2017, 8:57 pm

    I recently went through a 2 week weaning off of Celexa. It’s Day 5 and I’m suffering from wild dreams mixed with insomnia and headache and vertigo. I yelled at my husband for playing Heavy Metal music and I pick fights easily. Hang in there, everyone!

  • Nicola February 4, 2017, 4:43 pm

    I have found a tingling sensation in my hands that (along with the aforementioned crying spells) to be the most prevalent symptom of withdrawal. Anyone else?

  • Judy February 3, 2017, 9:44 pm

    I didn’t realize you shouldn’t just stop taking Celexa, so I did, after 8 years, 20mg per day. I have chronic daily migraines, so I figured my migraines were causing the brain sloshiness and vertigo. At least now I know the real reason! It’s been 10 days, and I plan to stick it out. I’m taking Xiao Yao Wan pills, and I think they’ve saved me from the other effects I’m reading about here. But my head still feels as if it will explode. Hope it ends soon…

    • Nicola February 10, 2017, 7:10 am

      How long ago did you stop? I am starting week 6 of not having any. I have taken 10mg daily for the last 7 years. I am still experiencing symptoms of withdrawal (tingly hands, diarrhea, headaches, crying excessively). I am undecided whether to continue as don’t know how long this will last.

      • Lorraine February 11, 2017, 3:24 pm

        Hi Nicola it’s so hard isn’t it? Symptoms are so scary and almost as bad as why I went on them in the first place. It’s been about 10 weeks I worked out, crying about everything has decreased. Thinking of everyone.

  • Kate January 28, 2017, 5:08 pm

    I am pretty new to anxiety problems. After some health scares I started having pretty strong anxiety about 1.5 months ago. My dr put me on 20 MG of citalopram. I took it for just 5 days and I had almost every side effect… dry eyes, dizziness, trouble sleeping, etc. On the night after my 5th pill I woke up in the middle of the night short of breath.

    I felt like I didn’t know when to start or stop each breath. My mind was racing. In the morning, I felt like I wanted to tear my skin off and run 5 miles. I took a 6th dose but broke the tablet in half (10 mg). I went to my dr that morning. She told me the shortness of breath is yet another side effect and that I was having a bad reaction and to stop the meds right away.

    I have been off them 17 days now. I have had vertigo, which other people here seem to mention as a withdrawal side effect. Like when I turn my head or move my eyes sideways I feel like things are spinning. That seems to be improving just in the past 2 days. But honestly, it terrifies me.

    It is making me quite anxious, which seems to make me dizzy. My dr gave me some ativan, and I feel much less dizzy on the days I take it, which leads me to believe the anxiety is causing dizziness and I am trapped in a vicious cycle. I guess I just want to see if anyone has had a similar experience, or if anyone can offer some reassurance. Thanks.

  • Ken January 26, 2017, 7:49 am

    I appreciate reading the comments, I know I am not alone. I have been using Citalopram for nearly 13 years at s high of 80, mostly 40 and the past 4 years at 20mg, I’ve had enough of the side effects such as weight gain, lethargy, inability to focus or really give a —- about anything. Quality of life is poor, no happiness. I started using it in early 04 to help me kick 35 year alcohol prob.

    With AA I haven’t had a drink since 07, 10 years now. I also quit smoking during that period. Since 10, I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and after several operations on my face to repair breathing passages due ancient accident, and with the help of a CPAP, I can now get a decent rest. Unfortunately I have gained too much weight since 10 and now that I see an open road, I want to get back in shape.

    I dropped my 20 to 10 and then to five in the space of a month. I’ve not had anything for a week, I’m having head rushes, the enhanced sensory effects are crazy at times, you can hear the blood rushing in your ears. I initially took the drug to help with anxiety/depression, I feel very hostile, emotions are high, anxiety is overwhelming at times, suicidal thoughts are there at times, but I have learned to deal with that foolishness during my tenure as an alcoholic.

    I have used my group and my God to great effect helping me throughout my life. I am pleased to see the author of this post telling the truth about 60-90 days withdrawal period. I’ve told my lady friend not to expect a lot for at least a month, bless her heart for hanging in there with me. So I will soldier on, I hope I can learn to keep my moth shut in the meantime!! Ha! Best wishes!🤐

  • Pat January 26, 2017, 2:44 am

    Went cold turkey on the celexa, have had some bad crying spells, no motivation and not sleeping well. But my head feels clearer, I was not sleeping before I stopped the celexa and my eyes were so dry, they hurt all the time even with using eye drops for dry eyes… going thru a lot of stress now. Feeling numb from the celexa 40 mg just raised in the last couple of months was not helping, I had been on 20 mg for years. Did quite well on it until recently.

  • Rob January 25, 2017, 5:15 am

    I have been on 40mg of citalopram for the past 5 years. I wanted to get off of it as I heard that SSRI’s can lead to Alzheimer’s and I have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. I also began to forget words, common words that I would use everyday. So based on that I wanted to stop, whether the citalopram is the reason or not.

    In late Sept 2016 I began breaking my pills in half and cut my dose to 20mg. I continued with the 20mg doses until 23 Dec 2016 when I stopped. About 7 days later I began to get the “brain zaps”. At the time they were very mild and I thought it was lightheadedness. The zaps began to increase in strength and they got to the point it was difficult to deal with them. This happened over a 3 week period.

    Last week I discovered this site searching for answers to what was happening to me. So here is what I came back to write about. On Weds of last week I got sick with the cold. I got it from my wife. I immediately began taking Day-Quil and NyQuil, I also started taking vitamin C and a little aspirin for headaches.

    I bring this up because as soon as I got sick, the brain zaps stopped. I don’t know if it was the medication or the sickness itself, but they have completely stopped. I have been well for 2 days and still no zaps. Maybe this means something, maybe it doesn’t, but I wanted to put it out there.

    • Mery February 12, 2017, 3:37 pm

      I stopped taking celexa while I was very sick with strep throat. Although many other withdrawal symptoms, no brain zaps this time. I had been taking the drug for 15 years and tried quitting twice before, but the brain zaps were a killer.

  • Bek January 23, 2017, 5:49 pm

    I started Celexa about 4 months ago. The first weeks were miserable and I had a bunch of side effects but they faded. I started on 20mg first 6 weeks then got out on 40mg. Only permanent side effect is that I get insomnia from it so I have to take it in the morning (which has helped) and I’ve definitely put on a little weight.

    If I miss a dose, pretty quickly I start with some withdrawal symptoms. I feel dizzy and get this weight random out of body sensation every few minutes, I get extremely weepy and emotional, anxious, and my arms and hands go numb quickly if I’m sleeping or sitting still. Once I take my dose, the withdrawal subsides within 24 hours but the symptoms are definitely noticeable.

  • Jess January 23, 2017, 5:58 am

    I could cry it’s so bad. I’m on my 11th day without it. I have brain zaps every few minutes and only what I can describe as waves of numbness all over? I can’t sleep, a typical night I’m up 4 times, needing the toilet and feeling like my legs could run a marathon without the rest of my body.

    This then obviously effects me during the day because I’m exhausted. I was on 20mg for two years then dropped down to 10mg whilst reducing intake, lasted about 9 weeks the coming off process. I really hope I don’t have to go through it much longer with the withdrawal symptoms.

  • Kn January 21, 2017, 8:09 pm

    I have been on 20 MG Citalopram (the generic) for a couple of years or more. I quit cold turkey a couple weeks ago. Due to incorrect info from the family doc who has been prescribing my refills, I thought 20 MG was nothing – so how bad could it be to just stop taking it? Trust me. DON’T DO IT.

    Oddly, I had no headaches. But I experienced something that made me feel sad/rejected and it sent me spiraling into a catatonic state. I could not function, sleep, or eat for several days. I cried. I dreamed of committing suicide. I had crazy, insane inclinations. I went from 0 MG to 40MG a day on Tuesday.

    I was so exhausted on Friday I took a nap. I woke up feeling 100% NORMAL. Like the drug kicked back in. It was like descending into the depths of hell and then re-emerging into the light. On a side note – has anyone else lost their sense of smell on this drug? Or, better yet lost it and later regained it?

  • Betty January 7, 2017, 11:14 pm

    I was prescribed 20mg of Citalopram around 6 months ago by my GP. At first I thought this was a helpful drug but then I gained nearly 2 stone and had become fed up with having to depend on this drug. So stupidly I decided to go cold turkey and I am now on day 8, fair to say I feel absolutely terrible and my head feels very floaty and weak. Can anyone relate to this experience? Please tell me these side effects won’t last for over a month! Don’t think I can put up with this much longer really. Thanks.

    • Jaclyn Joyner January 16, 2017, 5:30 pm

      Day 5 for me! I’ve been getting very dizzy. It’s a weird dizzy, my eyes feel like they’re spinning. I decided to stop taking it because whenever my husband and I are trying to communicate in an argument in my thought process I couldn’t get anything out I couldn’t think. I was just silent and felt that I was wrong and I accepted that! I accepted everything! That was my problem. The dizziness comes and goes.

      • Celexa Carly January 17, 2017, 1:33 pm

        Jaclyn, I’ve had the same exact communication and just “taking it” issue. I started out with 20mg 4 years ago. It was upped to 40mg, then last year back to 20mg.

        I started trying to taper by taking 1 every other day, but even one day without this stuff causes terrible vertigo, (which causes my nausea) and headache. I’m so glad that I found this site, as I was beginning to suspect a brain tumor! (A good friend of mine is currently going through radiation / chemo for a brain tumor).

        With that perspective, I believe that I can get through these nasty side effects in order to get my true self back.

  • Jade January 6, 2017, 1:18 pm

    So I’ve been on 10mg of citalopram/celexa for 8 months now. I accidentally went cold turkey a week ago and the withdrawal is horrendous. The main thing is the brain zaps and dizziness. I’m also a bit snappy and very tired. When will this end?

    I’m tempted to go back on to them just to stop the side effects but I don’t want to go through this twice! I’d rather ride it out and have it completely stop if possible. I don’t need the meds for anxiety any more and want to stop but do I wean off or just carry on cold turkey?

  • Greta January 5, 2017, 10:16 pm

    Your article is perfect. I have been taking Citalopram for 20 years! I had a very stressful job and have now retired. I then decided I wouldn’t need it anymore. I have slowly decreased from 20mg, 1 month on 10mg, then cut in half to take 5mg for a month, then 5mg every second day, then 3rd day, now I am not taking anything.

    But I am all over the place and have felt that I would need to take Citalopram for the rest of my life Until I read the article above! I believed that I am, without medication, a very nasty person and I have upset some friends. This has left me feeling suicidal, feeling that I am unfit to be with others.

    -I am so emotional.
    -At the beginning of my reduction of the drug I would wake up with anxiety at 2 am. This has now largely stopped.
    -I have dizziness (though I have been able to stop medication altogether purely because this is very much reduced in severity.)
    -My concentration is poor.
    -I have been putting my confusion down to age.
    -And I have suffered from a need to sleep all the time.

    What a feeling of relief when I read in the article that these symptoms may be transient. I have only been completely drug free for 2 weeks. I hope I turn in to a human being soon.

  • Tina M January 5, 2017, 2:06 am

    I took Paxil from 1997 – 2007, and then was switched to Celexa 20 mg. I started taking these meds due to help me cope with a break up of a long term relationship. I forgot to take my Celexa for 2 days and realized I didn’t feel too bad. I have been wanting to stop taking it for some time. So, I decided now may be a good time.

    I feel very lucky to have minimal or rather manageable side effects. I started by taking 20 mg every other day for a week and then switched to 10 mg a day. I did this for a little over a week. Then 10 mg every other day for only 3 days. Today I didn’t take any and I am going to try and not take any tomorrow or hopefully ever again.

    I didn’t go to my doctor – did this on my own. I know it’s not the smartest move. I do plan to make an appointment for next week. My withdrawal symptoms have been manageable. Headaches, dizziness, a few mild panic episodes, some increased anxiety, and a couple crying jags.

    Today the headache and dizziness have both gotten better throughout the day with no other symptoms. On the positive side, I have more energy. Doing more breathing exercises and meditation. Taking it one day at a time.

  • LeeAnn December 30, 2016, 2:03 am

    I have been on citalopram for 4 years, 40mg. I decreased to 20 for a week, then totally stopped. Been 2 weeks of severe withdrawals – achy flu-like symptoms, dizziness, fatigue has been the worst.

  • janice December 18, 2016, 12:34 pm

    I have been coming off Celexa for about 2 weeks. Tapered from 20mg the first week and then off completely after that. Felt no changes during the tapering, but since then – wow. Very dizzy and nauseous for the first couple of days. Exhausted too.

    That has begun to pass only to be replaced by constant pounding headaches. The pain starts in my neck at the base of my skull. My jaw is so tight too. The symptoms get worse as the day progresses. I wake up feeling better than when I go to bed. I’m not exhausted so much now but very low energy.

  • David E. Hammond December 17, 2016, 3:59 pm

    Having taken 20mg of citalopram daily for almost 15 years, I finally felt the need to come off it. The first month was a controlled withdrawal and except for a few brain zaps I felt very few symptoms. At about the 5th week of my withdrawal more symptoms started to appear, the brain zaps continued, and my overall chemistry seemed to take a nosedive, but the worst and longest lasting symptom was the nausea.

    Daily, 24/7 for about 6 weeks. Believe it or not I did find sucking on a mint helped tremendously. It has now been 4 months and at this point I feel completely free of all the side effects of withdrawal. As an encouragement to others, “Don’t give up, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but perseverance with an eye on that light is your friend”

  • Lee Holmes December 7, 2016, 10:22 pm

    I have been taking citalopram for 4 to 5 years. I attempted to come of them a couple of years ago but it didn’t go well. But this week I ran out and haven’t had chance to get my prescription. I’ve been of them for 3 days now and seem OK.

    Thinking this a good opportunity to come off them, depending on them makes me feel more depressed and have wanted to stop for a long time. The main reason stopping me is I before taking it I used to get this intense pain in the back of my head, I found that made me more anxious.

  • Roz Owens December 6, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Hi all, It’s great to hear that we can get through this hideous time of withdrawal. I’ve just passed the 2 week mark and in good moments I see this process as a real achievement. When I’m better it will feel one of the biggest of my life after having been on it for 9yrs… I’ve had the typical headaches and crying spells and terrible intolerance with others! But hey… it will get better and I just want to be ME, drug-free.

  • Debbie December 1, 2016, 5:29 am

    Thought I’d update my progress. I’m up to week 5 now. First week was great, I felt really good and motivated about things for the first time in so long! Second and third weeks were horrible, severe depression and suicidal thoughts (for the first time ever), crying fits, very mild brain zaps now and then. Fourth week was much better, I still had to make an effort not to be depressed, but that was do-able.

    Fifth week and I feel pretty good. Back to normal really. That’s much quicker than I expected after reading everyone else’s experiences. I’ve been on Celexa for about 10yrs, so I thought I’d be one of the ones with a really long period of withdrawal. My physical withdrawal symptoms were very mild, maybe because I weaned off it so slowly.

    Mental symptoms were terrible, but didn’t last too long so were bearable because I knew they were just withdrawal. If anyone else is wondering if you should go off this med, do it! Just do it slowly. There must be better ways to manage depression than such a severe drug.

    I haven’t quite got rid of the lethargy that I hoped was a side effect of the Celexa (and was the main reason I decided to go off it), but I’m hoping that is still to happen. Good luck everyone!

    • Debbie December 5, 2016, 4:17 am

      Ugh, I take it back. Depressed and teary again this weekend. Oh well, gotta hang in there. Hope it’s all worth it!

      • Teddie December 7, 2016, 10:59 pm

        Hang in there Debbie. It took me 10 weeks before I felt completely normal again without any recurring withdrawal symptoms. Like you, I felt better some days than others thinking it was over but it wasn’t. It did get easier though and after 10 weeks completely gone!

    • Roz Owens December 6, 2016, 2:08 pm

      Well done you! I’ve been on it for 9yrs so great to have that encouragement that it will get better in a few weeks perhaps… how are you now? Do you fight the symptoms with exercise? What worked for you?

      • Mary Lynn December 7, 2016, 3:06 pm

        Hi Roz, I do fight the symptoms with exercise also use magnesium, generic migraine medicine and lots of water. The last 3 things were recommended by a pharmacist I contacted.

  • Mary Lynn November 26, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Good luck to everyone on their quest to get off this drug. I too am in the process of getting citalopram out of my system. I was on 20mg for about 4 years. I tried tapering on my own but the severe headaches and nausea always made me go back to full dose. 2 weeks ago while taking Zyrtec D I realized I had been forgetting to take my medicine and not getting those 2 horrible side effects so I continued cold turkey.

    Needless to say, the migraine type headaches and nausea returned along with brain zaps and feelings of being hooked to an electric current in my body. I was ready to go back on but went to talk to a pharmacist instead. Of course, she wasn’t happy with the cold turkey but told me to take migraine medicine if headaches started (generic & over the counter), drink lots of water, and take magnesium.

    She also told me that caffeine would help with headaches. I am happy to say her advice is working. The only thing I really notice is some brain zaps in the mornings. I also read exercise is important. I know it helps release endorphins in my brain. I just thought I would pass this info on in the hope it may help you also. GOOD LUCK!!!

    • Mary Lynn December 7, 2016, 3:00 pm

      Just wanted to update. Been 1 month off now. Most days are good but do have the headaches and dizziness on others. Brain zaps, ringing in ears happening this morning, but that is very manageable. Can’t wait til this is all out of my system and I’m just me again. Good luck to all of us this journey together and keep up the good work. 😉

  • Katie D November 19, 2016, 2:27 am

    I have been on Celexa…well the generic version… citalopram for 17 years now. I have gone up and down on mg over the years but have stayed steady for a good portion of those years at 20mg. I have tried several times to ween off very slowly…if fact one time I weened over a 6-9 month period, but then couldn’t deal with withdrawal effects so would start back up.

    I have been reading all these posts and am so encouraged and feel like I can do it this time. I am having some heart issues and my docs think it may be the longterm effects from the medicine since I’ve been on it SO long. Scares me. Im only 40 and I hope going off the citalopram will help the heart issues that have developed. Anyone else been on it 17+ years?

  • Derek November 18, 2016, 10:49 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 2 months, 20mg, after a sports related concussion and anxiety. I found the side effects to be unbearable (headache, nausea.) I am trying to wean off of it. I took 10mg today and already have an unbearable headache. Does anyone have any suggestions to relieve this pain? Ibuprofen, aceitomephen does nothing. Also, when do you think I can quit cold turkey to get this out of my system and feel back to normal. Thanks!

  • Emma November 18, 2016, 10:29 pm

    I have just read this article having search the web for information about possible side effects of withdrawal from Citalopram. I have been getting increasingly concerned about things that have been happening to me and the only thing I can put it down to is having recently come off a 20mg does of Citalopram which I think I have been taking for 18 months.

    I have been feeling very dizzy, bad headaches, nausea but the most concerning weird sensation is this like buzz in my head !! Having done some reading this evening, I think this is what people are referring to as brain zaps. It’s an awful feeling / sensation. Very worrying and I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I keep feeling like there’s something badly wrong with my head.

    I’m relieved to read that these symptoms will subside, I only hope they go quickly. I did taper off the Citalopram but only over a 2 week period as I so desperately wanted to get off the drug. I felt I had become far too reliant on it and it had starting to rule my life. Having this information available on this website is a massive help, as it has put my mind a rest a little bit that these symptoms will stop.

    It only makes me feel 100% more convinced that I made absolutely the right decision to come off them. Everything I read about this drug seems wrong. So, so many people appear to be prescribed it then just left alone in the wilderness. My GP has never once suggested that I needed a follow up appointment since prescribing me this drug. I’ve just been left alone out there to deal with it all myself.

    I just sincerely hope that being on Citalopram has not done any long term damage to my brain ? Can anyone answer that question. These current brain zaps I am getting and dizzy spells with headaches certainly make me feel like this drug has done me a great deal of harm… Thank you for this article it has been very reassuring. I hope my withdrawal symptoms fade fast and I am soon back to normal.

  • Rob November 17, 2016, 7:56 pm

    Updated message from 16 Oct. It’s been 7 weeks now and all symptoms have virtually disappeared. Proud of myself because it’s been tough and the lightheadedness has been the worst effect. Really wish I had stopped years ago because I have definitely used this drug as a crutch as opposed to necessity. Hope this helps someone to take the leap of faith.

  • mari November 16, 2016, 10:43 pm

    OK 1st of all why are we stopping this medication? I didn’t go back to new Dr. who prescribed so figured I’d just go off. Been on Zoloft for years, and this one for about a year. So, 20mg. Cold turkey. 3 weeks in & just had my 1st meltdown-crying, definitely been bitchier (yes, it is possible), and today I feel like a have a horrible hangover, have also noticed memory impairment and figured my age (59) was really beginning to get to me-guess I’m glad it may be related.

    Realizing now the Holiday season wasn’t the best time to stop. Surprised that side effects are just happening now. Since that’s the case, can I expect them to continue for a while? Knowing everyone is different, thoughts on how long this might last? Is everything going to be OK once I get to the other side?

  • Stephany November 1, 2016, 8:01 pm

    I am 75 years old, I was given Citalopram 20mg 3 years ago for a Toxic Family problem! I moved away from them. I quit taking it about 60 days ago after slowly backing off. I have had every side effect you could possibly have and still have them. I should probably tell you I always have problems with pills! I consider myself a walking side effect.

    I am hoping that by Christmas, I will feel like a human being again! I do have a question? Has anyone tried Acupuncture (with needles) for the side effects? Unfortunately, I do not have one here! When I did have one I went to see her and it helped me so much. That is a requirement for my next move, early next year.

  • Tonia October 31, 2016, 3:51 pm

    I am tapering off of Citalopram and buspar 40 mg. Been about 2 weeks. I used to love teaching. Lately, I haven’t been able to think straight. I also seem to have lost interest in the things that I used to enjoy. I can’t even study my bible. This really hurts. I don’t know what I enjoy anymore. I am so confused right now. I am hoping this is just a phase from the meds. So glad I found this forum.

    • Debbie November 18, 2016, 12:47 am

      Tonia, this is all just withdrawal. I feel much the same, including not being able to read my bible without feeling cynical and bitter (I’ve been a committed Christian my whole life). I know this will pass. And that these feelings are not our fault and are nothing to be ashamed about. God understands. :)

      I have been off my citalopram for 2 weeks now after being on it for years, and tapering off slowly over about 18 months. The first week I felt really good – this second week has been hellish. You are not alone in how you feel. I’m convinced from everything I’ve read that these feelings are normal for withdrawal and will not last forever. Our interest in things, and ability to concentrate will return! Don’t give up!

  • Linda October 29, 2016, 1:22 am

    My son was on 20 mg for maybe 6 mos or so and had huge weight gain. His doctor dropped it to 10 mg and he didn’t complain of any problems. We saw his doctor yesterday and she said to just stop taking it. Last night was his first night without it. He slept fine but this morning complained of intestinal gurgling. He made it through the day at school but has had multiple bouts of diarrhea. Couple hours later he started complaining of being nauseated. Is it too soon to be showing withdrawals? I mean, it’s only been one day.

    • Fiona November 3, 2016, 8:48 pm

      Hi, Everyone is different but I had withdrawals pretty much straight away when I reduced dosage. I had a lot of nausea and digestive issues. Fiona

  • Teddie October 27, 2016, 5:59 pm

    I was on 30 mg citalopram for 3 years. I tapered off over a period of 3 months. After completely stopping the medication, I went through all the side effects of discontinuation. The side effects completely stopped after 10 weeks of not taking the medication. This site really helped me so I wanted to post my results for those wondering how long before the side effects are gone. Hang in there.

    • Debbie November 18, 2016, 12:49 am

      Two weeks in for me and it’s been awful. Thanks for your encouragement Teddie!

  • Emma October 26, 2016, 5:45 pm

    I have taken 20mg citalopram a day for about year. I stupidly went cold turkey five days ago and regret it! I have high pitched whistling in my ear and everyone and everything is irritating the life out of me, plus I can’t sleep! I don’t feel depressed, but I don’t like feeling so angry! The drug really sorted my head out, but I hope I don’t have to go back on it!

  • TinaS October 19, 2016, 8:36 pm

    I am off my Citalopram due to my prescribing physician not renewing my Rx. I am in the process of changing physicians after having issues with renewals- being told it wasn’t listed in my chart and I’d forgotten to let them know I was on it when I came to their office. I’ve been with them for over a decade and they are the ones who prescribed it in the first place!

    Reading others’ experiences is helpful. I’m suddenly wondering what my doctor was thinking in putting me on it as I have Meniere’s Disease. It’s really causing me issues with that but at least I have an idea of what to expect while I wait on my insurance company to complete the change. I’m not going to back on the drug.

    I’m just going to tough it out with the confidence that it’ll be fine. I’m into my 7th day and if it weren’t for the dizziness and brain zapping on top of the Meniere’s noise that’s permanent I’d be in great shape. But, I am happy just knowing that it’ll pass and all will be fine. Thank you everyone for posting your experiences as it is so reassuring!

  • Terri October 19, 2016, 6:43 pm

    Someone stop me now. I think it’s been 3-4 weeks since I stopped. Who knows, the memory thing seems to be one of my biggest problem. I thought the beginning was a piece of cake. But I have since turned into the Green Hulk. I find myself throwing things. I didn’t even consider this behavior was a side effect until my husband did a web search and brought to my attention.

    The worst is the insomnia and difficulty breathing that I associate with onset of a panic attack. The fear (fear is not a big enough word) that the panic attacks will return after close to 20 years on the meds is overwhelming. Here’s my problem, I turned to this site for hope. Not really feeling it. Too many people have dealt with withdrawals way longer than I’m prepared to deal.

    I need someone to say, “Don’t start those nasty little pills all over again!”

  • Nicci October 17, 2016, 11:46 pm

    I was on 40 mg Citalopram for three years after being on Paxil for about 10 years. I dropped to 20 mg for a week, then 10 mg for a week, then 10 mg every other day for a week. I have had a few minor side effects-lack of energy, difficulty concentrating… but nothing like I was expecting when I started to research side effects. I think it was all in the tapering! Good luck to everyone!

  • Donna October 16, 2016, 8:48 pm

    I have been tapering off citalopram for this entire year, I was on 80mg plus Wellbutrin. I quit the Wellbutrin first by improving my diet and my upping my daily walks to 2 miles. A month later when I tapered back to 40 mg I did well, continued my healthy lifestyle. I was taking melatonin and magnesium and had started some muscle relaxers at night also.

    I got down to 20 mg and started having a lot of irritability and crying and sleep problems. I also had a lot of new stresses in my life. My diet got worse and I exercised less. I tried going back up to 40 mg dose and felt HORRIBLE so I stopped all citalopram. This was a couple of weeks ago.
    I immediately went through withdrawal where I had suicidal ideas, crying jags, fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite, joint pain, brain zaps, brain fog, did I mention fatigue?

    And constant sweating then chills, sweating some more, then chills. Lots of intense dreams. I started taking Sam-E and it is helping me quite a bit. I still feel physically unwell and have the brain zaps and some brain fog, but I am a LOT calmer and not depressed at all. It was almost scary how quickly the depression lifted. No crying, no drama.

    I have been sleeping as much as I can, I have been reading books and keeping my brain occupied and trying to walk as the pain in my joints permits.
    I also have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia so some of the symptoms are the same. It is hard to know what came first or is affecting me. It feels like I have a low grade flu all the time.

  • Rob October 16, 2016, 8:16 pm

    Coming off a 10mg dose after 15 years. Very light headed and dry mouth with nausea. Determined to stick it out. Put on 2 stone and looking forward to seeing this go! Three weeks in now and getting better… Rob

  • Krista October 15, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Hi all. I have been taking Celexa for 7 years. I started taking Celexa because of my anxiety and panic attacks. I recently decided to stop taking it because my husband got a vasectomy reversal and we want to have more kids. I thought I was doing okay. The first couple of weeks I was a lot more moody, irritable and depressed, but I thought that was to be expected.

    Not bad enough to go back on them. Then this third week I started having severe heart palpations and dizziness. My depression and anxiety were getting worse everyday. Then I had a night with a minor Panic attack. The next day I was a little depressed but ok overall. Then when it was time to go to bed I could feel myself getting anxious so I had camomile tea and went to bed. I laid down at 9:30 and my panic attack started, along with nausea and stomach troubles.

    I continued in my panic attack and no sleep until 3:00 when I finally took Nyquil. I fell asleep for a couple of hours then woke in a panic and the attack continued on through the day. I went to my doctor and asked for Xanax and sleep-aids. He gave them to me but he said that it’s not withdrawal symptoms. He said withdrawal only lasts about a week not 3-4 weeks. I really want to stop taking this med but don’t know how. I also gain I think 80 lbs the first year I started taking Celexa. Please help me figure this out. -Krista

    • Fiona October 19, 2016, 10:26 am

      Hi Krista, I was on citalopram for depression not panic attacks but I do know that withdrawal is slow, you will get through it although if needed going back on the meds shouldn’t be seen as a failure. Your idea to take the chamomile tea was good, try more of these alternatives.

      What about a deep breathing practice just something simple or seeing a counselor to find out what triggers these panic attacks. If you have some mechanisms like the above (herbal tea, meditation, breathing practices, relaxing bath) it may help you feel more in control. Try to take one hour at a time live in the moment.

      At the beginning of my withdrawal I found it so hard to focus I had to write down what needed to be done next at work just one thing at a time as I had a tendency to get panicked if I thought of more that one thing or thought of the day as a whole. The withdrawal feelings can be so intense, worse than the feelings you may have had before. I really wish you good luck, you know the answers yourself trust your heart. You will figure it out.

      I forgot to add I had a lot of stomach trouble too during withdrawal and I still have a bad stomach. I try natural yogurt and probiotics but I do love my coffee which doesn’t help!

    • Terri October 19, 2016, 6:49 pm

      Too many other people feeling just like you too for that doctor to be right! Hope you find a way out!

  • Fiona October 15, 2016, 9:21 am

    Hello everyone, I have been totally off citalopram for over 1 year, I have posted 3/4 times above so you can read my story. I fully went off citalopram in Sept 2015 and I can say there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have been very, very up and down emotionally this past year. I had a bad time last Dec and also March to May just full of depressive thoughts, feeling that I didn’t know my own mind, confused, full of worry and panic about everything, crying a lot.

    I tried exercise (then worried if I was doing too much or too little), going to bed early, supplements, spending time with/without others, yoga, hypnosis apps, meditation. I have been very close to going back on the drugs as when I’m in the middle of a depression I can’t see any way out or beyond the feelings which are so intense. My breakthrough came when I started counseling in June, during July I hit a bad patch and went to my GP, she suggested another anti depressant giving the same reasons as my other GP 3 years ago (if you’ve a thyroid problem you take medication so if you’ve a serotonin problem take an anti depressant).

    I’ve done so much research on this her reasonings just didn’t bode well with me so I just didn’t fill the prescription. I decided I’d ask my counselor who didn’t comment one way or the other so I stayed of the anti-D’s. Thank god. Initially I decided to go to the counselor because I wanted to learn how to cope with depression, I’ve gone past ‘trying to fix myself’. The sessions seem to have helped as the message I’ve taken from her is that depression is a suppression of the emotions and we need to feel these emotions.

    Often when things go wrong I feel that its on me (I should have reacted differently, I should feel differently) but I am seeing that maybe others are wrong/selfish/have faults maybe its okay for me to be annoyed/angry with friends. We should try not to be negative about ourselves, we are important too. I’m trying to say I feel good, the withdrawal effects have lessened, I’m learning about myself & putting myself first now, I’m not ‘fixed’ my tendency toward depression is still there but I can look objectively at situations and have a better awareness of where my emotions are coming from and just accept them.

    I’ve noticed that my tendency to ruminate has lessened, if I notice that it is starting I just say ‘stop thinking’ to myself instead of spiraling downward. I know some of my problems this year were withdrawal as the anxiety/panic at times was very intense. I have never suffered with this before but I had episodes e.g. when we were on holiday camping I felt that I was going to suffocate I really had to pull back from it strongly also at times I felt I was in a gothic novel, the world was covered with that darkness even in nice situations. That all appears to have stopped for me. Best of luck everyone.

  • katy October 12, 2016, 2:43 pm

    Hi all, It has been really useful reading through everybody’s experiences. I am on day 6 of going cold turkey from 20mg of citalopram which I have been on for around two years. I am experiencing lots of withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, nausea, eye jitters and flu-like symptoms. I am in good spirits with no signs of returning depression but really struggle in supermarkets as I lose my concentration and struggle with the bright lights.

    I know it sounds silly but by the end of the shop I can’t remember what I have bought or whether I have got everything!!! Does anyone else experience this? Thanks, Katy

    • Sophie October 16, 2016, 4:37 pm

      I know what you mean, the same happened to me! I got terrible headaches and light would drive them crazy, I would sit at home in the dark just to avoid it. It does get better though trust me!! I’ve been off them fully for 2 months now and this has totally stopped for me! Keep going you’re doing great!!!! Sophie :)

    • Kate October 23, 2016, 3:59 am

      Try to Take fish/krill oil supplements daily. My headaches stopped after the second day of taking them. I also went cold turkey and was on 20 mg (for 8 years).

  • DSB October 11, 2016, 12:48 pm

    My previous comment has not been posted, probably due to me quoting a Herbalist’s explanation of the side effects of Citalopram whilst taking it and when coming off it. So, I will be careful with this comment. I was prescribed Citalopram for sciatic pain and I took the terrible stuff for five months and then stopped abruptly as it wasn’t helping the pain. We all know the side effects when stopping i.e. bloated, weight gain, wind 24/7, diarrhea, nausea etc. My GP refused to accept that these symptoms were due to the Citalopram. I went to a recommended Herbalist, who in 6 weeks has sorted me out. It doesn’t taste nice, but it does the job!!

  • Cat October 8, 2016, 12:34 pm

    I am down from 20 to 10mg of Celexa because of loss of sexual desire. I started taking Celexa about 2 months ago and it has been the answer to my anxiety and feel so much better. I am contemplating weaning totally off because of these side effects. I have been open with my partner and he is working with me, but I want to be intimate again. Feeling kind of sad… Is there any alternative or options?

  • Kate October 7, 2016, 5:24 am

    I was on 20mg for 8 years. I have been off for 3 weeks. The first week was a roller coaster. During the first week I had brain zaps at least every 15min and could laugh hysterically or cry on command. I also had trouble staying asleep due to head pains.

    I started taking fish/krill oil supplements daily at the beginning of the second week and since the second day of them I have had no brain zaps. I feel normal with normal human emotions again. 😊

  • Cindy Sundvik October 4, 2016, 11:40 pm

    I have been of Citalopram for 10 years plus. Three years ago I went into a complete panic state for months (nausea, panic, you know the routine). When I went to my doc, she said she needed to up my rx to 40 mg. So, I believed her and went with it. For a while it seemed to work, but then last May I started with the horrible panic symptoms that lasted all day with the too often panic attack visit.

    Finally, I went to a naturopath in June and she put me on truckloads of vitamins and minerals. Sadly, the didn’t really help. At that point, I was just sure I was dying of some disease that just hasn’t been found yet. Well, during all of this I ran out of Citalopram and my old doc wouldn’t call any in without a visit and my new doc quit her practice and ignored my emails and calls.

    Thus, I gave up and just decided to quit cold turkey. Strangely, the first three days off of the meds I felt better than I had in years. Slowly, I started getting the brain zaps, anxiety, depression, brain fog, forgetful brain, sadness, tremors, temper, and more. It’s been two weeks and I am sticking with it thinking now that my intense anxiety bouts were signs of serotonin poisoning.

    So, sticking with this crazy ride in hopes of finding my calm, happy, productive self again. Thank you for listening. My plan is to eat healthy, exercise, smile, help others, and move through it. Wish me luck as I wish you all luck and give you loads of positive thoughts and prayers. What a mess, right?

    • Amy Davey October 31, 2016, 3:35 pm

      Cindy, wondering how you are doing now? I am Day 10 off of 10 mg, but I only took them for 5 weeks and it is awful…feel like I will never be myself again.

  • jack October 2, 2016, 9:31 pm

    I took citalopram 10mg for 2 days had a bad reaction. The second day I was dizzy, speech problems, twitching, shakes, and almost an out of body experience. Saw the doctor 3 times in 24 hours of second dose. I also take tramadol 50mg usually a couple times a week for chronic knee pain. I was told the 2 could be taken. It has been 55 hours since taking anything. I feel somewhat better bit still am very restless, shakes and twitching and just feeling chemical imbalance in general. It’s driving me crazy. Hope it does not last much longer.

  • Mary October 2, 2016, 8:29 pm

    I have been on citalopram for 11yrs. But all together 20 yrs. Started out taking 10mg. and 2 mos. my doctor upped to 20 mg. I was diagnosed with focal dystonia 3 yrs ago. A friend of mine who is an RN noticed my coughing had increased. She researched citalopram and found that one of the side effects was coughing. I also researched and found that muscle stiffness was also a side effect.

    Since my dosage had been upped, I have had a harder time walking. So decided I wanted to be weaned off citalopram. She had me do 1/2 pill for 7 days and then 1/4 pill for 7 days. Was this enough time? I am not sure if I have irritable because I have Leo been sick for 2 weeks with a sinus infection. I may be having anxiety attacks and brain zaps and also very tired.

    But my walking has gotten better. Did I ween myself off of them correctly? Will my side effects subside?

  • Rachael October 1, 2016, 4:42 pm

    I am currently 7 days off of celexa. I was on 20mg for four years and decreased to 10mg for a month. I have not had any brain zaps… Which I admit sound very scary! But I am emotional wreck and very irritable… I feel like I can snap at any moment. I am scared that I am going to be stuck like this. This is one of the hardest things I have went through.

    • Cindy October 8, 2016, 2:19 am

      If I feel really bad, I take 2 Benadryl which really helps. I don’t want to switch one drug for another, but on occasion, when I can’t take it anymore, I swallow a couple of Benadyrls. They make me a little sleepy, but better that than being a wreck.

  • Rowena September 28, 2016, 8:34 pm

    I’ve only been on “the pram” for 3 months this time. I was on the brink of suicide when I started taking them. Not only did it stop the bad feelings it stopped ALL the feelings. However I did feel OK in myself whilst taking them. I went cold turkey 12 days ago because I became SO forgetful.

    Of course my withdrawal is no where near as rough someone who has been on it for 3 yrs! I was fine for the first few days and the “zaps” was all I really felt and a bit of diarrhea. But then bang!, after about 7 days I started feeling anxious and I having palpitations whilst I was sleeping. It’s day 13 and I have felt myself sinking a bit more each day.

    But, it feels good to feel my sadness. It feels good to cry. It also feels good to be able to have sex again. I am a little disoriented as well. In the last 3 months I have had CBT. I have been making a huge effort to come out of my isolation. I was able to be around people in this time because of the citalopram. It helped me reconnect with people. I am lucky enough to have support from 12 step groups.

    But I had to really push myself to go to groups and social things once I stopped taking the citalopram. Work has become difficult. I get really irritable. I can’t switch my head off. Although I feel like crap in the mornings, I talk myself up. I also speak to my sponsor in the mornings. My recovery from depression is possible if I can create a support network that is safe.

  • Sam September 23, 2016, 10:41 am

    Hey guys, It’s currently 337 AM! I’ve been on celexa for about 3 years. I tried quitting cold turkey last year with awful withdraw symptoms and poor concentration to the point of failing my classes!!! I went back on and lowered my dose from 30 mg to 10 mg. I started the weaning process of taking the pill for a couple of months straight than on and off for 3 months. Felt good so I decided to come off of it.

    This is my 2nd week and oh boy the symptoms return… I cry ALL the time, mood swings and just feel stomach aches (bloated feeling), loss of appetite and insomnia. My anxiety at this moment is so high I feel as though I’m hallucinating. Does anyone else experience these and does it get better? It’s taking all I have to not reach for the pills. :(

    • Teri September 27, 2016, 5:49 pm

      Sam, I read your comments with so much empathy. I am on day 11 of no celexa after weaning off. I have had some terrible, terrible days. I’m like you that I want to reach for the pills and take one. My head is foggy all of the time, dizzy, headache, body aches, nausea, and an all-over miserable feeling. When I think about taking a pill, I remind myself that I don’t want any more of this poison in my system.

      If I take any, I will have to do this withdrawal nonsense all over again. No matter what, I have decided to tough it out and do the 90 days with no meds and I pray that I will be back to being a human once again. Every time I feel myself feeling getting depressed and anxious, I remind myself what the alternative is; and that is going back on meds.

      I am determined to never let that happen. I wish I could offer you some solid advice on what to do, but all I can say is to hang in there as best you can and remember that you are not alone.

  • karen September 20, 2016, 10:56 am

    I’ve been on 40mg of citalopram for approximately 2 years. I’ve now decided to taper off them. I’ve come down from 40mg to 30mg and I feel as bad as I felt before going on the drug. I’ve only come down 10mg so is it normal to feel like this?

  • linda quaglieri September 16, 2016, 8:51 pm

    I am down from 40 mg celexa to 10 mg weaned off since last Februray. At first I was fine no side effects. But the past month has been awful… dizzy, light headed, headaches, nausea, mood swings you name it! I am thrilled to be off the high dose after 15 years but wow need these bad feelings to end!

  • Justine September 14, 2016, 4:05 am

    I have tapered off celexa, it’s been about a week since I stopped taking any and besides crying spells and irritability I am having horrible bloating and stomach pain. I can’t seem to find any advice for the stomach pain, I am exercising and eating healthy, tums don’t work. This is actually my second time coming off Celexa. The last time I thought I had few symptoms but experienced terrible stomach pain but had no idea it was related to withdrawal. The pains lasted over six months and never knew how to relieve them. Help!

  • Annie September 12, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Day 8 of tapering from 40mg to 20 mg for 8 years. Thank you guys for writing! I cry over Humane Society Ads, as mentioned before, and am juicing, meditating and connecting with friends (one who is newly off Celexa). I am also staring cold turkey off 5mg of Ambien, as I have black out periods with it. My poor husband knows this may be a rough patch for my body. Question, I am also taking Amitriptyline 10mg at night. Is anyone withdrawing from that and is it the same sort of symptoms?

  • Bonnie September 11, 2016, 5:22 pm

    I was on celexa for over 10 years. I’m down to 1 every 4 days. All I want to do is sleep. The other day I slept 6 hours after only being up for about 1 and a half hours. I laid down because I was so nauseous. I finally passed the swollen feet stage. I have Fibromyalgia and my neurologist is weaning me off because of bruising. He refused to give me another SSRI to replace the Celexa.

  • Kallen September 7, 2016, 7:50 am

    I am currently experiencing withdrawals from Celexa. I took Celexa for 5 years and decided to come off of it with the approval from my doctor and tapered off slowly throughout August. Today was probably my worst day, emotionally. I kept needing space and did not want to be around people, because if anyone asked me anything, I would go to open my mouth and I would start crying. I’m so tired and my body hurts.

    I am constantly forgetting everything and until I read this page, I thought I was going crazy. It’s really hard to explain to people just how bad I feel and I feel like a nuisance when I need to talk about it. I experience vomiting for a period of time and my weight has been dropping very quickly. Does anyone know of any vitamins one can take to help the feelings of sickness?

  • Teri August 31, 2016, 10:02 pm

    I started on anti-depressants almost 15 years ago. Effexor was the first one my doctor put me on. Didn’t work at all for me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Then she put me on Paxil. That didn’t work either. So my next Rx was citalopram. Over the years, I tried several times to get off of them. I really hate taking meds, but when I would go cold turkey (didn’t know that there was a better way), the dizziness, headaches and irritability was horrible. So I would always go back on.

    Three weeks ago, I decided that I had enough. I searched for “how to get off of citalopram,” and found this website. I feel like this has saved my life. Learning that I am actually addicted to a prescription really unsettled me. I guess that I never really considered that my doctor would even prescribe something so harsh and not even warn me about it. Withdrawal symptoms? How can that be?

    My doctor NEVER said anything to me warning me that getting off of this stuff would be riddled with withdrawal symptoms. After reading what others have written about how their doctors suggested how to get off of citalopram (just stop, or reduce dosage for one week, or take a pill every other day, etc.) leads me to believe that the medical industry really doesn’t understand what they are doing to people by prescribing this stuff.

    One comment that was made is that doctors give this stuff out like candy. After standing in line for 45 minutes to get my last Rx (and I do mean my very last), I feel that doctors have a pill for every ailment. No wonder health insurance costs so much. I never realized how quickly the years passed and to realize that I have been on this stuff for so many years is a nightmare in itself.

    I am now on day 21 of reducing my meds from 20 mg to 10 mg. Lots of dizziness, severe headaches and no energy. I put on 40 pounds while taking this stuff and I have no self-esteem left. Whenever I asked whether weight gain really was a side effect of citalopram, it was poo-pooed by everyone, especially my husband. I am so sorry that I ever started taking citalopram.

    I am looking forward to reducing from 10 mg to 5 mg. My plan/hope is to do 30 days at 10 and then 30 days at 5. Then either go off entirely, or if the dizziness/headaches are too bad, I may do 5 mg every other day. I guess that we’ll see how things work out. Thanks to all who shared their stories. I visit this site every few days for support. It really means everything to me.

    • Kallen September 7, 2016, 7:54 am

      My doctor told me that I probably wouldn’t feel anything, even after tapering off of 40 mg. What a crock of crap! I gained 50 pounds while on this and I am having the worst self-esteem issues lately as well. It sounds like you’re tapering off at a much better pace than my doctor put me through so hang in there! You have support and you are not alone!

  • Susan August 28, 2016, 10:49 am

    During withdrawal from Celexa I was exhausted and had a headache but those symptoms seem to have subsided. Celexa killed my sex life! I’ve tapered for months and finally stopped completely several days ago. Already my body is waking up. I had my first “minor” orgasm tonight. It was subdued greatly but it was there.

    • Kallen September 7, 2016, 4:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing this, Susan. My husband and I have only had sex 1 time for the whole first year of our marriage and it’s been really rough. My doctor tapered me off in a matter of 3 weeks after taking Celexa for 5 years and I was on 40 mg… so I have not been feeling too wonderful but I really hope my sex life returns.

  • Christie e August 24, 2016, 11:29 pm

    I’m currently in week 4 of tapering and on 1/4 of a 20mg pill of citalopram. I have never felt this depressed in my life, I’m tired, feel sick and achy, headache, brain zaps, severe mood swings, and dizzy spells. I’m glad I found this article because my DR. did not reassure me I would be feeling these things.

    I have tried to ween off before but started feeling this way and not knowing that these are common withdrawal symptoms is actually pretty scary. I thought in my head I would never be able to come off my medication and almost felt trapped by this wonderful drug that makes me happy. I am a 30 year old female with 3 small children and a husband who does not understand anything that’s happening in my brain. I pray these feelings go away sooner then later and hope normal is close by… whatever normal may be.

  • Kate August 23, 2016, 10:13 am

    Following 16 years of depression and anxiety – within 6 months of taking these meds I’d recovered completely. I stayed on them for 16 years and then withdrew by halving my meds each time over many months and still had withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately I had to restart the meds after a few years (stress of family illness) and now after 2 years of taking them again I’ve been withdrawing over the last year by cutting up my 20mg into 1/4’s making each one 5mg (best purchase ever – a pill cutter).

    I took 15mg for a few months, then 10mg, then 5mg and lastly I’ve been crushing the last 5mg and taking 2.5mg. Eventually I took 2.5mg every other day, then every 2 days, 3 days etc (over months) and finally 2.5mg once a week then stopped. I’ve had absolutely no withdrawal symptoms at all this time. The slower the better. There’s no hurry to come off them. Doctors need to be re-educated in the withdrawal of these – they’re serious stuff and not to be messed around with.

    But… these meds have been my saviour – I got my life back. :-)

    • Amy Davey October 31, 2016, 5:17 pm

      Kate, wondering how you are doing now? I am Day 10 off of 10 mg, but I only took them for 5 weeks and it is awful…feel like I will never be myself again.

  • Cameron August 20, 2016, 8:06 pm

    I was on Celexa for 8 years and was taking about 30-40 mg a day. When it was time for a switch, my psychiatrist cut me off cold turkey. Within a week, I was completely off of the higher-dosage medicine I had been taking for almost 10 years!! She switched me to Zoloft right after. I had the worst withdrawals ever!

    My anxiety was through the roof and I couldn’t even prop my head up to eat! I just laid down all day because I couldn’t even stand up I was so dizzy and anxious. From then until about a year ago, I was having full-blown panic attacks and was scared to go in public because I didn’t feel “alive” and I especially didn’t want to have a panic attack.

    My home was my only “comfort” place. This level of anxiety didn’t leave me until a little more than a year later. I still have anxiety now, but it is much more manageable and I switched psychiatrists!

  • Laura S August 20, 2016, 2:43 pm

    Hi, reading some of these are making me feel like I’m not alone which is good for reassurance. But I’m 17 nearly 18 and have been going through really bad anxiety problems for 3 years, I have recently came off citalopram been off them for 3 weeks but I was on a 30mg dose and was on them for 2 years or so, never felt like they were helping me. Been on a few different types of drugs but none seemed to help.

    But I was seeing my doctor and he got me off them in 2 weeks which I now know was way too soon from being on a 30mg for a long time. But I am going through some horrible withdrawal symptoms, my memory is so bad I can’t remember things from the day and I feel as if I’m in a dream state and I’m having bad depersonalization & derealisation, it’s like I can hear my self talking but don’t feel like I’m here and don’t feel like I’m me.

    Very scary. I’m also having suicidal thoughts and crying spells. Mood swings also. But anyone feel free to email me as it would be nice to talk to someone who understands how I’m feeling. This has been the most scariest thing I’ve had to deal with. My email is laura795shem[@]gmail.com.

  • Kae August 17, 2016, 7:53 pm

    Hi everyone. I started taking Celexa almost two years ago. I started on 10mg, and was on 30mg at the end. I was also prescribed 1mg of Ativan for when my anxiety levels were still too high and leading to attacks.

    I tapered off (20mg for a week, 10mg for a week, 5mg for a week, then 5mg every other day for a week.) I was hit very hard today by withdrawal symptoms… I just need to know it’ll get better. It’s helpful to read these comments and feel that I’m not alone… even just for a minute. Even if I can’t describe how I feel adequately enough…

    Thank you all for being open… I am currently experiencing every single symptom that I had read about: the dizziness and confusion being the worst. I find myself feeling dizzy every few minutes. If anyone has any advice… please, please send it my way. I’m not sure where to go from here.

  • Nonnie August 16, 2016, 1:25 am

    I don’t know how you all do it without your antidepressants! I have been without mine for at least a month(no insurance for a Dr visit!) And I am a basket case! I can’t talk to anyone without crying my eyes out, my anxiety level is thru the roof, I have hot flashes constantly, I still have brain zaps especially at night. It is enough to make me want to bury myself in a hole.

    Thank God my insurance kicks in in about 45 more days… if I last that long! I’m glad there are those who can get off the meds and function normally again, but I am one that can’t. And no I am not bipolar, I’ve been on antidepressants since 1997. Best of luck to you all!

  • Shona August 14, 2016, 5:04 pm

    I’m off my tablets a week now and I feel dizzy, sick, very tired and I can’t go to work. Concerned I should be taken off cold turkey?

  • Norma August 11, 2016, 8:17 am

    I start my first taper in the morning. From 40mg. to 35mg. I was on Celexa for about ten years at this dosage, so I’m very nervous about the withdrawals, but really cannot tolerate the side effects anymore. I’ve developed involuntary muscle movements (Dystonia) from the Celexa.

  • Sam August 10, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Has anyone experienced the severe fatigue while weaning off of Celexa? I was on 20mg and now cutting down to 10mg. have been taking the 10mg for 2 weeks and I am so exhausted. I can hardly make it through a work day without falling asleep. I have to take at least 2hr naps daily and it’s extremely hard to get up in the mornings for work. Other than that I am handling the side effects well. I was just curious if there was a way to better cope with the exhaustion/fatigue from this. or how long it will last. Thanks.

  • taken longtime August 9, 2016, 11:44 pm

    Getting off Celexa after taking it for almost 5 years. Experiencing brain zaps and am nauseous daily. Worse when I turn quickly or look to the side quickly. This has been going on for almost a month now. Wish the withdraw symptoms would go away. It’s scary.

  • Nimmi July 31, 2016, 1:54 am

    I’ve been on celexa 40 mg for over three years. It is the only antidepressant that had worked without making me worse. The withdrawals from this though are terrible I get severe crying spells, hopelessness, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. After three years it just now started to feel like it’s not working as well. Praying for the best right now because my mind is not in a good place.

    • Debbie November 18, 2016, 1:11 am

      Hi Nimmi thanks for sharing, I’m experiencing pretty much the same as you and feel a bit better knowing these emotions are due to the withdrawal. I really hope you are doing better now.

  • Julie July 29, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Wow! Thank you for this article. It was very comforting to read. My heart goes out to those withdrawing from higher doses as I was only on 10mg. I quit cold turkey and after 2 days I began to feel dizzy. Realized probably a withdrawal symptom. Cut the tiny pill in half and will taper myself off. It makes sense my brain is looking for the med. Hang in there! Thanks for the encouragement. P.S. to women: Check with your doc re estrogen/progesterone levels.

    • Bobbie August 30, 2016, 3:41 pm

      How come?

  • debbie July 26, 2016, 9:07 pm

    I know this is a very silly question, but… can you go though withdrawal after taking celexa for only one day?

  • Harmonie July 26, 2016, 8:17 pm

    I am on day 10 of withdrawal from Celexa. I first got on the drug in October 2013. It worked great. I stopped in February 2015 and relapsed in depression and got back on the drug in May of the same year. In May of this year, I tried to taper to half the dose. By day 7 I was afraid and weepy and I couldn’t deal with the withdrawals.

    Now, I am withdrawing because I want to have babies and I want to be drug free. I am very dizzy ands anxious but I breathe through anxiety and continue to work. When I drive at night, I wear sunglasses because headlights are too bright and hurt my eyes. I have an undercurrent of anxiety and dizziness, but I believe it is from withdrawal. I want to keep going.

    • Krista October 15, 2016, 3:56 pm

      How are you doing now? What is the outcome? I have also stopped taking Celexa because I want more babies. I was originally on 40 mg for seven years and then I dropped to 20 mg and then just stopped from there. I have been without for almost 4 weeks and I feel awful. I have severe anxiety accompanied by panic attacks.

  • Anita July 24, 2016, 10:32 pm

    My husband died 1 & 1/2 years ago. I had been on celexa 20 mg for a few years and decided to go off it 1 & 1/2 months ago, unfortunately cold turkey. I had symptoms the first couple of weeks but was feeling ok. Right now I feel that the depression is returning and I’m crying often. Any advice would surely be appreciated.

    • Fredrik October 6, 2016, 9:43 pm

      Hello Anita! My situation is different, I was taking antidepressants due to personal problems and not because of things happening to loved ones. But. Perhaps your experience of “returned depression” is the same as mine? I also started feeling more and more tired and depressed after some weeks/month of a tapering stage. At first I believed it was the “real” depression coming back…

      But soon I realized that it could be a tapering symptom. To test this idea I sometimes took 1 antidepressant (low dose). Other times I just waited it out and slept more and ate healthy. It always passed for me, so I assume it could be a tapering symptom. What you should do? You could do what I did, stay confident that you can make it and give it time.

      Otherwise… try taking low dose antidepressant for a while? The body needs time to adjust and might get some help that way?

  • Belle July 21, 2016, 11:11 am

    After taking this citalopram 20/40mg for over six years for severe depression and anxiety I’ve finally weaned off it. Whilst taking this I had really bad brain zaps, visual disturbances, heart palpitations, disrupted periods, panic attacks, anxiety and so much more. Every time I went to my doctor to ask if it was a side affect of the drug they said no.

    After some routine blood tests they found my prolactin levels had been really high during the time on the drug. I’ve had to wean off the drug because it has aggravated my pituitary gland and I have a small tumor forming on the left hand side of the gland. The doctor now blames the drug for this.

    My withdrawal symptoms have been pretty hard to deal with but my prolactin levels are now “in” the normal range. Hopefully the withdrawal symptoms will settle soon and I can get on with life. 15 days and counting 😩

    • Shiz August 14, 2016, 3:09 pm

      Wow the same thing happened to me re the prolactin levels whilst on Citalopram, they said I had a tumour on the pituitary gland called a prolactinoma, though they put me on another drug for this called Cabergoline and my bloods are back in the normal range, but though I no longe take Citalopram I am still on Cabergoline and may be for quite some time – none of the Dr’s have associated Citalopram with the tumour though are you on any other meds for your prolactin levels. – Shiz X

  • EA July 21, 2016, 6:23 am

    So ok I’m like one of the few that just ran out of meds. I’ve been on 20 mg for over 6 years. I’m currently going through a divorce and feel like this is the worst time possible to stop something for my anxiety/depression. However I would like to wean myself off. The headaches are definitely getting to me.

    Also, I am having nightmares, not just strange dreams. Unsure of where to go from here. Should I start it back and then begin the tapering off or go ahead and stick with the quitting cold turkey since I’m already 5 days into being off of it?

  • jackie July 19, 2016, 12:26 pm

    I was on celexa for 2 years, I did a super slow taper and now I am 19 days off. I have body aches, some headaches, confusion and fatigue. I am a little anxious but not at all like I thought I would be. I am hoping that I am nearing the end of the withdrawal symptoms and can soon have my life back. I hope not to ever have to go back on antidepressants but if I do, I will be sure to do my research. Hang in there everyone… there is light at the end of tunnel.

  • vikkitori July 18, 2016, 6:49 am

    I have been on 20mg Celexa for about five years for anxiety and heart palpitations. It took both away, and the stress I was under went away too. So about 2 1/2 yrs. ago I weaned myself off. I was off for at least 6 months and still had the dizziness. It is the weirdest feeling, and what is really crazy is I felt it in the back of my tongue.

    Anyway I had a hysterectomy last May, and went crazy afterward. It felt that way anyway. Very bad anxiety, depressed, a very heavy lost feeling. So the dr. tried another anti-depressant and it made me worse. Back to Celexa I went. I ran out about 5-6 days ago, and thought “I don’t need it” and did not call for a refill. What a mistake. Just had the worst weekend of my life.

    Turned 49, and no one that I love dearly even wished me Happy Birthday. So cried, and stayed in bed. Suicidal thoughts along with sleeping almost the whole weekend. Called to get my refill but I am out of refills and it’s Sunday. Hoping the doctor will get to it first thing in the morning. I have never felt so low in my whole life. I think I will be a lifer with Celexa.

    • Debbie November 18, 2016, 1:21 am

      So sorry to hear of your awful experince Vicci. I hope you are doing much better now. Have you gone fully back on to Celexa? I have just gone fully off it after weaning off over 18 months and am feeling terrible. Depressed, crying a lot, suicidal thoughts. Much like your experience from the sound of it. Hopefully it will pass before too long!

  • T-Roy July 17, 2016, 10:58 pm

    Been on this for around 8 years. This past week I forgot to get my script filled (down from 20mg to 10 now) Wednesday I took the last one. By Saturday I was a mess, depressed, sweating like a hog, and angry. I can’t believe this stuff has been controlling me like this. Scared the crap out of me, hard time breathing (anxiety I suppose) I had some Xanax and took one of those. Then this morning I found one last citalopram. I had a rough couple days and am glad I found this site. Thanks everyone for the help.

  • Sarah July 15, 2016, 11:31 pm

    2 weeks on 30mg, down from 40mg which I had been taking for close to 10 years. I am feeling so sad, out of control, crying for no reason. Really hope it improves. Thanks for sharing everyone. Nice to not feel alone.

    • T-Roy July 17, 2016, 11:02 pm

      Stick with it. Went from 20 to 10 and it wasn’t too bad. Read my post. I felt the same way you are Saturday. Check with your doctor. She is slowly reducing my citalopram and wrote me a script for Xanax to have around in case I need it for anxiety. Glad I had it. Helped me.

    • Fredrik October 6, 2016, 10:03 pm

      Hi Sarah!! Yes, around 2-3 weeks I also felt depressed and tired again, for almost every tapering level. But it went away eventually!! Sometimes fast, sometimes slower, but it always went away, so hang in there!! Hope it works out for you!!

  • Tina July 14, 2016, 1:28 pm

    I’ve been on celexa for 20 some years and I felt like it wasn’t working for me anymore so the past month I started weaning myself off. I’m off it now and I feel dizzy waves, nausea, crying spells but I didn’t really think it was that I went off until I read this and now it makes sense. I’m glad I’m not the only one and sure hope these feeling stop soon (I’m crying as I’m writing this).

    • Fredrik September 17, 2016, 6:44 am

      Hi Tina!! Every person is different, most get over the withdrawal after a while (months) some after a longer time ( 1 y -> ) and some don’t..sadly.. But..even if it doesn’t go away it might improve in intensity and frequency! But it was very strong of you to be able to stop after 20 years!!

  • REBECCA GIDDENS July 13, 2016, 6:58 pm

    Been off celexa for 11 days now, cold turkey. I was taking 40 mg. My biggest problem seems to be the crazy dreams and strong swimminess in my brain. The feeling of wanting to shake my head to get the cob webs out. Lol staying strong though this needs to be out of me!

  • DSB July 13, 2016, 4:17 pm

    Hi. Having been prescribed Citalopram 20mg approximately six months ago, not for depression as such, but for 24/7 Sciatic pain that was causing occasional “crying sessions”. My GP explained that Citalopram can be of assistance for nerve pain and consequently I took the drug without any research. I must admit that within the first few days.

    I felt much better mentally and realized that although the Citalopram did not reduce the pain, it did prompt me to accept the continuous pain. Five days ago, I stopped taking it, as I was fed up with the nausea, tiredness (I could easily sleep most of the day, eat and then go back to sleep for the night) and slight weight gain. I should add that I am up at 5 am every day and in the gym at 6am for a 90-120 minute workout. Three days after stopping, the difference was incredible.

    The nausea decreased substantially and for the last two days I have experienced what I can only describe as a “power surge”. My performance in the gym, both CV and weights has literally gone off the scale creating the most profound sensation. I’m sure this will settle once my body has retuned without the drug. Continuous pain can and does depress the individual, but I will not consider taking this drug again. Incidentally, I am 65 years old.

  • Tracy July 11, 2016, 9:00 pm

    I am withdrawing from celexa for the third time. I hate this drug but the docs keep putting me on it. Never again. I am so depressed I want to die and have the most violent mood swings. Dizzy and tired. Hate it.

  • Rob July 10, 2016, 6:08 pm

    Hi. I have been off celexa for about 4 wks. I was on it for about a year. I took it it for about a year in 2009-2010. I weaned off the first time and did not experience any bad side effects. Had I known I would have had to really weigh out my battle against anxiety against what I am going thru now. I have had tingling in my hands and body. Nausea. Gas. Fatigue. Irritability. Stomach and bathroom issues. Dizziness and more dizziness.

    It is hard because I always feel self – conscious about my anxiety and going to get help for it. I want to be over it and it seems to be a circular beast that feeds on itself. I don’t want to medicate for treatment but when I get off and withdraw from the drug I feel that I should be back on it. I hope (big word for us who have anxiety and depression issues) that time will alleviate these symptoms… and my fear of it lasting forever.

    I am glad I found this site… I really thought I was alone.

  • Jo July 4, 2016, 9:19 pm

    Hi there, I have only been on Citalopram for just over a month, not for depression but for anxiety. I have decided I don’t want to be on it anymore. I have tried other antidepressants for about the last 6 months but always get cold feet after about a month cos I don’t want to get hooked on it and stop taking it. My doctor is getting mad with me.

    Reading these posts scares me as it seems so hard to wean off. Do you think after 1 month I should wean off or just stop cold turkey. Already in the month I have gained weight and lost sex drive, I also have really bad headaches which I never get and cant get out of bed in the morning. Is there anyone else in this situation?

    • Sarah July 15, 2016, 11:33 pm

      Wean off. Don’t risk it.

  • Debby Whiteford July 1, 2016, 10:39 pm

    I just turned sixty and I have been on citalopram (40 mg) for 16 years, Wow! I know. Three weeks ago I went off this drug cold turkey, actually I went off of my blood pressure medicine as well. At the same time I started a new way of eating, which is all natural, plant based. At first I had felt the best I have ever felt in my life and this was wonderful. I bought a book “How not to Die.”

    I was eating nuts and dropping my blood pressure by 15 points, absolutely fantastic. Then one day after two weeks my head felt funny and I brushed it off and didn’t even give it a second thought. Then my third week. Wow! What a difference, I thought I had a bad case of the flu! My stomach is so nauseous and I had the runs, so so sick, dizzy at times can’t stand the smell of most things.

    Sometimes I’m unable to even stand, but I’m not going to go back. I’m on my way forward, sometimes I feel fine and when I don’t that sucks. Good news in three weeks I’ve lost 20 lbs. I just gave it all to God and I know he will see me through, I trust and he loves. So I will continue with my quest to be off all medications. This is my story and I hope it has helped, to hear my story. God Bless All.

  • Debbie July 1, 2016, 3:18 am

    I’m grateful for everyones’ stories and comments. I was on 40mg of citalopram for over 5 years, maybe 8, I don’t remember. I decreased to 20 for 2 weeks, then 20 every other day, as per my physician. I started taking St. John’s Wort about 2 weeks into my decreasing dosage. It’s been a little over a week since I’ve finished the citalopram.

    Ugh! I have headaches, my head feels like it’s in a vise, hot/cold flashes, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. I’m leaving on a 10 day 40th anniversary trip next week (or supposed to) and am having second thoughts. I’ve taken Tylenol to help with the headaches, and mint tea for the nausea. Does anyone have any other advice? I’m about ready to go back on citalopram so my trip isn’t miserable.

  • Katie June 27, 2016, 6:10 am

    What a wonderful article this is. So helpful as all the comments from every single person. I went on this medication 10 months ago when Anxiety got so bad living in a very abusive marriage. It helped with the daily constant crying, panic attacks, anxiety… Ultimately depression too. Even putting on weight didn’t matter because I felt I could cope.

    I am now on my 6th day of going cold turkey from 20mgs. The worst things are the feelings behind my eyes, as though there’s a jolt of lightening and I can practically hear my eyes move which I read someone also had. I think you call it brain zaps. I feel a little sick too with a dry mouth and had a good loud cry today but it’s good to have a release I think.

    I feel like I deserve a good cry as long as I get up afterwards and do something nice for myself like walking and listening to the birds sing. Just wanted to tell anyone who’s suffering too that I believe you will get better, I believe I will get better. I believe it.

    I have decided to eat better, drink more water, get better sleep, exercise and laugh more and most importantly divorce the man that’s given me scars mentally, emotionally and physically. When I am having a bad day I will come back to this site and I have bookmarked it as no doubt the cold turkey won’t be easy.

    Wishing you magic and love everyone. Katie.

  • Robin June 24, 2016, 2:49 pm

    I have been taking Celexa for over 15 years. I am determined to stop this medication in an effort to minimize the Rx’s I feel are no longer needed. I originally was put on Celexa for depression due to chronic pain and migraines. Since neck surgery, I no longer have chronic pain, therefore, I would like to stop Celexa. I am concerned about the withdrawal symptoms however, and am a bit frightened about crashing emotionally. Any encouragement is appreciated.

  • Anna Rose June 24, 2016, 9:48 am

    Hi everyone. I have been off Citalopram for thirty days now, after taking 40mg for a period of years, and have been suffering from all the withdrawal effects mentioned. Starting at the time when I stopped completely I have been experiencing numbness, tingling, weakness, and muscle spasms, particularly down the left side from my head to the tips of my fingers. I have been attributing this to withdrawal symptoms, however, the Doctor has suggested this has nothing to do with withdrawal. Has anyone else experienced these as part of their withdrawal experience? Thank you, Anna Rose

    • Kimmie June 28, 2016, 2:00 pm

      I have been on them for 18 years at 40mg for the last 10. I am struggling like hell.

      • Anna Rose July 11, 2016, 3:51 pm

        Hi Kimmie. Have you stopped taking it now? Hope you are feeling a bit better.

  • Tom June 22, 2016, 2:26 pm

    I have been off Citalopram for 2 months now, and all your stories helped a lot for me. I started with Citalopram 4 years ago in order to reduce my anxiety level. I had a severe panic attack in the car, due to a stressful period in my life. So the doctors prescribed me Citalopram. In those 4 years the anxiety got lower. I don’t know if this was due to the medication, or just the changes in my life.

    A half year ago I developed some unexplainable fatigue symptoms, for which I was examined. My blood, heart, echoes were all good. But the specialist in the hospital advised me to stop with the Citalopram, because that could be the cause of the fatigue. I wanted to stop with the medication earlier, but I was too afraid to stop with it. So this advice was the push I needed to actually stop.

    I made an appointment with my psych to tell him I wanted to stop with Citalopram. He agreed with it, and told me to first go down to 10mg (I was on 20mg), and then after a week (!?) completely stop with it. He also told me that the side effects probably weren’t so bad. He was wrong. Because I found 1 week on 10mg too short, I took 10mg for a month. After that month I stopped completely.

    The first week was so bad. I didn’t feel anything different. The second week the brain zaps kicked in. I thought I was going crazy. Luckily I read that it’s part of the withdrawal, so that eased my mind. Those brain zaps lasted about the weeks. I also had loss of concentration, memory problems and sometimes trouble speaking.

    After those 3 weeks the brain zaps stopped, but then feelings of depression and severe anxiety kicked in. The intensity of the anxiety and depression were the highest I ever experienced. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do with myself. Now after 2 months the anxiety and depression are still there, but it seems like they are slowly decreasing in intensity. I hope they will continue to do so.

    Like said in the article, I’m giving myself at least 3 months to evaluate. I will update this post in about two weeks to share my experience further.
    I hope my story will help someone out there with their fight to stop with this medication! Love from The Netherlands!

    • Amy Mellen June 25, 2016, 8:35 pm

      I am post withdrawal from Klonopin about 9 months and 4 months from Celexa. I don’t know if what I am experiencing now is still residual from these two meds. I was also on opiates at the same time as the Klonopin for 10 years after a horrific car accident and many, many surgeries. I detoxed 27 times off of opitates and a few times off the benzos during the 10 years, so I am very aware of PAWS, in fact, I educate others now; because it irritates me how the medical field is not.

      I’m not sure if the extreme mood swings, horrible anger and aggression bouts that are so unlike me, that happen at the drop of a hat, are from the Celexa or not. My body temperature still fluctuates all the time and my body itches a lot. I’m not sure if these are due to the meds or not, so I’m trying to educate myself further.

      I find that if I at least know what to expect, I’ve won half the battle; at least it worked with the opiate PAWS. What has been your experience and research about the long-term effects of Celexa? Thanks for the great article!!

  • Cindy Thompson June 20, 2016, 8:49 pm

    Hi – I’d been thinking about coming off for a while now and found this website/blog – I read through it all and decided to come off cold turkey… It’s been 10 days now and I think as far as the side effects are concerned I am doing pretty well (actually very well) but one thing I am struggling with is the dizzy spells. It’s not so much spells, because for the last five days I am feeling dizzy all the time, I have to close my eyes as my head feel like I’m spinning. The other effects are not so bad, so can anyone tell me how long this will last? It’s starting to really get to me. I’m trying not to worry but it is beginning to stress me. :(

  • William Schultz June 18, 2016, 4:13 pm

    Thank God I found this website and all the helpful comments. I am withdrawing from celexa and klonopin (1mg.) at the same time. Anybody else out there doing this? I am 67 and have been on both for 25 years for panic and anxiety. My family doc told me that I should stop the klonopin because of a recent study that suggests that folks who take this after 65 might have cognitive losses.

    He didn’t say anything about the citalopram, but I figured that since they were both prescribed together as a cocktail, I should probably go off both of them. In addition, I am now retired and my everyday stress is way down, so I don’t feel depressed or very anxious too often. One more variable, I was also taking the klonopin for restless leg syndrome and because I have stopped that, I have had to add ropinirole.

    God knows what is going on inside my body. I just need to know that this will all be worth it. I have been having a rough time, but now, at least, I know that what I am experiencing is probably withdrawal symptoms. I tapered slowly from 20mg. 1x day to 10mg every other day and then cold turkeyed about a week ago. I probably should have taken it slower as I have been under siege with stomach pain, nausea, insomnia, bizarre dreams and mental fog.

    • Katie June 27, 2016, 6:19 am

      Hello. I just wanted to say I think it will be worth it… Stay strong… I’m only on my sixth day of cold turkey but I understand what you mean asking if it will be worth it. You deserve to feel better, we all do. I’m rooting for you! Katie

  • Lance June 14, 2016, 12:27 pm

    I was on celexa for a year and a half and 2 months ago I started to taper from 20mg to 10mg to 5mg then to 5mg every other day. I’ve been without the drug now for 7 days. During the taper process the zaps and dizziness were occasional but now that I’m off the zaps are just constant. My eyes seem to lag behind when my head moves.

    The dizziness is a bit better today but not great. I really can’t wait for this to be done. I’m fighting though the symptoms as best as possible but I’ve missed 2 days of work this week due to the zaps and dizziness and how dangerous my job is if you can’t focus.

    • William Schultz June 18, 2016, 4:22 pm

      Lance, I feel your pain. Hang in there. You might want to consider tapering more slowly as even 5mg. a day is a pretty big dose (I have been taking 1mg per day for 25 years and am having a lot of gut and brain fog symptoms getting off even that low a dose. Also having wild dreams and insomnia). I tapered by taking .5 mg every day for about a month and then .5 every other day for about a month and then I cold turkeyed a week ago. It’s rough but having the info from this forum and others sure helps. Bill

  • jackie June 9, 2016, 4:20 pm

    I am on a super slow taper… I am down to 10mg and having body aches and some chest pain. Is this anything anyone else has experienced?

  • Trudy Green June 7, 2016, 9:57 pm

    Hi, Thanks for the withdrawal advice. I was on 20mg for 14 months. I decided to reduce and then stop taking it. I did this over 3 weeks, with medical advice. The main side effect I have experienced is dizziness. When I move my head it feels like my brain and eyes follow a second later.

    I do feel tired all the time and also have the weirdest, unsettling dreams. I will continue to work through these side effects because above all, I want to be me again and feel like I used to. Thank you.

  • Michelle Lee June 7, 2016, 4:26 am

    Oh my gosh I had no idea about so much of this! I’ve been on Citalopram for 14 years since birth of my son. I used to be a worry wart so much that if I didn’t have something to worry about, this worried me! But I’m done with these things! I’ve been on 40mg and want to wean off of them and have started taking l-tyrosine to help dopamine levels as I’ve read SSRI s deplete dopamine.

    I also want to add Tryptophan and GABA as they raise serotonin naturally but unsure when to start supplementing them as to avoid serotonin syndrome. Has anyone used supplements to aid in weaning off citalopram? I cant believe they still say very little weight is gained with citalopram!!

  • Keely June 6, 2016, 7:49 pm

    I have been taking celexa since November 2015 to cope with a traumatic loss, and, initially, I didn’t want to be on an anti-depressant, I just wanted to go to counseling and cope that way. However, my doctor and my family insisted so I agreed to try it.

    Upside: it worked in helping me feel better faster than the six weeks my doc said it would take to take effect and I didn’t experience any side effects while taking it. Downside: unfortunately I’ve been much too busy the last month to get a refill, so I thought now would be a good time to quite taking it cold turkey (I was only taking 10mg each day so I thought it would be okay to do so).

    I was wrong! Brain zaps, dizziness, headaches, and nausea have become my greatest enemies while trying to detox my body of the drug. I’ve been like this for two weeks and the symptoms haven’t improved. In fact the brain zaps seem to have only gotten worse, in that they happen to me more often then they did the first week. I never wanted to take antidepressants because I feared something like this would happen.

    I’m miserable, that’s the only way to describe it. I guess all I can do is wait it out for three months and reevaluate myself then to see if my symptoms will improve, but I’m pretty tempted to punching my doctors teeth in for ever telling me that the drug was safe to take other than a few side effects I may experience while taking celexa.

  • Lee deaton June 6, 2016, 12:43 am

    I am 68 yrs old, been on 40mg daily for 5 years. I tapered off Celexa. 20mg for 2 wks, 10mg for 2 weeks and felt no side effects so stopped. Thought I was lucky. After about two more weeks the side effects hit hard. Crying, depression, anxiety, etc. – wanted to just die.

    I had a mini-stroke after being off for a month and still experiencing the withdrawal symptoms. Just wondering if the stress of withdrawal can cause a stroke or mini-stroke in someone of my age?

  • Dafne May 31, 2016, 10:36 pm

    Hello everyone, It’s ironic that I’m here. I started to take citalopram around 3 weeks and a half ago. It initially improved my mood (I was having previously intense mood swings, anxiety, lack of appetite, panic and worrying thoughts due to diverse problems, but mainly affective), but very soon I experienced its secondary effects. I felt electricized, hyperactive most of the time, and I could barely get any sleep at night.

    The last two weeks I’ve been sleeping an average of 3-4 hours each night. But by far the worst secondary effect while being on citalopram was a very intense palpitations that would wake me up in the middle of the night and kept me awake for hours. I’d try breathing breathing techniques but they wouldn’t stop. I had been trying to go along with all of this, but honestly, some days I was actually moody because of the lack of sleep.

    I felt energized but at the same time I was pissed off because I felt my body was physically tired. I reached the worst moment past Sunday: my heart started to race three hours after taking the pill (I was only on 10mg), before I went to sleep, the palpitations were so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. I felt shivery and cold. I went to A&E and had a terrible time waiting, and the palpitations only stopped 3 hours after they started.

    Imagine feeling your heart coming out of your chest for 3 hours… I talked to the doctor (I couldn’t see my GP due to lack of early appointments…) and suggested me to stop it or taper down taking the dose every other day until I see my doctor. I decided to do the latter (I went back home at 4 am and realized that I had been awake for 24 hours and I didn’t even feel tired!!).

    However I “should” have taken a dose today, but I didn’t do it. How funny is it that, since I stopped the medication, I actually feel OK? No withdrawal symptoms, or at least nothing to do with what all of you tell. Yesterday I FINALLY SLEPT without interruptions. I had a tearful moment before going to sleep for a few minutes, and then it went away.

    But no anxiety, no sadness, no brain zaps. Maybe it’s too early? Has this happened to any of you? I’m really saddened by all you’re experiencing. I didn’t know this drug could create such problems (I was already quite put off by the possibility of gaining weight and losing my sexual desire, but at the moment I was feeling so emotionally unstable that I didn’t care…).

    For me, it did the job of helping my mood (along with intense psychotherapy and other improvements in my life), but it’s not compensating with those horrible side effects. I cross fingers to not suffer any withdrawal symptoms… or suffer them very mildly. I only took it for three weeks, so I don’t know to what extent my brain has got used to it. Be strong all of you. Wish you good luck!

  • Linda May 30, 2016, 5:53 pm

    I am on day 10 of withdrawal and must admit I feel really ill. I am so dizzy, having palpitations and feel very down. I keep bursting into tears and am worried if I will get better. I had been on citalopram for over 10 year and am finding this very hard going. Reading up on it helps as you realise that what you are going through is normal. Hoping to feel better soon.

    • Julie June 9, 2016, 11:35 pm

      Hi Linda, I’m really interested to read about how you are doing on your withdrawal journey. I have been on citalopram for 10 years too, and would love to come off it. I hope you feel better and get through those rough patches! Are you coming off cold turkey, or are you gradually decreasing the dosage? I have heard from several doctors that it is best to gradually decrease. Julie.

  • Noelle May 27, 2016, 6:38 pm

    Hi Everyone, I am really grateful to have found this web page today. I recently lost my job and medical benefits as well. As a result, I have chose this time to quit my citalopram. I have been taking a 20mg dose for about 2 years.

    I thought I was going crazy. I had no clue what was happening to me. All of a sudden, I felt sick to my stomach, dizzy from sun up to sun down, knock you on your butt headaches, unable to carry out a conversation, forgetting things, terrible sickness in the car, and the sweats, not to mention I fear being anywhere without a washroom near.

    I have been 7 days without, and I can now contribute my symptoms to withdrawal. I have been tempted to run down to the pharmacy and beg for a pharmacist’s prescription – Just to make the pain go away. But, I do not want to continue taking the drug as, I saw massive weight gain, and the medication will be unaffordable for me without benefits.

    Thanks to everyone who has shared on this page! I feel like crap, but I also, know it is for the best, and I am not alone!!

  • Margaret May 23, 2016, 9:31 pm

    Thank you for the information. I came off citalopram almost cold turkey. I have never felt so sick in all my life. I was on 40mgs per day for over 10 years. I thought that I was dying of cancer. Never gave withdrawal symptoms a thought, until my sister looked citalopram up and found your comments.

    Thank you for posting this information for people to see. I have been off them for 1 month, so still have a fair way to go to be symptom free. At least I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you once more.

  • marie May 17, 2016, 8:24 am

    I have been on Celexa 20mg for 8 years. I started taking it because I was having trouble with a family crisis. I do not want to depend on this anymore and went cold turkey over a week ago. Headache, some nausea, irritability off and on, decreased appetite, dizziness and mood swings. The dizziness is getting better and all of this has been tolerable.

    I play piano and that helps. Hang in there anyone wanting to ditch this drug. For me cold turkey will get it over with more quickly. I also read that taking Benadryl can help (diphenhydramine), hope I spelled that right, and it really has helped some days. It will make you sleepy but I wasn’t as dizzy.

  • joyce primavera May 17, 2016, 1:02 am

    I am finally am beginning to feel better. Have been on celexa for 4 years and for reasons I won’t go into. My doctor helped me go off of it. What a terrible drug. Followed his orders and was off of them in 5 weeks. I thought… It’s been 12 weeks now since my last 1-4 of a pill and I am just now beginning to feel like I am going to live.

    The brain zaps were terrible, heart palpitations, sweats, headaches and extreme fatigue. I thought something was really wrong with me and so did the doctor. I still have a slight zap and some fatigue but am so much better. My advice to anyone is stay off of them. I was put on them because of pain in upper back and they thought that was making me depressed. Thank the good Lord I think I am going to make it.

  • Brenda Burns May 17, 2016, 12:06 am

    I am so glad I found this site. I gradually went off Celexa after being on it after about a year. I took my last 10mg dose 3 days ago. I am so glad others have the brain zaps – I could only explain it like it was a short circuit. I thought it was all in my head! So glad to hear of others going through the same thing. I am looking forward to losing the weight and to repeat another persons view – I am ready for the ride!

  • Jackie Sharpe May 16, 2016, 9:05 am

    I have come off Citalopram cold turkey, I have a whooshing feeling in my head and am a bit dizzy. It has only been two weeks so fingers crossed.

    • Kimmie June 28, 2016, 2:05 pm

      Has this got any better yet? I am currently struggling.

  • Dennis May 14, 2016, 10:05 pm

    These withdrawal symptom experiences are spooky to me. I have been on 20 mg celexa for 20 years for severe depression, and I stopped cold turkey 2 days ago. So far I notice no particular symptoms. When I started celexa, it seemed that a few hours after taking it I was unable to have negative thoughts.

    All suicidal thoughts vanished, and I was unable to go down that path of thinking. I could not even think about the plans that I had been making. Doctor said that celexa does not act that fast… maybe not, but something slammed me into mellow thinking. I am hoping that withdrawal symptoms will not occur, especially things like brain zapping and other severe manifestations.

  • Jerry May 14, 2016, 3:11 pm

    I was on 20mg for about 2 years. I reduced it to 10mg about a month ago. I have had no real side effects after being totally off for almost a week! I feel very fortunate and blessed. Good luck to all and please don’t give up in your withdrawal phase – hang in there!!

  • Ken May 12, 2016, 3:12 pm

    I initially started on Zoloft in 1999 for panic attacks and general anxiety disorder. It worked well, but the tiredness and sexual side effects were too much. I switched to Celexa (Citalopram) in roughly 2004. I began tapering off of Celexa in 2014. I wanted to see if I could be ok off of the drug.

    When I got down to 5 mg (from 30 mg) in Summer 2015, I started to experience the brain zaps or as I called them power surges, dizziness, forgetfulness, disorientation, mood swings and frequent loose stools. After taking 5 mg every other day for a few months, I stopped taking Celexa in September 2015. Now the real fun began. I started having 9 bowel movements a day which were mainly loose stools.

    The urgency to go was overwhelming. After a month of this I went to a Gastroenterologist to see what was wrong. Stool samples showed nothing wrong. No infection, no parasites, etc. I started taking probiotic VSL #3 in the morning (2 pills). That helped somewhat with more solid stools and less trips to the bathroom. I also was prescribed an antibiotics to eliminate any potential bad bacteria.

    The loose stools started again within a few days. Stopped the antibiotic. All this time I never thought it could be from stopping Celexa. Never even mentioned it. I started eating less and went to my General Dr. I said I tapered off Celexa over the course of 16 months or so. She said that’s the way to do it and how do I feel etc. Explained the brain zaps and bowel issues.

    She ordered a colonoscopy in January. I am 49, so it was about time to have one done anyway. Results: no disease, no polyps, no diverticulitis, no colitis. Great! Why am I going so much? Told this to the Gastro Dr that I stopped taking Celexa. No real comments. You may have IBS. I never had it before… Why now? No answer. Soooo, he has me taking Metamucil once a day.

    That helps a lot but I sometimes go into a rough period (like this week) where I cannot stop going. Frustrated. The brain zaps, vivid dreams, dizziness all stopped. I still have crying bursts…very brief…and mood swings. I can handle those. It’s this bowel thing that has me going nuts. can’t plan anything unless I know where the bathrooms are at all times.

    Dr’s don’t seem to understand. Anybody out there enduring this situation? I hope this is not permanent. I don’t want to go on another drug to have normal bowels.

    • 2nd Timer October 23, 2016, 9:35 am

      Oct 23, 2016 – This is my 2nd time “quitting” citalopram (20 mg). Stopped cold turkey because I ran out (Dr. moved from practice, insurance company changed and was using mail order pharmacy for refills). I haven’t taken the time to rectify everything to get my Rx updated & refilled, so I find myself in withdrawal.

      I am 50 years old have been taking this drug in 10-20mg for over 5 years, the 10 mg dose isn’t enough, the 20 mg dose is perfect. I would like to not have to take this / these types of drugs at all but it seems to be the only thing to help my symptoms. I am hoping after reading below, someone may have some recommendations for me. Gradually reducing your dose (some take longer than others) is the BEST way to get off of ANY prescribed drug – no matter what the doctors say.

      Lots of varying side effects ranging from mild to severe and can be long lasting. Give yourself 6 months or longer to fully adjust. Most drug companies DO report drug side effects, but DON’T do ANY testing or good follow up on withdrawal symptoms, which is why the doctors have such varied knowledge of them. Trust your body and realize that ANY change you make (drug, food, exercise, sleep, lifestyle) WILL affect you in some way.

      Take the time to do GOOD research (not just message boards) and know YOUR body and YOUR limits and that there are others out there who have been there and can help. Grow your support system and stay positive! It can be very challenging, but help is out there! It may sound strange, but I take this drug for relief from monthly symptoms of PMS.

      I have had severe cramping and emotional side effects (depression & anger) due to menstrual cycle my whole life. Don’t let anyone tell you that hormones don’t cause/ are a HUGE factor in mental balance. I could write a book about my own experiences with hormones and how, at different periods of my life, have affected my mental state. I take birth control pills to manage and level out my hormones, which helps my severe cramping and lowers the level of my emotional swings.

      The problem is that wasn’t enough. I still recognized that I had mental side effects due to PMS. I could set the clock on symptoms that would appear 2-3 days before I would start my period with the most severe happening the day before or day of my period. When I was younger it came in the form of depression, and looking back to my early teens, it was pretty pronounced. Since it only occurred during my PMS time period, I never considered myself “depressed” or suffering from depression or mental illness/imbalance.

      Now that I am older, my main symptom is anger. I get angry at the littlest things, everything pisses me off (like feeling true rage) and I literally find myself wanting to do something unrealistic and rash, like leaving (read abandoning) my family because I hate them. THANKFULLY, I have realized that it is ME and not them or anything that they are doing and I have educated myself extensively on mental illness and that I am the one that needs help.

      I felt that was/is unhealthy for us to be around each other when I feel this way and they shouldn’t be subjected to my negativity. My lashing out at them causes damaging effects to our families emotional well being, and that is not fair to them. This is why I took / have taken citalopram. It seems to be the perfect drug for curbing these feelings. I like the fact that I don’t “feel” any different- until I stop taking it.

      Then I know it’s working, because without it, the rage returns. The last time I stopped taking citalopram, I had a pretty severe bout of depression and thankfully I recognized it as a withdrawal symptom, which helped get me through it. I’m on day 7 without it and this time I’m having pretty severe headaches (migraine pain) and insomnia (I’m writing this at 4 a.m. ;-)).

      I also suffered some of the brain fog/ confusion, that someone mentioned, while at work this week, literally loosing my thought in mid-sentence (embarrassing!). I found this thread while searching for citalopram withdrawal because I woke up at 3:30 a.m. with a severe migraine. Took some Excedrin Migraine & that has helped (but I’m still wide awake!!). Also, lots of you have mentioned bowel issues.

      I would highly recommend using Imodium (or generic) to manage symptoms. It has been a life-saver for me. Be sure to follow directions (something like no more than 4 pills in 24 hours) on package, but it really works & won’t make you constipated! It is the BEST medicine, in my opinion, to manage bowel issues – either temporary or ongoing. No side effects and no “drug” issues using it. Use when you need it, don’t take it when you don’t need it.

      What I’m looking for, is if anyone has had any relief using some more natural therapies? I’m in the process of making some diet, exercise and lifestyle changes and I’d love to use a natural remedy over citalopram, if I could find the right thing. Someone mentioned CBD oil, which is used for epilepsy and seizures successfully. I don’t know if that applies to my needs and I haven’t done my research yet.

      I’m pretty sure THC would help calm me, but not legal in my state. What are other natural remedies for a “happy pill”? I think some sort of herbal supplement or combination could be used for me, I just need some recommendations so I can investigate. ANY suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance! Good luck to everyone and hang in there!

  • Kayleigh Douglas May 10, 2016, 6:45 pm

    I was on Paxil 20mg for about 6 months, I was having a lot of negative side affects and plus it just wasn’t working. I decided to talk to my doctor about changing me to celexa 20mg. I tried it for a month before just deciding to stop altogether. I again went back to my doctor and he told me to take 10mg everyday for a week the 10 every other day for a week.

    I did that and now I am finished. I had bad nausea and headaches in the start of my wean. Now that I’m completely off I’m miserable. The withdrawal symptoms are almost unbearable. Headaches, severe nausea, fatigue, horrible irritability, mood swings, and brain zaps!!

    I honestly think that’s the worst, the feeling of have a electric current in my mouth is awful. I’m so tired of feeling this way. I try to get through it but it’s hard to work and function day to day. I just hope that by next week some of this will subside.

  • Chris Stallaert May 9, 2016, 7:13 pm

    I am trying to get off Celexa, have been taking it for 3+ years. But it got to the point where I felt more like a passenger in my life, than a part of it. Also, the adverse effects on my love life were unbearable. I have been off celexa for two weeks now, and the nausea, dizziness, and insomnia are pushing me to almost go back to taking it.

    Unfortunately, taking gravol for nausea, doesn’t help the dizziness. And the dizziness really impacts the insomnia. Also I’ve found general aches and pains all over, swollen ankles… I’m glad that I took the celexa years ago, during a period of severe suicidality, but I really hope this doesn’t take three months to clear up.

  • Karen May 9, 2016, 3:30 am

    So relieved to find this page as I was considering restarting Celexa. All the information and hearing all of your experiences has helped me immensely. Thank you, all! Only at 20mg a day for four years I went cold turkey. Thought the dose was low enough not to cause a problem. That was a month ago. Some mild headaches and a brief period of insomnia that resolved (try ear plugs at night. seriously!). Now a month into it, I am noticing increasing irritability, teariness and mood swings.

    I sometimes don’t like being around myself very much. I feel shades of my old depressed self returning and don’t know if it’s the lack of drug or it’s the “real” me again. After reading so many accounts, I am encouraged to get through this and not restart. Thankfully, I don’t have those dreaded brain zaps some mention!

  • Ellie May 5, 2016, 2:29 pm

    I have been taking 20mg of Citalopram for over a year and had over the last few months stated to put on quite a lot of weight which was making me feel depressed. I decided to come off and reduced my intake to 10mg for about a week and now have decided to go cold turkey. I am having dizziness, nausea, headaches and brain zaps (but thought I was just getting a buzzing in my ears so was a little weird) and feel fatigue.

    I have taken a couple of days off work as felt I would end up falling over if I went out of the house. However, I feel very positive and proud of myself for making the transition and am hoping to lose the weight I have put on and get my life back together in the next few months. Good luck to one and all.

  • Sali M May 5, 2016, 2:46 am

    I’ve recently been off celexa cold turkey for two weeks. Occasionally I get nauseous but the things I’ve had most trouble with is brain zaps, dizziness, headaches and lightheadedness. Also wanting sweet things and over thinking things has been an issue for me. I feel mentally though I’m doing way better. The side effects sure do get to me some days but I do my best.

    If anyone has some tips I sure can use some. I was on 40 mg but I had only been on it for about two months so I’m hoping the side effects don’t last too much longer.

    • Kayleigh Douglas May 10, 2016, 6:50 pm

      I’m having the same issues. I weaned for two weeks and now I’m done and am completely miserable. The brain zaps are the hardest to deal with. Time is the best thing. The longer you’re off of it the better you will feel.

  • Mary May 2, 2016, 9:56 pm

    I stopped cold turkey from 20mg to 40mg a day for 15 years. I have been off for 3 weeks now. Experiencing all the symptoms that I read about – some more than others. Have not even considered going back. It is very hard.

  • Vicki May 1, 2016, 10:52 pm

    I have been in the withdrawal process from celexa for 6 months at least. I took 40-60 mg. daily for 20 years at least. This is the second time trying to quit this drug and there is no turning back. I want anyone reading this to know I understand what you are going through and are not alone.

    As I write this I can tell you my symptoms have been and still are… Brain zaps, terrible headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, acid reflux, heart palpitations, sweating, chills, biting skin, fatigue, poor concentration, crying, and moments of extreme anger. Yeah… It’s been a blast and I have no idea when or if this will all end.

    I do fear some permanent residual effects due to the dosage and duration I have been on this garbage. I take it one moment at a time cause it changes constantly. To anyone thinking of starting these drugs… make it short term help, not lifelong crutch. For anyone on this already if you can quit do so. The sooner the better, and make sure you do it slowly.

    I have no idea who I am anymore nor who I will be at the end of this but one thing I won’t be is a slave to drugs nor more $$$ for Unethical Doctors or pharmaceutical companies. Any drug that would cause this much distress abstaining from is something that will never be welcome in my body again… Be Strong everyone!

  • jean drury May 1, 2016, 1:19 am

    I’ve been taking Citalopram 40mg this time for nearly 2 years, but prior to that 20mg on and off for a further 4 years. I’ve managed to reduce this and finally off this but experiencing every symptom that is written for withdrawal off it. There are so many emotions that sort of puts you back in the ‘brink of despair’, but reading peoples experiences makes it easier somehow.

    The most difficult ones for me are the excessive sweats and insomnia. I am up at all times in the early hours and just desperate for one good nights sleep – to sleep through. Every symptom seems to have a knock on effect and I feel in a vicious circle. But what will make it easier is now knowing that this is normal and it will subside.

    I have an ultimate goal – to be at my daughters forthcoming wedding being ‘me’ again. So along with everyone else going through the same – it is a rocky ride! I have started running again and I’m shattered, anyone have any suggestions for helping me sleep???

  • Anna April 30, 2016, 8:30 pm

    I’ve been off the generic Celexa for 3 weeks now and my withdrawal is nothing like described. I am experimenting with medical marijuana and the effects of the strain called Sativa which gives you energy and mood elevation, etc. I’ve smoked for years, but decided to try and see if it will help with my depression and it does!

    I use the smoke and tincture and I’m flying just fine. Focus is great. Gotten so many projects completed! Amazing reaction. Yeah, print this comment. NOT! First my energy level was off the charts… today, 3 weeks later, my energy level is still high, but I’m not bouncing off the walls. Second, my mood has been splendid and felt like I was on amphetamines.

    I had several concerns with Celexa:
    1. I felt more depressive ON the pills than off them and
    2. Antidepressants slow the heart down and I have low blood pressure, so I was concerned about the effect it has on my 70 year old heart.

    Going off antidepressants was the best thing for me and my wellbeing.

  • Mary McCart April 23, 2016, 5:21 pm

    I am 72 and have taken Celexa for most of the past thirty years. Wanting to be free of pharmaceuticals, I switched “cold turkey” to St. John’s Wort. My mood was stable and I wasn’t depressed, however, that supplement caused extreme digestive problems. Since stopping it, I have experienced a range of withdrawal symptoms, including insomnia, headaches, brain zaps, excessive fatigue, and occasional crying. I’m determined not to go back to meds!

  • sarah April 20, 2016, 11:34 am

    Thank you so much for this information. It was the most comprehensive I’ve found and has helped me tremendously. I have stopped taking Celexa for over a month now (slow taper) after having been on it for at least ten years and definitely feel like I have Alzheimer’s. So glad you said it could take up to 90 days, everywhere else said two weeks and that definitely scared me!

  • Julia M April 15, 2016, 10:30 pm

    I have been about a week without Citalopram. I ran out of my prescription and my doctor is lagging on getting it refilled. I feel very tired during the day, and dizzy. I also have trouble falling asleep at night. I am wondering if I should just stay off it after reading this.

    • Karen May 9, 2016, 3:45 am

      Julia, give it some thought and run it by your doctor but- that’s kind’ve how I began the stop process. I noticed I was “forgetting” to take my 20mg at bedtime more frequently and instead of getting up, I’d just pass for the day. That happened more frequently and I felt fine, so I just stopped.

      No problem first couple weeks – a little nausea, headaches and waking up at night but nothing serious. Irritability, mood swings and teariness have kicked in at one month. I really didn’t know what hit me until I found this page. If you know what you are up against, you can do it!

      It’s the not knowing and thinking something is really wrong with you that is frightening. Good luck to you!

  • Jill Schauder April 14, 2016, 2:32 pm

    I have been off Celexa for 10 days. Before I hurt someone, I will begin taking it again today. Who cares if I take it the rest of my life? Certainly not me. I am so irritable that I no longer like myself. Neither does anyone else.

    • sarah April 20, 2016, 11:40 am

      That is why I had to take it in the first place. I had such bad PMS! First it was only for a few days and then it was for two weeks before, so essentially I was highly irritable for two weeks a month. And yes, murder seemed like an option at times lol! The drug helped me a ton. Now I’m menopausal and have just stopped taking it. I have to say it was a life saver and who knows, maybe you will be able to stop or not. At least it is safe for long term use.

  • L Doc April 13, 2016, 1:04 pm

    Day ten – cold turkey. Just awful mood swings and incredibly dizzy. Slow speech and easily muddled at times. Recognize this? 😶

    • sarah April 20, 2016, 11:41 am

      Per most recommendations, cold turkey is not a good idea. You may want to try a taper and not have to suffer as you are.

  • deborah ann whalen April 12, 2016, 2:28 pm

    I stopped taking it for 1 week and experienced severe heart palpitations.

  • PAS April 9, 2016, 6:10 pm

    I was on 40 mg of citralopram for about 3 years, decided recently that I wanted to come off this stuff, as I don’t want to keep medicating forever and am no longer experiencing panic attacks or massive lows these days. Half the dose every week (from twenty to ten then five mg till I stopped completely this last five days).

    Not sure if I have done this too quickly I am experiencing headaches, irritability to a degree, and perhaps most noticeably of all extreme fatigue and specific sensation of brain zaps/disorientation which is not nice at all. Not so bad when I’m sitting down but when moving about its horrible. Probably going to see the doctor now, but am concerned they’ll just stick me back on it and I’ll have to go through all this aggro’ again at some point.

  • Jbm April 9, 2016, 8:41 am

    As a bit of an update, I took a 20mg tablet the second I walked through my door after coming home from Holiday, and then have taken another one this morning, but I know it takes a few days to make it back into your system. Last night in bed, my heart went nuts, and I honestly thought it was about to beat out of my chest. No amount of slow breathing or anything would help.

    I’ve woken up this morning and my chest and the light headedness has slowed down, but I’m aching all over. My feet and hands feel like doing anything is a chore, I’m really having to focus on holding a cup, and my hands feel really shaky still. Can anyone confirm this is due to the withdrawal? I have decided to stay back on it for a month, with daily, regular 20mg dose and then I’m going to start tapering to 10 one day, 20 the next for a month, and so forth.

    I have absolutely no intention of being on this poison for the rest of my life. But I’m back at work on Monday, and this would be impossible to bear while at work. Hoping it makes it back into my system and kicks in before then! Good luck guys.

  • Amber April 8, 2016, 12:17 am

    I originally started this medication about a year ago to replace a sleeping pill (Ambien) that wasn’t working. After gaining 25 pounds, though I never changed my healthy diet and I kept exercising, I discussed tapering off with my doctor in February. I weaned off in weekly increments over the month of March – from 20mg to 10mg, then to 5mg, then 5mg every other day, until last dose a week ago.

    The withdrawal symptoms seem to be INCREASING daily… starting with the dizziness and brain zaps, easy crying spells, night terrors, sweats, and now ringing in my ears. I actually had to come home early from work today, something I NEVER do! I haven’t taken a sick day in well over a year! I had my massage therapist come by and do an hour on me hoping for some relief.

    But, I really thought I was losing my mind! I am so thankful for this site, and for all of you that have commented with similar stories – thank you!! I should have known better than to start this medication… 90 days of detox misery should surely teach me a lesson!

  • Jbm April 7, 2016, 11:33 am

    Come away for a week holiday to Italy and stupidly forgot to pack my Citalopram. After about 5 days, I started getting SOOOOOO dizzy. I’ve been snapping at the wife, and feel like I’ve been beaten with a bag of hammers. I’ve got the shakes, and it’s making me spend the last two days of my holiday just wishing I was at home. I’ve truly never felt so lousy in my life.

  • Jayne April 6, 2016, 9:56 pm

    Wow! It seems like I’m one of the lucky ones. I stopped cold turkey 8 days ago after taking a daily 20mg dose for 4 years. I’m having perimenopause symptoms and want to take the natural approach which is why I stopped citalopram. I now take menopace multivitamins, nytol to help me to sleep and piriton as since I stopped the citalopram my skin has been itching.

    I have to say that so far I’ve been fine so hopefully my experience might make others feel less anxious if they want to stop but are worried about side affects. My advice is eat right (plenty of fruit and veg, oily fish, nuts and seeds, take a good multi vitamin, particularly a good all round B vitamin supplement as B vitamins are important for maintaining a positive mood, and get plenty of sleep. Good luck!

    • L Doc April 13, 2016, 1:06 pm

      Jane – did you get dizzy? It’s my most difficult symptom 10 days off (20mg for two years).

    • Dennis May 14, 2016, 10:18 pm

      You made me feel better about quitting cold turkey 2 days ago. I am 75 and have been on 20mg celexa 20 years. So glad to hear that SOMEONE has not had a nightmare quitting.

  • Kelsey April 4, 2016, 6:29 pm

    I stopped taking celexa the last week of December. I weaned very quickly and felt very little side effects until almost 3 months afterwards. I now feel depression creeping back rapidly. Feel like crying every day. Struggle to get out of bed. I can barely enjoy having a new puppy, which should bring me so much joy. Has anyone else heard of this happening? Fine for 3 months, then back to being depressed. I feel alone and scared.

    • Fiona April 22, 2016, 9:37 am

      Hi Kelsey, I feel your pain, I’ve been totally off cit for 6 months and I feel really anxious, I was never this bad before. I too feel alone and sad the feelings come and go but do seem to be getting worse or lasting longer and then they pass. I’m also irritable and want to withdraw from the world.

      I was on the meds for about 2 years so I feel it may take that long for the withdrawal to go. I am also very unfocused and sensitive. I was on a yoga retreat last week and a lady disagreed with me about something minor and I really felt like I’d been physically attacked, I could rationalize that the lady wasn’t being nasty but the feelings were still with me.

      I tapered off the meds over 5 months and I do think this current state is a withdrawal symptom as the feelings seem to just pop up but like I said they seem to be lasting longer… maybe it’s the brain readjusting. This morning I woke up with a heaviness in my chest and a sense of darkness. I meditated for a while and it passed a little.

      I’m unfocused here at work trying to find answers for my state but I know that’s pointless I should try to relax and live with it for now.

  • Sylvie April 1, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Hello fellow withdrawal sufferers! Nice to have found this place where I am hoping to get additional support while attempting to get myself off Citalopram. I have been taking it for 15 years, from 10mg, to 20mg and up to 40mg for the past 6 years. Quite frankly, I am petrified when considering the long road ahead, although I am really determined to quit taking this poison.

    I am weaning myself off VERY, VERY slowly, 2mg at a time for a couple of weeks, before getting to the next level. I have tried quitting before at a quicker pace and suffered symptoms so awful I had to start again. I got my prescription cut down to 30 mg, but I know this is going to be much of a drop (been there before). So I grind an extra pill into a powder and dissolve it in water, measuring with a medication syringe for the extra dosage.

    It’s about as accurate as I can get… Over a month into it now, started on 34 mg a couple of few days ago. Until then, all went well, but I now get these pulsing headaches on one side of the head with stiffness in the neck as well as IBS which hadn’t bothered me much in a long while and flu-like symptoms. While it’s quite annoying, it is bearable.

    Wow. This is going to be a long process… Trying not to rock the boat too much and keeping my finger crossed. Sloooow and steady, :) Good luck to you all out there.

  • Audrey Jean Drage March 27, 2016, 9:39 am

    I was taking 20-30mgs Citalopram daily for sixteen years. My doctor ‘weaned’ me off this over three weeks. Have experienced increased tension headaches and a ‘cotton woolly’ head with dizziness. How long will I have to experience these side effects?

  • Jane March 25, 2016, 11:01 pm

    Hi, I want to encourage people who are suffering while weaning themselves off this antidepressant. It’s hard to endure the withdrawal symptoms but it does get better. For the last couple of years I’ve been on 20mg of Citalopram for anxiety then upped to 30 for a month (during Christmas). On January 25, 2016 I tapered off them for four weeks then went cold turkey February 22, 2016.

    Yes, the dizziness, headaches, moodiness, fatigue and just generally feeling lousy suck but two months later I am starting to get better and more, dare I say, HAPPY. My senses now seem more aware and I’m starting to get an increase in energy. Withdrawal symptoms are still there, with good days and bad, but are fading in intensity.

    This is a difficult process and if you can just keep going in the beginning it does get easier. Distraction helps through exercise, especially walking, reading, watching TV or just talking to a friend. Positive affirmations are key for me.

  • Colt March 25, 2016, 3:29 am

    I took a 20mg dose of celexa for the first time this Sunday. Within an hour I had horrible symptoms of increased anxiety, fever, sweating, dizziness, the runs, fatigue and confusion. Needless to say, there was no way I was going to put more of this crap in my body. So I didn’t take the next dose and decided to just go through whatever I had to to get this out of my system.

    I was terrified to take anything other than food and water for the first few days, and at that it was mostly water. I had no appetite and still don’t. But now I force myself to eat. I haven’t slept much in the last three days, now Friday. I took some supplements yesterday and today and also some activated charcoal. I took fish oil, calcium magnesium and zinc and iron.

    I’m hoping since it’s been over 70 hours since I took the drug, that it’s almost totally out of my system, because I only took one dose. But I don’t know for sure. I hope these withdrawal supreme get better. I have a creative career and I’d hate for this to impair that too greatly for the time being. If anyone else has a similar experience I’d sure like to hear about it!

  • cindi jewett March 25, 2016, 2:09 am

    I tried to go off of it cold turkey two summers ago, thought I was going crazy. I ended up in the ER twice within three days. I really thought I was having a nervous breakdown.

  • Asfechik March 24, 2016, 1:14 am

    I am experiencing ringing in the ears since stopping Citalopram. I went from 40 to 20 to 10, and now none. It’s been almost a month, and the headaches, fatigue, sleepnessness, and ringing haven’t stopped yet.

  • Bramwell March 22, 2016, 10:49 am

    Hi, I’ve been reading your site with great interest. It’s been of much help to me. I thought readers might like to know what happened to me. I’ve been taking 10mg Citalopram for swallowing anxiety for just over eight weeks. I was slightly anxious but not depressed at all. I was a fit guy hitting the gym three or four times a week and walking my dog three or four miles through woodland. Although overweight my doctor confirmed before I started on the pills I was a ‘very healthy individual’. Oh how things have changed!

    I never felt the Citalopram really went that well with ever increasing side effects such as ever present nausea and no appetite at all. I’ve now lost 2.5 stone over the course of the time and become very dehydrated. My doctor has been aware as I’ve been ringing in to the surgery for advice and reassurance. And did I need reassurance after throwing up once again after a very small light meal!

    The first three weeks into taking the Citalopram weren’t too bad and I did think although my physical symptoms were quite uncomfortable my mind felt brighter. This all changed by week four where I can only describe myself as ‘going down’. Any brightness disappeared and I felt sick all the time. My doctor said push on through it’s just side effects so I kept on taking the pills.

    The culmination was just over my eight weeks into taking the pills. I started retching and vomiting what little I’d managed to eat (I’d had increasingly bad sessions of this before but was told it was ‘start up’)! I had the biggest panic attack I’ve ever had and started pacing round the house like some caged animal. Then I started drooling beside the retching and pacing and hiccuping violently! This carried on through the evening and into the night. I couldn’t sit still and just kept retching deep from my gut.

    My wife was so worried she called 111 at 3am with me still retching, drooling and pacing/panicking. The doctor rang back at 4am and said it was undoubtedly a severe reaction to the Citalopram building up in my body and to stop taking them. I was still bad at 9am the next day so 111 was called again and the doctor (a different one) confirmed the diagnosis of basically Citalopram poisoning and to stop taking them. He prescribed some anti-nausea pills which my wife picked up which barely helped.

    I spoke to my own doctor on the following Monday morning and he said without doubt DO NOT take any more pills, so I’m now going cold turkey which, quite frankly is horrendous with constant retching and sickness. I can barely keep down liquids let-alone any food. I again saw my GP yesterday seven days into the cold turkey as I can’t even keep water down sometimes and he confirmed after a careful examination of me that physically I was well(!) and it is without doubt first my very bad reaction to the Citalopram and now the effects of the cold turkey.

    I can put up with the brain zaps, weakness and dizziness but the nausea and constant vomiting are awful. To think I only took the pills for eight weeks. I’ve now lost three stone in weight due to being unable (and not wanting) to eat. I’m also now finally down for counseling which is what I wanted in the first place but the doctor was insistent that Citalopram was the way to go. I will NEVER take any anti-depressant again!

  • Nami March 22, 2016, 4:39 am

    (I’ve been on celexa/citalopram for about a year, 20mg to start, then going briefly to 40mg before tapering back to 20mg, down to 10mg for a few weeks and now I’m somewhere in the region of a week without anything except propranolol etc.) Anyone else feel like being a fat, fuzzy-headed, cheerful fool was preferable to questioning things, getting internally electrocuted and crying uncontrollably again?

    I’m having a hard time convincing myself that I’m better off without the medications, despite hating their implications and effects on my personality. My thoughts have always been dark and pessimistic, and on the one hand I feel like I’m coming back to myself. On the other hand, I’m verging on being a suicide risk. I’ve missed two days from work in the last two weeks and I’m not sure that I can just “tough it out” 100%.

    I decided to stop because I’d been forced to start antidepressants two years ago by an abusive ex, who left my sphere of existence about eight months ago. Figured that not getting gaslighted and beat up regularly would probably help my mood enough, so six months after they left I decided to taper off. I keep having vivid mental images and daydreams of destroying everything, razing buildings, steel and glass exploding in apocalyptic shards that rip all the fleshy beings to shreds.

    Sometimes I desperately want to die. Other times I just miss my family, and feel like the world will end before I get to see them again. Finding this page has helped; it’s not my fault, its withdrawal. I’m not a bad person who’s inherently evil and destructive; I’m coming off a powerful medication which convinces me that I can’t live without it. Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Pharma?

  • Melissa March 21, 2016, 1:55 am

    Hey again, just a small update from my previous post. It doesn’t get better, I feel even more sick and I can’t walk more then a couple steps without feeling like I’m sinking. Not as much brain zaps, crying fits but I’m constantly swaying around. Only positive thing I can give is I feel more like me? It’s not as foggy or such anymore. Still won’t give up though, just hit a month about a day or 2 ago.

  • denise March 19, 2016, 10:10 pm

    Wow. After reading the many comments, I feel guilty. The only side effect I’ve had is and ‘anxious’ feeling, and quick to snap at people. No nausea, no headaches, no brain zaps, no inability to focus, no insomnia and no crying fits. I was on the medication probably longer than anyone on this site – 16 years!

    I did gain weight in that time, but I attributed it to having 2 kids and getting older. I tapered my dose for one month to: Sun., Wed., and Friday, keeping the same 20 mg. The next month, I went to Sun. and Wed. Now this month I am only taking it once a week on Sundays.

    Then next month, I’ll be home free. Maybe this might help some of you out there: Don’t lower the dose, but lessen the amount of days you take it. I’m happy to say that I am doing fine. Take care and good luck to you all.

  • CBH March 18, 2016, 1:23 pm

    I have been trying to taper off celexa since late October. I went from 20 mg, to 17.5 mg for 30 days to 15 mg for 30 days to 12.5 mg for 30 days to 10 mg for 30 days to 7.5 mg to 30 days and 5 mg for 30 days. Since I have been on the 7.5 mg, I have started to experience insomnia. Once I moved to 5 mg, my insomnia got worse. When I came off celexa four weeks ago, I have not been able to sleep. My doctor has tried Ambien and Restoril – nothing seems to work. Has anyone experienced these horrific withdrawals.

  • Natalie March 17, 2016, 5:22 am

    Wow! I am so glad to have found this site. I have been on celexa for 15 years and tried to stop taking it 6 years ago without having any knowledge of side effects of the withdrawals I would experience. It was disastrous to say the least. I ended up with major suicidal thoughts and couldn’t bear life. I am so blessed to have an incredible husband that got me through that ugly time in my life even though I was horrible to him during the withdrawals.

    Unfortunately I was out right back on it due to the severity of my actions and am now, six years later trying again with knowledge of symptoms. It had been about two weeks and I am definitely feelings the dizziness really bad, crying over everything, sleep patterns are way out of whack, weird dreams, diarrhea and more. I am determined this time and prepared. I told family instead of trying to go it alone and that is important. No turning back now. I do NOT want to do this again and want to be “me” wholly and fully again. Prayers for us all.

  • phil March 16, 2016, 6:01 am

    I have tapered off this med recently. Was only on 20 mg then down to 10mg for a month or so then stopped. I cut the tabs in half and got some empty gelatine capsules from a health shop and put the half in the capsule. This makes it much safer to taper. my withdrawals have been fairly rough even on that small dose, the usual brain zaps, crying at things on TV, etc.

    Cant listen to my favourite songs as I start howling. I also had a massive increase in anxiety which I never want to go through that withdrawal symptom again. It was so much worse than the original anxiety. One of the weird symptoms has been horrible smell in my nose and disgusting body odor. My daughter told me that one !!. I have been on and off many AD over the years and the brain zaps are evident in all AD withdrawals.

    I cant say that this med helped with depression or anxiety. I also didn’t want to keep increasing the dose as it just makes it harder to get off them, and I was not convinced that a higher dose would be better anyway. I am a registered nurse so have a good knowledge of medications. I have found that taking large doses of omega 3 has absolutely helped my cognitive function whilst tapering and quitting. I am also confident the O3 has assisted with the anxiety.

    Worth looking into but, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AS EVERYTHING HAS SIDE EFFECTS. I also drink a good quality protein shake. This assists the repair of neurotransmitters and I feel sure this has helped make the withdrawals easier this time. worth thinking about but RESEARCH for your own benefit. I may consider another AD. Have gone through quite a few though. I wont be taking this one again. Good luck to all. Remember you are NOT alone.

    • Fiona March 17, 2016, 9:04 am

      Thanks for this, it’s good to know that we are not alone in this. I am going to buy some omega 3 today!

  • Kathy Mezera March 15, 2016, 4:37 pm

    I have been taking Celexa (20Mg) for around 15 years. I was given the OK to go to 10mg. a few years ago. I decide to go cold turkey on it 2 weeks ago and didn’t think about it anymore. On March 1st I started a lifestyle change called Whole30 (detoxing the body). I don’t know if anyone is familiar with Whole30, but you can have a lot of the same withdrawal symptoms on this as you can the Celexa withdrawal.

    So the last few days I’ve been dealing with dizziness and when I walk I feel like my brain is 2 steps behind me (a buzzy feel). I’ve been thinking I have vertigo all this time, but now I’m thinking maybe it’s a withdrawal symptom of Celexa. So I may be stopping the Whole30 plan and concentrate getting through the Celexa withdrawal.

    It’s funny, I asked my Dr. if there would be any withdrawal symptoms from dropping Celexa and she said there shouldn’t be since it’s just a small dose. What do you think, should I be having withdrawal symptoms for 10mg of Celexa?

    • Fiona March 17, 2016, 9:10 am

      My feelings are that if the med affects the brain there will be withdrawals after any amount. I tapered off over 5 months and have been totally off cit for 6 months but am still having withdrawals. They have lessened over time though. I was on 30mg for 1 month and prior to that 20mg for 18 months.

    • Jess March 18, 2016, 3:29 pm

      Wow, really that’s what your doctor said? I definitely would feel withdrawal symptoms if I missed a 10mg dose! I even felt it at 2.5mgs to 0 (see my post above). You should mention your withdrawal symptoms to her/him, so they can learn about what it’s really like to come off this drug. I know what you mean about a buzzy brain. I’m Day 14 no more Celexa and I still feel it sometimes. I hope your vertigo subsides soon!

  • nicola March 14, 2016, 11:40 pm

    I am so happy to have found this site. I agree with every single thing everyone of you have mentioned but I had one side effect that was so bad I went to a specialist several times. It was ringing in my ears, so loud that I couldn’t sit in a quiet space. It was pounding ringing like being at a loud club then coming home to a quiet house.

    It rings 24/7 and I have been off of celexa for 4 days now. I gained 28 lbs in a year.diet like nobody’s business and can’t lose 1 pound. Other side effects were dry mouth, headaches, weight gain. I am praying this is easy. My doctor is actually putting me on birth control at 52 years old to regulate my hormones. Hope it helps. Anyone else have ringing in the ears?

  • Jochen March 14, 2016, 6:00 am

    I have taken Celexa for over 10 years, in various dosages, the last few months only 5mg (10 broken in half). I found taking it compounded my mood swings. It was as though it was having the opposite effect to what is was supposed to do and I have now weaned myself of it without any side effects (as of yet). I feel happier, more relaxed, it is as though I have rid myself from an invisible “master” and, yes, it did destroy my sex drive.

    • alec January 23, 2017, 10:46 pm

      When you say “it did destroy my sex drive,” you mean it did not return after you stopped the pill? You have PSSD?

  • Lee March 14, 2016, 4:21 am

    I recently stopped celexa cold turkey after being on max dose for 3 years. Not because I wanted to, but because of being on a very long wait list to see a psychiatrist. I have had headaches, the “electric charges” (which are terrible!), dizziness, wanting to cry for no reason, insomnia, shakiness, loss of appetite and the list goes on. Like the article says, keep yourself busy at all times. Try to ignore the symptoms, if possible. Hopefully I will be back on it, in the meantime, this is a huge adjustment…

  • Stacey March 13, 2016, 4:42 pm

    I have been on Celexa for approx. 13 years, I started taking it in college to help with anxiety. I haven’t wanted to take it for years, but was nervous that I would have anxiety again. I have been tapering down for the last month and now am off completely. The withdrawal symptoms are horrible, dizziness, nausea, hot/cold flashes with sweating.

    What I have been reading that no matter how long you’ve taken the drug and how careful you’ve been about tapering off the side effects can be bad. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there. I have been so tempted to start the medication back up just to feel normal again. Another part of me is saying that I’ve made it this far, I can’t possibly go through this again. Wish me luck!

    • Mery February 12, 2017, 3:41 pm

      Good luck. I’m going through withdrawal now and hope I can stick it out.

  • jeff March 12, 2016, 6:21 pm

    Reading this was rather depressing. I have been on between 40 and 20 ml for almost 10 years. I have wanted off for a year or so but every time I try I would get so sick. This time I tapered down for the last 3 months to just taking a small chip off the pill everyday. I am now in the second week of being off completely and still have all the symptoms listed.

    The worst is the constant dizziness. The mood swings I know are caused by this so I can deal with them. The depression gets overwhelming at times, but again I just keep reminding myself its the symptom. The other day I pondered if I had not moved my vehicle off the railroad tracks what would have happened as the train was speeding past.

    This drug has saved my life as I was going through a very dark time as a developer and home builder, so I’m glad I was on it. The side effects from getting free of it are very real and seem to be going on forever. Good to know I’m not the only one having these issues. I think I need to forward this on to my doctor who thinks getting off should not pose any problems.

  • Monique March 12, 2016, 1:27 pm

    Hi there. I just read your article and found it very informative. I forgot to take my cilift 40mg for about a week and felt fine so I thought it would be ok to stay off it. After about 3 weeks, I then experienced most of the things you listed as withdrawal symptoms and then immediately started my 40mg dose and experienced the same symptoms after 3 days of taking it.

    My doctor then referred me to a psychiatrist who immediately said I had a bipolar mood disorder. I have been taking the meds she has prescribed but I feel terribly ill, depressed and unable to work, it has been 7 weeks on these meds and I am still unable to go about a normal day. When I tell her of my symptoms, she ups my meds.

    I am open to whatever illness I may have but I just want to be sure that I am taking what is right for me and I want to be sure that I am bipolar.

  • Chris March 12, 2016, 11:46 am

    I’m coming off cilotropram and I’ve been going crazy past couple weeks wondering why I’m basically useless. I’m an athlete and got off my medication because can’t afford the weight gain or calm demeanor. I thought ok I’ll get off then go right back to normal. Not the case. I started a new job that’s extremely physical and can barely keep up.

    I’m also in school and let that slip as well. My training for up coming competition has also suffered. I’m experiencing more in week 3,4 then in initial weeks of withdrawals. I’m having severe nausea, headaches, sensitivity, mood swings, fatigue, paranoia, mood swings, anger, and suicidal thoughts pretty intense. I thought at first omg I can’t survive off of medication, I’m bat sh*t crazy forever.

    Then yesterday went and saw a doctor for a sports injury and I explained some symptoms and he says, “oh your withdrawing.” I really didn’t think they lasted long. It’s crazy the effect these pills have. I also pretty much quit cold turkey off of about 30mg. That is so bad bad, I really didn’t know the severity of these pills can do.

    I will never underestimate medication again. I heard that it gets better and I won’t be lazy, mood swinging, aggressive, mean girl forever. Thank goodness, because my wife is wondering what the heck was going on as I was.

  • Deb March 11, 2016, 6:52 pm

    I think I’d been on Citalopram for about 8 years. It’d been several since my last dosage review and I was having some major depression the last couple of years. I finally went in to have it reviewed and my family doc refused and sent me to a psychiatrist who immediately diagnosed me as bipolar. He tapered me off of Citalopram and put me on a couple of other drugs… of which I had allergic reactions to both.

    He cold turkey’d me from both of those and offered me another antidepressant after he admitted he may have MISDIAGNOSED me. I’ve not taken anything else out of fear of the drugged up feeling I’ve had for the last month. It’s been a couple of weeks since my last dose of Citalopram and three days since the last dose of the others. This is an AWFUL feeling…

    I am not sure if I have the brain zaps, but my face and lips tend to feel light shocks. The worst of this is the anxiety, feeling distanced, and internal shaking (you know, like when you are cold). I don’t know which effects belong to which drugs… but I am praying so hard to God that he returns my brain to normal as fast as possible.

    The highlight to my day was finding this site and seeing that I am not the only one going through this. Silly that I don’t know a single one of you, yet I no longer feel alone.

  • gigi March 9, 2016, 12:42 pm

    I have been off Celexa for almost 5 weeks now. The dizziness seems to be the worst WD symptom for me. Does anyone notice it comes and goes at times? I wake up some days and think it’s finally over and then I am dizzy again the next day. Women… are symptoms more intense when you have your period?

  • Kelly March 9, 2016, 1:49 am

    I have been taking Celexa (generic) for nearly 20 years now and I am sick of it. It was the least of the evils I had tried. Depression runs in my family and every time I try to quit – tapering or cold turkey – I go into a nose dive. Have any of you been on it this long? I expect to go through hell.

    I’ve been very sporadic with it lately, like cutting down from two 20mg/daily to one the one every other day. I have MISERABLE headaches. I’m sensitive to every sound and light. Initially the sexual side effects were few but after this much time it’s very difficult for me to enjoy the level of desire I once had (that and menopause!).

    So frustrating. I’m determined to do this but my doctor keeps scaring me into taking it. I’m ready to dump her and find someone who will help me wean off it.

    • gigi March 9, 2016, 12:53 pm

      Kelly, I have been on for over 15 years. I recently started experiencing “poop out” symptoms such as insomnia, sweating, fogginess… and my doc decided to switch me to Prozac which did not agree with me at all. I have now been off for 5 weeks and the WD symptoms are unpleasant as well. I have horrible headaches and the dizziness brings me to tears at times.

      I also am possibly perimenopausal which I am convinced is exacerbating the symptoms. Hang in there. We are all here to support one another. You can’t understand what it feels like unless you are experiencing it yourself. I will say a prayer for you :)

  • Cynthia March 8, 2016, 3:02 am

    Hi everyone, I have been taking Celexa 40 mg ,for the past 5 years. On August 2015 I decided enough with these meds. I started taking 20 mg for 4 months then totally dropped the Celexa cold turkey… I experienced every type of withdrawal from brain zaps, severe panic attacks, numbness on back of head(only when laying down), no appetite, nauseated, caffeine sensitivity, body aches, etc…

    From my experience Celexa is a very strong anti-depressant and one of the hardest medications to get off from. It’s been 8 months without Celexa and I do feel better. I lost 15 pounds, and I don’t feel fogged out as I did before. If you dedicate yourself to getting off these meds. Do so and don’t give up. I don’t advice anyone to just go cold turkey especially if your on a high dose like 40 mg.

    The side effects are very severe and you could end up in the emergency room. Consult your physician if you need help. Trying on your own doesn’t always help. Remember your body has to go through all these changes, and everyone’s different. Good Luck everyone.

    • gigi March 9, 2016, 1:16 pm

      Cynthia, Can I ask were you dizzy? And if so, how long did it last? I am 5 weeks off this horrible medication and it seems to be the one WD symptom that is persistent.

      • Cynthia March 17, 2016, 10:15 pm

        Hi. Gigi about your question absolutely. Dizziness for me was brutal and I felt like I was falling when I wasn’t. Yes, it’s odd but I know exactly what you mean. It gets better. It took me a little while to get over that WD myself but,I don’t have them anymore like that. I used to tell myself mind over matter all the time till my WD’s subsided. Hope it all works out for you and keep up the great work with getting off these. Good luck gigi

  • Jess March 7, 2016, 10:32 pm

    One thing I’ve learned from reading all the forums is that going off of Celexa or any SSRI cold turkey is not a great idea!! I’m so sorry to read about some of the people here who are having a hard time getting off their drug(s) this way. I wanted to share my story and perhaps offer some hope that it can be achieved through tapering.

    I started taking Effexor XR about 10 years ago, and then switched to Lexapro, and then Celexa (the latter switch due to a change in my insurance so I went with the cheaper version) to first help with depression and then anxiety. I think it’s been 4 or 5 years that I have been on Celexa 10 mgs. 10 mgs has been the right dose, just enough to take the edge off my demons and get me functioning at a high level. SSRIs have been an amazing crutch that really helped me as I learned different mental tools to cope with life.

    I have spent a good amount of time working with counsellors and I think I’ve learned a lot by just living and gaining experience. I’ve always had it my mind though, that the end goal is to try to get off of medication, and that’s what this post is about. I recall that about 7 years ago, I had tried to stop taking whatever SSRI I was on, and did so cold turkey. It didn’t go well. My depression came back right away and I had terrible bouts of sadness that affected my work and my relationships.

    I recall one day where I started crying, for no particular reason, at my desk and had to go home. I was so frustrated and angry that I was crying for what seemed like no real reason and felt like I had no control over my emotions. I stopped eating and couldn’t sleep. After a few days, I wasn’t feeling well at all – I knew to best to call my doctor, who told me to start taking the medication again, and soon enough I felt a lot better.

    When it comes to recent history with Celexa, I will say I haven’t been super compliant in taking a daily dose for the last few years. I have often missed one and would be reminded of that the next day with the all-too familiar brain zaps (for me, I feel it on the left and right side of my head, like my brain is shrinking. It’s the weirdest thing, isn’t it?).

    This past December my husband and I decided to start trying for a baby, and I knew that now would be an important time to try to come off the medication. Fortunately, a few things have changed in our lives, for the better, and so I feel the most equipped I have ever felt to deal with life without an SSRI.

    Here’s the tapering schedule I have followed:
    – In mid-December I tapered from 10 mgs/day (ok, let’s say every other day TBH) to 5 mgs daily. I was really diligent about taking a pill every day at this time as I needed to become acclimatized to this new, reduced dosage.
    – At the end of January I tapered to 2.5 mgs/day. I felt super fine at this level.
    – At the end of February, I tried to come off it altogether. Day 3 of no meds didn’t go well though – my head felt very foggy and I felt jittery. I had some plans with a friend who I didn’t know very well and I cancelled them because I didn’t quite feel up to the interaction. I took a 2.5 mg pill that night.
    – After that 2.5 mg pill, I tapered to 1.25 mg/day. I did this for about 2 weeks.
    – Today, March 7, is once more Day 3 of no medication. I am feeling fine today. I feel fortunate because I have a week off from work and so I can stay low-key and quiet, and focus on my health and doing things that make me happy. I hope that returning to work at Day 10 off of medication will be enough time to adjust. I have to trust that I have enough coping skills otherwise and so have a good chance at being successful.

    I’ve noticed through this tapering experience that I am bit more weepy than I usually am – like, crying over youtube videos. This morning I watched one about a man who built a craft room for his wife while she was away visiting family. The tears were brimming! A perk is that sex is great right now! And if these are the only two things then I think that will be fine!

    If it turns out that I can’t quite cope without meds, I won’t hesitate to take a 1.25 mg dose and adjust to that level, and then maybe try again when I feel ready. I may learn from this that my brain chemistry is such that I need some level of medication to manage, and I may need to accept that. I have been pleased to learn, though, that I can get by with as little as 1.25 mgs/day – about 10% of my original dosage! So that’s a win no matter what.

    Good luck everyone.

  • Debbie March 7, 2016, 1:14 am

    After about 6 to 7 years of being on Celexa I told my doctor I wanted to get off of it because I also read that it could cause complications to other organs. I have been having a lot of test being run at this time and celexa was one of the med’s that could cause you problems. I was taking 20mg daily. I feel like I’m losing my mind and my kids want me to go back on it.

    I will never go back on it. I to have been so dizzy and the dreams are just too much! There terrible not to mention I can’t sleep half o f the night. I’m crying right now! I weaned down for 3 weeks and it is going on 3 weeks since I quit. Someone said in one of there post that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I pray to God there is! 90 days is a long time to go through this plus I recently quit smoking am on day 3 so I am double whammy.

    I’m trying so hard but each day I’m faced with something else. I pray to God that this stops soon with the Cexela withdrawal symptoms and I will not pick up the cigarettes cause I do have the will power to say no after many years of smoking. I want better health and am so glad I got on this page and saw all of these posts to know I wasn’t losing my mind. God Bless you all and I hope we all conquer this!

    I want to add something as well. Please wean yourself off of celexa. I tried years ago to just cold turkey it and I was a mess. Weaning has been better and your physician will even tell you not to cold turkey you have to wean yourself. Weaning yourself you are still going to go thru it like I am now and maybe you too but, it’s much better. Take care and God Bless!

    • Jess March 8, 2016, 12:18 am

      Hi Debbie, sorry to hear that this is happening. I wonder if you’re trying to do too much at once? Stopping the medication and quitting smoking at the same time sounds like a lot!

  • Sherri March 6, 2016, 10:59 pm

    I have been nauseated, but my symptoms seem to be different. My fogginess is gone. I wake up alert in the morning. The issue I’m having is bad dreams, hot flashes are really bad, heart palpitations. Most of you are reporting that your hot flashes, and fogginess were there when taking it. I’m getting the hot flashes now that I stopped.

  • May Simonson March 6, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I have been on Celexa for almost 11 years for postpartum depression. I hate what it does to me and its so expensive. I have ran out of my prescription and they won’t renew it because I need to find a new doctor and I don’t want to. It has been a week and my mood swings are from very happy to crying uncontrollably and more depressed than when I took it. I hope these side effects are normal. I feel like I’m no one’s friend right now because I’m so moody. Thanks for listening.

  • Fiona March 6, 2016, 12:29 am

    Coming off citalopram is crazy… I am nearly 6 months cit free BUT today I experienced my first ever ‘brain zap’, I’ve had a bad headache & foggy brain for the last day or two and about an hr after I’d completed a heavy exercise session, while at lunch with the family, my brain suddenly felt like it was shrinking, shaking, tremoring and I stopped dead for a moment.

    It’s insane to think that this medication can cause effects 6 months after ceasing to take it. Not only that but the effects are debilitating and dangerous. I remember my Dr saying they were not addictive and putting me on them before I had time to wipe away my tears after explaining how I felt, by the way I’ve felt depressed for about 20 years and it really took courage to go and explain that to someone.

    I feel that the medical profession has let us down. I can’t believe they condone these drugs… coming off such drugs is hard, puts the patient in a really bad position and there is no support. I know if I went & explained how I feel to my Dr now she’d be writing a prescription for another antidepressant. There is a lot of ignorance about this topic.

  • randy March 5, 2016, 10:36 pm

    Wow…this site is a godsend. I had been on 40 milligrams for almost three years after a heart attack (one stent), when I experienced pretty severe anxiety and depression. It really helped me at the time to be able to rise above the obsessive fear of another HA, and other related fears. I’ve tapered to 20mgs for a just one a week now, and have had many of the symptoms described here – moving in slow motion (LOLLLL, which I can use as an inveterate type A); light dizziness at this point; and difficulty getting out of bed.

    ON THE FLIP side and the good news is that I feel more like me again and not like an emotional zombie–orgasms are getting back to normal after the chemical castration that is an SSRI and have somehow, through my weepiness (happy and sad), am reconnecting with my spirituality. Thanks to all of you–you have made my day.

  • Jean Pollard March 5, 2016, 10:14 pm

    I stopped taking Citalopram 3 months ago after 10 days. Little did I realize what the withdrawal symptoms were going to be like. I am still suffering most of them now. I went back to my GP and she explained that I had basically gone Cold Turkey. She has now put me back on 10mg which I am now also suffering the symptoms of side effects again. I have never felt so ill in my life. Please make sure you discuss with your GP before you decide to come off Citalopram.

  • Pam March 5, 2016, 5:08 am

    It’s been about 3 weeks since I quit Celexa cold turkey. Didn’t really mean to do it but after the 3rd or 4th day of forgetting to take the drug I decided just to quit (plus I’m also on Wellbutrin and I dislike taking so many pills). My doc wasn’t too happy with me but I told her it’s what I wanted. First few days were ok, some brain zaps and “head/brain turning” sensation that others have described.

    I slept horribly and when I did actually sleep my dreams were intense but not particularly frightening or anything. All those symptoms are pretty much gone but now I have the most intense abdominal pain I’ve ever felt. One night I actually threw up but mostly it’s just pain. If I eat even half of a meal it gets worse so I stick to small bites of (healthy) things all day long and drink lots of water.

    Also, crying is easier (like I remember it being before the medication) and I fight to control it the best I can. I also become very cold and then overheated very quickly for no reason. Those things are mere annoyances as compared to the stomach cramps. Thankfully, I have no suicidal thoughts (never really have) but I recognize I’m quicker to anger or become emotional. I have been able to talk myself down when I get into a situation where emotions can run high.

    That makes me feel like this will be worth it in the end, that I have learned how to keep myself from hasty actions that do nothing but exacerbate certain situations. I pray that this detox will be over in another month or so. Fingers crossed.

  • Katey March 3, 2016, 5:10 pm

    Thank you. I felt like I was going crazy tapering off celexa but now I know it will get better. You just made my life so much better. Thank you.

  • Katelyn March 2, 2016, 4:36 pm

    I couldn’t afford to pick up my prescription at the end of December. When I went to pick some up when I finally had the money to, the 20mg I usually took seemed to be a shock to my body. And at this point I had already been off it for a month and half. I have been feeling super sick, puking and dizzy, eyes are so heavy and all I want to do is just sleep.

    I can’t focus, and my head seems to feel fuzzy all the time, and I always have this lethargic feeling. Been having these symptoms well over 2 months now, since I pretty much stopped it not by choice. I don’t know if I should start taking again, and cut the pill in half, or if should just not take them at all?

  • Louise allan March 2, 2016, 4:15 pm

    This is week four of no citalopram, 20 mg for 3 years. I don’t seem to have experienced the dizzy turns, I have had the zaps, diarrhea, weird dreams (I do however sleep really well, and always out my bed for half six for work. Work is a godsend keeps me busy, although I did walk out of my job when having an irritable moment, my boss supported me and calmed me down and gave me some good advice. I’m not so sleepy at 5pm or even in the afternoon, I have more good days than bad. But my five senses are alert again, the tablets numb all that along with your emotions. Now I cry all the time 😀. Just plodding on and hoping for the best.

  • Melissa February 28, 2016, 9:24 am

    Just found this page and saw it still kinda active. I just got off Citalopram about 15 days ago. I took the pill for about a good year and a half after I developed an anxiety disorder in May 2014 that rendered me pretty much homebound as I’m to afraid to go outdoors for longs periods of time (luckily I work from home). I didn’t begin taking the pill until September when a friend suggested it to me.

    Reason why I chose to stop was cause probably about 4-5 months ago it just wasn’t having any effect and I just didn’t have the money to have another check in. I believe I went cold turkey? My doctor didn’t tell me to taper but to only take half the pill for a week then stop altogether. I can’t remember the mg’s but I believe it was 10mg or so due to my Long-QT Syndrome (A heart rhythm condition) diagnosed to me at a very young age.

    So far my conditions have reverted back to my time off the medicine except now it’s much more painful. Dizziness, nausea, the brain zaps the whole works. Though I’m apparently lucky that my heart condition also interferes with my condition so sometimes I feel like I’m having a heart attack an I had a hard time breathing. The past year and half has really broken me.

    I’m so tired I’ve been really thinking of suicide constantly, but I’m too afraid to do it. Here’s hoping that the side affects will go away. I want to feel normal again so badly.

  • Fiona February 27, 2016, 6:04 pm

    I am having a hard time at the moment… 5 months off cit but feel terrible. I have hives all over my legs, feel itchy, depressive, grumpy, really tired and really, really cold. This current wave has been with me for 2/3 weeks. I’m waiting for it to pass. Since yesterday I dont want to do my exercises, or actually do anything at all. I feel like I could sit in one position all day. The hives has gotten worse as has the coldness. Plus I’m irritable.

  • Lisa February 25, 2016, 10:17 pm

    I am 1 & 1/2 weeks into dropping Celexa cold turkey. Headaches and brain fog are my more severe withdrawal symptoms but also feel nauseous and have been crying or about to cry over pretty much anything. Had a great cry yesterday morning and it actually felt good as I feel since I’ve been on antidepressants I haven’t cried at all… 3+ years. Hoping things get back to “normal” in the next month or so.

  • Kaytie February 22, 2016, 12:31 am

    I’m on day 5 without my meds. I’ve taken 20mg daily for over 1 year. Emotionally I feel GREAT in fact I feel better off the meds. However, I’m feeling that same dizzy, foggy in a totally different zone brain gone crazy. How long do the WD symptoms last? BTW – CITALOPRAM IS A $4 MEDICINE AT ***WALMART***. I saw a few posts from people who couldn’t afford the medication but may wish to continue it. Hope this helps. BEST WISHES EVERYONE.

  • Michelle February 20, 2016, 7:33 pm

    It has been a month since I last posted. I still have the face tingling but not as bad. My aggression is horrible today. It comes and goes but I feel so depressed too. Still crying alot. I go see my Dr. Next Monday but just figure she’ll suggest more Medicine. NO thanks! I will get through this but I have to say, I have NEVER in my life felt so nutty. :(

    From what I read I may have a couple more months? That’s even more depressing but I will get through it. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories of this withdrawal nightmare.

  • SVR February 15, 2016, 12:53 pm

    I am so thankful to have found this site. I had not tied any of the symptoms I have been experiencing to citalopram withdrawal. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. The worst side effect is the dizziness when moving my eyes. This coupled with the constant nausea.

    I have tapered down from 30mg a day and came off it completely about a week ago. I was warned I might experience side effects, but didn’t really think anything of it. I am very determined to get through this. I am still on mirtazapine 30mg but don’t want to have to rely on both anymore.

    • Chantale February 18, 2016, 12:13 pm

      Does anyone have «hand zaps»? It’s like electrical shocks, but in your hands. I’ve had those before when I withdrew from Effexor XR (the worst withdrawal medication, it seems, like heroin!). And the face flushes, I have! But it’s been 6 days I’ve stopped cold turkey because I was experiencing «hypomania» (don’t know the word in English) and I’ve just started having withdrawal symptoms.

      • Fiona February 20, 2016, 12:41 am

        Hi, No hand zaps with me just very tingly, fuzzy hands. At the moment lots of digestive issues, unfocused thinking & obsessive thinking. Good luck!

      • Lindy February 20, 2016, 9:17 pm

        Yes I have, like electric shooting pains going through my veins of hand and up my arm. PLEASE EVERYONE!!! Taper down gradually, you will cut out most of the horrible withdrawal symptoms. I am down to 5 mg from 20mg, I started tapering down since December. Hopefully in May I will be completely off citalopram.

  • Lisa February 11, 2016, 12:27 am

    I took the generic version of Celexa for almost 3 years. I took 10 mg everyday but sometimes I took at lease 20 mg to get me through the entire day. I had anxiety and it did help me cope with it. A couple weeks ago I just decided I would be getting off of this medicine once and for all. I feel I can deal with my anxiety in different ways and not with medicine.

    I have been fully off this medicine for going on 5 days now. My brain feels foggy, and I can not focus at all. I cannot imagine you all who took way more of a dose. I weaned myself off for a week with only taking 5 mg. I haven’t gotten sick (yet) but oh the brain fog and sometimes I cannot focus like I was able to. I’m ready for these discontinuation symptoms to stop.

    I didn’t realize how much that little darn bill affected me. Oh as I am typing this the grogginess is starting again. My mornings are not bad at all but after 1 pm the lightheaded feeling starts and the dull headache starts. A nap sometimes helps but not all the time. I hope it only takes a couple weeks to get back to normal.

  • Lilly February 10, 2016, 7:12 pm

    I have been on 40mg of Celexa for 4 years. I am just now coming off of it and officially no longer taking the drug. I have been nauseous, dizzy and have terrible migraines. I’m so mad that I took this drug for this long if these are the effects my body has to not receiving it.

  • Tammy Jones Ingraham February 8, 2016, 5:42 pm

    I am on day 9 after a slow taper. I never took a very high dosage, 30 mg at the highest point. I took it for menopausal depression for about 7 months. I took 10 mg for 2 months at the end, and then every other day for a week before stopping. I was doing so well for the first week, I was not concerned about withdrawal symptoms.

    Well, they have arrived with bells and whistles! My symptoms showed up on day 7. It began with the dizziness and a few aches and pains. Day 6 brought flu like symptoms that really have gotten bad enough today I left work after two hours. My brain is sluggish and my concentration sucks. I am a legal assistant, so this is no bueno!

    I was not too concerned because I figured it would be over in a day or two. I guess I’m a little off base in that thinking. I will never take this again. I have been praying for God to intervene. I would appreciate your prayers, as well. I will update in a week or so.

  • laura February 6, 2016, 5:45 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this website. At least I know I’m not going crazy now. I asked my doc if these symptoms were from withdrawal and she sent me information regarding dizziness due to low blood pressure or lack of hydration. Looking for a new doc tomorrow!!!

    • Gigi February 7, 2016, 2:35 pm

      Same here Laura… I’ve been tested for everything and doc looks at me like I am nuts when I ask if it possible that my symptoms are from the Celexa… yet I feel the same way everyone on this site does. The dizziness is the absolute worst!

      • Ken February 8, 2016, 3:49 pm

        I had been on either Zoloft or Celexa since 1999. I weaned myself off of Celexa over the course of a few years going from 30mg down to 10mg. I was then taking 10mg every other day and then every 3rd day etc. I stopped taking Celexa altogether in September 2015. I had the brain zaps or as I called them power surges, dizziness, foggy memory and diarrhea.

        The dizziness and brain zaps have stopped but the diarrhea is still very bad waking me at least once a night and then occurring 3 or 4 times during the day. I told my doctor about it and she ordered, a complete blood count, urinalysis, EKG, and colonoscopy. Blood test, EKG and urinalysis came back all normal.

        I had the colonoscopy on Feb 2nd. The results were no diverticula, and the mucosa looked normal throughout. Several biopsies were taken to rule out microscopic colitis. No infection found in the stool samples and ultimately no colitis. That’s all reassuring. All tests came back as normal. I am going back to the Gastroenterologist to discuss this Celexa-diarrhea connection.

        It’s the only thing I can conclude. I am taking probiotic VSL #3 with breakfast. It does help with the diarrhea…sometimes. At this point I feel so out of sorts. The wieght I gained on Celexa has come off. I went from 191 pounds down to my current 183 since September 2015. I am hoping this diarrhea stops soon. I am considering going back on Celexa at the 10mg level to see if that helps. Hanging on with all my might.

        • Fiona February 16, 2016, 1:24 pm

          I had a lot of digestive issues with my withdrawals but nothing as severe as you Ken. However, I came off citalopram totally (after a taper) in Sept 2015 up until last Friday I thought I was over the withdrawals but I have a lot of tingling in my ankles, wrists and teeth, some anxiety/depression and feel like I have a stomach bug…

          I think I’m having withdrawals again. As soon as I felt the tingling I suspected it as it is really reminiscent of the way I felt previously. Is this possible? Has anyone else felt that the withdrawals come and go. I’ve felt really good for the past 6 weeks! I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

    • Mawra October 22, 2016, 10:33 pm

      My doctor did the exact same thing! Said the dizziness was low blood pressure and didn’t acknowledge when I asked if my palpitations could be due to withdrawal.

  • Fiona February 6, 2016, 8:19 am

    Hi, I’m 4 months off citalopram and I feel great, so it does get better. The only withdrawals I have now are minor itchy skin. skin crawling sensations and a little anxiety. I have lost all the weight I put on over the 2 years (about a stone), am motived and can get lots done and don’t have that horrible black-hole despair that can engulf you.

    My withdrawals went as follows:
    Month 1 – Mainly physical stuff… bad headaches, foggy brain, confusion, stomach issues, tiredness, snapping at my family, anger, bad dreams
    Month 2 – All the mental stuff… getting overwhelmed, depression, anxiety, deep despair, feeling there was no end to it.

    It gets better hang on in there. Exercise and listening to a depression hypnotherapy app helped me.

  • tallulah February 5, 2016, 10:25 pm

    My advice is always taper this drug off, never ever go cold turkey. I took Citalopram for 6 years, i decided to come off it because I started to get twitching muscles especially at night, and it was keeping my husband awake. I was on 20mg per tablet, I dropped 1 tablet per month for 7 months then when I was down to only taking 1 per week I did this for 6 weeks then I stopped.

    Even though I took a fair time weaning off them the first week off them I thought I was coming down with flu. I had a bad headache every day and my limbs ached, the 2nd week the headaches stopped, but I still ached and found getting off to sleep difficult, the third week I find I am now ok and my sleep patterns seem to have gone back to normal.

    It is a powerful drug, and just stopping without tapering throws the whole body into turmoil. I did it over 8 months and still had 3 weeks of symptoms, but these were not severe and I was able to cope with them. But I say it again NEVER EVER just stop, it can do untold damage.

  • Michelle February 5, 2016, 9:20 pm

    I decided to stop taking my Celexa. I have been on 30mg for 1 year. I stopped cold turkey about 8 days ago. I also just quit smoking, 29 days ago. All I can say is that I have been having unbearable aggression. I cannot tolerate much. My family wonders what is wrong with me as I have always been a very sweet & loving person. I feel like I am going insane and I cry too much every day. My face is still feeling weird with a tingling sensation. I sure hope these symptoms subside soon!

  • Kara February 3, 2016, 2:14 pm

    I am writing to let you know it DOES get better! I found this website when I was at my absolute WORST! I had been on 20 mg of Citalopram for 6 years to treat anxiety that literally came out of nowhere one day at the age of 36. Citalopram (Celexa) changed me. I had no drive, no energy, and no motivation to be an active participant in the world. I floated through life not really experiencing much joy in anything.

    Completely the opposite of my personality. My husband and children suffered along with me. At year five I decided it was time to get off the meds. I started taking 10 mg and did that for about 10 months. Then I went to 5 mg for a few weeks. One week I was travelling and had an overnight flight. I forgot to take my pill two nights in a row. And then it started, the brain zaps. I had experienced them before when I would miss a dose.

    I decided it was time and stopped taking the 5 mg. WOW! General confusion, inability to form sentences, headaches, moodiness, sluggishness, depressed feelings, stomach pains and bowel issues. All the things mentioned in the article above and others commented on… but the brain zaps were the worst. Constantly feeling like Max Headroom (from the 80s TV show) getting electrocuted, all the clicking and buzzing that happens.

    It’s so hard to explain to people who have never experienced it. That’s when I found this thread and saw so many others with the same experiences. So I fought the urge to go back on the medication to make it all stop. It has been 1 month. I hadn’t realized the brain zaps subsided until I went to bed last night and my husband asked how I was feeling. I went a whole day without a single zap!!

    My motivation is returning, I spent the weekend doing projects around the house that were long overdue. I feel better overall, like I am returning to my old self. I still have random moments of crying for no reason that started about a week after stopping the Citalopram. But I can sense that I am definitely getting through the withdrawal. I wanted to come back to this post to tell anyone else suffering that it does get better!

    I was petrified to think I would experience these symptoms for months! But in the grand scheme of life, months is a mere fraction. Stay strong, rely on your support system, and know that there is an end to the confusion, even if you can’t see it now.

    • Gigi February 6, 2016, 7:15 pm

      I have been on Celexa 20mg for over 15 years only stopping when I was pregnant. About 6 months ago I started feeling “Foggy” and exhausted and after many doc appointments and tests that ruled other problems out we finally decided it was this medication making me feel this way. I was switched to Prozac which made me feel like I was jumping out of my skin,increased my anxiety and just gave me a general overall feeling of craziness. I decided to come off everything. I am now 9 days Celexa free and this dizziness and nausea cannot go away soon enough! My acid reflux is out of control and my stomach full of gas and bloat. I really hope this goes away soon!

  • Alex February 3, 2016, 6:38 am

    Please read either the entire text or from the section labled (TL;DR) ~3/4 of the way down. If you don’t want to read that read the Disclaimer on the bottom at the very least. You are on this website section for a reason just read it.

    Just a quick comment on my personal experience with citalopram. I was prescribed this medication initially at a 20mg dose and was gradually incremented to 40mg over the course of about a year. This medication was paired with lithium to treat a pretty serious mental collapse I had just experience. These medications were prescribed to me to treat rather social anxiety and depression that had manifested itself during what doctors called a manic episode.

    Anyways, I’ll try to further explain my situation and experience with these drugs briefly. (TL;DR section below)

    D-day (i.e. Day of mental collapse) : Get to hospital, undergo psych evaluation, doctor notes indicate that I’m manic (euphoric & without a filter on what comes out of my mouth)… = give patient pretty powerful sedatives? (3 little yellow pills that dissolved on my tongue and other pills to swallow). This does the trick and I became more relaxed and down to earth.

    D-day+3: Couple days go by, more psych evaluations, more drugs, this time he recommends a tipsy chaotic injections (in Invega Sustenna? All I know is they were $1000 a pop and we’re given every 3 weeks.)

    D-day+14: Released from hospital still in a haze as compared to my normal self. Meds: Citalopram 20mg and lithium 1200mg

    D-day+30: Symptoms are somewhat lessened but still present (anxiety&depression) but this haze of confusion, insomnia, headache spells, nausea and spells of “casual” suicidal thoughts.

    D-day+3M: Anxiety & depression get a little worse and this haze of confusion is increasing and the other side facts are decreasing. Doc prescribes a gradual increase of citalopram to 30mg.

    D-day+6M: Same… But increase dose to 40mg slowly.

    D-day+(exactly)365 days: I decide to take a risk and remove myself cold turkey from my medications… Withdrawal symptoms are very intense as described above, but I push through it and play it off as having the flu for the first few days… I think my Mom realized what I was doing and let me do it under her supervision.

    Withdrawal-day+14: Withdrawal symptoms are mostly gone and I notice that the haze is slowly clearing

    Withdrawal-day+1M: wow I’m almost back to my old self.

    Withdrawal-day+6M: I’m 100% back to my previous self, in fact even better, because I learned from the past year’s experience. At this point I en-us talking to my doctor about weaning off my medications one at a time. He suggests to not do this, but I manage to pursway him… Because after all I’ve been wasting money on these prescriptions to make it look like I was taking them for the past while.

    W-day+365: doc “completely” removes me from meds.


    Citalopram trapped me in a mental haze/for of confusion, uncertainty and forgetfulness. I decided to not take my meds anymore after a year and the haze gradually lifted and became my real-self again. Even without my preexisting social anxiety and depression. For example before I was mortified to talk in front of people, now I would probably be able to sing or dance (if I had those skills) in front of a small gathering/class.

    **Disclaimer this is just my story, please don’t attempt what I did, tell your doctor about All of your symptoms, I now realize that the key to chronic issues is time and patience trying new medication combinations and waiting 2, 3, 4 months is not a long time, specially if that medication combination was the right one for you, and you just discounted it because it didn’t start working right away. Having to take anti-whatever medications for the rest of your life is much more common that you think. :)

    ***You’re worth more than you could ever imagine to many people. Everyone (mom/dad/siblings/extended family/BF/GF/&friends) care more deeply about you than you can possibly imagine. :) I hope this information is not new to you, but if it is know that it is true :).

  • Dave C January 31, 2016, 5:00 pm

    Coming of Celexa after 4 years. Was thinking my new meds, Trazodone, was screwing me up as I haven’t had a good natural sleep since I came off about 10 days ago. Trazodone makes you drowsy as a side effect. I have tons of energy most of the day even without much sleep but occasionally I just get overwhelmed and have to lay down, I don’t sleep but the little rest helps me a lot.

    Like many of these comments I have read, I am going through a lot of the withdrawal systems. Thank god other people are having the “leaving your brain behind when you turn your head”, as its been happening to me all week but honestly wouldn’t know how to explain it myself. It’s a little scary driving, because I am one of the few that actually turn their head to check the blind spots, when I turn my head back forwards its a very strange feeling…

    “Leaving your brain behind when you turn your head”. Doctor gave me Oxazepam for 7 days. I was thinking it was to help till the Trazodone kicked in and haven’t taken it regularly. Now that I know it will probably help my withdrawal symptoms, I will be taking these regularly till they run out and see from there. Wish me luck…

  • Mary January 30, 2016, 1:58 am

    Here is my story. I was on Celexa as long as it has been out. The last couple years I started feeling real crappy while even taking it. I think it is called the poop outs. I was taking 60mg. Way more then I need to take. I went down to 40 for a few days and then went cold turkey. I know I know. I did this about almost two months ago.

    I would not tell anyone to go cold turkey, but it seems like you go through the same withdrawals as tapering down would do. The only side effect I am having is the feeling that my head is not hooked on to my body. My attention span is very short. I have gotten past the crying stage. I am surprised my side effects are not worse. I am no depressed at all. Have not had that side effect. My sleeping is messed up some.

    I don’t sleep all day like I did on the Celexa. I will not go back on them and if I feel to awful I will take a lorazepam. That is usually a couple times a week. I know I have a long road ahead of me to get it all out of my systems but I felt the same way on it as I do off it. I have not lost any weight, but I am not worrying about that right now. That will come in time. I feel a little short sometimes and that is getting better.

    I can go through all this because I live alone and don’t have kids to take care of. I would love to get a job soon. I have to do this. Sometimes I think maybe I should try something different like Wellbutrin but then I think why would I. I am not depressed and know my body is thinking what the heck are you doing to me. I am going to stay strong. I am thinking it might take a year to feel the symptoms to go away.

    I have not had brain zaps and I hope I do not get them. My body feels numb sometimes but it is just metamorphosing to it’s normal self. Which I hope I find. If you find misspelling and words not right and it part of the process of getting myself back to a no drug state. I wish you all the best and we know we are in the same boat. We can do it.

    Stay strong and know you are not alone with this process. Oh and my eyes feel a little goofy too. I will keep you all informed of my progress. I will be glad when the nice weather gets here cause that will help a ton to be back on the golf course. take care.

  • Sam January 29, 2016, 11:45 am

    I tapered down over a few months from 40mg. I stopped altogether 2 weeks ago.The first week was fine. But the 2nd week has been awful. I have had a banging headache that hasn’t gone away and felt really dizzy. Also the only thing that helps is eating sweet stuff which I’m craving like mad. Please could someone advise if they had any of these symptoms? Mentally I feel fine, it’s just physical symptoms.

  • Ted January 29, 2016, 5:11 am

    I feel like poop. I was taking 20 mg for a couple months. Then it stopped working. Then my doctor put me on 40. I took it about a week. I missed two days now and I feel crazy. Brain zaps and dizziness. I don’t know if I should keep taking them or stop. I don’t want to feel like this. Oh, and my penis doesn’t work. Help me…

  • Lisa January 29, 2016, 1:37 am

    I take 20mg of celexa per day. Recently, I cut the pill in half and almost immediately suffered a full blown panic attack. I took some Xanax and went right back on 20mg of celexa. Help! How am I going to get off this scary drug?

  • Rand Johnson January 29, 2016, 12:19 am

    4 years at 20mg and a move out of state with an inability to establish new insurance and doctor has left me forced into cold turkey quits. While I haven’t had any headaches, the anxiety and occasional “suicidal” (I’m using this term loosely as I am usually just frustrated and moody and pithily think “I wish I could just die.”) thoughts are rampant. Worse yet, I can’t sleep and when I do, I wake up from incredibly stressful dreams or flat out nightmares.

    Considering that I was prescribed the drug to handle my anxiety, this is incredibly daunting. It has bled into my work. As a waiter, it takes all of my resolve not to lose it and scream at customers and usually ends with being so stressed out that I let loose on a manager and on two occasions been so peeved that I’ve considered walking off of the job. Not my favorite way to start a new job. I’m not an emotional person, typically.

    I’m usually the one people come to for a bit of joy. Frankly, I liked myself much better on the drug. A few things in the article above were helpful. Hearing that the crazy dreams are part of the process and that anxiety and mood swings will intensify and then go away gives me hope. At least now I have a little hope and can try to tell myself that I’m just in withdrawals before I go off on a customer for some perceived slight.

    The brain zaps seem triggered by sudden head turns or exaggerated eye movements. It’s a frightening feeling and is usually immediately followed by a dizzy spell as my brain tries to catch up with my vision which is likely the trigger for my nausea. I’ll start taking ginger for motion sickness and try to enjoy the dizzy spells and zaps like I’m on a rollercoaster or something.

    This is a tough slog. As sad as it makes me that anyone else would have to feel these things I am secretly pleased that there are others who feel it. I’m trying to adjust to this withdrawal. I used to read to relax, but I have trouble comprehending things I’ve just read. It triggers stress and anxiety which just exacerbates the problem at this time.

    Guess I’ll need a new hobby for a few months. Good luck to everyone. It has only been six days. I’ll come back after the recommended 3 months and see how I’m doing. Be well, all!

  • lourdes January 28, 2016, 11:54 pm

    I’m on day 11. I feel flu-like and it also feels like I have severe muscle aches or arthritis. For the anxiety my Dr increased depakote and I got relief from that. I only reduced a quarter of pill (taking 3/4) and I feel horrible. My panic feels disgusting in my chest and heart. I took this med to help with horrible withdrawals from Latuda. Best wishes. I will try to come back keep you posted.

  • Rachae T January 28, 2016, 8:50 pm

    I have been on citralopram for 5 years, 20mg, last 18 months 10mg. Doc said to stop, no reduction just stop as I wouldn’t actually be getting any benefit from it. She failed to explain the withdrawal symptoms, which have hit me like a train and I almost went back on the meds until I read this article. Now just need to ride it out and hope the recovery period is short. Good community on here, thanks for all the info.

  • Brenda January 28, 2016, 7:42 am

    I started taking celexa when I was 15, I am now 20, turning 21 in a few short months and I finally decided to stop taking celexa. For the last 3 years I have been taking 40mg. As I started to get older I began to notice the lack of sexual desire. I had little to no sexual desire and that’s one of the main reasons i stopped as it began to affect not only me but my 3 year relationship with my boyfriend.

    I have gone almost a week without taking the pills and I feel absolutely horrible. I feel those shocks, extreme irritably, sensitivity – as I found myself crying a lot, feeling fatigue and lastly not being able to focus in class as I am just focusing on how horrible I feel. Although it is so easy to just pop a pill to feel better, I rather stick it through and never have to rely on a pill to make me feel good.

  • LoJo January 27, 2016, 5:16 pm

    Wow… Thank you for all sharing. I have tapered off of 40 mgs in the last month. 2 days ago stopped taking all together. My ears are RINGING so much and I have brain zaps, spaciness… all of the symptoms. I’m leaving in 2 days to be with my elderly father in Florida and bring him north and help settle his affairs as his wife died yesterday.

    Will I be able to handle all this w/out celexa and with all these withdrawal symptoms? I too am afraid of anxiety returning… I would drive 30 miles to a party just to turn around and go home because I couldn’t bring myself to walk in. I hope I’m not her anymore. I’m pretty fun when I’m not afraid of life. Heavy sigh… projecting great things for all of us celexa free warriors.

  • Michelle January 27, 2016, 1:37 pm

    I have been taking Celexa for about 15 plus years and during the last 8 months . I realize that during the last 8 months I have been experiencing side effects from this drug, the worst being “feeling of doom”. I am on my 6th day without this drug and want to feel better. Light electric shocks and fatigue, little stomach issues, BUT DOOM is gone. I am wanting to get back to myself soon.

  • Anonymous January 22, 2016, 9:40 am

    The drug never really worked for me. I still had anxiety, no appetite, I lost a stone in 2 months, no energy and I used to love to exercise, headaches, chest pains, palpitations, nausea, shaking, hot flushes, constantly falling asleep, general feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I came off them after nearly 3 months, they’re in the bin!

    I just have the occasional headache, palpitations and chest pain are decreasing, I have a little more energy. I do feel a little bit away with the fairies sometimes but that will pass. Overall I feel better off the tablets even with the withdrawal symptoms, it’s been 2 weeks since I threw them out.

    The last straw was going to the doctors with a list of side effects a page long and him just giving me more time off work and another prescription, ignoring my request to try something new. I honestly think these tablets cause more problems than they prevent.

    • Gkwelsh January 24, 2016, 2:04 pm

      My mom is 80 and having withdrawals from this drug. I certainly hope it’s not 2 months of this on her body and mind.

  • Summer Anderson January 20, 2016, 4:21 am

    This is the most refreshing thing I’ve ever read, besides my Big Book of AA LOL. It’s REALLY nice to know I’m NOT loosing my mind! Or really leaving it behind when I turn my head!!! CANT WAIT FOR THE NORMAL!

  • Leslie January 18, 2016, 2:00 pm

    I quit Celexa cold turkey about a week ago and the brain zaps are probably my biggest complaint. My problem is, I’m scared I will go back to my old self before I started taking Celexa. I kind of feel like I “need” the drug and maybe I’m making a mistake by not taking it. Does anyone else feel that way? How do you know you should really stop taking it?

    • GLOOM January 19, 2016, 2:33 am

      If you feel like you need the drug, why stop taking it? If the drug is therapeutically effective and benefits outweigh the side effects, it usually makes sense to continue treatment… Some people end up discontinuing and realize that they never needed the drug in the first place and feel significantly better “drug-free” or with alternative interventions. Others derive substantial benefit from continued treatment. No two people are identical and there’s no “one size fits all” blueprint for deciding “to continue” or “discontinue.” Ultimately you are responsible for your own mental health and finding what works for YOU. This usually requires experimentation. Best wishes.

  • Theresa Atherton January 17, 2016, 7:49 pm

    I am SO glad that I found this forum. I thought I was going mad, my family thought I was exaggerating when I said I felt SO ill. My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I couldn’t cope. The dr recommended Citalopram, 20mg it felt too strong so I dropped to 10mg. Tried twice to stop but felt too ill. Before X-mas decided to start the new year without antidepressants.

    I can’t turn my head without feeling dizzy, I feel sick electric shocks all over. everything you have all mentioned. This is my 3rd week I am REALLY struggling. I am so glad to have found people who understand what I feel like, unless you have been through it, its hard for people to understand. I have got to believe at sometime this will stop. Never ever again will I ever go near this drug again.

  • Adam January 13, 2016, 12:54 am

    Hi Guys, Keep soldiering on! I started tapering of Celexa/Celephram 4 weeks ago. I’d been on 40mgs for about 2 years and felt that I was now ready to start coming off for many reasons. The first four weeks I dropped to 20mgs. The biggest challenge I had was sleeping and the occasional headaches. All in all, I was able to tolerate it.

    This week I dropped to 10mgs. Today is day 3. This has been the toughest few days by far. Anxiety, sleeplessness and a few headaches/brain zap type sensations. I go through moments of real downs as well. Having said that, none of these side effects are long lasting, I’m able to push through without giving up (thought about jumping straight back onto the meds many times).

    The positives, when I’m not experiencing the side effects I feel clearer, I don’t feel “numb” and I already have an increased sex drive. I’ll do the 10mgs for another few weeks and then transition to zero! I know it will be tough, but hey, if we’ve been winning the battle against our mental illness then I’m sure a few side effects will be beaten!

  • susie January 11, 2016, 5:03 am

    I’ve been 4 days off Citalopram 40 MG after using this drug for 1 year. It’s been horrible. I have crying fits, dizziness, fear, horrible dreams, nausea, insomnia and fatigue… they’ve replaced Citalopram with buspar, please pray that it works.

    • Lindy January 12, 2016, 8:36 pm

      Hi Susie, I’ve been taking St. John’s wort while slowly tapering down, it seems to be helping me. I wish you all the best and I’ll pray for us all.

  • John January 11, 2016, 1:53 am

    What a great forum. Thank you all for relieving my concern about the headaches and nausea I’ve been experiencing. I cut my dose in half about 10 days ago. I’ll give it a couple weeks and then cut the rest. Beneath the side effects I can tell I feel a lot better. And sex is already greatly improved :)…

    • Lindy January 12, 2016, 8:39 pm

      That’s good to hear John, hopefully mine will improve too! It has really affected my marriage.

  • Lucky January 10, 2016, 8:34 am

    So I went could turkey, it’s been 12 days now, I wanted to know how long it would take to get this citalopram out of my body and found this site. I was given it by my doctor about 6 years ago and have hated the thought of taking it every day since then. 12 days ago I made my mind up to stop, I know I should of come off slowly but I can be a crazy all or nothing person sometime.

    Finding this site and reading all your comments has been a true blessing to me, because the headaches and dizzy spells suck and being irritable when I have four kids, is not a good mix, every time I feel like this, I take a deep breath and say to myself inside, this is not me it’s the drugs keep calm, which often works.

    I have put on quite a bit of weight, had no idea some of that could have be because of the drugs, so that was really good to find out. I am looking forward to finding out who I am again with out this drug in my body. Thank you all for sharing this has been a true blessing for me, and has made me even more determined to keep going, I know if we all hang in there long enough we can get through this, good luck and God bless you all.

  • David January 9, 2016, 9:20 pm

    I’ve been tapering down from my 20mg dosage of Citalopram for about 2 months. Last Wednesday was my last 5mg dose. Things seemed ok, for the first few days, but this last week I’ve had vertigo off and on all day. I don’t sleep well and my self image is really low. To top it off, I’ve been nearly unbearably irritable with my wife this week, incredibly emotional and have had random images of suicide.

    Last night was the lowest I’ve felt since I started taking the drug, my wife and I got in a bit of an argument over nothing and I went and laid in a dark room alternating between sobbing and all out bawling. Since that episode I’ve barely had the strength to hold my head up or walk around. I took a shower this morning and started bawling out of nowhere.

    My wife sat me down with a guided meditation app on her iPad after this episode and it really helped my mood settle, but I’m clenching up right now typing this. I’m just hoping that sharing will help me regulate it a bit. I just keep telling myself that it’s just the withdrawal symptoms and it will pass, but part of my depression makes it incredibly hard to accept that it will end. Thank you for reading.

  • Paul January 8, 2016, 5:07 pm

    Wow I’m so dizzy 😵! Its like I’ve been out drinking all day. Mad dreams and headaches, id say lethargy but I’m a lazy MF anyway! Just got to crack on and get back to normality. Went through morphine withdrawal about two months ago. That was like influenza and bad stomach for four or five days, symptoms I expected. But this feels weird, I suppose a drug that changes you brain chemistry is gonna have a trippy effect when you come off. Good look people.

  • Jane January 8, 2016, 6:14 am

    I stopped taking citalapram 19 December 2015. I have never felt so crappy in my life as I do now. Continuous dizzy spells and lethargy. I cannot do a thing. Is this normal?

    • David January 9, 2016, 9:22 pm

      I feel very similar, which tells me that it’s normal or at least some people experience it.

  • sara January 7, 2016, 9:46 pm

    I have been taking this medicine since 2012 when I first moved back to another state. I think this was my doctors last hope because I have been on so many different antidepressants since my early 20’s. Needless to say, I went off this cold turkey & its only been a month, but it’s been the absolute worst nightmare.

    I felt like was suffering from the flu, my anxiety has been off the charts, I can not concentrate at work without getting upset. I honestly feel I am at my lowest. Ive had two friends get off the same medication & are fine now. I just hope this pasts for me. Tired of taking drugs to make me happy & tired of feeling like this for not being on them.

  • randal January 6, 2016, 5:58 pm

    Man, I am glad I found this forum. I have never responded to a forum in my life. You have given me great comfort to know others are in my shoes. I would like to give you some positive news so you can take comfort as well. I quit celexa 5 days ago. I have had a lot of the symptoms listed above including zaps, and intestinal problems and night sweats and all that stuff.

    However, the clarity I am beginning to feel in my mind and my body keeps me going. The weight is falling off me. My doctor told me for the last five years that Celexa should not cause much weight gain and will not cause any sex drive problems. I gained a bunch of weight and have had lots of sex drive problems. I have been on 40 mg for five years.

    I am getting a new doctor, and as far as I am concerned, prescribing this medicine, or any of these types of meds should be restricted to only psychiatrists who understand what they are doing. Ha, Ha, on that one with big pharma in control. I have used the excess nervous energy and sleeplessness and put it to good use journaling every thought I have.

    I highly recommend journaling and it has helped me a lot. I also have a great therapist and if you can afford one, I highly recommend that. Thank you all for your courage and take heart. Just remember, it gets better.

    • Lindy January 12, 2016, 8:29 pm

      That is very encouraging to hear! ☺️

  • Shelley January 5, 2016, 8:16 pm

    I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 5 years ago and have been on increasing meds since then, while holding down a full time job. Due to the severity of some of the symptoms and some serious issues at work, I was prescribed 20mg cita 18 months ago. After suffering with weight gain and bloating, etc. Since then, I recently discovered that there was a major contraindication between one of my Parkinson’s meds and the cita.

    This being over Christmas I decided to go cold turkey as I was also on annual leave. I am pleased to say that after 8 days of nausea, bad dreams, sweats and constant sleeping (during which I needed to go back to work) I am feeling completely normal today! I know I’m probably one of the fortunate ones, but with my PD symptoms and all the side effects from the meds for that, this is brilliant, so keep at it and you will come out the other side!

  • jenna b January 5, 2016, 8:12 pm

    My eyes are so crazy when I’m withdrawing (been only six days off of 20mgs for about two years on drug) they twitch and don’t move as fast as I want them to. Dreams are just starting but they were way worse when I was on the drug. I couldn’t determine real life and my dreams apart… my lips are constantly going numb to where I have problems with my speech.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m going to fall over. My insurance was dropped that’s y I stopped and I will never go back on a antidepressant in my life. My whole life is upside down because of this drug. Numbness goes through my whole body not just my brain.

  • Lindy January 3, 2016, 11:28 pm

    Hello Everyone. I’ve been on citalopram 20 mg for 3 years. I’ve experienced weight gain, hair loss and decrease in sex drive. The tablets don’t seem to work as good as they did. I’m tapering off them very slowly, it’s been 4 weeks so far, it will take me at least 4/5 months. I don’t want the side effects to be intense as I have children to look after.

    It has been very encouraging reading all your experiences, thank you! At the moment I’m down to 10 mg, I have noticed I’m very irritable at times, restless and can’t get to sleep that well. I would be grateful for any advice given 😊.

  • joel January 3, 2016, 6:24 pm

    Glad to read all these comments, it gives me assurance and peace of mind that whats happening to me is normal and could be overcome. My only problem after a week of withdrawal is the bad dreams. Minimum of 2 nightmares every single night. So scary, uncomfortable and make me get up terrified. I will push myself so hard and try different things to get better. P.S. The page is so helpful, thank you for everyone especially the person that found it.

  • Deanna January 3, 2016, 1:50 pm

    I have been on 40 mg for years. I quit cold turkey because I was sick. I have less of an appetite for the past week. I’m having to remind myself to eat and I cry at little things. My desire for sex is returning where before it was almost non existent. So far I am feeling better not being on antidepressants than when I was on it.

  • Jp January 3, 2016, 3:12 am

    I went to my psychiatrist for severe anxiety and was prescribed Setraline (Zoloft) first and took that for a few months. I was moved from 50mg to 150 mg and ended up in the emergency room as a result of insanely bad side effects. After that I was prescribed to take 20mg of celexa and did so for about 4 months. Starting 2 months ago I decided to start tapering off – 10mg for a few weeks, then down to 5, and now at zero.

    Every time I reduce dosage I get similar WD effects including brain zaps at 3 days, sleep problems and odd dreams immediately upon stopping as well as some slight depression. Luckily the anxiety seems to be a bit easier to escape lately… For now, that is. Hope this goes well, but honestly not too excited to find out how things will progress as I go down this road.

  • Jenn January 2, 2016, 12:10 am

    The “electric shock” is the most bothersome for me so far. When will it stop?

    • Kara February 3, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Took me about a month. It looks like a month since your post, so I hope you are feeling better!

  • patricia January 1, 2016, 5:58 pm

    Bless you all! I’ve taken Celexa 20 mgm about 20 years for PTSD. Psychiatrist said I’d probably need for rest of my life. I called it my “smiley pill”. I know these drugs take a longer time to get into system so suspect it is the same to get them out of system again? It is dismaying to me that after this long time of being prescribed there still has not been research accomplished to tell the M.D. if we have reached a therapeutic blood level or not!!!

    And the offhanded way docs tell us to stop – or so that seems reading these posts – I am dismayed and disappointed with the medical system. I am experiencing most of the symptoms described by each of you after tapering off over a 2 month period. Happy Holiday!!! Aargh. This too shall pass, but I hoped it would take a whole lot less time! Let’s research serotonin and find the natural methods to live with it.

    Does this even make any sense? Or is it another “brain zap?” Good luck. Count your blessings.

  • Nikki December 30, 2015, 7:28 pm

    I have been taking citalapram 40mg for about the last 7-8 years. I am currently pregnant with my first baby. My Dr suggested I quit taking it as there are recent studies that can cause harm to the baby. I have been tapering off, but I have had the worst headaches for the past 4 days. The dizziness is really starting to set in now as well. I am nauseous too. I hope it doesn’t last long!

  • Kristen December 30, 2015, 12:56 am

    Hello, fellow Citalopramers… I am currently living in a foreign country and am about to run out of my meds. I’d like to quit cold turkey but I know that’s not wise, or healthy. I’ve been on this pills about two years- and honestly- still deal with a lot of depression and anxiety. So, I’d like to get off the meds and find natural ways to deal with my emotions.

    I’ve been off and on anti-depressants since I was 11 (thanks, mom!) and am ready to break free and not be dependent on them! Does anyone have any suggestions of healthy ways to ween off this med? I’ve been taking 40mg for two years now… any suggestions? -Kristen

  • MOMMA J December 28, 2015, 3:51 am

    Thank God I am not the only one! I am the freaking poster child for withdrawal symptoms. Brain fog, crying, depression and anxiety and this is only day 2! Been on 40 MG for five years. When will this start to feel better?

  • Tish December 27, 2015, 1:51 am

    Day 3 of cold turkey. I was on 40mg for a bit over 12 months. The inability to orgasm & the weight gain & feeling tired and like a zombie all the time got the better of me & I decided my social anxiety can stay, this is not worth it anymore. I am so nauseous, headachey & just feel sick and tired. Let’s hope this doesn’t last 3 months! But on the upside had a smashing Orgasm this morning! Yeah. Goodbye vrappu drug!

  • Sandy December 21, 2015, 6:43 pm

    I took celexa for 13 years. Started at 20 mg then went to 40 mg. I have been off of it for 1 week now. I have been so sick. Mostly the lightheadedness, dizziness and nausea. I can’t take it much longer. I hope to god that it doesn’t take 3 months to feel better. This totally sucks!!

  • David December 20, 2015, 9:02 pm

    Please, I need some advice! I have just started taking celexa (day 8) and I have begun experiencing side effects like nausea and extreme headaches, sore neck, vertigo with ringing in one ear, and chills. I also got the flu at day 5 because of weakened immunity. I want to get off of this drug. If I stop taking it after only 8 days, will I still have the extreme side effects?

    Will they be any worse than what I am already experiencing getting on the drug? I am currently on vacation with my family in France. I am trying not to ruin the trip by being too sick to enjoy anything. Will it be better to withdraw or stay on it? If my side effects are about to improve then maybe I will stay on it. I think it will help me with job interviews in two weeks. Thanks for your help.

  • Del December 20, 2015, 10:08 am

    Hi I have been on antidepressants for about 30 years but on citalopram for about 25 was on a 20th dose. I had an ECG and something was picked up so had to come off them really quickly within 2 weeks. I’ve had body shakes like I’m shivering inside, the brain zaps but also like a zap in the stomach-like churning, tiredness dizzy room spinning. I felt so so the first week but it seems to have got worse.

    I have been given another antidepressant as it’s a bad time of year for me… I lost my mum 5 years ago tomorrow. But I took one and felt so spaced out I haven’t taken any more. I just feel awful, but I don’t really want to start anything again as I have gone this far. It’s been about 3 weeks now without anything. Do you think it will eventually go away? Any advice on how long it takes? Much appreciated.

  • Lia Williams December 18, 2015, 11:58 pm

    This is just my first day tapering. Have been on 10 mg for well over 10 years (was on 20 mg but went to 10 about 7 years ago with no problems). Use it as a sleep aid along with Deseryl. I’m supposed to begin an antibiotic, Levofloxacin, for a very serious bacterial infection. However, celexa has a significant drug interaction (can cause heart problems). My doctor said just to stop the celexa.

    I advised him I needed to wait a week, giving me that much time to get off it before starting the antibiotic. So… am having a pretty hard time. Nightmare last night, woke with a horrid headache. Going down the list of symptoms, I pretty much have most of them except am not nauseous, brain zaps or suicidal. Was driving and felt so out of it, glad it’s only local driving during the day. Glad for spell checking here. I’m spinning.

    Oh, what I’m doing is going to 5 mg a day for 4 days. Then every other day until the week is up. From what have read can tell this is truly a rush job. Am nervous as can be. Live alone and no support near, not trying to sound helpless, I’m not, but nervous I am. Any thoughts are appreciated. Oh, really can’t wait too long as this infection causes many other problems and am quite ill from it also – so need to get on this antibiotic. Heck, when it rains it pours, as they say. -Lia

    P.S. Good article

  • Cara December 15, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Hi guys! I feel I have totally messed with my body being on this med. while I enjoyed the I don’t care about anything attitude, it just wasn’t me. I decided to cold turkey off 20 mg it seems like the first week was all of the brain zaps and headaches. Those got better in the 2nd week. The 2nd week I became highly irritable, people were getting on my last nerve.

    And to be quite honest, I started to have major marital issues. So I gave in and got back on it for the last two days. I honestly don’t know if I should wean myself now or just continue to take it… the anxiety in my chest has been very very difficult. I don’t know that doing this over the holidays was the best timing either.

    • Fiona December 19, 2015, 9:21 am

      Cara, I don’t think its wise to go cold turkey, you are probably anxious to get off the tabs but just removing the chemical from your system abruptly with be a shock. I’m just a regular, non medical, antidepressant survivor and I don’t fully understand the mechanism by which these tablets work but it makes sense to withdraw slowly as the withdrawals should be easier on you.

      I had a period of bad irritability but that has passed now its anxiety and a black cloud. When I tapered from 30 I didn’t notice many withdrawals until I was down to around 10. In fact I felt good mentally as I think I was happy to be getting off it. I think tapering is good. Good luck with everything!

  • Susie December 15, 2015, 3:31 pm

    I been trying to wean off celexa since the end of October. I went from 20 mg to 10 everyday, then to every other day with 10. Now to every three days. I’m starting to feel a little anxious and my head is always thinking. Is this normal? Do I bump it up again? I’m so lost.

    • Fiona December 19, 2015, 9:09 am

      Hi Susie, maybe take the taper a little slower. We are all different but my experience was pretty okay until I stopped altogether. I tapered slower from 30 to 25 to 20 to 15 to 10 to 5 to 2.5 over 5 months, I stayed at most stages for 3 weeks.

      During the taper I felt some physical withdrawals: stomach problems like diarrhea and nausea, vivid dreams, tingly hands but no real mental withdrawals. The mental withdrawals started after I’d completed the taper and like you it has manifested as anxiety and over thinking to the point of doing nothing. I think it is normal.

      I felt very bad for past week but feel more relaxed today and yesterday. It seems to come in waves. For me sleep, exercise and no alcohol appear to be important although I’m finding it hard to give up my 2 glasses of wine. Good luck with it Susie, take it slow and remember these feelings will pass.

  • Fiona December 15, 2015, 9:51 am

    I tapered off a 30mg dose of citalopram over the course of 5 months, I didn’t feel too bad. I had been on the medication for just under 2 years when I took my last dose, it did help me but I noticed that it was becoming less effective so decided to quit. At the moment I’ve been off the drug for 11 weeks the physical withdrawals have largely passed but at the moment I am full of anxiety, find it hard to make decisions, feel very low and at times feel worse than ever.

    I’m trying to do things that will help me recover quickly but I can spend all day trying to plan what exercise to do and I seem to get so wound up in my thoughts. I am at work and can focus to do me work but it really feels hard. I was going to ring a psychotherapist but haven’t gone through with that yet, I’m tempted to go to a Dr but I feel that they really don’t understand. Yesterday I made myself go for a walk and gave myself a good ‘talking to’ I really am sick of feeling miserable.

    I have lots of good things in my life but sometimes I just feel I’m at the mercy of my brain, it’s my brain I should be able to at least control it. At the moment I don’t know if the way I’m feeling is related to withdrawals or is just the fact that I’m miserable. I do feel that I’ve had a hormonally linked chronic low level depression for most of my life. Have other people noticed mental withdrawals continuing after 11 weeks off the drug.

    • Fiona December 29, 2015, 12:37 am

      Hi all, I just wanted to add a comment to my post, it is now about 11 days since I wrote the above and I feel so much better. I’m at 12/13 weeks of withdrawal and I feel calmer. I went through a bad period of anxiety which lasted about 2 weeks and prior to that had a period of depression to the point of crying and thinking I was a burden. I now feel pretty good and it only hit me today that I feel this way. I will update again in a few weeks. Hang in there.

  • Cailin December 14, 2015, 10:03 pm

    What coping mechanisms or “tricks” do you all have for the withdrawal symptoms of weaning off of Celexa? So far I have tried: Eating very healthy, limiting sugar and booze and caffeine, Pilates, run/walking regularly, positive thinking, making lists of the very good and rational reasons I am choosing to come off this medication, drinking extra water, talking to my husband and friends and shrink, wearing bracelets that have anti-anxiety means or messages on them, having good sleep hygiene, doing my favorite hobbies like cooking and being with my dogs and family and friends, daily probiotic and vitamins and going to acupuncture every other week… I’m dealing with dizziness, foggy brain, trouble with memory, jitteriness, out of breath feeling, that pre-flu feeling, trouble concentrating, and irritability. Any suggestions that have been helpful to folks in that past?

  • Helen December 14, 2015, 3:28 pm

    I have taken Celexa for over 10 years and decided to go off of them because I want to feel again. The worst part of all the withdrawals has been the nausea. I went to my PCP and she does not believe the nausea could be from the discontinuation of the Celexa so of course multiple scans were completed to no avail. The nausea (with vomiting) has continued for over 60 days and it tiresome.

    However, this site has been a godsend, making me wonder if I just hand on a few more days, it may just indeed be a sx. of that Celexa after all. As I look back I should have never been on that drug for that long.

  • Dina December 14, 2015, 3:28 am

    I was on 40 mg for about a year, then 20 for the past 9 months. Started to taper to 10 mg about a month ago. Now off for a week. Until today, I thought I wasn’t having any withdrawal. But today I have been dizzy all day and had some weird memory issues, so I looked it up and found this site. Wow. I’m definitely one of the people with irritability and dizziness. I also lost 2 lbs. I hope this doesn’t last long. I’m going to force myself to exercise to get through this. No brain zaps so far.

  • Madelyn December 11, 2015, 7:43 pm

    Thank you all for your comments. It’s so helpful to know I’m not going insane. I don’t know how long I’ve been on celexa, a very long while for sure! I got off celexa to get on Wellbutrin. It’s been 5 days being off celexa and 11 days on Wellbutrin. I thought maybe the medicine would cancel each other out.

    Nope! Not only do I have withdrawals from celexa but the side effects of being on Wellbutrin. I feel terrible. The Wellbutrin makes my arms and hands shake and my heart slams into my chest. I’m super dizzy and incredibly confused. Also my depression has come back full force. feel like I don’t know how to say words or how to walk.

    My doc said this was all normal for now. Ok, so I might have gone crazy but I find that when I eat protein it helps a little bit with the withdrawal. I feel not as confused. Anybody experience that? Again, thank you for being here!!

  • Here in Boston December 11, 2015, 6:52 pm

    Congrats Joe! I’ve been through the ringer with trying unsuccessfully at various times to go of this medication. I’m finally off too. I feel awful (headaches, bad dreams, emotional) but I’m riding it out this time to see what’s on the other side. I was taking this medication for years just because of occasional bouts with anxiety. I feel that I’ve learned how to better interpret and manage my anxiety, so now’s the time to go off medication and see what life is like on the other side.

    A good doctor is CRUCIAL. I got given medication once because the doctor said I was a really fast talker, so she put my on a MEGAdose of Zoloft because my rapid speech MAY have indicated a manic problem. I had a horrible physical and psychological reaction, stopped eating altogether, lost 11 lbs in just over a week and ripped up every picture in my house (because it made sense to me at the time…). I went back to my regular doctor who was horrified that I’d been given that medicine at all, much less in an extremely high dose.

    I was taken off of it immediately and within 3-4 days I was myself again. I should have sued. My point is… it’s important to trust yourself and get a doctor who understands you, your needs and has your best interests at heart. Congrats on this new phase of your life. I wish you happiness and health!

  • Here in Boston December 11, 2015, 6:33 pm

    I’ve been gradually coming off of Citalopram over the last couple of months and have finally stopped altogether. Since I’ve stopped taking it I have very frequent headaches that do not improve by taking Tylenol or Advil. There is some family turmoil that is adding undue stress so the timing isn’t great. It’s hard to tell if my reactions are genuine or as a result of withdrawal.

    For me the biggest problem is that I am incredibly and relentlessly tired. I tend to become tired in the winter anyway when it gets dark at 3pm and throws my rhythm out of whack, but this has made it pretty tough. I’ve stopped exercising and go to sleep very early as a result. I feel very flat… My emotions are subdued. It’s tempting to go back on the medication just to alleviate these symptoms, but I don’t want to have to do another long withdrawal in the future.

    I’m hoping that if I can battle through this I’ll be okay in a few months. My plan is to eat as well as I can, force myself to do at least a bit of light exercise and try to engage in activities this winter that don’t allow me to go home and sleep or isolate. If I can make it through the winter without the medication then I can reevaluate if I need it in the spring. I was just so sick of taking meds year after year just for my occasional bouts with anxiety.

    Plus I couldn’t take lots of supplements or holistic alternatives because they would interact with my meds. I gained all this weight and I was tired. I just want to see if I can be okay without it. I guess time will tell. I don’t want to need medication for the rest of my life. If it turns out I do, I’ll accept it an move forward. But I really want to give myself a shot. Good luck to anyone going through their own struggle with this. You’re certainly not alone!

  • Em December 11, 2015, 10:03 am

    I have now been off citalapram for 4 weeks. Having felt ‘poorly’ for over 3 weeks I decided to go to my doctor. How do you describe ‘poorly’? I have had bloods and quite a few other tests done… blood pressure, etc. All is normal. I am so glad I have found this site. I have most of the symptoms of withdrawal. I am so relieved!! If it means putting up with this malaise for some time, then that’s ok. After being worried it could be something more serious, now I know what it is and I can cope… I think! I hope! Why has my doctor not picked up on this? Quite worrying.

  • Melody December 9, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Has anyone had severe hot flashes as part of their withdrawals? How about… this will sound odd… itchy feet? My feet get hot and turn red and then they start to itch like crazy? Yesterday my face and ears were horribly hot for half the day. I’ve also found that my symptoms come on stronger in the evening.

  • Priya December 6, 2015, 9:42 pm

    Hi there, I have been off Celexa now 12 weeks. To anyone who is feeling extremely tearful I would ask them to consider supplementing (obviously checking beforehand) their vitamin B levels. I went without this for a few days and I became extremely tearful. Once I restarted the Vitamin B I felt a lot calmer. Also I religiously take 400mg of magnesium before I go to sleep. It does have laxative qualities so could help those who suffer from constipation.

    Have recently had a bereavement and it’s been really tough without being medicated. Have found rescue remedy extremely helpful. Forgot to add that I have been doing yoga for the last six weeks. When I was on citalopram I didn’t fancy exercising. Prior to being on cit would regularly go to the gym and yoga. Yoga has definitely been helping me during trying circumstances and I would recommend attending a class as it is so relaxing and calms the mind.

  • Danielle December 6, 2015, 4:47 pm

    I have been on a low dose of citalopram for 2 yrs or so and I decided to go off of it because it was making my heartbeat irregular. So I took one every other day for a wk then the doctor decided to just take me off… Now I have headaches, body aches, flu-like symptoms,chest heaviness and nausea… nothing too horrible yet, I guess it could be worse, but I just want to go back to feeling like myself. I have absolutely no energy right now and that is what bothers me the most!!! I just hope the panic attacks don’t come back everyday. I hope it ends soon because I do not like this feeling.

  • Joe December 5, 2015, 1:10 pm

    Been tapering down from 20 mg in August to 1/2 of a 10 mg pill recently. Was very upset that my doctor did not explain side effects, especially the weight gain. Went to a different doctor in practice for physical and she questioned why I was even on it and told me to start tapering off of it. Asked if any follow up was needed and call us if you need us. Thanks to everyone’s input on this board, I’ve worked it down to 1/2 10 mg a day. Had some wild dreams, crankiness and insomnia as I was going along… and yes …the electrodes in the scalp.

    Given the issues with the doctors I had been going to I said enough is enough and went to new doctor. I explained everything and she even questioned why I was on it. She explained more about it in one visit than the other did in 3 years and said it seemed more like a sleep issue. She said that I was getting so little Celexa, I was at a point to cut the cord and stop… and I want to see you in two weeks to follow up and also start work on dropping the 30 lbs that I gained.

    So today starts my new life without Celexa!!!

  • Alice December 5, 2015, 3:15 am

    I hate this drug. I quit cold turkey. I’ve been off of it for 5 days and I am so sick. I don’t recommend starting this to anyone.

    • Gaby December 9, 2015, 6:31 pm

      I quit cold turkey a week ago and it’s just been the worst week of my life. I’ve had anxiety, head aches, stomach pains, fevers, crying spells, irriatbilty, mood swings. I haven’t been able to go to work because of all these symptoms. I’ve now been asked by several close family and friends and a doctor to go back onto Citalopram. But I’m going to be taking 20mg every other day over the next month and coming off.

      I’m glad this drug has worked for so many people and got through so hard times. But for me Citalopram has just made my depression 10x as worse as it originally was and I hate feeling that I have to rely on a pill to keep me happy. Good Luck to everyone. I hope you get through whatever it is your dealing with, whether it’s with Citalopram or not. -Gaby

  • Tamica Ware December 4, 2015, 8:46 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa for 5 years since 2010. I just got off of it 1 week ago. It took 2 months to taper off. I have been having very up and down side effects. It’s very hard for me to handle.

  • Joan December 4, 2015, 3:18 am

    I have been on Citalopram for approximately 4 years. My doctor recommended going off slow… first week cut in half take each day, second week half pill every other day. My side effects are headaches, nauseous, sick to my stomach when I eat, little emotional but not bad and little vomiting. I keep crackers by my side, exercise. Is feeling achy in my arm and chest a side effect?

  • John December 4, 2015, 12:43 am

    I feel bad for everyone on here. My wife is coming off celexa for 2 weeks now and was taking it for 8 years. After looking at all the comments, I understand better. I was thinking we weren’t gonna make it, but now I know I just have to understand what she is having to deal with. Best of luck to everyone on here and to the guys: stay strong, it will pass soon.

  • Louise November 29, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I have been on Citalopram for 15 years and finally have tapered to none. My highest dosage was 40 mg but have been on 10mg for the past year and was able to go down to a pill every other day before now getting off completely. What has really made a difference has been taking a high vitamin and mineral supplement–that has helped all symptoms except the head spinning/brain zaps.

  • NAM November 29, 2015, 3:11 pm

    I am a 67 year old female. I was prescribed 40 mg citalopram when I was in my late 40s -early 50s by my GP. I moved to a different state recently & my doc here suddenly refused to refill my script. Said I had to see a psychiatrist. I have had negative experiences with them in the past so decided to gradually discontinue. I was only watching for mood changes.

    I had no idea that it would cause such awful physical effects. It was so bad about a week ago that my doc told me to go to the ER. They did many tests which came back normal. Two nights ago it suddenly occurred to me to look on line for symptoms of discontinuation. There it was: everything that was making me feel so sick. I can’t stand feeling like this.

    I have been feeling worse & worse since I started gradually reducing my dose more than 2 months ago. Now my anxiety is to find someone who will re-prescribe it for me. Thank you for showing me what has been making me feel so ill. Now my problem is getting the arrogant medical community to think there is any credence to my discovery. NAM

    • Amy November 30, 2015, 10:40 pm

      Good luck to you NAM. I, too, was sent for a battery of tests–all of which came back negative.

  • Matt J November 29, 2015, 2:52 pm

    I started Celexa over 8 years ago to prepare for a treatment of Interferon. At peak I was on 40 mg / day. The treatment lasted over 6 months and I am happy to say that I have been HEP-C free ever since. About 6 month ago I decided to stop taking celexa. I half-ed my dose to 20 mg for 6 weeks. Then I halved it again to 10 mg for over 3 months now. Two days ago I went to zero. So far I am a bit dizzy and tired. I am allowing myself to sleep as needed during the weekend. I don’t need to make an excuse. Just am doing it. I hope the dizziness stops, but will not give in. Luckily no electric shocks this time, as I have given it 3 months on this small dose.

  • Ellen November 29, 2015, 3:30 am

    I tapered off celexa 40 mg and stopped completely about a month ago. At first I had diarrhea but that is gone. The worst thing for me is that I’m terribly sad all the time and I find myself crying ALL THE TIME. I just read that this is normal for celexa withdrawal. Thank God. I thought I was permanently crazy.

    I just hope this is temporary and that I will be back to normal soon. This terrible sadness makes getting through the day very difficult and I feel much worse than I did when I started taking the drug. I also have some numbness in hands and feet which I remember as a side effect when I first started taking the drug. I really wish I had never started on this. It was prescribed by my PCP during a particularly awful time in my life.

    Now I wish I had just felt the pain then. This is awful. I think these very powerful drugs are handed out way too freely by practitioners who have no idea what they are doing to people. I had an argument with a physician recently about how antidepressants are prescribed too much and he was adamant that people don’t need to be depressed and these drugs are just great.

    He refused to listen to my experience – he knew better than me. I think he doesn’t. Doctors don’t have time to research what is happening with all the chemicals we are being given. Who would think such a tiny pill would have such a huge effect on people.

    • Mawra October 22, 2016, 10:08 pm

      Hi Ellen, wanted to ask how withdrawal went for you, hope you got through it? Lots of people here are talking about the awful withdrawal effects but like you the most devastating for me has been the return of the depression, just a severe dark cloud of darkness that I can’t shake off and I’m crying all the time too.. I don’t remember ever feeling this bad even before the drugs…

      I should mention that I took it for 6years at 20mg gradually increasing from 10mg. I tapered to 15 over a few months last year and then left it at that, as initially I had dropped 10mg and suffered terribly. But this year since August I just wanted off the drugs to get my energy levels back and actually be able to do something in life.

      I thought I was strong enough and had worked hard to build hope and a future to look forward too, I thought my cognitive behavioral therapy etc would help but now it’s October and I’ve tapered off to 5mg in four months and have been at 5mg for 38 days and I can’t cope. I wish somehow I could know that this will indeed pass? How do I know if this isn’t the depression back?

  • Barbara November 28, 2015, 9:35 pm

    Stopped taking Citalopram 20mg completely one week ago after taking for 8 months for a specific anxiety caused by a truly frightening experience. I never wanted to take them but my GP pretty much insisted nothing else would help. Yes they did help the anxiety but the effects I am now suffering are horrendous. Tummy upset, palpitations, nightmares but worst of all is the brain zaps. I am frightened to turn my head or eyes as it sets off ‘popping candy’ in my brain. So frightening. Would just like to warn anyone thinking of taking this drug – don’t do it.

    • Amy November 30, 2015, 10:38 pm

      Hi Barbara, One of the things I forgot to mention is that my palpitations have finally stopped. I had them for at least three months. Unfortunately, my stomach is a mess and I’m probably going to have to see a specialist. I think this drug should be taken off the market.

  • Mike November 28, 2015, 7:59 pm

    I have been off 20mg dose for 9 days. Day 1 and 2 were no big deal but days 3-9… Dizziness/light-headed everyday. Tired all day. Trouble falling asleep at night. Daily tasks seem to wear me out. Been more emotional to sad TV scenes. Sex drive has been higher. Going to the gym has tremendous benefits. Feel great when I’m working out. It’s good to do that anyways. Hoping the symptoms taper off soon. Looking forward to being clearheaded again and not afraid of taking the steps to get there.

  • Amy November 28, 2015, 5:19 pm

    Hi everyone. Here’s another update on my withdrawal from this terrible antidepressant. I stopped taking it in late July, early August after weaning myself down for several weeks from 20 mg to nothing. The most horrible symptom I’ve been combatting is IBS. In August I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and am awaiting the arrival of a dental device for my upper and lower jaws.

    During the 15 years I was taking Citalopram, I gained over 40 pounds. I have lost 5 pounds since August but am still severely bloated. I have been to the doctors at least three times because of my stomach problems and they suggested I go back on a lower dose. I burst out crying yelling “No!!!! I’m never taking this again.” So, I will update you again after I get my sleep device and will let you know how I am doing.

  • Alayna November 25, 2015, 9:17 pm

    So glad I found this site. I stopped citalopram cold turkey since being on holiday & just forgetting to take it. It’s been about a week & a 1/2. I thought I was just going crazy until I finally looked up the side effects of coming off it & now feel a bit more ‘normal’ I’m mainly experiencing the feeling of my brain not being able to keep up with my movements.

    I’ve also lost my s**t twice at my husband over very minor things, lucky for me he is very understanding & supportive. I am looking forward to hopefully dropping some weight as I have put on about 12 kg’s since being on it. Which I thought was just me until reading everyone else’s experiences with weight gain. I already feel lighter & less bloated.

    The best improvement has definitely been my sex drive. My husband must think all his Christmases have come at once! Thanks everyone for sharing all your stories will make getting through each day a bit easier.

  • Kiana November 22, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 40mg for close to a year. I ran into some money problems and couldn’t afford the medication anymore and after my last regular dose I felt fine. Until about 5 days later. The “brain zaps” started. That was so miserable. I was also very irritable to the point I didn’t even want to hold my husbands hand.

    I couldn’t sleep at all due to the zaps and constant dizziness. I had to call into work a couple times due to all this. After a couple weeks I just couldn’t handle it anymore so I went and refilled my prescription. After the first dose all of those symptoms went away. NEVER AGAIN WILL I QUIT COLD TURKEY!

  • Kate November 20, 2015, 11:41 pm

    I have been on and off celexa for about 13 years. I stopped it during 2 pregnancies and thought the withdraw was just morning sickness. About 2 months ago it stopped working so my doctor switched me to wellbutrin. I decreased my celexa to 10mg from 20mg for 4 weeks while I started the wellbutrin. A week after I stopped the 10mg dose, I experienced: the brain zaps, nausea, tingling sound in my head, along with my brain suddenly stopping mid-thought and in talking, and turning too fast and thinking I’m going to fall over or throw up. It is very similar to how I felt when I was having morning sickness. I can only hope this goes away quickly.

  • Sarah November 18, 2015, 7:40 am

    Oh my goodness this support is is just what I’ve been looking for. I’ve been off Citalopram for 15 days now and it’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For the last 6 days I’ve been having flu like symptoms / no energy / dizzy spells and anxiety. I’m so determined to keep going as know I must be coming through the worst. What’s really helping me is that I’m having Bach flower remedy rescue drops which I take when feeling really anxious and it relieves it straight away. I’m sending to others who are going through the same.

  • Cathy November 16, 2015, 2:29 pm

    I have been on 40 mg of celexa for many years. I have not experienced depression symptoms in a few years and I attribute this to working hard to get myself into a good place in my life. I started entertaining the idea of going off of my antidepressants (I also take Wellbutrin) about 1 year ago and finally made the move and began decreasing my Celexa. 5 weeks ago I tapered down to 20 mg and luckily I did not experience any withdrawals.

    So, 1 week ago I decided to bite the bullet and stop taking the Celexa totally. I am experiencing the “fog”, nausea, concentration problems, brain zaps, decrease in motivation and overall sadness. It had been helpful to read others comments and I appreciate people sharing their experiences. I am hopeful these feelings go away soon.

  • Robert November 15, 2015, 10:18 pm

    I have taken one form or another of SSRI’s for 30 years, Celexa for the last 5 years. I felt it was robbing me of creativity and energy, so I started tapering about 6 weeks ago. The WD symptoms started when I went to zero dosage which was about 3 weeks ago (today is 11/15/15). My symptoms are an overwhelming dizziness, constant ringing in the ears, headaches, diarrhea, lack of energy, irritability, and a tendency to cry.

    I have tried supplementing with 5-HTP, SAMe, and tryptophan-L and they seem to help a little bit with the irritability. I have thought about going back on Celexa but my stubbornness is keeping me from it. I also don’t want to start back at Square One. To those that feel like this will never end…give it some time! Don’t let it get the best of you…I am going to give this 90 days (it’s been 21 so far). If I don’t feel better then, I’ll either go back on it or try something else. DON’T GIVE UP !!!

  • Cathy November 14, 2015, 8:32 pm

    I said I would be back! I have been off of Citalopram for 3.5 months now (since August 1st). I think the withdrawal is finally behind me! It’s been quite a journey! I am beginning to discover a new me with all my weaknesses as well as the strengths I have discovered I have. I am much more cautious now with my mental health.

    I found a new doctor (Primary Care). I really like her. I was explaining to her that I was on antidepressants when doctors thoughts that there was no withdrawal from them. I then asked her how long would the withdrawal from the Citalopram would last. She answered – it will be all out of your system in a week! I didn’t respond. I now have serious doubts about her. Should I expect a Primary Care Doctor to know this? Changing doctors is so hard. Am I being too hard on her?

    • Audrey November 16, 2015, 1:07 am

      Cathy, I don’t think most psychiatrists even know how serious withdrawal can be from SSRI’s. Your GP doesn’t know anything about these medications, and shouldn’t be prescribing them. It doesn’t mean she’s not a good doctor–she’s just ignorant about these drugs. The pharmaceutical companies marketed these meds to GP’s years ago, and didn’t tell them about the serious withdrawal symptoms. Most still don’t know about it. I’m wondering how Big Pharm is getting away with this.

  • Audrey November 13, 2015, 8:51 pm

    I have been on Celexa for the past 14 years. I was originally given this medication (20 mg) by my GP for anxiety. I was never told that it would be extremely difficult to get off it. After going through some difficult personal situations, a psychiatrist put me on 40 mg, and then 60 mg. Again, I was never told how hard it would be to eventually stop. A couple of years ago, I was able to wean from 60 to 40 without too much trouble.

    The taper was done over a two-month time. But since then, I have tried to go from 40 to 20, and it’s been a nightmare. On my psychiatrist’s recommendation, I alternated my dose each day: 40, then 30, then 40. After three weeks of doing this, I became incredibly dizzy when I was lie down or turn my head too fast. I also would fly into a rage over every little thing. I contacted my psychiatrist, and he told me to go back up to the 40 mg tab every day to get stabilized.

    After doing this, the rage went away but the dizziness did not. After two months of this vertigo, I went to an ear, nose and throat doctor who had me see a physical therapist. The PT did a special procedure to get the crystal in my inner ear to reposition itself. Who knew withdrawing from an SSRI could do that to your inner ear? A few months ago, I found a book on Amazon called “The Anti-Depressant Solution,” written by a psychiatrist who helps people get off SSRI’s.

    The book was a huge eye opener, and discusses getting of Celexa and other SSRI’s in a way to minimize withdrawal. I saw “minimize” because there’s no way to avoid withdrawal symptoms completely. Following the book’s method, I have been on 35 mg of Celexa for nearly a month now. I don’t have the dizziness, but I’ve been fighting with my husband almost non-stop for the past two weeks. I’m starting to think it’s withdrawal from the drug that is making me hypersensitive and quick to anger and explode.

    I’m wondering if anyone else out there has tried a very slow taper like that but still had emotional withdrawal symptoms. I plan to stay on 35 mg for a few months before I try to go down to 30. Honestly, I’m afraid to lower it anymore, but I’m also afraid to be a slave to this medication for the rest of my life.

  • Rod November 13, 2015, 10:40 am

    Hi to everyone on here. Just want to wish everyone on here the best of luck with hopefully their withdrawal symptoms subsiding as quickly as possible & hopefully after stopping taking this drug not having any anxiety or depression come back!!! I have just cut back to half 10mg in the last couple of days & felt like crying all day today plus suicidal thoughts :(.

    I own my own house, have a great job, am going really well financially, getting a lot of renos done but have never felt worse. I don’t have a GF which really depresses me. I’ve just never been able to have one cause of this stupid anxiety :(. I have made a decision to eat really healthy, exercise everyday & start meditating. I am not taking any more pills. I don’t care how bad I feel.

    I have to solve my psychological problems naturally. I am really worried about what is ahead of me after reading the comments on here. I also take Seroquel twice a day so don’t know how going off both of these drugs is going to affect me. I am not seeing my doctor about going off these pills as he is the idiot that put me on these things. Why can’t they recommend other solutions or treatments other than drugs.

    I am thinking on the positive side that with the money I save by not taking these drugs I could put to seeing a psychologist about every 3 months. I am not going to let the anxiety beat me. My goal is to beat it, be fit & find myself a wife & have kids. I love kids so much!

  • Jaki November 13, 2015, 3:25 am

    After taking Celexa for a year, I met with my doctors for an evaluation. I am also a smoker, so I was attempting to quit. My doctor suggested Wellbutrin to help quit. I have also been diagnosed with anxiety in 2009, so I was taking Celexia, Wellbutrin, & Xanax in one day. I felt very high when I was on all of them. As good as it made me feel, I wasn’t grasping anything on the “outside”. So, I decided to taper off.

    I was noticing side effects of feeling depressed when I took all three. Opposite of the effect I was needing. I felt I went through a period in life when I was depressed, not actually suffering Depression. So, I researched tapering & followed it at my discretion. I was prescribed 20mg daily. Every other day, I cut one in half and took 10mg. My brain got used to that after week one. I had no side effects.

    The second week, I took only half doses all week and I had minor side effects (irritable, hungry, sleepy). The third week, I took 10mg every other day. The fourth week, I took 20mg one day, and a random day of 10mg. The fifth week, I was completely weaned off. After I weened off, I noticed different side effects: confusion, major irritability, depression, “brain-zaps” (literally felt like something was shocking my lips and brain).

    I was playing catch during the brain zaps and had to stop. They made me very dizzy. Today marks 2 months free. I’m very depressed today, but understand these are side effects. I have also eaten more since being off to subside the depression. The only thing that can get you over this slump is to replace the medication with exercise. That was my initial plan, but being depressed makes me lazy.

    I’m working through it, but happy to be moving the right direction. Just remember you are tapering for a reason. You can do it. Take it slow depending on how little or long you have taken them. Try exercising instead and let me know if that helps!!

  • Darren November 12, 2015, 10:03 pm

    Thought I’d come in to tell you of my experience and give you a bit of hope: I’d been on Cit for a year at 40mg and just decided to stop, cold turkey. My doctor told me not to due to the side effects but I ploughed on anyway – it was bloody AWFUL. Headaches, brain zaps, tingling, vertigo, nausea. You name it, I had it. And in bucketloads. 8 weeks later though. Slight head zaps and a whole new outlook on life.

    The one thing I did? Got myself a routine. Same bedtime, same waking up time. Meals at the same time and most importantly, exercise. I’m not saying I turned into an army assault course veteran or anything, I just got myself out for a few walks and hald a little jog every now and then. The benefits have been huge. I’m no longer feeling depressed, I think medicating depression is entirely the wrong thing to do now despite how desperate it felt at the time.

    I recently went through a messy breakup, I stayed off the meds and kept my routine, I’m fine with it. It would have destroyed me before. My sex drive and sensation is back where it was. I’m a man, I can finish. Enough said I think but this is blooming brilliant! My life feels like it’s turned a corner. I can feel emotion again, it’s truly amazing.

    With a little bit of regimented routine I think everyone can have the results I did. Just stay positive, remind yourself the side effects are temporary and don’t set yourself a time limit (keep seeing 90 days on here, pah, it takes as long as it takes) because you’ll just aim for that and expect magic to happen. Ask any questions you like, I’ll try to answer. Remember you’re not the first person to have done this and won’t be the last. Just be happy you’re coming off this evil drug. Darren

    • Audrey November 13, 2015, 9:23 pm

      Darren, you survived the cold turkey method, but I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to do it that way. Some people can become so violent and suicidal, they hurt themselves or others. Taper slow, and do it under a doctor’s care!

  • Hillary November 11, 2015, 9:42 pm

    So I took celexa 40mg for 12 years and weaned myself off. I weaned for a year and one month. I have been off completely for about two months. I will say I have had several crying spells, anxiety, memory loss, dizziness, and now tired all the time. Most of my symptoms have subsided but now I just feel so tired almost like my legs want to give out tired. I do stand on my feet all day at work but I don’t feel like that’s the issue. Has anyone else felt extremely tired after coming off?

  • Angela November 11, 2015, 8:38 am

    I quit Celexa 40 mg, cold turkey. Don’t have insurance and can’t afford to see my doctor and get refills. Didn’t intend to quit like this. I’m dizzy. I have electrical fires in my head and in my arms/hands a lot. I can be so quick to anger, it’s not funny. Sleeping hard and having freaky scary dreams. If I get past this I won’t go back on it. Celexa has made me gain weight and I don’t have much of a sex drive. I’m a hot mess huh?

  • Gina November 11, 2015, 3:36 am

    Off for 5 days after 7 years. I have some symptoms, like lightheadedness. But I’ve also noticed that all the horrible aches and pains in my body have vanished. Never put 2 and 2 together before or remember being told it could cause painful body symptoms.

  • Vicki November 10, 2015, 10:21 am

    I was sick with a bad cold and stopped taking my citalopram 40mg about three weeks ago. Just this weekend, I started the really, really crazy dreams, severe headache, no sleep, sick to my stomach, dizzy and yesterday crying. My sugar has gone really high. I thought the sugar level was my problem. But losing weight has been awesome. Not sure I can do this for a month or longer. So glad I found this site, it makes me feel much better. Now I just have to decide what to do?

  • Angie November 8, 2015, 10:58 pm

    Have been on various SSRI’s since I was a teen(I am now 39.) Most recently was Celexa, 60mg. I know that’s a very high dose but with ALL SSRI’s I get to a point where I have to keep increasing the dose as it just stops working. Anyways, my withdrawals were a complete, horrific nightmare. I thought I did it gradually (5-10mg at a time) and with each decrease I was fine but after my final dose of 5mg…OMG!!

    Spoke to a nurse friend of mine and she told me what no one else had….the withdrawal can be as bad as a heroin withdrawal and is was :( I could deal with the brain zaps but not the vomiting, diarrhea, vision and hearing loss, EVERY part of me hurt (including my finger nails), the soles of my feet hurt so bad that I couldn’t even walk. My shakes were so bad that I didn’t want anyone to see me for fear of looking like a crack head.

    Oh and lets not forget the extreme hot and cold flashes, drooling and cognitive issues(I could barely form sentences). I literally begged my BF to kill me and contemplated going to ER to be be put in an induced com. Thankfully a few days into this an old friend suggested I read an article about withdrawals. In the article it suggested natural remedies and meds and I was able to find one that took the edge off.

    I hope that this type of reaction is super rate as I wouldn’t wish it upon ANYONE!!! It has now been 3 weeks and I only have the brain zaps and can’t stop crying. I mean you look at me sideways I cry. I hope this is almost over and I vow to never touch another ssri again.

  • Joe November 8, 2015, 5:48 am

    Thank you for all the information everyone has shared in this forum!!! Just started 3rd step of tapering. Dr. put me on it because I complained about ability to concentrate at work-thought is was maybe ADD but she insisted it was mild depression. Put on 20 lbs since I’ve been on it;could never figure out why she mentioned the weight gain – stupid me for not asking about side affects.

    After 3 year went to another Dr in practice talked about getting off it, kind of got feeling she didn’t agree with other Dr and said lets get you off of it. Did 10 mg one day then 20 mg next for 4 weeks, then 10 mg for month, just started 5 mg one day then 10 next. My goal is 1/1/2016 being off of this completely. Few side effects so far – once in a while get feeling in head that reminds me of electric stimulation that physical therapist use, some seriously weird dreams, a little tired and cranky but nothing too bad.

    But one positive thing is I’ve dropped 7 lbs…have a very bad knee (bone on bone) that is feeling better and now can walk 2 miles without issue. Seriously contemplating filing complaint against Dr. Had she explained the side effects, especially weight gain, would have probably declined to go in. Will be changing to another group of Drs…the three that are in current group are quick to give a pill rather than figure out why. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.

  • Karen November 7, 2015, 7:30 pm

    Have taken Celexa 20mg daily for 6 years. Stopped it a week ago because of pneumonia meds and possible drug interactions. Pneumonia is gone! But I’ve decided to live without Celexa now. My dizziness is terrible. I’m a teacher and I have to stand near a table or I will fall over–that would be an exciting lesson! My daily headaches are treated with Ibuprofen, but what treats dizziness?

    My dreams are amazing though–the best I’ve ever had–so vivid and bizarre! Trying to stay positive and look at the big picture. A blessing for me is that diarrhea only lasted the 1st 5 days. Also, I’m starting to be aware of subtleties in my own emotions and others’ too–it’s nice to feel more engaged with life. Best wishes to everyone reading this–we can do it!

  • Rosie November 6, 2015, 9:36 pm

    Off Citalopram for about a week. My insurance made me switch to mail order, and while waiting for the approval to go through, I’ve run out. Super dizzy, nausea, upset stomach, migraine. I have no idea how I’ve gotten through the work day. I feel like I could lie down on the floor and just sleep. As far as sleep issues go, I take the Natural Vitality Natural Calm drink, and it definitely helps. I think the dizziness/wooziness is the worst part.

    I can’t imagine going through this for weeks or months. If I ever step off of this drug completely, I know I’ll go 40mg to 20 mg to 10 and then half a pill for quite some time before I stop it completely. This is making me feel completely crazy. I hate that you all are going through it, too, but I’m glad I’m not alone.

  • Janina November 6, 2015, 12:02 am

    Hi, I have experienced most of the withdrawal symptoms you listed above. I am keeping positive and within a week I already feel better! I put 10kgs on with this drug and am already losing weight. Advice for others: stay positive, remember the end result of being off! And be kind to yourself. What helps for me is looking at myself like an experiment… Be interested!

    I wish everyone luck coming off this. I don’t believe anyone NEEDS to be on any antidepressant. Listen to your soul, let it heal itself. It will all be worth it in the end! I am tapering off and very excited to be medication free after 18 months on it! I am excited about the future, bite the bullet and challenge yourself, you can do it alone!! Much love.

  • Marcy November 3, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I was taking celexa 40mg for 2 years. I started tapering slowly 5 months ago then got close to the end at 10mg and was experiencing such awful nausea I just quit it all together. I guess I did that in hopes that I could just cold turkey it and get it all out of my system. I’m at the start of week 3 celexa free and I feel like I’m going crazy. It’s like I get a crazy side effect for a few days then I get past that and think I’m in the clear and then all of a sudden I feel like I should go commit myself to a psych ward!

    Feeling like I’m making everyone around me crazy too. Hoping to start to feel normal soon. On the plus side! Before all I wanted to do was sleep and had a hell of a time staying asleep. Now I’m not even thinking about naps and getting great sleep at night, so that’s good.

  • Emily October 30, 2015, 7:16 pm

    The withdrawals are so bad and I didn’t want to be on the med any more. Not worth it. Motion sick feelings all the time, crying all the time, weird sleep, I feel like there are all these lies in my head and small hallucinations of Shadows or seeing things move. But I am med free for a week now after tapering for the last 4 months.

  • Rosie October 28, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I’m pleased I found all these comments about Citalopram withdrawal. I’ve been taking it for just a few months (for sleep difficulties realted to anxiety) at the lowest dose. It never occurred that I’d get withdrawal problems from such a lose dose so I’ve been wondering why I’ve been feeling so rubbish for the last fortnight – tired, foggy, stupid, headachey and generally slightly ill. All is explained! Now I have to decide whether to continue with the cold-turkey approach or get another prescription and tail things off properly.

  • Jan October 28, 2015, 4:46 am

    I was on Celexa 20 mg for about 5 years, decided to wean myself off over the course of 4-6 weeks. Went from 20mg, to 10 mg, to 5 mg, and then 5 mg every other day. After being on the every other day doses for about a week I had sudden onset of watery diarrhea 20 times a day. No other symptoms. So far all my stool tests (lots) have been normal, waiting for 2 more results to come back. Next step would be a colposcopy. Has anyone ever had this as a side effect of stopping citalopram?

    • Rosie November 6, 2015, 9:38 pm

      My stomach is like that from stopping. But I’ll also say that a lot of people with depression issues seem to also have digestive issues. I have IBS and Celiac, so I’m not sure how much of this is those and how much is the withdrawal. Good luck to you.

  • Stand Tall October 27, 2015, 7:12 am

    Frankly I think the company that makes this drug should be sued! Big time! Reading all this is frightening. I was on a low dose of Citalopram for 2 years (10 mg day), and the quitting has been tough for even me. I have so much MORE energy and sex drive now it is frightening. What a horrible drug. Anyone who is stopping must do it slowly and taper off – it is too scary not to. I hope these a-holes who released this drug get killed in court. Google the birth defects – wow!

  • Barbara October 26, 2015, 3:20 pm

    I thought 3 weeks, taking half pill then half every other day would be sufficient? No way. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me until I googled however by then it was too late to turn around. The brain zaps, headache, nausea have been horrible with insomnia being the absolute worst. Coupled with losing my nephew to suicide, aunt to cancer in less than 2 months the crying won’t stop.

    Fight or flight is constant. I appreciate the post shares here knowing I’m not bat-sh*t crazy. Can’t wait to be on the other side of this. Has anyone heard about taking one Prozac to eliminate withdrawal with no other side effects? I read this on other site.

  • Ellameda October 26, 2015, 1:56 am

    I am so happy I found this site. I thought something was wrong with me and then I realized I have not had my celexa for a few weeks due to not being able to see my psychiatrist the last few appointments because it is so far away. Then it hit me to look for withdrawal symptoms. I have been so irritable and dizzy. My dreams have been crazy and I have been really emotional. My husband is just worried I will go back to the suicidal thoughts and depression but I really would like to just stop taking it. I am teetering between just getting through this or calling my psychiatrist in the morning. I don’t know but it comforts me that there are others going through this as well.

  • Lainey October 25, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I feel like I’m losing my mind. I was put on citalopram almost a month ago for social anxiety. I was put on a 20mg dose to start, so I gave it a few days, things were ok, but I started getting pains in my head which led me to think there was something wrong. I had a couple visits to the hospital which didn’t help. In the couple weeks that went by, I was having anxiety attacks every night.

    I was put on 10 mg, but was still having the attacks. I gave it a little more time but I finally had to tell my doctor that it wasn’t helping. So it was about 5 weeks that I was taking them. I stopped on the 28th of September, and I was doing ok for the first few days. I was feeling detached from my body, felt like i was here but not, wasn’t in reality, my eyesight went all dim and snowy, just felt a feeling of unease.

    Now, it’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped, I have very bad tinnitus in my left ear, even roaring at times, still having the vision issue, have had bad mood swings, a lot of weird pain in my head, very dizzy, foggy feeling like I’m still not fully here. Having chest pain, increased heart rate, headache that throbs, not too many zaps, bad cough and nasal congestion. I’m feeling so depressed that something is terribly wrong and it won’t go away.

    Every time I cough, my heart pounds and my head throbs. I went to my pharmacist looking for some reassurance, which I should not have done. He told me that it would have been out of my system 1-2 weeks after stopping it. So needless to say, that didn’t help my health anxiety any. I’ve got two young kids to take care of and I’m so tired of feeling this way.

    I regret taking this drug. I have daily thoughts of death which makes me even more depressed. I’m on wellbutrin now, for what reason, I don’t know. I just want to feel normal the way I did before I started citalopram. I would take the social anxiety over feeling this way.

  • Nick October 23, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I’ve been on 20mg Citalopram for over three years, because my GP thought that severe fatigue was caused by depression. In fact six years ago I was diagnosed with a rare blood neoplasm, and have been on nightly chemotherapy ever since to control platelet production, which had got dangerously high. Severe fatigue is a symptom of the disease I have, and is also made worse by the nightly chemotherapy drugs. Certainly I wasn’t fully coping emotionally with all this, and that’s why the GP put me on Citalopram.

    This month I retired early on health grounds from a high pressure job in a prison. As I feel so much less stressed, I decided to taper off the Citalopram. I am so grateful for this site, because my wife and I seriously wondered whether I was brewing for a stroke (which is one of the dangers of a high platelet count). I feel constantly dizzy – the sort of feeling you get on a rollercoaster when it goes over a summit and starts crashing down the other side.

    It’s as if the brain somehow gets left behind. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m sitting down, walking or doing something physical like working in our garden: it’s a constant feeling of being spaced and dizzy. Now I understand it’s withdrawal symptoms from this medication. I also struggle to find words, which is really frustrating!!! Clearly it’s a question of letting the drug work out of the system.

    I last took a half dose five days ago, so it’s early in the process. So many of the stories I have read this evening on the site are really encouraging and supportive. Thank you all for giving me the realisation that this strange dizziness has a cause. Stay strong all.

  • Diane October 21, 2015, 5:50 am

    I’m so glad I found this page! I’m Bipolar Type II with Anxiety Disorder (and a rapid heartbeat) and it took decades for my doctors and I to find a drug combination that worked. I’d been taking Celexa (originally started on it, then was switched to Lexapro, but went back on Celexa after Medi-Cal stopped covering it) for almost 15 years, along with Lamictal and Zebeta.

    My new doctor put me on Trazadone for insomnia and decided to have me taper off of the Celexa because for the longest time the combination was causing nighttime hallucinations. My depth perception would get very wonky in the dark, and I’d see formulas and sentences forming on the walls and doors, and occasionally would see odd little things dangling from the lamp on my nightstand. Oddly specific.

    (It’s become a bit of a joke between me and my husband. I’d start to say, “Do you see–?” and he’d cut me off with, “Not really there, hon.” Or I’d suddenly sit up to peer suspiciously at my nightstand, and he’d roll over, take a quick look, shake his head at me and go back to sleep.) I’m always fully aware that they’re hallucinations, but it can get annoying, so off the Celexa I go, tapering the dosage for about three months…and now it’s been two weeks since I went Celexa-free, and I’m miserable. Yeah, the nighttime show has lessened a great deal, but I feel like crap!

    “Brain zaps” is directly on-target. What a great description! I’ll start to move my eyes and I get that “zap” and dizziness, and I’ll feel it all through my head and throat, and for a brief moment I can hear my blood rushing through my ears and feel my heart beat very hard in my chest, down my arm and into my fingers. It’s horrible. I’ve also gone back and forth between constipation and diarrhea, and feel like I’m coming down with the flu.

    I have a constant low-grade fever and just feel weak and disoriented, and find myself completely drawing a blank when reaching for a word. My writing is suffering because of it. (I looked back over what I’ve written so far and I’m horrified.) AND I just started a new job, so I look like an idiot. I’ve already commiserated with my supervisor about how we lose our minds during menopause, but I dread telling her about this.

    Finding this page and reading about what other people have gone through makes me feel so much better. Now that I have a point of reference, I’m not nearly as worried. I know I have to tough it out. Does anyone have any suggestions or home remedies to counter the effects of going off Celexa? I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor, but since it’s Medi-Cal it may take awhile, and anything I can do on my own would be very helpful. But just knowing what’s going on is such a relief. Thank you so much for this!

    • Priya October 22, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Hi Diane, I have posted a couple of times but really recommend a vit B complex in the day to stay alert and magnesium at night. Rescue remedy is great if you feel anxious or weepy. It has been six weeks since I came off and the zaps have subsided so they do get better. I found tiger balm was a lifesaver. You have to take it day by day. And give yourself plenty of pats on the back especially starting a new job. Getting of cit/ celexa is a big thing.

  • Daiana October 20, 2015, 4:05 pm

    I was on 20 mg. I stopped about 8 days ago and now I’ve been dizzy for 2 or 3 days. Apart from that, I FEEL GREAT.

  • Priya October 19, 2015, 10:24 pm

    I am updating my earlier post which was after 6 days of cold turkey having been on celexa 40mg. It has now been six weeks. I was lucky the first week or so, then got the most terrible side effects – crying spells, continual anger over the most minor things and some very dark thoughts. Monthlies were very tough going. I decided to read as much as I could.

    As I mentioned I have been carrying on with the 10,000ul vit d, and fish oil but have added a b complex and also 50mg of 5htp. I gave up cit/celexa for a variety of different reasons but a major reason was my teeth grinding. I was permanently having sore shoulders headaches etc. After giving up, well the teeth grinding carried on. I took the 5htp before I went to sleep and for the first time in YEARS I had no pain around my jaw, neck and shoulders. Incredible.

    It has been two weeks since starting 5htp and on the whole no grinding. Nearly six weeks on, I am pleased to be off cit though doing it cold turkey is unorthodox and everyone is different. The main changes I have noticed are:
    -I used to love fried food a few times a week. Since coming off I have eaten a fry up and it doesn’t agree with me whatsoever.
    -I can’t watch certain things on tv. So naturally have to switch off.
    -My tolerance level is lower. I am more conscious of the effect of social media so have had to use it less.
    -Have not seen any significant weight loss as of yet.
    -My hair is growing. I suffered a lot of hair loss and in six weeks there are a few more “baby” hairs than previously.
    -Whenever I have had anxiety (e.g. a hard day at work) I have been using rescue remedy. It has been another life saver.

  • Mary October 17, 2015, 4:42 pm

    I’ve been on Celaxa for 8 years for severe anxiety. For 5 years I took 40mg and then for the last 3 years I’ve taken 20mg. Throughout this period I’ve gradually put on a lot of weight. I’ve been tapering off for the last month and I’m now down to 10mg per day. It’s so frustrating because I just want to stop after all of those years but I know from past experience that withdrawal has to be gradual.

    I’ll stick at 10mg for another couple of weeks and then start to drop again. Currently I am very, very tired, just can’t get enough sleep, I have brain zaps, my concentration is not as god as it should be, I have a constant sore head and ringing in my ears. Des anyone else get the ringing? I also experience some dizziness. Reading all the comments here helps. I’m not going to give up and I’m determined to come off this very strong medication.

    I want to experience normal emotions again. Yes, that includes the low times but more importantly it means being able to celebrate the good times too. Being on this medication has helped me greatly with anxiety but has turned me into a bit of a zombie. I think I’m in a better place now to deal with my anxiety without the help from the Celexa, however, when I really needed it, it did help.

  • Amy October 16, 2015, 3:17 pm

    I was on Celexa for 6 years after a hysterectomy. My Gyn doctor thought it might help with mood swings, night sweats and anxiety. It did help except for the night sweats. I decided with the help of my family doctor to go off celexa. I took 40mg to begin with and took 20 mg for 1 week, then am now on 20 mg every other day for a week then I am suppose to stop. Was having a lot of crying jags and irritability. And yes brain zaps. These withdrawal symptoms are a pain but since I have read this article I feel a lot better about it. Wish me luck. I think I’m going to be just fine.

  • Michelle October 15, 2015, 12:53 pm

    Hi I’m 38 years old and have been taking 20/40mg citalopram since I was 21! Ran out of tablets about eight days ago decided to go cold turkey taking it a day at a time. Dizziness, slow reaction to things and insomnia are what I’m experiencing at the moment and a fuzzy head, glad I’ve found this site. You forget other people may be going through the same thing!

  • Sarah October 14, 2015, 7:33 pm

    About 2 weeks ago I stopped taking 40mg of celexa cold turkey after taking it daily for about 4 years. I feel fairly normal physically, but goof grief I am experiencing A LOT of irritation to the point that I don’t even want to be around myself right now. I feel like I’m having PMS symptoms x10. Anyone else having this problem?

  • Dennis October 14, 2015, 7:03 pm

    I only took citalopram for roughly 6 months. I started at 20mg following my divorce from a marriage of 24 years that I didn’t want and was shocked to be a part of. At the 20mg dose I was so lethargic and tired all the time I could barely function at work. I started cutting the pills in half to 10mg. That helped somewhat with the tiredness and didn’t make much difference with the depression. I wanted off this drug so cut the dose in half again and took 5 mg for about a week and then quit taking it altogether.

    The withdrawal is awful. I’ve been off completely for about 3 weeks and still feeling nauseous, dizzy and having brain zaps. My doctor recommended going back on at a low dose and re-withdrawing. No freakin way. This drug was never a good fit for me and I would never go back on it for any reason. The withdrawals are slowly lessening so I will stick it out until I’m back to normal. Will try and let you all know how long that takes.

  • Marisa October 14, 2015, 4:17 am

    I stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago. I was in 20mg a day and the first thing I noticed was the lethargy. I still can’t go through the day without needing to take a 4 hour nap when I get home from work, then go to bed at normal time. Then there are some days I can’t sleep at all when I need to go to bed. The other major symptom is my concentration.

    People can be talking to me and I literally cannot pay attention to what they said. It’s not that I’m distracted by other thoughts, it just feels like my brain has stopped working for a minute and there aren’t any thoughts there. Even after they repeat themselves it takes a lot of effort to pay attention.

  • Karen October 14, 2015, 12:06 am

    Thank You for this site. I seriously thought I was losing my mind and thought of going back on Celexa. I am terribly fatigued, having memory loss or cloudy thinking. I gained 25 lbs while on this drug. I am back to the gym but finding it hard to get there due to the fatigue. I gradually took myself off Celexa, from 20 to 10 to 5 over a 2 months time.

  • Martha October 13, 2015, 1:13 pm

    The confusion, foggy brain, lack of patience and dizziness are my current symptoms…oh and a wee bit of nausea though that might be for a different reason. I just found out today that I am pregnant and am grateful I went off Celexa when I did. It’s only been 6 days but I am only JUST pregnant. I too went cold turkey, from 20 mg for 3 1/2 years to nothing.

    I’d been off it before for a few weeks when I was unable to afford my meds, and it seems somehow easier this time around. Maybe because I knew what to expect, regardless I basically came on here to find out how long it was supposed to last. Looks like I’ll be feeling high for my first trimester…lol. Should make life interesting for my my family. :)

  • Lisa October 13, 2015, 7:19 am

    I stopped taking Celexa 40mg after nearly a year on 40mg I stopped cold turkey. For the first 3 weeks I had terrible diarrhea and insomnia. It’s now been about 5 weeks and all that has gone I am just left with a lot of irritation I can snap at people and get annoyed very quickly BUT I am functioning a lot better and don’t feel as emotionally restricted as I did on celexa.

  • SHAZAM October 12, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I started with 40 mg in Feb 2008. It was not depression, I had chest pains and felt dizzy. Also had acid reflux. All went away the first pill I took. After that my doctor told me not to stop until in 2011 I was have bad electrical feelings in my body. I went back to my doctor and he wrote a prescription for 60mg daily. I did the opposite I was cutting the 40mg in half and was taking 20mg daily. Guess what the electrical feelings disappeared.

    That means I was on the 40mg for a long time and I should have cut back in it. So I had my doctor prescribe me 10mg daily since 2013. 4 days ago I quit cold turkey. I am having mild headaches, dizziness, bad dreams. I think my body was ready to quit because I was waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of my body under fire and feeling hot with no temperature at all. I was panicking and got up and started to shake it off then I was able to go back to sleep again. Didn’t have that feeling since I quit

  • Misty October 12, 2015, 6:03 am

    I think it has been about 9 days for me, I ran out and thought maybe this would be a good time to stop. Quitting cold turkey was probably not the smartest thing, I’ve been on anti-depressants for 18 years, 40 mg of citalopram for the past 8 years. The withdrawal symptoms have been awful. I keep reminding myself that it will pass, but it’s so difficult when you’re in the middle of it.

    The dizziness, irritability, brain zaps, fogginess, fatigue (feels like I can’t get enough sleep) have been the worst. I also feel like it is so unfair to my kids to have to deal with a confused grumpy mom lol. Wondering if maybe I should go to the doctor and try to taper down before quitting completely. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it helps to know that others understand…that I’m not the only one.

  • Ruth October 11, 2015, 7:49 am

    Returned to drop a comment on my withdrawal, I posted on Sept 15 that I had just started to wean myself off Cipramil myself, well, i took half a tablet (10mg) every day for 2 weeks, then 10 mg every 2 days for the next 2 weeks. I shall keep it at that for another 2, so far I have been quite normal, if that’s what I remember normal to be! No brain zaps, even temperament, not too foggy, so far so good. I’m hoping after next fortnight I shall have 10 mg every 3 days, then taper a bit more.

    It’s better than cold turkey or fast tapering. And I urge anyone out there who still has to take other meds anyway, and hasn’t got a pill box…get one! You won’t forget, specially if you set an alarm on your phone for the same time each day. At least you’ll be able to see the last time you took a pill if you get too forgetful. Good luck to everyone out there trying to get off this poisonous stuff.

  • Lauren October 9, 2015, 11:39 pm

    I am currently withdrawing from Celexa. My doctor had me on 40mg for years then I felt like it stopped working so I got off it. Went from 40mg for years to 20mg for 3 days then 10mg for 3 days then I started Wellburtrin 150mg. I feel so terrible and sick. When will the symptoms of withdrawal end?

  • Brad October 6, 2015, 8:04 pm

    I haven’t taken any Celexa for around 2 weeks and was surprised at the dizziness and nausea I was experiencing. I had no idea that quitting this could bring on these symptoms. I was taking 40 mg doses. I’m looking forward to being drug free again. I hope to lose some of the weight I’ve gained over the last 3 years since I started using it.

  • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:49 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa 10mg for about two-three weeks, I’m almost 18 in my senior year of high school and the side effects are getting very hard to deal with. I used to love reading but I can’t seem to do any of that with my blurred vision, which is causing horrible headaches. I wake up in the night constantly feeling hopeless and abnormal, like I’ll never feel right again. Thoughts of suicide are intense when I wake up like this, and I feel (as I read in earlier comments) like my head is struggling to catch up with my body. Either my heart rate’s been abnormal or I’m overreacting. I’ve been reading a lot of comments on this trying to decide whether or not I need to quit taking my Celexa or push through this feeling. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Paul October 5, 2015, 8:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this information! It has been a month now since my last dose of 20mgs and my head still gets the “zaps” as you call them or “swirls” as I call them! The low fatigue is also a issue that I wondered about, and concentration wow! You explained everything perfectly. I wish I had looked this information up sooner, thinking there might be something else wrong with me ;)

    I hope it doesn’t take ninety days!! But, at least I know what the problem is now and I will just forge on. I have been off and on Celexa for years, and am in a much better place in my life, so I know I will reap the benefits of being off it… but am well aware of how great it worked through my anxious times. Thanks again.

  • Sherry October 5, 2015, 1:15 pm

    I have stopped celexa 20mg for past 3-4 weeks I think. I have brain zaps daily that drive me crazy, I cry at drop off a hat. I’m irritable, moody, mean, depressed, all the symptoms. It’s driving me nuts. I had gained tons of weight. Can’t get in any of my clothes. Why do Dr’s put people on this sh*t? I feel worse than ever. I will never take a antidepressant again. I’m done. I just hope I live through this hell. I’m a RN on top of all this. Poor patients.

  • Maria October 4, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I posted on day 35 how well I was doing in hopes of letting others know that the withdrawal symptoms won’t last forever. After I had posted, I did have some more not so good days, but here I am at day 59 and most of my days are now good. I thank God for my very patient husband, and for helping me get through this ordeal. There is hope! It does get better!

  • sue October 2, 2015, 1:50 am

    I am now into my 8th week of withdrawal of 20mg over 7 years. I wish I could say I feel much better. The brain zaps and the feeling of dizziness and nausea has stopped but the fatigue is unbearable. I am lucky not to be working because I would certainly not been able to cope otherwise. Because of the extreme tiredness I am snappy, irritable and depressed. Yesterday I decided to “give in” to it and slept for 21 hours on and off, only getting up to go to the toilet and eat.

    I don’t know where to turn, I know going back on them is not an option but can’t cope with this this! I thought I would be over the worst of it by now but I am sure its getting worse. I have had a quick search on here to see if anyone returned here to say it was all worth it and how much better they feel for it now but cant find one. Its now at the point I think there must be something wrong with me and am going to have some blood tests done just in case. Whatever the outcome of the next few months I shall return to let you know.

    • Cathy October 2, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Hi Sue and Everyone, I am also going on my 3rd month withdrawal. This is week 9. I feel awful and think maybe there is something else wrong with me. I feel too sick to even go to the doctor. I am very scared. I too will come back & post after this is over. Can someone post who has made it through this?

  • Cathy October 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    This Board is a lifesaver for me. I feel so awful during this withdrawal. It feels like it is never going to end. My doctor has not been helpful. I saw here where someone asked about Benadryl (diphenhydramine). Has this been found to be helpful? I take Benadryl (1/4) tablet throughout the day because I have shortness of breath – not so much now that I have stopped taking Cipramil.

    I do take it at night to help me sleep. Are there any bad effects from Benadryl? It was good to read about Epsom Salts. I have been using them for a long time because they just made me feel good. I don’t know how people go to work or perform their daily activities while withdrawing. This is so hard!

  • BarbB October 1, 2015, 3:20 am

    I quit Celexa ‘cold-turkey’ after six years. About a week and a half off now.I was taking 40 mg. The weight gain was affecting my health. My high blood pressure is affected by weight and my weight has gone up and up since starting Celexa and I couldn’t seem to lose ANY of it!! The doctors were going to put me on different, stronger blood pressure medicine because the rise in the blood pressure couldn’t be controlled.

    Now I know why. I didn’t even know it was the Celexa doing this!!! I am so very glad I found this page because the ‘discontinuation’ symptoms are horrible! I wish I never started this drug and will never take it again. I just went through a ‘crying jag’ like I never had before and felt like I was losing my mind. I am so irritable that I’m snapping at everyone. I had no idea it was from Celexa discontinuation.

    I’ve read all the posts and I feel so much better knowing I’m not losing my mind and that, through time, things will get better. I am trying a low-dose 5 HTP to help. I took 100 mg. of 5 HTP within the first few days of coming off Celexa and I definitely would NOT recommend doing that!! Evidently, I still had lots of Seratonin in my brain and I had all the symptoms of a Serotonin overdose — nausea, vomiting, the ‘runs,’ heart palpitations, etc.

    I couldn’t understand this either, as I had taken 5 HTP at various times in my life with no problems — now there were problems. So I waited two weeks and started taking a low dose instead of the 100 mgs. I just started the low dose today after my raging-crying fit!!! The weight is starting to come off and my blood pressure seems to be dropping. As I said, I wish I never started this drug and I was at a point where it didn’t seem to be working anymore.

    All of your stories and the main article have given me hope and cleared my head about what’s really going on. I’m also going to try to ‘push on’ via exercise, good food, good sleep, etc. and try not to focus on the symptoms. Thank all of you lovely people for sharing your stories and saving my sanity!!

  • Cathy September 29, 2015, 7:35 pm

    I was only on 10 mgs Cipramil for 9 months. I cut down to 5 mgs. Before this I was on Prozac for many years. I have been off the Cipramil for 2 months now. I have just started feeling what seems to be withdrawal symptoms – lightheaded, feeling feverish, extreme anxiety, feeling like I’m going to pass out – overall sick. I was fine for 2 months. On a positive note, the negative aspects of the medication have disappeared – skin rash, itching, compulsiveness. I thought I was in the clear. Can this happen after 2 months?

  • Brandon September 25, 2015, 4:52 am

    Hello, I’m 18 years old and started taking celexa when I was 16. I am currently on 20mg of celexa for about only 2 years now. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, but, I have noticed I go days without it sometimes (just forgetting to get re-fills) like right now it’s been 4 days and I’ve had absolutely horrible withdrawal symptoms.

    It gets worse throughout the day but once I get my dose in me tomorrow when I pick it up, I know I will feel better the next day. Always happens! But, I’m just concerned about getting off of it when that day comes. I take this medication for anxiety not depression and I do not want my anxiety symptoms to come back, or even worsen. Everyone’s comments have been helpful though. Thank you all, Brandon

    • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:59 pm

      I just stumbled upon this site recently and have been finding it very helpful. I’m almost 18 and just started taking Celexa 10mg, this is about the second or third week I’ve been on it and the side effects are never ending. My vision is blurry, I would go as far as to say my mind hurts. It’s hard to motivate myself and even harder to get a good night’s sleep. I don’t want to quit due to fear of withdrawal symptoms, but if that means I feel normal again I need it. Did you go through this kind of stage when you started? If so how long did it last?

  • Matthew September 23, 2015, 11:57 pm

    I quit taking citalopram cold turkey almost three weeks ago. I feel completely horrible most of the day each day. I experience pretty much every symptom I’ve read about. I am now having the nightmare and nausea symptoms. It’s almost like a gauntlet. The brain zaps, to headaches, dizziness, etc., etc. This medication, along with many others is poison and I really wish I was never prescribed it. All due to one anxiety attack.

    I’m gonna get some OTC nausea medication. If that doesn’t help, I’m gonna have to start taking the poison again. This crap, feeling ill everyday, gets old and is very hard to deal with. I would rather just have an anxiety attack.

    • Sharyl October 6, 2015, 5:55 pm

      I agree. I’ve only been on 10mg for three weeks and it’s making my vision so blurry and my head so flustered that I’m struggling to find words I would have otherwise thought of sooner. The sleep problems are really bad also, I’ve talked about it with people who have been on it for longer than me and they say this is a normal stage in the process but I feel very abnormal and awkward most times. I really wish I would’ve stayed away from it, but now that I’m thinking of quitting it’s a scary thought.

  • patricia September 17, 2015, 5:01 pm

    I took citalopran for 4 years and did well on it but my naturopath told me it has been linked to memory loss. I get it over the counter here in Mexico, where I live and it cost next to nothing. I have been completely off it almost 6 weeks now. I am less patient, quicker to anger and more judgmental of others but because I withdrew slowly the only other problem is I wake up after 5-6 hours sleep and have trouble going back to sleep because of anxiety that I won’t go back to sleep.

    I take a tiny bit of xanex (.25mg) but wondered if others are having trouble sleeping too. I am 63 years old. I have worked on my depression through a 12 step program ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholic or dysfunctional family) and it has helped me a lot. Along with an excellent therapist I no longer see. I am trying to stay active swimming and walking but it is hard with only 5-6 hours of sleep some nights. Any suggestions?

  • Ruth September 15, 2015, 1:59 pm

    I have just had one of the worst evenings of the last 6 years of my life until I hopped onto this site. I have just weaned off 20mg of Cipramil over 2 weeks (under doc’s orders)and feel like stabbing people! Weaning suggested due to migraines and clash of medications but I have felt worse than I have been for years. Brain zaps have been VERY intense, foggy, sleepy, irritated, and I am a carer for someone with MS, who REALLY has reason to be irritated!

    I think the weaning was too fast. Weight gain has been a running joke for 3 years, tonight I cried as I realize it didn’t have to be! Sex drive has been an issue too, I’m so angry THAT didn’t have to be either! I’ve cried at the supermarket, at the TV, and screamed at my companion bird,(who hasn’t come out of her box since). I’m so very angry that I’m just finding out about the symptoms of being ON this drug let alone coming OFF it!

    I know things will get easier, but I have started a minimal dose again to ease myself off properly. I am only 5 feet tall, and was 46kg when I started on the drug. I am now 56kg. That alone has been an issue, but was told by the doc it was my age. I just turned 50. I think I shall be seeing another doctor from now on. Thank you all who have inspired me tonight to be positive instead of going for a very long walk in the bush.

  • Ellie September 15, 2015, 5:00 am

    My 4 year experience ON citalopram was a mixed bag. Instantly felt better and more calm, which declined to a steady neutral to slightly positive mood for the duration. Sexual side effects (an-orgasmia) began after about two weeks, partly subsided after six (difficult, but more intense), then after about 8 months, it was as if my body could still have them, but my mind couldn’t really feel it. I gained 30 lbs without changing my diet. My spouse says that I was more ‘distant’ and less engaged, especially in conversation.

    Sexual desire was decreased… although it wasn’t really lack of interest more than just lack of self-motivation. I wanted to want to, but I usually just didn’t have the initiative to start anything. I’d initially feel a little irritated/interrupted when my spouse would initiate intimacy, but it only took a minute or two to get my interest. I was always receptive (sometimes a deliberate choice to be,) but it still frustrated my spouse to always be the one who had to initiate.

    Also, citalopram made me forgetful… mostly short term and day-to-day stuff. Not debilitating, but I did find it frustrating. Anyway, circumstances in my life had changed, so I was mostly still taking it just because the withdrawal symptoms were so bad and so long lasting. Like many, my getting off citalopram (especially cold turkey) wasn’t really my choice.

    The ACA going into effect resulted in a HUGE turnover and loss of primary care physicians in my area, so the waiting list to be seen for refill purposes went from a week and a half to 8 weeks if you were lucky. I wasn’t. By the time I was able to GET an appointment, I was already 6 weeks into withdrawal symptoms (AGAIN) and was tired of finding myself in this provider-refill delay mess repeatedly and decided to just deal with the withdrawal.

    I’d been through this sort of thing a few times before. A couple of times I saw it coming and rationed or split doses, so I’ve done citalopram withdrawal both with a taper and cold turkey. I never had problems -while- tapering and rationing even down to 2.5 mg, but I found no difference in symptoms or intensity once I stopped. For the first 4 days, I have no symptoms. Then, I start to wake up at night hearing a ‘swish’ when my eyes move side to side. At a week, I feel flu like and it lasts about 7 days.

    At two weeks, I’m irritable and the night time eye swishing is better, but I’m constantly exhausted, dizzy, have the occasional brain zap, but definitely the ‘brain left behind when turning my head or looking sideways,’ bit. After driving for half an hour in traffic, I usually have to lie down for a while. That comes and goes to some extent for the next 6 to 8 weeks and I get to a point where I can’t tell if I’m actually so exhausted that I’m dizzy, or so dizzy that I’m exhausted.

    I’m now 10 weeks into complete withdrawal after 3 weeks of tapering/rationing. My base mood is pretty much the same. The sexual side effects have subsided, desire is more normal, my spouse says I’m no longer distant, etc… My memory returned to normal after about 5 weeks. I’m still somewhat dizzy, especially when tired and I’m tired almost all of the time. The ‘brain left behind’ thing is still prominent, especially after driving or reading for a long period of time, so I think it’s related to eye movement and that night time side to side eye swishing experience.

    I’m irritable, but I find that it probably isn’t a withdrawal symptom anymore, as much as it’s probably just not remembering how to actually deal with irritation after so many years of the medication doing it for me. Anyway, as I said, I’m the better part of three months into withdrawals and I’m still tempted to go back on the citalopram on a daily basis just to get rid of the discontinuation effects. At this point, I don’t know how long they’re going to last, but it definitely wasn’t ‘a couple of weeks.’ From how things have gone, I’m expecting to be dealing with it for another couple of months.

    I will close by stating that I have the luxury of being a stay-at-home parent through all of this, so I -do- have the ability to sit regularly, lie down, hold still and take naps when the kids allow. If I were still working my 11 hour per day engineering job, I’d -have- to have gone back on the medication. There would have been no way for me to deal with the withdrawal symptoms and not lose my job for performance, safety and liability reasons.

  • Priya September 14, 2015, 4:43 pm

    This forum is a godsend! Sending you all love and prayers on your journey. I have been on Cit since June 2011. First on 20 mg and then due to a stressful job and circumstances this was increased to 40mg. I have put on 42 pounds with a BMI now making me close to morbidly obese (I was bigger before being on Cit as well). It wrecked my confidence and caused depression and further anxiety. And I was constantly hungry!

    I took the step of going cold turkey 6 days ago. My appetite has definitely been reduced. Getting the brain zaps, headaches and general tiredness. Have a very persistent dry cough. I have been using tiger balm for my head. Also taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D and drinking camomile tea before I go to sleep. Drinking plenty of water which is keeping my throat moist. Also have a high concentration fish oil. I will update further in a week or so.

  • Ethan September 13, 2015, 10:51 pm

    I have been on celexa for just over three years. 5 months ago I went from 20mg to nothing in two weeks. I ended up in the ER for these brain zaps and felt like every time I moved my head my brain would have to adjust. I thought it was anxiety attacks. Then my doctor said it was withdrawals. After that, I went on 40 mg to 20 to 10 to 5 after 5 months of tapering, I am off all as of three days ago. The feelings are familiar but not nearly as bad. I really hope I’m good in a week or so because I really want off the celexa.

  • AuntieM September 13, 2015, 7:15 pm

    Thank you all for writing. I’ve been taking Celexa for 15 years. The last few years I’ve been taking 60 mg. My primary care dr. told me there is a risk for heart problems, and I have had heart palpitations. I’ve been taking 40 mg for the last 3 months and some of the withdrawal symptoms. Your words have given me hope. I’m scared. Wonder if I’ll be on the drug forever. I don’t feel like doing much, not interested in some of the things I used to be. Keeping myself going is so exhausting. Luckily I work full time and this keeps my mind focused on other things during the day.

  • Maria September 12, 2015, 2:08 am

    I have been going through the same awful withdrawal symptoms after tapering off celexa. As I was going through it, I kept reading the comments on this site looking for some hope that eventually I would feel normal again. I am posting now because I am indeed starting to feel like myself again. I am on day 35 of no celexa. Today was a great day! I actually laughed today! So, if anyone is feeling as I was, thinking I would never get through this, there is hope. It does happen! It did for me.

  • Diane September 12, 2015, 2:05 am

    I was taking 10mg of citralopram for about 4 years. Two months ago I decided I no longer needed the meds and I cut my dosage in half. In the third month and feeling OK. Some days I am more anxious than others. Each day a little better. Acupunture helps me. I go once a week. I plan on tapering very slowly. I got my Doctor to give me a script for liquid so I can control the gradual taper. When I first tried to get off citralopram I did the every other day routine. That is not the way to do it. Your body and brain chemistry needs it everyday.

  • Randy M September 11, 2015, 5:16 pm

    My family has a history of severe depression. I am 55 and have been taking meds since I was 20. I guess I thought after all these years that research would bring us closer to something that really works but each time I see a health professional it is the same old guessing game. A month ago I decided to quit cold turkey the citalopram 40 mg I have been on for a very long time.

    Today I was about to start taking them again and found this site. The crying spells were getting to me more than the other symptoms but the others are also present. Here is hoping that my dependency on these drugs will come to an end with better results than I have witnessed being on them

  • sue September 11, 2015, 12:33 pm

    This site has been my savior over the last 5 weeks, its only today I have the strength and motivation to post myself. I have been on citalopram 20mg for 7 years whilst I was in a violent 16 year marriage. He eventually left me for another woman 5 years ago. I found out by a note he left me and all his belongings taken from our house. At this point in my life I truly believe my meds saved my life.

    Yes my life was in pieces but had it not been for citalopram it would have been much much worse. Since then I met the kindest man imaginable and although discussed with my doctor was always dissuaded from coming off them. So 5 weeks ago I took the bull by the horns and went complete cold turkey. It’s been hell! All the withdrawal symptoms mentioned and more. I seriously considered ending my life as I thought this was how I was going to feel forever.

    But now after 5 weeks I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am still chronically fatigued and as yet no weight loss (I have gained 3 stone in 7 years), but boy what a difference now. I seriously do not advise cold turkey, but get off the damn things if you can. Good luck everyone.

  • Sam September 9, 2015, 2:44 pm

    I gradually tapered off celexa 20 mg after over 10 years of being on it. I am now at 7 weeks of nothing and I’m feeling so defeated. I cry over everything and nothing. My doctor says that is me and no longer withdrawal symptoms. After reading this article I don’t think she is right. I have actually gained more weight being off of it. I don’t want to be on medication for life. Is this normal?

  • Michelle Herrera September 8, 2015, 7:28 pm

    Hi everyone. Glad I found you! I’m a 51 year old female. I’ve been on different types of antidepressants for 25 years with Celexa being the best of the best! I have been on Celexa for the past 10 years or so, 80 mgs. It changed my life for the better, along with Seroquel for my anxiety/panic disorder. I quit the Seroquel about 5 years ago and the Celexa has been wonderful on its own.

    About a year and a half ago my psychiatrist had to drop my dosage down to 40 mgs because he heard larger doses contribute to heart problems. It has been a little more difficult on 40 mgs as my avoidance behaviors came back, (avoiding people because I fear them and not going far from home for fear of a panic attack) but things were manageable. But for the past year I’ve noticed my depression is back.

    Each day is a struggle to get up and live, a major effort to force a smile or even talk to people at work, and at home not wanting to do anything but watch TV, and also being scared to travel too far from home. I figure heck with it – if I’m on Celexa and still depressed I might as well be depressed OFF Celexa. Goodbye ole friend. I’m almost a week off cold turkey and the nausea is hard to take, it’s the worst! The brain zaps I can deal with.

    It almost feels good to cry again. I’m not having a problem sleeping, but I do miss the drowsiness Celexa gave me at night. I’ve been feeling like I don’t even know who I am for awhile now so maybe without meds I will find out. I’m just scared to death to have my anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia return. I see a new psychiatrist in a few weeks as mine retired a couple months ago. I will see if I can “do” life without meds.

  • Meg September 6, 2015, 3:39 pm

    I also appreciate this information. I have taken various antidepressants, on and off, for about 40 years. Citalopram is the one that actually made me feel better, and I’ve taken it for 5 years. Then my psychiatrist recommended stopping and for some reason, I did. Withdrawal has been a nightmare, many of the symptoms you list above. It’s been six weeks now, and symptoms are less but not gone. It’s a miracle that I wasn’t locked up somewhere. Thank you very much for the information, which is helping me work through this and vow never to touch the stuff again.

  • heather September 5, 2015, 3:18 am

    OMG I’M SO GLAD I FOUND THIS FORUM! I recently found out I was about 13 weeks pregnant and since then had no choice but to get off my celexa per my doctor’s advice. Well, they tapered me off slowly over the last 30 days and I am now completely off of it as of 9 days ago! HOWEVER, the withdrawal symptoms are so severe I feel like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. Everything little thing bugs me! The brain zaps and what I’m thinking are heart palpitations, are freaking me out and seem to never stop unless I’m sleeping!

    The migraine headaches have been debilitating. My husband thinks I’m a mess because one minute I’m fine and the next minute I’m so on edge and miserable I could just cry or scream. On top of this I am dealing with normal pregnancy hormones. Please make these symptoms stop! Is there anything I can eat or drink or do to help make them go away faster? How long does this feeling last? I’m so bummed…

  • Paul Faulkner September 2, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Hi, I’ve been drug free for 4 weeks having been on 20mg for around 4 years. The symptoms are currently as bad as they have ever been, but it gives me strength to know that I am just going through a process and it will gradually subside in time. I’ve been feeling sick almost constantly for the last week now and it’s so temping to start taking them again…

  • Mary Andersen September 1, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Hi fellow withdrawers, I’ve been on Citalopram for 14 years and my doctor decided to have me try going off. She had me taper from 40 mg to 20 mg over a two week period, then stop after a week, which I thought was pretty fast. The first few days I felt great, then the brain zaps and dizzy-when-you-turn-your-head episode started. Having nausea bugs me the most, but when I burp it gets better :) I didn’t realize it caused weight gain until I looked online recently (that explains why I have blown up like a balloon). I’ve already lost 4 pounds in a week…yay! I will continue this rocky road, taking care of myself along the way; I know it will be worth it!!

  • Kiera September 1, 2015, 3:56 pm

    Thank you for this thread. Made me cry and just feel so much better to know I am not alone. I have been on lexapro for 18 month after the birth of my child. Then tapered slowly and didn’t experience any physical side effects for a month. Then my brain went to a state of shock and severe depression, anxiety, insomnia kicked in. I have been off the medication for 55 days and still have so much sadness, hopelessness and anxiety in my life. It is better than 2 weeks ago but the progress is so slow and exhausting. Sometime I wonder if I am getting better at all. On the bright side suffering is making me a better, more spiritual person. I started going to church. I try to not judge people harshly. I learn to let things go. I wish all of you best of luck, my thoughts are with you. Everything passes and this will too. Hang on, learn from this and take one day at a time!

  • Mary Ann September 1, 2015, 4:16 am

    I have been on Celexa, up and down 10mg to 40mg, for about 6 years. I was on 30 mg for about a year and a half and have gained about 20 pounds. I took this drug because of severe depression after the breakup of a 27 year (rocky) relationship. I feel more in my element now and am starting to taper off. I am now taking 20 mg and will do this for about 2 or 3 weeks then 10 mg for 2 weeks then cut in half (5mg) for about a week or 10 days. Please wish me luck, I want to stand on my own two feet without drugs! If I cry that may do me good and get my libido back. I want to LIVE!

  • glad i'm off it August 29, 2015, 11:53 am

    I took 20mg of this for about 3 years for anxiety and mild depression. It really helped clear up my panic attacks and anxiety, BUT it made me not give a shit about things I really should have. It also made me not present in my own life. I decided to go off this drug and it’s been 18 months now and the hardest thing to do in my life because although I weaned off VERY SLOWLY because I am very sensitive, it was HELL.

    I ended up with full blown depression, worse than I ever had before medication. I was not warned about severe side effects from weaning off the meds. It’s potentially life threatening. I don’t advise stopping cold turkey. Now I take a natural supplement – 5HTP and feel way better for it. Actually feel like myself, I can appreciate beauty and nature and life… whereas on the meds I just was lost. Weaning off was hell, I had to re-learn to handle my emotions again, I was a crying, miserable, tortured mess. Good luck!

    • Courtney August 31, 2015, 4:28 am

      I tried to come off this drug after 6 years at the start of this year, but freaked out and went back on after a few months; due to side effects. I did not taper off properly, so I am trying again and doing it properly this time. I’m nervous and know it will be hard, but reading all these posts are giving me more confidence. I don’t want to rely on a drug for my entire life. I eat well, exercise and meditate; I know I can do this. Hang in there everyone else who is on this journey… remember that you’re not alone; we get it!

      • Mary Ann September 1, 2015, 4:18 am

        Courtney, I just wrote a comment similar to yours…you can do it!

  • Ginny Miller August 28, 2015, 1:12 pm

    I am 8 days off citalopram and today is the worst day. I was taking 40mg for about 2 years, 20mg for while before that, as my circumstances have improved this year I made the decision that I did not want to be 60 and dependent on antidepressants anymore. I asked my Dr the best way to taper off and begun this in May, going from 40mg to 30mg to 20mg to 10mg, lowering it every 2-3 weeks to get it down gradually.

    So I am now Day 8 drug free and am determined to not go back on it. I have not had any yearning for sex in years and I gained 3 stone in weight, spent £100,s at slimming world with no success not knowing that citalopram was to blame for both, and I have a wonderful understanding husband. I am now trying to get through the next couple of weeks of feeling like rubbish, dizzy, nauseous, tired, and low mood to name a few symptoms. I hope that all my zing comes back but who can tell. Does it?

  • Glen August 27, 2015, 7:56 pm

    I am currently on day 6 of withdrawal from citalopram, and the zaps are definitely kicking in, but with the help of family, and that awesome man upstairs, I have calmed (somewhat) the dizziness and brain zaps. I went to an awesome prayer group at a church (C3) in San Diego and how ever this sounds to you, as how it would to myself, I am battling this with prayer and exercise. Anything to take my mind of noticing the zaps… All of the feedback here helped my journey…thank you all and hope to post about my “normal” life after withdrawal.

  • Lisa August 25, 2015, 9:57 pm

    I want to cry. Withdrawal is awful! I was on 40mg a day for 12 years. I feel like crap now. I’ve been off it for a week and a half and I have constant brain zaps, dizziness, fever and rash. How long will this last?

    • Amy August 27, 2015, 10:26 pm

      I’m on week 4 after taking 20 mg for at least 8 years and 40 before that–I’m exhausted—cannot accomplish the simplest task without wanting to lay down and take a nap. I have constant stomach upset, stomach is really bloated, and I am gassy. I gained over 30 pounds on this drug and am worried that I’ll never be able to lose the weight. The only good thing I am doing right now is water therapy a few days a week. I just want to feel better.

      • Melissa September 8, 2015, 1:07 am

        I tapered off from 20 mg. beginning June 15. It was a battle. I have been taking 20 mg. for the past 4 years, and I too have suffered weight gain and low libido. I quit taking it entirely on July 20. I can say that it has only been in the last week that I feel the mood swings, crying jags, and overall body dysfunctions have finally subsided. Activity helps. You have to make yourself get up out of your funk and do even the tiniest physical activity. It helps.

        Stay as active as possible. This site has helped me so much knowing that I am not alone – I come to it several times a week to help me stay stronger. Again, it’s a battle – my thinking is that some people need to find a different type of antidepressant. My doctor is so flippant about it – I will be changing doctors. I didn’t even tell him what I was doing; I just weaned myself off of it, as difficult as this has been. I just totally believe that Celexa – Citalopram is a bad, bad drug.

      • Brooke September 27, 2015, 9:41 pm

        Hi Amy, I am wondering how long it took your belly to go back to it’s normal state? I am on week 3 with no Celexa and the bloating and gas is the absolute worst symptom for me. I am a clean eater, exercise frequently and tapered for about 4 months from 30mg down to 5mg after 6 years on Celexa as my husband and I are soon to start trying to conceive. I had no IDEA that this excessive bloating could be due to the celexa until I looked it up.

        I had tons of tests done, and my GP and GI were sort of at a loss as everything looked normal. Is your bloating/gas situation any better? I just need to know that there is light at the end of this dark, terrible, tunnel. I wish I had never started these meds to begin with.

        • Amy November 3, 2015, 1:01 pm

          Hi Brooke. Don’t know if you will receive this as I have not checked back for over a month. The bloating has subsided a little. I’ve been to the doctors several times. Because of the weight gain, I now have sleep apnea and will be wearing an oral device soon to help me breathe normally again. I am hopeful that this, too, will help with me feelingn better and getting my life back on track. I am grateful that I was not working at the beginning of this nightmare of withdrawal. The IBS is still present, but I am now taking probiotics and these have helped a great deal. I wish I had never taken this drug.

  • Eily August 23, 2015, 1:17 pm

    I have only been taking cit for four months and have gone on holiday and forgot my meds!!! Five days in and experiencing irritability, bad dreams, insomnia, mood swings and vile brain zaps. But feel much better after reading all your comments, thank you.

  • Ann August 21, 2015, 2:01 am

    I stopped taking my Citalopram last week and while I didn’t quit cold turkey I didn’t taper off like I should have. I’ve experienced several withdraw symptoms, but the dizziness has been the worst. I was taking 40mg a day since 2006 and I’m so hoping that this dizziness won’t last much longer. I can handle all the other symptoms but I hate feeling like I’m going to fall over.

  • Faith August 20, 2015, 6:10 pm

    I’m very glad I came across this website and was able to read everyone’s comments. I am 24 and I had been on Celexa from the time I was around 7 years old due to anxiety and panic attacks. Over the years other medicine was added but I always remained on 40 mg of Celexa. A month ago my doctor took me off of it and increased another one of my medicines so that my husband and I could start trying for a baby more safely. It has been an absolute nightmare.

    The nausea has been so severe and the crying at the drop of hat led us to believe I was pregnant. I’m about 5 weeks out from quitting the medicine after I tapered off of it for an additional 2 weeks prior. The nausea is still there, I still cry at the silliest of things and now I’ve started having these convulsing-like shaking spells where I shake and shiver so badly that I can’t think properly, and it’s hard to even walk or talk.

    The shaking spells are what’s killing me right now. It’s greatly affecting my daily life. I can’t wait for all this to subside!

  • Roberta August 19, 2015, 10:33 pm

    My daughter found this site for me. I thought I was losing my mind and also the symptoms of a heart attack that sent me to the E.R. I am glad to know that it is part of getting off cit. Reading these accounts gives me a new outlook. Thank you, Roberta

  • Andi August 19, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I have been taking celexa for nearly 9 years. I decided to taper down, starting with 20mg; which I took for a year. But, now I’m starting the 10 mg and I feel like hell. I feel disoriented, nauseous, have debilitating headaches, and have no patience for anything, and I’m a psychtherapist, so patience is a HUGE part of my job. The information here was very helpful and I hope that I begin to feel better in the coming months.

  • Ursula August 19, 2015, 5:46 pm

    Thanks so much for this site. Just off Citalopram, finally, after one year on, weaning for last 3 mos, off totally just a week, but yep, brains zaps & dizziness whenever up & down especially, even lying still in bed for a while…very disturbing, but glad I read these comments….will perservere!

  • Sandy August 14, 2015, 3:56 am

    I have been on 40 mg Celexa for 4 yrs. I decided to stop taking it because I wanted my life back. I’ve been off it for 5 days now and feel terrible. The headaches, dizziness,and feelings of being sick are awful. I was glad I found this post cause I thought I was the only one with these feelings. I want a normal life again. My prayers are with everyone who is going through this also.

  • James August 12, 2015, 11:15 pm

    I was taking Citalopram for 12 years, on a 20 mg dosage. I am close to retirement now, and decided that I really wanted to get off this drug. I had consulted with my physician first, and reduced the dosage from 20 to 10 by splitting the pill for about 2 weeks and then stopped the dosage after that. I did not notice much of a difference when going from 20 to 10, but when I stopped, what a pain.

    I experienced the brain zaps, nausea, dizziness, and sleep difficulty at times. After 2 weeks, today was the first day that the brain zaps subsided somewhat. These things are awful, every time I turn my head, the brain has to catch up. I am looking forward to when these withdrawal symptoms go away. The comments on this blog have really helped, knowing I am not the only one with this issue. Exercise and a good night’s rest help.

  • Cydnee August 12, 2015, 5:00 pm

    I’ve been on celexa for 20 something years. Low dose. Also on Wellbutrin. I decided to remove the celexa and I tapered off over a month, reducing my dose to half, then every other day then off. Last dose was July 28th. I feel horrible. But after reading the comments, I am hopeful. The worst for me are the mornings. I have severe brain fog. I can’t focus, and my vision is blurry.

    It feels like I am coming down from an LSD stone (yes I was a teenager in the early 70s). Those of you who partook in such drugs will know what I mean when I say I have ‘trailing’. For those of you who don’t, it’s when you turn your head and it takes a few seconds for your vision and perception of things to catch up with you. I also feel slightly anxious in the am. Anyone else experience these things? I see that anxiety can be common. Mine is only in the morning. Thanks, and I know this too shall pass:) -Cyd

  • S August 11, 2015, 8:12 am

    Hi, I’ve been on 20 mg citalopram for just over a year. Doctor suggested coming off the tablets so went from 20mg down to 10mg fine without any symptoms then 10mg every other day without any symptoms. Now gone down to 5mg every other day and feel sick, dizzy spells, foggy head, slight anxiety. Has anyone else had withdrawal symptoms before actually completely stopping?

  • Emma August 7, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this as two Doctors I spoke to were not nearly as helpful and said that cutting down from 10mg to 5mg was silly and not worth it. I was on 40 mg for 2 years and have cut down slowly and since I stopped completely have experienced most of the withdrawals. Dizziness and brain zapping, sudden crying episodes and mood swings. Thought I should go back on as nearly smoked some skunk even though I am 28 years off all drugs, etc. Your article reassured me as I know I need to stay off them and reconnect with reality.

  • Miso August 5, 2015, 6:04 am

    I was on 20mg of Celexa for two years due to panic attacks and severe stress. I decided to wean off under my doctors guidance. He suggested 20 to 10 to 0.

    The first 3 weeks of 10mg were fine until I dropped down further to 5. I started to experience very bad dreams, anxiety, and extreme stress. The stress was so bad that I felt dizzy and very tired. I felt a lot of pressure in my head and got bad headaches.

    I’m going to ride it out to 0mg! I know it’s possible.

  • Catherine July 30, 2015, 10:27 pm

    I went off of Celexa cold-turkey about 2 weeks ago. I had been taking it for about 4 yours…started at 20, then 30, and have been on 40 mg for the past year (I kept feeling like it wasn’t really helping, so my PCP would up the dosage). Suddenly found myself “between insurance coverage”, and could not afford the refills, so I decided to just stop taking it. Maybe it really doesn’t help, I thought. First week and a half, I did not notice any difference. But for the past few days now, I’ve been so panicky, irritable, emotional, and distracted…to the extreme. Has anyone found any good natural or herbal supplements that help this withdrawal trauma?

  • Lauren July 30, 2015, 1:52 am

    Thanks to all of you for your responses and to the writer as well. I was prescribed this medication for anxiety when I was in college, and I was so excited to find something that stopped my anxiety, I didn’t think twice about researching what my doctor gave me. He started me at 40 mg, which I now realize is such a high starting dosage! I didn’t know until I went to a general physician and she was astonished I was taking such a high dose.

    She immediately told me that I should dial it down. After hearing about this, I realized how crazy it was I didn’t look into this before. I am so happy to be weaning off of this now. Seeing everyone’s feedback has be very inspiring and extremely helpful. It has given me the strength to continue on, even though these side effects are no joke. I appreciate everyone and good luck to all, and congrats to all who have made it through!

  • juan July 28, 2015, 11:38 am

    I’ve been on it since I left the military. It’s been over 12 years now. I stopped cold turkey and it’s been a week. I’m a wreck inside. I’m having lows and highs. Really good times and just the last 2 days I’ve snapped really bad. I started having weird dreams the last couple of days to. I’m glad, I found this site to let me know that I’m not going crazy. Its given me some hope to stay with it and not go back on it.

    • Phil August 1, 2015, 1:39 am

      After suffering a life event, I was put on citalopram 20mg. It is a great drug and works very effectively. After a few years of healing I am able to take myself off the drug with the assistance of my doctor. I am 6 days in with no citalopram, but must admit, the side effects were much stronger than first anticipated.

      I have been feeling a little bit of all the side effects listed above. Most notably anxiousness, and the feeling of putting my head in a light socket. My doctor said coming off 10mg should take 7 to 10 days. I guess we’ll see. I will update in a week to let you guys know if the effects begin to subside, but hell or high water, I’m coming off this drug.

  • Sheila July 27, 2015, 8:28 pm

    Yesterday was my last day of taking Celexa 20mg after a year of being on it for anxiety. I came across this site while looking up potential withdrawal symptoms I may come to face. After 24 hours of being of this medication, I’ve noticed a slight change in my mood. I feel calmer than most days I was on the medication. I’ve had some anxiety over the thought of quitting my med cold turkey but no anxiety over the stuff I usually would get nervous about.

    I’ve quit cold turkey before and experienced the “zaps” which led me to continue the medication in fear that I just wasnt ready to quit. Finding this site has definitely helped ease my mind on becoming “Celexa free”. I’m sending out positive vibes to anyone trying to quit this medication! Good luck!

  • Linda July 24, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I stopped taking the prescription last Tues after tapering off for 5 weeks. I had been on it for about 16 months. I was given it to relieve anxiety. It worked well. Since then all the triggers for anxiety are gone in my life. I decided to stop. I figured taper down and it shouldn’t bother me. Wrong. This has been rough, brain zaps, nausea, aches, diarrhea, trapped gas, exhaustion, etc. Yesterday I even ran a temp. This blog has been so helpful. I’ll keep going one day at a time. Have been advised to take milk this and dandelion caps. I hope I never have to take a drug like this again. It wreaks havoc on the body.

  • Pat July 23, 2015, 3:30 am

    I was on 20 mg for 4 years. I quit cold turkey 2 months ago. I have had crazy dreams, insomnia, nausea, headaches, dizziness and lots of joint aches and pains and very restless. It has been very difficult but not all days are difficult. It comes and goes. I can’t focus and forget things and feel clumsy and injury prone but I am going to do this because the doctors prescribing this drug know less than we do.

    It is worth it and I encourage all of you to stay strong and know it gets better. Antidepressants have been overprescribed and forums like this get the truth out about how bad these drugs are messing with our minds and bodies. Spread the word and hopefully with Gods help I will get to the root of my problems and struggled and deal with them in a much healthier way.

  • Vicki July 22, 2015, 7:25 pm

    THE BRAIN ZAPS!!! Oh my word, I was convinced I had Alzheimer’s!! And the depression is unbelievable!! Honestly don’t know why this drug would ever be prescribed. The withdrawal can make you commit suicide. Will NEVER take another antidepressant. EVER.

  • Gail Brien July 22, 2015, 1:44 am

    Thank you to everyone who has put comments up. It has helped me tremendously to know that others have experienced the same things. I was on citalopram for depression for 14 years and on 40mgs for the last 6 years. I experienced emotional blunting for the last few years gradually getting worse, couldn’t cry or feel joy, just low level bland. Some people might think that is a good thing, but I felt like a zombie with no feelings at all.

    Anyway my GP started me on Valdoxan, a mood stabilizer, as I am also mildly bi-polar. After a month on that I started weaning myself off the citalopram (celexa). I dropped to 30mg for a month, with side effects lasting only for 2-3 days. That encouraged me to drop more quickly so I went to 20mg for 2 weeks, with the same results, and 10mg for 1 week, same results again. So then I stopped completely, still taking Valdoxan though.

    Well, that was a shocker. Now I am on day 6 and am experiencing all the physical symptoms that everyone else has noted. I have headaches, brain zaps, nausea, diarrhea and dizziness, hot and cold spells, and am tired but can’t sleep for very long. It is totally different to when I reduced the quantity. It seems like the moment you stop completely you get the whole whammy of withdrawal effects. I am now worrying how long it will last as I would also like to go off the Valdoxan, which luckily has no withdrawal effects at all, so they say anyway.

    But at least it seems as though it would not have made any difference if I had tapered much more slowly as I never had much in the way of effects when I reduced the dose. And from what I have been reading here it seems like for most people you get the same effect whether you do it fast or slow. Anyway good luck to everyone and I will keep you posted.

  • Danya July 21, 2015, 6:04 am

    Oh my gosh, I’m glad I found this thread. I felt like I was the only one going crazy trying to get off of the Celexa. I’ve been on it for 5 years. I was prescribed it for my insomnia and general anxiety issues. I started on 20mg for the first 3 years or so, and then I went down to 10mg. I still felt alright on the 10mg.

    About six months ago I decided to stop taking them completely because I just don’t know what the long term effects are of being on them. So basically I have been trying to wean off these things for the last 6 months. 10mg, to 7 1/2mg, to 5mg. It’s hard to break the pill into four even pieces so I’m sure the doses got a little mixed but not too badly. Every time I decreased the dosage I would feel a little weird for a week or so but I would adjust.

    I’m finding the jump from as little as 5mg to 2 1/2mg is so hard, it’s such a tiny amount I’m guessing that it’s like I’m totally off of them. I’m dizzy when I turn my head to the side, have anxiety all day for no reason at all, have terrible concentration issues and have basically no attention span. The worst part of all is the insomnia is back in full force! I get anxiety just thinking about trying to go to sleep.

    I’ve had to take Xanax now for that problem. This is so annoying that today I took 5mg of Celexa, thinking I should just get back on it. I don’t think I can stop taking these pills ever, or I’ll just have insomnia! It sucks that I’m having to take Xanax to help wean off Celexa.

  • Bobbie July 18, 2015, 4:08 pm

    I decided to go off cold turkey (c40 for 20+ yrs) with the help of homeopathy and have been off about a month now. Still feel nauseated, irritable and lighted headed. I’ve lost about 2-3 lbs already without trying. Homeopathy has helped considerably! My homeopathic practitioner is sending me a new remedy to help with my current symptoms. Until my homeopath practitioner suggested that what I was feeling were withdrawal symptoms, I thought it was a return to depression. My question is, how do I know what are withdrawal symptoms and what is the illness?

  • Donna July 15, 2015, 10:56 am

    Help! My withdrawals are terrible. I feel like I have the flu. Diarrhea, upset stomach, my body feels worn down and my skin is antsy. I wanna take it again just to make this stop.

  • Kathleen July 15, 2015, 2:34 am

    I am trying to come off this drug. I have been on 20mg for 9 months for depression and anxiety. My doctor warned me about sexual dysfunction. She said it would “take the edge off”. It seemed to work in the sense that I wasn’t as depressed or anxious after about a month in. But this has gone from feeling better to feeling nothing, I don’t cry when I should, I am not fearful when I should be. I have gained 20 pounds.

    By some sheer luck I was found to have a fatty liver on ultrasound for abdominal pain, which had me questioning whether Celexa could be a culprit. Big Pharma never tell you their dirty little secrets. I had brain zaps for a year coming off Paxil 5 years back, my doctor had no answer, had not heard of it. Now five years later it is now being recognized that serotonin discontinuation syndrome includes brain zaps. I have ready some reports of people who have died from Celexa ruining their livers, whether it is celexa alone or in combination with other drugs.

    Most people will never know if they have a fatty liver, but if you are on Celexa and gain weight fast, get your liver checked. I am done with this drug, not because I think it has added to my liver issue, but because there are too many side effects. My short term memory is shot. I can not remember a thing, I forget what I am doing. I used to be a nurse, there is NO way I could ever work with this memory issue.

    I am tired all the time. And indifferent, to the degree I do not feel human. When a loved one dies, you should be able to cry. I am at 10 mgs (from 20mgs) and have been really irritable, edgy. But I can think a bit clearer. I will try to reduce to 5 mgs next week, and I hope I avoid the hell people go through coming off this drug. I know this drug can help people, but at what cost? Some people can never get off them and this is wrong.

    I’ll try anything, vitamins, omega fatty acids, exercise, mediation, just anything other than this drug. I do not know what it will be like, I know Paxil was hell to discontinue. But I didn’t do what I am now, in being able to connect to so many others also having a hard time coming off their meds. The support is really a huge thing. I hope everyone going through this experience has some comfort in knowing they are not alone in this. All the best to you.

    • Joan July 16, 2015, 12:58 pm

      Hi Kathleen, I am on week 4 of weaning off 20 mg after almost 2 years of taking the medication (approx. 5 mg a week). What has helped me the most is my faith in God. I have been trying to focus on how good I am going to feel once I am finally off the drug and not focusing on the zaps, being tired, weight gain and memory fog. Believe me, if I start to fell depressed I look for something that will help me feel better (getting a massage, for example or watching a funny movie.)

      Keeping positive is the best advice I can give along with when you feel agitated, irritated, zappy just stop what you are doing and take a real deep breath and think of something that has happened that made you happy or something you would like to achieve that will make you happy (like me to lose the weight that I gained :-). Good luck to you. Writing always helps too. There are people who are going through the same thing, like me, who will remember you in their prayers for quick recovery.

  • Sarah July 13, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I’ve tapered off citalopram before about 6 months ago and failed to cope so went back on since then I have had talking therapy and my therapist is happy for me to come off so for the past few months I’ve tapered off my dose and two days ago came right off and now the hell has started! I’m off work and scarred to explain the real reason to my boss why I can’t come in! I am ready to come off them but hate coming off! I have just about all the symptom list and feel yuck!! How long is it likely to be this bad for? I can’t afford to be off work because of my depression/mess again! Sorry for the rant, advice and encouragement will be greatly received! Sarah

  • Angela C July 12, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I started taking Celexa 20mg about ten years ago. I slowly winged myself off by taking it every other day for a while, then after about a month, I went to every two days for a while. So on and so forth. I quit finally when there were no withdrawal symptoms in between taking them. I started this process about three months after I broke my femur and hip March 2014.

    Anxiety and depression hit me hard again about four months ago. My hip and femur were still hurting with pain every day. I don’t have the money to do anything about it, see a pain specialist etc. etc. I didn’t give myself enough time and there were not enough pills left to do the gradual taper off, so here I am with the brain zaps, feeling tired, dizzy, and lonely.

    As ya’ll know, nobody understands what you are going through, and it’s hard to explain, and pretty much useless to even try. I am sooooo glad to have found this site. Thank you to everyone involved with your testimonies, and advise. I asked my husband to read at least ten minutes into the site. He did. At least he hasn’t given me a hard time since. That has helped a lot. With the Lords’ help, I will no longer have withdrawals soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Thank you Mental Health Daily!

  • Debra July 10, 2015, 10:29 pm

    I’ve been on celexa since 2001 and have just weaned off of it almost 2 weeks ago. Was on 20mg. for many years then recently to 10mg for 4 days to 5mg. for 4 days to completely off. I was fatigued before I got off celexa and have been for a few years now but now I feel even worse. Cant get motivated to do things, just tired all the time and its wearing me out.

    Also, I feel like I am in a fog all the time and my head is spinning a lot. Maybe, that is why I don’t feel like doing anything. I get angry very easily and I’m always in such a bad mood, crying for no reason; I’m even about to cry right now as I’m typing this story and I know I wouldn’t of done that before, even being the sensitive person I am. I hope these symptoms go away soon.

    It feels like I have no control on anything. The reviews I have read tell me to keep moving forward and they will soon subside but, I just feel so depressed. I will do the best I can though. I don’t want to get back on celexa again even though it helped me when I needed it the most in my life. I want to get off some meds that I don’t need anymore. Its just the side effects that are really hurting me.

    • James July 13, 2015, 11:22 pm

      Debra, I have been taking a vitamin named 5-HTP to counter the effects of coming off celexa and it is helping. I also take some dark chocolate every day and that also helps. I had some pretty vivid dreams and had to fight some suicidal thoughts but I worked out this morning and just fought through it. I don’t want to be on this drug anymore, taking it really messed things up for me. Hell I have no idea if it works or not. If I have no choice and I have to go back on something I guess it is what it is, but I want to fight through and stay off the meds.

  • Ashlie July 9, 2015, 2:53 pm

    Dr took me off citalopram cold turkey. I was on 40mg for 15 years. Unfortunately I was taken off my anti-psychotic drug seroquel at the same time (cold turkey also). I felt I was leaving my brain behind when I moved my eyes and I cannot sleep at night. It doesn’t matter if I sleep a couple of hours during the day or not, as the evening wears on I become more and more alert and sleep is impossible.

    I am getting a maximum of six hours sleep and sometimes only four after lying in bed for up to 5 hours. My tinnitus, which I had gotten used to, is now very loud in my head and very disturbing. unfortunately all this was attributed to my new anti-psychotic, so they have been playing around with that. I am so glad to know I am not alone and as you tell me, it does not last forever. I have to go back to college soon and I need sleep.

  • George Weinberg July 8, 2015, 3:43 am

    I have been on 20mg for about 4 months. I went on vacation and forgot to take it for a few days. Then I told myself, heck, I don’t need this drug to run my life anymore. Given the low stress/anxiety nature of vacations, coming off it was easy. But some side effects did persist – now I am about 2 weeks in.

    – brain zap. weird and a bit sci-fi-ish
    – irritability – I screamed at my kids a lot and my wife is taking us all to a child psychologist so we can all get along better. Didn’t help that my kids told me unprovoked that it would make no difference to them if I wasn’t around in the family. That hurt a lot given I work so hard to put these kids through school and such. It didn’t help that they said this when I was withdrawing from Celexa. Life is a b*tch isn’t it.
    – tiredness
    – minor depression
    – one day only – I felt agitated with unexpected sounds or sights

    I have been drinking more than 2 drinks a day and I cut back on that since the time I withdrew from celexa. Maybe that’s making things worse? I don’t know.

  • natasha July 6, 2015, 10:25 pm

    I have now been off citalopram for just over 5 weeks. And only this last week have actually had any anxiety like the pulling feeling in my chest, lump in my throat, and crying spells. The nights are harder to fall asleep again. But I feel more like me again which is good. It is definitely worth sticking with it I think. When I feel any anxious feelings I try to take my mind off of it. Instead of saying no to parties or days out I make sure I push myself to go to get back to the old me. And am glad at the end of the day for doing it!! : )… Who wants to be stuck on pills for life?! If I can do it, You sure can.

    • Carol August 24, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Natasha, it is reassuring to read something positive on this site and to hear from someone who is doing it! I’m finding this site a bit frightening otherwise. I’ve been on citalopram for 10 years and have been up to 40 mg for the past few years and am thinking about cutting down. Thanks for your encouraging words!!

  • Bree July 6, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I was only on Celexa for panic attacks for a few months before I noticed I had gained about 10 pounds. Before that I had maintained a healthy weight within about 5 pounds all through college and a few years after, even while eating and drinking (almost) whatever I wanted. I’m active and workout regularly, and there was no other explanation as to why I would have gained so much weight so quickly. I was only on 10mg, and decided I needed to go off of it so I wouldn’t gain any more weight.

    I have been off of it for about a month, but I’m still gaining about a pound a week even though I’m watching what I eat and working out more!!! I really don’t know what to do at this point and I’m getting more and more discouraged the more I read. Has anyone lost the weight they gained on Celexa after going off of it? Everything that I’m reading online is scaring me into thinking that no matter what people are trying, the weight isn’t coming off.

    Luckily I haven’t experienced any of the other side effects except for a complete lack of libido, but I’m really starting to panic about continuing to gain weight, as I thought quitting Celexa would fix the problem.

  • Christine A July 6, 2015, 3:53 am

    I’m on week 6 of a 6 week tapering down to get off citalopram. The worst thing is the anger. It comes unexpectedly and I feel out of control. I’m so mad and it’s over small stuff. I’ve been on 40 MG for TEN years. I want to see if I can function off of it but some days of withdrawal are so hard! My poor husband has been so understanding but I don’t know how much more the poor guy can take. Ugh. When will I feel normal again?

    • Alan L July 8, 2015, 12:43 pm

      You have been on a high dose for 10 years so your brain chemistry and structures (receptor sites, etc) have literally grown/shrunk to adjust to it. You may wish to consider reducing much more slowly – it is not a case where the withdrawal just fades away, this is not like other drugs.

  • Glad to be off July 6, 2015, 12:04 am

    Glad to be off of these pills. I tried to do what the doctor said and cut the pill in half. I immediately felt sea sick and went back on the full dose. I then waited a week and tried again. This thin I shaved 1/10 of the pill off with a knife. I did this for five weeks till I got to a half of a pill. After that I went to 25% for a week then stopped in full. I have had some minor sea sickness but thankfully I think that I am officially off the pill. If you truly think that you should be off this drug stay the course but take it slow.

    • Alan L July 8, 2015, 12:45 pm

      100% agree – take it slow. See my post below. and other readers, look up tapering and ssri and read up before making the mistakes others here have made by cutting too fast. The repercussions can be substantial and protracted.

  • James July 4, 2015, 2:59 pm

    I was on Citalopram for 13 years, During the time I have been on I had 2 really good jobs that I lost just because of my temper and I am looking at a losing a third that if something doesn’t change I will lose it for the same reason. I have been on several different dosage quantities during the time and I must tell you while the drug covers up a lot of issues when I do become angry the result for me is out of control anger. It is very frustrating because 90 percent of the time I am in good spirits and a good mood so when this comes out it is difficult for people to understand because I act completely irrational and I have zero ability to control it.

    I am rolling to dice by quitting it because with it I am fat and irritable anyway. I was weened to a lower dose a few months ago but quite honestly no matter what the dose is the asshole in me still comes to the surface in a way that frightens people. So really I have nothing to lose by trying to get off it. I have a head ache and MY head is foggy, but the other result is unacceptable for me. I am going to exercise and gut it out. I am reluctant to tell my employer that I am on anti depressants and I am trying to get off them so please accept and over look my childish and angry and disrespectful behavior. This too shall pass.

    • Joan July 6, 2015, 11:26 am

      Hi James, When I found this site I made sure that I read all of the entries and found that indeed, “misery loves company” :-). I have been on citalopram for a shorter period of time than you but I still believe that weaning yourself off the drug is much better than going cold turkey. I did a lot of research and found that “weaning” is the best way to go. I also am obese which does not help matters much and I believe that I gained additional weight while on this drug. Believe me I know that the frustration of being over weight leads to a lot of internal and external anger.

      I am on the road to realizing that there is no one other than myself that can do anything about losing weight. So, very slowly, like weaning myself off my medicine I started to watch what I was eating and walking a little (and a little more each week). When things start making your “edgy” go for a walk or take some deep breaths. It helps, believe me. I am a believer in God and I find solace in peace. I hope you find your solace and continue to do good things for yourself. Anger only creates medical problems for yourself and affects no one else. Good luck to you!!

  • Kimberley July 1, 2015, 7:30 am

    Hello, my name is Kimberley. I’ve been on Citalopram since 2004 when I went through a home invasion, since taking them I’ve gone through many breakdowns and anxiety problems. My GP put me up to 60mg, which I felt if I missed one day by accident, I would just feel so sick and not myself. Lately I have decide to go cold turkey on them. It’s almost been 2 weeks since I have taken them. The worst side effect I am coping with is the pounding headaches and forever feeling sleepy.

    I do feel like I am improving. My mother is worried that it isn’t a good idea to just go cold turkey on them cause of my dad committing suicide from the meds he went off. But I have kept myself busy, I play a lot of online games or play with my dog. I do get the feelings to go back on citalopram again, but I keep telling myself not too. I would really like some support, as my family and friends don’t agree, when they think I should go back on it. I really don’t want to have to rely on taking this drug for the rest of my life.

    • Glad to be off July 6, 2015, 12:13 am

      Hope you are feeling better. Don’t rush going off the meds. Shave the pill to 90%. Then take that for a week. Then do 80% etc. I was taking much less dose than you and I couldn’t go cold turkey. I took me 6 weeks but glad to say. I’m feeling like I’m fully done. Be good to your body and take it slow. What’s a few more weeks in the grand scheme? Read more posts online. You will see others say the same.

    • Joan July 6, 2015, 11:06 am

      Hi Kimberley, A home invasion is a very scary situation to go through. I certainly hope that you sought professional help that would allow you to talk through the many fears that you faced after your ordeal. I am not a doctor but I think that going off 60mg of this drug cold turkey is not a good idea. You need to discuss with your GP why you want to go off the medication and ask that he/she help you.

      I was 20 mg for about 2-1/2 years and am slowly weaning myself off the drug 5 mg every 10 days. I still have minor headaches and am very sleepy. Please see your doctor for assistance. Like you I do not want to depend on this drug but realize that I will have to start living a more healthy lifestyle (losing weight, exercise). Good luck to you and God bless.

  • Renee June 25, 2015, 9:52 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 4-5 years, went from 20-30 mgs for anxiety. I missed a Dr apt and ran out of pills–I wanted off them anyway. I gained weight and lost all sex drive on the meds. So, I quite taking them last week, been about 7 days now–first few days were not a big deal. I noticed I have been having vibrant dreams–some a bit frightening but I can deal. I have headaches, thank goodness for ibuprofen.

    For sleeplessness I take one Advil PM-works great. Today I am very dizzy, going to need a ride home from work–almost feel drunk. Have been tired. I am going to get through this–in just 7 days I have a sex drive… Its been gone for years. It is worth the side effects–I am doing all I can to stay calm and if something comes up that would be an anxiety trigger, I am walking away. I wish everyone the best who is coming off. If we stick together, we will all get through this.

  • NP June 22, 2015, 12:08 am

    I started Citalopram about 8 years ago because I felt like I was losing my mind during menopause. It helped for years. Some time ago I started getting dizzy spells, confusion and unable to recall words, along with a constant sensation my ear was blocked. More recently the brain zaps started which I recognized as a side effect of the Citalopram.

    While I’ve been going through unsuccessful diagnostic evaluations of my symptoms, I chose to stop the Citalopram with my physician’s guidance. Now with the withdrawal symptoms I still don’t know what’s from the drug, I was getting very discouraged, I so appreciate reading the entries at this site; they’ve given me hope that it all may clear up. My big concern now is crying at work. I’m prone to crying anyway now it sounds like it’s just a matter of time.

    • Joan June 23, 2015, 11:47 am

      Hi NP, I have to say that one of the side effects that helped make my mind up to quit taking citalopram was that I was forgetting words as well. That really bothered me along with dizzy spells. How many mg’s were you taking per day? What has your doctor directed you to do as far as reducing the amount per day?

  • Tosha June 17, 2015, 7:43 pm

    I have had so much going on lately that I haven’t had a chance to pick up my refill of Celexa. I haven’t had any in 5 or 6 days. I have been on 20 mg for 2 1/2 years. My grandpa passed away a few days ago and we had his funeral yesterday. I have been a mess, nauseated, and unable to get out of bed some days. I contributed it all to stress and his passing. I woke up this morning with a a very vivid dream. I have been dizzy, nauseated, extremely fatigued, had diarrhea, heart racing, and have been unable to concentrate all day (some of these symptoms I have had a few days).

    I was thinking I had the flu or food poisoning. I called my fiance and he said he was feeling fine and suggested that maybe I feel this way because I haven’t had my Celexa in a few days. I did some research and found this blog. It never occurred to me that I would be having withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are horrible. For those living celexa free, I wish you all the luck!

    • Joan June 18, 2015, 11:06 am

      Tosha – So sorry to hear about the passing of your grandfather. I also have been on 20 mg of Celexa for about 2-1/2 years and have continued until three days ago after finding this site. I have gained weight and did not feel like exercising, very fatigued while on the drug that I decided it was time to live life again without the drug. I was so thankful when I found this site and decided to reduce the amount of medication slowly using a pill cutter.

      My plan is to reduce the amount that I take every 7 days for 4 weeks. So far I have had just a little nausea and vivid dreams but the other side effects seem to be in check. I keep on looking forward to feeling like exercising a little and losing some weight. I don’t like the feeling of being held hostage by a drug.

  • Linda June 14, 2015, 1:40 pm

    I have been on Celexa 20mg for over 22 years. I started taking them due to severe panic attacks. Over the years I have gained in excess of 40 lbs. I started to think “how long can one take these meds?” “Are they still working?” I sometimes feel slave to medications. There are life-sustaining medications I can’t live without but is Celexa one of them? About 4 weeks ago I forgot to put in a refill and ran out of pills. My health insurance carrier demands I go through the mail.

    This would mean it would probably take another 8-10 days before I would receive them. I thought to myself, this might be a good time to stop taking them. As a result I stopped taking them abruptly. Since then I have experienced lucid dreams and nightmares, excessive talking. My talking is out of control. I just started a new job and I am trying so hard to control my mouth. I am praying this will subside. I’ve had bouts of insomnia and crazy sleep patterns.

    Nausea and dizziness. I cry at the drop of a hat. People must think I’m nuts. My emotions are all over the map. I am determined to stay Celexa free. I’m taking it one day at a time. I see that most of you who have commented have experienced the same of similar effects. Thank you for sharing and I believe we will all get through it…one day at a time.

    • Chuck June 17, 2015, 10:14 pm

      Great post! Thank you!

    • Linda July 26, 2015, 12:37 pm

      Update! ok so it’s been about 3 months now being anti-depressant free! The crying has stopped, my excessive mouth, emotions have stopped nausea and dizziness stopped. Still have some lucid dreams but that’s ok. Overall I am doing great. Just thought I’d share. Happy and Celexa free!

  • Beth June 13, 2015, 7:02 pm

    I am 4 weeks since reducing from 20mg to 10mg. The past week the symptoms have become crazy: brain zaps, not being able to sleep, crying, horrible to people, can not regulate my mood and most of all the headache and anxiety is excruciating. When will this improve? I am worried that I have these symptoms and still on 10mg! How will I ever be able to reduce and come off it completely?

  • Whalen deb June 13, 2015, 6:00 pm

    I’ve been off Celexa for about two weeks now and I think the worst thing is the dizziness. My eyes can’t catch up with my head and it feels like I’m spinning. I can sit for hours at a time and not move. All my dreams now are vivid and I can remember them. I cry more easily and I’m very irritable. This forum has helped me so much. I’m not going to give up and I’m not going to start taking it again no matter what. My summer is filled with these withdrawals and that’s okay because my autumn will be better.

  • Dawn June 12, 2015, 12:26 am

    I spent 11 years on Celexa before my new doctor showed me the studies stating it may be statistically no more effective than placebo. We decided to stop Celexa after switching me to something immediately more effective.

    Let me tell you, gradually stopping Celexa was a little piece of hell. I ramped down gradually from 20 mg to zero. Symptoms appeared immediately and reached their worst as soon as I was off the medication entirely. Here is a list of the symptoms I suffered:
    – hives from head to toe – one day
    – feeling that every nerve in my body was exposed – a week
    – feeling that gnats were biting every surface of my skin – one day
    – nausea – two months
    – dizziness – two months
    – diarrhea – one month
    – astoundingly low concentration. I didn’t drive unless I had to. – two months and still counting
    – wicked insomnia – one week
    – sobbing for no reason even though I have never been much of a crier – two weeks
    – having such a thin skin that basically everybody in my life offends me – two months and counting
    – speaking aggressively to people (family and strangers alike) even though I’m a very gentle and thoughtful person – two months and counting
    – being irritable to the point I can’t sit still – several weeks
    – fear and anxiety – two months and counting

    I’ve felt like a total mess through this process and I’m not done. I’m still working out what my life will be without Celexa. It will take time and hard work to lose all the weight I put on because of it. I was emotionally numbed for those 11 years and didn’t truly grieve the passing of my parents because of it. The emotion is bubbling up now and I am beginning to work it through.

    I regret the day I ever agreed to take Celexa. It left some points of devastation in my life. I am currently on very low doses of two meds that are working much better than Celexa ever did and they have basically no side effects. If you are getting off SSRI’s, get support. It may be pretty rough. But don’t second guess yourself. If you start the weaning process, buckle down and finish it. There is light on the other side. I am not symptom free from Celexa yet, but I am getting there.

    • Whalen deb June 13, 2015, 6:04 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am determined to be Celexa free.

  • Bryttanie June 9, 2015, 5:08 pm

    I have been off Celexa for about a week and a half and I feel miserable. I slept for 17 hours after a few days of not being on it, which is really unusual for me, and I have had extreme nausea, and dizziness, it definitely makes me feel better knowing that I’m not crazy, and other people are going through similar experiences. I have been on 40 mg for almost 2 years. So I’m hoping that the symptoms will start getting better.

  • Sam June 9, 2015, 1:26 pm

    Hello and thanks for all your comments. Very reassuring to hear others experiencing similar symptoms. I’ve only been taking 20 mg for around 8 months, and it definitely helped me get a handle on my extreme anxiety, triggered by menopause and stress. I have, however, gained a huge amount of weight, and sleep long hours, so time to withdraw.

    Going very gradual, but still getting dizzy spells and mild nausea. Dreams are intense, and Im not terribly tolerant of others, but a lot of that could be hormonal. I was also prescribed a low dose beta blocker, propanolol to help me through panic attacks, and although I appreciate they may not be appropriate for everyone, they are an enormous help if I really wobble whilst withdrawing from the Citalopram.

  • Clint June 8, 2015, 3:50 pm

    Brain zaps, brain zaps, brain zaps!! I took this little number for a couple of years. I felt that after a little insight (medical research and “soul searching”) and some Spiritual guidance, I was ready to taper off. I gave it a shot and tapered over the course of a month. Throughout the two months after the final cut off, I experienced crazy brain zaps. Every time I turned my head to look at something – pshoooo, pshoooo! Very, very annoying.

    I could kind of “hear” the zap inside my head and a sharp, painful sensation would course through my entire body. Afterward though, it was well worth it! First, I lost about 15 lbs. Second, my concentration improved. But I don’t think it would have been possible had I not done the research (knew what to expect) and certainly the inner reflection and Spiritual stuff helped too!

    The greatest benefit of the journey was gaining the insight to recognize the warning signs/triggers, addressing the root cause that very moment, and allowing the emotions (psychological) and the chemicals (physical) that trigger the emotions to run their course – “This too, shall pass…” Now, to wean off the other two meds! Good luck!!

  • John June 8, 2015, 8:21 am

    Hi all. I’ve been on 10 mg of Citalopram for about 16 years. That doesn’t sound like a high dose but I am VERY sensitive to the stuff. I can feel quite strange after missing just one day after all this time. But I also notice quite significantly that my energy level increases as does my sex drive and overall sense of creativity (important to my work in journalism) — along with increased anxiety and depression. I am now a week into cutting down to 5 mg/daily and all the above has heightened, along with migraine headaches.

    I hope to complete this journey and come out the other side a more “whole” person, feeling my feelings fully again and develop reliable coping skills for the anxiety and depression without drugs. By the way, I just woke up in the middle of the night from a very vivid dream, the kind of which I don’t have on a full dose… I think dreaming is healthy! Nice to know this site exists.

  • Kevin June 8, 2015, 2:41 am

    I have been off celexa for 10 days now. The dizziness is the worst part. I use anivert and Advil to control the dizziness. I was on 20mg and reduced down to 10 mg for 3 months. The brain zaps only occurred during that time. I had no idea what they were and would only happen right before I went to sleep.

    I started taking the meds to help me with being “an a-hole” but the side effects of taking it was more than what I was in store for. If you don’t mind losing all emotions then celexa is for you, but I would not advise anyone to start taking it…

  • Debra June 7, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I have been on Celexa for 10 years. The last 4 on 40mg. I decreased from 40mg to 20mg for 3 months then 10 mg for this past month. I have been Celexa free for 1 week. I’ve experienced brain zappers and dizziness and diarrhea, fatigue and confusion. I’ve been a bit moody but not depressed. No crying spells. I wish all the withdrawees good health and happiness.

  • Becky June 2, 2015, 12:56 am

    I have been on celexa for a year and have had low sex drive and gained 20 lbs. I also noticed a increase in appetite. I am now weaning off this med and it has been terrible. It’s like a really bad flu and I’m tapering like you are suppose to. It helped with my depression, but all the other symptoms are hard to deal with.

  • Vince June 1, 2015, 9:38 pm

    Wow, I’m glad I found this thread. Thank you to everybody who has contributed to it. I had felt very alone through the whole process. 40mg citalopram, 10 years or so. Then at some point along the way, we added clonazepam. I got off that back in January of this year. I’ve been gradually lowering my dose of c-pram since then. First down to 20mg. It was a nightmare. Then down to 10. Then 10 every other day, then finally nothing, as of 7 days ago.

    The feeling of turning my head and my brain not being caught up – I call that “bungee brain” – is still lingering. I had the zaps very bad yesterday, coupled with an acute anxiety attack – but managed to get through it. I hope that was my “grand finale” of withdrawal pain. My moods have been remarkably unpleasant. I’ve made sure the people who are most important to me (teammates, close friends) all know what I’m going through, so hopefully they can forgive me in the end. I know I’ve said plenty that I wish I could take back when my moods were all over the place.

    There are parts I don’t remember, and maybe that is for the better. I’m not 100% sure I’m over the withdrawal now, but I think I’m close. It can’t get any worse than what I’ve already been through. To anybody who may have ended up here while looking for information about quitting – you see some unpleasant stories here, but I can say, it’s worth it. Today is day 7 of no citalopram for me, and even with a bit of bungee brain remaining, I feel better today than I have in a very long time.

    You can get off this stuff, and it is worth it. Next up I’m quitting smoking for good. One thing this experience has taught me, if I can get through this, I can quit smoking no problem. Good luck to you all.

  • Bob Davidson June 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Have been taking 10 mg for the last three years, but I usually stop taking it in the summer months. Each time I have cut my dose to 5 mg for a day or two and then go cold turkey. The dizziness and brain zaps usually stay around for a week or two, but then go away. This summer was the first that I have experienced bad dreams, but luckily that went away after the first 3-4 days or so.

    One common thing that I have noticed is that I need a lot of sleep during the first week or two of withdrawal, I believe this is because the med causes sleeplessness, which in my case means I can get by with a lot less sleep….once I quit taking it, I think my body immediately begins trying to play catch up. The good news is I usually feel great after being off of the med for about 2 weeks, I am only on day 9 this year so we shall see.

  • Emma May 31, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I have just finished my second drug free week after 8-10 years on citalopram. The second week was the worst with mood swing, irritability, thoughts of hanging myself, tearfulness, further impounded by arguments with friends family and colleagues. I pray to god this gets easier. Otherwise it’s back on it I go. What a catch 22.

  • Dave May 26, 2015, 9:47 pm

    I’m so grateful for the honest reports of others. I’ve been taking variations of Citalopram for over 20 years, most recent years in a 20mg daily dose. I believe I was once misdiagnosed with simple depression and instead have something more like bipolar, I dunno. I told a doctor that I wanted to improve my deteriorating energy level, wanted to regain my ability to read and concentrate and hopefully become a less irritable person in the process.

    He sent me to a psychiatrist. This doctor suggested I ramp off the drug and revisit in 3 weeks. He gave me a prescription for Lorazepam to take the edge off if necessary, I’ve used it 5 times in 3 weeks. I lowed my previous dosages in the past and knew 3 weeks would be abrupt but tried. For those weeks, everything went great and my energy level increased quite a bit. My irritability and lack of concentration had not changed, however. A day before my meeting I felt I should get off the drug entirely as discussed and went in reporting some dizziness but everything else okay.

    He told me to start another drug for irritability but I never filled it, instead wanting to ride out the dizziness and electrical shocks so many speak of. By the 3rd day I went into a deep, deep depression and because it was Memorial Day weekend, could not reach anyone to help. I’m a 56 year old man that doesn’t cry much do now at the slightest emotional twinge. The doctor is out for a week but I got through to him to discuss my problem. He said to quit taking any medications and try to get an earlier appointment than three weeks.

    I’m floored at the number of us who have an obvious difficulty getting off this drug and yet the doctors are apparently insensitive to the new problems it presents. I’m going back to 2.5-5mgs to try to wean off a little slower because I cannot concentrate at all now and am nearly unable to function. I pray that our Lord will help each of you through your struggles. He does NOT want anyone to deal with such adversity, I guarantee you. May His Peace carry you through.

  • Primus May 24, 2015, 6:55 pm

    I cut my 20 mg in half in Jan and now it’s May and I cut to 5mg for a week. By the 3rd day I had a really bad headache but on the 4th day it was gone. I also stopped the 5mg on the 4th day. The only remaining symptom I have is nausea which has lasted two week so far. Can’t wait to get past this point. My ability to become aroused just by looking at an attractive woman is slowly returning and I’m happy about that since it’s been gone a while. My senses seem to be a little sharper now like the feel of the breeze on my skin. It’s amazing that you don’t even realize you are not feeling these things until you feel them again.

  • Andrea May 20, 2015, 7:02 am

    I had been taking 20mg a day for the past 8 or so years and decided 3 weeks ago to stop cold turkey. I had about 6 weeks earlier stopped another medication and had a few weeks of feeling slightly odd, dizzy, tired etc but overall that passed quite quickly. I then thought this would be the same. Oh how wrong could I be. For the first few days I felt OK in fact I was feeling energized and cleaned the house thinking I had my old energy back. Yay!

    Around day 4 or 5 my mood swung considerably and I was experiencing a feeling of deep depression, crying uncontrollably one minute, laughing hysterically the next, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, dreadful dizziness (as others have described) when you turn your head it feels like your brain and eyes are on 10 sec delay, and suicidal thoughts. I have had the worst insomnia of my life and when I am asleep horrible vivid dreams. This has gone on for over two weeks now and it has been terribly debilitating and depressing and I feel it will never end.

    I don’t know why I thought I could just stop taking a powerful drug such as this without tapering it off. Really stupid. My advice to anyone considering this plan or action is to not do it…slowly, slowly. I have been so unwell I have considered going back on them but everyday I get through I try to remind myself how this is temporary and I will be better off in the end, medication free. My family beg to differ, but I am determined to persist even though I feel dreadful for putting myself and them through this. I will update in a few weeks to let you know how things have improved.

  • Phill May 18, 2015, 10:15 am

    Wow – I’m so glad to find this article and forum! I stopped taking cit two days ago – I’d been taking it for about a year and a half at 40mgs for most of the time. I felt that although it helped with some of the problems (of which it definitely helped a lot) there were still issues such as anxiety attacks, binge eating, etc. – that it wasn’t helping with and was masking some problems. I also felt that at 40mgs I was not filtering myself properly in social situations and sometimes would say things that were quite immature in public or to my partner that I would cringe about afterwards and couldn’t believe I had said.

    So I finally decided to go back to my doctor who has prescribed prozac for me to try. I had already gone down from two cit tablets a day to one and a half and my doctor basically got me to go down to one tablet for three days to half a tablet for three days and two days of no tablets before starting the prozac. By the third day of just half a tablet I was starting to feel very strange and over the weekend I slept and slept and slept – I couldn’t think properly at all on the Saturday afternoon and have virtually been in tears over nothing.

    I went back to work today and found it very difficult to function and again felt like bursting into tears. I’ve felt dizzy and whenever I turn my head my brain feels like it’s travelling about a second behind! :) I’m very pleased to be off this stuff and I’m looking forward to trying the prozac but if that doesn’t help then I’m going to give up on meds I think – especially after going through this WD – it can’t be good for you if this is how it makes you feel. I’m really looking forward to dropping some of the weight that I’ve gained.

    I’ve also read that prozac will help with binge eating and I really hope that it’s going to help with the issues that cit couldn’t help with, but if not then I think that exercise and a healthy lifestyle will be the best medication. Its been really reassuring to read everyone else’s experiences and I’m glad to know that I’ve not been going mad over the last few days – I wasn’t sure if I had the flu but looking at everyone’s comments it seems like a bit of cold turkey. All the best for your WDs everyone and hope everything works out for you :)

  • Penny May 14, 2015, 10:32 am

    I have been taking 10 mg for 16 years. I have tried at least 3 times to stop. This time I am determined to succeed. My only bad side effect has been the dizziness, which has been bad. The good thing has been my blood pressure seems to be getting almost back to normal and my blood sugars with the effort of eating better are getting more to normal. I have had a couple of nose bleeds (which I have never had in my life) and don’t know if it is related to the withdrawal. Checking with my doctor today. It has been 2 weeks now and except for the dizziness I feel I am going to get through this, this time. Thank God!

  • Bree May 13, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I’ve been on Celexa for 2.5 years or so and on the highest dosage (40 mg). I am currently 6 weeks pregnant and the pharmacist instructed me to taper off pretty quickly. I went down to 20 mg for 3 days and now I’m at 10 mg for 1 more day. I am having the worst withdrawal symptoms on top of my crazy pregnancy hormones. I was wondering if anybody else had to taper off due to pregnancy and how did you manage it?

  • mikkkkk May 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

    I was on 20mg for a year for depression and insomnia, went cold turkey and suffered from: exhaustion, insomnia (worse than normal), drowsiness, dizziness, headaches and more. I went back on it, as I felt like my brain was in a state of spinning constantly and being unbalanced in the process, so I went back on it but on to 10mg.

    After two months of this, I decided to stop (2/3 weeks ago) and whilst I have the symptoms, they are not as bad, as irregular and as bearable. Whilst I dropped the does I did go cold turkey and this has personally worked for me. My point is if you stop, and can’t bare the consequences you can still come off it but it will just take some time.

  • Kelly May 7, 2015, 11:39 pm

    I’m not going completely of the Celexa just reducing it but it’s still hard for me. After decreasing in I was feeling fine the first 3 days or so but then it hit me. I’ve been shaking and nauseated for about 2 days. The thought of eating makes me want to thrown up. To put an icing on the cake I had both my roomies telling me I’m a slob and they’re sick of picking up after me. I haven’t stopped crying since.

    I think lowering the dosage has made living with 2 people who have no idea what I’m going through hard. I’ve been on different antidepressants for 10 years and have been hiding from my friends and coworkers knowing that they don’t understand. People automatically think when you’re on antidepressants you’re suicidal, which isn’t the case. People who don’t live with the disease have no idea what we go through. On top of them not knowing what goes through my mind with the depression, trying to go through withdrawal is even worse. They just don’t understand.

  • Quinn May 2, 2015, 8:39 am

    So I haven’t been on Celexa for very long at all. probably around 6 months.And I was on the lowest dosage 10 (which was all I needed). My body responds well to medication. I wanted to stop taking it because I was already having that fear about trying to get myself off of it And how hard it would be to get off. I cut them in half for a week and then cut them into quarters for only 2 days. I must say, the side effects of not taking them are very terrible.

    I feel nauseous 24/7! Very moody, my head feels tingly when I’m walking around, I can’t eat very much, I’m anxious. I really do hand it to you guys that have been on this stuff for 10+ years and are now getting off. I’ve only been on it for a few months and the symptoms from getting off are INTENSE! Great job you guys. Hang in there! We are obviously all in this together. :)

  • Jennifer berry May 1, 2015, 8:43 pm

    I am currently experiencing all of these. I quit cold turkey due to mixed answers from multiple doctors and recently got pregnant. Today is Day 6. I feel all of these. It’s been hard with the added hormones from being pregnant. I just know it won’t last. Strength and good vibes to those of you who are experiencing this as well. You can do it!

  • Chikkenbone May 1, 2015, 1:59 pm

    I’ve been taking 20 mg of Celexa for about 6 years. I love it – never experienced any of the side effects I read about online except for a 20 lb. weight gain over the 6 years, but I can’t blame Celexa for that. My doctor recommended I “take a holiday” from Celexa for about a month to see if I still need it. This was 5 days ago. He also said this: “It takes about 4-6 weeks for any symptoms to happen, either beginning or stopping Celexa.”

    Is that anyone’s experience? I told him that if I miss a day or two, I notice that I’m immediately more irritable, and he said that I “respond incredibly well to the placaebo effect.” I thought that was funny. Now I’m experiencing a weird, flowing pressure in my head and chest, but I can’t say it’s dizziness or headache. Anyone else have this? And I’ve been weepy and PISSED, but there’s a reason so I don’t know if it’s enhanced by the C withdrawal.

    If anyone reads this and has some feedback, I’d really like to hear it. I loved being on Celexa. Why does anyone want to get off? If I have high anxiety levels over the next month, I’ll start up again. Life is really great on Celexa. Is there anyone out there who can relate? Thanks.

  • Kaitland April 28, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I truly can not thank you enough for writing this article. I was terrified thinking I had MS, diabetes or something along those lines. The worst symptom I have been experiencing is the brain zaps. I have never felt anything like this in my life. I was on Celexa 40mg and I foolishly stopped taking it suddenly, I wanted to face problems in my life head on again. I got on it in the first place when my grandmother passed away in my work place last year in October.

    Being on Celexa made me want to lay in bed all day, I was never motivated to do anything unless someone pushed me so much that I would force myself to do it. Getting to work on time was becoming an issue, and I had no energy. I am 27 years old, and before I was on celexa I would ride horses, go to the gym and go to work for 8-16 hours. So I haven’t been a fan of this lack of energy.

    I SHOULD have not stopped taking celexa suddenly, I wish I had found this site first because I would have done things differently. Again the worst symptom I have been dealing with are the brain zaps. I have also had insomnia, headaches, an upset stomach and I cried yesterday for the first time since my grandmother’s funeral last year. In a way it was a blessing. For anyone reading this now please don’t be afraid, you can make it through.

    Try your best to go and do what makes you happy! I have been surrounding myself with horses again, and today I worked out for an hour at the gym (even with the darn brain zaps) I have a headache atm, but now I have hope that I will be fine and these symptoms will eventually fade away. Thank you so much again for writing this article!!!!

  • trayc April 28, 2015, 3:17 am

    After a screw up at the VA clinic I have been without my Celexa for a week tomorrow. I called the pharmacist about symptoms I was having wondering if this is why I felt so bad. They made it sound as if Celexa was not to blame. Horrible dizziness, to the point of feeling like I was going to pass out. So tired, couldn’t hardly function, think. Had to leave work and go home to sleep today. Nauseous, heartburn, been having bad dreams…

    Well let me tell you, after looking this up myself and finding this website, I am floored but relieved to know withdrawal is EXACTLY what is happening to me!!! I have been on Celexa for many years (8-10) because of depression & anxiety. While on it I had a suicide attempt . I feel I am always irritable even while on the meds. Still depressed, big mood swings. My question is this – do I continue the med when I get them or trudge through the withdrawal and get off these horrible meds? Will the depression worsen? Do I really feel better with them? I don’t know where to turn or what to do. Please shed some light on this for me.

  • Irina April 24, 2015, 9:04 pm

    I have been completely off citalopram just over 4 months now and can tell that it does get better. The worst time I had was probably the fist two months, you can read my posts right at the top. I feel more myself now, but still not 100%. I have uncovered anxiety and days when I feel depressed, lack of motivation and fatigue, gastro reflux and cough connected with reflux since I stopped citalopram over 4 months ago.

    But all that is now bearable, comparing to when you first stop. I now feel happy to be completely free of citalopram and not being dependant on it, even though I still need more time to recover. For me it takes long, but you might recover much quicker, as we are all different. I am learning to deal with stress without citalopram, it’s as hard as if you are learning to walk again. But do not get discouraged, it will take time, but we shall recover!

  • leanne April 23, 2015, 6:43 pm

    Have come off citalopram for about just over a week now. The first couple of days were ok just a bit of dizziness. Gradually symptoms have become worse and today I have hit an all time low. Should be at work right now but have had to go home since I have been have been bursting into tears every 15 minutes! The dizzy spells and headaches are more severe and I feel that I may have killed someone if I had stayed at work. I really don’t want to give in and start taking them again, when will this end?

  • Daryl Winkcup April 22, 2015, 8:10 am

    I starting taking Citalopram a little over years ago, it helped a bit, but not really. At the time I was encourage to persevere and “give them a chance to work”, 12 months later, at the max dosage of 40 mg, the result were poor, but now I had an addiction… I tried many time to wean of them, but always got to that point where it seemed too hard, so I went back in them, time after time. So after 8 years, and putting on 40kgs, losing urges that I once loved, it was time to get it done.

    For me, I focused on the 90 day cycle, as there are no shortcuts when it come to rebalancing your body’s chemical structure. Each dosage reduction, was held for 90 days, until I was on 5mg for 90 days. Its been 1 week now with no Citalopram, I have had some mild dizziness, some mild irritability, but apart from that, all good, and I can feel things improving already. Cold turkey is always an option, but not a good one, plan your withdrawal from this drug, commit to the plan and stick to it. Good luck!

  • Tracie April 22, 2015, 5:19 am

    I was on 10mg of Celexa for anxiety and moderate depression 3 years, then my doctor raised it to 40mg which I was on for a year. I felt better at first but within a couple months my motivation became broken and all I wanted to do is sleep, I also gained a lot of weight that no matter what I did I couldn’t lose it which despite the Celexa I was even more depressed. I was put on Celexa because I had a allergic reaction to every other drug, Wellbutrin being the worst with mystery welts all over my body.

    I went from 40mg, to 20mg, to 20mg every other day, to 20mg a week. I’ve been off Celexa for going on the third week. I didn’t feel the withdraws until mid first week and they hit hard; dizzy, cloudy thoughts, brain zap from hell, nausea, headaches, active gag reflex, and sleepy all the time. I started looking into essential oils and supplements, and started taking 5-HTP which lessened the zaps and dizziness, ginger root which helped the nausea, B-12 and Green Coffee Bean that kept me alert.

    Pure Lavender oil rubbed on forehead everyday and back of neck gets rid of headaches, Lemon and Lilac oil helps me feel good about everything. Into week three I have only mild zaps and now a overactive gag reflex which is just as annoying as the zaps because every hint of a foul smell sends me into a dry gagging fit. Hell I can’t even handle myself going potty (LOL). I use to dislike hearing “This too shall pass,” like what? A gallstone or a gummy bear? Now I’m hoping it’s a gummy bear (LOL).

  • Nina schunck April 20, 2015, 8:37 pm

    I went through a very hard time withdrawing from Lexapro but I did it until I developed derealization disorder. I substituted Celexa a year ago. I have been tapering and am now off completely for ten days. I feel like I have the flu. My body temperature fluctuates wildly. I have a chronic headache and body aches. I have insomnia and I’m lethargic as can be. I cry and I’m irritable. Unless I get derealization symptoms again, I will never take this class of drug. Never, ever, ever.

  • Mary Ann April 19, 2015, 4:32 pm

    My doctor prescribed Citalopram for my hot flashes. I took it for several years and decided I could probably quit taking it. I followed the advice of my pharmacist and gradually weaned off of it over the course of about ten weeks. I haven’t taken any now for about three weeks and am experiencing severe dizziness. The hot flashes and night sweats are much worse than when I started the Citalopram. I’m not sure if I should restart it or suffer through the dizziness until it goes away, and try to find another solution for the hot flashes. Any thoughts?

  • Danielle April 19, 2015, 10:01 am

    So day two stopping cold turkey 20 mg Celexa. I can’t sleep. I feel like I’m dying. My stomach hurts so much I’m so nauseated and dizzy. I feel like I’m dying.

  • Bill April 16, 2015, 4:34 pm

    After several years on Celexa I decided that I was fed up with the weight gain and the need to up my dosage every few months. I am the type of person that has to do something immediately once he makes up his mind to do it, so I quit cold turkey. The first few weeks were fine. However, the depression now seems to be coming back and I am constantly irritable. Anything will set me off.

    I have also begun to hurt all over, especially my legs and feet. Seems like it is a real pain just to get around. I realize after reading some of the comments on this page that I am not going crazy or coming down with some dreaded disease but am actually going through withdrawal. I plan to stay off the Celexa, but at this point, think it will be quite an experience before it’s all over. Thanks for everyone’s help.

  • Reba April 8, 2015, 9:03 pm

    I am so very thankful I found this site. I haven’t had celexa in about ten days. Ran out waiting for the doctor to get back with the pharmacy and decided to just try not taking it. I have been on 40mg a day for at least ten years. I feel horrible but I had no idea it was withdrawals. Now at least I know why I’m having all these symptoms. The only ones I have that I’m not seeing here are chest pains. I’m not suicidal but I want to cry. I haven’t cried much in the last ten years or really had many strong emotions at all. I’m ready to try living again. The nausea is really the worst right now though. That and having trouble concentrating. Yay. I’m not going crazy or coming down with something fatal. It’s just withdrawals and will eventually go away :)

  • suzy April 8, 2015, 4:11 pm

    Hi I have been on citalopram for 6 years now and feel forced to go cold turkey!! I cannot get a GP appointment for 3 weeks and have been refused a repeat prescription. I am on day 4 and suffering bad headaches, dizziness and nausea. Also horrendous sleep problems! I am determined to beat this but it’s so difficult when working full time. Which includes over 1 hour drives to and from work! Hope these symptoms ease soon.

  • Tonia Savasuk April 8, 2015, 3:30 pm

    I have been off celexa for 5 days, cold turkey. I have had vomiting, everything I eat goes right through me, I can’t sleep well. The hardest is the electrical shocks that go through my body. We figure it will be about 5 months for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. I’m just having a hard time with these shocks. How did you deal with them? Anyone?

  • Nikki April 8, 2015, 6:40 am

    Wow. I feel lame after reading some comments of the veterans of this med. I have only been taking it for 6 months for severe social anxiety, then decided to stop cold-turkey due to the fact that it was irritatingly hard to achieve an orgasm. (I know, TMI.) A week or so after stopping and for 5 days now, it is like a scheduled hell. I wake up in the morning, drag myself out of bed (I must because I have a toddler and a 7 month-old), and the dizziness immediately starts.

    It feels like a mild version of what people have described as brain zaps. Then I eat breakfast, which makes everything worse. I sit there in a stupor, feeling dizzy, weak, and slightly nauseous. I try not to nap, but usually pass out for a few around 10, when the baby naps. Then I feed the kids and myself… and then Im feeling even more dizzy, nauseous, and now I have some pressure in my head. So I put the kids down, then struggle reluctantly through my P90X workout. I always feel a bit better after I work out, but still get those funky dizzy brain zap thingies.

    Then, a few hours later, Im beginning to feel that aura that tells you that an inevitable migraine is coming. Then I eat, and after dinner, bam! Migraine city. (Eating seems to make everything worse.) I have some irritability, but no crying spells. I did actually have a suicidal thought, but its only because I don’t want to feel all this pain anymore. I have lost 5 lbs in the past 5 days, which may sound nice to some, but is actually very scary. I, having never been addicted to anything in my life, didn’t realize that I was going through withdrawals. I thought I was getting seriously sick from something.

    I was paranoid that I might have gotten a parasite somehow. I am a little relieved to know what is going on, but a little scared at how long this is going to last! I didn’t experience any withdrawals at all when I stopped taking it when I got pregnant, but then I had been taking it for less than a month. How long can I expect this withdrawal thing to happen after only being on this stuff 6 months? Does anybody know? I cant stand the thought of going off on my 2 year-old for stupid crap or having a nightly migraine for months! :(

  • Natalie Perry April 7, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder 3 years ago and have been on 40mg since. I have suffered around a 2 stone weight gain, and with that I have just decided that I am quitting the meds once and for all!! I don’t advise just stopping cold turkey as the side effects were horrible but I am now day 8 without anything! It was against my doctors advice that I just stopped, but the weight gain was causing massive anxiety and depression. Any advice is welcomed!

  • Christy April 4, 2015, 12:58 am

    I started on Celexa in February of 2014 due to extreme anxiety. I had so many attacks that I was taking Xanax several times a day. The PA I was seeing at the time put me on Celexa and it has helped tremendously with my anxiety. About a month ago, 12 months after taking 10 mg of Celexa daily, I had finally realized that I was steadily gaining weight and was TIRED ALL THE TIME! I talked to the PA to see what he thought about it.

    He determined that if it was the Celexa that was causing the weight gain and fatigue these problems would have surfaced sooner than almost a year later after starting the medication. He wanted me to come in to have my blood tested to see if there was something else. It was determined that I had a thyroid problem and my sugars were fine. He wanted to put me on levothyroxine. He said that my sugar levels were fine. That stuff only made me MORE tired!

    Finally I found this page. I read all your comments and realized that I was not alone. That the Celexa was likely the culprit. I called the PA again and through his assistant he told me I should quit Celexa. He didn’t give me instructions with how to do it. It was my habit of researching everything that led me to find that I should taper off and not quit cold turkey. I cut my dose in half for two weeks and have now been taking it about every other day.

    I tried stopping all together after two weeks of the lower dose and after about three days I couldn’t take it anymore and had another of the lower doses. The pings and brain confusion are tough! Now knowing that this could last three months! This is gonna be tough! Been on Celexa for just over a year. About a month ago I was beginning to wonder if my fast weight gain of over 40 lbs from August 2014 till March 2015. I was also experiencing extreme fatigue. I could get a nice night’s sleep then still sleep another 4 hours or so in the day.

    • Christy Allred June 14, 2015, 3:48 am

      *UPDATE*: I am about 2.5 months off of Celexa. I was taking 10 mg daily and am happy to say I have had no anxiety. The PINGs stopped but I don’t remember exactly when. I am still dealing with brain fog, a feeling of just coming off of a carousel which makes me irritable. I still feel tired constantly. But at least I don’t need to sleep all day anymore. I am crossing my fingers that day 90 is going to be my magic number and I can start to get my life back!

  • jo April 2, 2015, 7:05 pm

    Coming off Citalopram (Celexa) after a few years. Had no idea the withdrawal symptoms would be so severe. Have got through terrible itching, but currently feeling dizziness – my brain is sliding around in my skull with aches and pains all over. Am nervous of driving because of the dizziness. Daunted to see it may last months…

  • kristine negrete April 1, 2015, 7:11 pm

    I sure made a big mistake! Thinking my 40MG of Celexa did not help me any more I stopped 6 days ago and have every symptom I have read. The mood swings and crying seem to be the worst. I am going to see my doctor today and I am sure he will not be happy, since I called him late last night like a crazy lady. I am on so many meds that I am afraid my liver and kidneys will start to fail, which does not help my depression. I just felt like I need to vent to people who understand how I am feeling. Let’s see what the Doc says today.

  • AllYouNeedIsLove March 30, 2015, 9:25 pm

    I am a 41 year old male. I first experienced anxiety symptoms in Feb 2014. Chest pains, sense of doom etc. After the diagnosis, I especially remember 1 week when it was awful – where I just didn’t feel like myself and was worried if I’ll ever get better. I was put on 10mg of Citalopram daily – which I was asked to take first thing in the morning. Within two weeks, the symptoms were very well under control. The only side effect was delayed orgasm – I didn’t like this at first, but then learnt to accept it.

    I was also given 1mg of Lorazepam to take when I felt anxious and consulted with a psychologist for anxiety relief strategies. I used to take marijuana every weekend from around 2006 to 2013. I mention this because I believe I was self medicating. But I also believe this may have something to do with the anxiety related symptoms I faced. I had decided to quit marijuana for several reasons. One of them was that marijuana actually started giving me inexplicable levels of anxiety.

    There were episodes when I was ‘bugging out’ and was convinced I was going to die. So I quit marijuana in August 2013 and haven’t taken it since. Side note here: since marijuana is a street drug, there is no control on the strain and potency of what one consumes. I know people have strong feelings about using marijuana, but I think it can exacerbate mental health issues. Please apply discretion if you need to use it. My psychologist thought that my anxiety could be caused by ADD and referred me to a psychiatrist who readily prescribed Vyvanse.

    It was a wake up moment for me – where at 41 I could very well end up hooked on to prescription medication. Doctors seem to resort to highly potent medication as the first option. I decided to get off prescription medications all together. I devised a plan to taper off Citalopram and informed my doctor of my decision and approach. He ratified it and I have been completely off Citalopram for a month now.

    I did have the symptoms come back 2 weeks after I stopped Citalopram. But I was able to see through it. I have to say I feel much better and really in better control of my body and mind. I wish everyone who is looking to get off Citalopram the best. Its not easy – but if you are doing it for the right reasons, and have the right support, it’s doable. Wish you all the very best.

  • Pat March 30, 2015, 8:51 am

    Hi I’m 6 months off citalopram, slow withdrawal over a year from 40mg. I am STILL not 100% after all this time. I was on them for 3 years and came off slowly. I feel suicidal some days, anxious and depressed. I do not want to go back on any medication. Has anyone got some positive thoughts on my situation? Thank you.

  • Irina March 26, 2015, 11:11 am

    95 days of complete withdrawal from Citalopram. Dear all, for those who have read my previous posts right at the top, just wanted to update you. It’s day 95 of complete withdrawal from Citalopram today. I am still not well, unfortunately for me it takes longer than the average 90 days. I do have good days, like the last 2 days, when my head was clear, I felt more normal and even cleaned the whole house. But today back to feeling lethargic again, not wanting to do anything.

    About a week ago I felt severe anxiety again and severe numbness around the heart area, heart pounding, heart racing. Still suffering from severe gastro-reflux and because of that have developed laryngitis, which made me cough for about 3 months now. Well, at least I am having good days now, where I start feeling normal, which is positive. I shall continue my journey of recovering with God’s help and will keep you posted as usual. I shall have a bit of rest now and push myself to go to the gym later (exercise does help!). -Irina

  • Bee March 24, 2015, 2:30 pm

    I’ve been on Citalopram for about 6 months. I called them my “divorcing a narcissist pills.” I am very much against antidepressants (although I acknowledge their use in certain situations or for certain people), but I decided to start because my anxiety was so severe that I could physically feel adrenaline and cortisol being released for minor incidents, like stabbing a toe. It was stressful and sickening, so I asked my doctor for temporary meds as I transitioned through my life change.

    I noticed positive effects for the first 2 months or so, but after that I questioned its efficacy. I also complained of horrendous flatulence (it’s true! Sorry!) to my doctor, but she was skeptical. Prior to the meds, I’d never had an anxiety attack. I’ve had 3 in the last 3 months while ON the meds. I also recently met a wonderful man, but unfortunately I’ve noticed some sexual side effects, such as difficulty climaxing. I weighed the pros and cons and decided it’s doing more harm than good at this point, so I’m tapering off.

    I was on 20mg once daily, and my doctor recommended tapering first to 1/2 tab (10mg) daily for one week, then 1/2 tab every other day for one week, then discontinuing. I’m in the beginning of week 2, the final week, and I’m feeling “off.” I feel sort of dizzy and odd, especially with certain movements of my upper body. It almost feels nervey, like my nerves in my head, neck, and upper back are overreacting to movement. Other than that, I feel okay so far. I’m hoping it doesn’t get worse, and I’m a bit nervous about re-emergence of anxiety and depression, but I’m trying to stay positive and just flow through these changes.

  • Average White Male 33 March 23, 2015, 9:05 pm

    I have been on Celexa (or at times Effexor) since I was 18 years old. Enough. I have no idea what this stuff has done to me over the long-term, nor what it will do to me in the future. I have tried to get off before, and every time felt like death. This time I am sticking with it. It has been way too long. Brain Zaps, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, crazy dreams, irritability, trouble focusing…you name it, I’ve got it.

    I can’t wait to get off this stuff and find out who I actually am off it. Thank GOD my 3 children are happy and healthy – who knows what the risks of birth defects are due to long term use by the father. Oh yeah, and I have been 35 lbs over-weight since I was about 20. No matter what, I could never get down and keep it off. Hopefully this will change too.

  • Determined March 21, 2015, 9:17 pm

    I was on Citalopram for 3.5 years from 40mg finally down to 10mg. I’m on Day 4 without it and god the combination of nausea, dizziness and brain zaps are horrible! Any advice on how to deal with these specific symptoms will be gratefully received. I’ve waited until I can work from home, don’t have to travel much for a couple of weeks and feel mentally strong enough to handle it, but right now the only thing that makes the withdrawals bearable is laying down and I can’t do that for weeks. Any recommendations?

  • Laurel March 20, 2015, 2:28 am

    I have been taking 40 mg of Celexa for years. I may need to take Zithromax for a while and it conflicts with Celexa so, with permission from my psychiatrist, I am reducing. He suggested starting the reduction at 20 mg. I can see from reading that perhaps 30 would’ve been better. I have been on the reduced dose for about a week and today I had an anxiety attack right in the middle of a meeting and, had it not been for presence of mind, could have yelled at my coworker. Fortunately I could feel the tension in my body and realized that it was an overreaction to what it happened in the meeting.

    I told the other two people that I was feeling tense and then I handed the meeting over to another person to run for about five minutes so I could do deep breathing. While doing that I realized that reducing my Celexa dose was the likely reason for the panic attack, which I’d used to have before medications. That made me relax even more. I was then able to proceed with the meeting and we accomplished all of our goals. I am grateful for that. I am relaxing this evening and waiting for a phone call from my friend for support.

  • Jacob March 18, 2015, 6:13 am

    Hello my name is Jacob. I’m currently going through the most extreme withdrawal I’ve ever personally dealt with. I have most of what’s described up top. All this happened because I was off it for four days. Missing one day is fine. Anything after that, I’m in for a world of hurt.

    • Average White Male 33 March 23, 2015, 9:10 pm

      I feel your pain. Except for me, when I miss a dose I have brain zaps and nausea within about 5 hours. Its kind of scary how dependent we are on this stuff.

  • Mark March 16, 2015, 9:10 am

    Have been off the meds for two weeks and it’s hell. Not functioning at work or at home. Constantly want to cry, extremely irritable and unable to concentrate.

  • Lisa Marie March 15, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Going cold turkey from citalopram 20mg, coming up to 2 weeks now, I’ve experienced “brain zaps “and found them quite scary but after reading this article I now know they will pass! Good luck everyone and thanks for this informative article! :-) :-)

  • Pip March 14, 2015, 7:23 pm

    Withdrawal symptoms from Citalopram are, in my case, very bad. I have just been through a very nasty divorce and wanted to come off the tablets because I felt they stopped me having the drive I used to have (although they leveled me emotionally). I ran out of tablets and decided to go cold turkey. I knew a little of the symptoms because I’ve run out before and the dizziness comes on immediately.

    It’s like part of my head spins without the rest. It feels quite dangerous, especially for driving. I get SO tired that I feel I’ve nodded off at my computer a lot of the time at work and sometimes just have to take myself to bed almost in tears. Tonight I had reason to be upset but I just cried and cried unable to stop. I put on 3/4 stone when I was on the tablets because I couldn’t stop eating.

    Now I feel back to myself food-wise but I don’t have much appetite because I have a constant upset stomach. I can’t sleep well at the moment but that’s not unusual for me. I’m ratty and keep swearing when I get angry which is entirely unlike me. The dizziness, tiredness and the change of character are the worst parts. I’ve been off them for about 10 days and fear this isn’t going to get better for a long time.

  • Maria March 14, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I am also going through almost every withdrawal symptom. The dizziness and mood swings are the worst for me. I can’t wait for them to GO away. Thanks you for input, felt like I was going crazy!! I’m on week 2 and hope they resolve soon!

  • Kay Graves March 9, 2015, 7:58 am

    Thank you for this. I found it really helpful. I have been on this drug for just over a year, at times in 40mg plus taking another anti depressant which I came off months ago. I decided to come off this and have done 1 week exactly today and I’m suffering with an awful fuzzy head and I keep getting really dizzy and nearly falling over and I have a tingly face. But I am so proud of myself, and I feel completely confident about the future for the first time in ages. Looking forward to it ending though, as it’s pretty horrid no matter how positive I am!

    • Lisa March 14, 2015, 5:28 pm

      It’s been 50 plus days since being 100% off off citalopram and not getting better. I will feel better for a few days then I am back to the negative thoughts. I don’t think this is true for everyone but the way my brain reacted to this drug, and the the feeling of hopelessness is not going away. My husband is not understanding like he was and I can’t say I blame him. We are in our early 50’s and he deserves a life without the emotional strain of my up’s and down’s. At this point I am unsure if I will ever pull through.

      I do blame my ex doctor for this due to my not wanting to take them in the first place. Kind of sad when you can’t trust your own doctor. I also went to another doctor and they are not much better. They wanted to take me off of citalopram and put me on another. Wrong answer! This will be the last time I write and hope you all get 100% better.

      • Nikki April 8, 2015, 6:47 am

        I am so sorry, hon! My advice is to take at least one day out of the week to go out, have dinner, catch a movie (uplifting, not depressing) or do something else you are both certain to enjoy. During this time, put on a happy face and pretend the world consists of only you and him. When you feel negative thoughts start to work their way in, hug him hard and tell him you love him. I really hope you take this advice and that you and he together can conquer the terrible heartache that depression brings. *hugs*

  • Nechole March 8, 2015, 4:37 am

    I have been sitting here for a while now, just reading through all of these stories. I have been on one antidepressant or another (since my first son was born) over 16 years ago. I think I have been on Celexa now for about 7-9 years. I also take seroquel at night…I want OFF my meds. I cant take it anymore. I found that taking L-Theanine 500-800 mg lozenges is supposed to help the withdrawal from Celexa, I read a few women’s stories of how it worked for them, etc.

    So I decided to try to get off the meds one more time. In the past, I would feel all of the above symptoms. I even tried to get out of a moving car while my husband was driving simply because I couldn’t take it sitting there…crazy! I have been off of Celexa and Seroquel for 4 days cold turkey, just 4 days. Even with the lozenges (really, they help a lot!!), I cant take the head spins, dizzy feeling, the sharp, shooting pains in my skull, headaches, my muscles ache and the depression is beginning to kick in.

    Crying fits are starting in and I have two teens and a 3 year old to tend to. I went in with such confidence that I could just stop and I was very mistaken. I took 1/4 of a 40 mg celexa. It isn’t enough to stop the withdrawals completely, but it took the edge off. After reading all of these posts, I can now see that I am taking this way too fast, and I think 1/4 pill every day for a while, then 1/4 pill every two days, and so on is the way to go.

  • Miffy March 2, 2015, 10:58 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments here it’s very helpful. I just wanted to add my experience: I have been on citalopram for 6 years and felt it was time to stop taking it. My doc has done a slow tapering and I was on 20mg a day. I started tapering 6 months ago… First from 20 mg to 10mg over a few months. I felt teary, achy and had tinnitus, but eventually the symptoms eased off.

    Then went to 10 mg every other day… This was weird and felt all the above symptoms again but not for as long. Now for the last week I have been drug free and the side effects are crappy again. And all of the above are happening but mostly only when I’m stressed. I’m hanging in there and nearly drug free after this long battle. This drug has really helped me cope with some devastating things. But I’m in such a better place now and looking forward to a drug free life.

  • Lori March 2, 2015, 10:36 pm

    I have been on Citalopram 20 for maybe five years now. My gp gave it to me because I was starting to have hot flashes. The flashes never got worse and stayed away as long as I stayed away from wine. But recently I started having flashes just before bed. I have gained maybe 40 pounds in the past five years so I went to a medical diet place. They wouldn’t take me because I was on Citalopram and it clashed with their supplement.

    Since the Citalopram didn’t seem to be doing anything for me anyway, I just stopped taking the pills. When I started feeling weird after a few days, I googled Citalopram and discovered all of this! I can’t believe my doc even gave this stuff to me! I am now 7 days cold turkey and very woozy. I am a little anxious, and have wacko dreams and very light sleep. I have had no energy for years and this past week is worse. And the muscle aches! I don’t know if I should try a monitored weaning or stick with the cold turkey. Seems either way is bad.

  • Bonnie March 2, 2015, 5:06 am

    I stopped taking the 20 mg dose about two weeks ago, I have been having what feels like zings in my head. I was looking them on line and find they are called brain zaps. Usually happen when moving my head, not severe, and do not hurt. but they have been going on for a few days and wanted to see if My Internet sources would tell me what they are. Good news here, thanks for having this online for others to comment.

    I have not been more depressed and I have recently overhauled my diet to an extreme level. I was a food junkie, I went to drinking water a while back, for kidney stones, actually distilled water. As I never have drank any water, it always tasted so bad. Now that I was doing better with that, I watched an online weight loss seminar, and it gave me specific guidelines as to what to eat. I have lost a lot of weight. Well to me 17 pounds is a lot (LOL).

    So during this same time I had been seeing a lot of problems with SSRIs coming up. Decided to slowly stop them. Still this seems the only reaction so far, and since this article says it is better the longer I am off them. Good news. I can quit worrying about a stroke, or some other awful thing. That in itself will make me feel better.

  • Lisa February 28, 2015, 4:49 pm

    I was on Citalopram at 40 mg. for 7 years. I took 2 weeks off from work knowing it would probably be rough weaning off. In mid January I went from 40 mg. to 20 mg. the first week. The second week down to 10 ml. then completely off the week after. Flu symptoms and brain zaps were bad the whole time. It’s now almost March first and I no longer have the zaps, except very light zaps, but everything still tastes like metal and I have now developed GERD. I have never had digestive problems before and I’m not sure if this is yet another side effect.

    They say it takes 90 days to start feeling normal. I hope that is true. It has been around 40 days since I have been off completely so I guess there is hope. I never wanted to be on an anti depressants in the first place. I only wanted xanax on occasion when I had a lot of anxiety. My ex doctor said he would like to see the anxiety go away so prescribed Citalopram. It never took away my anxiety so he was prescribing Citalopram and Xanax. The Citalopram was actually giving me depression… UGH!!!!

    These doctors need to learn more about these medications before handing them out like candy. Or perhaps we as patients need to research the pros and cons before even starting them. I wish you all well and hope we have not been damaged beyond repair. Sorry for the negativity but that is how I feel about the whole medical profession regarding anti psychotic drugs. I realize it is a “practice”, but they should learn and listen to their patience before medicating.

    • Tina March 25, 2015, 2:06 am

      Your withdrawal symptoms are a lot like mine. The metallic taste was very strange. I tapered off for about 1-1/2 months and I have been totally off for about 1-1/2 months. I still have days when I don’t want to move, and have no desire to do anything but sit around. Watching TV isn’t even stimulating. I was on Celexa for about 10 years. From what I’ve read, because I was on it for so long, I’m in for a longer withdrawal period.

      I am determined to totally get this stuff out of my system and rely on prayer and all the support of my family and friends to stay the happy person that I want to be. I also want to return to not being totally unaffected by any sadness in my life… it’s okay to cry! I’m feeling more normal now that I cry when i hear something sad. The worst part so far is the lack of energy.

      I lost about 10 pounds prior to going off Celexa, then when I was weaned off, I was losing a few more pounds, even though I was eating just about anything I wanted. Well don’t get used to that! The weight is starting to come back on, so it’s time to eat consciously again! I’ve learned to make myself be social and stay busy. It keeps your mind off of yourself and your own problems. Get involved in helping others. Hang in there everyone!

  • Miranda February 27, 2015, 9:00 pm

    Hi, everyone. So I have taken citalopram for about 5 years now, on 40 mg for several years. I have been trying to taper per doctor’s advice of going down to 20 mg once a day for one week and then 20 mg every other day for a week. Now I’m 1 week completely off the drug. I have been having many of the common symptoms (head zaps – or what I refer to as a maraca inside my head, extreme irritability, crying spells for no particular reason, mood swings, dizziness, out of body feeling, difficulty concentrating) and aside from being at my wit’s end, it’s scaring my husband!

    I called my doctor today to ask how much longer she thought this would go on or if there was anything I could do to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. She advised that I go back on the 40 mg dose for 1 week, then to 20 mg daily for 1 week, then 20 mg every other day for 1 week, and then 20 mg once every 3 days for a week. I am really afraid to go back on the meds again. Has anyone had this experience? Any advice on if I should just stick it out or go back and do another taper? This sucks!

  • Lionel February 20, 2015, 11:56 pm

    I wonder if anyone else has experienced this. My withdrawal symptoms seem to become more severe when I am stressed. This kind of makes sense if I think that brain is looking for the Citalopram to deal with the stress which it is now not getting. Hence the withdrawal symptoms. Has anyone noticed this? Also in order to deal with the constant fatigue I have been using blue-light therapy which I believe does help give me energy.

    I am weaning off of 40 mg of Citalopram per day for seven years. Experiencing these withdrawal symptoms has convinced me that getting off of them completely is the right thing to do. Good luck to everyone in their treatment and please continue to post your experiences. You are helping many people by doing so.

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 2:29 am

      Lionel, Absolutely, that makes sense. I’ve noticed that myself, yes. Part of my withdrawal strategy has been to choose a time in my life when I don’t have a lot of stress (or at least less stress), and I’ve consciously said “no” to a lot of potential commitments, as well. Man, it has really helped! Good luck! I hope you’re doing better!

      • Lionel March 7, 2015, 3:40 am

        Thanks for the response Lynn. One other thing I was told by my pharmacist. Citalopram acts as a pain inhibiter as well as an anti-depressant. Hence any normal aches and pains that a person has will be more pronounced when they wean off of it. Just another argument for the withdrawal aches symptom. Good luck in your cit reduction efforts.

  • Kathy McCranie February 20, 2015, 12:57 am

    I have been taking Celexa for the last three years. The first of this year, I came off the Celexa cold turkey. I am now having body aches and a very short temper. I feel almost like I am having flu symptoms, but I know this is not the case. I also went through a case of nose staff but the Doctors assure me that the staff infection has cleared up. I am just really concerned about the body aches. Could this be the symptoms of the Celexa withdrawals? Please help me figure this out.

    • Lionel February 20, 2015, 11:45 pm

      Yes I have had severe body aches along with the regular flu-like symptoms of withdrawal. I am certain that it is related to the withdrawal symptoms from citalopram.

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 2:33 am

      I think that the body aches and flu-like symptoms are very likely a part of your withdrawal. So many of the things I’ve been reading mention this as one of the symptoms. I find that hot baths help a lot – if you’re not allergic, soaking in magnesium salts and baking soda with a couple of drops of lavender oil is very cleansing and calming. An over-the-counter pain reliever may help, as well.

  • Lionel February 19, 2015, 8:56 am

    Thank you to all for posting your withdrawal symptoms. I was on 40mg citalopram for 8 years. My psychiatrist reduced my dose by 10 mg and am having the side effects. Didn’t know what was going on until I saw this and other sites. I have ongoing flu like symptoms. Body aches, dizziness, nausea chronic headache. Plus complete fatigue, lack of concentration, sleep difficulty (it’s presently 3:00AM) poor memory, depression, emotional swings. My fear is that if this is what it is like withdrawing to 30mg what is withdrawing to 10mg or quitting going to be like!!! However, everyone’s comments of their symptoms have given me hope that I can get through this. Thank you again to all.

  • John February 18, 2015, 4:08 pm

    Celexa 20 mg for 18 months, stopped cold turkey 2 weeks ago. First week, nothing. This week, severe dizziness, causing nausea, causing vomiting, body aches, feel weak and tired. I feel like I have a flu. I’ve been told to go back and taper, but if this is how this drug makes a person feel, no thanks. I’m going to continue cold turkey and suffer through, hoping to get through this in weeks, not months.

    • John February 28, 2015, 4:18 pm

      Hi, it’s me replying to myself. I’m now at week 4 of cold turkey. The dizziness and vomiting stopped, only lasted about 10 days. Still some trouble sleeping. Good luck all!

  • Jenny February 17, 2015, 5:08 am

    I was on Celexa for not quite 2 months. I decided to quit cold turkey because while on the medicine I literally could not find the will to get out of bed ( I was prescribed it for anxiety, not depression). I would go to bed at 9 pm and sleep until 1 pm, and then need a nap again 2 hours later. I have symptoms of: nausea and mood swings but nothing else. One thing I do miss from Celexa is that it curbed my appetite so I lost 11 lbs., which in the 3 days I’ve been off of it, I have eaten so horrible and often to try and release the nauseous feeling; eating is the only thing that helps.

  • Nikki February 14, 2015, 11:18 pm

    I first took Cit. (20 mg) November 2013 and began my tapering process in August 2014. Man what a strange process that was. I had an array of symptoms from dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and random bouts of chills! Although I can say it was much easier coming off of Cit. vs starting Cit. It was difficult though – I’m a 21 yr old female, and went through the entire process of starting and coming off of this medication by myself. I don’t recommend it. I was too embarrassed to tell my family or friends because I felt like a failure.

    I took Cit because I would get horrible anxiety (especially when it comes to vomiting – my actual phobia). I am a different person since starting. I feel more confident in my ability to talk openly about my anxiety. I read a ton of self-help books to remind myself this anxiety does not define me, but is something I will overcome. I’ve learned a lot about myself and hope others feel the same. My greatest struggle was the weight gain. I put on 40 lbs while taking Cit.

    My clothes don’t fit, I don’t have self confidence in my appearance, and I am ashamed to admit it has taken a toll on my ability to feel beautiful in my own skin. I look at myself in the mirror with disgust. I began the Insanity workout program back in December and have only lost 8 lbs. I work out 6Xs a week and think I eat fairly healthy for the most part. (I am a student and can’t afford to buy all organic and make juices/cleanses/etc).

    I am starting to get anxious about this weight issue and wanted to reach out to see how others have dealt with theirs. Is there any hope to lose the weight? From all of the other blog posts I’ve read – I only seem to find disappointment. No one has shared useful information on the weightless process other than distress. PLEASE someone tell me there is hope and a way to get rid of the excess weight so I can go back to fitting in all of the clothes I wore only a short year ago!!! -Nikki

  • Lisa February 12, 2015, 8:21 pm

    I am on week 2 of cold turkey from my daily dose of 40mg of citalopram, I am really struggling, headaches, sickness, irrational thinking and just feel very strange. I work in a stressful environment… prison. I cannot take any time off, but have told my line manager and as of yet have had no support (funny as that was the reason I went on the meds). Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Joyce February 6, 2015, 7:09 pm

    Thanks soooo much to all of you for sharing your experiences with celexa withdrawal. I no longer feel alone! I had been on it for at least 10 years but I also was on quite a cocktail of other anti’ds along with it. I was getting really tired of constant fog brain, unsteady gait, and tap-tap-tapping in my head (is that the brain zap?). So I decided to try getting off some of these drugs starting with celexa.

    I dropped from 20 to 10 mg for close to a year. Then from 10 to 5 for a few weeks (doctor approved) then stopped about 2 weeks ago. (Doc not involved yet). Perhaps because of these other drugs I’m on I haven’t had the awful physical side effects but the irritability and vicious mood swings are driving me crazy. I haven’t seen any posts about drug cocktails and how long the irritability/anger subsides. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

    • Lynn February 27, 2015, 3:02 am

      I’d be interested to hear from others with a “cocktail” as well, as that is where I am. Tapering off of Cit while holding steady on Klonipin and Wellbutrin. Those are going after I get through the Cit. One thing at a time. (I have a much more extensive and annoying post awaiting moderation with all the gory details of my journey thus far.)

  • Beth February 3, 2015, 5:17 pm

    It will be 3 months off cold turkey from 40mg daily for 13 years. Pretty rough withdrawal… mostly irritability and obsessing. Does the body eventually re-supply the serotonin required to feel good again? When it got too bad I would take a Xanax (very rarely) and Benadryl to sleep, but dreams were too weird. It probably made the withdrawal longer :-(. Having stressful personal events hadn’t helped either I’m sure. Thank you for your information. It helps!

    • Constance June 10, 2015, 6:03 am

      Hi! I’m wondering how you are doing with your withdrawal symptoms. I’ve also been on Citalopram for 13 years (half my life) and want to get off of it so badly, but it never seems like it will be a good time and I’m afraid my brain chemistry might be permanently changed. Did anyone offer you any good advice you could pass along? I wish I had some to offer you. Wishing you the best!

  • Samanth February 3, 2015, 1:33 am

    It’s been 8 days off of Celexa and I feel like I’m dying. I have very slowly tapered off from 30 mg in July to stopping last week. I was on the medicine for 3 years. So far, I barely have an appetite and have horrible diarrhea. Everything I eat goes right through me. I have been non stop dizzy, confused, and nauseous. My mood swings and crying have also been picking up. However, I did start taking Dramamine while at work and it does seem to help with the dizziness and nausea. I would definitely recommend trying it.

  • Teresa January 29, 2015, 3:38 am

    I started tapering off of Celexa, 10mg, about five weeks ago. I have been on it about 10 years (and Luvox 5 year before that). A long time to be on antidepressants but got fed up with sexual dysfunction and being dependent on a drug. Also I think it may be causing my restless leg which I have to take another drug for. Also I have put on at least 30 pounds these last few years. I did taper off from 20mg during the last two to three years already. So being on this drug so long naturally concerns me a great deal, and I would like to get off permanently.

    Some days I feel down – like today. I have been achy and really irritable the last two days; I don’t even like me. I feel like crying today and have had some increases in obsessive behavior. Foggy brain is a big problem and a lot of body tension. I am hoping that the anxiety doesn’t get too bad as that is the hardest for me to cope with. During the past five weeks, I lowered the Celexa only 3.3 mg, I am not sure when to bring it down another 3 mg. I want to avoid the nasty anxiety if I can.

  • Mike January 23, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Thanks all for sharing what it is like to withdraw from Celexa. I’ve been on the medication for the better part of 12 years with only a brief window off for about 9 months (before a depressive episode was triggered by family events). I’ve been tapering for a few months alternating days of 10 and 20 mg, to eventually 10 mg every other day. I’m about a week out and the mood swings seem to have stabilized a bit.

    I had not heard of the zaps before.. but felt a couple in the last few days. I tend to get major body twitches as I fall asleep and it reminded me of that feeling, but in my head instead of my body. I also have taken trazodone for longer that I took celexa, as I stopped sleeping regularly during puberty and never regained the ability to sleep more than 3 to 4 hours once reaching adulthood (I’m 41 now). I think that trazodone is majorly helping with the withdrawals as I’m at least rested when something spikes a touchdown in my head with anxiety or with emotions.

    The good side is that emotions are not oscillating very much, BUT when I’m feeling good/happy now… it feels like happy on celexa +25% more. Vivid dreams took me by surprise though. I can’t recall much about my dreams when I’m awake, but last night I had several dreams that were vivid and memorable. The dreams were about people I haven’t spoken to in 10+ years… but oddly.. people I interacted with a lot before I started celexa.

  • Christy January 22, 2015, 7:22 am

    I have been on two different SSRI’s for over ten years, after the death of my 17 year old son from cancer. I was on Paxil, which was given to me by my regular MD. After time, I started feeling worse, my doctor just told me to stop them…big mistake. The withdrawals were horrendous, but I made it through. Then went to a Psychiatrist who put me on Celexa. After 4 years it stopped working. So he started me on a brand new antidepressant.

    I was taking both at the same time and then was told to stop taking the Celexa after one week. The side effects from the new one were so bad, that I ended up stopping both. Actually, my depression was better so I decided not to be put on any antidepressant. I was only on the new for about 3 weeks. But now, I’m am going through every withdrawal symptom that I have read. It’s been awful!! Some symptoms have subsided, but I am still experiencing others. The tiredness and fatigue are debilitating.

    I will fall asleep and in 2 hours I am wide awake and can’t go back to sleep. The muscles on the thighs of my legs ache every single day. One day, I may feel pretty good and the next day I feel horrible. I get more agitated than I have ever been my entire life! The vivid dreams have been so bad that I have literally woke up gasping for air!! This article says that in time, it will get better, but I just read another article with personal blogs from people who say they have suffered from these withdrawals for years, not months!

    I also read that these withdrawals may never go away, which scares me to death! I also take anti anxiety meds for anxiety/panic attacks which my Psychiatrist eventually wants me to try and stop…no way!!! Right now, they are the only thing that is helping, a little, to help me get through this hell!!! In my opinion, SSRI’s should be banned!

  • Dave January 20, 2015, 6:02 pm

    Some weeks ago I wrote a post on here about my short experience with Cit having only taken the drug for six weeks and experienced major side effects including severe drowsiness and copious amounts of stomach gas and nausea together with a mouth like sandpaper. Having stopped taking the drug and after three weeks the withdrawal effects waned dramatically and last week was relatively good!! However last weekend the gas and the nausea returned not as bad but enough for me to return to the doctor who appears at a loss as to what the problem is and whether it is the withdrawal effects or some other issue. Can I ask have other people had an improvement in there withdrawal symptoms only to have them return some time later? -Dave

  • Lisa January 20, 2015, 2:18 am

    I was on Celexa 20 mg for 8 years after a traumatic bereavement. I tapered quickly and have been off for 6 weeks. My symptoms of withdrawal were mild brain zaps and some crying jags and mild dizziness. Now at 6 weeks I am dealing with overwhelming fatigue. Sleeping about as much as possible on work nights and on days off… 10 hour night sleeps with a 2 hour nap in between. I am dealing with it with exercise outside in fresh air and giving in to the sleep. I have had no increased anxiety. I will however, NEVER use this medication again. I wonder why the prescribing doctor never gave me the facts when prescribing. It helped with my panic at the time but I wish I had dealt with it then differently.

  • B January 19, 2015, 7:14 pm

    Hi everyone who suffers from withdrawals from Celexa! I have been on this medication for 14 years and have tried 4 times to get off, about 3 times cold turkey and once gradually as per doctor’s recommendation. All attempts were unsuccessful. I gave up because all the side effects which you all have experienced. My children always know when I have gone off this medication. The next thing I know I call the local Mental Health and Wellness suicide line.

    I think that the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to get off this drug! As soon as I start the cold turkey method, I immediately have suicidal thoughts. Isn’t that their plan to keep you on the drug because you feel so bad without it! I’m at the place I want to get off it again, every few months I think this way. Everyone wants me to stay on it because I am “normal”. It’s very sad that people won’t come alongside you to help you be free from this horrible addiction and at least try to understand or read these comments of how difficult it is to go through withdrawal.

    I have had only one very good friend of mine that has offered to help walk me through the ugliness of this addiction. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to take 6 months to a year to do this when you have a family to take care of. People say that your body NEEDS this because you were born without enough serotonin or it is a “symptom” like diabetes (I especially dislike this analogy) however, I do like the first one best though. I don’t know how true the first statement is either.

    I wish there were a hospital that Celexa patients (clients) could go to like alcoholics can go to detox. The thought of withdrawing is so scary! I empathize with everyone of this blog! From “Been there” and “Still there”. :(

  • Katie January 19, 2015, 4:55 pm

    I have stopped taking my citalopram having been on 20mg for 6 months I have now been cold turkey for 2 weeks. In terms of my depression I have had no suicidal thoughts and no depressed mood swings. However, the withdrawal symptoms are just awful. I have felt dizzy all day everyday since coming off of the tablets and I have had extreme headaches almost daily. Hot flushes that continue throughout the night which I quite often wake up to. I found that drinking a lot of water throughout the day helps but most of the time I just need to lay in a dark room to prevent the dizziness.

  • Charlotte January 17, 2015, 8:41 pm

    So glad I found this site. 20mg for 18 months. 1 week since last tablet and I have my partner telling me I should never have come off them! Crying uncontrollably and stomach cramps are the worst for me. The pain starts at my ribs and goes down. Feels like my insides are being torn, stretched, and pulled at. I guess it’s all normal. Not nice though.

    • Katie January 19, 2015, 4:56 pm

      The withdrawals are the worst. I have been off of them for two weeks now. Nice to know I am not alone.

  • Sarah January 16, 2015, 4:47 am

    What is worse, the original symptoms, being on the drug or the detox? I can hardly tell. After several years of C, I feel like an overweight zombie with no sex drive. Trying to get off of it I feel like I have the flu and belong in a psych ward.

  • Nicole Slighting January 16, 2015, 3:21 am

    I went from 20 to ten mg and this is my first week and I am so glad I found this site and that I can express what is happening. I am having headaches every day and major anxiety. I had a panic attack this week and it was horrible. I am just trying to survive every hour day by day while I am going through withdrawal. That hyper feeling I used to have is gone, now it’s like I am a walking depressed soul looking for something to get excited about. I am experiencing confusion, crying spells and mood swings too. I don’t know how I am functioning but I am and its been a hard couple days. I notice my sex drive is back though and I have lost a pound or so so that is the pro of getting off this drug. Glad I could vent, I really want the headaches to go away.

  • Mallory January 10, 2015, 4:48 am

    I don’t even know how long I’ve been on Citalopram. I started it after trying Prozac and absolutely hated the way that made me feel. I made the mistake of trying to stop Citalopram, but I didn’t taper, I just stopped. For someone who has never ingested an illegal substance in her life, stopping abruptly made me feel like I think someone going through detox would feel. I was absolutely miserable that I stated taking it again. If you are thinking of stopping, do as they say. Discuss with a medical professional, and do so gradually. I truly don’t wish the side effects of cold turkey on anyone!

  • Lynn January 9, 2015, 2:09 am

    I was so happy to find this site, I thought I was going crazy, still not positive I am not but I have been experiencing all these symptoms, I started tapering a couple months ago from 40mg to 30 for 3 weeks, than 20 for 3 weeks and now I am taking 10 daily but still having the withdrawal symptoms, no head zaps just anger, hopelessness, and depression, also severe anxiety, sometimes to the point where I feel like I could just explode!

    I never knew this would happen when I started taking these 10 or so years ago, I had just decided to get off them and try that 5-HTP natural supplement and now this! I am so scared. I am also a newlywed, and have just placed my dad in the nursing home this week, which has been very stressful for me. And my husband doesn’t understand what’s happened to me. I want to go to a therapist but there are so many quacks out there how do you find a good one?

  • Alison January 9, 2015, 1:33 am

    I was on Citalopram for a year 20mg then raised to 40mg. Then ran out so went to Docs for a repeat prescription. I asked the Dr for 2 months worth so she told me instead of my dose being 2 x 20mg tablets she’d give me 40mg tablets and I was just to take one. Unfortunately I forgot what she said, and continued to take 2 tablets (I was thinking it was the old 40mg dose when in reality I was now taking 80mg). I ran out after a month so dropped a repeat slip in to the Docs.

    When I went to pick it up there was obvious confusion as the Dr had refused to reissue a new prescription. She figured I should still have a month’s worth. When they found out I’d been taking 80mg daily there was slight panic. The Doc interrupted her patients to call the drug manufacturer to find out the effects of an overdose. Fortunately I was ok. The effects of going cold turkey for me include horrendous dizziness. The whole house seems to shift and spin. Stomach upset, can’t sleep (which I’ve never been good at), and a permanent nagging headache.

    Together with the severe migraine I’ve had for over 30 years (the main reason for my depression) I’m not too great. My symptoms took 3 days to start and now after a week are terrible. Having a permanent pounding headache is the worse. I’ve been looking at the ‘TED’ talks on depression and am going to try Omega 3 EPA molecule in a 1000 dose as suggested by Dr Ilardi. Will keep my Doc informed as I know this is VIP. Thanks for all the comments at least I know I’m not going mad (ha ha)!!!

  • Hannah January 7, 2015, 2:45 am

    I was on celexa for 3 years. (Started taking it to deal with the stress and anxiety of high school graduation). It helped with every day anxiety but didn’t help with panic attacks. I tapered off the drug and it took me 4 months. I was on 60 mg and I went down to just 5 mg. After I stopped taking it, the symptoms started right away: Mood swings, irritability, light-headedness, headaches, weakness, crying spells, insomnia, flu-like symptoms and an upset stomach. Didn’t think that going off from 5 mg would cause this much withdrawal… its been almost a week and my symptoms don’t seem to be getting better. I’m going to wait it out. I’m very happy that I waited to come off celexa when I was on winter break from college; much easier to deal with the symptoms.

  • pam January 4, 2015, 8:41 pm

    I’m on my 8th week of withdrawal from 10mg citalopram. I have taken it for 4 yrs and have stopped totally. I have experienced dreadful zaps and my irritability levels are terrible. I am reassured by comments and I will persevere until I am OK.

  • Layla January 4, 2015, 2:42 am

    I was on celexa for about 6 months. I recently quit taking it cold turkey about 5 days ago because my husband and I would like to have a baby. My doctor told me that celexa is unknown to cause negative effects to an unborn baby so we did not want to risk it. I’ve been extremely dizzy and lightheaded since my first missed dose. I will drink a ton of water and eat, yet no matter what I do I’m feeling faint, lightheaded, and dizzy.

    I thought I may be pregnant already but after reading withdrawal symptoms of celexa I’m starting to think that is what’s causing this. I was only taking 20mg of the celexa once a day and so far these are my only symptoms. I feel slightly tired and zoned out as well but I’m still cheerful and upbeat and have no returning depression. I will definitely check back in if my symptoms worsen or change.

  • Alicia January 3, 2015, 3:56 am

    I’m trying to get off of Celexa but like many others, the headache’s are so awful that I’m struggling with taking another small dose just to get the headaches to stop. For those having headaches, do you take any pain killers to manage the pain or did pain killers even seem to help? Any othe suggestions for pain management?

  • Dave December 31, 2014, 3:26 pm

    As a mature retired male I was recently placed on a course of Cit for anxiety, I commenced on 10 mg for a few days then progressed up to 20 mg. Within 24 hours of taking the larger dose I was into severe side effects the main ones being loss of appetite, nausea and producing large volumes of stomach wind. These together with total lethargy lying in bed until mid morning and then just sitting around all day in between long periods of daytime sleep.

    Not wishing to let the drug beat me and also to at least give it a go, I continued to take the higher dose for a period of 4 weeks until my next scheduled appointment with my doctor. Having said that I had to make contact prior to the appointment and get an additional prescription of Omeprazole for the dyspepsia, which I had developed in the interim. Discussing the situation with the doctor it was agreed to reduce the Cit to the original dose of 10mg per day.

    After a further week of more of the same side effects I again spoke to the doctor and agreed that the medication was unsuitable and it was having an adverse effect to that for which it was prescribed. although I have been on the medication fortunately for a short period of time the doctor advised that I should quit the 10 mg immediately. That was 11 days ago. Since then the majority of the side effects have now taken the effect of withdrawal symptoms with today probably the first day where I have seen and a slight improvement in the symptoms (which could all change tomorrow). However I am still nauseous and off my food and also lethargic but not as bad as I was.

    I consider that I have been relatively fortunate that my body rejected the drug which led me to come off the drug sooner than later. However even for a short exposure to the drug the last 6 -7 weeks have not been a pleasant one. I have always taken a minimalistic view towards taking drugs of any kind, however after this experience it has made me even more cautious!!! People who have been on the drug for a substantial period and are now attempting to wean themselves off it have my sympathy.

    I agree with the comments made by several writers above where they say that medics do not fully understand the effects of coming off these type of drugs, even if you have only been on them for a short period of time!! My advice to anyone being advised to take this type of drug should have a full discussion with their doctors prior to commencing a course of this genre of drugs and ensure that all of the potential pit falls are fully explained to allow an informed judgement to be made!! Yours, still struggling with withdrawal. -Dave

    • Lisa January 20, 2015, 10:09 pm

      Hi Dave, unfortunately, I don’t think the majority of GP’s know all the side effects, especially when coming off of Celexa. The doc I started seeing want’s me to wean off Celexa and go on another. I never wanted to be on them in the first place but was “talked into it”. My fault I know. Having a full discussion with my GP was moot due to his lack of understanding. States should make sure that physicians have the latest data on these potent drugs so they can prescribe accordingly.

      • Dave January 28, 2015, 7:30 pm

        Lisa I agree with your comments about GP’s not knowing the potential of the effects of withdrawal, nor how extreme and devastating the effects can be on the patient. As I have said before, had I been aware of the side effects and the potential withdrawal symptoms, I would never have commenced the drug nor struggled to get on with it for so long. -Dave

  • P December 25, 2014, 5:56 pm

    About 2 months ago I decreased my dose from 20 to 10. 9 days ago I stopped taking citalopram. The first 7 days were the worst but I still hate the state I’m in at the moment. The nausea is gone but dizziness and palpitations are pretty bad. Being sat down – every few minutes I feel like my heart is beating in my throat. When moving – it’s even worse. I’m doing my best to stay concentrated. All the withdrawal symptoms are scarying me even more when I’m driving with my girls to school. It’s even harder when you haven’t got anyone to speak to about this. I wanted to say a big thank you to all the people sharing their experience and feelings. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you all :)

  • Robin December 23, 2014, 6:51 pm

    52 year old male, been on citalopram for 3 years, first 18 months of which were 40mg daily. I gained 16kg in weight in that time. I’ve been tapering down for the last 18 months. I didn’t find the first part of the taper (e.g. alternate 40/30, then when that had settled go 40/30/30, then 30, 30/20, 30/20/20…) too difficult, it’s the last little bit that has been hard. It didn’t help that I simply couldn’t accurately cut the tabs any smaller than 5mg (and even that was a push), so my final doses were 10, 10/5, 10/5/5, 5, 5/0, 5/0/0 and finally 0.

    Each of these steps, I was *so* irritable, but I seem to have been lucky and not had much in the way of other symptoms while I’ve still been on at least a small amount. It’s since I’ve been off it completely that the symptoms have been coming on progressively. I wondered at first what was going on, since nothing I had seen or been warned about had prepared me for heap zaps, and during the last few days the dizziness has hit hard, and I’ve also been suffering digestive issues. It’s really great to find a site like this which can reassure that this is normal and will most likely (eventually) pass.

    And this is with really careful tapering. Every change of dose I waited until things seemed normal again, except that my 5/0/0 regimen was probably a bit shorter than it should have been – I ran out of tablets and couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of getting any more. I’m wondering if I’m paying for that. I certainly reckon I would have suffered badly if I had tried to go cold turkey – I’ve always been able to tell later in the day if I forgot my dose that morning. I would really warn people against trying to come off too quickly.

    One question – has anyone found an effect of citalopram on cholesterol levels? A few months after I started, I was found to have extraordinarily high cholesterol, all previous tests having been normal (although none of these were recent). As a result I’ve been on high statin doses the last 2 years, but I wondered if it was the citalopram that caused it, and if I might now have cholesterol that was too low. Some of the citalopram withdrawal symptoms do seem to also be features of hypocholesterolaemia. I’m seeing my consultant in a month, so I guess we’ll find out.

  • ashley December 23, 2014, 3:39 am

    I have brain zaps whenever I move it is so freaking terrible I can’t concentrate and get confused alot. This is only my 2nd day without taking celexa. And I am a monster in the morning anything and everything pisses me off. I hope this will end soon :(.

  • Emma December 23, 2014, 12:03 am

    I have decided to come off 20mg cold turkey after approx. 3 years, because I kept forgetting to take them and then when I would remember a few days later my mood was all over the place. I thought it would be better to stop altogether. In a lot of ways I feel more “human,” certainly more emotional and feel my sex drive coming back. I am having trouble sleeping though, I get quite irritable and keep getting real urges to self harm which I haven’t done in 15 years!

    I haven’t told anybody any of this but I’m also feeling build ups of emotion which I can’t seem to control and can’t stop feeling guilty about being myself. On the outside I appear to be fine but on the inside I am struggling. Does this sound like side effects that will eventually disappear and I will be back to “normal” again soon?

    • kitkat6839 January 5, 2015, 3:18 am

      Yes. That sounds like me too. I seem fine to the outside world. But inside i feel all over the place. I struggle with anxiety inside and suffer tantrums towards my boyfriend. It could be something so small, yet I make it so big in my head. I try to step back and look at the larger picture, but I just can’t seem to restrain myself at times. Definitely something new since stopping citalopram. I wish I could offer advice, from what I hear it can take months to start feeling like yourself again.

  • Amanda December 20, 2014, 9:49 pm

    I have been weaning myself off this medication for about 4 months now, I went from 40 mg to 30 to 20 and now I’m on 10 mg daily. I didn’t realize that 40 mg was twice the standard dose and it makes sense why I’ve been experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. My doctor prescribed my the meds after my mom passed away 2.5 years ago and it definitely helped me to cope and to focus on the board exam I needed to study for. Coning off this drug has taken a huge toll on me. I’m super irritable and anxious.

    What’s worse, is that I have daily headaches that are sometimes so severe (on one side of my head) that I can’t focus on my work or really anything. I’ve also been clenching and grinding my teeth throughout the night, so I wake up feeling restless and in so much pain in my rad, neck and jaw. I am hoping these symptoms lessen soon, as I will be out of my pills in 3 days. I just keep trying to stay positive about this all being worth it in the end

  • sherry December 19, 2014, 7:55 pm

    I have been on celexa for awhile and starting gaining weight. I went off cold turkey about a month ago. I have had crying spells over nothing. I am moody all the time no appetite at all. I haven’t had any real bad symptoms. I don’t feel like going anywhere, I am 70 years old I use to go to the YMCA and ride a bike now I don’t feel like doing that. I am hoping I’ll feel better soon. Will hang in there!

  • Sharon December 15, 2014, 2:37 pm

    I am sleeping better. (No more suffocating while sleeping feeling.) But I continue to have episodes of extreme irritability and RAGE. Thank goodness my kids are grown and moved out. But my poor dog has borne the brunt of my ire. Not physically mind you. But she has been yelled at frequently over the past couple of days and was put outside for most of the weekend. (She’s not used to that. So she barked and whined incessantly, only feeding my irritation.)

    I’m going to try to get an earlier appt with a doctor at my hospital. The one I made with my doctor is not until the end of February (b/c he’s semi-retired it’s hard to get to see him). I also cry very easily these days. Just reading a news story about an accident or death can bring me to tears. Hearing of a relative’s death via facebook had me bawling (although I had never met this person and only communicated with her via facebook, and infrequently at that).

  • Erica December 15, 2014, 4:12 am

    I was on celexa 20 mg for about two years. I have now been off of it for 2 months or so and feel worse then ever. I cry over everything and have this sense of not caring. I’ve gained weight (due to my own lack of motivation) and this is not helping my depression. I get mood swings now and get annoyed very easily. On celexa I was able to let things roll off my back now I get angry at the drop of a hat. I really hope these are all withdrawal symptoms but I’m really afraid I’m just more depressed than I recal