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On Citalopram 30mg. Looking for advice to reduce the side effects by weaning off them correctly?

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My husband is 33, he is on Citalopram 30mg, and has been on it for around 18 months. He feels much better now and is hoping to wean off the medication soon. I understand there are some not so nice side effects when doing this and we are hoping to reduce these side effects by weaning off them correctly. Can you give any advice on the best way to do this?
Posted Thu, 9 Aug 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Susanta Padhy 39 minutes later

Thanks for the query

Some principles are below mentioned regarding weaning off

1. Taper off slowly, more is the slower lesser is the chance of relapse, both dose wise and duration wise. Usually 10-25% of dose to be decreased over few weeks to few months. Many factors guide such tapering

2. In the beginning of discontinuation, for initial period there may be some nonspecific symptoms, anxiety like symptoms etc that may automatically subside afterwards

3. The duration for which citalopram to be continued depends on the details of depressive symptomatology in past and at present, total no. depressive episodes in life time ( for e.g for 1st episode of depressive symptoms usual duration of symptoms are 6 to 9 months, but may be longer sometimes; total 3 episodes duration of treatment should preferably be indefinite etc.), any other ongoing psychosocial stressors, co-morbid substance abuse, level of vulnerability for relapse etc.

Hence, I would suggest before deciding to stop, all these points can be discussed with your psychiatrist, rather than taking the decision entirely on your own. As because if the treatment protocol is not followed properly, response may be lowered in the subsequent relapse, if any.

Hope this gives some light on it

I am available for further query

Wish you good luck
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