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What causes anxiety while weaning off Citalopram?

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Posted on Sat, 16 May 2015
Question: I have been on citalopram 40mg for 15 years. My doctor wants to reduce and finally get off of it. I am 82 years I am in good physical health. According to his instructions I have reduced to 20 mg daily and have done that since Tues. Today it is Thursday and I am feeling some feelings of anxiety. I know that these meds should be reduced at a slow rate. Is his order reducing it too quickly? How much anxiety will I experience as I come off the med? I would like some background on this matter and your opinion before I call my physician.
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Answered by Dr. Shubham Mehta (44 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
A more slower drug reducing regime should be considered.

Detailed Answer:
Hello
Welcome to HCM.

I can understand your concerns.

There is no particular regime for reducing the dose of antidepressants.

Every clinician goes by his personal experience.

In my opinion, the dose of citalopram should be reduced by 10 mg every two weeks.

I would suggest that you should take 30 mg for two weeks, then 20 mg for next two weeks and so on.

Considering your age, the body will take time to re-adjust itself without drug.

If you experience intolerable anxiety with this tapering regime, even slower tapering should then be considered.

Hope this helps.

Feel free to ask further.

I wish you good health.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shubham Mehta

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 2134 Questions

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What causes anxiety while weaning off Citalopram?

Brief Answer: A more slower drug reducing regime should be considered. Detailed Answer: Hello Welcome to HCM. I can understand your concerns. There is no particular regime for reducing the dose of antidepressants. Every clinician goes by his personal experience. In my opinion, the dose of citalopram should be reduced by 10 mg every two weeks. I would suggest that you should take 30 mg for two weeks, then 20 mg for next two weeks and so on. Considering your age, the body will take time to re-adjust itself without drug. If you experience intolerable anxiety with this tapering regime, even slower tapering should then be considered. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further. I wish you good health. Thanks.