Can you come off citalopram 10mg after 2 weeks? (An Overview)

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can you come off citalopram 10mg after 2 weeks?”. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.

It is common for people to stop taking this antidepressant after a week or two, but this is not recommended. This blog will cover the dangers of stopping citalopram just after 2 weeks. 

Can you come off citalopram 10mg after 2 weeks? 

Yes, you can come off citalopram 10mg after 2 weeks, but you shouldn’t. It is not recommended to stop taking citalopram just after 2 weeks, unless it produces an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. Citalopram takes at least 4-6 weeks to start making changes in your system.

What are the consequences of stopping citalopram just after 2 weeks?

Discontinuation of citalopram just after 2 weeks may result in the following consequences: 

  • Therapeutic failure 
  • Withdrawal syndrome 
  • Chances of your mental health condition getting worse 

Therapeutic failure 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your citalopram just after 2 weeks of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. Antidepressants, including citalopram, take around 4 to 5 weeks to work. 

Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). These agents work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). 

This way, citalopram increases the serotonergic activity in your body to counteract the symptoms of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and eating disorders. This process takes time and you can’t simply expect your antidepressant to work overnight. 

Depression and other mental health problems take time to progress and so does their treatment. It’s not just the time taken by the drug to produce its effects, but the time taken by your body to adjust to the medicine. 

Yes, it is a known fact that antidepressants may make you feel worse before they make you feel better. 

This is because the side effects of citalopram and every other antidepressant arise way earlier than the beneficial effects, but it doesn’t indicate that you should stop your treatment. 

This is a common fact to bear the side effects, which start to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. Just hang in there, give your body enough time to adjust and opt for a better and healthier lifestyle. This way, I’m sure you’ll achieve better results. 

Withdrawal syndrome 

Abrupt withdrawal of citalopram leads to withdrawal or discontinuation syndrome. When you start taking antidepressant, it increases the amount of serotonin in your body. 

Over time, your body gets used to this increased amount of serotonin. When you suddenly stop using it, it creates an unannounced serotonin deficiency, to which your body reacts in a negative way. You may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Emotional stress 
  • Nightmares 
  • Irritability 
  • Agitation 
  • Confusion 
  • Delirium 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Headaches
  • Constant crying
  • Inability to concentrate or think clearly 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Awkward behaviour 
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Chills
  • Feeling suffocated with excessive sweating 
  • Insomnia or somnolence 
  • Relapse of symptoms associated with mental health conditions. 

These symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the dose. This is why it is recommended to never stop your citalopram abruptly because these withdrawal symptoms may become much worse than the side effects your antidepressant was giving you. 

If side effects are the reason for your discontinuation, make sure it was worth it. If you’re allergic to fluoxetine or any other excipient present in the formulation of citalopram, then stopping citalopram is a good option. 

Antidepressants are meant to be used for a longer period of time and if yours is making you sick or causing an allergic reaction, then it’s not worth using it. If you’re suffering from mild side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, insomnia, drowsiness or muscle pain, don’t worry. 

These side effects are not good enough reasons to stop your citalopram as they will begin to fade away within a few weeks, when your body will become adjusted to it. 

Chances of your mental health condition getting worse 

If you discontinue your citalopram before giving it even a chance of producing beneficial effects, chances are that your mental health condition, for which your doctor prescribed citalopram, will start getting worse. 

The symptoms that disturbed you enough that you ended up in your doctor’s office, may become much more intense and difficult to bear. You have got to give citalopram a chance, unless you can’t tolerate it or it causes an allergic reaction. 

Several studies suggest that non-adherence followed by people is one of the most common causes of disease relapse. 

However, stopping citalopram just after 2 weeks without any valid reason will produce no beneficial effects and will not treat any of the symptoms associated with your mental health condition. 

If you don’t take your treatment seriously and stop it halfway, you will never see results and your mental health condition may become much worse. You have got to give citalopram a chance, unless you can’t tolerate it or it causes an allergic reaction. 

Several studies suggest that non-adherence followed by people is one of the most common causes of disease relapse. Make sure you take your treatment seriously in order to get rid of your condition for good. If your condition becomes worse, you will regret stopping your citalopram. 

What is the safest way of stopping citalopram? 

As we have discussed earlier, citalopram is an SSRI that increases the amounts of active serotonin in your body. Now, if you take away this antidepressant rapidly, the availability of serotonin reduces. 

This results in serotonin receptors craving serotonin as they have been receiving it for quite a while now, and you start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

It’s basically because of the sudden deficiency of serotonin within the synaptic cleft. This is why dose tapering is important and is considered the safest way of stopping citalopram, in order to avoid citalopram withdrawal syndrome.

It is a safe and effective method to withdraw SSRIs. Your healthcare provider simply just reduces the dose of your antidepressant. 

It enables you to start taking medicine in lesser quantities without completely depriving your receptors of serotonin. Half of the dose keeps decreasing gradually over the period of 7 to 8 days. 

After spending a week or two, the med is on its lowest possible dose and now it is considered safe for you to stop using it. Unfortunately, a lot of people choose to take the process into their own hands and either try and reduce the dose themselves gradually or stop it all together.

Now this is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Never stop or start any sort of medication on your own. There are medications, called over-the-counter meds, which can be taken without prescription.

But meds, like antidepressants, antipsychotics, CNS stimulants etc, which affect your brain, your cognition, memory, feelings, decision making abilities, how could you possibly think of starting or withdrawing such meds on your own? It is something for you to think about.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the risk associated with the discontinuation of treatment with citalopram just after 2 weeks. citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

This med takes at least 3 to 4 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. It is not recommended to stop taking citalopram after 1 week, unless it produces an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. 

Therapeutic failure is a big concern when it comes to stopping your citalopram just after a week of your treatment. This is wrong on so many levels as you will not gain any benefit, whatsoever. 

If you discontinue your citalopram before giving it even a chance of producing beneficial effects, chances are that your mental health condition, for which your doctor prescribed citalopram, will start getting worse. Make sure you take your citalopram properly to ensure maximum therapeutic response. 

FAQs: coming off citalopram 10mg after 2 weeks

Can you come off citalopram after a week?

It is not safe to stop citalopram after two weeks. It is only considered a good option if you suffer from an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects. If not, abrupt withdrawal of citalopram after two weeks can cause serious consequences. It will not only cause withdrawal symptoms, but will also result in therapeutic failure. 

Antidepressants, including citalopram, take around 4 to 5 weeks to work. As described earlier, these meds alter the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain and this process takes time. You will never see results in one week and the entire treatment goal can go to waste. 

How long does it take 10mg citalopram to leave your system?

The half life of citalopram is 30-35 hours, which means that it usually takes a day for the drug’s concentration to reduce to half the original amount. In another 24 hours, the drug’s concentration is further reduced to half of the remaining amount. 

Can you get withdrawals from 10mg citalopram?

Yes. you can get withdrawal symptoms from 10mg citalopram if you stop using this med abruptly. The signs and symptoms associated with Citalopram-Discontinuation Syndrome include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Gastrointestinal side effects 
  • Headaches
  • Emotional stress or constant crying
  • Inability to concentrate or think clearly 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Awkward behaviour 
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Fever with chills
  • Feeling suffocated with excessive sweating 
  • Insomnia or somnolence 
  • Nightmares

How long does it take to feel normal after stopping citalopram?

Withdrawal effects from citalopram discontinuation usually start to appear within 2 to 3 days of its withdrawal. The intensity of these side effects determine the time taken by your body to recover from them. 

Studies suggest that people who have been on high citalopram doses for a longer period of time are more susceptible to serious withdrawal symptoms. 

Can I cut citalopram in half?

Yes, you can cut your citalopram tablet in half. The tablet usually has a split line, located in the centre. That line can be used to snap the drug in half. Not doing it right can result in dose variation and you might end up taking a bit more or less than you’re actually supposed to. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

References

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