Can you stop taking celexa cold turkey?

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This blog post will answer the question, “Can you stop taking celexa cold turkey?”. Celexa is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

This blog will cover the dangers of stopping celexa cold turkey. We will also discuss the proper ways to stop the treatment with your antidepressant.

Can you stop taking celexa cold turkey?

No, you should not stop using celexa cold turkey. Celexa and other antidepressants take time to start working because they aim to make long term changes in the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain.

What is Celexa-discontinuation syndrome?

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you stop taking celexa cold turkey. If you want to stop taking an antidepressant, the advice is to speak to your doctor, in order to taper the medication slowly. 

Symptoms associated with discontinuation syndrome really mess up your brain. They sometimes irritate you, even more than the side effects your medicine was giving you. Discontinuation symptoms relate to physical and emotional health. You might suffer from: 

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Headaches 
  • Excess sweating/night sweats
  • Disturbed sleep, insomnia, nightmares
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • You might feel something called brain zaps, which feels like a shock firing in your brain 
  • Heightened anxiety and nervousness
  • Mood swings

What is the safest way of stopping using celexa? 

As we have discussed earlier, celexa 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 celexa, in order to avoid celexa 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

What is the significance of dose tapering?

Dose tapering is an important technique for the withdrawal of antidepressants, in a safe and effective manner. Antidepressants are known to produce dependence. 

As we know, SSRIs increase the availability of serotonin. So, if you abruptly stop taking it, your receptors which are dependent on it will start to have a major impact of serotonin deficiency.

This is why dose tapering is important. 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. 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.

Instead of stopping it cold turkey, consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor gradually decreases the dose over the period of weeks, to ensure safe and effective withdrawal of celexa and other SSRIs. 

Never stop your meds, especially those which produce addiction and tolerance, without your doctor’s approval, otherwise you will suffer from discontinuation syndrome

How long do these withdrawal symptoms last?

Different factors affect the duration of your withdrawal symptoms. One of these factors include the half-life of the drug. Drugs with longer half lives produce withdrawal symptoms for a longer period of time. Half life of celexa is 30-36 hours. 

Most people experience the first symptoms of withdrawal within one to three days after their last dose. Even if you taper off, you may still experience some symptoms. 

During days four to five, the symptoms may become more intense, depending on the dose you were on and the duration of your therapy. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, shakiness and fever. 

Your symptoms will gradually start to fade away in a week or two. It, too, depends on how your body reacts to this withdrawal. 

It is extremely important to follow your taper schedule vigilantly. It may take longer than you think it should, but it’s important to go slowly, so your brain has enough time to adjust the doses. 

Within a few weeks, it will be safe to stop using your med. Don’t mess up your taper schedule, if you wish to prevent discontinuation syndrome and the disturbing symptoms that come with it.

How to manage withdrawal symptoms?

Now, if you have listened to your healthcare provider and have tapered off celexa in an appropriate manner, you might get lesser withdrawal effects. It doesn’t mean you have to jump from one medication to another, in order to cure your withdrawal symptoms. 

The best thing you can do is, change your diet and lifestyle. This will help you in the long run and might prevent you from getting future depression episodes.

You can try the following ways to boost your serotonin levels naturally which will significantly help you in managing withdrawal symptoms:

  • Diet is one of the best ways to boost your serotonin. Eggs, Pineapples, cheese, salmon, nuts and seeds are known for containing a generous amount of tryptophan, an amino acid from which serotonin is synthesised. 
  • Exercise is one of the best ways of increasing ‘happy chemicals’ in our system. Workout for at least half an hour, 3 to 4 times a week.
  • Learn new yoga moves, as yoga is one of the best ways to relax your racing mind.
  • Research shows a close relationship between sunlight and serotonin levels in your body. Go for a walk in the morning or afternoon to boost your serotonin and to enhance your sleep quality. 
  • Studies show that your gut microflora has a great impact on your serotonin levels through the gut-brain axis. Make sure to add fibre and probiotics in your diet. 

When to call your doctor?

Call your doctor if you feel you’re unable to tolerate celexa well. If you suffer from side effects repeatedly, you should inform your healthcare provider instead of stopping celexa cold turkey. 

If you think that’s the way to stop these side effects, trust me you’re wrong. You should never stop antidepressants without tapering them down. Your doctor will make a taper schedule which should be followed vigilantly to ensure safe withdrawal. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed the proper way to stop using celexa. Celexa is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

Celexa and other antidepressants take time to start working because they aim to make long term changes in the amount of excitatory neurotransmitters in your brain.

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you stop taking celexa cold turkey. If you want to stop taking an antidepressant, the advice is to speak to your doctor, in order to taper the medication slowly. 

Symptoms associated with discontinuation syndrome really mess up your brain. Instead of stopping it cold turkey, consult your healthcare provider. Your doctor gradually decreases the dose over the period of weeks, to ensure safe and effective withdrawal of celexa and other SSRIs. 

Never stop your meds, especially those which produce addiction and tolerance, without your doctor’s approval, otherwise you will suffer from discontinuation syndrome.

FAQs: stopped taking celexa cold turkey

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

Withdrawal effects from celexa 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 celexa doses for a longer period of time are more susceptible to serious withdrawal symptoms. Several studies suggest that it may take up to 90-100 days to get celexa completely out of your system. 

What happens if you stop celexa suddenly?

Abrupt withdrawal of celexa 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:

  • Extreme irritability 
  • Anxiety
  • Mood instability 
  • Inability to fall asleep or insomnia 
  • Restlessness 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Headache 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea and vomiting 
  • Brain zaps
  • Nervousness and confusion 
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness 
  • Tremors

What is the best way to reduce citalopram?

The best way to reduce citalopram is dose tapering. When it’s time for you to discontinue the treatment with this antidepressant, your healthcare provider will suggest a proper taper schedule in order to ensure safe withdrawal. 

What are the side effects of citalopram 10mg?

Common side effects of citalopram include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 

What happens if you stop celexa cold turkey?

Discontinuation syndrome usually happens when you go from taking a daily dose of celexa to nothing at all. SSRIs block the serotonin reuptake back to the presynaptic neuron, which results in increased serotonin availability in the synaptic cleft. 

Now, if you take away the med cold turkey, 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. In order to avoid such a condition, the dose is reduced over a number of weeks and that’ll be dependent on how long you’ve been taking the medication and the severity of your symptoms.

References

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