How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. K. Your Own Question

Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3958
Experience:  Board certified with experience in primary care.
65718478
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. K. is online now

Citalopram Withdrawal Dizziness

Resolved Question:

I was prescribed Citalopram for several months but after multiple complaints to my doctor about it's ineffectiveness in my situation and noticing a sudden increase in my weight I stopped taking them (abruptly, cold turkey). For the two weeks since ceasing to take the medication I'm suffering aching joints, near constant dizziness which is intensified by the feeling of pulsing and throbbing in my head. The aches I can cope with, however the dizziness is causing me to faint frequently. Background: I was prescribed Citalopram for depression (I actually have a clinical diagnosis of Bipolar), at a dose of 20mg daily. Around four months later after complaining more than once that the medication was not helping I was upped to 40mg daily. Three months later this was still not working, and I had enough. I was still suffering from depression and the opposite mood swings and the final straw came when I noticed I had put on a large amount of weight. I felt incredibly unhealthy and just wanted to be rid of the tablets. Knowing I would have to taper off over some six weeks I just stopped abruptly and was prepared to deal with the consequences. It is however now at the point where I am suffering to the point of being house bound, dizziness, light headedness, faint spells, nausea along with aching joints. Paracetamol is enough to ease the joints however I the dizziness just won't go away, and I'm too afraid to go back to the doctor for the fear I'll either get put back on the medication or come away feeling humiliated, told it is my fault and given advice to take paracetamol (despite the fact I already am with limited success). Apologies for the disordered question, and thank you for your time.

Additional: Working at my computer, even for short periods intensifies the dizziness and nausea which then persists for hours after before sometimes beginning to lessen (until working at the computer again... etc) Sometimes movement can bring about this same intensification, even walking (not particularly hard and fast head movements).

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 2 years ago.
Dr. K. :

Hello, this is Dr K.. Answers are not medical advice and do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. I look forward to helping you today.

Dr. K. :

Its not recommended to stop this medication abruptly You will get withdrawal symptoms due to serotonin withdrawal. The dizziness and headaches are common symptoms.

Dr. K. :

Bipolar disorder is best treated with an antipsychotic and and antidepressant together. If just an antidepressant is used, mania can occur or rapid cycling may result

Dr. K. :

Its best to go back on a lower dose of Citalopram such as 20 mg and after your symptoms disappear to withdraw slowly over a period of 2-4 weeks under your Drs care.

Dr. K. :

I hope this helps

Customer:

Hi, unfortunately i can't go back on the Citalopram as it was causing me severe personality changes which were dangerous and putting my life at risk. Therefore i'm wanting to know what i can do to get rid of the dizziness, nausea, headaches etc, when going back on the medication is not an option. And also whether or not i can try an alternative treatment whilst still suffering from the side effects. Thanks

Dr. K. :

Unfortunately nothing is going to treat serotonin withdrawal except serotonin

Dr. K. :

Going on a very low dose may not cause the personality changes you are worried about.

Dr. K. :

If that is not an option, you can try symptomatic treatment

Dr. K. :

For the nausea and dizziness an over the counter motion sickness pill can help

Dr. K. :

I would suggest meclizine hydrochloride "Bonine"

Dr. K. :

This may or may not help with the headaches.

Dr. K. :

Headache could be treated with over the counter ibuprofen or Midol, which is meant for premenstrual symptoms but may work for this type of headache.

Dr. K. :

Its also important to be well hydrated. A little caffeine does not hurt such as 2 cups of coffee in the morning temporarily if you do not do this already

Dr. K. :

I hope this helps

Customer:

Thanks Dr. K, will take those suggestions on board and wait it out

Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 3958
Experience: Board certified with experience in primary care.
Dr. K. and 6 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/DoctorRich/2012-9-12_72454_Doctorweb.64x64.jpg Dr. Natasha's Avatar

    Dr. Natasha

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7887
    American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Ivy League trained
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrK99/newpic2.64x64.jpg Dr. K.'s Avatar

    Dr. K.

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    255
    Board certified with experience in primary care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjtu60wne/2011-2-14_183449_passportphoto2.64x64.jpg docwithheart's Avatar

    docwithheart

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    0
    Board certified pediatrician, with special experience in general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12373
    20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
 
 
 

Related Medical Questions