Medication lapse.. Now having withdrawal symps from citalopram.. In a bad way and no idea where to go from here!

Hi all,

I was diagnosed with depression in 2008 and put onto citalopram. However quite a few times I've let myself run out of meds and haven't been to get a script from the doc for sometimes many months, it generally takes until I hit rock bottom again before I'll go back! (Silly I know) anyway I ran out about 2weeks ago and put in a repeat prescription req but have been told to go back for a review before they'll give me my script. The problem is that the receptionists won't give me an urgent app as they say it's not! But the next available app isn't until 4th march. I've been having crazy withdrawal this time, this constant echoey thump in my head and face, headaches, nausea, dizziness, foggy headed and confusion/ concentration issues, exhaustion, My mood is at an all time low and I just seem to swing from anger to Shame to uncontrollable crying. It was my husbands birthday, Saturday just gone, and I was a miserable snappy cow and this upsets me even more to know that I've spoiled it for him. I really am lost.

15 Replies

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear of your struggles.

    If it were me I would put some pressure on my Drs surgery to give me an appointment sooner. Most surgeries have an urgent appointments system, and really if you ask for an urgent appointment to discuss medication should be enough. Is it the dr telling you it isn't an urgent enough for an appointment or reception at the surgery?? I think I'm correct in saying that details given to reception can be as brief as to say you require an urgent appointment to discuss medication that is affecting your health.

    You mention that you forget to get repeat scripts etc..I think it would be a great idea to ensure you have big prompts in calendars or on alarms for due dates of reviews repeat scripts etc as it will help you a lot if you have consistency in taking the meds I'm sure you know that, it would be much better than having awful withdrawal symptoms and feeling so miserable and upset.

    So sorry I can't be of more help, and sorry you feel so low at the moment it's really not nice.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Hoping you feel a lot better very soon, don't give up on the earlier appointment idea.

    Sue xx

  • Phone them up and request an urgent appointment. You don't need to say what it is for when you book but it is urgent. Just listen to what you are going through. x

  • Hiya, I have only just joined this forum, literally, about ten minutes ago!!! I am going through the exact same as you right now, if that is any comfort. It always makes me feel a bit less crazy if I can talk to someone who knows how I feel.

    Unfortunately although Im getting all the horrible withdrawal you describe in your post, mine are self inflicted!!!

    Thought I was ok to come off my fluoxetine but now all the old feelings are back and Im kicking myself for kidding myself!!lol. Its not the first time I've done this and don't recommend it to anyone.

    Ive started taking them again this morning, need to wait for any normality to return.

    The important thing for you though is, I too have let scripts lapse in the past and couldnt get an appointment, I ended up just telling the receptionist EXACTLY what my medication was and that i could not be without it.

    They kindly got one of the doctors to write the script that day so that I wasn't without them. I know its private and you maybe don't want to tell a receptionist your business, but i took a deep breath and thought what the hell!!!!

    Want to chat more but have to get kids from school and have been in bed all day, hiding from the world!

    I'm going to log on later but hope this has been of help? x Take Care.

  • Hi Hun, I'm so glad you understand what I'm talking about! I was having a hard time trying to explain myself as my brain feels so fractured at the moment! I did ask for a repeat via email and it was the doc who said no to citalopram and naproxen but went ahead and wrote me a script for omeprazole...even though the only reason I need omeprazole is because of the other 2 meds! I explained that to reception who were adamant it was not classified as an emergency! Anyway, I too have been curled up in bed all day (until 3) then I went downstairs drowned myself in junk food and have now come back to bed. I start a new job in 2 weeks and I really want to be better again by then. I realise it's all my own doing and if only I was more organised! What's your story lilacbutterfly? When were you first diagnosed? What were your triggers? Take care xxx

  • Hi Again, Oh had to laugh at the similarity of our day, when you said you went downstairs and drowned yourself in junk food..!!! I did the exact same lol..and that demon that is GUILT will find me later lol! My story..where to start?! First prescribed Fluoxetine in 2001, My Dad died when I was 8mnths pregnant with my second son and I moved house all at same time. I just flatlined and switched off. Recovered but depression triggered again again in 2004/5 had Son number 3 but went to work when he was 9mnths and the pressure was too much, was really bad that time.

    The next time there wasn't really a trgger as such, just the overwhelming stress of bringing up 4 children and feeling very alone, even though i'm married. I started to get very afraid of going out on my own and experienced extreme anxiety. Went back to GP and broke down crying.

    That was a few years ago, I don't think I will ever be able to stop taking the meds cos i'm better when i'm on them. I also had very bad PMD(pre menstrual disorder) and the fluoxetine made it 10 times better, It was debilitating before but is lot better now.

    And don't blame yourself and say you are not organised, you are only human, go easy on yourself. I say that cos I know I am too hard on myself. You will get it sorted. When did they give you an appointment for?

    Let me know how you are x.

  • ....I forgot to ask... What triggered your depression, only if you don't mind me asking?x

  • I'm so sorry about your dad Hun xx mine is a Loooong story! I'll try and give the basic outline:

    •my mum was an alcoholic from just after I was born, I have three much older siblings who flew the nest when I was about 6 so I felt very alone and was her only target. She very often would belittle me and say things like "you'd be so much more beautiful if you were slim" constantly knocking my confidence, despite this, I loved her.

    •my dad used to side with her for a 'quiet life'

    •mum then got oesophageal cancer in 2005 and I used to care for her, she passed away 31st dec 2005

    •I moved to Wales with my hubby for a break, while I was visiting about 3 months later my dad had 3 massive heart attacks, we moved back home and over the next few years he had aortic aneurysm repair, bladder cancer & a nervous breakdown. I was his carer throughout all of this with little support from my siblings.

    •this combined with the fact we can't have children, have had a lot of debt and all the usual day to day crap that life throws! So who knows where my actual trigger lies? I'm so messed up and spent so long looking after everyone else that I never took time for me. I'm a people pleaser and unfortunately I know that that means I can get taken advantage of. I get the biggest guilt complex about everything.. Like, for example, I'm driving to work and I see a dead deer at the side of the road, I feel guilt.. I didn't hit it & there's nothing I can do but it pains me. I obsess over how it must have felt, whether it was in a lot of pain etc etc. straight up cuckoo I know! Xx

  • the appointments system can be quite odd... In our area it is very difficult to book a doctors appointment in advance, we literally have to be at the door five minutes before it opens, (or on the phone) to try to get an appointment for that day, and hope that work do not grizzle too much. I try to slot in reviews about a fortnight before i run out, as i've been caught out before with problems with the admin side..

    As butterfly says be blunt with the receptionist, esp about the withdrawal symptoms. Mondays are a bad day to get appointments though, as they are busier from dealing with people who have all had problems over the weekend.

  • Many months to get a repeat script? That can't be right? Surely?

  • I meant it's taken me many months to go and ask for one, sorry should have been cleArer x

  • Oh right! I was going to say I didn't think the NHS was in that much crisis! I need to reply properly to your original post, but not able to right now. I will tomorrow if that's ok? X

  • Ring and ask to speak to the duty doctor or be called back by them

  • Hi i did the same thing stopped taking my meds its not a good thing to do as it could course you a relaps you need to contact your gp or supporter be for this happens

    Ive been Diagnosed with depression since early 70s

  • Oh I do feel for you. Your gp should defo give you a prescription and then do your review after. Also I have read that your regular pharmacy can give you a few days supply in an emergency as they have your details on file. Good luck

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear you are struggling, would suggest that you request an emergency appt or does your doctors have a walk in clinic you could goto. Think it's unreasonable expecting you to wait until then and suffer with the withdrawal effects

    Jules x

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