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Withdrawal symptoms of cipralex (Page 1)

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I have been on 20mg of Cipralex for almost two years now and my doctor and I decided that I should start on Wellbutrin instead as I felt that the cipralex wasn't having the good effects that it used to. I am now on 300mg of Wellbutrin XL a day and was supposed to gradually reduce lmy cipralex dosage over a period of time to the point that I no longer needed it. Unfortunately, all these drugs cost money and I can't afford to take both. I stopped taking Cipralex cold turkey about 2 weeks ago and the past two days have been nothing short of hell for me. My tounge is constantly tingling, if I move my head to quickly I get these weird almost electric sound in my head (always three zap sounds each time), I am dizzy, not hungry, constantly tired, body feels as though it does not belong to me (lots of mumbling, clumsiness) and have been having very intense dreams where I wake up sweating so bad that my sheets are soaked. I guess my question is: It has already been 2 weeks and symptoms are becoming worse. How much longer do I have to suffer these withdrawal symptoms???
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First Helper Bigeasy1000
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replied March 4th, 2012
Experienced User
These are the listed withdrawal symptoms of Cipralex :

.aggression, anxiety, balance issues , blurred vision, brain zaps, concentration impairment, constipation, crying spells, depersonalization, diarrhea, dizziness. electric shock sensations, fatigue, flatulence, flu-like symptoms, hallucinations, hostility, highly emotional, indigestion, irritability, impaired speech, insomnia, jumpy nerves, lack of coordination, lethargy, migraine headaches / increased headaches, nausea, nervousness, over-reacting to situations, paranoia, repetitive thoughts or songs, sensory & sleep disturbances, severe internal restlessness (akathasia), stomach cramps, tremors, tinnitus (ear ringing or buzzing), tingling sensations, troubling thoughts, visual hallucinations / illusions, vivid dreams, speech visual changes, worsened depression.

So, quite a bit and explains why there is a need to taper off this drug. COst is one thing but taking risks is another.

Best thing is to talk to your doctor and ask what to do now.

If it's like most drugs it may take several weeks of pain before it settles down. Unavoidable since you've already done it. So sorry you are going through this stuff.
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Users who thank Oneofus for this post: Lorig65  Lorig65 

replied December 19th, 2013
I have been on Cipralex for a year and a half. I feel this drug as ruined my life. 2 years ago I went to the eye doctor and had 20/20 vision...I now have to wear glasses. One eye has double vision and is totally near sighted and the other eye is the total opposite of far sited. 6 months ago I had to episodes of like a electric shock feeling in my head...very scarey while driving. My doctor sent me for every possible test you could think of and everything came back normal. I feel worse than I did before I started taking this drug...Has anyone else had this. I am starting to ween myself off and am a little nervous with all the things I have read on the withdrawal symptoms
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replied March 26th, 2014
Hey

I'm a 19 year old girl, I've been on cipralex since January and recently went off it unwillingly because i was unable to pay for the medication. I experience frequent shocks, crying spells etc etc I don't know what to do and my parents and doctor will be upset if I tell them. I am very scared. Thank you for confirming these side effects
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replied March 26th, 2014
Hey

I'm a 19 year old girl, I've been on cipralex since January and recently went off it unwillingly because i was unable to pay for the medication. I experience frequent shocks, crying spells etc etc I don't know what to do and my parents and doctor will be upset if I tell them. I am very scared. Thank you for confirming these side effects
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replied March 4th, 2012
I seem to have suffered at some point with almost all of those withdrawal symptoms that you posted. Glad I'm not going crazy here!!!
I knew that there would probably be some side effects from just stopping after being on it for so long, I just didn't realize the severity of it.
Thank you so much for responding. That in itself calms and relieves me a bit.
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Users who thank Lamb01 for this post: Oneofus  Lorig65 

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replied March 4th, 2012
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I'm glad a reply helped. When depressed always remember Google is your best friend.

WHat a horrible thought, feeling most of those things. So sorry you had to find out the hard way.

Remember too that docs don't say taper unless there's a problem. Still, a lesson learned huh?

Hope it stops soon.
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replied March 4th, 2012
Lesson learned for sure. I did do some research and somehow got to this website. Very informative.
Thank you for the kind encouragement. It helped me through this day
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replied April 9th, 2012
OMG I seem to experiencing most of the symptoms listed above - the sleep disturbances, sweating and dizziness being the worst of them. The dreams are weird like a different colour to usual and I keep dreaming of green and food cans - weird. The symptoms are at the worse in the morning hours until about 2pm and then I start feeling a little better for it all to repeat again after midnight. It has been going on for 5 days now and wondering when it will all just go away. I didn't have any of these problems when starting the medication!
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replied November 27th, 2012
Symptoms from coming off Cipralex.
Does anyone know how long these symptoms will last ? I am in week 3 of being off the Cipralex , and the past one and this one is the worst ! Dizziness , lightheadedness , fatigue and just not sleeping are the worst for me . Also a faster hearbeat and palpitations.
It is to a point where it is really concerning. I am wondering how long these symptoms are going to continue for ??? Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
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replied November 27th, 2012
I had forgotten all about this thread until I got an email saying someone replied.
It seems like forever ago that I was going through all of this. I'm trying to remember how long my withdrawal symptoms lasted and I think it was around 3-4 possibly even 5 weeks. I know it got a lot worse before it got better. Hang in there if you've gone 3 weeks I would think your almost at the end of the agony.
If symptoms continue to stay quite steady and strong maybe a quick trip to the doctors is needed. It's so hard on your body both mentally and physically, so you need to be eating healthy and trying to get some exercise.
Good luck to you and I hope you start to feel more human soon Smile
Take care
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replied November 27th, 2012
Reply to Lambo
Thank you very much for your reply ... kinda lousy to know it carries on for a while , but at the same time , I know it's "normal" for the situation .
I hope I feel more human soon too .
Thank you so much.
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replied November 24th, 2013
I have been on 30mg Cipralex for years now and went off cold turkey a week ago after a switch to Prozac was worse. I feel it is the cipralex is to blame for my dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations and brain zaps. I too am concerned about my heart rhythms and wonder whether I should go back on the meds even though emotionally I am feeling more alive and connected to the world again. What should I do?????
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replied January 11th, 2013
Horrible zaps
Hi, I found this forum while searching for information about how long these awful zaps throughout my body are going to last. I don't seem to have many of the other symptoms, but the zaps are so strong. I think I am in about week three now. I was on Cipramil (assuming this is the same as Cipralex but not sure) for six years. First 20 mg and then down to 10, back up to 20 last year and then 10, then less, then none as of three weeks ago. I stopped from there pretty abruptly but I wouldn't say cold turkey. I am in shock (pardon the pun) at how strong the shocks are. I'd started getting used to them but tonight, I wonder, is this normal? They seem to get worse in the evening. Sometimes I even wonder if my insides are convulsing or something! If an end is in sight I think I'll be all right, but, otherwise am wondering how long I can put up with this. Would be grateful to hear if anyone can relate and of their experiences.Thank you.
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replied January 18th, 2013
cipralex
I've been off cipralex for a week now, and Im just starting to feel the shocks/tingling in my jaw. have you or anybody else experienced this?
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replied February 2nd, 2013
I just started weaning off of 20mg, on for 2 1/2 yrs, of cipralex to 10mg 3 days ago and the symptoms are scaring me. I'm super confused, dizzy, extremely tired but can't sleep, headache and the zaps. i dont feel like myself and feel alone. my hubby is very understanding but hes never been through this so doesnt truely understand how scarey it can be. I start cymbalta in 2 days but only on 30mgs for a week then up to 60mg.
It's good to know I am not alone in this but I still don't know how to deal with it. Ugh, this is the tough part of struggling with major depressive disorder and anxiety and transitioning to a new med.
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replied February 23rd, 2013
Thankfully I only started taking Cipralex a month or so ago, and I was still on 10mg and had not been upped to 20mg. I knew and still currently know very little about depression and since I ran out, I thought I'd just cut off about a week ago and just wait until my next doctor's appointment to get more. Having never really taken any sort of serious prescription drug before, I had no idea how stupid that was. I've experienced a great deal of the listed symptoms and can say I was truly frightened and had no idea what was going on with my body. I don't want to know how much worse it would have been had I been on 20mg. Thankfully my mom and fiance are there for me and we managed to get me another two weeks until I can see my doctor again. I will definitely be more responsible with taking my pills consistently and on time. Thanks to all the wonderful people who posted on this thread, the information was very useful and it's nice to know I'm not alone. To be honest, I was entirely ashamed of my depression until I saw how many other people are suffering just like me. Or worse, in many cases. Again, thank you so much, and I wish everyone the best of luck with their respective mental challenges.
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replied February 23rd, 2013
I'm glad that you have the support of your family.
Depression is actually quite common, but it's almost as of people are embarrassed to even admit to it. But it is what it is and you can either chose to deal with it or suffer.
It's been almost a year since I started this thread. And to be honest I never want to have to go through those withdrawal symptoms again. What a horrible and helpless feeling that was.
But life is good right now. And I hope that you all are happy and healthy.
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replied February 24th, 2013
I'm still on Cipralex 20mg, 2 years. I want to get on with life; it's making me so lethargic but I still have days when I am tearful - chicken and egg am I tearful because I can't do anything (sleeping a lot - lazy) or because there are still elements of depression. Thing is I'm worried about these Zaps people are talking about as I'am also being treated for epilepsy. Something has to change - I'm getting really frustrated.
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replied April 4th, 2013
Gosh, you sound like me 6 months ago - I totally understand how you feel!!!

Just to give you my background I was diagnosed with clinical depression in August 2011. It was triggered by months and months of extreme anxiety, sleeplessness and stress from starting my own business and believing I had to succeed at all costs. I had been seeing a psychologist for more than a year prior to my breakdown, in anticipation that the business would bring me a great deal of stress. NO idea it would get as bad as it did though and I finally made the choice to see a psychiatrist when I realised that although my behaviour had contributed to my breakdown, understanding those mistakes and learning from them alone wasn't going to get me out of the mess.

My psychiatrist immediately put me on Cipralex plus anti anxiety meds and some sleeping pills to give me a chance to rest. Within a month the feelings of despair, helplessness, intense anxiety and pure lack of resources and ability to deal with the pressures in my life were, for the most part, gone. It was such a huge relief!

But then the recommended minimum 18 months of ongoing medication started. I didn't want to be on medication, nobody wants to be on medication - not only is there stigma, but it's expensive and you're putting chemicals into your body. But I wanted to get better, be better and most importantly try stay better so I'd resigned myself to the reality that I had to stick to the plan, regardless of the how quickly I'd started feeling better and deferred to my psychiatrist on all counts.

But oh my, the gradual lethargy that pretty much took over my life completely blindsided me. I started a relationship about 8 months into my treatment and the poor guy was convinced that he was dating a sloth! I thought I had lost the plot because I was at the point where I could easily sleep 14, 15 hours if left, and be able to do that easily 2 nights in a row (work commitments during the week prevented me from ever actually seeing how many nights in a row I could go for!) Inevitably the feelings of self loathing and the judgment started. And I started wondering had I always been like this? Or was I just more aware of it? Plus I was scared of the implications for my relationship. I felt lazy and useless and SO bored, despite not feeling depressed! Which totally bummed me out, which made me wonder if that meant I was still depressed and needed to stay on the medication?! Exactly the chicken and egg you're describing above!

All I can say is thank the universe for my psychologist. I think our history prior to the depression helped, because she had a reference point for "undepressed" me. She kept pushing that the lethargy and "laziness" which I was so ashamed of, was a physical response, and not a psychological symptom.

Unfortunately, it took me a while to start listening to her and believing her, because my 3-monthly check ups with my psychiatrist left me feeling like I still needed medication, subsequent dose increases, yet such disappointment and frustration as he didn't really seem to understand the negative effects the lethargy was having on me. I made the mistake of completely deferring to his medical judgment that the lethargy wasn't a big deal, because after all, he is the doctor and I had to trust that he knew what he was doing. Otherwise what was the point of any of it. And so it carried on.

My psychologist eventually had a very candid conversation with me explaining that I had to trust myself, trust that I'm not a lethargic individual prone to sleeping away my weekends at the cost of not being active, not having fun in my relationship and not seeing my friends, and that I actually had a responsibility to voice my feelings about the medication more loudly and not just passively be "steam rolled" by my psychiatrist's treatment plan.

My need to stop my medication and, as you say, get on with my life just became stronger and stronger and eventually I had the confidence to speak to my psychiatrist about all of it and the need to move on. It was a fantastically positive conversation. He was great. And it highlighted how I should have been more assertive in our sessions sooner, instead of just arriving to be treated, only to leave feeling more upset. But to be fair, that assertiveness only came with the confidence that I would be OK off meds and that it was time to try.

We came up with a plan, because, as it's clear on this forum, the side effects if you go cold turkey can be absolutely horrific.

So started the plan to taper me down from 20mg to 0. In January I was on 20mg and last week Monday I took my last 5mg dose. Just tapering my meds from 20mg down to 15mg, down to 10mg had a noticable difference within 2-4 weeks. I was shocked at what a difference I felt. I WANTED to get up in the mornings. My days were longer and enjoyable and it was such a small indication that I had made the right choice and that I could do this. And it only got better from there. It's only been 10 days of no Cipralex and I think I'm experiencing some final withdrawal - I'm having extreme moments of frustration and the inability to let go of things that bother me, which then inevitably result in some tears because on reflection I can see how ridiculous I'm being. My poor boyfriend. But I'm awake! And getting on with it! And it's great. The confidence alone, from taking the next step is a huge boost.

I think it will take me a while to find my balance. So I expect the frustration and the random outbursts of annoyance and tears will be here for a while. But they're not in my character, so I trust they will eventually fade. Fingers crossed. And if not, well then I'll have to find a way to deal with them. *sigh*

I haven't had any zaps that other people on the forum have described. Touch wood. There were some headaches and some sleeplessness. But nothing else that I've noticed.

All I can offer you is my experience and my deepest empathy for what you're feeling, because I was THERE. Instead of judging yourself, remember why you started the medication in the first place, give it the recognition and respect it deserves but also acknowledge and understand it's limitations.

When you break your leg, you put it in a cast. The cast serves a purpose, but you weren't born with it and wearing it for too long, especially once your leg's healed comes with it's own problems. Especially if you start believing you'll never be able to walk without it... Well that's what I think Smile
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replied June 2nd, 2013
I think I made every mistake I possibly could have regarding coming off Cipralex. I've been on Cipralex for at least 2 yrs now, and felt that I was stable enough to come off. I didn't discuss it with my doctor, because I really don't think he knows any more about the drug than I do (maybe I'm wrong here too?). I decided to go from 20mg to 10 mg, which I did, for a little over 2 weeks. I tried to cut the pill in half again (to make a 5 mg) but it was too difficult without a pill cutter, so I just stopped altogether. That was about 2 or 3 weeks ago (I don't actually know when I stopped). I thought that was that. Then I started having crazy, vivid dreams, became sooo irritable and had no frustration tolerance. I feel lightheaded, have heart palpatations, cry at the drop of a hat, feel like ripping heads off anyone who comes too close, have these zappy shocks (thankfully mild), headaches, you name it - the list of withdrawl effects describes me to a tee.
I felt such relief just now reading others' experiences because I thought I was losing my mind. I wish I had googled this BEFORE I stopped the damn drug. Now I'm not sure what to do, but may talk to the pharmacist where I work for advice on managing the withdrawl (i.e. do I suck it up for the next several weeks or do I take a reduced dose of the medication for a longer period of time) I have an appointment to see my GP and I will talk to him about this. What I was really afraid of was that the depression was back. Reading this has reassured me that that is not necessarily the case. I really want to experience life off antidepressants.
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replied November 6th, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I'm so glad you hear that you're doing so well and are ok off of the medication. Smile I hope it continues to improve!
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replied March 24th, 2013
I've been on Cipralex 20mg for a year, I would experience nausea, headaches and mood swings on any missed dose but a couple weeks ago was forgetting so often and feeling alright that I was stupid and figured maybe my body was able to handle going off it now. My withdrawal is getting intense.
I know I should probably still be on Cipralex, but will starting my regular dosage again make the symptoms even worse? Will that just confuse my body more? Or will I start to feel better? My doctor is eight hours away, so an appointment is kind of impossible at the moment.
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replied January 13th, 2014
Call your pharmacist for advice. They know more about drugs than your Dr. does.
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replied April 11th, 2013
DAY 1
I am just about to come off Cipralex. I have tried more that 3 times in the past! It is soo hard! But here I go. Today I am at 5 mg of cip. I have been taking 10 every day for 2 months. I am going to take 8 days of 5 mg of cip, then I am going to 2.5 for 14-20 days. then zero. I have noooooooo idea howwwww anyone could stop cold turkey without dying. omg. You people must have been through hell. I'm so sorry for that. This is my final try. Support me if you can pleaasee
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replied June 2nd, 2013
good luck to you and remember you are not alone
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replied June 5th, 2013
Sorry for stealing your thread ( And if this isn't how you do this - I'm new Smile ) but I was just wondering if anyone knows whether alcohol can increase withdrawal symptoms?

Been on 10mg cipralex for nearly three months and was having quite bad side effects as well as them not really helping me with my anxiety, and decided to quit. I know you're meant to step down gradually but due to circumstances where I was unable to take them for 2 days, I just decided to quit full stop. It's only been just under a week, but I am definately feeling the withdrawal symptoms. Electrical shock sensations,dizziness as well as increased depression.

Last night I went out for a few drinks, and all I remember was throwing up in the toilets for half an hour, but not being able to stand up to leave. I've never had an experience like that before, even with larger amounts of alcohol, and I always manage to stand on my own feet.
I managed to stagger myself into a taxi eventually, but even today I feel horrendous, and my anxiety and depression is a lot worse.

Could this be due to going cold turkey so quickly or should I suspect someone slipped something in my drink? Sad
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replied June 23rd, 2013
Hello, just wondering if the Wellbutrin was working for u? Was it for depressiion or anxiety?
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replied August 2nd, 2013
Quitting 5 mg Cipralex with Mindfulness practice + Exercize
Thk you to everyone posting (s.times long) accounts - very helpful.

On day 4 quitting 5 mg Cipralex for 5 months. Mainly feeling the dizziness when moving my head at times - was afraid I had screwed sthg up in my neck doing yoga before reading these posts.

On the more psychological withdrawal (i.e. anger - flipping out etc.) starting to feel these.

I just would like my own experience with a softer approach to mood management i.e. Mindfulness Meditation.

Tried that 3 years ago before resorting to meds for depression - it is call Mindfulness Cognitive Behaviour Therarpy (or MBCT).

I feel the mindfulness practice (3 years off and on) is really helping with the withdrawal symptoms (as well as it helps with the onset symptoms of emotional roller coaster).

Why? well simply because all the mindfulness practice does is teach oneself to observe one's thoughts or emotions - and simply get that millisecond of perspective to go "Oh yeah, I am going at it again. I am.... [fill the blank: upset - sad - angry - etc.]

Lots of online guided meditations (i.e. recordings) for whoever is interested - but also lots of "crap" out there (i.e. the Meta meditation or "feel good" types of visualizations - which is not what Mindfulness is really about.

Another "google" keyword could be one of the US Psychologist who brought the mindfulness more mainstream in a hospital setting (in Boston, MA): John Kabat Zinn . I even found at my local public library some of his CDs with guided meditations - you can load the MP3s on a smart phone or Ipod or other play and practice anytime any where.

Not to say this is a magic bullet - but it does help - basically to pick-up on the downward negative spiral - vicious circle of thoughts - and simply become aware of that spiralling of neg. thoughts (i.e. becoming mindful vs. on autopilot).

I also understand it as "rewiring" the neural connections in our brain i.e. the associations of ideas and emotions we may have (auto-pilot) by first identifying them and as soon one thought pattern gets in the foreground vs. auto-pilot background, it is a start to lessenning the strenght of that neural connection (like taking a footpath, every day meaning to grass can grow, like sleep walking on it - then one day one goes - hmmmm I am walking on this path. Then we simple wwalk awake on it vs. sleep walking (i.e. autopilot). Eventually we might be awake and look around and see the bushes tnext to that path, maybe a wide patch of grass on the side we never noticed. Eventually one might simply wonder and walk into the taller grasses and maybe start cutting a new path.)

Hopefully this imagery does not sound too "new agy" - it has helped me over the last 3 years to pick up on some of my thoughts patterns - now you'll argue (rightly) - I still went on Cipralex 5 months ago....

Indeed (I am self-employed - my biz. not moving forward as fast as I'd like - and I live in Canada so long winters which are making my mood condition worsen - while summertime it feels better - so I thought I'd try the Meds. see if my biz. + energy would get better - mood has been more stable in Cipra but energy not ideal - and just on 5 mg.

So talked to my doctor and expressed the desire to get off it. She said " A lot my patients want to get off it during summer." but you are on a baby dose so it is up to you she added.

Also - I had stopped exercizing (due to a shoulder repetitive strain partly due to bad computer ergnomics - and I am typing right now... Wink Sad !!) Shoulder feeling better and planning to exercize again. My Doctor replied: "If you can exercize more, this is a good anti-depressant."

So here is my little 10 cents worth of exploring within and outside the Meds. to stabilize my mood (mainly depression.) We in the middle of summer... Ask me again when november comes around again Smile

But thx for sharing experience with side effects of getting off Cipra.

I am going to go for massage or shiatsu - also more yoga and more cycling and swimming. At least now I know my dizziness not due to a neck issue - nerve or spinal problem Smile
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replied August 26th, 2013
I have been taking cipralex 10 mg for a year now , and i'm off for
Two weaks , i feel dizzy , nausea , diahrrea , anxious
I dont know for how ling these symptons will go on
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replied August 26th, 2013
Cipralex
I am experiencing all of the above symptoms. I am terrified of the depression returning. It was a very dark place to be. I put a call into my psychiatrist today, because I now am having crying spells along with the nausea, irritablity, trouble focusing at work, dizziness, tiredness, headaches, anxiety and those "electric shock" feelings. All these symptoms were present with my depression and this is soooooo scary. Can someone please tell me how long this last?
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