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Celexa Tapering Help

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Written by Lyle Murphy Published Dec 15, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Alternative to Meds Center has helped many clients with Celexa tapering, safe weaning, and titration inpatient help. Our science-based alternative medicine protocols have provided great relief for those struggling to find a facility that can correctly administer antidepressant tapering.

Protocols are selected and tailored to your specific situation. We know that a lifetime of being medicated is not warranted in a vast number of cases.

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Alternative to Meds has been a premier facility in antidepressant alternatives for well over 15 years. We attribute our published evidence of 77% and higher success rates for antidepressant discontinuation using a blend of orthomolecular, environmental, and holistic medical principles and treatments. Each person’s program is individually designed after their testing and assessments have been done. In these ways, we target the underlying problems effectively. Our clients overwhelmingly report fewer symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life after they come off medication compared to when they were on medication.
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Is Celexa Addictive?

According to the American Psychological Association, too many antidepressants are being prescribed.1 Antidepressants are notorious for how difficult it is to get off them, once started, with Celexa addiction complications affecting about 20% of users.7 That has left a significant number of users scrambling for help with Celexa tapering. As of 2017, the American Psychological Association and the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that nearly 13% of the entire population were taking antidepressant medications.2 Nearly 20% of people over 60 years of age were taking antidepressants in 2017.2 Likely these numbers have continued to rise as they have done for each of the last 10 years.

Celexa Discontinuation Syndrome

Drugmakers downplay the addictive properties of Celexa and other antidepressants. After years of being confronted with “withdrawal reaction” evidence, have instead opted to use the softer term “discontinuation syndrome.”7 Prescribers are mandated to disclose these withdrawal reactions as part of informed consent.8 But rarely do our patients report that they recall hearing about discontinuation syndrome at the time of prescribing. Many of our patients report that if it were explained to them the addictive mechanisms of antidepressant drugs, or what might be expected when stopping Celexa, they would have rejected the medication. Unfortunately, the medical profession has little to no expertise for people who decide to come off of these drugs — “no scientifically backed guidelines, no means to determine who’s at highest risk, no way to tailor appropriate strategies to individuals.”9 It is also a measure of our experience at Alternative to Meds Center that most of our patient’s former providers have little in the way of practical guidance regarding Celexa tapering methods or what to expect during Celexa cessation. In fact, many of our referrals come from these prescribers who at times feel blindsided by their patient’s withdrawal symptoms or what to do to help them.

Planning Celexa Titration

Patients are typically advised that Celexa will raise the patient’s serotonin levels, and that will fix their depressed state. They are often told of a chemical imbalance as being the cause of their depression. And while there may be some connection between brain chemical imbalances and mood disturbances, researchers are lacking evidence to support it. There actually is no direct evidence to support this claim.10 They might also be told that what they are experiencing while getting off Celexa may be a “relapse” of their depression or other “mental illness” when in all actuality the discontinuation effect may be a completely different mechanism.11 Typically, there is a point of differentiation to distinguish Celexa discontinuation syndrome from a depressive relapse. Discontinuation effects will usually occur within days to a week of reducing or stopping the medication and they tend to lessen or resolve over the next 3 or so weeks. A depressive symptomatic relapse tends to occur more slowly and can get increasingly worse over time.11 If your doctor is not differentiating the two, it may help if you bring up the concept of Celexa discontinuation syndrome. If they are not able to give you guidance distinguishing the differences, it would be wise to get a second opinion.

Celexa Drug Trials and Marketing

  1. The majority of drug trials that show there are benefits of taking antidepressant drugs were funded by the drugmakers.3,4
  2. The majority of these studies were never publicly released. This is sometimes called “cherry-picking” in drug trials.12
  3. The drug trials used to back up claims of how effective these drugs are were all done over an astonishingly short 8-week period.6
  4. The FDA issued suicide watch warnings after antidepressant drug trials showed a doubling of suicide risk over that of a placebo, particularly among young people.6
  5. When a person decides on a Celexa taper, withdrawal may result in symptoms and intensity in symptoms never before experienced by the patient.13
  6. The cause of depression as a “chemical imbalance” long held by big pharma, and still, the basis of its feverish sales pitch has never been proven.14 The source of this theory remains obscure, and despite decades of touting it as trustworthy, and bonafide as a basis for drug treatment, currently, there is a strong trend in psychiatry, in general, to discard it, and let the unsubstantiated theory of mental illness equals chemical imbalance subside.3
  7. Similarly, antidepressants sold as a method of correcting such a chemical imbalance never did and never could correct a deficit in natural hormones or natural neurotransmitters.14 It is conceivable that these drugs may cause extant natural stores of neurochemicals to be burned up at an accelerated rate, for a short time causing a temporary rise in mood. Cocaine produces a lift in mood, accelerating dopamine expression by blocking the dopamine transport mechanism.15 Ultimately though, this drug-induced acceleration has a limit, and the user will experience a lesser effect over time. No antidepressant creates more Serotonin, only the naturally occurring substance tryptophan does.16 Celexa is also unlikely to regulate serotonin at the exact measurements required. These neurochemical balancings are unique to each person. and to each moment actually. Over the long-term, antidepressants may be draining stored neurochemicals, which then could disrupt and alter the CNS and brain chemistry drastically. Although, since the chemical imbalance theory lacks substantiation, it would similarly be difficult to prove that the medications are depleting them since there is not a reliable way to test for brain chemicals.14
  8. The British Journal of Medicine notes that the psychiatric manual for diagnosis and treatment, currently DSM-V was put together by a panel of members, the vast majority of whom are financially tied to the pharmaceutical industry.4

Reasons to Opt for Getting Off Celexa

A typical experience of antidepressant users is that either the drugs didn’t work at all, or that they caused unsustainable discomfort and intolerable symptoms, also called side effects.18 Some of the more common side effects of Celexa include:

  • Worsened depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Increased anxiety, nervousness, agitation, etc.
  • Emotional outbursts, crying spells, rage, etc.

These adverse reactions and the lack of results from the drugs may lead to wanting to withdraw from Celexa. There are also other concerns that may lead one to consider antidepressant tapering. Treatment for Celexa withdrawal is available at Alternative to Meds Center.

 

Celexa Tapering Guidelines

Be under the care of a prescribing physician helping you with this process, and to approve your taper plan. Inform your friends and family that you are undergoing a delicate process so that they can support you. You may have to cut the tablets to get lower dosing. Cutting a 10 mg in half would give you two 5mg dosings. Using a pill cutter from the pharmacy will make this process much easier and more accurate.

Celexa Tapering Guidelines Include:
  • Slowly tapering is generally the best strategy unless there is an urgent medical necessity6
  • Get the lowest dose 10 mg pill prescribed to use for the taper
  • The first Celexa taper may be between 10-25% reduction depending on your sensitivities
  • Symptoms of withdrawal will appear close to the drug half-life in this case Half-life is 24 to 48 hours (average: 35 hours)19
  • Further cuts may be in the 10-25% reduction range depending on individual tolerances. Some people have to go much slower than this and if you are one of these people, then please respect your process and do what is well within your tolerance.
  • There should be a period of rest between tapers where you can get back to baseline functioning
  • Each tapering step may be 1-2 weeks (or more based upon the above bullet points)
  • The last reductions may be the more difficult steps and you may want to consider going slower on the last steps

The onset of Celexa withdrawal and its duration will be different for each person. The onset of withdrawal will likely be felt by around 35 hours and will last anywhere from days to weeks.19 Some people even experience withdrawal for much longer than weeks. Those people who experience a protracted withdrawal would be well advised to come into treatment at the Alternative to Meds Center or go under the care of a naturopathic physician (in addition to the medication prescriber) to discover if they are and underlying physiological or nutritive deficits contributing to the withdrawal complications.

Planned Pregnancy and Weaning Celexa

If a woman is taking an antidepressant such as Celexa and is planning on becoming pregnant, she may want to get off Celexa and consider Celexa alternatives well before the time of conception. While many “authorities” in proximity to (and likely financially supported by) the drug industry may say that taking drugs during pregnancy is considered relatively safe, there are statistics that show a connection between antidepressants and a doubling or even tripling of frequency in birth defects in the baby, as well as postpartum hemorrhage or other complications in the mother.5 In general, studies document that Celexa is linked to adverse effects relating to the coagulation of the blood, which would remain a concern if planning a pregnancy or for many other health reasons.6

A cursory search on the topic of SSRIs and birth defects will produce much information, some of which may be confusing and contradictory. One would be well advised to search carefully through all possible unbiased literature for oneself, to make a decision regarding getting off Celexa, or other prescription medications prior to pregnancy. A properly done Celexa tapering prior to pregnancy may be considerably less risky than attempting withdrawal from Celexa during pregnancy. Before trying to quit Celexa, seek competent medical advice from a trusted and knowledgeable prescriber.

SPECIAL WARNING RE:  Trying to Quit Celexa

Please be aware that the FDA advises against abrupt or sudden Celexa tapering methods.6 If you are considering trying to quit Celexa or any SSRI drug, this should only be attempted with proper preparation, education, guidance, and medical oversight in place.

Celexa Tapering Help

Please contact us at Alternative to Meds Center for information that you may be searching for regarding how to get off Celexa safely and gradually. Clearly, the more information one can acquire regarding how to get off Celexa or other drugs in a gentle and safe manner, the better one will be equipped for a successful outcome.

Alternative to Meds Center makes its prime focus tapering medications safely and under medical oversight, with a full roster of fully licensed practitioners and clinicians who are well versed in helping our clients overcome barriers such as physical or mental discomfort during medication tapering programs We are the leading authority on safe Celexa tapering help, delivered in an exceptionally comfortable and luxurious in-patient setting.


1. Smith, Brenden, “Inappropriate prescribing.” American Psychological Association [Internet] 2012 Jun [cited July 30, 2020]

2. Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2011–2014 NCH (National Health Data Statistics) data brief #283, 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 9]

3. Don’t Say that Depression is Caused by a Chemical Imbalance Psychology Today [2018 Aug] [cited 2019 Sep 9]

4. A Comparison of DSM IV and DSM 5 Panel Members’ Financial Association with Industry: A Pernicious Problem Persists, BJM 2012 Mar [cited 2019 Sep 9]

5. Key Findings: A Closer Look at the Link Between SSRI’s and Birth Defects, article, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reviewed 2018 Mar [cited 2019 Sep 9]

6. FDA drug label [cited 2020 Jul 12]

7. Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome, Am Fam Physician. 2006 Aug 1;74(3):449-456. [cited 2020 Dec 12]

8. Informed Consent AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: I, II, V, VIII [cited 2020 Dec 12]

9. Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit The New York Times Health Section by Benedict Carey and

10. Everything You Need to Know About Chemical Imbalances in the Brain Medical News Today by Jamie Eske on September 26, 2019 [cited 2020 Dec 12]

11. Antidepressant Discontinuation Reactions . 1998 Apr 11; 316(7138): 1105–1106. [cited 2020 Dec 15]

12. Half of US clinical trials go unpublished Nature International Weekly Journal of Science by Nicola Jones 03 December 2013 [cited 2020 Dec 17]

13. Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome Springer Link 11 November 2012 by Michel Lejoyeux, Jean Adès, Sabelle Mourad, Jacquelyn Solomon & Steven Dilsaver [cited 2020, December 17]

14. Chemical Imbalance in the Brain: What You Should Know Healthline by Jacquelyn Cafasso — Updated on December 4, 2019 [Cited 2020, Dec 17]

15. How does cocaine produce its effects?. NIDA. 2020, June 11. [cited 2020, December 17]

16. Serotonin: What You Need to Know Healthline Written by Annamarya Scaccia — Updated on August 19, 2020 [cited 2020, December 17]

17. Why Antidepressants Don’t Always Work Hey Sigmund by Karen Young [cited 2020, December 17]

18. The drugs don’t work? antidepressants and the current and future pharmacological management of depression Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012 Oct; 2(5): 179–188. Elizabeth Penncor responding author and Derek K. Tracy [cited 2020, December 17]

19. Citalopram NCBI Nazila Sharbaf Shoar; Kamron Fariba; Ranjit K. Padhy. Last Update: October 6, 2020 [cited 2020, December 17]



This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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