Common Death Denominator..Citalopram.

So…exactly how long does it take for an antidepressant to kick in? A year and a half maybe?

In December 2010 a 55 year old south Wales woman Heidimarie Danskin, hung herself in her own home. She had been prescribed Citalopram 40 mgs for the previous year and a half. Sorry for stating the obvious but Citalopram didn’t work very well did it? Link.

What about Amanda Rothan, a 34 year old mother of four who died after taking an overdose of prescription drugs. She had been prescribed Citalopram in the previous few months before her death. Link.

In 2008, South Cumbria coroner Ian Smith speaking at an inquest of Nigel Woodburn, who died after driving into a tree, 4 days after being prescribed Citalopram said …“I have to say this is probably the fifth, if not sixth inquest I’ve heard within a period of three years when somebody either just going on to Citalopram or Seroxat, or coming off it, have killed themselves one way or another, totally out of the blue, totally without expectation, without a history of suicidal thoughts in the past.”

Mr Smith said “I think what happened to Mr Woodburn was in part as a result of the drugs he was taking. There has been publicity about these drugs recently, particularly relating to younger adults, and it does seem to me it’s something that needs to be highlighted.”


7 thoughts on “Common Death Denominator..Citalopram.

  1. I’m sure you’ve come across this already Leonie:

    Doctors pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into human beings of whom they know nothing”. -Voltaire.

    The really sad thing is that this quote is 300 years old…

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  2. Sorry for stating the obvious but Citalopram didn’t work very well did it?

    When I told my psychologist that “they don’t work very well, do they?” (referring to SSRIs after I had attempted suicide), his response was the conventional one at the time, “they work better than anything else”. He’s had to back off on that claim since because all the recent independent studies of a meta-analysis of the clinical data shows that SSRIs are less effective than placebo (a sugar pill) and actually increase the risk of suicide and aggression.

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  3. Very disturbing, especially when you’re someone who spent as long on this drug as I have. Search YouTube and you’ll see videos of all kinds of people who have had issues with this double-edged sword of a drug. Actually, there’s a whole site about the withdrawal dangers of this drug alone, you can get to it by clicking on my name.

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    1. Hi Edward,
      Thanks for the information.
      This is what Dr. Madsen (Lundbeck Director/Doctor) has to say about withdrawal from Citalopram and Escitalopram. In his expert opinion, it takes a period of weeks….

      Leonie Do you have a tapering guide for Citalopram and Escitalopram? If yes, is this guidance issued to Doctors? Do you have a tapering guide?

      Dr. Madsen There is a, em, again in the em, em, in the labelling em, to the Doctors information not to abruptly terminate the treatment.

      Leonie Well, they all have that but that’s not a, them…..

      Dr. Madsen Which to a means that you need to instruct the patients with…

      Leonie For how long, a month, a year, 2 years, 10 years? Do you have any idea how long it takes to taper off Citalopram and Escitalopram?

      Dr. Madsen Em, I would do it over the period of em, weeks.

      Leonie Weeks?

      Dr. Madsen But em,

      Leonie Any, Do you have any idea how many weeks?

      Dr. Madsen I’m not going to give a specific…

      Leonie So not months or years, you don’t think in your opinion?

      Dr. Madsen No

      Leonie No?

      Dr. Madsen Correct

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      1. Hi, thanks for the reply! Very interesting stuff. Dr. Madsen may be correct for *some* people, but not all. I’ve been tapering off for maybe several months. Every time I think I’m low enough and try to get off of citalopram, I end up with rough symptoms and need to go back on it. Others I know have taken even longer, with withdrawals lasting months. Doctors seem simply unaware of how tough it actually is (in many cases, not all!) to come off this drug. My own doctor, for instance, said that this was one of the easiest drugs to come off of!

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    1. Omg horrible feeling…just too much…tried for 3 wks withdrawal symptoms are too much to deal with and getting crippling… going back on

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