5 weeks in and still struggling.....!!!

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice if possible. I've been taking Citalopram for the last 5 weeks (1 week on 10mg and 4 weeks on 20mg). I am taking them to help me deal / manage depression and anxiety.

I've persisted with them, taking it week by week. I've had some of the common, but more manageable side effects, such as difficulty sleeping. Unfortunately however, I've been feeling seriously 'disconnected' with daily life and would go as far as saying that they're acting like a mild sedative. I barely feel any positive or negative emotions toward anything. This has been the case since I started taking them.

I've been to see my GP on a number of occasions and he has almost dismissed this as being possible...

I'm in a bit of a difficult position as to whether to continue taking them, or to ditch them altogether. I had a similar experience with Sertaline earlier in the year and had to stop taking them after 4 weeks for the same reason.

Any advice or guidance people have would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Tom

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Doc took me off cit 3 wks ago saying it was no longer recommended for anxiety it tends to create more issues. Id say seitch if ur not happy ive heard good things aby cymbalta and mitrazapine
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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding. Were you having particular difficulties with the Citalopram or was it just on the basis of the doctor's recommendation?

      Regards

      Tom

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    • Posted

      I started taking the Citalopram 10 mg around the same time as the Xanax. My relationship had just ended, and I was feeling anxious & I guess to some degree depressed. Honestly I started to notice benefit from the Citalopram after three days. I asked my PCP if this was possible, and she said yes. I took it for approximately 1 yr, with no real side effects that I recall. After that year, I felt like I was doing better and didn't need to be on it anymore. I stopped cold turkey, which I don't recommend, as I had withdrawal symptoms. I was in a car accident last year & was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD/Panic Disorder and now depression. My Dr. wants me to start Citalopram again, but one of my new symptoms related to my PTSD , is medication phobia. Although I had no problem taking the med before, I have some trepidation about taking it now, due to the med phobia which is caused by the anxiety. However I'm tired of feeling funky, and truly want some normalcy back to my life. So I'm probably going to force myself to try it again, to see if I can get some relief of my symptoms.

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    • Posted

      I had a load of stress from april till now kept going to doc and he kept upping my cit but i couldnt stand the side effects and the agitation was making things worse then 4 weeks ago i broke down n had enough i said to doc dont tell me to up my cit and she said its no longer recommended for anxious patients i was like no sh*t sherlock ive been telling u this since april so they swapped me to sert already feel better than on the cit but i was always to wary to change
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  • Posted

    Hi Tom,

    I've been a Registered Nurse for 14 yrs, but I'm in no way giving you medical advise. I personally find that Physicians now days are all to quick to throw a medication at someone, but not quite so quick to listen to their patients when it comes to concerns about the effects of these meds. Now, I do believe that these meds can be of benefit, if it's the right med for you. I've become so frustrated with Physicians being so quick to dismiss a patients concerns. I was placed on Xanax for anxiety after the dissolution of a 20 yr relationship, and I recall asking my PCP at the time if I would become addicted to the Xanax. His response was and I quote, " I've never had a patient become addicted to Xanax"". Well 6 yrs later I'm still on this devil drug, and have become what amounts to an unwilling addict. I don't nor have I ever used this med recreationally, conversely I want nothing more than to get off of it. Sorry for the long response, but I also took Citalopram 10mg for 1 yr, and I noticed positive benefits after having been on it for 1 week. Long story short, Dr's don't know everything, we are all different, and accordingly all meds work differently on all people. If you feel like your PCP is not listening to you, or you're feeling dismissed, it might be time to find a new PCP. Maybe this isn't the right med for you, maybe it is. But a patient Dr relationship is just like any other relationship. You deserve to be heard and feel like your concerns are being addressed seriously. Get as much info as you possibly can, knowledge is power. I wish you the best, as I know how frustrating this can be. Hang in there.

    Jamey??

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  • Posted

    Hi Tom

    Everyone has different reactions and timescales for effects from the medications (that's certainly what I have found from reading posts on here).  The citalopram leaflet says the drug takes about 2 weeks to start working, other people say 4-6 weeks and I have had someone tell me 3 months!

    I started on 20mg citalopram nearly 7 weeks ago and got terrible side effects; it sent my anxiety through the roof (pacing the floor and having to take diazepam), nausea, no appitite amongst other things.  This started to calm down after a couple of weeks, but at 5 weeks I increased my dose to 30mgs.  For the last couple of weeks I've had the side effects again, not as bad as the start, but definitely there.  I would say that it's only the last couple of days that I've felt like the side effects are subsiding, it did feel a bit like going back to square 1.

    So for me and in my situation, I would say that I am nowhere near the drug fully working yet, though I am having some better spells now - this is frustrating when other people seem to get results a lot quicker.

    A lot of people experience tiredness when taking citalopram.  Do you take it morning or evening?

    As hard it is, my view is you need to give the drug time to get into your system (as I mentioned this can take a while for a lot of people).  That said, it may be that 20mg is just a bit too much for you, could you try lowering the dose for a while and see how it goes?  Unfortunately there isnt a quick fix, and my experience is for anxiety only, so cant discuss the depression side.  

    Go and talk to a different dr if you can, but dont just stop taking the tablets (you could have terrible withdrawl symptoms).

    Sorry my post is a long one, but I can only tell you what I am experiencing.

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  • Posted

    5 weeks is still early Tom.  It can take 3-4 months for a lot of people, and even longer for others.  A few feel some benefit after 5 weeks, but not many.

    You need a lot of patience of these meds, and changes can be so slight you hardly notice them.  Took me 6 months to completely recover from 15 years or so of anxiety / depression.  I'm stil well ..... and that's going on about 15 years now.

    K xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Katecogs, I have read a lot of your posts on here since I have been suffering with anxiety and taking 10mg Citalopram. I have been taking them now for about 9 months but am still getting off days when my anxiety is quite a problem. Is this normal, as I am reluctant to up the dose as I am a lady the wrong side of 60. I have recently been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency and been prescribed a supplement. I am hoping this might help. What do you think ? Lily xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Lily

      9 months is a good time to be on them - it might be that as 10mg is a lowish dose its taking a bit longer to be anxiety free?  Took me 6 months to recover on 20mg and after a few years reduced to 10mg as a maintenance dose ..... maybe it will take a little longer for you?  How often do you get off days?  They are normal when recovering and usually get less as time goes by.

      My son was on Fluoxeting for about 18 months and it took him 9 months to recover.  Everyone takes different amounts of time to heal.

      I take Vit D3 too.  Helps with acheing joints too :-(  I've read it can help with depression.

      K xx

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily,

      A low Vitamin-D level can definitely make you feel down in the dumps. Dr's usually check what's called a OH Vitamin D-25 level. If it is low, it can really give you the blues, lack of energy etc. Hope that Vit-D supplement in combination with everything else helps you to feel better. ??

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate. Thank you for replying so quickly. I seem to have my little blips when I feel physically unwell. I am quite anxiety free as long as I am feeling "fit" !! I think what you said about the low dose perhaps taking longer to do a complete job makes sense, and I must admit I am a lot better now than I was 6 or 7 months ago. Anxiety is no "walk in the park" is it ?? Take care. Lily xx

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    • Posted

      Physical illness, tiredness, stress etc can all cause us to have off days, so sounds like you're still recovering maybe?  When I'm overtired it affects me - I can feel it coming now and that means I have to take care of my sleep.

      Glad you're a lot better now than all those months ago.  Though it took me 6 months, I was surprised to find improved even more after than too.

      Anxiety is definite no walk in the park.  Worst illness I've ever had.

      Look after yourself Lily xx - I'm sure those off days will get fewer after even more time passes.

      K xxxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Jamey. Thank you for your reply. You are quite right about it giving the blues. I have to think positive now and believe the supplements will buck me up when they kick in. It really is a debilitating illness isn't it? I also think that unless you've suffered with it it is impossible to understand just how it feels. Take care, Lily xx

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