Advice please!! 9 weeks on citalopram

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I've been taking Citalopram for 9 weeks now and I'm still not seeing any improvement. If anything I feel like I'm getting worse. I just don't feel like I'm getting anywhere with It at all. I upped my dose about 4 days ago to 30mg. Starting to think that this isn't the right medication. If it is too early to see how long do you think I should give it until I start to think about trying a different medication?

Im just so sick of being so miserable and anxious all the time. Would really appreciate any advice. X

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  • Posted

    Hi...9 weeks is still pretty early days for some people. Have u seen any improvement at all? If only slightly? Say the odd better few hours? As you've upped your dose the new dose is going to take time once again to adjust in your system x

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    • Posted

      I guess there has been times better than others.but I'm just going so down hill and really struggling with it. So do you think upping the dose was the wrong thing to do? I spoke to the doctor and they said to try upping the dose?? X

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  • Posted

    Agree with Claire .... 9 weeks is quite early still.  You need to stick with one dose, head down and just keep going.  When you think you can't go any more ..... then kick in and keep on.  Increasing won't make it happen any quicker and if anything you'll get side effects and will need to give this new dose more time still to now settle.

    It can be 3-4 months before you start seeing anything - could be sooner.  It usually starts very, very slightly so you hardly notice it.

    A lot of people don't give these meds enough time.  Count recovery in months, not weeks.  If a doctor says 4 weeks, take that as 4 months.  Its worth the wait though.

    K x

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    • Posted

      Okay so would you say to give them another few weeks? the doctors said I should be feeling some sort of benefit by now, but I feel like I just keep getting worse X
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    • Posted

      Everyone is different so how can the doctor say you should be feeling something by now.  Not really ..... some people may do, but the majority of people take much longer.  You might be feeling at your worst right now, but next week might be completely different.

      Are you aware you'll get blips along the way ... no matter what dose you're on.  You may start to feel slightly at ease and next day you could feel at rock bottom.  Thats normal during recovery.  That will be a blip, and these will occur repeatedly as you get better.  Some hours or days will feel like you're getting somewhere and will be followed by some bad days or weeks.  Reacting towards this with more anxiety just prolongs it.  Understand it will happen, relax towards the anxiety as best you can and just keep going.  It will pass.

      It gets easier as time goes by and the blips get less intense.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      Just been to the doctors again today and they said to up my dose again to 40mg. I have been really struggling lately,to be honest ever since starting on citalopram. I'd say I've had the odd okay day but other than that really been struggling.

      Yes I get that blips are expected. But I don't think I've ever got out of this to have a blip if that makes sense ?

      This morning I felt okay, still woke up with the sames dread feeling but then it eased a little! Hasn't done that in a while. But now it's coming back.

      Just wondering whether you think just upping to 40 is the right thing to do? I upped to 30 last week and the doctor did say it's too soon to see whether that dose will help. But as I'm struggling to just go straight to 40.

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    • Posted

      A bigger dose doesn't mean you'll get better any quicker than if you were on a lower dose.  If you've been struggling on 20mg, then going up to 40mg is double the dose.  It might be the dose for you, but you haven't been on 30 long enough either so you won't know if that is suitable yet.

      Each dose increase will give you side effects, so you need to let one dose settle in for many, many weeks before you can tell or increase.  If the doctor said its too soon to tell if 30mg will help, why is he increasing again?

      So I don't know if 40mg will be ok for you.

      So many people don't understand that these meds take a looooooong, long time to work and whilst waiting you'll see no results.  That's what foxes people - they think they're not working and start increasing instead of playing the waiting game.

      You said the morning felt ok, felt a bit of the dread and then it eased.  This is how recovery starts.  Little, teensy things like that begin happening - things so small you don't think they're significant.  But that is how it starts.  Yes the symptoms will come back too - that's normal.  As you recover, these little things slowly start happening which will be mixed with days or weeks with low spells again.

      It took me until around 3-4 months before I started noticing little things happening and recovered by 6 months.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Well I took the 40mg last night. To be honest I don't really get side affects when I upp the dose? Only time I have suffered from side affects was when I first started taking them. But even then I Think a lot of that was me just getting worked up about taking them.

      Yes, that's exactly what I thought. I've only just gone up to 30 , so how will I know if that is the right dose or not. But she said it's recommended to go up in 20mg? So as I'm struggling she's thinks I should just try going straight to 40mg.

      What happens if the dose I'm taking does end up being to much? How would I know?

      I guess me having okay moments is a good sign then! Just need to keep going with it. X

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    • Posted

      Yes you'll know if the meds are st the right dose because you'll start having good moments. If you're on 40mg and you struggle with side effects for a long time then lowering can often be the answer.

      I've never heard of increasing by 20mg is recommended. Many people up by 10mg.

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    • Posted

      Hi just wondering if you can help me I was on 10 mg for 3 weeks and have been on 10mg for a week now still a bit shaky does it take a while once you up the dose thanks.just a bit shaky but nothing much else.thanks
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    • Posted

      Hi Louise

      When you start meds you'll get side effects which can last a few weeks, and one of them can be the shakes (everyone's different).  Increasing your meds will give you side effects again, sometimes not as bad - depends how much you increase by.  Its just your body adjusting.

      I imagine the increase will last a few weeks maybe, but it does wear off.  I remember having an inner shake when I first started, almost if I was shivering.

      K x

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    • Posted

      We'll think I've spoken to soon.. I don't feel right at all. Feel so out of it. Feel like I have even less control than usual,if that makes sense? finding it hard to think/function. Just feel worse in general. Are these side effects?

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    • Posted

      Yes they are side effects, and some people find 40mg isn't for them.  I suspect though its the start up effects which again need riding out.  Don't forget that whatever dose you're on you'll still get the up / down moods (blips).  This will pass though.  Remember its always 3 steps forward / 2 steps back.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      I'm feeling so out of it. Like I'm finding it hard to think? Like I'm constantly zoned out. The anxiety and depression haven't been as bad today but I'm just so so out of it! Is this a side effect?

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    • Posted

      You increased your dose recently didn't you? Did you feel zoned out before you increased? I'd say it's the increase and each time you do go up you will get side effects again. Having slightly less anxiety and depression today could be a sign that things are beginning to work as that's often how things begin - things start easing real slow.

      I'd give it more weeks on the 30mg and if you still feel zoned out then maybe the dose is a little high for you?

      K x

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    • Posted

      Yes I increased to 40mg. I just feel like I'm not thinking clearly at all. I don't know if that's the tablets or depression/anxiety.

      So you think to keep going with the 40mg for longer? X

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    • Posted

      Probably a combination of both ...... though It might be more the meds - 40mg is the maximum dose and a lot of people do struggle on that dose.  Everyone is unique and suit different doses, but you do need to give each dose lots of time (and that's months, not weeks) before you can decide if it'll suit you.  A bigger dose doesn't mean you'll get better any quicker and it won't stop the side effects or make the ride any easier - you'll get exactly the same effects whatever dose you take.

      A lot of people make the mistake of thinking an increase will take away the feelings they have right now ..... but it doesn't.  If anything it makes it worse to start with, before eventually settling ..... and then you still have to wait.

      These meds take a long, long time to work for most people and during that time of waiting it can be very uncomfortable.  Understanding what's happening to your body, accepting and relaxing towards the feelings will help whilst you wait.

      Many people end up chasing recovery - they start meds, get side effects, increase to relieve this, get more side effects, increase some more etc etc. reach the maximum dose and struggle, decrease and get withdrawal, change meds and start the whole process over again with their body not knowing if its coming or going ....... then often come off completely, thinking the meds didn't work for them.

      The meds take months not weeks to work - took me 6 months.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Okay, thank you for your reply xx

      Starting to feel much better, think things are slowly starting to look up! Got a long way to go but this is the best I've felt in a very long time! First time I've actually felt some proper improvement!

      Still expecting blips like you say but just so relived it finally feels like I'm starting to get somewhere. X

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    • Posted

      That's good its starting to happen for you.  Yes, it'll come and go (blips) but keep going and it'll all smooth out eventually.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Totally agree with katecogs

      And I wonder if your gp really understands the treatment

      You become a bit of an expert on this especially when you gave sorted yourself out and it's working! But whilst your doing it it's awful and does get a lot worse so you think you have had enough. But it does take time

      But everyone's differant

      I got a shock when it took me to 6 weeks before I felt better this time round and as I reflect on that, that was just the start of feeling better. Each day I am stronger am now at 13 weeks

      In 2013 I started feeling better in 3 weeks. Weird

      Am not sure where your upto now but I think you should have stuck it out at 20mg a bit longer

      Increasing doses doesn't necessarily work and you often go through the side effects as your body / brain copes with the changes

      Whatever you do tho DO NOT just cut back in one go. You will be very ill

      You have to reduce VERY slowly

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    • Posted

      Wow thank you for posting this. Im few couple weeks on 10 mg going move up to 20 to be at theraputic dose. This gives me hope. The morning dread has lifted tiny bit. I get more anxious an brain foggy at nite.i had that constant all day til i started these. My insommnia is better. I eas taking at nite but mornings better for me. I was only getting 4 hours sleep prior to the cirt. My mind has been in very bad place an the intrusive dark thoughts are getting less. Having no apetite hope that lifts i actually would like gain frw lbs.im sticking with it an praying cime out on other side of this.
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    • Posted

      20mg is a good dose - you might get some side effects again though for a while, but they'll wear off.  I took mine in the morning too, though some people prefer to take it at night.  

      Yes things do slowly get better.  It does take time but worth the wait.

      K x

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    • Posted

      You will!!🤗

      I am never quite sure why thy start people on 10mg...and don't just go in at 20 mg to avoid possible feeling rubbish again as you increase.

      That morning dread is awful.i look forward to my mornings now

      The first time I was on Cit I took them at night so I did that again in January...but the insomisa I had with the anxiety coupled with the side effect meant I wasn't sleeping either and it was worse . I swopped to mornings after two weeks. Things got better sleepwise but it may have been coincidental. Am afraid to revert to pm in case the insomnia comes back...there's nothing worse is there! 😏

      Yes..it does take time but stick with it.

      People like me posting we're my life saver in both the early days of treatment 

      😎

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    • Posted

      So good to hear you are feeling better.

      I thought the same, I thought that going straight to 40mg wasn't the best thing to do, as I haven't been on 30mg long enough. However since going up to 40, I have seen much more improvement than I had seen on other doses.

      I'm still no where near 100% but I'm defiantly starting to get there now. Slowly starting to notice little things. These Past couple of days I've been feeling as though I'm going down hill again, but reading through these posts has made me realise that this is normal and these things will happen! Just got to keep going and get on with it.

      I am almost 13 weeks in taking Citalopram, and only just seeing some kind of improvement. Still got a long way to go but hoping this is the start of me getting better!

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    • Posted

      Well if 40 mg seems to be working for you that's great...just stay there and weather the changes and wait for all the lights to come on🤗

      Yes there are ups and downs along the way...I still find at 20 mg that I can have irritation times but I just take a deep breath relax and listen to my meditation tapes 

      well done 👏

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    • Posted

      Hi Kate,

      Been on cit for over 12 weeks now. A couple of weeks ago was the first time I've ever felt some improvement, still wasn't great but felt like I was slowly getting somewhere. For the first time whilst taking citalopram.

      Now I'm going bad again. Starting to feel awful and have been for a few days. Would you say this is just a blip? I'm just starting to worry because I have been on them for over 12 weeks and the only improvement I have felt was a couple of weeks ago.

      I upped my dose to 40mg about 3 weeks ago so would you say I need to wait longer to see if that dose will help? Because I'm starting think this isn't the right medication?? X

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    • Posted

      Well, it took me 6 months to recover and felt the beginnings around 3-4 months, so I'd say 12 weeks is still early.  Throughout my 6 months I had blips all the way through and beyond, which eased over that time ..... so yes, having a blip at 12 weeks is normal.

      Lots of people do make the mistake of not waiting long enough and end up hopping from one meds to another, making themselves worse from having to cope with start up side effects and withdrawl.  40mg is also the max dose and doesn't suit everyone - some people finding their side effects don't go away on this dose - but you need to give the dose much longer than 3 weeks.

      So yes, expect the blips to still come and treat each one as just part of recovery.  Just let them come and go without trying to analyse them too much (hard I know), and you'll find the improvement will return.

      You're doing well ..... just keep going and you'll find yourself in calmer waters again soon.

      K x

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