Alcohol & Citilopram

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Hi,

I'm not sure where to go on this, but i'm hoping someone can guide me- or at least just listen & support.

My wife is on Citilopram for her anxiety. She's also a drinker and admits & realises she has an alcohol problem but so far doesn;t show any signs of helping herself which is just SO SO frustrating and upsetting.

Recently she's had a couple of episodes where she feels extremely down and out of control and mentions hearing voices that she says tell her to harm herself. I'm not sure if this is while she's actually drinking, or to do with the come-down/withdrawal from drinking but either way- it's not nice.

Thankfully she's not done anything but we're both terrified of the situation and I don't know what to do or where to go for help.

I'm going to try to speak to her GP this afternoon but i'm half expecting her to say she can't help while my wifes still drinking.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Martin, I am a retired therapist, who myself has struggled with depression in the past and has been on Citalapram for a number of years for my remaining anxiety issues.  I do hope your GP was understanding and supportive.  Your wife needs to find someone who can feel safe to talk to so as to begin her journey of recovery. I started my journey at 31yrs and although my symptoms reduced year by year due to my counselling, I did not close the door completely on suicidal thoughts until 4yrs ago.  I wish you strength and good wishes for the time ahead. Take care Gail x
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  • Posted

    Alcohol causes anxiety and depression so it is likely that the Citalopram isn't able to do its job properly, Martin. I'm sure your GP will say the same.

    You should look into getting her some treatment for the alcohol issue because taking that out of the equation may very well relieve her anxiety and depression. She won't be able to just stop drinking so don't suggest that to her because she probably relies on the alcohol for short-term relief.

    You didn't mention how much she is drinking, so it's difficult to suggest the best treatment option.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul. I have been looking through the weekly disscusions. Two medications caught my attention. Baclofene and Cholordiazapoxide. Could you please enlighten me as to how they work and how do they compare with Nalmefene?? Many Thanks Sue
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    • Posted

      Baclofen is a muscle relaxant. There are some that believe it helps to prevent cravings and you will find some stuff online, particularly one account by a doctor who has an alcohol problem and found it helpful. It is not traditionally recognised as a drug used for the treatment of alcohol problems.

      Chlordiazepoxide (also known as Librium) is from the group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It is used to eliminate alcohol withdrawal symptoms to allow a person to stop drinking immediately and safely. This is called alcohol detox. It is only used for a few days due to it's addictiveness and therefore doesn't help a person REMAIN abstinent after the detox is complete.

      Nalmefene blocks the opioid receptors which are stimulated by drinking, moreso in people with alcohol addiction. By blocking these, the additional reward alcohol dependent people get is eliminated and, if taken before having a drink (every time) the receptors can be conditioned not to expect that reward and this leads to a process called 'pharmacological extinction' (unlearning of the addiction) over 2-3 months. A person using this method (The Sinclair Method) would need to always take a Nalmefene pill befpre drinking or they could very easily relearn their addiction.

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  • Posted

    Hi Martin i am a woman of 51 and on antidepressants! I haven't had a drink now for nearly 5 years! Antidepressants mixed with alcohol will get you drunk much quicker! I drank on mine for years, and would get drunk much quicker and very much enjoyed that feeling! As someone else here mentioned alcohol may stop antidepressants doing there job!

     I would drink a bottle of white wine every night to mask feelings! When my husband and daughter became very worried, and after believing for a long time there was nothing wrong with me i joined AA!

     5 years on i no longer attend meetings, but i found it really helped me to give up completely! I think a lot of people don't like the thought of giving up completely, but i feel you need to as one drink will set off the cravings again!

     I hope your wife will soon realise she is drinking too much, and hopefully can give up for a while to see how she feels! Because alcohol is a depressant!

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  • Posted

    Hi Martin i am a woman of 51 and on antidepressants! I haven't had a drink now for nearly 5 years! Antidepressants mixed with alcohol will get you drunk much quicker! I drank on mine for years, and would get drunk much quicker and very much enjoyed that feeling! As someone else here mentioned alcohol may stop antidepressants doing there job!

     I would drink a bottle of white wine every night to mask feelings! When my husband and daughter became very worried, and after believing for a long time there was nothing wrong with me i joined AA!

     5 years on i no longer attend meetings, but i found it really helped me to give up completely! I think a lot of people don't like the thought of giving up completely, but i feel you need to as one drink will set off the cravings again!

     I hope your wife will soon realise she is drinking too much, and hopefully can give up for a while to see how she feels! Because alcohol is a depressant!

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  • Posted

    Your GP can help , but you must ask for help as soon as possible . It could be the drinking but that doesn't matter what it is . Don't wait x 

     

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