Antidepressants and migraines/side effects

Posted , 4 users are following.

I've been on antidepressants on and off since I was 18, I'm now 30, and have been on Citalopram 20mg for six years, last year it was increased to 30mg, then shortly after I started gettin really bad migraines on a monthly basis.

The dose was lowered back to 20mg at the beginning of this year, and I hadn't had a migraine since until a couple of weeks ago when I had two in one week. Also, I had noticed that in the previous few months my mood had been very low and I had been getting anxious.

i went back to see my doctor last week and I've come off Citalopram, and he's started me on 150mg Trazodone once a day at night, and then 10mg Propranalol three times a day. 

I cannot cope with this Trazodone, but I've only been on it a week and I'm worried I will be told it's not long enough - I've had a constant headache, dizziness, nausea, unable to concentrate, light and noise hurts, I just feel like crying I feel so rubbish physically. 

I'm going to go back to the doctors, but it takes ages to get an appointment, so in the meantime I was thinking of stopping the Trazodone (I can't take another day feeling like this), go back on 20mg Citalopram and continue with the Propranalol to help with the anxiety (and my doctor said it also helps prevent migraines). 

Has as anyone had any experience with Trazodone? Has anyone suffered from migraines on Citalopram? I was considering asking going on Fluoxetine instead, but it's also am SSRI so I'm worried it will also cause migraines. 

If if anyone has any experience of advice I would really appreciate it. 

Thank you. 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    SSRI antidepressants affect serotonin levels in the brain and are sometimes prescribed to prevent migraines, likewise they can sometimes cause them.

    I don't generally get migraines but got optical migraines (flashing lights in my right eye) when reducing the dose of citalopram below 10mg.

    Trazodone is one of the tetracyclic antidepressants which are supposed to be helpful to prevent migraines. Many years ago I took a similar drug (dothepin) for anxiety and depression, I don't remember much about it, but it gave me a dry mouth and made me feel tired.

    It sounds like your GP stopped citalopram quite quickly, it is likely that it is the withdrawal effects from them which could be the cause of your symptoms.

    It is complicated switching from one drug to another as you have both the withdrawal effects from the old drug and side effects from the new drug.

    With any drug it will take a few weeks for things to stabilise, and unfortunately any changes could give you migraines as you are susceptible to them.

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  • Posted

    Trazadone gave me terrible headaches. I hope you find relief
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    • Posted


      I completely understand.

      I've been on trazadone 50mg for depression and insomnia . I've been having the worse headaches ever for the past 2 weeks with hangover feeling every morning.

      I'm getting to the point where I just can't cope with the pain anymore as nothing is stopping it.

      I'm starting to think my insomnia and anxiety is better than constant headaches . I've been prescribed it 150mg a day but I just can't see how I can take this dose let alone the 50mg.

      I'm thinking of just stopping the medication . I'm fed up of my constant battle with drug induced side effects in a bid to live a normal life .

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  • Posted

    I am on escitolpram. Does anyone have any experience of this. I think it has stopped anxiety but generally makes me apathetic about most things!
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  • Posted

    How are you feeling ? I've been on trazadone 2 weeks and the headaches are absolutely terrible. I've decided to stop them as i just can't cope with the pain .
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  • Posted

    Hi I was on 2o mg  of Citalapram for  several years all of a sudden i got the most unbearable headaches in January 2016 - My doctor told me to come off them straight away after being on anti depressents for about 17 years - Not a good idea struggled for 90 day but no headaches -just terrible upset /Angry withdrawal of coming off the tablets to quickly  before going to hosptial - I was told the citalapram would not casue the headaches i was put on a lower does of 10 mg -4 days after my headaches started coming back .. The i tried Duloxotine for 8 weeks the same thing happened -Came off for 32 days no headache just crying /anxiety/angry - Tried mirtazapine for 1 day could not move from my bed  for 2 days -So came off that, agreed to try Duloxotine again within 5 days headaches -Now i am on escitalopram 8 days in and having headaches all the time -having to take codine to get rid of it - Do not feel myself when i am on the tablets -but cannot control my feeling when i do not take anything - but at least i do not have the headches - Not sure what to do - Weird as before January i never had a problem with the medication -You have to what so long for an appointment at the doctors or hospital ...
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