Anxiety becoming unbearable on Citalopram!

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I have been on Citalopram for five weeks now. First week I took 10mg with no major issues then I upped it to 20mgs the second week. I was having issues with sleep before I started this med and now I hardly sleep at all. The last few days I have been experiencing constant anxiety attacks, actually called an ambulance on one occasion as I thought I was having a heart attack. This morning I woke at 5am to a severe attack, finally settled after an hour or so only to wake again with another. My doctor is out of town for the week and the nurse practitioner was supposed to get back to me but never did. She also told me to stop taking the Citalopram but I'm worried how this will affect me as I've been reading your not supposed to go off it cold turkey? My doctor has not prescribed any other meds such as a sleep aid and he doesn't like to prescribe Xanax or other antianxiety meds as he feels they are addictive and dangerous. This drug makes me feel like I'm crawling out of my skin, almost like I'm manic at times, my heart races, I have pains down my left arm and feel flushed and sweaty then I feel like I'm going to pass out. This feeling comes and goes every few minutes and can last for quite a while. It hasn't lifted my depression and I'm still agitated and tired all the time. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do? Is it that dangerous to stop this med after the amount of time I've been on it? 

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  • Posted

    Do not go off cold turkey! It will not be a good thing. Wait for your doctor, maybe he can change your med. Sorry your having such a hard time, Hang in there sweetie. We're all praying for you

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  • Posted

    Hi.  This happened to me when I went from 20 to 30.  I called my doctor, and he said to go back to twenty.  My anxiety was so high at first, my doc gave me klonopin to help.  Too bad your doc won’t help you that way.  I hope you start feeling better.
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  • Posted

    Hello, i went through exactly what is happening to you earlier this year, when i started on cit, after my ptevious anti depressant stopped working. At week 5 my anxiety went through the roof on cit. I stayed like it for 5 weeks, as i have learnt to sort of cope with it, and i didnt get it across to my doctor, the degree of anxiety i had. I could go into detail if you wanted, but not sure it will help. When doctor realised, he dropped my dose from 40mg to 30mg for 2 weeks. It made anxiety slightly better. 2 weeks later, had a sort of meltdown, doctor took one look at me, and pescribed diazepam. Diazepam immediately got rid of anxiety completely, until it wore of, and then id take another. Benzos work extremely well at getting rid of anxiety immediately. They are not dangerous if taken as pescribed. They are addictive if taken over a long period. Its not a craving addiction its the need to get rid of your anxiety. You dont feel you want to take more than you need. I saw a pysc switched to venlafaxine, carried on with diazepam. 4 months later, i am what you can call revovered, and ive reduced diazepam from initial 10mg to current 3.75mg myself, with no issues whatsoever. Weaning off a benzo is not as hard as what you are going through. The idea is that when a new antidepressant is workimg, will take a while you start to reduce diazepam, as you dont need it as much as the new anti depressant takes over. I wouldnt have coped without it. Its a shame that doctors dont appreciate this idea more, as people dont need to suffer as much as they do. I would recommend you drop your dose to 10mg immediately, which should tide you over until you can see your doctor. You shouldnt stop cit immediately, as you will get withdrawal symptoms. If it gets unbearable, then insist on diazepam or another benzo, as they will work immediately. A bit long winded, but wanted you to know that i know what you are going through, and know what i am talking about. If you have amy questions, happy to reply.
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  • Posted

    Pamela,

    Nigel said it perfectly. I was there also. I would go to 10mg. Don’t go off cold turkey. I know it’s hard. Ask your Doctor for a benzo like Xanax low dose. 

    Will😎. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻😇😇😇

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  • Posted

    Don't stop.cold turkey, whatever you do. Just reduce to 10mg as has been suggested, and see how you go. And see your gp as soon as they are back.

    Also, I was prescribed beta blockers for anxiety, I too have a gp who doesn't want to give out benzos.

    Beta blockers don't work immediately, I find they take twenty mins or so to kick in, but they do work. I don't take them every day because they make me feel a bit weird, kind of spacey, and weak..... but I have taken one when my anxiety is through the roof. Your doc might be happier prescribing those. (although it shouldn't be about what your Doc is happy with, should be about what makes you feel better.)

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  • Posted

    Hi Pamela. Sounds like you are going through a horrible time.  I can relate my personnel experience.  I started on Citalopram for anxiety.  Started on. 10 mg for a week and then increased to 20 mg. Anxiett for me became unbearable, I wasn’t sleeping, wakening up every two hours. I was constantly on the move, had to walk a lot every day to try and deal with anxiety. My doc decided the med was not for me and I decided to quit. After 2 weeks I reduced back to 10 mg for a week and then 5mg for a week and then quit. Yes there was some withdrawal but I kept going and now two months down the line I would hope I am free of the drug. Lot of people give good advice here. In my case I felt I needed to clear my system and reset and go from there. After I quit my sleep was terrible but a week orb Ambien really helped in this regard.  Best of luck with what you decide to do but do talk to your doctor. 
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