Anxiety/panic attacks citalopram to sertraline

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Hello there,

I'm 35 and have suffered from severe anxiety/panic attacks for nearly 20 years. I have been on citalopram for 14 years. My attacks have never disappeared but when it was really bad it took the edge of it. However, in the last year it has really been up and down which made me think that it's no longer working for me or not properly anyway. I went to see my gp on Friday who said try sertraline. Absolutely terrified of the change as in the last few months I felt ok but kind of emotionally numb. I don't get excited about things.. I can cope with things but I just feel flat and I just had enough of my partner saying you never seen happy. All I reply is "I'm fine, sorry if I don't jump up and down". I feel awfully guilty as he is right. Anyway, I have taken my last citalopram 25mg last night and have taken my first sertraline 50mg tonight. I'm not going to lie I'm terrified that I might get extremely anxious and awful and full of side effects. My thought I had to ween off cit first but he said no you can go straight on sertraline! And I was like "are you sure? After 14years of taking the same med? Yes sure... " I know he is a doctor but I'm still terrified!!! My partner took the sertraline box for me not to read the side effects as he said that otherwise I'll read every single one of them and that it would stress me out even more. He is not wrong! wink has anyone had to pass from one to another like this after many years? I would be so grateful to hear your experience. Many thanks x

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I been with anxiety for one year already. I also wish it would go away. I'm always worrying about a lot things. I also hate the anxious feel...I get that a lot. Even lightheaded. I'm also afraid of side effects from meds, and I always read the effects. My mind thinks the worst at times. I wish it would get easier. I hope things get much easier for you very soon.
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  • Posted

    Citalopram has worked for you and has been a crutch for so many years, so it is perfectly understandable to be afraid of the change.  Some antidepressants you must completely wean off before you start a new one, but that is not the case for all.  Trust your Doctor.  Remember it will still take a few weeks for the Sertraline to start working and for you to start to feel better.  Do a search of this forum, you'll find others who have gone through something similiar and will benefit from the advice given to them. Wishing you the best of luck.
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  • Posted

    I'm currently switching off venlafaxine after 10 years due to ineffectiveness by slowly having the dosage reduced.  At the same time I am slowly having fluoxetine added and increased in the hopes it will a) lessen the withdrawal effects from venlfaxine and b) be more effective in combating depression and anxiety.  During this transition I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about the dynamics of the switch and wanting to take the next step and get this done with already.  I feel a need to complete this change successfully and soon as I'm sick of feeling the way I do.  Perhaps your immediate switch to the new meds will shorten the time you suffer the illness effects and bring you to relief soon and expediently.  You may have to endure some side effects for a time on your way there.  
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  • Posted

    I was on 20-40mg of citalopram for 15 years, felt it had stopped working, my GP did the same thing, said switch to 50mg of sertraline the next day, I lasted 8 days, the side effects were horrendous,couldnt handle it, fingers crossed for you, as everyone is different xxx
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    • Posted

      Hello Gina,

      I'm sorry to hear that sertraline did not work for you. May I ask when you started having side effects and what they were like? So far it is ok for me but it's only the 2nd day...

      Did u start feeling emotionally flat with citalopram? I did plus it never stopped my anxiety attacks when they were really bad anyway. I spoke to occupational health at work at that doctor told me that she didn't think it was working for me anymore, hence the fact that 3 weeks after I decided to see my gp.

      I always get worried sick about the same sort of things...so let's hope this will be better. I'd noticed for ages that I didn't feel the same anymore but after 13/14 years on the same medication it is really scary to change sad on top of that I'm very sensitive to any changes, ie: a small gulp of caffeine and im a nervous wreck!

      Are you back on citalopram now then? I hope you feel better xx

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    • Posted

      I felt that after all these years the citalopram wasnt doing what it should as I was still having panic and anxiety attacks, after 5 days on the sertriline I stopped eating as I was constantly feeling sick, was trembling 24/7, and my anxiety had never been worse, to the point of being suicidal, I knew I needed help, so called my GP who told me stop taking them straight away, now due to start fluoitine tonight, with diazepam in the meantime x
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    • Posted

      Thank you Gina. It has been exactly the same for me on citalopram yet I still took them for that long!! I got so used to them and thought that this is all it could do. I didn't know any better but when this OH told me that I shouldn't be feeling this way with them I just at long last decided to see my GP. I hope it will be ok with sertraline but its too early to tell.

      Good luck with your new med, let me know how you get on... I'll post an update in a few days. I know it's very hard but keep smiling smile xxx

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