Been on Citalopram for 12 weeks having a setback

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I came across this site and thread today as I diligently was looking for answers as to why I am still feeling anxious, down, after being on Citalopram for 12 weeks. I had 3 good weeks and then bam out of no where I had a slight panic attack, which is rare for me, It's been years since I had one, I didn't let it scare me good thing right? However, it's been a week and few days that I can't seem to get out of this funk, low mood, anxious, worrying the Citalopram won't cure me or get me to a peace of mind. I've been reading the responses from Katecogs and did not know that it can take up to 6 months to actually heal on this med. I've had anxiety off and on for the last 20 yrs, and been on meds, but thought I was okay and went off Big Mistake! I started taking Paxil on it for 5 months and it was a nightmare with side effects, then I gained tons of weight, so Dr. switched me to Citalopram 20mg, she just increased it to 30 mg, but I am only taking 25 to ease into it. Any support you can give me would be greatly appreciated- thank you in advance

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    It really can take a much longer time for the meds to work.

    Also, are you in the Northern hemisphere? Then factor in the fact that we've just started to lose daylight, it's getting dark earlier, and colder. Less sunlight to boost our moods.

    Also wondering if you are taking regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. All of these are really important factors, and will help the citalopram to work better.

    Also, if you switched twelve weeks ago, it's still possible that you're having some withdrawal effects from coming off the paxil. Did your gp just switch you, or did you wean off the paxil gradually?

    And if you have just updosed the cit to 25 recently? Any time you up dose, you will very likely have side effects from doing. I would personally try to stay at 25 and not make any more adjustments, as your nervous system has been through quite a few adjustments. But obviously, you have to be the judge of that.

    The best thing, and the hardest thing, is to just accept how you're feeling at the moment, and to try to distract yourself a bit. Wondering if you are working? If not, try not to have too many long empty days. It's good to have thi gs to occupy your mind when you're going through a blip.

    I would basically try to settle at your current dose. And you're right, you need to measure progress in months, not weeks.

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  • Posted


    I’m no expert by any matter of means as I’ve only been on it almost 10weeks. After 8 weeks I had suffered quite a bad “blip” just like you are having just now (I cld have written that) & after discussing this with my GP we increased to 30mg from 20mg. I think the increase unfortunately causes anxiety to heighten again until it settles. So if u are like me, u may just have needed the increase hence the feelings you’ve been experiencing as I am exactly the same. The increase came with its side effects but aside from the odd bouts of anxiety or questioning everything I do at the moment, I’ve been much better than I was about 3 weeks ago. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one hell of a roller coaster ride until we get to where we want to be!!! 🤦🏻???🤦🏻???

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  • Posted

    Hi Lori,

    it took me full 7 months to come back to life. i still get some anxiety but I can handle it. I'm at 10 mg and I'm glad I stayed at 10. its important to exercise and cut out caffeine and keep on a steady schedule. So many people feel they need to up the dosage to get cured. but each indivual is different. i had wanted to go up since I had so many side effects but i read here and thanks to Lois, Kate and Ben they showed me its possible to keep at a low dosage.

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your feedback. WHEN HAVING a blip I will goggle for hours looking for answers, I'm so happy I came across this website. Going forward I WILL only refer to this site. When I'm calm I don't goggle at all, it's a vicious cycle for sure.

    I have a couple of questions and would love your feedback

    1. Is it true Cit can poop out on you when on it for a long time? I've read mixed reviews that it will and some says it does not ( this worries me)
    2. My anxiety makes it hard for me to think about going out of my comfort zone, does the anticipatory anxiety eventually go away? I'm not fearful of a place , just worry about the sensations /feelings that i may have.
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    • Posted

      Hi lori,

      I've chatted with people on it for many years. I also started thinking that it would poop out since it took me 6-7 months to fully recover. Put that out of your mind. Go with the present. We cant control our destiny.

      Thats my advice for today. Exercise helps greatly even just walking.

      A good friend of mine has been on it for 15 years and she started at 10 went up to 20 and then 30 and now stable at 20. Shes thinking of going down to 17.5 and then to 15.

      please keep us posted on how you are.


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    • Posted

      THANK you so much for your replies and support

      I've always thought the meds had to take effect within 6-12 weeks , or it doesn't work, after reading posts on here it eases my mind to give it more time, I've been on CIT, for 14 weeeks, as U'm not totally where I WANT to be yet, but have faith the CIT will come e thru like it has for many many months later

      thank you again

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