Been on Citalopram since mid October

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi Everyone,

I'm new to these forums and looking for a bit of advice. I started on Citalopram mid October for anxiety and depression. This is my second time on the med and the first time it worked really well. I stopped taking it after like 6 months and was better... didn't even have any withdrawls and I stopped cold turkey.

This time i'm thinking maybe its not working. The thing is I've been changing up the dosage quit a bit. Started on 40, went down to 20, and just four days ago went back to 40. I've been having a rough time with the depression and anxiety and have been missing work too. Should I keep on going with this dosage and see what happens? should i try a different medication. I just don't want to give up on it just yet because it really did work well for me in the past. Thanks in advance for any help.

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  • Posted

    You can have a different experience second time around on meds - I did. It felt different and it took much longer too.

    You were probably just lucky the first time around as stopping cold turkey can cause a delayed withdrawal reaction which can be very brutal and prolonged. Its really is dangerous to stop dead.

    Restarting it can take you 3-6 months or so to feel the benefit, sometimes sooner or even longer - and stop playing with the dose - your body won’t know if its coming or going. You need to be patient and stick on one dose for months. 40mg is the maximum and many people struggle with the dose that high. A bigger dose doesn’t mean you’ll recover any quicker than if you took a smaller dose - doesn’t work like that. Its what agrees with your body.

    Changing meds won’t make any difference - not yet anyway. It can take many, many months for them to work, any SSRI.

    Stick with the meds and on one dose. Give them chance to settle in your body - months, not weeks. They worked before so I guess they’ll work again - the meds suit you. You will not get a quick fix on an SSRI.

    But they'll work again if you give them time xxx.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice. I didn't know that restarting it could take longer than the first but its good to know. My doctor said 6-8 weeks but shes actually a physician assistant and don't really think she knows too much. Another doctor that I saw told me to stick with it and come back and see her in a month. I'll stick to 40 and hopefully it will kick in soon.

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    • Posted

      It might not always, but generally it does for most people. Don't always rely on what the doctor says about timescales - we're all different and there's no one time for all, and 6-8 weeks is really very optimistic ... even for a first time.

      My first time on meds it was 3 months before things started happening and 6 months before I felt truly well, and the second time on meds it took about 8 months to feel well.

      Just stick with it, head down, persevere ... and it'll pay off.

      K x

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  • Posted

    Hi John, I'm restarting for the fourth time and it is absolutely brutal. First times was 'easy' for me too. I'm four weeks at 20mg and want to throw in the towel as the anxiety/agitation is off the scale 24/7, no appetite, can't sleep. So I feel for you. Advice seems to be to stick in there - easier said than done I know. I was told 6-8 weeks too, for at least some improvement. You're not alone.

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    • Posted

      wow your fourth time?im curious as to why on and off so many times.isnt it alot of suffering for you every time you stop only to restart again?

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  • Posted

    My advice is if its worked before it will work again. Perhaps you are in a worse place this time around. Playing about with your dose certainly wont help though. Stick to a dose for a while, perhaps the one that you were on previously and try to refrain from changing, it wont speed the recovery up put most likely prolong it. Keep off the booze, try to exercise regularly and don't take on too much in work or at home. CBT can work well. Once your feeling better id advise to stick with it, so tempting to think its all done with and come off them. I stopped the meds cold turkey a few years back, zero side effects, i think its only around 20% of people who need to taper off. The problems returned, no idea why (different doctor) but i was given sertraline second time around, devil pills for me, now back on citalopram, better but still have the odd bad week but try to manage it rather than changing dose. I take 20mg. Good luck, its a real s****y illness to suffer with at times.

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  • Posted

    Hi John, please be careful, alot of doctors start people on 10mg for a few weeks then up the dose. I am surprisf you went straight to 40mg, then dropped by 20mg and back up to 40mg. These meds afect your brain and nervous system hence the side effects and can take a few months to settle on them. Changing doses quickly will add to your problems. Have you spoken with your doctor regarding the dosages? Going cold turkey can be dangerous, I did it first time round and like you was ok, for health reasons I did it again about 7 weeks ago and its been really tough and have been signed off work for a few months. Please do not underestimate these.

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  • Posted

    Hi John, it's the second time on these meds for me, currently on cit 10mg. (Well, kind of third time, as I went back on cit for the second time in April 2016, and by last year had reduced to 2.5.Unfortunately had a relapse.)

    After the relapse in May this year, I yo yoed around with the dosage from 2.5 to 10 to 5 to 7.5 and back to 10, where I've been since end of August.

    From experience, changing the dose around so much is the absolute worst thing to do. It's taken me way longer to settle and to feel some kind of benefit. Thankfully, after about 18 weeks, am just about settling, although short blips still happening.

    It's probably not that the meds aren't working, more likely to be you've thrown your nervous system a bit by jumping up and down the dosage, I would personally stick with your dose now and let things settle. See how you are in six months.

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