Been put on citalopram for anxiety and not sleeping, sleeping is worse!

Posted , 6 users are following.

I have been taking these pills for about 10 days and initially the side effects were awful, nausea, sick, no appetite, more anxious and virtually no sleep. After taking first pill in morning I realised it made me sleepy so switched to taking before bed in the hope it would help with my sleeping. Unfortunately not - did get one good night at weekend and felt so much better yesterday but last night it's like back to square one. Anyone got similar experience - currently on 10mg citalopram and don't see doctor again till November.

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    Don't worry unfortunately these horrible side effects are totally normal. Were you sleeping before the citalopram? I had anxiety because of severe insomnia and insomnia because of sever anxiety, it was feeding itself. The initial side effects of course made this 10 times worse and I couldn't sleep at all. Was sobbing at my doctors surgery which is not like me at all. She gave me zopiclone for a week and I didn't want to take them as they're highly addictive but I did when I was desperate. I took about 4 spread over a week or so and went back to my doctor to say I didn't want them anymore. Anyway she gave me amitriptyline to take at night alongside the citalpram - it is non addictive and you can stop taking it whenever you're ready. I took them for about 2-3 weeks and was fine. I'm now around 10 weeks in to citalpram and pretty much sleep like a baby.

    Honestly, I NEVER thought I'd sleep again. I'm sorry you're experiencing this as I know how awful it is. If you look through my old posts you'll see how desperate I was.

    You will be fine just try to stick it out if you can

    X

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    • Posted

      Hi Holly,

      thanks for for taking time to get back to me. This is the first time I have ever posted anything online, so surprised to have had two responses so quickly. My story is similar to yours in that I have had severely disrupted sleep for over a year with varies worries that led to a bad bout of anxiety that I just couldn't work through on my own. Have had awful side effects but the worst now is the lack of sleep. having read your post if I have another sleepless night tonight I think I will speak to the doctor about it. Many thanks it does help to talk to fellow sufferers.

      Val

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    • Posted

      just looking at your reply again and looked up the other drug amitriptyline - is that not another type of anti depressant ? And did it not give you lots of horrible side effects too ? 

      Val

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    • Posted

      Amitriptyline is used for all kinds of things, i was on it for years for nerve pain. It is good for getting you to sleep but you will feel tired for most of the day also. Don't know if the GP will prescribe it for sleeping problems, you could ask.
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    • Posted

      I can totally understand your worry about amitriptyline but I didn't actually experience any side effects on them except dry mouth but I just drank lots of water and had chewing gum at the ready! I was told I could feel drowsy all day but I didn't really, and to be honest I felt drowsy all day anyway because I couldn't sleep before! On VERY small doses (between 10-25mg) it is used for nerve pain and temporary sleep problems. Higher doses (anything from 75mg up) is where it is used as an antidepressent. It just made me feel relaxed enough to drift off and if I woke in the night I found it easy (within 10 mins) to drift back off.

      I'm not pill pushing at all, just telling you my experience

      x

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    • Posted

      Hi Holly

      thanks for that information, it gives me something to discuss with the doctor, sooner rather than later if today's anything to judge by. Think it's slmost harder having had one reasonable night and day at the weekend then bang , feels like back to square one. Definitely feel my anxiety is worse when I have hardly any sleep. Also terrible burning pain over shoulders, neck and chest . Don't know how people carry on with their work like this at least I have worked from home for years. I've found since starting tablets I am less likely to go out than before too. 

      Thanks for for your replies 

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  • Posted

    Hi Valerie, having read lots of posts about citalopram it sounds like a common side effect. 10 days probably hadn't given enough time for side effects to settle down.

    regarding not seeing Dr until November you don't have to stick to that timescale it's only a suggestion, if you would like to speak to your GP you can make an earlier appointment, alternatively email the surgery with your concerns or issues, or ask that the GP calls you for a telephone consultation as they do set aside time in their days to make home tel calls.

    GP's are a lot more flexible as they have to be! 

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    • Posted

      thanks for your reply , if the sleepless nights continue I will contact doctors soon - although your surgery must be a lot more accommodating than the one I use- sometimes it's two weeks or more till I can get an appointment.

      Val

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  • Posted

    Hi Valerie, I have had similar problems with regards to sleeping on Citalopram. I take 10mg as found the 20mg had too many side effects. I have tried different times of the day for taking my meds and have now found that taking it at 6pm with my evening meal works best. I did take Nytol for a few nights which seems to have helped get my sleep pattern right. You can buy Nytol from chemists it's non prescription. Try Nytol for a week, take about an hour before you sleep, still take Citalopram as well. Hope this helps.
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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabeth,

      i tried Nytol before I was prescribed the citalopram but it really did have a bad effect on me next day, so not too keen to try it again. Having said that it might be different now I am on these. Before going on to citalopram my doctor tried me on beta blockers and sleeping tablet called zopiclone 3.75mg up to two per night which I only tried three nights on one a night, they helped a bit but not enough to warrant risk of getting addicted, so I stopped them. Maybe they would be ok to try again with citalopram but should maybe check with doctor first? I currently take the citalopram at eight pm but wonder if shifting a couple of hours back would have any effect. I was given no advice from doctor when best to take. Sounds like trial and error .

      Val

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    • Posted

      best to talk to GP again and get advice. I tried my meds at diffeent times, 6am an hour before bed 8pm then tried at 6pm and found the 6pm works best. I think it depend on ourselves, i was an insomniac for several years. I do sometimes take a little while to drop off but i sleep better through out the night now. This might seem silly to you but i have read and tried eating a banana ( it has something in it which can induce sleep, sorry i cannot remember what it is called ) before sleep and it really does help with sleep. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabeth

      just to say along with other things as described in reply to Holly I took my tablet at 6pm rather than 8pm as it you said it helped you,  not sure if that helped or if it was the other stuff I tried but last night I had a better sleep, even if that only happens a few days a week it would be a great help. Fingers crossed - thanks again for posting, it really helps to talk to others here in same position.

      Val

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    • Posted

      Hi Valerie, glad you got a better nights sleep. What matters is what helps you so has you say anything is worth a try, a combination of things could be the answer. Hope you start getting more good nights sleep. Good luck. We are hear any time you need to talk. 
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  • Posted

    Meant to say that if you ring your surgery ask for a call back and the GP will ring you back that day. I would avoid sleeping tablets as they are addictive and they usually will only give you a couple of weeks supply now.
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