Can Citalopram stop working?

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This is my first post so i hope I make sense.

My husband is 33, I have known his for 9 years. For the whole time i have known him I have suspected he suffered from depression. However in the past 3 years things have been significantly worse. He has be short tempered, easily irritable, grumpy, low libido and just generally unhappy and not very nice. It was not all the time but his personality would change and it was like a Jekyll and Hyde situation. It would cause so many arguments and at Christmas time just passed, I told him I could no longer take it. He agreed to speak to the doctor and to doctor diagnosed him with depression and prescribed 20mg citalopram.

For the first month/ month and a half, things were amazing. The medication had an immediate effect and he felt much better in himself, but in the past 6 weeks, things are gradually going back to where they were and his behaviour has changed hugely from when he first started them. He was taking the tablets at different time and so at first I thought it was that but he now taken them every morning at the same time.


Is it possible that they have stopped working or that he needs a stronger dose as he has built a tolerance?

My worst fear is that he takes a higher dose and then starts to feel numb.

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.

Thank you,


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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Let me first start by saying you're obviously an amazing wife to support him instead of turning your back on him when he needs you most. From all of us who suffer from depression and anxiety ... Thank you! I had the same problem when I starting taking this med. Someone on this blog explained it to me this way. This drug is like the stock market. It will jump up for a few days then it will come down a little but rarely lower than where you started. Each time it goes up, it goes up a little higher than before too. So, just know short lulls are normal on this med. that being said after 8 months my lulls lasted a little longer so I wentback to the doctor and she upped my dosage from 20 mg to 40 mg. That was too much for me but it did something in me that now the lulls on the 20 mg don't last very long. How long have you noticed that he's falling backwards?
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your reply! He is the world to me! And the upsetting thing from my side is that i know how wonderfeul he can be when he is in a good place! 

      Its been over the past 5-6 weeks.... started off as just a bit grumpy for no reason but he would lift himself out of it after an hour or two. Then it got gradually worse, where for the past week he has been in a bad mood, and he aknowledges that he doesnt know why.

      But the bad mood consists of snapping at me, geting overly anxious when driving, not wanting to spend time with friends and family and feeling really low.

      I was on a friends hen weekend for a few days last week and missed him terribly, and when I got home i was so happy to see him, but he was so off and cold with me that it wasnt until late at night where he actually told me he missed me and then wanted to cuddle me. 

      Sorry to go on, its just that i feel helpless and it is starting to get me down now too. 

      When he started the medication, it was like a massive fog was lifted from around us and for that short time, i was the happiest person alive because i had my husband who i love all the time, and not just glimpses of him.

      I always thought that there would be ups and downs and bumps in the road, and im prepared for that but this feels like it is progressivly getting back to before the medication, i have actually asked him if he is still taking the tablets, but he said that he is still taking them. 

      I dont want to put any more pressure on him by pestering him but do you think i should suggest he makes another appointment with the doctor and ask him if i can go with him?

      Thank you again,


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    • Posted

      I do! Just ask him to remember how free and unchained when he started taking the medication. Tell him that you loved seeing him happy. Joke with him and say, you can push me away as much as you feel necessary but I will always love and support you. You can't get rid of me because it you leave, I'm following you. Let him know that you can sympathize with how trapped he must feel living with depression but he needs to understand that anything you say to him about this is coming from a good place in your heart and you only want to see him happy. Ask him if you can make an appointment for him because when you feel trapped, picking up the phone to make a change can feel overwhelming. He may even be able to call his doctor and they can call in a prescription over the phone. That's what my doctor did but his may be different. Let me know how it goes.
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  • Posted

    Hi....I started on 10mg and started to feel better with in a week r so, but then after 5 weeks I felt like it was slipping back again so went back to gp and she increased my dose to 20mg! I did feel a lot of side affects as they were going into my system but they do work again and I will go back if I need far as I'm aware these kind of meds take time to work and the odd bad day is to be expected but if it was to persist longer I'd say go back to gp as the dose may need increased and I have been reading on other posts tge dose can go up to 60mg so maybe tge next step is all he will need.....P.S week done u for coming on here to ask advice as ur support to him will be a great strength even if he is feeling down and not able to show it, but once he gets back on track he will return to normal xx 
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  • Posted

    Hi Milliex

    Im sorry to hear of your husbands struggle with depression, and I'm glad he's now taking medication for it.  Depression is an illness, and not something one can just step  out of, just as diabetes and epilepsy is.  My husband supported me throughout my illness and I can't thank him enough for being my rock, as am sure your husband will feel too.  Well done for supporting him :-)

    This medication doesn't stop working, but through his journey of recovering he'll be up and down with his mood.  Some weeks he'll feel great then will be hit again with a low point.  It feels like the depression has returned, but it hasn't, it's just a normal part of recovery and how the medicine works.  Don't be too hasty in upping the dose at this stage either - let him just accept it's a blip, it will pass, keep on persevering with patience and he'll come out the other side.

    I was ill for about 15 years on and off and when I was put onto SSRI's I recovered and have been well for the last 15 years.  Life is now great!

    Its always 3 steps forward and 2 steps back toward recovering.  Remember, lots of patience, try and relax, exercise, eat well and perseverance and he'll reach that goal.

    My son also developed depression last year, and over now been able to help him through his journey too.  It's been painful watching him, but he's also now recovering well due to SSRI medicine.

    I wish you both well.

    K xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you so much everyone for your support, I had a bad day yesterday. But I spoke with my husband last night and we agreed that he would finish off the course that he has (he has about another 3 weeks left) and then in a couple of weeks when he makes the appointment to get his repeat prescription, we will speak to the doctor together. 

    I hate to feel the way i felt yesterday, Its just tough sometimes as he doesnt want me to tell anyone and so i feel bad and like i have broken his trust when i discuss the situation with friends, but even when i do, it is difficult to find someone who understands and can offer solid advice.

    Thank you all again


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    • Posted

      You need the support for yourself too, so you can understand what he's going through and for you to be able to stay strong.  Many people don't talk about depression for fear of the stigma attached ..... but this is what it used to thought of but it's in the open now, people do talk about it, it's a physical illness too as well as emotional.  I kept my illness hidden for 15 years from everyone but my husband, but now talk openly about it.

      He should persevere with the medication for a long time, as he will benefit from it in time.

      Stay in touch on here for support, there's many people like yourself who find this site and find great comfort and understanding from sufferers and carers here.  I've suffered greatly in the past with this illness, and only I came on this site for support whilst I cared for my son through his illness, and find myself helping others too :-)  

      K x


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