Citalopram advice please

Posted , 12 users are following.

Any advice please would be useful I was prescribed 20mg Cit per day, 5 days ago and I am taking them............I have struggled with worries etc for approx 2- 3 years and finally accepted I probably need medication to help me after trying to resolve my issues alone (I know some may say how silly of me but I tried).

Please may I ask the following

How long does it take to start to work ?

I have had no side effects other than I wake up during the night several times well about 5 times is that to be expected ?

Whens the best time to take it. I do so when I get up?

Should you take it with or without food?

The advice sheet on the tablets states avoid alcohol which I have, but with the festive season nearly here can you actually have a little or should it be totally avoided. To be honest I just dont want to be a party pooper but I wouldn't want a drink to cause an issue either ?

I have to admit I do feel somewhat of a let down at the moment to those that I love. Even hypothetical worries bother me (you know the what if's) and I just can't seem to let go of them at all.

I suppose I am just like everyone else and I just want a bit of contentment in my life and not be seen by those that I care for as carrying the world on my shoulders all the time.

I fully appreciate lots of you will have seen information on the forum and be asking why I haven't done so myself...to be honest some of it scares me a little so I stopped, also I'm sick of discussing my issues with my family since thats all they hear from me and that's simply unfair on them.

Therefore since this is my 1st ever post I do hope some kind person may pass on any info they feel may assist me thanks in anticipation

 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I take my at tea time I use to take it in the morning but I had a few side effects an the kicked in about 2pm so I found takin later I slept through most of it. they say tAke it with food. Also when I 1st started to take it I found I woke up a lot through the night an had restless sleep. But that has settled now. They say 6 to 8 weeks. Iv been on 1omg for 21 days then 20 for the last 2 half weeks an im starting to feel ok. Still not 100% but getting there. It's is very scary reading some stuff especially when your feeling anxious. It is scary taking tablets for the 1st time I hated it. I thought I could do it myself but got that bad would try Anythin. I'd say they have worked for me. I hope this helps you. Xxx
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  • Posted

    It seems to take on average 4 weeks to work, but it can begin to work for some people in as little as two weeks.

    If you are having problems with wakefulness then the advice is to take it in the morning, so you are doing it correctly. Some people find it makes them sleepy so the advice for them is to take it in the evening.

    Most medication is best taken with food even just a biscuit. As to alcohol 'fraid I can't help as I don't drink anyway smile

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  • Posted

    Hi eggmond! Never feel bad for asking for help that's great you feel you can!! This site is great! Iv been on cit for over 3 weeks have good and bad days but I guess it's early days my first week was awful! I take propranolol with mine for anxiety! The physical symptoms are lifted at times! It's a head journey!! I take mine in the morning with breakfast I find the mornings hard sometimes I get a peak few hours after! I haven't had a drink yet I'm also afraid as it says it can exacerbate symptoms I get anxious when I get home after drinking so I'm best avoiding for a while! 

    I do hope your recovery is around the corner and you feel better soon! 

    Emz x

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  • Posted

    eggmond, It takes strength to try to fight this alone. Don't feel bad taking the medication.  You are not alone in feeling this. 

    It's great you are not having any side effects besides waking. For most of us it is much worse. All SSRI's change your sleep patters so you stay in deep sleep longer. This greatly helps you recover from anxiety and depression.  Right now you brain is adjusting to this and maybe waking you to avoid dream sleep, which although is part of our natural sleep cycle, to the brain you are in a state of arousal while dreaming.

    If you started taking it in the morning I would stick with that. It can be taken with or without food. It has no bearing on how the drug works. 

    For those of us who drink, experimenting with alcohol on Citalopram is a rite of passage. My advice is to take it slow. Don't make the mistake I did. I stopped alcohol for 2 weeks when I started, was just starting to feel better and then tried to party like I used to.  I was at a bar for 4 hours and don't have a single memory from the experience. Had the worst hangover ever which put me back in a depressed state.  The memory loss seems to be a constant for people on Cit. I have drank since, up to 7 this weekend with no problems.  My friend told me that once you adjust to the medication this all goes away so like I said just take it easy for awhile and even with a small amount of alcohol expect to feel somewhat down the next day, but like all things it will pass. 

    Hope you feel better soon. 

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  • Posted

    Hi eggmond

    Its not silly at all trying to sort your problem out before trying medicine ..... I'd say most people try doing that.  Glad to hear you've accepted it now, and hopefully this medicine will get you back on top again.

    I started on 20mg, and continued to take them for 15 years which helped me to recover from anxiety and depression.  I can honestly swear by this medication :-)

    You've had a short time on them so far and luckily haven't had any side effects as yet.  I won't hide the fact that the side effects might hit you soon and they can be truly dreadful, but please don't worry or be scared ....... it you aren't prepared, that's when it can scare you.  Most people go through a few weeks of side effects and then from there move on and start to feel the beginnings of feel good.  The medicine works slowly and you have to be patient.  Many people stop before pushing on through, and I can assure you the benefits are worth waiting for.  People here on this site will support you through this.

    Sleep problems are a side effect, but it'll pass in time just as any other side effects that might occur.

    So I'd say that 1-2 months can be a bit shaky, and then 2-3 months you'll start to feel better.  Everyone has different timescales on this mind, and everyone can have slightly different side effects.  Remember that it takes time to heal a broken leg, and it takes time for all this to start working too.

    I was told to take it in the morning as it might keep you awake at night, but some take it at night.  I think see what works for you.  Yes best to take after eating a little something.

    Yes it says to avoid alcohol, and I will admit I do have a glass of wine when I want or join in festivities and had no adverse effect.  Again we're all different, so as much as I'd say avoid it, you could try a sip or 2 and base it on that etc.

    Dont feel you're a let down to your family.  I know lots of us feel that way too and often feel we've a weakness.  Remember this is an illness just as epilepsy, diabetes etc and you can't help how your body feels.

    It is difficult talking to family about your issues, probably because they haven't experienced how you feel.  We've all been there too xx  By all means talk away on this site, there's many here who can help you through all this and answer questions.

    Just remember to expect side effects, remember to give the medicine lots and lots of time, and tell yourself you are working towards recovery.  Lastly remember patience.  You'll get through it.

    Lastly, try not to worry about the scaremongering stories.  It'll be fine.

    K xx

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    • Posted

      Kate

      Just wanted to say thank you for such a nice and supportive reply... I must admit I felt somewhat of a let down and I know that I do go over and over my worries with my family. I have read that when commencing with cit sometimes the worries get worse before they get better. Can't say I'm looking forward to that but hey ho, if its the case that you have to get through the storm to get to the good weather, then thats something I'm prepared to face.

      The sleep bit bothers me a bit and as for the dreams, well some of the ones I've had have been strange to say the least. I have thought of taking some sort of herbal sleeping tablet to see if that helps but I dont want to mess with the cit.

      To be fair it's only been just over a week since I started them and I shouldn't expect miracles. I'm not special so why should I expect it would be a quick solution. I must confess when I started I did think "a month of these and I be sorted" How silly of me......If honest a bit of me still thinks that's the case. Still it is the season of good will. So if I've been good you never know....Seriously thank you very much indeed for such a lovely reply

      Eggmond

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    • Posted

      Hi Taygun

      Yes I'm still here wink

      Side effects on Citalopram.  Everyone is different so we all have different reactions on these meds, but generally in the first few weeks most people feel heightened anxiety, nausea, internal shake, insomnia, headaches, agitation, decreased / increased appetite, sexual dysfunction, depression, lack of concentration ....... and a whole host of others.  The full list is on the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with the medication.

      Most side effects wear off after a few weeks, some linger.  Again everyone is different.

      Some people feel the side effects more intensely than others.

      K x

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  • Posted

    Well I'm stunned and gobsmacked for the supportive messages I have received from my first ever post.........Thank you all very much indeed

    Eggmond

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  • Posted

    My first time on this site smile A Canadian chiming insmile It's so comforting listening to people who have been through this horror, too. I was wondering if anybody has had side effects from increasing the dose, not from starting citalopram. I've been on the drug for 12 years, anxiety free and perfectly happy (just scared to stop taking haha). However, I've recently had a massive relapse, so my meds have been increased. Wondering if my side effects will be less because my body knows the drug? Or if is should still expect some hell?
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    • Posted

      Hi Jen

      Yes I think you might get some side effects from a dose increase, but all should ease in a few weeks.  Sorry to hear you had a massive relapse - was that whilst on the medication?  I know when recovering you can get blips along the way, which over time get less and less, eventually petering out, and know you can get an odd one right out of the blue, years from now.  I always say, just accept it as part of the illness and recovery, it will ease and pass.

      I restarted my meds 4 months ago after a year off them (actually found my illness didn't return when I was med free)! :-D  I only restarted them due to family illness and I wanted to stop the depression returning before it decided to try to.  This time around I had side effects (which still shocked me) but don't think I had them for as long as the first time around.  I've got better quicker this time too.  I think it's because my body was used to the drug before.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks, kate! Yes, this happened while on the meds. I wonder if I developed a slight immunity after 12 years, perhaps? I never thought I'd be this low again, so it's really hard. Hoping the meds will help again like they did the first time. 

      How long did your side effects last this time around?

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    • Posted

      That's interesting you had this after 12 years on the medication.  My first time round I took them for 15 years and was really well.  I've never heard of anyone developing an immunity - they're not addictive and you can take these for life if need be.  Sometimes other medications can interfere with them and perhaps make them not so effective, or some other thing might have intered with them.  

      This is time round I think the side effects lasted a week at their very worst, then a couple of weeks just feeling blurgh.  I think I started feeling back on top again after about 8 weeks this time.

      xx :-)

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    • Posted

      I knowsad I'm so scared and sad and frustrated that this could happen while I'm on meds. But, I suppose, anxiety will always have a small role in our loves no matter what?

      I hate this anxious feeling. Just will not go away sad

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    • Posted

      I often wonder if a placebo is slipped in somewhere ...... but I doubt this would be allowed to happen :-)  Would it?

      How long have you felt bad again?  It could be just a blip, but because you haven't had one for a while, it's shocked you and so made it linger around.  We can get these occasional blips even years after being well.

      I'm sure the medication wouldn't just stop working ..... Yes I'd feel the same as you are now.  Maybe a change to a different type of SSRI would work.

      I do feel for you, but am sure when your meds are sorted you'll be bouncing back real soon.

      K xx

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    • Posted

      It's been about two weeks, and gradually getting worse. I know that's because I focus on and worry waaaaYtoo much about it. I hate that I'm so good at convincing myself that something is majorly wrong, but I'm terrible at convincing myself that nothing is wrong smile
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    • Posted

      Ah that happens with all of us - as soon as we're right back in the grip of this anxiety, that little voice starts with the negatives, and you never believe you'll ever get out of it again.  

      I personally reckon you've just had a blip for some reason or another.  It seems about the right length it's lasting.  It can happen years later.  It feels real bad probably because you've just forgotten how it feels to be like that again, but I bet it's no different to how you felt once before.  I suspect it'll pass in time as you just accept it's there.  Move on forward, don't look for a reason why it's there, and you'll find it'll go in it's own time.

      Such a strange illness isn't it ... but it does seem to follow the same pattern for everyone.

      xx

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    • Posted

      Haha bless you :-)

      No you're definitely not going crazy ....... if that were the case I'd have gone crazy years ago too (mind you my friends tell me I'm crazy) biggrin

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    • Posted

      I feel just like you Jen sad been on cit for 13 years. Had relapsed every so often like once a year or every two years for about 2 months... But this year it started in Ugust and has been up and down since! Totally horrible! Increased my cit to 30mg recently and after 5 weeks felt rubbish so went down to 25mg. Still feeling awful but gonna give it another few more days.. Started propranolol about 4 days ago too... Just had it to feel so poo. I wanna be happy again! Only talk to my partner and I know it goes in one ear and comes out of the other straight away...so he thinks I've been negative and down for months and I know he can't stand this... Just a dreadful condition! X
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