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Geting straight to the point, I started to take 10mg Citalopram for GAD and panic attacks on Monday, 18th August at about midday each day. I started with the following symptoms: palpitations, very restless and agitated (had to go for a walks to expend the energy), panicky feelings, much increased anxiety, disturbed sleep, hot flashes followed by extreme feelings of excitement followed by agitation and deep muscle pain in my arms and legs. I was told these would pass so persevered. By the forth day I was hopeful I would make it over the next couple of weeks until the side effects diminished. The next day, Friday, I was due to go up to 20mg but I wasn't significantly worried about this.
I never made it to the fifth dose, however, as my sleep was disturbed at 3.50 a.m.on Friday morning after which, within about 3 seconds my heart went into overdrive. I then suddenly felt a hot flash followed by extreme panic that was completely uninitiated by any thought as I simply didn't have time to think of anything. I shot out of bed as clearly this was an extreme side effect that needed immediate attention according to the information leaflet (possible serotonin syndrome or Torsades de Pointes side effect symptoms). I called an ambulance and they arrived to find my heartrate at rest was 145 and blood pressure 141/103. I was white as a sheet and extremely shocked. I was taken to the hospital for further checks on the ECG but, typical, nothing out of the ordinary was found.
I called my doctor the next day and he advised I stop taking it. Thinking I would be all right the next night I went to bed as normal. How wrong I was. Again, after 2 and half hours this time, I was awoken inexplicably with the single initial thought I've just woken up. Then almost as bad, the same symptoms previously described. This time I resisted panicking but my heartrate shot up again and I could actually feel my blood pressure rise. I checked it and it was 132BPM with BP 141/97. Suffice to say this has been carrying on for nearly two weeks now since stopping Citalopram! My doctor seems unconcerned and has simply presrcribed Lustral, which I have not taken yet.
I am so depressed and anxious beyond words with the lack of sleep. Even if I allow myself to fall back to sleep (which can take an hour and half) the same thing happens again two hours later. The effects guaranteed to be presents are tachycardia, high blood pressure, severe leg and arm deep muscle pain and not least severe feelings of anxiety.
Please can anyone offer any advice??? I need sleep.
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