Citalopram Day 1

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I've been prescribed 20mg of citalopram for anxiety & depression & my gp has referred me for CBT. I took my first pill yesterday & within 2 hours I felt dreadful. Extremely nauseous, banging headache, & my arms felt weird, hot but cold if that makes sense? I looked in the mirror & my eyes looked like I had just dropped a couple of class A pills!

I couldn't move off the sofa, I had no energy, completely lethargic. i couldn't stand other people talking to me, my head felt like it couldn't process information & my eyes couldn't focus.

At first, I didn't associate these symptoms with the drug, I really thought I must have caught a sickness virus or something until my eldest son went online. He found lots of forums of people experiencing the same symptoms in the early days of taking the drug.

I have decided I'm not going to continue taking it, most people say these side effects pass within a few weeks - BUT, NO, I cannot take weeks of this! Surely feeling this awful will only make my depression worse? I cannot afford not to be able to function on a daily basis! I'm sticking with the CBT, & looking at diet & exercise to improve my wellbeing instead. Citalopram is EVIL!!!

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I've been on these 3 weeks now. The first two weeks I was on 10mg before it got upped to 20mg. I scared myself silly reading about all the side effects, which then I seemed to get them all, but part of that I think was my brain playing tricks on me. My doctor said if the side effects were too much on 20mg, to alternate daily been 10mg and 20mg. I was sat in the waiting room crying hysterically in front of lots of people, feeling like I was going out of my mind. I actually felt better within a day of taking the higher dose, but I'm very sleepy. Stick with them. I finally feel like I'm almost myself again and even a week ago I thought I needed to be hospitalised. xx

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    • Posted

      And I had all the symptoms you described but they had gone by day four. The fog and inability to have a conversation lifted and I felt better. Other than being tired.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments Sarah, I'm still not sure what to do, lots of people say the side effects do go away. At the moment, the thought of taking another pill fills me with absolute dread! I still feel strange today, although it could be psychosomatic I suppose. I will speak to my GP. I hope things work out for you xx

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    • Posted

      Definitely stick with them. I spent hundreds of hours reading up on them and everyone who stuck with them for a month on the whole felt great. I actually wish I'd taken the 20mg sooner because I feel so much better on it, but that's a big dose for the 1st week. You could always cut them in half and take 10mg for a few days but 20mg is supposed to be the best dose. Don't worry about the side effects. I could barely string a sentence together to start with, but I found walking by myself in the fresh air helped, as well as loads of fruit and veg and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Stick with them I can't believe how far I've come in the last few days. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    If you've never taken Citalopram before then 20mg will probably give you a big jolt.  When I was first diagnosed with depression I started on 10mg every other day for a month, then 10mg per day for a few weeks and only then was the dose upped to 20mg per day.  Have a word with your GP if this is your first time on Citalopram.  Also, make sure you are stable on Citalopram before you start CBT otherwise you may, as I did, end up being treated for the side-effects of Citalopram instead of being treated for the underlying problems you may have.

    I hope everything works outfor you.

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    • Posted

      Hi there Grunthos

      It was a BIG jolt! & yes, I've never taken it before, I'm surprised my GP didn't start me on a lower dose? I will speak to him & see what I can get sorted. It certainly helps having forums like these to know I am not alone - my family & friends really don't get how I'm feeling. Hope you continue to feel well x

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  • Posted

    Hi I took these tablet for the first time acouple of wks ago was on them  for nine days the worst nine days ever i thought my heart was going to explode and lots of other effects called emergency dr who told me to stop taking them whch i did, never been on anything  before, it frightened the life out of me,i am going down the herbal route I wishou well.  
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    • Posted

      Hi there, I've decided to leave off them for now, going to have my first CBT session tomorrow & I'm going to research alternative therapies too. Good luck with yours, if you find a herbal remedy that works let me know! Xx

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  • Posted

    as others have said, if u havnt taken any antidepressant meds in the past, or have had a long gap of taking them, then diving into 20mg of citalopram right away is crazy, and your doctor unfortunately is a complete clueless moron

    that aside, some people have a bad reaction to certain meds so perhaps you just got unlucky with the first one you tried

    i hope you are ok in the future but if you struggle with anxiety and depression, there are the right meds for you out there, when taken at the right doses (start slow), can, and do, save lives.

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    • Posted

      Hi sun43, thanks for your comment, roger that about my GP! 😂 I agree, there's something out there that will work for me, either antidepressants or alternative remedies, it's just a case of finding what is right for me. Xx

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