Citalopram Experience

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I've just started taking 20mg Citalopram and we don't seem to be getting on together. Within an hour of my first dose, I felt very dizzy and was sick at work and that evening woke suddenly sweating, had pins and needles in my arms and was sick again.

A few days later I am still feeling dizzy, spaced out and bit on edge and although I'm told these unwanted effects will pass I am not sure I can wait. I don't feel safe driving and I find it very difficult to do my job feeling ill. I would prefer to be at home when I feel like this but I can't take a couple of weeks off while the effects hopefully pass.

I've been back to the GP and he said stick with it and maybe take a tablet every other day. Previously the GP did mention councilling but is this a real alternative to taking the medication? I know the waiting lists are long but I'm prepared to wait if it means getting off these tablets.


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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi DVS

    I started taking Citalopram 20mg 8 days ago, I understand that is is usual to start on a lower dose & gradually increase it to allow time for your body to adjust to it. So far I've spent three days in bed & get up feeling like a gittery & fatigued, it does ease off during the morning but then I'm ready for a sleep by about 3pm, like you finding it very frustrating as I usually

    have loads of energy. I take mine at night & I'm beginning to wonder if it would be better to take it in the morning.

    As for counselling I think it depends on why you have anxiety, I had 6mths counselling before I was diagnosed with PTSD in November. I think it helped me get to point where I could talk about what had happened but it didn't get any deeper. I am now seeing a psychologist for therapy & can tell the difference as I'm beginning to feel the benefit of her expertise, I'm sure she know what I'm thinking before I do! Due to the long NHS waiting lists for CMH I opted to go private because I'd been off sick for 7mths & didn't feel I could wait any longer.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the reply. It's reassuring to know that you've had some success with councilling.

    I actually went to my GP because I thought my thyroxine dose was too low. As it turned out it wasn't and he put me on Citalopram for depression.

    I run a small business, which is hard enough at the moment, and have 4 children to come home to. It's just not possible for me to disappear off the radar for a couple of weeks in the hope the tablets settle down.

    I will ask my GP if I can receive some councilling as it would be nice to find out exactly why I am depressed! Life is not straight forward but I expect that this is the same for a lot of families at the moment. I can't think of any one particular incident so maybe just talking to someone about things might make a difference.

    Good luck with your sessions.

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  • Posted


    Just to let you know I did counselling for 6 weeks and found it helped a lot. My hubbies work paid for it.

    My Gp won't hear of it. So please take the oppertunity if its offered it does help if you get the right person.


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  • Posted

    Hi All

    Thats it after reading this I am going to take the plunge and talk to someone I have found a place to go to. I have had problems at work because of my low self esteem and have let certain work colleges get to me I have social anxiety disorder and talking to someone as difficult as it may be might help me in the future not to let people get to me as bad as this.

    I found a really good web site about different sorts of anxiety I will find

    again and let you all know about it as I found it really helpful also check out citalaman's web site it is well worth a read

    stay positive

    Andy K

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  • Posted

    I have been prescribed 20mg and i am on my third day. The first tablet (i took it before bed) was awful and really scary i felt as though i had taken something illegal and was really out of it and paranoid and scared to leave my room. The next day I felt a little better but shaky and blurred vision, nausea and all the other symptoms listed as common and was really considering staying at home. I was really worried about taking the next tablet but funnily enough when i took the second tablet i felt a lot better! I am still feeling side effects but much milder and only for short periods and I got a good sleep last night which I think is key to getting through the side effects. I am going to stick it out I am feeling anxious and depressed but only a little more than when i started and my doctor did say it takes 2-4 weeks for your mood to improve. For those that have just started and like me have been reading terrifying accounts please be reassured that the first tablet is the worst and if your like me you will feel a massive difference in your side effects after the second and if youve not been sleeping then that is probably having a much bigger influence on your body than you realise when you are feeling bad.

    [b:a5bafa6207]Dont freak out just give it a bit of time! [/b:a5bafa6207]

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  • Posted

    :roll: Lauren u've made me feel much better, I myself have been prescibed this but at 10mg, but the first night i took it i thought i was going off my head! never slept most of the night, suffered paranoia, never wanted to leave the house and at 3pm just wanted to sleep but have 3 young children so therefore impossible! wanted to pack it in but seen comments and thought keep going, do feel a bit better on the 3rd day but still suffering from insomnia/tiredness/and spaced out please someone tell me you felt the same and this will pass as i'm ready to stop taking them as i feel worse than before I started taking them.
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  • Posted

    You have my every sympathy especially coping with this and 3 children?

    Four weeks ago I was in the same position. I'd been very reluctant to take them but it became very necessary. I had similar side effects to you - increased insomnia & fatigue, I really thought I'd made a big mistake.

    However, four weeks on I for the last two days I've felt less anxious & my PTSD symptoms are easier to manage. How I wish I'd taken them six

    months ago!

    A few things I've found helpful - drink plenty & eat well even when you don't really want too. I had been taking them in the evening but my GP

    suggested I change to the morning & the side effects eased a little.

    Are you having counselling as well? I have found it very beneficial in helping me to understand how I'm feeling & why life is so difficult right now, it helps having someone other than family & friends to talk to.

    Take care & try to stick with the meds. I hope that in a months time you

    can look back & breath a sigh of relief too!


    Good luck & try to keep taking them, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea,

    I am on day 13 and i dont have any side effects at all now and havnt for about three days and i think the depression is improving aswell, im still worrying but not im able to just put it to the back of my mind which has never happened before. I noticed that after the third day there was a big difference in the side effects and everyday after that it got slightly better and everything you described I had. Some people maybe take longer so i wouldnt worry about it, but i definately wouldnt drink alcahol or take any kind of drugs on this medication especially while your getting used to it. I spoke to my doctor as I have noticed that the worst affected people on this website drink and it says not to drink on the instructions and he said just not to as besides the medical effects it could have on you it can mess with your mind and make you go nuts if you mix the medication with alcahol and drugs. With our problems we could probably do without it anyway. I hope this helps

    Lauren x

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  • Posted

    Oh probably should have added yes i still have a little bit of the insomnia, mainly waking up far too early but everyday im able to sleep in a bit longer, once you start to catch up on sleep you'll feel much better!
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  • Posted

    Hi all,

    I was prescribed this a week and a half ago, the only side affects i have noticed are yawning...a lot!!! and headaches in the evenings.

    I am a little concerned that nothing is happening as i still have the anxiety attacks that i was given the tablets to control, but after reading some of your posts i guess it will take a little more time, the biggest positive i have found is that i find it so much easier to get out of bed during the week. hopefully this will continue and the anxiety will go away. i was told by my GP to take half a tablet a day for the first week to allow my body to adjust.

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