citalopram is NOT for everyone!!!

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hi, i had a problem with 10mg citalopram, i was only on them for 5 days and the increase in panic attacks and every side effect under the sun, almost made me loose my mind (no exaggeration) and I'm only 24...after 5 days of less than 4 hours sleep (combined) , no food, constantly feeling anxious, depressed and constant panic attacks from when i woke up until when i finally exhausted myself enough to, for lack of a better word, pass out i thought to myself enough is bloody enough!!!

I thought to myself, if i carry on i am truly going to end up in a nut house (no lie) so after some heated discussion with my doctor she finally put me on 37.5mg venlafaxine, twice daily. Now i will admit the side effects dramatically decreased, i could finally eat and there was no constant nervous feeling.....although my panic attacks became constant throughout the day, out of the blue, lasting hours, and once I'd finally calmed from one another would start 5 minutes later and i still had lack of sleep.

I'd finally had enough, i called an emergency appointment at my doctors, i thought if i cant get it sorted now then I'm packing in the tablets all together.....

well i had 2 panic attacks on the way up to the doctors (embarrassing or what!) and then had to ask the receptionist in the doctors for a private room and broke out in hysterics.....

finally when it came time for the doctor to see me i was surprised to see a different doctor than to the one who had been seeing me so far (and had also said to tough it out with the citalopram) ....well safe to say he was shocked to see someone walk into his office in such a state.....there's me, cried all my makeup off, couldn't talk, trying to explain what the hell was the matter with me!.....

Anyway, i finally got it all out....surprise surprise this wonderful doctor actually listened to me and understood the fact that i could no longer mentally or physically cope (the panic attacks had been effecting my work also)......This wonderful man prescribed me a short term course of Diazepam to help calm me down and Propranolol (Beta Blocker) to slow my heart rate whenever i felt an attack coming on.

I can honestly say these last few days have been the highlight of my 8 years of suffering with panic attacks, I've almost completely got them under control, my CBT starts on the 26th of March, which I'm so excited about.

I know i may have rambled on a bit, but i just wanted to give hope that Citalopram IS NOT for everyone, yes it may work for some, i will fully admit that, but not everyone, we all react differently to different medication, especially mind altering ones. I had the worst experience of my life on them, almost broke apart my relationship, my family and my mind.....don't be afraid to look for alternatives.........i can 100% guarantee the first thing doctors turn to is Citalopram whenever anxiety, stress or panic attacks get mentioned.......please please please don't go through what i went through, i wouldn't wish this sort of mental torture on anyone.

I hope my long, but short story (this was over 8 days) has helped even a little, and i hope you find peace with you inner demons also.....i can only hope what i have achieved will last.

All the best hope, and good luck xxx

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Danielle

    That is so awful to hear, it sounds like you've had a really crappy time on Citalopram!! I'm pleased you had a nice doctor who has really helped you, it really does make a difference when you have a nice doctor that really listens to you.

    It's so strange how differently they affect people, I've been on them for 5 days and the first few days I felt so nauseous and extreme headaches, loss of appetite but strangely they have just disappeared over the weekend and I feel so different!! I don't want to jinx it as it could all change, especially when I go up to the 20mg dosage but so far not so bad! It just shows they affect people differently.

    I really hope your new tablets keep working for you and you continue to feel happier! I should be starting CBT soon and also looking forward to it very much!

    Let us know how you get on!


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  • Posted

    Dear Danielle

    You did not ramble on. You obviously spoke from the heart. I only hope that after 8 years you have finally found peace and the fear is finally at an end. I use the word fear because I had an emotional breakdown, and if there was one word to describe how I felt, it would have to be FEAR.

    Please keep positive and keep in touch.


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  • Posted

    Well my experience was the same. But they do say it takes 3 weeks to settle in yourself. And im just about settled not back at work yet as having to get off old tabs at same time as new ones. So I would of said 5 days bit early to decide. But up to individual at the end.
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  • Posted

    Angela08347...I agree 5 days is far from enough time to allow citalopram to settle within your system, but my decision was based on one simple question - Do i want to go crazy or not?? ... And to be quite honest i did not. Being on citalopram almost made my own mother try and get me sectioned, that's how bad it was. I started self harming in ways of banging my head off of any solid objects to get the thought i was having out, calling paramedics out because i couldn't, for the life in me, calm myself down, nor could the people who were trying to support me through it.....i admit i have read absolutely amazing stories on here from people who suffer from anxiety, depression and panic attacks and citalopram has turned their lives around. I am so god damn proud of these people because i know how hard that is, but on the other hand i have been to the gates of hell, knocked on Satan's door itself and luckily no one answered....i know dramatic euphemism but i saw no light at the end of the long, depressing, panic attack ridden tunnel and that's what almost loosing your mind is...bearing in mind i am a completely healthy, sharp minded 24 year old, this was truly the most depressing period of my life, one which i NEVER Wish to visit yes, if citalopram is working for you then i wholeheartedly wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery. I hope your lives get a damn site better and stays that way...but as i said in my first message, don't be afraid to ask for an alternative if, like me, there is no light at the end of a tunnel, just a dark hole that never ceases to end.

    And to lucy82790 and Jane lily i feel you understand what i went through and am glad you are able to find the strength to help and support whilst struggling along with you own issues, I'm sure many people on here are grateful your there.

    All my love and best wishes


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  • Posted

    Ok, so a little more advice would be nice if anyone can relate, obviously from my previous post you can gather the my predicament, my doctor put me on Diazepam to calm me down and keep the panic attacks at bay, and also beta blockers for the same reason. Now i know diazepam is addictive, but I've only been taking them for 4 days, i had enough for 7 days but when i went to the hospital over my panic attacks they said i could take 4 tablets instead of 3 if i felt i needed it, and to be honest with the way my panic attacks were going, i needed them!!!

    only problem being is I've now run out, my doctor said that he will not give me any more BECAUSE of their addictive properties, and believe me i am more than aware this could be psychological, but i feel the panic attacks are slowly creeping back in. I know the Beta blockers are supposed to do the exact same thing, but it doesn't feel the same, it feels like they are unsteadily keeping me on an even keel that could collapse at any moment.......i would rather be on Diazepam for a long period, but obviously i know that this isn't a realistic solution, but I'm so scared it will go back to what it was like before..............please can someone help???

    Danielle xxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle,

    It's a good thing you understand and except the affect this medication has on the human mind and body.

    I know your CBT starts soon but have you thought of group councillorling?


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  • Posted

    Hi Jane,

    I was unaware there were any counselling sessions i was able to attend without it being CBT so i will try my best to find one near me, i just feel that I'm starting to sink back into old routine of before the diazepam i.e i was up at 6am with a panic attack that woke me up, I am also finding it difficult to space out my beta blockers so i can take one on a night to help me sleep, as you can imagine i had to take one this morning and feel i need to take another now, these damn panic attacks sneak up on me out of the blue. I'm still currently on the venlafaxine but its hard to tell which medication is doing the work anymore, it was definitely the diazepam when i was on it but now i feel i am relying on the beta blockers to carry the load, so to speak.

    It's kind of getting me down to be honest....I just keep thinking to myself 'if only i could take a beta blocker whenever i felt a panic attack coming on' but obviously because of the effect they are supposed to have, id stop my heart altogether.....don't get me wrong, i am far from that state of mind where that becomes an option, i just wish there was something out there that could be used for such a thing, the bottom line of it all is if i can calm myself down then the panic attack ceases, but i cant calm myself without medicinal me, I've tried, its not happening......

    but thank you, i will search for a 'mean time' support group. Yet again i cant thank you enough for the advice.

    Danielle xxx

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