Citalopram or Fluoxetine?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all - I've been experiencing some nasty depression and anxiety again recently due to work and relationships. January to March were pretty good and had more energy and positive momentum. A couple of triggers at the end of March firstly made my mood plummet, which sapped my energy, and then it turned into anxiety in the last couple of days.

I've taken fluoxetine in the past and it helped with low mood, but not so much the anxiety. Citalopram helped with anxiety but made me very drowsy even on the 10 and 20mg dosage. I took it in the morning for about 3 months last year until things improved.

I may be starting a new job in a few months and I really don't want anxiety to creep in and mess things up. 

I'd take citaolpram again but it turns me into a zombie - maybe I should take it at night but need to sleep otherwise things are 10 times worse? :-(

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Is that the only one you can get for your anxiety? I've been using clonazepam now over the citalopram, that one I couldn't handle at all, cloazepam also helps me sleep well. Good luck with the new job.

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    • Posted

      Hi CIndy - they very rarely prescribe benzos at my surgery - it's mainly SSRI-based. Tried Sertraline once but horrible side effects. May have to bite the bullet and get back on one of them.

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  • Posted

    I have been on Fluoxetine twice and both times it really helped me, but I start with stress that causes insomnia which turns into anxiety/depression.  I hadn't slept more that a couple of hours a night for 6 weeks so reluctantly went on Fluoxetine again, but it usually takes about 6 weeks before I'm sleeping again.  When I took it, it made my anxiety worse and I felt like I couldn't hack 6 weeks so docotr suggested Citalopram.  It does  make me tired but it sorted the sleeping problems after about 5 days and after 4 mnths I am now feeling better again.

    The tiredness is an issue but since i've been feeling better that has eased so it may also be connected to the depression.

    I think I would rather be drowsy in a new job than have high anxiety.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi David,

    Okay, let's look at what has happened, what has not happened and what is going to happen.

    You took Citalopram for three months “until things improved”. So we see that, perhaps, you took it in the hope it would make you feel better to contiue the way things were. A kind of quick fix to cope with a lifestyle we have all been brainwashed into thinking is the right one, when in reality it is completely unnatural to the way we should be. Just take a look at the world open your eyes and see what an unsustainable mess things are in and with only one disasterous (for humanity) outcome. I am not religious, just a realist smile.

    The ups and later the cause of making your “mood plummet” is a typical reaction in coming off Cita either too quick or before it has had a chance to even fix what is wrong in your head. No way did it put you in a place where you could then start to fix what is wrong in your life.

    Relationships and work; man, haven't we all been there!

    Citalopram does not turn people into zombies, well, not permanently anyway. wink Lol! We can all atest to feeling spaced, not really ourselves, fuzzy, not sure what is going on, etc., etc., but that is just a side effect of this sticking plaster for the brain when it starts to do its repair work. Another is oncoming anxiety or increased anxiety, do not ask me how, but Cita sometimes causes it, to then be able to treat it. I had this come from nowhere in my own case and it freaked me however, some kind soul here explained that's what it does and I rode it out. We do not all get the same side effects or intensity of them so, when reading and posting here some things may not apply to you or your illness so don't worry or over think things just try and be positive. This repair work takes as long as it takes due to the fact we are all uniquely, separate and very different individuals.

    What is going to happen then? For one, you have not given this med chance to even begin the repairs it needed to start last year and therefore obviously, you have become ill again. In fact even though you felt better you were actually still ill. Some of us stay on meds until we are completely better, or on a lower dose for longer, even forever depending on the amount of damage this “lifestyle” we have been forced fed has wreaked upon us. To continue like this will make you even worse, it is a downward spiral which, I think reading between the lines, you became aware of when you realised you needed help and took it. However, once accepting the help you have dropped it once you felt a 'little better'. You see David, as quick as we get to a point where “things improve” we can certainly get to a point where where things purely and simply just crash; you have to go the distance if you truly want to be well again. Relationships and work are secondary to your health. How can you be happy in a relationship or at work if you are not happy mentally?

    This is also our part in our own recovery, from that which brought us here (mine was work related stress), which includes a certain amount of “self help”. Rarely do we come across an instance where the saying “you are what you eat, breathe, read, watch, work at etc., etc., can truly be attached until, that is, we end up here on this forum with these issues.

    Personally, I stopped smoking and drinking, although, now that I am better I do take the odd ale or two now and again wink!  We (my fiancee and I) have both gave up land meat and we have totally reduced our consumption of processed foods to less than 20% (and falling) of our weekly intake. We bake our own bread, cakes, flapjacks, brownies using only natural and organic ingredients, like replacing sugar with locally produced (by bees) honey and I tell you what it is very nutritous and satisfying. We no longer 'crave' the chemicals that are unneccessarily a part of all ingredients used by the 'food' inductry (two words that should never be used together) just, so you crave more – like an addiction.  The signs of this addiction are all around us and sadly increasing.

    We had to learn all these things, we had to tighten our belts and honestly, we are richer for it. If someone had told me I would be fitter mentally as well as physically than ever before, before all this, I would have laughed and thought they were “hippy dippy” or one of those other nasty press spread decietful and misleading head- lies labels! Guess what David, they did and it was here on this wonderful forum that gives us the chance to meet other more enlightened sufferers and learn from them, accept guidance and put all that brought us here in the first place way behind us!

    Keep reading, but do not, or try not to over think or worry. Keep posting, no matter how silly it may seem, we have all been there and no one will think its silly. Most importantly keep growing and learning from this experience so that you, like us, can not only help those that follow, but also change this crazy messed up world!

    Before I forget, when you restart taking Cita it may be an idea (or worth a try, as everyone is dfferent) to take it before bed. I did and it worked for me, to let the med do its job while I was asleep, freeing me up for a better day ahead. It takes time though remember.

    Anyway, the last thing (I promise) to say is Welcome to Club it is an all inclusive one that has a great success record!

    Best Regards,


    Ps May I say what a great name!

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    • Posted

      Hi David - thanks for the in-depth reply I appreciate your support greatly!

      Yes I came off citalopram because I had improved but also the drowsiness was really slowing me down at work and hindering my exercise routine - with the latter contributing greatly to improved mood and outlook. After 3 months I'd had enough enough of feeling sluggish and went cold turkey which wasn't too bad and things actually improved until recently. 

      You're right, I'm not happy mentally, I don't think I ever have been truly happy with myself - I set very high standards for myself and they're probably not achievable. I get it from my Father who's a perfectionist and never satisfied. It's a very damaging trait to have I bloody well know it and I'm not entirely sure how to change as whatever I'm doing 80% of the time either seems wrong or not good enough. Then I get the depression and anxiety and I get the vicious cycle all over again.

      But then if I was in an enjoyable job and had a stable relationship I know I'd feel much better about myself so it's a bit like chicken and egg. I also get terrible sleep issues when I'm in a bad period which makes things ten times worse of course.

      I feel like I need to book into a mental health farm for a week or two where there's group therapy, zen rooms, wholesome food and therapists! I guess that's the Priory but I don't have the money lol.

      I agree with you. In another world we'd be working less hours, have affordable housing, more space, less expectation and a better diet and I'm sure we'd all feel a lot better for it. 

      Anyway to get back to the original topic I'm happy taking any medication as long as I can reasonably go about my day - I can handle moderate levels of drowsiness etc. so I think I'll start 10mg in the mornings for a couple of weeks then start taking at the end of the day and see where that leads.

      I'll keep you updated and thanks again!

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    • Posted

       You are more than welcome it is free and we are here to help, give something back and in doing so, continue to learn.

      Possibly the reason it was making you sluggish is because of the work and exercise 'routine' was too much mentally and physically and also a big part of the problem. Cita can slow us down to be able to repair the damage. As I mentioned before Cita, like any drug including alcohol, is not a quick fix, nor is it something to pop and get by on. Doing this is unhealthy and all it is doing is masking the real problems and issues that are either just below the surface or lie deep within us sometimes. It is good that you feel relaxed about discussing some of the issues and means you are on the road to recovery, the trouble is we have to get off the road and take a quieter and more relaxed path.

      Fathers! I know what you mean to some extent. Mine worked hard, was a local councillor, union rep and devoted his life to helping people, I'm not saying he wasn't a loving Dad, but spent more time with others, apart from the usual holidays and family stuff. He was there, but elsewhere. I had the chance to go to art school, paid for by a local sponsor, but was told by my Dad that I had to get a job, for life, basically. Funny, at that very time in the 70s these were beginning to disappear, I haven't had a job for life because in trhe back of my mind I always thought life was for living. Even though I have had careers in the military, private and public sectore one thing I did do, albeit on a not so regular basis, was to keep up the art. By the way, there is nothing on thise Earth or in the universe that is perfect!

      No one knows how to truly be happy and life isn't perfick at all. The crap that we feel at times can be strength in the future, sometimes when things feel like they are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place and sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right place. We never know because all we can learn by is experience. You say 80% of the time what you are doing is wrong or not good enough, I'd say that is far better than 90 or 100% of the time! Some people don't even get things right 20% of the time so, I would hold on to that 20% any day. Within that 20% there is clarity, you know that you are in a vicious circle now, that is positivity!

      Jobs and relationships. I, for one, know that the future is made of dreams however, sometimes we reach for the unobtainable. This doesn't mean that we cannot achieve what we truly want to achieve. Its just that deep down in our soul we really know, if we are honest, we don't accept the bull pumped out day after day and need to heed the words of Bob Marley and “free ourselves from mental slavery”.

      Firstly, you have to come to terms with yourself before thinking of embarking on the next relationship. The relationship you have with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. If you don't like or can't love you for who you are what chance have you with another human being? One as unique and totally individual, as yourself never been here before or to be repeated again and who may also have issues!

      This evil and corrupt society we are currently living in exploits us from the cradle to the grave instead of nurturing us. Everything that happens is to feed a corporate entity purely and simply for profit. When things go wrong and/or we breakdown they have the remedies and we have to pay for them, like therapy and places to go to get a temorary fix (there is no profit in a full repair). At the end of the day it is all down to getting us back on the treadmill asap so profits don't fall.

      There is no 'other' world only this one and one time it was a nice place to live and it can be again.  Do not believe otherwise, that is just the system bullsh*tting you yet again.  We, my fiancee and I, feel better because we took a step we were told we could never take and we are now freer than ever before and we want to make this planet freely liveable for all again.  Small steps can lead to anywhere and achieve many things.

      Sadly, myself and many others have had to go down the road of meds first, none of us wanted to and we haven't by choice just to 'get by', but we have with intent to 'get better', fully repaired so that we can help others until the day we aren't needed. Take the meds to become a better person not just to fit into the system and 'get by'.

      I recently read something someone posted and copied and here I am sharing it with you, it is quite apt for what we are talking about. It goes: Make peace with your past so it won't disturb your future. What other people think is none of your business. The only person in charge of your happiness is you. Don't compare your life to others, comparison is the thief of joy. Time heals almost everything therefore give things time. Stop thinking so much, it's alright not to know all the answers and remember to smile, you don't own all the problems in the world.



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