Citalopram ruined my life

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi Guys,

Posted on here a a couple of weeks ago as I was in the last phase of withdrawal from stopping taking 20mg Citalopram after one month of taking them and being made worse by them. Felt sick, dizzy, really depressed and the anxiety I was suffering with got worseso stopped taking them.

Ever since I started them and stopped my life has fallen apart.

I have put on almost 2 stone in weight through eating almost constantly. I am smoking occasionally again after being quit for almost 4 years.

I have fallen out with a few friends after saying things I would have never said to them before the medication.

I lost my job as I just couldn't function there anymore.

The only reason I started taking Citalopram in the first place is I had a slight anxiety problem. i had no other problems.

I was running 3 to 5 miles every 2 days. I had a fantastic diet. I wasn't depressed. Had a brillaint job. I looked really good by all accounts from people who know me.

Now I am a total shadow of my former self and it's all down to this horrible drug.


Thanks for reading.

1 like, 12 replies

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12 Replies

  • Posted


    I can relate to many of your comments above though fortunately without some of the more dramatic episodes.

    What needs to be understood by a lot of medics are the potentially sever side effects of the drug and these should be FULLY explained to the patient by the GP prior to commencement of use of the drug. It sound slike you nor I had the opportunity of this information and as a result like you i had slight anxiety and ended up on a 3 month treadmill of side effect then later withdrawal symptoms which has meant that i have lost most of the last 3 months.

    Finally I now appear to be almost over the worse and getting back to  a normal life!!


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    • Posted

      Hi Dave,

      Hopefully I will be able to start picking up the pieces like you have soon.

      The initial doctors visist went like this:

      "Hi Doctor:

      "Hi Carl, what can I do for you today?"

      "Well I have been suffering with an anxiety issue lately and feel like my usual routine of exercise and diet isn't cutting the mustard to control it anymore"

      "OK, I would recommend Citalopram 20mg as it has been proven to be the best at controling anxiety"

      "But that's an anti-depressent isn't it? Is there no actual anxiety medication I can take?"

      "Unfortunately no but don't worry I have had nothing but good feedback from other patients"

      "OK great I will give it a go"

      That was it. Never explained anything about side effects.

      Absolutely drives me mad thinking that I was doing so well before taking them and now I'm like a different person.

      Thankfully I have just started walking again as a first step. Now i have just got to stop the junk food, increase the distance walking, start running again and slowly get back on track.

      Like you I have lost months of my life and it probably will be another 6 months before I am back to how I was before.



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    • Posted

      hey carl,

      sorry you've had such a bad experience with cit. i like you suffer from anxiety and im on week 6 30mg now. it has to get worse before it gets better! you are right your doctor should have told you the side effects. my doctor didnt either but before i took them i googled the most common side effects and found this forum and read most of the comments about cit.

      some people actually take 3 or so months for it to start working. but if you werent happy on them and they werent working for you then theres no point you going through all the nasty side effects.

      i hope it all settles down for you soon and your back to normal soon! (what ever normal is these days!)

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    • Posted

      Hi Cassandra,

      Just set myself back about 6 months by taking them.

      The weight thing is the main issue for me as I used to weigh over 20 stone and I spent the best part of a year getting down to 16 stone. Now i have put back on half of that which is a horrible feeling.

      I will get back to it and sort it out but people need to be aware of the pitfalls of starting any sort of meds.


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    • Posted

      hey carl,

      thats fair enough people do need to be more aware of it so it is good that you are sharing your experience.

      i wish you well and hope it doesnt take you too long to feel better.


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  • Posted

    Hi Carl,

    I can totally relate to your post. I was prescribed 30 mg Citalopram in May last year, but for depression AND anxiety. I basically needed a mood stabiliser, and it seemed to be doing the business for the first few months.

    I then made a stupid, rash decision to go cold turkey, and inadvertently lost my job as a result. I stopped taking it because I too was getting a bloated belly, was a mental zombie, and I just couldn't take the lack of sex drive on them. I figured I would take psychotherapy as my route to sanity (had a disturbed and turbulent childhood), but when I told my psychiatrist about the effects of coming off Cit cold turkey, he suggested I go back on them.

    Once I did, I was a whole new person; and this is testatement to how pharma companies keep you addicted to the drug: by making withdrawal an intolerable, experience.

    Anyway, as it stands now, I made the decision to taper off Citalopram slowly and come off it altogether. I am in the 3rd month of reducing doses, with the plan to stop Citalopram altogether in a month. I am taking Wellbutrin as a depression aid, and so far it seems to be working fine.

    Can I suggest that since your issue is largely anxiety related that you consider doing some form of meditation or yoga? I too am a runner and nothing helps getting those dopamine levels up and giving you a calming effect after, but yoga would really help you in the long term. It would calmly help you root out the problem and let it go through the powers of meditation.

    Anyway, good luck to you and hope you get back to your old self. Now that I am tapering off Citalopram, I'm starting to feel like my old self again.

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  • Posted

    I cant hlep but wonder if maybe you did not need the drug really in the first place. Not everyone I feel is bad enough to be medicated.  A similar thing happend to me yes I was moody and could be anxious now and then but I never felt anything was wrong with me I assued it was normal. I moved out to WAshington and had to get a new doctor and he started asking all these question which I was yes I can be snappy and yes more around my cycle. He took me off my normal birthcontrol and prescribed me the new one that came out that had a mood lifter in it Yaz. Ok I felt great fro the year I was on it , then I wanted to get pregnante and came off it...Bam only two weeks off and Panic attack. I never had them before. Then they got more intense as time went on. I now have panic disorder , generalized anxiety , vision problems from both of those. And now from it all gastritis because of the stress. My body was capable of dealing with my emotions till I removed myself from those emotions and then when they flooded back it was like shock to my body..after lots of research I am not the only one who this happend to with this birth control.  Of course I kept thinking I should just go back on but That would make me feel stuck on a drug and I dont want that. So since 2007 I have been managing so far without meds and other treatments like breathing excersies ect. Found a therapist that finally not trying to push anti meds at me. I got better for 5 years but I just had a relapse...I wish I could go back and not take that stupied stuff but I cant. So where from here? I will still consider anti meds a last resort for me. I am now researching natural herbs. I am sorry you are going through this but some doctors jump to meds first..I think if I would of started the thearpy and yoga before I would of been completely fine but no he pushed something new at me which by the way was taking off the market and now they have a new form of it out..surprise surprise.
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  • Posted

    Carl Hi!

    Sounds to me from your comments that the GP is adopting a blinkered view and not listening to the patient!!

    I what is being offered is not what you are happy to proceed with then do seek another opinion from a second GP . Whereas one doctor will not criticise another, they could adopt another remedy to your problem. In the past when i have suffered from nerves (anxiety) I have used beta blockers in an ad hoc way as and when required this has helped with the peak of the issues and then I have stopped when the problem is over this is what i will likely do in the future and never touch what for me is the evil drug Cit!!!

    For what it is worth and under the circumstances I don't think that I would be happy with hte responce which you received from your GP:


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  • Posted

    Hi Carl, I've had such a rough time too, like you I only took for anxiety (mild in my opion) and within days had full blown akathisa, psychosis. I've not been the same since, I feel a shell of my former self, and have so many ongoing symptoms after only 5 weeks on it. It's been 5 months and no change.

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  • Posted

    Hi Carl, my dr gave the drug ford insomnia and it totally changed me too after 8 days. Can you confirm if you feel like you are back to your old self at all as I am still not and am starting to lose hope? Thanks jo 
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  • Posted

    Hi carl, I had similar effect after 8 days, has anything improved for you? I totally transformed me, I was a happy person and it has taken everything from me. I hope there is some hope 
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