Citalopram to Venlafaxine, advice required

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Hi guys, let me give you some background info.

I am 26, i've been on Citalopram since i was around 19-20. For the majority of this time i was on 20mg. I was prescribed it for panic attacks and not depression.

My panic attacks started in a really stupid way. I was just starting a new job, going through 6 weeks training, then someone ran into the back off my car. I got bad whiplash which in turn caused diziness. I didn't understand it and it made me panicked, sadly something seemed to alter for me after this and i was suffering panic attacks relentlessly for about a year before seeking out Citalopram, recommended by my Dad who also suffers from panic attacks.

Now onto why i am asking my question. Citalopram completely stopped my panic attacks withing 3-4 of using it, tried coming off it several times to come crashing back down, it's not an easy drug to come off at all as per other threads on here.

I went to the Doctors 6 months ago to advise that i was sick of feeling crap, although i wasn't suffering panic attacks, i frequently feel crap, bit light headed sometimes, hard to concentrate etc. One of my main ones though is that i was finding it hard to get excited and upbeat about anything, like family holidays to Florida etc and i love Florida. Also one thing that i find horrible, i never wake up feeling refreshed, no matter how long i sleep and i find that one of the hardest things to cope with.

Doctors diagnosis was that my citalopram was surpressing my emotions and making me like this and i should cut down and see if it makes a difference. Over the last 6 months i have done this gradually as i've tried it fast before and it is brutal. I am currently on 5mg (a 10mg every 2nd day), although i am currently going through a really bad stage, only changed to 5mg about 4 weeks ago. Really light headed, spaced out, struggling to concentrate.

Went back to the Doctors after i was on 10mg for a few months and still feeling pretty crap, no real change. He believes the Citalopram just isn't doung much for me anymore and prescribed me 75mg modified release Venlafaxine, which so far i haven't started as i am apprehensive, i want to feel better and i am terrified of a different tablet making me feel worse. If it didn't work out i think i'd panic and jump straight back to 20mg cit, then the long laborious cutting down process would have to commence all over again.

So my question is, do i ride this out and drop off cit completely, most likely feeling crap for the next few months while i do it hoping there is a better feeling waiting at the end of the tunnel?


Do i go onto the 75mg Venlafaxine?

Has anyone else made this move and can offer advice? The goals im looking for this are to get rid of the light headedness, more concetration. I HATE feeling dizzy.

Can i just say i am so glad i came across this forum as it backed up some of my symptoms. For a while i got the point where i thought i was just making them up in my head since i've had this for so long.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this.

0 likes, 8 replies


8 Replies

  • Posted


    I changed from cipralex to venlafaxine 75mg mainly because I had high anxiety and then got depression.

    I think regardless of what med your on its horrible coming off(although I've never done this I did straight swap) venlafaxine is a hard drug to come off and when I do it will be over a very long time as I do not want horrendous SE.

    I am now on 150mg venlafaxine,and I can say like you I do not seem to get excited over things(not done for years) Mercer thought of drugs suppressing me!!!!

    Me personally now I think I would try without meds,see how you are for a few months without(maybe get some proportional to help you)if you still feel the same then try the venlafaxine.

  • Posted

    Hello dear Allan,

    I hope you feel better by now, but if you do not, try sertraline instead. Brilliant drug, you feel happy, panic attacks will go away. I have been on it for more than 10 years non stop, no side affects apart from when you just start to take it - for 2-3 weeks, I am on 50mg a day.

    Cheers, Irena

  • Posted


    I was just reading this and wanted to know what you ended up deciding to do? I am on citolapram right now and feeling the same way. I am starting to find myself in a dead stare just not caring very much about happy things that I would normally be excited about. I feel a little numb. My doctor told me I should switch to Venlafaxine, but I have not tried it yet. I have been on Cit for 5 months for panic attacks and high blood pressure issues. Any help would be great! thanks

    • Posted

      Changed over to Venlafaxine and there were no issues with change over.

      Feel much better on Venlafaxine, a lot less dizzy. You feel great for first few weeks before it levels out but then it's definitely better than citalopram for me anyway.

      I would definitely recommend it.

    • Posted

      I am about to transition over the Venlafaxin from citolapram.  I am curious how your transition went...did you taper off of the citolapram or did you just stop it and start taking venlafaxin.  Thanks!
  • Posted

    Hi Allan

    Any updates?

    I have been on citalopram for 4.5 months and I am still anxious and depressed and have maxed out at 40mg.

    I have already discussed possibly changing to Effexor (took it in the past and it seemed to work, had already tried Celexa over 10 years ago and it didn't work for me then either) but am nervous to make the switch. 

    How are you feeling?

    • Posted

      Hi, I am very sorry for no reply, I didn't see this.

      The transition was easy and I feel much better on venlafaxine than I did on Citalopram, wish I had moved over sooner.

      I am currently coming off Venlafaxine now too so fingers crossed. smile


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