Do citalopram work?

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Ive been prescribed with citalopram by my doctor after being on sertraline, as the sertraline seemed to make me worse and had awful side effects. Im 4 days into taking the citalopram and i cannot eat, i feel really sick and when i have eaten i have thrown up a few times! But i have heard quite good reviews about them so would like to persevere with them. But just wondering if anybody else has had these side effects and if so how long it took so the side effects to calm down? Thanks 

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  • Posted

    Hi Bethanie can I just ask you how u felt when you started to feel better meaning did you question it ?! 

    Reason I’m asking is I’ve been on citalopram nearly 5 weeks - 3 weeks 10mg & 2 weeks 20mg & im starting to see the old me shine through ! I’m on citalopram due to full blown panic attack - anxiety followed straight after plus low mood, post natal depression (had a baby 8 weeks ago) & ocd ! 

    I’m worried that I shouldn’t be on them if I’m already seeing improvements as a lot of people say it takes a long time to see a difference ! Worried I’ve been wrongly diagnosed !? I’m still anxious but I’m able to talk myself out of it a lot more than a few weeks ago ! Did u feel like u was over happy or ever think should I feel this way more relaxed & able to eat & sit down with all the racing thoughts 24/7 apologise for long post !xx

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    • Posted

      Hi, yes i did feel that way myself. When i started to feel slightly better after around 2 weeks and then ive read pretty much every post on here and most people have said they started feeling better at around 6-8 weeks and even some people it takes months, at first i felt guilty about the fact i felt better when so many people were still suffering so far into the tablets but that feeling has gone now because i feel lucky that it has taken so little time, im not 100% there yet by any means but im so so much better than 9 weeks ago when i first started. I think maybe the reason you're feeling better is because your one of the lucky ones but i wouldnt recommend coming off the tablets just because you feel better because it is a bit like a rollercoaster on these tablets i had a horrible day yesterday where i couldnt stop crying and i felt so depressed but then i feel fine again today. Does this help?

      Congrats on the birth of your baby but really sorry about the post natal depression sad i also apologise for the long post lol xx

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    • Posted

      Id also say stay on the tablets until your 100% sure your ready to come off them but when you do make sure you do it very slowly like 5mg decrease and stay there for a month or two then down again and stay there for a month or two as withdrawls can be quite crap if done fast 
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  • Posted

    Hi thanks for reply and congratulating me on birth of baby ! It’s my third and had postnatal depression with each baby ! boy & 2 girls 🙂 

    I’ve been on citalopram before I was on it for 4 years 40mg after having my first daughter in 2012 & was on sertraline prior to that after having my son 2008 ! 

    Even though I’ve been on citalopram before I can’t actually remember how I felt when I first started taking it can’t remeber if I had side effects or anything to be fair ! 

    This time I started on 10mg that worked for first few weeks took the edge off but went up to 20mg as it’s the therapeutic dose for adults and would help more and through the day I can have some good hours and some bad hours but I try to not let the bad hours (blips) get me down so much 

    My anxiety is related to my health I think I’m constantly worrying I’ve got something wrong with me & there not just your yearly virus that everyone gets they have ranged from thinking I was bipolar, angina, heart problems, asthmatic basically anything life threatening or life changing problems  ! Dr Google doesn’t help me at the moment I try not to google anything but then end up doing it and scaring myself with all these different symptoms ! 

    (Mental health nurse has told me I’m not bipolar etc ! Doctors have said I haven’t got anything wrong with heart apart from an ectopic beat ! Had bloods done for iron, folate, liver & kidney function, thyroid, full blood count etc all came back normal) 

    My ocd is a case of I over analyse everything I have to know the What when where who why etc & become obsessed with finding out every detail ! 

    My ocd isn’t where I can’t stand germs as in have to repeatedly wash hands or cant touch dirty things that doesn’t bother me at all !  it’s more I’m a neat freak I like everything to have it’s own place and look neat and tidy ! And clean kitchen worktops & don’t like bits on the floor my hoover is my best friend lol 😂 

    I was on citalopram last year (started them 2012) & decided I wanted to come off them without letting my doctor know (wrong of me I know & would never suggest to anyone to do this) I started to reduce dose down from 40mg to 20mg for a couple of weeks & then 10mg then 10mg every other day but I realise now this was too fast & I know it takes months to reduce dose slowly and little by little !! 

    I think I was off them by October last year and at first I felt fine but looking back I could see the low mood and anxiety creeping back slowly ! I had a good Christmas & then come January 2017 I seemed to be acting different February 2017 I fell pregnant & I didn’t know how I felt about it I didn’t feel excited or happy I felt scared & worried more ! 

    By may 2017 I was getting severe migraines that made me loose my eyesite usually in 1 eye ! My hand & arm would go numb & also my lip tongue & throat ! 

    Was told by gp that they was hemipeligic migraines & couldn’t do nothing or take anything as was pregnant & to just grin & bare it ! 

    I ended up having 30 in total some worse than others ! I found myself not wanting to go out incase of a migraine not interacting with my kids so much ! Constantly worried when the next one was going to happen ! 

    The whole time through my pregnancy nobody seemed to care nhs wise or even listen to how much i was suffering ! 

    Then when I was nearly 33 weeks a consultant referred me to a neurologist but had to wait for appointment ! & told me I would be induced early at 37 weeks 

    I ended up having my 2nd daughter @ 37+1 day 

    I was induced (tablet) showing signs of labour could of had waters broke but was told no room on labour ward so was left till next day woken at 6am told they ready for u now ! 

    Had waters broken and put on drip they kept turning drip up every 20mins even though they suppose to leave it 30-60 mins between each increase ! I started drip at 11ish and she was born at 1.04pm ! 

    I went into full labour when Mïdwîfe wasn’t even in room (she was too busy gossiping in corridor) my body went into shock and I started to violently shake and didn’t know why ! Midwife said your in shock cuz your body didn’t like the drip ! 

    In total I was in real labour 40mins and she was born perfect and healthy 😊 

    I was then neglected when taken to next ward and also in my home care ! 

    Ended up having a full on panic attack on 13th October felt like I was dying heart pumping so fast couldn’t breathe sweating shaking that I couldn’t control etc ! Paramedics where called and they checked me over said I’m perfectly fine just a panic attack and even did an ecg and it came back normal ! 

    Ever since then I haven’t been right every feeling I get I worry it’s something serious etc ! 

    I not long had my neurologist appointment on 4th Dec ! Straight away asked me questions and he straight away said it’s not hemipeligic migraine and my gp has no right to diagnose it as that ! He was that angry that he said he’s going to write to them to say in a polite way that what they did was wrong and they need to educate themselves more 😂 lol ! 

    He said they shouldn’t of said I was having them as all it did was put fear into me which it did as hempeligic migraines mimic stroke ! 

    He literally said to me you haven’t got hemipeligic you have intense migraine ! 

    He wants to see my again soon & do a ct scan & gave me a headache diary to keep ! 

    Also sent me for blood tests for Raynaud’s disease & lupus ! Kind of worried if I’m honest trying not to think about it but i think untill blood results are back I won’t be able to stop worrying ! 

    Really sorry for long post just wanted to explain my situation & how it happened !

    Even though I think I’ve always had anxiety problems just takes something to set it off badly ! I just want to be able to feel like me 100% but I know it takes time & that’s what I need to do give myself time to get back to where I want to be !xx

    P.s sorry to hear you had a bad day ! Sometimes bad days seem worse as your doing so well ! Keep strong & keep smiling 😊 Can I ask what mg you are on ?! What are your anxiety symptoms?!xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the congratulations 😊 have been through a lot more and only 30 but I’m still here fighting that’s the main thing not just for myself but for my three children 😊 !xx 

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    • Posted

      Oh lord! Ive just wrote a long reply to you and my phone crashed and it all deleted 😩😂

      It sounds awful what youve been through especially the birth of your second daughter! The way you was treat is disgusting they dont seem to care do they. But glad she was born healthy and happy smile 

      Your neurologist sounds great! Id definitely let him send them a telling off ha ha.

      Gp's these days are terrible, i had an experience years and years ago i noticed my left eye was going blurry so went to the doctors he said ive got a piece of wood stuck in it but its fine it'll just desolve and not cause me any problems, fast forward a year and it got worse so i ended up having to go to the hospital every 6 months for 3 years and they wanted to book me in to have a cornea transplant, i dont think so ill stick with my blurry eye lol! 

      I dont have ocd but i think i have something similar to you i need to know like everything such as a bus i cant get on a bus because i dont know how many people will be on it or how much money it will be or which seats are available im the same in shops lol. 

      Thank you thats very reassuring, same to you!! smile

      I am on 20mg, and my anxiety symptoms were depersonalization, panic attacks intrusive thoughts and constant crying. Stomach problems throwing up. Glad they're mostly gone now.  I feel sometimes anxious when i cant get out of situations like say a meeting at work or even just at work in general somewhere i cant just leave makes me feel anxious but thats going now too smile 


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    • Posted

      Wow to just tell you to leave it and it will go away and then ends up causing you more trouble ! I agree gps are no good if you find a good one hang on to them as you would be lucky to find another ! 

      I struggle with buses if I’m on my own if I’m with someone then I can usually go on but I worry about how many people are on there and don’t like the whole getting on a bus and everyone looks at you & actually look forward to when it’s time to get off ! 

      At the moment I’m struggaling with doing school run as I feel worried incase I go into panic mode while I’m there and also don’t like being alone with my youngest daughter when everyone else out the house due to scared incase something happens to me and nobody would know but I’m getting better at this therapist says to try and break my day up into shorter time frames etc so then it doesn’t feel like such along time alone ! 

      Did u have any dizziness or fullhead feeling I don’t mean like a headache there’s no pain the only way I can describe it is like it had too much going on in there (think of a balloon full to capacity and no more room for any more air) I don’t know if I’ve explained that right ! (I have had a cold for a few weeks off and on don’t know if that has anything to do with it or if it’s anxiety related) 

      I’ve still got the internal shake not as bad at Times did u have this (like your shaking but nobody else can see it) 

      Thanks for the reply and hope ur well and still going forward !xx 

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    • Posted

      I say it took about a month and a half for started on my legs move to my stomach and end it in my hands arms... annoying and scary..but it pass..thank goodness...
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    • Posted

      That’s really good well done to ya 😊 did you ever have chest tightness on one side or aching muscles etc ?! 

      I find mine happens through the day more & by bed time it can be quite bad but like this morning I woke up & no chest tightness ! 

      Don’t know if it’s anxiety related or because I’m getting over a cough & cold & I smoke so chest always going to be weaker !

      Or it might be muscular as I’ve got disscomfort in back of neck & in shoulder !xx 

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    • Posted

      Yes im the same if im with somebody im fine, but on my own there no way i can do it! I panic about getting off the bus as well because people will be looking and what if i trip over all sorts of things go through my mind. 

      Ive been told that too to break your day up, i do it an hour at a time, ive got through this hour im going to get through the next. I started setting myself little tasks as well little stuff at first like getting out of bed and having a shower then they got bigger where i was setting myself tasks to talk to customers at work and im still struggling a little but if i carry on it should just become the norm i hope!! 

      Yes ive has the dizzy/fullhead feeling its not a nice feeling at all. I usually go for a nap when i feel that way which probably isnt the best thing to do but it gives me peace for a while. I noticed the other day when i was at work i was talking to a collegue and for a second it felt like the world shook like only for a split second but it was a little weird like a tremor have you ever had this? 

      Ive had a cold too not sure if this is why im having a bit of a blip as im run down. Woke up this morning feeling really down like i dont want to laugh or smile but im going to try and trooper through the day and get through it! Fingers crossed.

      Hope your continuing to do well and that your cold is easing up lol. Xx

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    • Posted

      Yes all of those side effects you mention ive had also.not very comfortable.but reading katecogs comments help me pull thru.she is the one with the most accurate and knowledgeable information of this celexa.wothout her I would of probably threw in the towel..take care
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    • Posted

      Yes I’m the same with the bus so your not alone lol 😂 

      Yes I’ve been told to do that aswell break my day up into smaller sections ! I’m doing talking therapy along with the citalopram & have got an assessment with a psychologist next week ! 

      Yes I know exactly what u mean with the head I call it brain zaps it’s almost like your brain shakes for a split second makes u feel really uneasy afterwards ! I ask my mental health nurse about it as I’ve had them a few times & she says it’s anxiety ! It’s a hard one to try & explain without sounding a bit crazy !! 

      I try & describe it like as if someone gave you a 1-2 second electric shock does this sound like the sort you had ??

      The dizziness/lightheaded is horrible it makes me feel so off balance & like every step I take I over compensate incase I fall ! Even though I probably wouldn’t it just makes me feel on edge !

      Had a anxious day today my thoughts have been all over the place from thinking I’ve got a heart problem to asthma ! It’s drove me mad today just one thought after the other 😩 also due to waiting on blood results nothing worse is there waiting to be told if they are clear or not 😞

      Also thinking I can’t breathe properly which is silly as if I couldn’t breathe properly I wouldn’t be talking walking eating etc ! Think Just tight chest from cough/cold & anxiety !!

      Hope you have a better day tomorrow & your cold eases up ! Wishing u well !xx  

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    • Posted

      yes thats exactly what it was like!!! Weirdly i didnt feel anxious about it or anything i just kinda thought hm that was weird but i didnt mention it to anyone cause it thought id sound mental, i have heard of brain zaps through this site and to be honest ive never understood what people meant but now i do, i can imagine it to be horrible if it happens frequently. 

      I was the same with the dizzyness, i HAD to get a job where i could sit down with a fan on my desk otherwise id go right dizzy and panic, since then im doing a job when im on my feet 8-4 housekeeping all day which i never ever thought id be able to do and i still feel dizzy at times (the rooms are so hot) but i kinda trained my brain to ignore it and if i faint i faint at least it gets me out of work for a bit ha ha! I used to have really bad anxiety about fainting think thats what caused it at first (this is about 4 years ago now) but doing cbt helped it go. 

      I feel for you with the bad day as ive had a few lately, intrusive thoughts mainly. Its most likely waiting for the blood test results that is causing it but remember its healthy to be anxious about these things hopefully in time the tablets will make it so we're not excessively anxious and just a little anxious in these moments. Like starting a new job its normal to feel anxious same with health results. Ive been meaning to have a blood test to see if its my thyroid thats causing my anxiety but for some reason in the last month ive developed a fear of needles, never been scared of them before but for some reason i cant face it at the minute. Keep telling myself ill have it done when im better.

      Im quite anxious right now because ive just got my new packet of tables from the chemist and its made from a different manufacturer and ive heard of people getting the side effects again when changing manufacturer so quite nervous but we'll see, if i do ill ask my doctor to make sure its the same one each time!

      Hope your doing ok and wishing you well too!


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    • Posted

      Hi Bethanie 

      Yes they are a strange sensation and I agree when trying to ask someone about them i had the same feeling that people would think I’m mad lol 😂 but it’s actually just another way of your anxiety getting to you ! 

      Yes the dizziness isn’t a nice thing to have at all I almost felt like I wasn’t able to look after my daughter as was worried I would fall over or faint but touch wood that’s never happened & never does fingers crossed 🤞🏼 

      Yes the bad days are not nice at all and I sort of get more annoyed if I’ve had a good day or good few hours followed by a bad day but realistically I shouldn’t let it get to me as everyone has good and bad days it’s part of being human I guess 

      I’ve gotten some of blood test results back all normal apart from vitamin d bit high but they say they are not bothered about it being high they would only worry if it was low so good news so far still waiting on 4 results to come back hopefully be back by end of the week or early next week (horrible waiting for them but I suppose that’s the same for anyone waiting on blood results but I tell myself if it was urgent then it would of said so on blood form) 

      I think you should go get your thyroid test done I understand that you don’t feel comfortable having it done but the sooner you have it done the quicker the results come back ! Try drinking a drink of water while it’s happening to take your mind of it & explain to them that you have anxiety & they will talk to you and keep you occupied ! Plus if you have it done you will prove to yourself it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be ! 

      That’s what I’ve been doing lately I’ve been to the opticians today and even though I know nothing bad would happen I was still anxious but I made myself go to prove nothing would happen and it didn’t 😊

      I was the same with the tablets but they are all the same the only thing I would say is different is some contain lactose which could give you a rumbling tummy not long after taking it ! Or if your lactose intolerant then avoid taking them but u would already know if you was as wouldn’t be able to even drink milk etc ! 

      All it is, is different manufactures so different boxes I tell myself it’s like when you buy Morrison’s paracetamol and Tesco paracetamol both the same product just different package ! Hope this helps 😊

      I will admit I did freak out about the different boxes but I took the tablet and nothing happened 😊 it’s Just we over think things and end up worrying over nothing really !  

      Can I ask a question do you find your anxiety heighten around the your time of the month ?! 

      Hope your well and having positive and good days !xx 

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    • Posted

      Hi, yeah i felt mad too i havent had one again so hopefully it was a one off thing lol. 

      The dizzyness is so scary i fainted at a concert earlier this year and some randomer caught me how embarrassing!! Lol but im less scared of it now i used to be obsessed everytime i stood up. Glad thats gone. 

      I know i need to get it done because something definitely isnt right in my body im so so exausted all the time i have no energy im anaemic but im sure theres something else so i definitely need to have it ill have it done in the new year ill make a promise to myself! My new years resolution is to believe i can do anything i want smile 

      Had a really bad day yesterday banging head and couldnt stop crying with really horrible thoughts so not sure if its the new manufactorer or if its in my head cause im expecting it to be different or if it was just a blip im a little better today thankfully but i wasnt at work yesterday all i did was stay in my room reading all day so could also be that. 

      Yes i do, my last period a few days before i had some really bad days and then a few days during i also had bad days so i think it does effect it because of hormones and stuff. But ive always felt a little like that when im about to come on, im right emotional then a few days later i think ohhh thats why lol

      Hope your days are getting easier and better!! Xx 

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    • Posted

      Oh no way fainting in public but least someone caught you better than falling straight on the floor I guess 😊 

      Good for you making a promise to yourself 😊 plus your will more than likely find the result come back negative & worried for nothing 

      It’s honestly not the tablets & try not to give in to anxiety thinking it’s the tablets ! I thought the same as you & sent myself stupid first day ! I told myself who’s to know I wouldn’t of had a bad head even if I didn’t take the tablet ! The only possible difference in the tablets is what they use to combine the tablets & the coating you know how some tablets can have a hard shinny coating & others don’t ?! That’s the only difference ! 

      Yes that’s what’s happened to miss this time 😩 anxiety on Thursday thinking they have diagnosed me wrong & anxiety on Friday thinking I’ve got a disease from a Bite from an insect in 2016 😤 inbtween the anxiety worrying & crying I did feel the old me shine through laughing joking smiling etc ! Then today period started so i agree think hormones play a part this is only my second period though since having my daughter so hormones all over the place don’t want to go on contraception though as I have never found one that suits me best ! 

      Do u ever or have you ever since starting recovery felt strange when the really / old you shines through??! 

      When My family members comment on how they think I’m doing better or if I think I’m doing better I feel happy excited & looking forward to the future & think oh me & family will be able to do this & that & go here & there etc 

      I can sometimes then be hit with anxiety thinking should I feel this happy is it possible to feel to happy ! Am I bipolar it’s this a hypomania episode cuz I feel excited & happy (I do know I’m not bipolar never been diagnosed that & mental health nurse has said she’s 99.9% I’m not biopolar it’s a worry I have) 

      Have u ever had these thoughts or similar ?! My mental health nurse says it’s ocd & anxiety feeding each other !

      Hope your feeling better from the other day & your head eventually eased !xx

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    • Posted

      I definitely think hormones have something to do with it. Guess its just something we have to deal with, but i get like this on my period anyway without the tablets so im not too worried it would of happened either way.

      I feel the old me shine though sometimes and i get this really strong feeling of yes i can do this im going to fight this and be happy but it doesnt last long, but im trying not to dwell on how long it lasts i think feeling that way at all is a good thing ill take what i can get right now. 

      I sometimes when i feel ok or happy i think why arent i feeling anxious and sad im not sure why i do this but i try to see it as my depression and anxiety trying to take hold of me again and ive got to fight to stop it and break free of their hold. I probably sound crazy lol!! 

      I had my works do on friday and was so anxious before it i thought i cant do it im going to have a panic attack but i got through it and stayed the whole night until about 1am. So very proud about that. I just hope i dont feel sad through christmas day because its supposed to be a happy time i feel guilty if i feel sad because it effects my family 😕

      Hope your doing okay! And wishing you a merry christmas!! Xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi sorry haven’t replied only just seen this to be honest ! No you don’t sound crazy at at as I do the same so unless we’re both a little crazy which I doubt !! 

      But I do the same if I’m sat with my family and watching telly I think wow I’m not actually worrying or being anxious and then that can sometimes start me thinking well why am I not worrying why am I not being anxious it’s almost like u can’t remember how it feels to not worry & when u don’t worry it feels strange ! 

      Glad u went to works do & had a good time 😊 it showed you that u can still enjoy yourself! 

      Christmas I enjoyed it but still anxious and on edge through the day just hoping I wouldn’t have a panic attack ! I didn’t but I did have a mini one Thursday night it woke me up but I just walked to the bathroom and then did some breathing and fell back to sleep I don’t even remember falling back to sleep ! But then Boxing night I had another painc Attack I talked myself out of it but then it happend again shortly after I ended up phoning for an ambulance (silly of me I now know) next day I was on edge & Just kept thinking it’s going to happen again etc but it didn’t thankfully ! Since then When I get the thought it’s going to happen I just tell myself it doesn’t matter if it happens it can’t hurt you in anyway no matter how strong it feels !! 

      Did you have a nice Christmas ?! Any plans for new year ?! Hope ur well !xx

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