Do side affects usualy start this quickly?

Posted , 3 users are following.


I started citalopram yesterday, (20mg)

I didnt expect anything to happen quickly as i have had two other types of antidepresants in the past which did precisely nothing, even after months of taking them.

The first thing to happen was after about 6 hours from taking the first tablet the diarea started.

After about 10 hours i felt stoned, I sat down to watch the T.V at about 6 in the afternoon, next thing i know its 3 in the morning and im waking up on the couch with a stiff neck.

Today, after my second tablet, the diarea has subsided a bit but i still feel dopey and have noticed my hands are shaking.

is this normal?

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12 Replies

  • Posted


    The side effects kicked in for me pretty quick too within a day. Mostly nausea, headache and feelingout of it. But they eased within a week or so. Dr started me on 10mg for the first week to allow my body to adjust in stages. Expected a worsening of the effects when I went up to 20mg but it didn't happen.

    4 weeks in and the benefits are starting which outweigh the week or so of side effects. But if any concern that effects too big then go back to Dr as we all react differently


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  • Posted


    I am currently taking 20mg each day n the first day that i took them i suffered with sever stomach cramps. then the next day my god.. YAWNING!!!!! it was starting to make my jaw ache!! then i hd headaches n dizzyness.. i know it sounds lond winded but eventually they all worse off and honestly.. its like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders... so stick with it.. it does get better !

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  • Posted


    I started citalopram 3 days ago now and maybe im starting to think i have been given a placeabo. I have not 1 single side effect. Am I just lucky or is there a possibility i have placeabo perscription? I dont feel any better within myself but the doctor did say it would take about 10 days.

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    Everyone reacts differently to any sort of drug. You may be one of the lucky ones that escapes any side effects or it could well be that it is going to take longer for them to 'kick in'.

    I recall when I took citalopram that is took a few weeks for me to start feeling any side effects. Sadly, this drug did nothing for me other than make me worse.

    So please don't start worrying if you are not having the same side effects etc as others. We all really do react differently.

    Stick at it and good luck


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  • Posted

    I'm almost a month in. The first week was horrible, I had four days of 10mg and then onto 20mg. I hardly slept, staying up until 1-2am and waking up between 4-5am and spent my days yawning my head off. I felt nauseous, my stomach felt awful and wasn't very with it at all.

    However after a week I have been fine. They have now kicked in and I am feeling so much better and able to cope with things. I agree that it is worth a week of hell for the benefits after that.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies, third day now and im left with is a constant dull ache in my head and a feeling of restlesness, im pacing round the house and cant seem to sit still, went for a 3 hour drive last night just to take my mind of it.

    Also my neck is killing me. I thought this was down to falling asleep on the sofa but now im not so sure.

    Dont know how much of this is down to the tablet and how much its down to my situation, im still going through a divorce i dont want.

    Trying hard to put up with the side affects but i really dont need this right now.

    Still, its the first time antidepresants have had any effect at all. The last two types i tried may as well have been tic-tacs for all the good they did.

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  • Posted


    i am waiting my decree absolute and day now, 13 months ago i split up, at 1st it was devastation, wont go through my story, but i have 2 kids and house, 1 see my kids 10 days a month and we should exchange contracts any day now on house. At 1st i just couldnt ever see a day when pain would go, xmas and new year were awful, i took 20 mg for approx 7 months, persevere. I dont take them now and still get awfully down but you will survive. No matter what i say it wont change the pain and torture but i can say you wlll survive, i suffered panic attacks etc, best thing i found was to walk and talk to people. Eventually the pain will ease. At the time i thought my ex wife was the reason i lived along with my kids, but now i have no hatred towards her, i rarely give her a 2nd thought now. I have to speak to her over kids and house but i really dont care about her. She has a new fella and seems happy, good luck to her, i have a chance to be happy again, i really though up until a couple of weeks ago i had found happiness again, but it wasnt to be.

    Neil, the tabs are no cure but carry on, i didnt really get side affects, bit of leg twitching and feeling spaced out but nothing too bad, when i quit them i just went cold turkey. My doc thinks i should go back on them but i know what causes my depression so its that im going to deal with. I dont know how far you are down the divorce route or your crcumstances ? but i found talking helped me the most, it does depend on the person really, i posted loads on this site which was great, for me all of a sudden the gloom lifted and life didnt look too bad, believe me, you will be happy again, may not think that but you will be, im really down at mo because i tasted it briefly and it went but one thing it did confirm that i had moved on from my marriage, dont know if my waffle helps but post on here, some great people on here.

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  • Posted

    Hi Neil

    I have just been reading your response and noticed that you said you went cold turkey? I was on 40mg a day for 8 months and have just done a month of 20mg before thinking, sod it Ive had enough.

    I stopped taking them on Wednesday and felt fine until the I feel sick, spaced out and generally not with it.........not to mention the rather dodgy stomach!

    Please can you tell me if you felt the same and if so how long does it last?

    Many Thanks

    Ali x

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  • Posted

    Hi Ali,

    i was only on 20mg , and i drank alcohol almost daily, nothing too bad 2-3 pints a day, so i dont know if that affected how the ad's worked, i went cold turkey and if im totally honest i didnt have a single side effect, i ran out on a friday, thought sh*t, monday get some asap, felt no different by the monday so thought stuff it, bout 2 months ago i felt down again, docs said i should go back on em, took 1 , felt terrible so flushed em away, vowed to not take anymore.

    I drink , prob 50 - 60 units a week, so i know that has an effect on my moods, up and down. I guess i was lucky in that respect, i would go to doctors for their advice, you were on a stronger dose, i know what causes my depression so thats what i need to solve, no tabs will change that.


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  • Posted

    Alibob, I suggest you have a word with your doctor. It might be worth reducing your dose to 10mg for a couple of weeks rather than stopping direct from 20mg. Gradual weaning off might reduce the side effects you are suffering and let you finally stop more easily.

    These pills affect everyone in different ways. I had no problems coming off Citalopram from 40MG (two weeks on 20mg, two weeks on 10mg) but then they didn't do anything for me, positive or negative. Everyone's different and your reaction will be affected by physical factors like your size and weight and your own body chemistry.

    Neil, I can sympathise with you about ineffective AD's, I've tried Citalopram, Mirtazapine and now Venlafaxine without much success but they do work for some people. So if they are helping at all i'd give them a while longer to see if the side effects stop and your mood improves.

    Good luck all

    Best regards.

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  • Posted

    Hi all

    Thank you for your kind words of wisdom! I think I may have to get myself back to the docs then, I dont think I can carry on like a space cadet for much longer...........I think everyone at work thought I was on something!

    Had to leave early too as am just sooo spaced out! I thought it would be ok to just stop, but maybe underestimated the power of the mighty pill!

    I cant believe I have only just found this site after all these years!!! I thought I was the only one on the world who had such days of doom!

    Soo nice to seek advice and know Im not alone!

    Thanks Guys xx

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  • Posted

    I forgot to take my pill until midday one day and it messed up my sleeping again. But the side affects are worth it.

    I've left my job (I'm not happy there and the stress isn't worth it) and moving to a different part of the country for my new job where I only know a couple of people. It's really stressful, but I know without the Citalopram I would have just given up and refused to face the world.

    Last time I had a period of depression this bad I used counselling, but it took me two months just to start to function properly again and time is something I don't have right now. I'm hoping in five months I can come off Citalopram, when I'm settled in a new place with a new job, and start dealing with the issues and also exercising more. But for the meantime, even with any side effects that come and go, it's worth keeping going with them!

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