Does it make a difference when to take Citalopram-a.m or p,.m?

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Hi there,

As I have posted in earlier discussions am still not feeling great on the citalopram, I have now been on it for 4 weeks and although I have fleeting moments of feeling less anxy am not totally there yet. Is it really true that it can take 8 weeks to feel the benifits? I went back to my Dr and he said its still early days and wouldn't up my dose. He did however prescribe diazepan which sort of helps but as soon as I try to address some of my worries it seems to take me back to square 1. My problems seem a unclimbable mountain and feel not in a good place to even try.

Another question too. Does it make a difference if you take the citalopram in the morning or night time as imy worst time is usually first thing in the morning. As sleep is still a problem I am finding life quite challenging at the moment and cant really see a way out. I usually get off to sleep ok but by 2 or 3 in the morning am wide awake!! As am on 20 mg a day would it be better to spilt the dose so I have 10mg in the a.m and 10mg at night! Any help would be VERY greatfully recieved!! x

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  • Posted

    Hi Charlotte,

    4 weeks is still considered quite early days on Cit, particularly as you have started on 20mg rather than the usual introductory dose of 10mg.  Give it some more time, I know it's tough but hopefully it will improve.

    As to when the best time to take it is, I think it's different for everyone to be honest.  I take it at night before bed in the hope that I sleep through any side effects that may occur in the first few hours after taking it, and although that's working for me at the moment it doesn't mean to say it would work for you.  The main thing is to take it  as close to the same time every day as you can.

    All the best, Doug. x

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    • Posted

      Hi Doug,

      I started on 10mg for the first week and then upped to 20mg as prescribed by Dr. I went back after 3 weeks as still extremely anxious as I felt nothing was even starting to feel better. I was about to go away for a week and didnt want to feel so wretched. Dr gave me diazepam which sort of helps!

      I understand the Citalopram wont fix the main problem but I cant deal with it in this extremley anxious / panic attack state. All ths happend out of the blue and didnt really realise I was so low or letting things get to me.Its just took me unawares!

      I take it in the mornings but maybe should give it a go in the eves as early a.m is my worst and was just wondering if its wearing off by then, although the Dr did say its a acculmative drug.

      Thanks though for your post.

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  • Posted

    its tue that you should feel full benefits by week 8, but certainly by week 4 you shuld be feeling better. i started on 20 and take mine at night, as taking it in the morning at the beginning was pretty rough. however once your body has adjusted you should be fine. sleep is a big one. are you eating? you need to regiment your eating making sure you get 3 meals a day and drink plenty of water, 2ltrs a day. the body needs fuel to sleep. i found the more water i took on the less head aches i had. try and exercise as well, walking, swimming anything just get out of the house. it may well be that you need to increase to 30, but see how you feel in a couple of weeks. one good sleep and you will feel much better. hang in there.
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    • Posted

      Ahh aj thats really lovely advice!

      Am just at my wits end as was hoping by week 4 would of noticed more changes but as many people have advised it could take 8 weeks-grrr will just have to sit it out!! Saying that I feel slightly better than week 1, but when I try to address some of my worries and talk about things it seems to take me back to square 1!

       Eating has been a real problem- I have been managing to eat small amounts and trying to keep up fluids too but it has been a struggle as I think its the side effects of citalopram and my general anxy state that impedes my appitite, when drinking water or herbal teas I do find swallowing hard but just try to sip throughout the day.

      Yes i used to love my exercise and that has dipped too as I feel so tired,anxy when out of the house but realise that I mustn't keep cooped up on my own. Just find being around people hard at times.

      Yes am hoping to get back into a better sleep pattern-cant wait really, as thats a right pain with the hastles of a stressful job too!

      Thanks for replying!

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    • Posted

      You need to eat soft foods, weetabix with plenty of milk, chicken soup, scrambled egg, bananas, oranges, spinach, and just get it down at set times no matter what. I dragged myself to the gym and got in the classes. Felt loads better after. The sleep will become less erratic once you have these in place
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  • Posted

    Hi. Don't split the dose. I have had panic attacks since I was 17, I am now 48. I was always reluctant to take meds but they became so bad that I gave in!  I started on 10mg which helped alot but I wasn't quite there. My GP increased the dose to 20mgs and "Bingo!" never had a panic since!!  Maybe you need a slightly higher dose? I take mine in the morning and have absolutely no intention of coming off them, they have changed my life beyond words.......I now feel like "me" and able to do normal stuff. Amazing drug!

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  • Posted

    Hi, Charlotte. I take mine in the mornings, as I was told by my pharmacist that they interfere with sleep. I slept badly for the first few weeks, but am now much better. I stayed on 20mg for nine weeks, and am now on day 38 of 30 mg and feeling generally better. Like you I've lost my appetite and for the first weeks found it very difficult to eat at all. The soft food idea is good. I eat a lot of bananas, yoghurt, fruit. Try to eat healthily and snack through the day if you can't face a big meal. I also think mindful awareness would help you. I've tried it on my own with a cd and book and have now enrolled on a course which starts on 3rd may. I really think it will be life changing. Try reading 'mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world' by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. It's very well written and easy to read. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Jules,

      I have to agree with the mindfulness approach. If you like me are constantly barraged by negative thoughts, mindfulness and self compassion mindfulness will help significantly when combined with an SSRI. I've been on 10mg 2 weeks and 20mg 2 weeks, I've been practicing mindfulness for the full 4 weeks. I've noticed a 50 percent improvement. By negative thoughts come less often and through mindfulness I've reduced the fear they cause. Just make sure you find a good teacher. I'm taking mine in the AM by the way and my sleep in the evenings is still not great so will talk to doc about that next week. Hang in there guys, it will get better. Just be patient and gentle with yourself in the meantime. Be compassionate yourself. You need that right now. Love from LC x

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