Feel like a zombie! No sleep but hyper!

Posted , 5 users are following.

It's my 3rd day on citalopram. I've been given them to help with depression as I suffer from interstitial cystitis and the pain is hard for me to tolerate. I don't know whether to stop taking these tablets because I am so tired, I have only slept 3 hours last night and the night before. Physically I am exhausted, but I am mentally wide awake. They've had a weird effect on my eyes, my pupils are dilated and it looks like my eyes are going to pop out of my head! Has this happened to anyone else? x

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I've posted on another thread because I have some sleep problems as well and I have been taking these for a week..

    I thought that my pupils were dilated because of the Lorazepam that I have also been given (to control anxiety) but I haven't taken them the past couple of days (got scared readin about how addictive they can be) and my pupils are still huge today.. So i can onyl assume it is the Citalopram.

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  • Posted

    I have been on 20mg of citalopram for 3 & a half weeks now. The first week was horrible, lots of side affects including sweats, anxiety levels through the roof, teeth grinding & major lack of sleep. I felt like a zombie the first 6 days so shattered but my mind was in overdrive. I wondered what on earth I had let my self in for but be reassured all these side affects calmed down after a week. The edge has been taken away from my anxiety & the black cloud which hung over me has now lifted. So stick with them & give them time to work. Focus on the positive comments & maybe not so much the negative ones. Also had support from my partner when I told him finally how I was feeling & that helps a lot. Hope this helps anybody out there who is struggling with citalopram & life.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I just started taking 20mg Citalopram 5 days ago and the first day I felt waves of mild nausea but nothing more. Second day I felt lower than ever for a few hours but then lifted in the evening (I am on them for anxiety and depression). The last two days I feel as if my mind is in hyperdrive! I started to fall asleep EXTREMELY quickly (not alcohol induced!) last night but every time I nearly went to sleep I suddenly woke up and panicked. This would only last a few minutes before drifting back off again. Today I feel like my mind is at the worst it has been and feel 'wired'! I haven't really noticed any other side effects (not even sure if these are side effects or just my mind playing tricks!) as yet. Just wondering if anyone else experienced anything similar and how long the side effects lasted?


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  • Posted

    This is the first time I've taken part in a forum like this and I don't really know what to expect. I started on Citalopram a few days ago and my experiences have been similar - except for the sleeping. I can get off to sleep but I wake a couple of hours later - sometimes I can go back to sleep straight away but more often I am wide awake for the rest of the night. I had a period of depression seven years ago (the first in my life - I'm 62 by the way) and was prescribed paroxetine. It certainly did the trick after getting over the initial problems (sleeplessness and anxiety) but after a few months I started to get lightning bolts through the head. After that I got myself off it by tapering the dose and I had no trouble until recently when the depression recurred. My doctor recommended Citalopram and although I've had anxiety again and sleeplessness I'm going to persist with it because the initial signs are encouraging. There are lots of us out there who are going through similar things so don't despair.
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  • Edited

    For those people who are really having difficulty sleeping in the period they are getting used to Citalopram - you should try taking Nytol at night.

    (For people having difficulty after this time, it may be best to ask the doctor for a different anti-depressant as there are a good number available, and the doctor will be concerned with one that works well for you).

    Get a box of the strongest Nytol, the one a night box, which you can get over the counter, no prescription needed, at any Chemist. Boots also have their own brand version of Nytol, called Sleepeaze, which is a tiny bit cheaper than the Nytol brand, but has exactly the same ingredient in exactly the same dose (remember to get the 1 a night version of either). Nytol are not know to conflict with Citalopram.

    Nytol are really good sleeping pills, as effective as any I have tried, including prescription sleeping pills like Zimovane.

    (Don't mix Nytol up with Nytol Herbal - the herbal pills are totally different and don't have any of the Nytol sleeping pill ingredient, and would relax me a bit but are not likely to put me to sleep).

    Take a Nytol pill an hour and a half or so before you'd normally go to sleep. If you can't get to sleep after a couple of hours (about 3 and half hours after the pill) or you wake up in the night, you can take another pill. A small number of pills of the ingredient in Nytol is fine, but only in the short term - you shouldn't keep taking Nytol anyway for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

    But, surely, in the short term it is likely to help most people. Even on the few ocassions I took Nytol when it didn't send me to sleep, it was very calming, and the next day I was very glad I took it.

    You don't need a prescription, though the chemist will ask you a question or two. Probably just if you have taken it before, and then would advise you not to take it long term if you say you haven't taken it before. It's very unlikely you would be refused Nytol unless you have been taking it long term.

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  • Posted

    I need to add to the comment above about Nytol (the chemical ingredient of that is Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride.)

    I was having a look at Drug.com which has a drug conflict database, to see what might conflict with Nytol pills, and that site does actually have Citalopram as a \"moderate\" conflict with Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride.

    I had told the doctor who gave me Citalopram that I was taking Nytol pills and he said I needn't worry, there was no conflict, and he cited the drugs which Citalopram would conflict with, including herbal remedies, which includes St. John's Wort (which I had been taking not long before Citalopram and can't be taken with Citalopram).

    So this doctor was sure there was no conflict. Drug.com lists over 600 moderate conflicts with Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, and in fact it is normal for drugs to have hundreds of moderate conflicts on that database. For example, Citalopram and Alka Seltzer are recorded as having the same moderate conflict, though I was told it is O.K. to take those while taking Citalopram.

    What happened to be in the past with different drugs is a doctor has mentioned there have been recorded conflicts, so the 2 drugs have been recorded as a moderate conflict, and the doctor has told me not to worry, and just to be safe not to take them within a couple of hours of each other.

    You can never take any drugs recorded as being a major conflict.

    ***** For elderly people or people with breathing irregularities, avoid any moderate conflict such as this.

    So if you are worried about this, and want to take Nytol, you should take the Citalopram at latest earier in the evening. You might have been advised to take it at night, but it doesn't really matter. If you are only getting a few hours sleep or no sleep at all, it is important to get your sleep and rest, and taking the Citalopram at tea time - 5 to 7 p.m. (or before) and taking Nytol an hour and a half before bed would be fine.

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  • Posted

    ***** Important

    Citalopram prescription and also taking Nytol (Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride). ASK YOUR DOCTOR.

    The suggestion I gave above for taking Nytol when prescribed Citalopram -

    maybe I should not have made it.

    A moderate drug conflict should be taken seriously.

    Citalopram not infrequently lowers patients heart rate substantially, especially in the early stages, and there may be many patients at risk from that, who should not take something like Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (Nytol) which would sedate them and put them at risk.

    And, even if you don't think you're at risk, ask your doctor if you can take Nytol, telling him that the active ingredient is Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride.

    The doctor who wrote Citalopram for me may have been mistaken. I asked him about taking Nytol, and I didn't know the chemical name at the time. He hadn't heard of Nytol, but said it was fine, that he would have heard of the drug if there was a conflict.

    I will have to ask my doctor. I'll return if it's O.K. - but I know that the advice I gave above that people who might be at risk from weak heart beat should not take Nytol when taking Citalopram.

    And everyone else probably should ask their doctor.

    If anyone has experience of Nytol when taking Citalopram, could they please post.

    Sorry that my first 2 posts may have been rash.

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  • Posted

    I know that you can take the herbal remedy called \"Kalms\".

    The tablets contain valerian, gentian and hops, herbal plants, and no chemical ingredients.

    The ingredients of Kalms don't come up on anywhere among the hundreds of possible conflicts with Citalopram in the Drug.com database.

    BUT be aware of your heart rate and breathing on Citalopram when taking anything which may calm you down and possibly make you less aware of your heart beat.

    It has been known that some people taking Citalopram have gotten a weak heart beat and / or shallow breathing, and also a spasmodic, low heart beat, and these people ought to be ready to get up and move about and breath deeply if they need to.

    Kalms can relax people well, and may help get some people off to sleep.

    From my experience, while they are usually not enough to get me to sleep, they certainly help noticeably in relaxing me.

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  • Posted

    Be carefull with Kalms as Valerian also slows down the heartrate - it is a shorter acting herbal version of the chemical drug Valium (note similar name).

    I have been told Citalopram in the morning if it makes you hyper and at night if it makes you drowsy.

    I am finding however that lack of sleep at night makes me hyper (from the neck up) and tired (from the neck down) at the same time, so for a while I thought I was hyper, but not sleeping at all at night and the symptoms are getting worse.

    I joked with the pharmacist today that the tablets have worked on the anxiety that they were originally prescribed for, because I am now too tired to panic!! :-)

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, i'm new to this site. I started on citalopram 3 weeks ago on 10mg i had sleep trouble bad sweats trembling, headaches panic attacks on one occasion, then after a week symptoms went, then on 3rd week doc up my dose to 20mg and the sleep problem is back feel shattered drop off sometimes then wake after 2 hours and wide awake this is my 6th day on tablet how long before symtoms go? anyone help me.
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  • Posted

    Hi i'm on my 9th day of 20mg citalopram and my sleep is still about 4 hours a night heavy head, sweaty. but been told after 2 weeks the side effects will subside. so not point in coming off them until you give them a chance horrible side effects but apparently worth it.
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  • Posted

    angela, i hope the side effects have passed for you by now. im back on 20's after having a relapse as i decreased to 10 mg 7 weeks ago. so im where you are, getting to sleep but waking up early and then tossing and turning.

    i have the benefit of knowledge that they do work, so give them time as i felt like a new man after a month on them. so im clinging to those memories while i feel like shit now!

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  • Posted

    Hi yeah been on them a while now. But at the same time as being on cital im havin to ween off old tabs too which im down to one every 4th night so sleep still bad. So until im completely off old tabs I wont feel the benefit of new ones. Hope u ok
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  • Posted

    its sounds like your thyroid is overactive(hyperthyroidism) if you heart is racing and you feel hyper and eyes bulge then its best you see doctor have thyroid function checked as it dangerous if untreated
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