General questions about citalopram

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I have been on cit 20mg for 3 weeks and 3 days... My side effects are; very anxious in the mornings/headaches and at the start of my course my tummy would really hurt. Is this all normal?

Also has any else noticed that their sex drive has just vanished? My finally question is anyone on beta blockers too? to help the physical symptoms of anxiety? because my heart is constantly beating too fast which scares me

I have heard great things about this drug and that results take 4-6weeks to show. How long did it take to kick in for you?

Thanks smile xx

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes Hun my tummy still hurts now about 2 hours after taking it also fluctuating between constipation and diaoreah too. I've not used beta blockers so can't comment on that, I'm only on 10mg and I feel a bit better now but still not right I'm just going in to week 8 and I'm taking it for panic attacks x
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  • Posted

    Hi tayla,

    I am on cit for the second time now, all the side effects you are getting are normal, the first time I took them I was also on beta blockers and they did help with the side effects I think, that time they worked after about 8 weeks, this time it took longer about 12 and the side effects were worse maybe because I wasn't taking the beta blockers. Hope it all goes well, it is definately worth waiting for once they start to work. xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying... I am nervous to take beta blockers because I have a very addictive personality and don't want to get too dependent on them but maybe I should speak to my doctor about them.

      I am also curious to know as this is your second time round with cit... Why did you decide to go back to them? (if you don't mind me asking) because I am terrified of having a relapse, I feel as I am in an okay place, not perfect. I just don't want to go back to that dark dark place again

      xxx

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    • Posted

      Yes it is a good idea to talk to your doctor first about the beta blockers before you take them both together as I read somewhere that cit and beta blockers shouldn't be taken together but a lot of people do, so make sure first. I found them very easy to stop.

      The reason I went back on the citalopram was because this time last year I started to come off of them, I went to from 20mg to 15 then to 10 and was fine but when I went from 10 to 5 I could feel the anxiety coming back so now I am back on 20 and will not come off in a hurry again. xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Tayla

    Yes they are the dreaded side effects when starting citalopram, i cant say for anyone else but for me it took about 3 weeks for the headache, muzzy full head, running the toilet to go.

    My sex drive suddenly vanished over night which was terrible as i was newly married lol, mine never came back whilst i was taking the pills, but i have been off them for 9 days now and all i can say on the subject is that am making up for lost time lol

    Cant answer about the beta blockers as i wasn't prescribed citalopram for anxiety or panic attacks, i took it for very bad depression after my daughter diedl

    stick with it it does get better, but dont suffer to long, go back to your gp, tell them whats going on, there are other meds which may suit you better.

    Juliex

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying to me smile

      I'm sorry to hear about your daughter xx... 

      Congrats on coming off the citalopram smile  I am scared that I am going to get addicted to them because at this moment in time I feel like the mediation is massive part of my life, that keeps me alive rolleyes  and I just do not want to relapse

      Thanks for being honest with the sex drive... Mine has vanished and I am only 22 with a boyfriend of 3 years

      xxx

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply,

      Alot of the medical profession say that you cant get addicted to citalopram, but what happens is that it increases the serotonin in your brain which is supposed to be the feel good factor, and the withdrawals you get is our brain getting used not having the serotonin.  I dont know how much of this is true as am not medically qualified, but it does seem to make sense to me.

      Maybe you need help with coping strategies which will help you find out why u feel u need it to survive, and what u need to do to help yourself and find alternative ways to help with your fears and anxiety.  There is a lot of help out there, but you have to fight to get the right help you need. 

      Take me for eg, if i was given bereavement counselling when my daughter died, i may not have needed to take citalopram, and i definately wouldn't of needed it for 15yrs.

      There is nothing wrong having a mental health problem, and no shame in asking for help and taking anti-depressants, if you had a broken leg, you would need it plastered, if you had a sore throat you would need antibiotics, so if you are depressed or have anxiety or panic attacks then you get therapy and take tablets see simples lol

      sorry i can waffle on lol

      Juliex

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  • Posted

    I started on 20mg and had an upset tummy for the first 2-3 days along with 3-4 days of bad anxiety and very fast heartbeat around 3-4am and again about 2hrs after I took my morning tablet. After that I had about 5-7 days of insomia and I have also found my sex drive is noticably reduced.

    I'm almost at 2wks and things have mostly started to settle down, just waiting to see how I end up feeling after a few more weeks of taking it.

    Your side effects all seem fairly normal but might be best to discuss anything you're worried about with your doctor as they might think your dose needs to be adjusted or something. Mine asked me to go back around the 4wk mark for a catchup on how things are going.

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    • Posted

      I think I must be lucky in that I'm into my 5th day on 10mg and have only had 2 nights of distrurbed sleep and dry mouth. I've had a couple of instances when I've felt a little high breifly - similar to having those first moments of intoxication when you have too much to drink. Sex? If I could get any I'd still have it so that side is ok in a manner of speaking! I'm still anxious but I guess its early days still for me but I'm trying really hard to look at things positively and see the glass half full. If I don't do that I spiral downwards and stuggle to get out of the hole. I'm really hoping the drug will help me handle knocks and setbacks better. Best Stinky.
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    • Posted

      Could be your luck of tolerating it better or just the lower initial dose smile I don't think my symptoms have been too bad overall. The only things that really caused a problem were the first day where I had to come home from work because I felt so high and then lack of sleep as I could barely make a coffee let alone do a day of work.

      I continue to have less noticable side effects like a bit of clenched jaw and occasional, but more frequent than normal, headaches but everything I've read says it all settles down eventually.

      I think I'm through the hardest part now so best to stick with it and let it work than quit too early and have to go through the withdrawal symptoms without knowing whether it was going to help.

      I also noticed that by the 3rd or 4th day I started to feel a level of calmness I hadn't felt in a long time so I took that as a sign it was starting to do it's job. Hopefully that continues to increase over the next few weeks!

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  • Posted

    Hi Tayla97005

    Im now on 3 weeks 4 days and experienced horrendous side effects in the first two weeks, sickness and diarrhoea, sweating, shaking, tingling skin on my face, shaking, waking after an hour of going to sleep and being wide awake for hours then finally going to sleep only to wake up an hour later. Pleased to say now that most of the side effects have gone apart from the sleeping (it has improved a bit) and i still have diarrhoea in the mornings, i had a review on thursday and the doctor thought i was much better and really pleased i had stuck with it through the worst of the side effects, she also informed me that the drug itself can take 6-8 weeks to take full effect and that the side effects DO stop, i have been told to take imodium to help with the toilet issue which is really the only thing that is bothering me at the moment, im definately feeling better in myself and the anxiety/worrying has eased alot. 

    There is another forum post on here (has anyone not experienced side effects on citalopram) there are some really good advice on there and lots of people experiencing or have experienced the same side effects as us,  without the support from that forum and my family i definately wouldnt have stuck with it as long as i have.

    A good tip for the anxious feelings is deep breathing, breath in to the count of 5 and then out to the count of 7, someone on the other post told me about it and it really does help.

    Hope your side effects start easing soon.

    Amy x

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