Has anybody suffered with Restless legs syndrome whilst taking Citalopram?

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Hi everyone!

This is my 1st post. I was on Citalopram 10mg for 4 years but felt ready to come off them this May. I was successful in coming off them with no withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunetly my anxiety came back full throttle in July/August this year and i got put back onto Citalopram again in the October, only this time on the 20mg. I felt great but have suddenly developed Restless legs syndrome which is ruining my life at the moment. I've decreased to 10mg now and have been for 4 days & RLS is slightly better but my anxiety seems to be slowly creeping back. Does anybody know if coming off Citalopram will cure me or has this drug damaged my nerves forever and i'll have to live with it?

The doctor has prescribed me Duloxetine instead but i'm scared of going onto it as it's a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and it states that these can cause this syndrome so don't think it would get any better as it's the same type of drug as Citalopram. I feel like coming off all tablets to see if all symptons go away but at the same time i'm scared i'll go into major anxiety mode again! x

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  • Posted

    Hi Mrs Barlow, I've been on citalopram for 12 years (trying to come off it at the moment), and have suffered from restless legs on and off during that time but it never occurred to me that citalopram was the cause. Anyway restless legs are a nightmare, and I manage mine by competely cutting out all stimulants - Caffeine, Alcohol even chocolate The only thing I drink is decaf green tea. A pretty major life change but easier than having restless legs!
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  • Posted

    Thank you for the advice mary 2323. I am almost positive it's the citalopram that's the cause as i've had the syndrome since going back on them.After googling it aswell, it does say citalopram is one of the worse for restless legs. Please let me know if your symptons go away once you have come off as i would be interested to know. Thanks x
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  • Posted

    hello Mrs Barlow, sorry to hear u got the anxiety back after coming off Cit. I get RLS every now and then mostly in the mornings tho, but its not too bad, but still there and it's annoying.

    Sometime just a different make of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor can work wonders, so u have nothing to lose by giving it a go, This anxiety is an awful thing, so maybe speak to your doctor about coming off everything to see if you can cope, maybe have CBT before you come off so u have something to fall back on.

    Take care

    Anne

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  • Posted

    Hi Mrs B, no my RLS went away when I was still on citalopram, since I gave up all stimulants 3 years ago Ive had no restless legs. (Ive only started giving up citalopram six weeks ago). My restless legs were horrendous, so for me it was worth giving up alcohol and coffee/tea. Maybe its the combination of alcohol/caffeine and citalopram?
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  • Posted

    to stop restless legs i would wash both my legs with ice cold water on a flannel as you do with night cramps in your legs it works for me maybe give it a try good luck :-)
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  • Posted

    Just a quick follow up on this topic (Im now 2-3 months into treatment @ 15mg currently..

    I have found that the restless leg problem side effect, did subsidie once I reached 10mg and eventually stopped completely after a few weeks at that dose. I've had some slight re-occurance tho after upping the dose to 15mg this week, but only when I can't sleep.. taking an anti-histamine tablet solves that though and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon helps.

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  • Posted

    Thank you everyone. I'm slowly coming off the citalopram. I'm currently taking 10mg every other day for a week and then i'm going to stop. The symptoms of Restless leg has subsided a lot but it's still there. I'm hoping it will disappear once i stop. I do recommend coming off the citalopram if you can. I'm going to see how i go without any anxiety drug to see if i can cope, so far so good though x
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  • Posted

    Well done Mrs B, good on you for trying.. there's a lot of alternatives to meds, therapy/CBT etc is often much more effective for those who can function already a reasonable degree without meds.. maybe thats a better approach for you?
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  • Posted

    Hi yes when I first started taking them I had the legs and one arm restless,in the end I had no choice but to get up for a couple of hrs,it did settle down though.take care.
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  • Posted

    Wow its so good to hear this, as I too have experienced leg pains like growing pains I guess and I had wondered why on earth I was, as I haven't had them since childhood.

    It must be due to the meds. It's only happened a couple of nights of and on so will see how I go and if it develops into a problem or not. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the tips on what helps guys x

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  • Posted

    I've been on Citalopram for years, without any problems. However, my GP recently gave me some Tramadol for hip pain, and Mirtazipine for anxiety. I'm not sure which of these caused it, but I think it more likely to be the Mirtazipine as I developed restless legs the night after.

    Tonic water certainly helps, a glass before bed time, and I've found bananas help too. It's a bit hit and miss at the moment.

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  • Posted

    Hi all. Just an update that i have been off citalopram now for 2 weeks and my restless legs have disappeared! Felt rough for about a week and a half but now starting to feel normal again. Doctor doesn't know i've come off my meds but seeing her on Tuesday. I am going to try my best not to go on any more meds as don't want restless legs again!
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  • Posted

    Dear Mrs Barlow

    I have the restless legs from time to time on Citalopram. Someone told me once to moisturise the skin on feet up to the knees. I tried it and it was much better. It improved the symptom by about 90%. You can use your normal daily body moisturiser.

    Should you need to go back on the medication (or others who have the syndrome) try it and let us know if it works.

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  • Posted

    Citalopram can cause alterations in Dopamine expression in the brain, this is likely related to the side effect.
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  • Posted

    Alterations in a Dopamine expression is a medical term, I am just a lay person.

    Can you tell me the other alterations it can cause, if you know please?

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