How long before feeling the benefit of Citalopram again?

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Hey everyone,

I was on Citalopram for 5 years and came off it about 7 weeks ago after weaning from 10mg to 5mg then zero over a period of one week. Thought I didn't need it any more.

After stopping my anxiety returned, I think I was anxious about not taking it, sounds ridiculous I know.

So I've been back on 10 mg for about 6 weeks but my anxiety is as bad as ever. I'm getting panic attacks too which are pretty scary particularly the palpitations.

My question is, how long will it take for me to feel the benefits again? Should I ride it, increase my dose, something I don't really want to do because of the side effects or should I ask my doctor for something else to take with it.

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks

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  • Posted

    if i was you i would definitely ask your doctor for something, maybe just 2mg of diazepam a few times a day for a few weeks or so, just to take the edge off. What dosage of citalopram did you used to take? Was it just 10mg?
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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. I was on 10mg and I'm back on 10mg.

      With taking Diazepam, does that have an immediate effect of does it take weeks to feel the benefit? Also, do you have to wean off it?

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharlie, yes dazepam works right away, well after about 20 - 40 mins. It works to an incredible level and no you wouldn't need to withdraw, BUT that's providing you only take it for a few weeks. If you take it for more than say 3 - 4 weeks you could become dependent!! So I should warn you, its fantastic for short term use, but in no way should you use it long term. I hope that helps xx  

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    • Posted

      Hi, thank you for explaining that, it really helps a lot.

      I'm going to give it another week because I went out today and apart from the feeling of a lump stuck in my chest and feeling on edge a bit I had no lightheadedness. It felt great to come home though.

      My best wishes x

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  • Posted

    It takes a good 6-8 weeks to get the full effect of the medication in your blood stream. I would think that soon you should start to feel a bit better; and, if not, it's probably time to make an appointment with your doctor and see about upping your dose.

    ?Although people have recovered on 10 mg,, you probably know it's quite a low dose :-). If you google it, you'll see that 20 mg and up is considered a therapeutic dose, for what it's worth.

    ?I've read quite a few posts on this forum now about people who really have a hard time re-starting these meds; either the side effects are worse or it takes longer to kick in or they have to go up to a larger dose than they were on before.

    ?You could see if your doctor would prescribe a benzo, which is what diazepam is (same family as Xanax, Klonopin, etc.). It does work right away. It can be addictive, and it you take it for too long in too high of doses you do have to wean off. My doctor is reluctant to prescribe it unless absolutely necessary. Since you're six weeks in already, I'd probably just try to power through without a benzo, unless it's to the point you are unable to function in your everyday life, in which case it might be a good idea :-).

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    • Posted

      Thanks for all that useful information.

      I don't really want to up my dose if I can help it. I could hold out for another week or two to see how it goes if it takes 6-8 weeks to feel the benefits again. If not, I'll see if my doctor will give me diazepam. The thought of something working straight away is very tempting. Not sure whether my doctor would give it to me though.

      Thanks once again.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharlie, I’m ten weeks in on restarting after a year off citalopram. I’m back on the 20mg which I was on at my worse last time which I reduced down to ten for five years and had no anxiety. I just wish I hadn’t stopped taking it and I wouldn’t be where I am now, I too let things get to me which made me panic and then my anxiety crept back in. It can take a bit longer the second time round but hang in there if it’s worked before it should work again. Like Kelly said though, if you’re struggling see the doctor about gettting some diazepam for a week I had to do that. Unfortunately I got insomnia with mine so I have to take zoplicone to help me sleep but I will have to come off it soon. I think it’s just going to take time to settle back into your system and for your body to adjust but you’ll get there.x
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    • Posted

      Hi Gemma,

      Thanks for replying. So sorry you are going through this too, I wish I hadn't stopped mine also. I think I am an anxious person because I worry about everything, family, health and even upsetting things on tv. I think I am going to have to accept the fact that I will have to take this forever.

      I have family coming for Sunday lunch because it's fathers day, I didn't invite them, it's just an accepted fact that they come and I am worrying if I am going to be able to cope. I've been thinking all ways of making it simple like buying prepared veg, roasts etc and I keep going over things in my head. The worse thing is hiding my feelings from everyone. Perhaps once Sunday is over I will start to feel better, hopefully.

      Thanks for your reassuring advice. I hope you feel better soon too.

      Sharlie

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    • Posted

      Well done for trying to do the Sunday lunch, but don’t hide how you’re feeling from others sometimes it’s best to be honest with those you’re closest to. You will get back to how you were before.x
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    • Posted

      Thanks Paula,

      All the prep done, took me less than 5mins to open the veg bags and pop in pans lol. Beef in oven.

      Taking some time out now till they arrive.

      Hope you have a nice walk today x

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    • Posted

      Hi Paula,

      How are you doing? Did you go for your walk today?

      My roast went down well, I had a good day but by 4.30pm I started to wilt. I could feel myself starting to glaze over when listening to everyone talking. I think it was the fight or flight response. Whenever I feel like that I escape into another room for a few minutes. Luckily everyone left around 5pm, perhaps it was my yawning lol. I just flopped on the bed for half an hour after they left.

      I feel so much better since I first came on here though. I think talking to people here has helped a lot, thanks to you and everyone else.

      I hope you had a good weekend x

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    • Posted

      Am so pleased you are feeling better today, your sounding it too. I managed 3 hours out today, then like you wilted, was taken home and have been curled up on the sofa since. I read a bit of my journal and was feeling exactly like this in January, I recovered from that, so am just taking each day at a time. The exhaustion is debilitating, took me a few months to get over that before then my energy came back. Thanks for asking. Just go with it, you will feel better.
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  • Posted

    Sharlie, you came off it too quickly, thats why you are feeling like this, then going back on them is going to mess with your brain and central nervous system. Try not to be anxious about feeling anxious. Try to accept that you are going to need time to settle again, then when you want to wean yourself off again, do it slowly over weeks rather than days. I have read often that the experts recommend 10% tapers and have learnt on this forum that when you come off the final dose its the hardest.

    I have been withdrawing off meds for 8 months and am in withdrawal now, am so used to it that I can keep my mind calm. My body has anxiety symptoms, have been in bed for days getting up briefly as have alot of withdrawal symptoms, its not easy. Its important to keep the mind calm thats what is getting me through it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paula

      The withdrawal symptoms are horrid. I've been getting light headedness. Nausea, loss of appetite, sensitive to smells and noises too, stomach churns among others. I too have been spending more time on my bed, it's a safe haven for me. Anxiety is worse when I wake up in morning and evenings. Are these normal symptoms?

      Thanks for the reassurance. I hope you get well soon.

      Kind wishes

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    • Posted

      Hi Sharlie, I have come off Amitryptline its not an ssri, and am still on 20mg of citalopram. Those symptoms sound the same as what I am going through. Right now I struggle to walk in a straight line, I feel permantly drunk, headache.g dizziness, bad stomach, nausea, parathesia, worsened tinnitus. Its horrible! Mornings are the worst for me, am getting wierd dreams and waking up often. My family have taken me to the coast for the weekend. I literally threw stuff in a suitcase and forgot to take lots of things. Have spent most time on bed. looking at my sea view, had a brief walk yesterday was wobbly and had to get back quick as stomach bad. Popped out again today and back again. Its really cheered me up, which proves to me how powerful our minds are. I am going to be fine, and know I dont need to be on meds.
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    • Posted

      I don't know who told sharlie to come off tablets in week..that's the only reason sharlie feeling this way..plus reinstating Medication is also playing into the drama..how you feeling Paula..?

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    • Posted

      I just wish doctors wouldnt advise quick tapers, crazy! Makes me want to make them take the meds then put them in withdrawal see how they like it.

      I am feeling really bad Lois, but am stubborn and determind. I dont feel depressed or anxious in my head at all, am expecting that to happen anytime. Am very tetchy and jumpy though.

      Hope all good with you.

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    • Posted

      Yes Paula all is good...just keep reminding your self that they are side effects ....you not feeling mentally anxious is a good thing..but those physical side effects are hidieus.
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    • Posted

      How long do they last Lois? Any ideas, have a horrible feeling its going to be a few months. I havent felt right since 24th April. I tapered too quickly at the end thats where I went wrong.
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    • Posted

      Oh my it can take months ..the brain is trying to stabilize ,.the havoc appears when you remove that last dose from your body. So as long as your process is very slow decreasing you just have to wait..and the waiting process is the one that usually folks can't tolerate and then they end up reinstating..

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much! I am going to look into that. Reinstating is not an option for me, cant deal with the neuro side effects and memory issues.
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    • Posted

      Another thing I have found out not sure how true this is, but coming off amit, increases the cita metabolism which can cause side effects from cita, apparently i should have come off cita first. Ha! Got that wrong too.
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    • Posted

      Oh well there you go..your having more of a reaction from the cita..than your having from the amitryptyline..if that's the case..wow .that's why I keep saying iam not a fan of two or three antidepressants in your body..that's a big no-no for me..oh take this antidepressants for sleep .oh take this antidepressants for head aches..oh take this one for hot flashes..iam mocking the doctor quacks of the world .so sad

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    • Posted

      So true! All I had was insomnia (still bad I know) and hot flushes which I still have, what I would give to have just those two symptoms, and be able to function again. I wont let this beat me, I accept my brain symptoms are stronger than me and will ride this out. Thanks for listening Lois, you have been amazing!
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    • Posted

      I'm really struggling to hold it together today I can't stop crying I feel like an emotional wreck. I just need to find a way to hold it together x

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    • Posted

      Gemma I hope you do not mind me replying, When I reduced Citalorapram too quickly, I couldnt stop crying either, it just used to fall out of my eyes literally, hang in there, it will get easier.
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    • Posted

      Hi again Paula,

      Yes I am all too familiar with that drunk feeling, upset stomach, feeling wobbly, weird dreams and tinnitus. I did feel better out today, not great but not my worse day either.

      I hope you have a good time at the seaside. Just being somewhere different may be therapeutical for you. The change of scenery may put things in a new perspective. It's good that you managed to go for a walk. It's so easy to give in to our feelings but I think you have just got to push yourself otherwise what's the point of anything.

      So nice to speak with you.

      Enjoy your stay, take care x

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    • Posted

      I hate to tell you ladies but the only thing that help me was xanex..without it I would be in a mental institution..there is more than meets the eye with this horrible anxiety...
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    • Posted

      All benzos drugged you except when taking in small dosages...but since your condition is constantly you need something that flows thru you constantly instead of disappearing in two or three hours.you need something with a long life unlike diazapam which has a short life..
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    • Posted

      I say for driving you have to test out Medication first before going into the road..
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    • Posted

      I went for another walk this evening and was sitting on beach and felt almost normal, its making me realise that I need to move more, have spent too much time feeling exhausted. Am looking forward to another walk tomorrow. I dont go far
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    • Posted

      I’m wondering if Xanax would help me with been very up down ten weeks in. Today I spoke to a doctor about my latest setback and they prescribed me diazepam for the tough days, but I’m nervous about taking it.
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    • Posted

      Have to think about my job, am based at home, which has helped whilst recovering, but have been to scared to drive last week and it hasnt gone down well at work. I should have taken the whole week off
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    • Posted

      Hi Paula,

      You're already starting to get well again. You're doing great, what a good idea it was for you to get away with your family.

      Staring at the same four walls every day doesn't do us any good. I know it's easier said than done when you are feeling withdrawal symptoms of starting up symptoms but it seems you went away at the right time, for you.

      You don't have to go far, just continue to do what you are doing and perhaps venture a little further each day, even when you get home, baby steps.

      I am so genuinely pleased for you, well done. x

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