How long does it take for citalopram to ease extreme anxiety

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I have been on citalopram for 6 weeks and thought last week I was making some improvements but last night I had the palpitations and restlessness and again this morning. I am on 20mg and been on them in the past but a struggle at the moment as been off work for 7 weeks with it and keen to get back to normality. I am also literally doing everything such as cbt, yoga, meditation, exercise and diet. Wondered if anyone had any advice?

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  • Posted

    You should have been feeling a bit better by the first week.  Unfortunatly these drugs don.t make you bullet proof.  Keep doing all the heathy stuff your doing on top of the meds and make sure you talk to your dr if your not feeling right or having bad thoughts.  You may need something else. There are many other things he can give you.
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  • Posted

    It takes a lot longer than a week. 6-8 weeks is the usual time to see benefits but some take longer than others. I've had weeks I feel better and then days where I've felt like I'm on week one again.

    Things are still not 100% for me but I'd say the best thing it to try to do 'normal things' and get your mind off it as much as you can. Having time off work is needed sometimes as I well know but having all the extra time to think can be really tiring and make things worse. Try keeping your mind active with something else and remember when you do feel stressed and have palpatations it's just a feeling, it's uncomfortable but not dangerous and you'll be ok. I find saying that to myself when I'm panicking helps calm me down a lot. Hope you feel better soon.

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  • Posted

    I have been on citalopram for about a week and a half. I still have severe morning anxiety. I've never been on a medication before. The anxiety subsides after a couple hours. But it is still very difficult to function with two young kids at home. Feels like my chest is so tight and I can't breath. I get light headed and I can feel my heart beating. Everything I read says this subsides after a couple weeks. I am on 10 mg. My doctor wanted me to go up to 20 after two weeks but I may put that on hold. I don't want anymore side effects. Hang in there. Hopefully it will subside and You will feel better

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    • Posted

      Hi, how is it going? Is the morning anxiety decreasing at all? I also went from 10 mg to 20 MG. Did not bother me much at first took about another week for a new round of side effects to kick in. Will be 4 weeks for me on Monday. Counting down the weeks. My doc said 8 weeks to start to feel some relief. Longest 8 weeks Ever!!

      Hang In!

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    • Posted

      I started getting relief about 5 days into taking the 10mg. I am on week 2 now and I just woke up with the anxiety again. It subsides after about 30 minutes. My doc prescribed me Ativan to take bc the anxiety was very overwhelming. I only had to take it the first three or four days. Maybe you could request this from your doc? I'm afraid to move up to 20 mg bc I don't want to deal with the side effects again. And I actually feel great on the 10mg. Thankfully the only side effect is the anxiety and I've been dealing with that my whole life. Hang in there I I hope you get some relief soon. Waking up with anxiety is terrible and it's not a great way to start your day. Keep in touch.

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    • Posted

      Hi please tell me this morning anxiety goes away. Im on week 4 of 20mg after being on 10mg for a long time.

      Im still waking up anxious. Mornings r painful mentally. Afternoons are bearable. Evenings are almost normal

      Anyones help appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Seems like everyone says it can take 6-8 weeks for the medicine to stop bothering you. I have been ok for several days with no morning anxiety BUT this morning I woke up with it again. I help myself relax by reminding myself that this is the medicine and concentrate on my breathing. Usually it subsides within a half hour and I am fine for the day. Seems like a lot of people have this morning anxiety on citalopram. It is terrible. I hope you feel better soon. Are you feeling better besides the anxiety??? I have to say that I feel like my old self. I haven't "gone off the hinges" since beginning the med. that was my main problem. Just completely snapped over everything. Felt overwhelmed all the time and my anxiety came out in anger. I have not had one issue since starting. I really home you find relief with this new dosage you are on. How long were you on 10mg?? My doctor told me to do 10mg for 2 weeks and then go to 20. But I don't feel like I need to. What are your thoughts??? Keep in touch and keep your head up!!

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    • Posted

      Hi that sounds about right. I think you will find most people feels this way. The meds need longer but they will work.

      How long were you on 10mg for? Did that help at all? Why did you increase dose?

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    • Posted

      I was on 10mg for 3 years. But i think i got used to it...and the anxiety came back. Yes i feel calmer but i wonder if the citalopram is making it worse. It seems i feel awful for two hours at least after taking it. Even if i take diazepam to counteract the anxiety.

      Ive had enough of feeling like this. Mornings are pretty much a right-off.

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    • Posted

      10mg about 3 years. It helped a lot but i increased because my anxiety came back and doctor recommended 20mg.

      Im worried that the citalopram is actually making me worse or is it a just a side effect?

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    • Posted

      Hi Neil,

      Just curious on how you are feeling now?

      I have been on Citalopram for the 3rd time for almost 3 months now (having been on 20mg for 2 weeks, then 40mg for 5 weeks and now back down to 20mg for 4) maybe the dose changes is ruining things for me but I am still how you described, mornings painful, afternoons bearable and evenings almost normal.

      Hope you're well now x

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    • Posted

      Hi BC

      I was doing ok...mornings had got better, afternoons were ok..and evenings were good. Then i had a couple of days of depressed sad afternoons...followed by two morninga of heightened anxiety again. Today was bearable.but still anxious a little this morning.

      My problem is i cannot sleep anymore. I get to sleep with but cannot STAY asleep

      I cant remember the last time i had a proper nights sleep.

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  • Posted

    That's quite normal for 6 weeks.  It can take many weeks or a few months to fully recover and during this time you'll be up and down.  You can't hurry recovery, it'll happen for you in its own time ... its different for everyone.  You're doing all the right things to help so keep on doing what you're doing and give this much more time.

    Also a bigger dose doesn't mean you'll get better any quicker either - everyone suits different doses so let the one you're on have plenty of time to work.

    Took me 6 months to recover on 20mg.

     

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    • Posted

      Hello Kate, I have read a few of your posts on here and find them very inspiring and encourage me to be patient whilst waiting for these pills to work. Your story before the tablets sounds similar to.mine. I wanted to ask you though when you say you felt recovered after 6 months do you mean you no longer see yourself as someone who feels anxious, depressed or with obsessional thoughts? Or just they arent as bad? And are you still taking citalopram? Hope you dont mind me asking, just wondering what sort of recovery I can hope for!

      Sarah

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks - glad the posts help.  It lovely finding other people and realising you're not alone isn't it.

      I'd suffered for about 16 years of illness (1980 - 1996-ish) before starting these meds, and yes when from when I started I began to notice changes happening around 3 months which continued to improve over the next few months, and at 6 months I felt anxiety free all day and that's when I began waking up with no anxiety either.  From 6 months on I still had the occasional time when I dipped, but it was nothing much really and I continued to improve every month from there on until about a year.  But 6 months was definitely when I mark the time when I'd fully recovered.

      I took these meds for 16 years and reduced them to 10mg for a maintenance dose which suited me fine, and then 4 years ago I came off completely for a year but had to restart after a year due to the stress of family illness which started to affect me.  I restarted, stayed on them about a year and then spent a year coming off them and finished them last August.

      Since being off meds I now take 5-HTP instead and feel completely well still.  This means I'm completely anxiety free and have no depression or obsessional thoughts anymore.

      K x

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    • Posted

      Wow Kate, did it take 6 months, 

      what made you stick with it when the doctors say 6 weeks?

      Obviously you must be glad you did.

      Glad you felt good in the end, I bet you had lots of life to catch up on smile

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    • Posted

      Oh I know. My doctor told me she takes it herself but yet she still seems to have no clue. The reason I upped it too soon was mainly down to her anyway. She had such a you've taken this before so crack on attitude towards it. Told me to take 20mg at first, but I told her I had 40mg tablets left over at home from previous so she told me to break them in half to start with. Cos she said to start with I took that as I would need to go up to 40mg again at some point... so I asked her when and she kinda shrugged and said whenever, I honestly think if I had stuck with 20mg for longer I would be fine now. It caused so much extra anxiety worrying I had messed it up by increasing too soon and having to go through the initial side effects all over again so soon x

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    • Posted

      To me 6 months was nothing really ..... not after I'd been ill on and off for 16 years.  I wasn't told it would take 6 weeks (not that I remember anyway), in fact I didn't know that I'd recover, just that I'd been given different medication to take.  Yes I was told how they worked, but after so many years being ill I never dreamt a little pill could help me.

      It takes everyone months - many months, not weeks.  If a doctor says it'll take 6 weeks then assume he means 6 months.  It takes a long time for us to become ill and so it'll take a long time to reverse it.

      Yes I was ecstatic when I recovered ...... I didn't know I was at the time either, just that I started feeling more at ease, less anxious etc.  Today I am still so thankful for these meds and take great pleasure in every little thing (I see things in a different light now and don't take things for granted).  If something is taken away from you, you love it even more when its given back to you.

       

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