How long does it take to start feeling the side effects of Citalopram?

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Hello, 

    I have recently been prescribed 10mg of Citalopram to treat my anxiety. I am aware that there are several side effects but it is very user dependent. However, my question is how long will it take until I actually start feeling (if any) the side effects of Citalopram. I know most people say it takes a few weeks to subside, but how long would it take my body to react to side effects if I were impacted? For example, I just took my first pill 2 hours ago, so roughly how long should it take for me to notice if I've bene imapcted by side effects?

Thanks!

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Side effects as in dizziness ect would set in roughly 30-60 minutes after you have taken the pill.

    To notice an improvement of your anxiety it could take 2-6 weeks.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am in week five of a 20mg dose program. Good news is that most of the side effects have now subsided. Just to give you a heads up on what to expect I seemed to follow the trend of everyone else on this forum and experienced the same four side effects. You being on 10mg may feel them a little less but here's what to expect:

    Sadly they all come at once.  Nausea, but I wasnt actually sick, some people have been. Adjust your eating habits to discourage upsetting your stomach. Extreme tiredness and uncontrollable yawning. If you need to take a nap - just do it. Constant nagging headache. Paracetamol will take the edge off it. Now the doozy of them all. a significant lift in the effects of anxiety. I was able to rationalise it as a physical change and not a mental one. I wasnt really any more anxious but the effects were magnified. My heart would just suddenly start pounding out of my chest and all the panic attack symptoms I have been getting were exagerated. Dont let it scare you, this is only a physical response to the meds. This used to start about 2 to 3 hours after taking Cit.  The rest would be there most of the time. I would also wake up in the morning feeling like a zombie and it would take a good hour to come to properly.

    As I said, all this has almost stopped. The only thing dragging on a bit is the occasional bit of panic attack feeling but is now less than it was before the meds. All in all I would say think of the long game and work through all these side effects, almost everyone feels some, if not a lot, of benefit in the medium to long term. As I said, week five for me and I now look forward to tablet time in  the morning - not because I get high but simply because I know it is working and life is getting better by the day. Good luck and battle through it.

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  • Posted

    The side effects don't hang about... You'll know within a few days how it's effecting you. Nausea i noticed after the first tablet although this wasn't too bad for me. The increased anxiety set in over the first few days. Rest assured though, as others have said it does get better and it's worth pushing through to the other side. It come on quite quickly but should all start to settle after a few weeks. Good luck x
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  • Posted

    Morning anon,

    Welcome to the Club!

    Side effects, whether you get them or not, to what level, intensity or if you do you may, or may not, experience just a few - all depends with you. This "sticking plaster for the brain" prescribed for various reasons, at the same time cannot be rushed, it takes as long as it takes. We can give you ideas of how long, but at the end of the day depends on you, you metabolism and how much repair Cita needs to do. This is not a quick fix nor is it a pill to "pop" when you need it due to external (modern day) pressures.

    So far, you have done the only thing, apart from talking to your Doctor, and that is by joining the forum. We have all arrived from different places due to different reasons or circumstances and we can help as you start your journey.

    Any thoughts, angst, problems, ideas, paranoia (you'll properly get this mildly when you think other things are going on or wrong - I did!) any kind of question at all really, just post. You will get an answer because, you are not alone, We have all been there and are either helpful or plain nosey! Lol!

    You just gotta go with the flow! Keep posting.

    Regards,

    David

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  • Posted

    Hi Anon, I would focus on the benefits the drug will give you rather than side effects you might get really lucky and have minor side effects not everyone gets the full force, I think I had a taste of most of them but I was especially very happy that I had only slight anxiety that lasted 2 days then no anxiety since after about a month. I get the yawning and tiredness and tremors but other than that I'm happy and ready for life you too will get that happiness back take care keep posting let us know how your feeling we are here to help each other smile
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  • Posted

    I started talking it today also and I noticed I feel better just dizzy and tired ...I hate the feeling I m just out of no energy.. I'm thinking of taking it at night so I can rest..

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    • Posted

      Morning Lucila,

      You have just started eh! Well, way too early to say when you may start, if you haven't already, by the time you get my reply.

      Everyone is miraculously different, a one off, therefore no two people will have 100% the same side effects from this sticking plaster for the brain. Nor will people have the same intensity of these either! You are correct in thinking that it may be best to take at night. Many, like myself, started taking Cita in the morning then moved up to bedtime after some sleep problems. I believe that Cita works best while you rest so that the next day, even if you get side effects or not, you can get on with things in relative comfort. Cita has to repair the damage done to your brain and this again is very different for everybody, not just because we are individuals, but because we all came to be prescribed it for different reasons.

      The way forward to becoming a new and better you is to accept as best you can what (or what may not) happen during the prescription in the way of side effects. Being here on this forum is the best help you can get and should work nicely alongside regular appointments with your GP (to ensure she/he knows how you are exactly doing) and hopefully someone close in your family or friends circle who understand what you ay be going through. Or, like in my case, someon who is willing to travel the same path and learn as they go. My Fiancee knew of, but little about mental illness of these kinds nor about sticking plasters for the brain, but Bless, she got involved along with me joining the forum and has been my most important and perhaps best crutch most of the time.

      One thing I always recommend is an emergency duvet in a room other than the bedroom so if, and only if, you get days when you just about make it out of bed and that is about it you have your duvet ready and waiting for you to crawl under and curl up in!

      Try not to watch crap TV only uplifting programmes, play yer favourite feel good DVDs and listen to yer favourite sounds. Healthy eating will help and removing yourself (if possibe) from that which has made you ill is highly recommended as part of your self recovery while Cita does the rest. If you smoke stop, I did after 43 years and have not looked back, I also gave up drinking until I got much, much better however, now I hardly touch the stuff, keep it for a social gathering or family ting.

      Taking vitmin B6 and D3 also helps the seretonin levels which can give a boost to the work Cita does. Whether you feel like it does or not it does.

      So, all that remains for me is to say Welcome to The Club!

      You have found possibly the best forum in the world where you will get help, advice support and encouragement. Keep posting (no matter how insignificant you feel it may be - we have all been there!) keep reading other posts (however, do not read too much into or over worry about them as they are about other peoples problems and not yours). You will learn a lot though.

      Remember as you porgress you are not alone and we are here for you!

      Regards,

      David

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your words and time well I been on it two days and it has really helped me I just started with headaches today and I just feel high all day but I feel so much better alread... Crazy I think it's to soon to feel this good but I'm happy I wanted to try taking at night but what if I can't sleep that's my concern but I noticed after like 6 I don't feel drowsy I start getting tire... I take 10mg first thing in the morning about 7. So I am praying I continue to do good...

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    • Posted

      Excellent! So far so good. Just be aware that you may get a blip or two and wonder what is happening. If you do, cr*p as you may feel, it is Cita working on the repairs. So, do not fret or worry and if there are things bothering you and you need to ask or just talk, you know where we are!

      Regards,

      David

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone

    I've been taking Cit for about 3 1/2 weeks now for GAD and panic attacks. I Seem to be over the worst of the side effects and feeling more myself but over the last couple of days my nausea as returned big time. Is this normal?

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