Side effects and insomnia on citalopram.

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So this is my second time around using citalopram and i am only on my 6th day. I got on it in May of 2017 but stopped taking it while breastfeeding my daughter in May 2019. I first got on it due to GAD and had heightened anxiety and other side effects that seemed to only last about a week or so. This time i am experiencing the same side effects along with insomnia and that alone seems enough to drive me crazy.I started with 10 mg for 2 weeks as per my GP and to increase to 20mg. After the first day i decided to go down to 5mg in hopes that would ease the side effects. I keep telling myself this will all go away but i am in constant limbo on whether to quit or keep taking citalopram. I have never really dealt with insomnia and it seems to be taking a real toll on my mental health and professional life. I can lay in bed at night with my eyes closed for what seems like hours and hours and its like my brain wont go to sleep but my body is ready. I have had nights with no sleep at all and have anxiety about not sleeping. My doctor recently prescribed 100 mg of trazodone to help sleep but it kind of freaked me out to learn that it is another antidepressant. I took it for the first time last night and slept but i was in and out of sleep with vivid dreams and what seemed to be flashes of light when i closed my eyes. If anyone could give me some advice it would surely be appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hey, what time do you take your citalopram? Because for some it can cause insomnia if taken to close to bedtime. Others it can help sleep so it really all depends on the person. I have suffered insomnia since my second child was born and the first time it was rotten, as is most physical and psychological symptoms when you first experience them. I am in my 3rd week of citalopram 10mg and its affecting my sleep too, along with various other symptoms like nausea, body aches and headaches and its kicking my arse.

    I take my tablet at 9am. But think if I took it at night it might cause me to have even worse sleep as it doesn't make me drowsy like other people report. Personally I'd suggest looking at the time you take it. (could it help you sleep? Does it make you drowsy) or if it doesn't, take it in the morning, this should then allow your body tone to process the side effects during the day (I know its rotten) but it doesn't last. I promise. It could take up to 12 weeks to feel normal again and when told this so early in your journey its a horrible thought, but you won't feel this bad the entire 12 weeks, it'll just be blips. Eventually you'll be sleeping better, which will reduce anxiety and things will be easier. Try nit to panic about not sleeping, I know easier said than done, I have been working on that for years and still haven't quite grasp it, but tell yourself, OK if I don't get enough sleep tonight then its fine, I will catch up tomorrow night, this isn't gonna last forever and I'll be OK. Because you will be absolutely fine. All this is only temporary, bad times never last. Also if you're unsure about the second medication you've been prescribed, try something less extreme like night nurse, or get yourself some lavender spray, drink camomile tea before bed and try and do something relaxing like colouring in to take your mind off the sleep issue.

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  • Edited

    A common side effect of Citalopram is insomnia and is usually worse in the first few weeks on the meds. It should settle down over time.

    Agree about taking it in the morning - my doctor told me the same too that its less disruptive to sleep if taken early in the day.

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  • Posted

    oh boy,

    i was just going to post about this when i woke up. i am going through the very same thing you are. This is my 2nd time on the meds.. the first time i dont remember any sleeping problems, but this time around its the cause of most of my anxiety, some nights it feels like im in limbo, ready to fall into sleep but for some reason not falling asleep, i have good nights, had 8 in a row last week, but back to the same this week. i have been on 20mg for 7 and 1/2 weeks but my dr. increased my dose to 30 2 1/2 weeks ago..its very frustrating, i hear ya. my dr said taking it in the morning wont change anything...i wished drs would be on the same page. i just hope it goes away soon. hang in there

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    • Posted

      So i had to make a really hard decision to stop taking citalopram. I thought it would have been easier the second time around but it was causing horrible insomnia and loss of appetite. I had lost 10 pounds in 6 days! I was really hoping i could stick it out, but the insomnia was mentally draining. I wish you the best of luck with your journey!

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    • Posted

      How long did you take to come off the citalopram ? I'm weaning off at moment gone done from 10mg to 7.5mg tried them for several months just made me feel a whole lot worse. They do help lot of people but for some people just seem to have opposite effect.. Hope your sleep improves, Ispent years with insomnia being made to go cold turkey off sleeping tablets caused all this.

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    • Posted

      This time around I only took the citalopram for about a week so i did not taper off. It took about 6 days for the side effects to subside. I had no problems with withdrawal the first time i got off of them. From what i have read is that if you have been on citalopram for at least 4 weeks it takes about 2 weeks for withdrawal.

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