Started on 10mg citalopram 5 days ago

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Hello everyone - I've been posting in a different/old thread but I figured I'd make a new discussion just to get a wider range of responses.

I started on 10mg Citalopram on thursday (was prescribed 20mg but at this point I don't think I'll actually increase from 10mg - the side-effects have been brutal)

Friday was complete hell for me until around 6pm when I started to feel better. I had diarrhea, eating had gotten even harder than before (I almost threw up trying to eat some bread). I was trembling a lot and for a while I had a 100+ fever. My heartbeat had been faster than normal pretty much all day as well. I was honestly just completely hopeless that day and I was walking around in a panic on the verge of tears - how I felt was "If this continues, life isn't worth it at all..."

On Saturday I was definitely feeling a lot better than the previous day - most of the side-effects have gotten a lot less severe - I pretty much just felt tired all day.. my heart rate tends to increase occasionally but it calms down within an hour or two. I still had no appetite but it seemed easier to eat - no gagging on food. It did wake me up at 5am after 6 hours of sleep and I couldn't get back to sleep at all (I was hoping it didn't continue - I've never had trouble sleeping in my life and not even the depression had affected it much). I was really hopeful that things would continue to get better.

Sunday morning I woke up at around 3am with bad diarrhea and shivering... diarrhea stopped after awhile but I got really hungry after that. It was really rough for me - had to actually wake my parents up around 4am just to help me deal with it. All I could do was walk around and ask myself "What do I do, what do I do?" ... Is that what you call a panic attack? I had the same thing on Friday. I tried my hardest to sleep after that but I honestly have no idea if I got any... so in total I got around 3 hours of that night.

Later that day I went to a walk-in clinic and was prescribed 0.5mg Ativan to help with me waking up in the middle of the night and the resulting panic attacks. As expected, I woke up at 4am so I took one and it didn't seem to do anything to help for like an hour.. got back to sleep around 5am and then I still woke back up at 7am and couldn't get back to sleep again. Is there anything I can get to help with sleeping...? Should I go back to the walk-in? I was thinking of trying Zzzquil.

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Yes go back to the walk in centre as this is evidentaly intolerable for you. Speak to your GP as well

    Taz

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  • Posted

    I started on 10mg on Friday so had my 4th today, not had any diarrhea so far but had the problems eating, especially in the morning, have the shakey feeling and dry mouth, heart rate also increased but then thats why i was prescribed them as i had a panic attack due to increased heart rate on the Thursday, not helped my anxiety as of yet

    Most of the symptons people have described i already get anyway outwith the diarrhea, maybe why i haven't noticed much change yet

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  • Posted

    Hi Gwerf I was on 10mg for a week and last 5 days on 20 mg.Have had headaches,mild nausea,dizziness and 2 days of Diarrhea.All of these have been quite tolerable but the spike in anxiety has been the hardest for me.Even at the higher dose  I am finding the side effects apart from the increased anxiety are subsiding quickly and I am extremely sensitive to medications.Basically I would like to give you comfort that the side effects you are having seem to be common and you will likely feel relief quite soon.I hope this helps Gwerf and I wish you the very best.
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  • Posted

    Hello - thank you for the replies. Just an update:

    I went to my GP yesterday and he prescribed me trazodone to help me sleep... I took 25mg last night and I slept 6 hours I think? Before this started I'd always get as much sleep as i wanted... 8-10 hours, even with depression. This is really hard for me... I'm so exhausted. When I woke up this morning I couldn't stop yawning and shivering and my heart rate was really high so I also took some ativan to calm myself down.

    I'm so tired and I just can't sleep... ever since I started on these antidepressants it's literally just been me dealing with these side-effects. I'm starting to wonder if I should try a different antidepressant - my GP offered to switch me yesterday but I wasn't sure. I'm honestly quite scared to come off this and start something different... I'm afraid I'll end up experiencing something another day like Friday which was the absolute worst. But I've also seen some posts from people where things instantly got 100 times better after they switched to something else, so I'm conflicted.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gwerf

      I can absolutely sympathise about your reluctance to get off one and go to another.I have now done it a few times and you get hopeful that "this is the one that will fix me" and you endure the side effects and then the withdrawals.(and the disappointment) From the many posts I have read it seems that it is fairly common to try several different types of meds before finding the right one for you.I know this doesn't make things easier for you but at least you can know that your experience is very similar to most other people and you are not alone in your feelings of conflict.They are very reasonable thoughts to have and I know I have certainly experienced them.If you have a good medical professional treating you then I would really suggest that you take their advice about the meds.Unfortunately they can't know which med will suit you until they monitor your experience and then they can make an informed decision.With regard to your sleep trouble I have had tremendous success with Mirtazapine (Remeron) so you may wish to ask your professional if it is appropriate.I get a perfect eight hours sleep straight through and do not wake up feeling groggy.The first few days on it I did feel spaced out but that passed very quickly.I hope this helps. Best wishes from Rick

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  • Posted

    Hello again - I've decided that citalopram probably isn't for me.

    I've been waking up every morning after <6 hours sleep with bad shivering and a high heart rate (~140bpm) since Sunday. I talked to my counsellor and he said that it's a very abnormal side-effect and suggested I try a different medication. I have an appointment with my GP today to talk about doing that. 

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    • Posted

      Gwerf, I have no wish to frighten you but get off this medication and onto something else in consultation with your GP. There are research papers that link citalopram to heart problems, so to me a heart rate thet high would indicate that this is possible for you. HOWEVER IT HAS BEEN QUICKLY CAUGHT AND WILL QUICKLY REVERSE.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Taz for the info - I did not know that. I already have a small heart issue (heart murmur) so I will definitely talk to my GP about cit-related heart problems. I'm fairly sure I will be switching to something else today regardless.
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    • Posted

      Here is a part text

      "Adverse Reactions

      Cardiovascular

      Hypotension, postural hypotension, tachycardia (at least 1%)-(fast heartbeat {my note}); QT prolongation, torsades de pointes, ventricular arrhythmia (postmarketing).

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  • Posted

    I talked to my GP and I will be stopping citalopram and starting on 75mg venlafaxine tomorrow morning.
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    • Posted

      Well, I'm honestly not sure if I should switch now as I got a good 8 hours of sleep last night with no shivering/increased heartrate in the morning. I'm going to do a couple more days on citalopram and if this continues I suppose I'll stick with it smile
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    • Posted

      Only you and your Dr can decide what is best for you so good luck with whatever that may be confused
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