Switched to Citalopram from Fluoxetine

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Hi All,

I was in the Fluoxetine group but as of today I am now taking Citalopram. I was suffering insomnia and the doc said these tablets have the opposite effect so I should start sleeping better. I was on Fluoxetine for about 6 weeks.

Nothing major has happened in my life, but since last year it's been one thing to deal with after another and I think I have now finally sat down and the adrenaline that was keeping me going has gone and I've finally realise that not all is rosy. My doctor says it could be a chemical imbalance which I agree with. I was starting to using alcohol cause I thought it made me feel better but if I'm honest it didn't. I have a loving and supportive boyfriend but he is struggling to understand what I'm going through. I think he prefers to not discuss it in the hope that it will go away.

Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself to the group. I'll probably be logged on lots for the next two weeks as the doctor has signed me off. So post a message back and maybe we could chat.

Flow smile

0 likes, 8 replies


8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Flow!

    Good luck with Citalopram. I really hope it works for you. Obviously, your doctor knows your medical history and there is no substitute for proper, informed medical advice and support.

    Leaving insomnia aside, was Fluoxetine helping with the symptoms of your depression?

    I ask as Citalopram is in the same antidepressant category as Fluoxetine - it's an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) - so if Fluoxetine was:

    1) Not helping your depression and

    2) Causing insomnia

    Then I confess to a little surprise that your doctor has switched you to an AD in the same group. Particularly as one of the known side effects of Citalopram is insomnia.


    Insomnia was for me the worst thing about the drug. I couldn't sleep without Zopiclone sleeping tablets which I was not happy to take on an ongoing basis.

    Of course, everyone reacts differently to these drugs and Citalopram may work for you but if you find your insomnia is not reducing, do speak to your doc because there are many different AD categories out there. Without proper, restful sleep, it is impossible to function, never mind tackle the symptoms of depression.

    I'm afraid it can be very hard to explain to someone who has not suffered with depresson how you are feeling. It's not just about being a bit down or fed up it's so much more and so much more complex. But don't give up! If you have a loving partner it really can help you through this.

    Good luck and best regards.

  • Posted


    Dear All

    I have been prescribed Citalopram for anxiety and depression.

    Would anyone be able to recommend, based on Stiltman's comments about insomnia, when is the best time of day to take it?

    Sleeping through the night as been a problem for weeks and the GP I spoke to was fully aware of that when he prescribed this drug so I am nervous to read that insomnia might be an unwanted side effect?

    My GP has also made a regular appointment to see the CPN at our practice and I was impressed by the time and consideration he gave me today.

    Thank you to anyone reading for your interest

  • Posted

    Hi Charm

    There's no hard and fast rule about when you take the drug. I tried both AM and PM but made no difference [u:f31c23a13e]but[/u:f31c23a13e] it's important to remember that this was just the way that I reacted to the drug and everyone is different.

    Some people find if you take it at night it alleviates the worst of any other side effects people sometimes experience. I didn't have any real issues with side effects apart from the insomnia which was ultimately the deal breaker for me.

    You don't mention what dose the doctor has started you on - maybe 20mg of perhaps 10mg initially with a view to building up to 20 mg? Perhaps if you are concerned, speak to your doctor and ask what he/she suggests or if you can split the dose? Remember also that you do have to give these drugs a few weeks to get into your system before you are likely to feel much better

    You'll see many opinions on this site and sharing how you are feeling can help, however, the most important thing to remember is to try not to be scared by what you read and to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. These drugs are widely prescribed and work for many people and your doctor is on your side!!

    If insomnia is a problem, the doctor may be able to help with a low dose sleeping pill on a short term basis in conjunction with Citalopram - they are quite safe if used under medical supervision - and in the early stages of your treatment with this drug, your doctor will want to monitor your progress quite closely. Don't suffer in silence - talk to him/her about what you are experiencing. There are other AD drugs that may help if Citalopram does not so don't think this is your only option.

    Take care.

  • Posted

    Hi Flow, and everyone!

    Flow, I knew I would have found you here! I am still taking Fluoxetine, I have just started my 4th week but this week I have only been able to go to work 1 day. All the other days, I couldn't even get out of bed. I would start feeling more energetic in the evenings but the energy would only last a few hours. I'm not gonna give up as everyone says it takes about 4 weeks before it starts working.

    How do you find Citalopram? Let me know. I really hope you are better.

    Virtual hugs,

    Athena smile

  • Posted

    [b:6f693ee380] i have been on fluoxetine for about 6 weeks up until 2day,when i was given citalopram as i have been getting very recurrent suicidal thoughts. i actually ended up od'ing kast sunday but their is alot going on 4 me atm. im hoping citalopram works for me as this is my 3rd anti depressant.

    medication affects people in different ways, i myself have trouble sleeping, i tried anti histamines, which are used for hay fever helped me a few months back.

    hope you feel motivated enough to stick it out

    depression is a nasty thing to have, no-one should have to go through it![/b:6f693ee380]

  • Posted

    Hi Athena! smile , hi also to Stiltman, Charm and miserybusiness.

    How is everyone today? Sorry I haven't written for a while. I just returned to work yesterday after being signed off for two weeks and I feel a bit better. I think I really needed to rest and any day that I did do lots, really tired me out.

    I'm sleeping a bit better on Citalopram, Stiltman, but as you say it is weird that the doctor put me on another SSRI but he said that Citalopram should make me feel tired & maybe a bit spaced out, so my sleeping would improve. I have told two doctors that I am having trouble sleeping but they seem reluctant to give me sleeping pills. They also keep giving me just one month at a time of Fluoxetine/Citalopram which I did mention to the doctor is costing me £7.10 each time! I've had to buy my own sleeping tablets which help some what, but with Xmas coming up it's getting too expensive!

    I feel almost normal on Citalopram, just tired and sometimes slightly moody. On Fluoxetine I felt on edge and really down.

    Annoyingly I found out that I CAN drink whilst on these tablets and they don't have an adverse effect. Which means I am still using drink to make me happier. A friend came round the other night and out of two bottles of wine, she had two small glasses and I had the rest!

  • Posted

    Hi Flow,

    I'm happy you're feeling better. I am still on Flu and although my mood is much better, my body's completely shattered. I went to see the doc yesterday and she said it could be a viral infection, something wrong with my body, the side effects of flu or that after so much stress, now that I am feeling better, my body has realised how shattered it is!

    I hope it's the latter, my I am still carrying on with Flu as I am in a better mood.

    Glad you are better, you sounded really down before.

    Keep writing, although I am always on the Flu forum side, I will come here to say hello to you :o


  • Posted

    Hi Flow, how is the citalopram going and what time have you been taking it? I am starting it tomorrow after being on Flu for 6 weeks and hating every moment. I have not been sleeping at all and it made anxiety worse. I was on venlafaxine for many years and came off it last year for 8 months so haven't had citalopram before. I was signed off work for last 2 weeks and am off again for another week. Anything you can say about citalopram would help, after Flu am nervous about a different one but know right now it is the best thing for me. Thanks. :?

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