Taking unprescribed 20mg Citalopram for anxiety

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Ok, so essentially I'm a performing musician and I have a big gig coming up next week. My friend who is on prescribed 20mg citalopram has given me two of his tablets (I asked him) to deal with the horrendous anxiety I get whilst on stage.

I have taken prescribed 10mg citalopram before over the course of one month, which was a couple years ago now. This was to deal with my depression (I didn't see any improvement). I still suffer from it now, but have luckily started to see progress over the past month or so without the aid of drugs.

I had no side effects from the 10mg dosage and was wondering whether it would be safe to take the 20mg to deal with the anxiety. I've got two tablets off of my friend so I could test it out before my big performance, and obviously if it works, I can take the second.

What are people's opinions on this? Would appreciate any advice.

Thanks.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    You could try it, but it's a bit pointless as that class of drugs takes weeks to have any effect (which is why it didn't work for you before) so any amount is not going to make you feel calmer immediately. If it does work it'll be because of a placebo effect – because you believe it does (worth trying?). Personally I think it's better in these circumstances to let the adrenaline carry you through – otherwise you don't learn to deal with the situation and always think you need medical help. I live with someone who used to throw up with terror before every performance but he's had lots of practice and now he's completely calm.
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  • Posted

    As sue73 says, a couple of days worth isn't going to do anything (except maybe give you jaw clamp) cheesygrin What you need is Propranolol smile
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  • Posted

    Speak to a healthcare professional - I would not advocate taking medication prescribed for another person for a diagnosed condition, and if anything citalopram can cause increased anxiety in the early stages. Talk to your doctor and see if there is something more appropriate they can recommend.

    Tarun (hospital pharmacist).

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  • Posted

    it takes a few weeks of daily taking citalopram to get into your system, so i think it would be total pointless, try meditating or running
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  • Posted

    I don't think that drug would have any effect on anxiety. Anti-depressants take weeks to reach therapeutic levels, and even then, the anxiolytic effects will be minimal.

    As a long-time anxiety sufferer I can say that having tried nearly every drug for anxiety, by far the gold standard type of drug for one-off performance anxiety are the benzodiazepine class of tranquilizer drugs, particularly a short-acting one such as Xanax. However getting a GP to prescribe these will be difficult as most dare very reluctant to, due to the risk of dependency from regular use. You may get one for a flight phobia, but stage fright, I think would be less likely unless it's a one-off major gig.

    Other anxiolytic drugs more accessible from GP's you could try might be Buspirone, Baclofen or Pregablin. Buspirone is not usually very effective except in mild anxiety and does take a while to work for some people, up to 2 weeks. Baclofen and Pregablin act on GABA-B and work instantly. They may be more effective for performance anxiety, but nowhere near as effective as benzodiazepine drugs that act on GABA-A.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    As others have said, its a total waste of time taking Citalopran, as it takes weeks to start working, however the initial side effects are often extreme tiredness so not onlybwould you still be nervous but you wouldn't be able to play for snoring!

    You don't mention what you play, whether you wre a soloist etc. But in my experience of musicians and my son in law is a professional musician as was my daughter before becoming ill, all musicians are very

    nervous before a gig, big or small. However, once you start, you will forget everything except the beauty of

    the music' The audience will cease to exist, and younwill be transported to another place.

    You don't need drugs, you need a decent meal, to be smongst your colleagues and to remember that even if you mske a mistake, the audience won't realise.

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