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Early days of Citalopram - will it get better?

(119 Posts)
CarolineLHol Tue 01-Jan-13 20:17:18

After a good pregnancy, working up to the end, I don't think I really spent enough time thinking about the life changing choice we had made and I have struggled to get my head around being a mum from the beginning. Baby gave me a scare within the first few hours but is fully recovered and is an absolute angel. Her mum however has been a yoyo of emotions.
After a tearful and being at my lowest over Christmas I'm now on day 4 of Citalopram. But am feeling awful and scared that im not going to be normal again. No appetite and not able to sleep (not slept properly for 2 months) and feel like I am a robot around my baby.

Was hoping to hear some reassurance that it will get better.

perspective Thu 03-Jan-13 11:49:46

Thanks both. No I haven't switched yet, feel very indecisive. I actually feel a lot better now, got up and going, then ds got up and wanted to go swimming (very active 11 yo.....) so we have both had some exercise. I don't think I'm physically ill, I'm pretty sure it's just (!) side effects. It seems the beginning and end of each day are rough but the bit in the middle I feel ok.

Thanks again.

TheMonster Thu 03-Jan-13 11:52:13

It does get better. I've been on it for five years. I still remember refusing to drive for the first two months because I felt drunk. I did grind my teeth or a long time but. To any more. Stick with it - it saved my life.

jasmine31 Fri 04-Jan-13 19:29:21

It definitely gets better. I had severe postnatal anxiety and started citalopram 3 months ago. Now on 30mg. The first 10 days or so were awful- really bad anxiety, insomnia, felt like I was going crazy and was never going to get better. Then it started to improve. Things are great now - I feel back to normal and can't imagine things being any other way.

In terms of where to go to meet other mums in London, I'm lucky to have a couple of local friends with babies, plus a really nice NCT group. The local childrens centres have also been friendly places too. Best things I have done are making sure we get out every day, taking some exercise even if just walking with the buggy, also trying to establish some sort of flexible routine to have a bit of time to myself.

Hope things start getting better for you soon :-)

Varya Fri 04-Jan-13 19:40:37

Citalopram is very effective. Dont suffer in silence. XXX

CarolineLHol Fri 04-Jan-13 22:05:59

Thanks all for the reassurance, I think the main message for all us who are still in early days, 'grin and bare it' for a little longer, it will get better. smile
Day 6 today and although after taking my dose I felt wiped for half the day, I was a lot less nauseous and managed to eat, although I have felt more down today. My poor little bambina must wonder what's going on!

Jasmine, you mentioned you were on 30mg. Did you start on that amount? I'm on 20mg but trying to work out how you know when you are on the right dose.

Yes, stick with it although it is hard. I started on 20mg then went up to 40mg via 30mg , because the anxiety was still there. I am now on 20mg again and feel normal.

jasmine31 Sat 05-Jan-13 07:31:22

I also started on 20mg. I felt lots better after a couple of weeks but a tiny bit anxious at times so the psychiatrist suggested trying an increase to 30mg - I think that was after about 4 weeks on meds. Seems to be working well now.

How old is your baby Caroline?

CarolineLHol Sat 05-Jan-13 13:11:49

Hi Jasmine, baby is 5 months and seems to have sprung 2 new teeth without us realising! smile
Felt a bit better first thing but went for a walk just with bf and felt very down. Just come back and had a cry with my mum, who is going back home today. sad Are these highs and lows part of the side-effects? and every time you up the dose do you get side effects again? ... Sorry for all the questions. X

HellesBelles396 Sat 05-Jan-13 14:03:42

Are these highs and lows part of the side-effects? and every time you up the dose do you get side effects again?

Good Afternoon Caroline, these ups and downs are part of anxiety and depression, The fact you're having ups at all is a sign that you're slowly (and it times it seems sooo slow) coming out of depression. Celebrate the ups and focus on those rather than the downs. Do not (because I'm prone to this and it wrecks me every time) make loads of plans for when you're feeling good because you'll tire yourself out and bring on some seriously depressive thinking. Use "up" time for spending with your baby and/or boyfriend and pulling silly faces, having bathtime, etc. When you're in a "down"try to start a cascade off by doing one thing that needs doing - any one thing. EG, plump up your pillows. It might make you want to do more - again, just choose one thing. If it doesn't, that's fine. You set yourself one task and completed it!

The ups and downs - in my experience - become less severe and less frequent as time passes smile

When my dose has changed, I have had more side effects but never so bad as when I started on.

jasmine31 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:40:36

Sorry you are having a bad day Caroline. Yes I definitely remember lots of ups and downs. Was quite frustrating as I kept thinking I was completely better then having another bad day. I often seemed to be worse in the evening for some reason. Agree that Citalopram seemed to make the bad times much less intense and less frequent. I don't think I experienced any side effects increasing the dose from 20 to 30mg. Certainly nothing like at the start of treatment (I was vomiting lots and couldn't eat at first).

For me it feels a bit odd being on a medication that affects my mood. (have never been on any ADs etc before). I feel completely better but I don't know how much of that is the medication and how much is me. I keep being tempted to stop the meds and find out... But will stick with the medical advice and keep taking the tablets for now :-)

I did try and stop them this summer, I was ok for a few weeks then started to feel 'not right' again so i am back on them and happier.

I forgot to mention the appetite thing. My GP told me they can interfere with your sensation of feeling full (ie you don't) so it can be easy to overeat as soon as your appetite comes back which mine did with a vengeance. So just keep it in mind.

HellesBelles396 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:45:58

I gather, from people who've had depression in response to an event or series of events, that they phased off the ad's and that they had very mild side-effects while doing so. Coming straight off, apparently, gives hideous withdrawal effects.

I have chronic depression, so I'm on for life and don't need to worry about that!

HellesBelles396 Sat 05-Jan-13 17:49:03

sparkling that's interesting. I comfort eat when anxious or bored so assumed that's why I have been putting on weight over past few years. In my last depression I dropped to size 12 but my weight has slowly crept up to an 18.

I have put weight on Helles and the reason i wanted to come off is to lose the weight, but i now know i can be on ADs but need to pace myself food wise. I have lost weight just by realising I'm not truly hungry and I have eaten enough.

CarolineLHol Sun 06-Jan-13 11:38:08

Hi all, hope you had good nights.
Its day 7 for me and i didnt start feeling normal until 4pm again yesterday. Does anyone else take their tablets in the morning and then start to feel up and down for most of the day, only to really perk up the most in the evening?
I cant work out whether its the medication wearing off in the evening or it's kicking in? Really want to start the day wanting to get out of bed and the house!

HellesBelles396 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:49:39

I take mine on a morning. at first I took it on a night but, once the side effects wore off switches to mornings because they were recommended by the gp.

CarolineLHol Sun 06-Jan-13 12:05:29

Thanks Helles. Just can't get my head around why I feel so radically different in the evenings to the daytime. I was putting it down to the sleeping tablets but I'm ok before taking the ADs.

What I wouldn't do for some sunshine and a holiday!

LIG1979 Sun 06-Jan-13 12:16:18

I took it about 10 years ago for early morning waking and anxiety about sleeping. It was a wonder drug and for the 18 months I took it, nothing worried me or stressed me out. I slept the best I have ever slept. Coming off it was quite difficult but I still sleep much better and stress less than the days before I took it. If I remember correctly it took about 3 weeks to kick in. I used to take it in the evening to help with sleeping and would feel tired/drowsy in the morning if I didn't get about 9/10 hours sleep. (That is the only period in my life I have slept that much.) I hope things get better soon.

perspective Sun 06-Jan-13 14:14:31

Day 8 for me and like you Caroline I'm still feeling weird. Taking mine in the evening still, but earlier, about 6-7. I'm sleeping a bit better but waking early, hot, anxious, headache. Once I'm up and going I feel better but then awful in the evenings. Back to work tomorrow, things difficult there but good colleagues so I'm hoping I will manage.

It's really helpful to hear everyone's experiences, thanks for sharing.

CarolineLHol Sun 06-Jan-13 17:31:05

Perspective, I hope being back at work will help distract you from these side effects. You will be absolutely fine!

It's interesting to hear how the ADs effect you differently when taken at different times. I feel pants half an hour after i take them in the morning and then during the day. but at 4pm its like a switch has been turned on and I feel a lot better. Going to ask my doc why that is so.

Best of luck tomorrow and you know where we are if you need a boost. smile

madas Tue 08-Jan-13 16:14:51

Hi, well just got back from the docs and im now on citalopram. She wants me to take them and also have counselling. Any advice, dos or donts would be gratefully received.

Thanks

jasmine31 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:43:54

Welcome to the club madas! citalopram made me really sick, but only for a day or two. It's best to take it with/after food apparently. I found it worked well for my anxiety after about 3 weeks.

nannyof3 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:52:14

It will get better...

10mg is a starting dose and doesnt suppose to 'work' as such, it is just for ur body to get use to it

nannyof3 Tue 08-Jan-13 16:53:23

Theres loads of side effects and not being able to sleep is one of them...

As ur body gets use to it, u will be ok..

Normally about 3 weeks...

Good luck

madas Tue 08-Jan-13 17:14:33

The lack of sleep is nothing new im used to that lol. I just cant understand why i am like this thats the hard part.

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