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Anyone on citalopram ? How are you finding it ?

(52 Posts)
Lonelybunny Mon 29-Apr-13 12:34:41

I've been prescribed 10mg every other day to start with , not sure if this is going to help me tbh sad I've been trying to look it up and it all points to horrid side effects including weight gain plurgh ! I've been on prozac in the past and was ok on this but GP is being vigilant as I'm breastfeeding

reastie Mon 29-Apr-13 12:38:35

Hi, I'm on citalopram and also bfing (although only one feed a day with a toddler). I'm finding it great (and I never thought I'd say that about a MH drug - I've been on prozac and seroxat in the past). It took a couple of months to make any real difference for me and I very gradually increased the dose when I started to decrease the chance of side effects when starting on it. The main negative to being on it now 7 months in is my sex drive is minimal. The first 2 or 3 weeks on it I actually lost my appetite completely (which is very unlike me!) so lost half a stone that way, and since then (I'm losing weight in any case) I've lost maybe a stone more, so it won't make you gain weight. I felt odd initially - tired/dizzy/weird/out of sorts but I knew it was because of the drug. I really hope it helps you.

Lonelybunny Mon 29-Apr-13 12:56:00

Hello reastie that sounds positive smile thank you . My sex life is non existant at the moment anyway so no change there for me blush I'm glad it's working for you. Do you take at night or daytime ? I haven't picked up my prescription yet , I'm guessing they may up my dose after a couple of weeks.

piratecat Mon 29-Apr-13 13:00:59

hi there, i am glad you have posted this thread, asi have been googling it also.
I have just changed from Prozac to Citalopram, as i have had a breakdown a coule of weeks ago.

I found prozac brilliant for many years, but gp wanted me to give this a go to help with the stress/anxiety bit of what's happening at the moment.

I have only been on it about 5 days, and my gp said it should work by then, but i have read it takes longer?? As it's in the same group as the prozac I was on maybe it will be just carrying on a certain level, is what she meant. Rather than something starting from scratch.

I haven't felt any side effects, and neither did I with prozac. hth sort of!

reastie Mon 29-Apr-13 13:04:19

I'm not sure exactly what my dose is blush as I have it in drop form as I can't swallow tablets. My GP told me to do a half dose for a couple of weeks and then bring it up to full but I did it slower than that as I was anxious about the side effects. I take mine last thing at night, after DDs evening bf. My logic being that it's less likely to be in the breast milk that way as she only feeds once in the evening. I wasn't told either way which was better as to when to take it. I was told a couple of intersting things from a psychiatrist I paid privately to see when I was in a bad place with my anxiety. She said often anxiety sufferers need to take more than the dose for depression for it to make a real difference (although not all GPs realise this and often just give the standard depression dose for anxiety which won't help as fully as it can) and that it takes longer to work for anxiety than depression. She told me a good 2 months before you get the full good effects on anxiety. I think I'm on a relatively low dose for anxiety but my GP asks to see me every few weeks/months to check and see if we need to tweak it.

Lonelybunny Mon 29-Apr-13 13:07:40

Great thanks for the info smile and hope you feel better soon piratecat

LEMisdisappointed Mon 29-Apr-13 15:41:18

Hi there lonelybunny - i was on your other thread and im so pleased you went to see your doctor smile I am on citalopram 20mg after starting on 10mg. 10mg is a really low dose so don't worry too much about side effects, they always have a long and scary list - but so does anything if you read them. What you can reasonably expect is to feel a bit sicky and lightheaded to start and that you wont really see an improvement at first so it can be difficult to persevere but please do, I still have my off days (today being one of them sad ) but you will feel better soon i promise xx

Lonelybunny Mon 29-Apr-13 16:59:20

Thanks ladies , still a bit wary of taking it but if I pluck up the courage tonight I may do .....

piratecat Mon 29-Apr-13 17:07:20

Lonelybunny, I was wondering when to take them too, but i used to take my other ones in the morning so have carried on doing that.

I'm not sure it matters with these when we take them. I know there is another antidepressant not this one, that aids sleep so that has to be taken before bed.
I have been feeling a little nauseous on and off the past few days, but it could be anxiety.

thanks for your well wishes. I hope you start to feel better soon. Come back here and let us know how you are doing.

Jamatmum Mon 29-Apr-13 17:14:27

Hi. I am on 10mg citalopram for anxiety. It took me 3 months looking at the packet before I plucked up the courage to take them. Two of my friends also on them and they started on 20 mg with no side effects. I take mine in the morning. First week side effects excessive yawning. Hot sweats and bit light headed. I noticed an improvement in my anxiety after 3 weeks. Been on them 5 months. I have gained a little bit of weight 6 pounds. I really am not happy being on ads but this one is the least addictive. Good luck and don't be scared. Otherwise you will imagine you have side effects when really it is just the nature of the illness xx

Lonelybunny Tue 30-Apr-13 13:42:09

I took it last night and I was fine , nothing at all , feel a bit like I have a lump in my throat lol . But I actually feel calmer today and bit more normal , I actually gone out today ! I really looking forward to getting back to myself smile

knitknack Wed 01-May-13 17:34:25

I love it! I'm on week four now and it's given me my life back smile. No issues with appetite, feeling excited about life again, looking forward to the future etc. it's wonderful to feel nearly 'normal' again. Look after yourself x

drinkyourmilk Wed 01-May-13 18:41:28

I've been taking it for nearly 3 years. I had20 mg daily but in the process of coming off them.
It has been a god send. Took about 3 months to kick in. I did have a huge problem sleeping for the first few months,and I have no sex drive but other than that its been fine.
Good luck x

I have been on it for about 2 years, maybe longer. I started off on 30mg but I'm now on 20mg, and feel quite happy to stay this way for a while. Certains gp's at my practice though do try nd get my off them everytime i go.

When i started them i did have some side effects, mainly yawning, a juddering jaw and restless legs, but they soon cleared up. I have also put on weight, but I don't think it is just down to the citalopram.

I take mine at night btw.

I would say you need to give them a couple of months before you will really notice if they are working for you or not.

Lonelybunny Thu 02-May-13 09:44:16

I'm thinking of taking them daytime now as I was wide awake all night ! And no fun with 3 kids sad

piratecat Thu 02-May-13 12:16:32

hi i take mine in the mornings and i was fully awake last night. I HATE that, it's so bloody exasperating just lying there bored of being awake isn't it.

Lonelybunny Thu 02-May-13 18:36:09

Has anyone gained weight on these? Seems there is a big issue with people gaining on them on some health boards ? That's now giving me anxiety again sad

LEMisdisappointed Thu 02-May-13 18:44:18

I did, but i also had a mirena coil at around the same time - I do tend to crave food shit more this time, i just have to be aware of it and try and control what i eat - but id rather be fat than anxious to be honest. I think people also loose weight, i have two friends who took it with no weight change at all.

How are you feeling?

When the anxiety lifts maybe you can do some exercise? That will be positive for your mood to - i need to do more, definately

ReadyToPop77 Thu 02-May-13 18:48:26

I was on citalapram for 5yrs & never gained weight at all. I came off them in sept just before I found out I was pg & didn't have one side effect either! It was the best thing I did to take those tabbies (even tho I was terrified of side effects & getting addicted) and wouldn't hesitate to take them again if needed.

HTH smile

NoGoodAtHousework Thu 02-May-13 18:48:34

Citalopram helped me. Only downside is it flared my eczema up. Have just come off it on a controlled dose down and can tell I'm not taking it anymore. It's funny, the good it does you don't really notice until its gone

It helped me get in a better place and enjoy sex more which had got rid of the physical issues I'd been having. I was on 20mg though

Good luck and be patient it can take 6 weeks to really kick in.

Lonelybunny Thu 02-May-13 19:49:38

I'm not really getting any side effects apart from feeling tired and not blooming sleeping and I've only had 3 . So not bad at all here. I agree with the weight versus depression/anxiety but I'm rather weight conscious as it is as I'm not small and really would get pretty upset if I got much bigger ....

I've been on 30 mgs since last September. The side effects I had were aching jaw from clenching too much. Excessive yawning and little sex drive. They took a few months to kick in too. I've also put on weight but i'm not sure if that's me being greedy or the tablets. They have helped to an extent and although I would still class myself as depressed, I no longer have such powerful negative thoughts. I still feel I have some way to go but hopefully i'm on the right track smile

Lonelybunny Fri 03-May-13 07:16:57

I don't know if I can carry on with these. I haven't slept properly now for nearly 4 nights. My baby has also been having trouble getting to sleep (breastfed) I think it's having an effect on her. These are really not helping when I have children to look after sad

Reastie Fri 03-May-13 07:47:32

lonely please try to keep going on them if you can. It got worse before it got better for me. It was worth it in the end. It's made so much difference to me. Before Christmas I was signed off work and could barely leave the house because of anxiety related issues, I'm now so much better. Citalopram has really helped me.

Lonelybunny Fri 03-May-13 08:07:48

It's horrible , I'm yelling at the kids one minute then crying the next I'm exhausted its too much , my family keep pestering me I've got 4 kids to get to school 1 of which isbt mine I've really had enough I've got no energy Im screaming at the baby to shut up this really is terrible

2anddone Fri 03-May-13 23:05:14

I was prescribed these, took my first one today threw up an hour later and currently feel like a tennis ball is stuck in my throat should I take one tomorrow? ((hugs)) lonelybunny x

Reastie Sat 04-May-13 07:29:07

Did you take it with food 2an ? I still now always take mine with food. Can you try building up the dose? I spent a month building up to a normal dose - a week of 1/4 dose, then a week of a 1/2 dose etc etc. I was probably more cautious than needed but even this way I got side effects initially (feeling sick, disruption in sleep, feelings of panic, mood swings, loss of appetite (although the latter was a good thing for me!) etc etc). If you can try to stick with it, the side effects WILL get better over time.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 04-May-13 09:34:12

Oh, i wish i saw this yesterday - please try and hang in there over the weekend. You can phone OOH if you feel really bad - can your OH help you out? is he around? It may be worth going back to the doctors, i had 2mg diazepam when i started, so you could take one at night which should help you sleep, its a ridiculously low dose so you will still wae if the baby needs you xx

MrsMaryCooper Sat 04-May-13 09:41:28

It makes me sweat a lot more than normal but it doesn't affect my sleeping at all after the initial period. Keep going.

RalphGnu Sat 04-May-13 09:44:15

Hi LOnelybunny, I took Citalapram last year for a while and it made such a difference I can't even begin to tell you. No weight gain but the excessive tiredness never really went away, I was just zombiefied all the time, no matter what time of day I took it. In the end it was this that made me stop taking it, after about 12 weeks I think but despite the exhaustion I would definitely use them again if I needed to because they did the trick with regards to my anxiety and depression.

All the best.

I've been on it for about 3 years 40mg, it suits me very well. I can't imagine I will ever be off it to be honest. I've gained about 2 stone over this time. Not happy about that but I've learnt to see that is trade off. Hope you can stick with it &get same benefits as I have

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 11:02:30

i have been on it 10 days now, straight swap from Prozac.

As I have had this breakdown i don't know if it's the tabs or the breakdown that's causing my problems.

Jaw ache, shoulder ache, clenching teeth, headache. My gp said last week to go back to Prozac if i wanted, but how do i know?? Am i not supposed to leave it longer on this. I am on 20mg, was on 20mg of prozac, and just did a straight swap. confused

Lonelybunny Sat 04-May-13 11:45:55

Well another sleepless night and then was sick at half 4 this morning sad got severe back ache but not sure what's causing that sad

LadyVoldemort Sat 04-May-13 17:19:29

I've been on citalopram on and off for over 6 years. It helped my anxiety a lot but I also felt very foggy on it. Almost like I had blinkers on. I also found I was very sleepy and yawned all the time, but they are a sedative so that is expected. I was on 20-40 mg though so you may find you don't get the tiredness as much. Also had problems with the sex life, just didn't have any drive for it.

Overall they did help a lot as they really calmed me down and eased the anxiety, I just wouldn't recommend being on them long term.

LadyVoldemort Sat 04-May-13 17:22:25

Oh I also got the nausea that accompanies them but that usually only lasted for the first month of starting them.

Have you looked in to CBT? I know the waiting list is long for it in a lot of areas but there are some self help books that I've heard are very good for getting you by.

Lonelybunny Sat 04-May-13 18:28:04

Not tried CBT I may ask my GP? I'm waiting to get my breast appointment out the way and see if it's all clear of that has any effect on my anxiety , but no doubt I will find something else to poke and prod at.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 04-May-13 18:34:50

piratecat - i think those side effects are listed on citalopram as one of the ones that suggest it doesn't suit you, i could be wrong, but i would go and see your GP. Can you have something additional to the SSRIs at the moment?

Reastie Sat 04-May-13 18:35:58

Do you have health anxiety then lonely ? (don't say if you don't want to)

Lonelybunny Sat 04-May-13 18:42:15

Yes reastie I do , check my health anxiety thread , it has 76 posts now , I've just posted again .

LadyVoldemort Sat 04-May-13 18:55:37

Yep definitely ask your GP, you might have to push for it though. It really is the best thing for anxiety as the drugs just mask it and don't cure anything. CBT helps you learn how to deal with the thoughts and stop them in their tracks.

Reastie Sat 04-May-13 21:10:07

This may or may not be useful lonely but I have an issue similar to health anxiety (or sort of related to it - emetophobia) and the book 'overcoming health anxiety' here genuinely helped me. I bought it whilst I was waiting for CBT to help me cope in the interim. It's only a book so it itself isn't going to do anything, but it has some useful points and things you can do to help yourself. It also has a chapter all about medication given for health anxiety (inc citalopram) and the side effects/how it works etc.

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 23:05:14

LEm, thankyou for that info, i really don't think i'm getting along with it.

Am to see my gp in about 10 days, have decided to go back to Prozac tomorrow.
The only other thing that was suggested i can't remember, but i had concerns it would knock me out too much.

LEMisdisappointed Sat 04-May-13 23:21:04

Was it mirtazapine? My gp was going to put me on that as i wasn't sleeping but it is known to cause weight gain and im fat enough! The only reason i ask is becaue you said i would knock you out.

piratecat Sun 05-May-13 01:07:32

yes that was it she said it would help me sleep but i have a relative on those who cannot get up in the morning. so put me off.

piratecat Sun 05-May-13 01:08:40

oh and relative has put on weight too. i can't afford to put any on either. x

Lonelybunny Sun 05-May-13 09:29:21

Thanks for the tips guys smile

cocolepew Sun 05-May-13 09:52:11

I was on 20mg a few years ago and did put on weight, but didn't care at the time.
I came off it but have gone back on 10mg in the last few months, Im able to lose weight on it.
Sex drive is rubbish, have very vivid dreams but apart from that its fine.
DH went on it and it didn't make any difference, he tried another anti depressant which was better.

dementedma Sun 05-May-13 20:19:19

Been on 20mg for last 18 mon this and its great. Been a real help. Sex drive crap but it was anyway and yes, some weight gain but its worth it

Lonelybunny Sun 05-May-13 21:23:23

I don't want to put on weight sad I really don't but I need to get better

Reastie Mon 06-May-13 06:57:34

lonely I'm the type of person who puts on weight by breathing. One of the reasons I was dead against taking anti depressants/anxiety medication is I was worried about putting on weight (which I really couldn't afford to do). In the first month on citalopram I lost half a stone from loss of appetite side effect, around 6 months on I've lost another stone (from eating less/exercise). Please don't assume you will put on weight.

Jessica333 Mon 06-May-13 16:03:09

I was on citalopram but stopped it because of total lack of sex drive and inability to have orgasm. Also I couldn't sleep at all and noticed loss of appetite.
My GP wanted to change it to Mirtazapine saying it is an antidepressant but also works as a sedative so will help me sleep but I'm not sure I want to try again....

Jessica333 Mon 06-May-13 16:04:36

I was on citalopram but stopped it because of total lack of sex drive and inability to have orgasm. Also I couldn't sleep at all and noticed loss of appetite.
My GP wanted to change it to Mirtazapine saying it is an antidepressant but also works as a sedative so will help me sleep but I'm not sure I want to try again....

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