Anyone on citalopram?

(20 Posts)
bonzo77 Sat 19-Dec-20 13:59:11

Having always been anxious, and occasionally depressed, everything came to big messy, sobbing climax last week. Despite already being in therapy, and accessing some extra emergency support, I called my GP who has started me on citalopram. I took the first one last night.

Today I feel odd. Spaced out, tired, headachey, nauseous. But calm. Very calm. I can’t imagine they’ve kicked in yet. Maybe it’s just knowing I’ve taken a big step and things will probably get better. I hope the spaced out bit goes away. The rest is tolerable. Maybe I should take it in the morning so these weird feelings come on during the night.

Not sure why I’m posting really. Maybe someone would like to share their positive experiences.

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lemonsaretheonlyfruit Sat 19-Dec-20 14:07:50


I'm on citalopram for similar reasons to you. The first 10 days were really hard and I had all of the dry mouth, not sleeping, heightened anxiety etc. I almost stopped taking them but I called my friend who had been on them for 6 months and told me to push on through . V glad I did as they have been very good for me. Nothing drastic (on 20mg) .. just takes the edge off the harder things in life and able to deal with setbacks or things that seem insurmountable.

I didn't have any positive effects as early as you are but as you say. Maybe it's just knowing you have a plan and are doing something positive. Good luck!!

greenlentilandturmeric Sat 19-Dec-20 14:08:04

I had it a few years ago for a year and have just been put on it again.

I also felt spaced out, nauseous at first. What I did last time (on the advice of my GP) is I took a half dose at night for a week then built up to the full dose. But this is what she advised me.

This time I have started on a very small dose for the past 10 days, again with the view to building up. I felt dreadful on day 2- absolutely beside myself with misery. Then it settled.

I am planning to be on it for a long time. I did really well when on it for a year. i did not want to be taken off it, but my GP said she wanted me off it. I am looking forward to it kicking in (about a month apparently).

In other words- talk to your GP and see what they recommend.

bonzo77 Sat 19-Dec-20 14:13:44

Thanks both of you. It was prescribed in a bit of a rush by non my usual doctor but I’m speaking to my own doctor on Monday. I was on sertraline years ago and it took weeks to kick in. I don’t remember if it had any immediate effects. Maybe I’m really over tired from worrying and not sleeping well last night.

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Plussizejumpsuit Sat 19-Dec-20 14:19:45

I've been on it for about 7 and a half years. I wouldn't be without it. It's a long time since I started it. But I really didn't find the side effects that bad. I do remember being a bit spaced out and knackered. The thing I'd advise as I do with anyone on here asking about citalopram, is take it easy and look after yourself.

Are you working right now? Can you take time off or sick leave? Try not to make any decisions about whether it's working or not until you've had a few more weeks of it. What kind of stress do you have over Christmas or can you relax?

Plussizejumpsuit Sat 19-Dec-20 14:20:21

What dose are you on op?

HeIsYourBrother Sat 19-Dec-20 14:24:40

I felt a bit better instantly when I started on Citalopram and Propanolol but I reckon it was because I was so relieved to have addressed the issue and found the courage to have the necessary conversation with my doctor. Something that was causing great anxiety in its own right. Just to be listened to and on course for getting help were very powerful for me.
Good luck OP


bonzo77 Sat 19-Dec-20 14:30:45


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Regularsizedrudy Sat 19-Dec-20 14:35:01

I felt very horrible the first 2 weeks. Felt like a hangover. One day that feeling just lifted and since they they have definitely helped a lot. If it feels too weird you can ask to start on 10 and move up to 20.

bonzo77 Sat 19-Dec-20 14:35:32

@Plussizejumpsuit that was to you.

I’m working and cannot take sick leave, but part time. I’ll do all day Tuesday then off till school goes back in January. Christmas should be quite chilled. Nothing taking planned but just enough to get me out of the house (kids swimming lessons etc). Have been given 28 tablets so will review how I feel at about 3 weeks so I can get more if I want them. Unless I’m feeling way worse I’d be inclined to stick with them for a couple of months to see how they work. I really want them to, I’m quite optimistic about that, generally medications work well for me.

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LaMadrilena Sat 19-Dec-20 14:39:35

I was on it for a while, and I found it really helped. I was started on 20mg which turned out to be too high for an initial dose, so dropped down and worked back up. Yes, there are a few downsides, but they were nothing compared to the anxiety symptoms! I would still be on it if it wasn't for pregnancy. Hope it works for you - give it a month or so to see the effects.

bonzo77 Mon 21-Dec-20 10:44:59

Ugh. It’s making me so spaced out. Don’t feel safe to drive. Certainly not to work. Exhausted as cannot sleep. Will that get better?

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SacreBleeeurgh Mon 21-Dec-20 10:49:55

Yes it definitely gets better! My GP signed me off work for 2 weeks when I started it, partly to allow me to deal with this period (very demanding job with multiple crucial decisions being made all day) - power through OP, it will pass - alternatively as PP’s have suggested discuss with your GP the option of starting on 10mg and building up if it’s really getting to you.

bonzo77 Mon 21-Dec-20 15:59:22

Thanks. I just spoke to my GP (different one from who I spoke to urgently on Friday) who did indeed suggest taking 10mg and increasing if needed. And changing to something else if I cannot tolerate the 10mg. I’ll start on Wednesday once I’ve finished my last day of work (which is tomorrow). Skipping today and tomorrow as cannot feel completely spaced out at work!

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LaMadrilena Mon 21-Dec-20 16:44:20

Sounds good OP. Just be aware that skipping days can also make you feel a bit odd, but it should be ok if you've not been taking them long. Not suggesting you don't do it, just don't worry if you still feel a little spacey despite not taking anything!

soyabean Mon 21-Dec-20 16:53:50

OP I hope it works for you. I took it for a couple of years, when very depressed and anxious, then stopped. I had an instant feeling of relief taking the first one, but I do think it was more that my GP had acknowledged there was a genuine problem and I felt 'taken care of' for the first time in years.
Have gone through a couple of tricky periods again and decided just after Christmas last year that I needed it again. GP agreed. Thank goodness, it has certainly helped me enormously this year and I have felt on an even keel even through serious illness (non Covid) and everything else going on. I think I will just stay on it now. I'm in my late 50s and really appreciate feeling less at the mercy of my emotions.

bonzo77 Mon 21-Dec-20 17:07:16

@LaMadrilena Ive only taken 3 doses. I am still feeling odd having only skipped one dose, but not as odd as yesterday. Hopefully better still for work tomorrow then start again wednesday on lower dose. GP I spoke to today said she normally starts people on 10 mg then increases it if needed after a week or so. My DH is a pharmacist and was surprised I was given 20mg from the off.

@soyabean I'm so pleased that it worked for you. The events of the last year have definitely pushed me over the edge, when I'm rather on edge anyway.

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WildRosie Mon 21-Dec-20 17:17:47

I've been taking the minimum daily dose - 10mg - for about five years now. I'm not sure if I even need to still take it but with such a low dose the pros outweigh the cons. I was on the telephone to my doctor last week (unrelated matter) and she commented that she hadn't seen me regarding citalopram for a long time, so the stuff must be keeping me on an even keel, as it were.

EssexGurl Mon 21-Dec-20 18:41:02

I’ve just had my first 14 days on it. First few days spaced out and nauseous as you say. But that lessened and today I had no side effects. I do feel calmer. Also 20mg as starter dose - Dr might increase it but it seems OK to me so far. Tried Sertraline in the summer and that really made me feel bad, completely exacerbated my anxiety levels. Citalopram is much better for me. First few days I realised I needed to take in the morning and have a quiet couple of hours (not too hard in lockdown!). But overall seems OK for me so far (fingers crossed).

bonzo77 Tue 22-Dec-20 09:01:12

@WildRosie that’s really reassuring. Thank you.

@EssexGurl thank you. I’m Going to try back on 10mg from tomorrow morning and will be able to take it easy for a couple of weeks so fingers crossed. I do usually react quite well to medications: the minimum dose tends to do what it needs to (pain killers etc).

Took a nytol last night and had a great nights sleep. DH had to wake me up this morning which is unheard of! Just need to get through today at work.

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