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Citalopram - what's everyone's experience please

(345 Posts)
QueenofClean Thu 03-Apr-14 18:30:07

I've been started on citalopram for anxiety issues. Took my first dose last night 5mg a night for the first week increasing to 10mg next week.

What is everyone's experience of it and the side effects and how long they have lasted?


SnowyMouse Thu 03-Apr-14 18:36:52

I haven't noticed any major side effects from it, I take 20mg at night.

QueenofClean Thu 03-Apr-14 18:43:05

Thanks Snowy. Have you noticed if you have started to feel better?

sisterofmercy Thu 03-Apr-14 19:11:06

I took citalopram for a while several years ago. I didn't have any side effects. I didn't have any when I gave up either unlike some of my friends. It didn't make me happier but it did make me feel able to cope better - I didn't feel anything as strongly. The talking therapy was what really helped (once I finally got it and it lasted 9 months because I'd been depressed for 20 years by that point.)

Bettythree Thu 03-Apr-14 20:03:49

I am on week 9, taking 20mg in the morning.
To be honest the first 3 or 4wks were pretty hard going for me. Felt more anxious than ever before, slept really badly and felt sick a lot of the time.
My GP persuaded me to stick with it and I'm really glad I did - by about 6 or 7 weeks I realised I was a lot less anxious a lot of the time and the other side effects were wearing off. I still feel a bit nauseous from time to time but I can live with that as my anxiety made me feel even worse.
I actually feel happier now than I have for a long long time and feel that I am coping with everyday things much better.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 20:10:00

Same experience as Betty. I started on 20mg and the first 2-3 weeks were pretty tough. But sticking with it paid off.

I took my last one about two months ago after being on them since Summer 2011.

Oh, and I was told to always take it in the morning.

Good luck x

SnowyMouse Thu 03-Apr-14 20:20:23

I find it helps.

EmpressOfJurisfiction Thu 03-Apr-14 20:23:35

I've been taking 20mg before bed for a couple of months now. As sisterofmercy said it helps, but it's starting talking therapy that's really made the difference. Few headaches at the start but no side effects otherwise.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 20:29:12

Side effects I had at the start-

Constant yawning
Clenchy jaw
Vivid Dreams

mrselizabethdarcy Thu 03-Apr-14 20:32:59

I felt a bit nauseous for the first two weeks but it has helped me loads. I feel able to cope and have only had 2 panic attacks since starting it 6 months ago and they were both at the start.

MissPricklePants Thu 03-Apr-14 20:33:10

I'm on 30mg, been on it 18 months now. It's amazing as I can cope with life and generally on an even keel most of the time.

PolkaSpottyDotty Thu 03-Apr-14 20:35:09

I absolutely couldn't take it.

After one dose I was like a zombie, had suicidal thoughts, felt like I was in a black hole.

However. I feel like it worked for me because I vowed never to go back there, didn't take it again and have used other techniques to conquer anxiety and depression. I'm not saying this is possible for everyone, but I must've been very sensitive to citalopram and it didn't suit me at all.

Lozislovely Thu 03-Apr-14 20:36:00

Same side effects as Sparkling. I was on 20mg for 4 years and then up to 30mg for another year but it seemed to stop being effective when my marriage broke down.

Good AD though. Through determination I got a promotion and lost 2 stone whilst on it (lots of exercise though) so would never speak badly of it.

My main reason for taking it was anxiety and in the first couple of years it was really good, I think my state of mind over my marriage breakdown were the reasons it wasn't so suitable for me anymore.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 20:37:43

After the initial few weeks I started to not only feel better but got very brave. This was a new feeling for me.

Driving round strange cities' one way systems-no problem. I was very assertive for the first time ever.

QueenofClean Thu 03-Apr-14 20:42:32

Thank you ladies. Good to see it helps you smile

Did any of you start on 5mg to build up some tolerance and then gradually increase the dosage or start off at 20 or 30mg?

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 20:45:10

I started at 20mg. Then at first review GP said 'How about upping to 20mg now?'. confused She thought she had started me off on 10mg. hmm

Anyway i went up to 30mg then 40mg before coming all the way back down again.

QueenofClean Thu 03-Apr-14 20:47:49

Thanks Sparkling. Do you think your side effects were bad because you started on quite a high dose?

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Apr-14 20:51:51

I think so Queen, I don't think I was eased in gently. Weirdly I didn't have any further side effects when upping the dose each time.

QueenofClean Thu 03-Apr-14 20:55:57

That's why I'm on 5mg for next week - 10 days at night. As tried Sertraline and Prozac at a high dose and knocked me for 6 and just didn't agree with me. So citalopram at 5mg and being eased into it. 2nd night of taking now and so far no side effects, fx stays that way.

Trooperslane Thu 03-Apr-14 21:03:12

Same experience as sparkling - though always on 20mg once I'd done a week at 10.

I had the edge taken off horrific, crippling anxiety after 3 days and was able to go back to work after 4 weeks.

thanks and a hug. It's shit but with the right help, gets better xxx

Trooperslane Thu 03-Apr-14 21:04:54

Also take in the am. Vivid dreams and poor sleep plus night sweats otherwise for me (though others are different)

dementedma Thu 03-Apr-14 21:05:48

Have been on it a few times.most recently 20mgs.
No problems at all coming off it. Takes a few weeks to kick in but found it really helpful

Alchemist Thu 03-Apr-14 21:14:50

This is so interesting. Started with 10mg, couple of weeks later up to 20mg and for the last motnh on 30mg but now I am feeling more anxious and shaky than I did before taking it. Perhaps I should go back down to 20mg? Seeing GP next week.

OP Citalopram has helped me, on the whole, in a greatly beneficial way. I don't remember sickness etc but that was more the situation iyswim. In fact I would say they took the jagged edges off to a manageable level. It is still helping me now.

Hope you are feeling ok thanks.

123rd Thu 03-Apr-14 21:16:32

I'm on 20m which my dr said is best to take in the morning. I also had weird clenchy jaw thing. But I slept better then I did before I was taking it. I guess we all react slightly differently. The only on going down side of taking this ,I've found, is my sex drive/life has sufferedhmm. Don't fancy it half as much as I used to. Dh is quite chuffed tho-always had a lower sex drive then me so we are more matched now.

Alchemist Thu 03-Apr-14 21:20:56

Troopers Are night sweats a side effect? I have been worrying about the sweats as am on hrt for prem meno and have been having horrible sweats. Was thinking the hrt wasn't working.

Sorry OP thanks

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