Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Any positive experiences of Citalopram please

(17 Posts)
Psion Thu 10-Mar-16 16:08:29

For the last couple of years I have been really struggling with episodes of very low mood coupled with anxiety and feeling panicky. It all came on quite quickly and both me and my GP think it's due to me being perimenopause as I'm in my mid forties.

We've experimented with various types of HRT but it hasn't given any sustained relief. It's always just a couple of weeks of feeling completely fine but then always go back to feeling panicky and depressed for a week or two. And so on and so on.

But for the last 4 weeks I've felt very low and panicky for pretty much the whole time. It's got so bad that I have been signed off work and my Mum has moved in to keep me company as my DH works long hours and I get too panicky if left on my own.

I've had the occasional day, or half day where I feel totally okay again, but otherwise this has been the worst 4 weeks of my life. I am getting reluctant to leave the house, my sleep is totally disrupted, I have to force myself to make conversation and it's hard to have any hope that I will ever feel better.

My GP has now given me a prescription for 20mg of Citalopram to take which she says will help the low mood and feelings of panic. I haven't dared start them yet because I am so scared they will make me feel worse. But then I am so scared of these feelings of dread and panic that I keep getting too.

Can anyone please reassure me that these tablets will help and give me the confidence to start taking them.

Thank you.

Peach1886 Thu 10-Mar-16 16:21:19

Have been taking 10mg for about six months and it works a treat - anxiety completely gone and i feel a lot more balanced, it's really taken the edge off. A bonus is that it has also completely got rid of v frequent hot flushes as well, and i'm sleeping a lot better. It takes a couple of weeks to get used to, i was slightly more jittery for a couple of days, and felt a bit nauseous with a dry mouth on and off for about a week, but after that, brilliant! Feeling scared of taking them is precisely the reason you need to take them, just persist until the very minor side effects subside, and then enjoy getting on with your life!

magimedi Thu 10-Mar-16 16:28:42

I took 20mg for nearly a year for anxiety that sounds very similar to yours.

They took about 10 days to kick in & the only side effect I had was that I could not stop yawning for the first week - it was almost embarassing!

I can't tell you what a difference they made. I alsolearnt some breathing & relaxation exercises once the citralopram had started working which I now use if I feel the panic starting again (very rare). I've been off them for at least 5 years now & the difference they made to me was amazing.

I took mine at bedtime as I found they made me a bit tired if I took them in the morning.

When I stopped them, I came off slowly, going down to 10mg for a couple of weeks & then 5 & then five every other day - tailed them off over about 3/4 weeks.

I would not hesitate to use them again if I ever became anxious - I'd say go ahead & take one tonight.

Hope you do take them (I was also reluctant) & that you are feeling better soon.


Psion Thu 10-Mar-16 18:21:26

Thank you so much for posting your positive experiences, it's exactly just what I need to hear right now. The tablets have been in my kitchen drawer for 3 days because I have been so scared of side effects.

A friend tried Sertraline last year but had to stop it as she felt it made her anxiety twice as bad. And I just can't face the thought of feeling anymore anxious and panicky than I do at the moment.

On the surface I'm holding it together, I'm getting up and showered and dressed every morning. My GP says that many of her anxious patients can't even manage that much some days. But it is really so hard, I can feel the panicky sensation just under the surface bubbling away.

I really am desperate for it to go away.

Peaches1886 are your symptoms peri menopausal too, as you mention you had hot flushes?

magimedi can I ask what your symptoms were? Mine are a really weird mix. I'm scared to be on my own, but can only bear to be around my DH and Mum. It's a real effort to even reply to a simple text from a friend. I'm dreading the thought of going on holiday in 2 months time, as I can't bear the thought of being somewhere unfamiliar. I can't concentrate to read anymore and can only bear to watch really bland daytime TV like Flog It or Escape to the Country (normally hate stuff like this).

I just feel so very fragile inside, and don't feel like I can cope with even the tiniest bit of stress or hassle right now. All I want to do is sit quietly on the sofa and watch crap TV all day.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 10-Mar-16 18:29:07

Start. With 10mg for an few days. Reduces early side effects.

sazerashez Thu 10-Mar-16 18:40:33

I started taking it for my crazy pmt symptoms which I think are linked to being perimenopause: terrible insomnia, anxiety, rage etc. The doctor put me on 20 mg 4 weeks ago. It's been brilliant. I felt instantly much better then went through a couple of weeks of feeling very knackered but apart from that no side effects. Everything is just much more manageable. I find myself actually looking forward to stuff whereas before I'd really dread things especially if they involved social interaction. A lot of people find it affects their sleep but I feel it's given me my sleep back and I now sleep for 7 hours a night instead of waking up at 2.30 which wAs my usual habit.

I think you should give it a try.

CalpolOnToast Thu 10-Mar-16 18:41:19

I took citalopram for four years 2010-2014 and have just gone back on it this week. I feel like I'm the person I should have been when I have it IYSWIM. I had a full time job for the first time at the age of 29 without going home and crying every night! I'm working part time now but that's because I have a 3YO.

I have anxiety more than depression really, although I can get very down I know that I should go to the GP when I find it too much effort to put a pair of jeans on which is where I got to this week. Plus crying about gardening!

Anyway, a side effect I have experienced is a bit of forgetfulness (I can do intelligent stuff but not remember what I went shopping for). I haven't been more tired than usual but I think being anxious tires me out. My husband has also been taking citalopram for a couple of weeks after switching from fluoxetine and hasn't had any side effects.

girlandboy Thu 10-Mar-16 18:47:31

I can only speak for my daughter here. She started on 20mg for anxiety and panic attacks and the effect was brilliant. They gave me my daughter back, she was like her old self.

After about a year the doctor reduced her dose to 10mg but she then planned an overseas holiday and the anxiety about the travelling came back so she went back onto 20mg, and ta-dah! back to normal again.

Observing the effect in someone else I would say that they are well worth a try.

Oh, and she has had no side effects.

Please try them - start tonight flowers

ShelaghTurner Thu 10-Mar-16 18:54:07

I was on 40mg after the birth of dd1 8 years ago. Came off them when pregnant with dd2 and couldn't wait to get back on them. Have been on 30mg since then and they really are the only thing keeping me from total meltdown. I'm not very good at remembering to take them and can sometimes go a day or two without and by day 3 I can really feel the difference, feel myself sinking back down. I initially got them for PND but I should actually have been on them all my adult life, things could have been so different for me if they had.

Sorry, not quite what you were asking I know, but they help me massively.

storynanny Thu 10-Mar-16 18:55:27

I was prescribed it 3 years ago as I wasn't able to take HRT to help with menopausal symptoms. It was wonderful, no side effects apart from whoosh feeling on days 1-5.

magimedi Thu 10-Mar-16 19:41:21

Psion - I used to get out of bed in the morning (am retired & was then as is DH) and could not even face the idea of having a shower & getting dressed.

But I did - great effort & everything was such an effort - the thought of logging into my bank a/c bought me out in a sweat & trembling. Going to the supermarket & shopping became a major effort. I hid it very well for a few months until DH asked me what was wrong one morning & I just melted down into a weeping heap. EVERYTHING was too much, apart from re- reading old comfort books. I really had totally withdrawn from life. I would make excuses not to see people, ring them etc etc. I really wanted to be on my own - the thought of having to engage with other people was too much.

One example, that I remember well, I can give you:

DS was about to start living with his then girl friend (now wife & much loved DIL). Had to have DIL & her parents to lunch & I am a capable & very confident cook, but the whole thing just about had me into meltdown. Not the meeting of the people, but the thought of having to produce lunch for 6 people. I had, in the past, often catered for 20 - on a regular basis. I think that was when I started to realise that there was something wrong.

This wretched anxiety - which I am quite sure can be menopause related in many cases, strikes all of us differently.

I can only say that a year on Citralopram made all the difference to me & I would really urge you to take it. is a great place to go to for advice & the forum is useful - you have to get past the kittens 'n' huns, however!

Do feel free to PM me if you want.

Sending you a very 'un-mumsnetty' hug!


Marshy Fri 11-Mar-16 00:17:41

An anti depressant will make you feel better once you have taken it for a few weeks. Don't expect immediate results and expect a few side effects initially. They will wear off and it will be worth it.

Ask your GP if CBT is available. Medication is only half the solution but an important half.

Hope you feel better soon much more likely if you take the meds

Marshy Fri 11-Mar-16 00:24:41

Oh and I love flog it. Antidepressants didn't cure me of that! grin though I'm mostly too busy to watch it.....

harryhausen Fri 11-Mar-16 00:39:33

I've been taking it for just over 2 years. It worked for me. I still feel a huge range of emotions as I did/do as a 'normal' person but I just deal with them and feel like myself - rather than constantly fearful of something I couldn't quite put my finger on.

It was a slow build of anxiety and depression for me. A low mood came on gradually during a house renovation, heavy workload, caring for a 3 yr old and a 6 month old on top. I still had good days though. It took a year or so when I realised that I hardly smiled anymore and when I looked at my children I just kept thinking they had no future. It was all black. Then the anxiety came. I remember the day I knew I needed help when I made a tearful, panicky phone call to my dh when a man from Virgin came and didn't have the right cable (or something!). I was literally shaking.

The Gp listened and was great, gave me the anti-depressant. It took about 2 weeks (I think) to feel any effect. It was so gradual. I remember thinking "I feel 'normal'" or "I haven't cried for 5 days!". I almost didn't notice it happening, but boy, I dread to think what life would he like if I hadn't gone to the Gp.

I take 10mg a day.

polosarethefoodofgods Fri 11-Mar-16 01:00:24

im on 20mgs for depression, ive been taking them for six weeks whilst i felt pretty crap to start, buzzy and weirdly zombiefied (which i counteracted by napping where i could) the zombieness is starting to lessen. they worked for me prior to accessing support i was suicidal. definetly working for me. ive noticed im not stressing or crying or flying off the handle my emotions were very much ruling me. and i'm getting more productive. im working on getting out more. i think some of the reason depressed but couldnt face outside world even if i had something fun planned. this is also lessening now flowers i hope whatever route you take you feel better soon.

Psion Sat 12-Mar-16 19:34:10

Just wanted to say I am so grateful for all your replies, they have really helped me make the decision to start taking Citalopram.

I have decided to split my 20mg dose into 10mg every 12 hours for the first few days, just to introduce it a bit more gently into my system. Then increase to 20mg once a day.

I am so desperate for it to work. I have had yet another day where I have really struggled. Yet again, I woke up too early, feeling sleepy but the sickening anxiety stopped me going back to sleep.

Felt a bit better after showering and getting dressed, but my mood still low and unable to really smile or laugh. Then, as so often happens now, my mood really dipped mid afternoon and everything seemed hopeless and black. It's just pure misery it really is.

Then mood started to lift slightly about tea time, as it usually seems to, but I still decided to take my first tablet of Citalopram (I cut it in half).

Feel very nervous, but just can't bear the thought of many more miserable days like this one. It's just too much to stand, it really is. I understand now how people can feel that life isn't worth living. I never did before.

Thank you so much again.

weenett Sun 03-Apr-16 17:23:31

How r things now?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now