My experience of Citalopram (SSRI)

Friends and regular readers of my website may remember my recent post, openly sharing the issues that I am currently having with panic attacks. The associated response from my social media contacts was fantastic, and so many people, many of whom I only know online, came forward to share stories with me. It was very humbling to have all that support out there.

I wrote the post primarily as a no-nonsense and non-clinical report for those in a similar situation who may come to find it in via Google in later months and years, and, a few weeks on from that, I wanted to do the same with regards to the medication that I am currently taking – Citalopram (20mg), which generally has a pretty bad side-effect rap sheet, many of which I’ve endured many of these over the past two weeks.

Citalopram – my battle scars!

I have just completed my first two weeks on Citalopram (20mg), and the word ‘adventure’ definitely springs to mind.

Initially, I was pretty worried and hesitant to take the tablet, having done my research online and after looking at the accompanying safety leaflet. The number of icky side effects that are listed under “very common” (more than 1 in 10) or “common” (more than 1 in 100) are very off-putting, but it is important to know that these are in line with most SSRIs. Everyone will react differently to different medications in the SSRI class (as it alters the serotonin levels in your brain), but generally, Citalopram is held to be one of the more ‘stable’ options available, and the one that works best for most people.

On the first day, after a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing, I finally took the plunge (it feels really weird waking up on a gorgeous sunny day and knowing that you are about to take a tablet that could end up making you feel so lousy). I felt pretty much ‘normal’ for the first four hours or so, as it takes this long to get in to your system. However, whilst out shopping, I was suddenly hit by the most intense wave of nausea that I have ever experienced, it was pretty ghastly. Fortunately, we were by a pharmacy, and so, after getting a knowing look from the pharmacist, was sold something called Motillium 10 (Domperidone), over the counter to help settle my stomach. Whether it was partly placebo effect, or not, I’ll not know, however within twenty minutes or so of taking it, I immediately felt so much more settled, which was very much welcome. Assuming these random bouts of nausea were going to be the ‘norm’, I continued to take Motillium 10 alongside my Citalopram and ‘sucked it up’.

Overย the next few days, I continued to take the Motillium 10 throughout the day, as the dosage recommends, to try to help settle the random bouts of nausea. On the pack it does say as a disclaimer not to take for more than 48 hours, before consulting a doctor. I did this via telephone, and didn’t really get a straight answer. He didn’t seem too concerned with my specific symptoms, and instead went out of his way to reassure me that everything was ‘normal’, which I already knew, having done a lot of homework on Citalopram before hand. Nevertheless, I took the sign that he didn’t shout ‘no, stop!’ to be encouraging and continued with it.

However, I was totally unprepared for Day 6, thinking that I’d already experienced the worst of the side effects. I woke up and could immediately tell that something was different – I felt so nauseous upon waking. Looking back, Day 6 must have been when I reached the ‘normal’ resident dosage in my system. The worst thing about the nausea is that generally, you don’t vomit, and so there is no ‘relief’ to be had from it. Arguably, it is made slightly worse as you know that it is medically induced, and so there’s nothing really ‘wrong’, and no real known time frame for when sickness will work out of the system, as it’s owing to something that you’re constantly putting in. The Motillium 10 didn’t seem to have much effect, and I ended up having one of my panic attacks, something which I’ve not had at home before. It was genuinely awful, I thought I was going to keel over right there and then with just my cat to slowly eat me to death – even though I am sure my other half would have been home well before Fudge got THAT hungry! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I spent 5 days on the couch, and could barely move. Appetite went, I didn’t/couldn’t leave the apartment, I felt really depressed and anxious and experienced a whole range of other symptoms. For me, I found that I developed morning sickness – in that I would feel absolutely shocking for the first 6 hours of my day, between say 10am and 4pm, and in the evenings, I would just feel worn out, but not anywhere near as nauseous as during day light hours. I had bad insomnia too, so I was often up in the living room until 3am, or so, before lying in bed for an hour. On balance, I had 6 hours of crap, 12 hours of ‘I feel a little more OK’ – but it’s hard to see the perspective at the time. Additionally, I was lucky, in that I was still getting 6-8 hours of solid sleep a night, just unfortunately it was coming at a rather skewed time frame.

As soon as I was strong enough to leave the apartment, I went to see my Doctor in person to discuss the nausea, and again was reassured that it was completely normal. What he did offer to do, however, was to prescribe me a stronger anti-nausea tablet for me, called Cyclizine (which they often give to pregnant women to settle nausea). This stuff has proven fantastic, and whilst it does knock you out for the first day or so (along with a nice warm fuzzy feeling), after the third day of taking it, for me, the drowsiness stopped, and it became just another pill.

Now, upon entering the third week of the Citalopram, I am thrilled to find that almost as quickly as the second wave of side-effects initially hit me, they’ve started to subside. At present, I am on my second day without taking anything for the nausea. I get the odd bout, but it’s nothing I feel that I want to medicate for at this time. I have some energy back, and have since been able to leave the apartment and do little things again like going shopping, or meeting Max from work – all the small things I missed so much when I was laid up. My sleeping is becoming better, and I now tend to retire around midnight-1am, and only lie awake for half an hour, which is a decent compromise.

I have yet to feel any benefits of the Citalopram itself (which I am primarily taking for my anxiety, along with some cognitive behaviour therapy sessions), and am weary about any increase in dosage, as I don’t really want to ever experience these side effects again, but I also know that it can take 4-6 weeks for the benefits to show, and I am still only on the start of week 3. ย I remain very optimistic about the Citalopram, and would also very much like to thank everyone online (especially twitter) for all the interest, words of encouragement and the advice.

As I said earlier, I am posting this post mainly as a reference point for people who are perhaps starting to take Citalopram who, like me, spent an obsessive amount of time trawling the internet, and reading about other people’s symptoms. My honest opinion on this is that whilst it may help to calm you and rationalise the side-effects, it is very important to realise that no two people have the same reactions to these tablets, so don’t get too hung up on it.

Also, it is worth remembering that your Doctor cannot predict which of the dozens of side effects (if any, many people seem to manage without them, believe it or not!!) ย you will have, and so do not feel afraid to go back to see him/her a few days after starting with Citalopram to report the side effects and seek complimentary medications for the specific side effects that you are encountering. One of my biggest mistakes was perhaps relying on an over-the-counter tablet once I got the more intense bout of nausea, instead of pressing my Doctor further. As is evident, I made my way through it, and whilst it felt like forever, it was just five days and was fairly routine (in that you knew exactly when you were going to feel crap and roughly when you’d start to feel more human).

My top tips for surviving Citalopram side effects:

  • Remember that people do not take to the internet to post positive reviews – there is a lot of support out there, and by all means the various anxiety and depression forums are great, but just be aware that, generally, people will only post the bad, and, when they do, they may even exaggerate it slightly either for bragging rights or to make whatever the previous poster has been discussing seem milder in comparison, so as not to worry them. My post above is, I feel, an honest account of my experience, however, if you had encountered exactly what I did, perhaps you would have been a better patient (I am a total wuss!) and reacted differently – don’t rely on others to tell you exactly how to feel, but feel comforted that you are not alone.
  • Citalopram side effects genuinely do not last forever – as hard as that is to believe. I felt that, with my symptoms, there was no way that I would start to feel ‘well’ again after the second week, but yet here I am – the difference can, honestly, be as quick as a day between feeling like a sack of spuds and not. Keep positive, and totally make the most of someone taking care of you (I have never drank so much tea in all my life!!).
  • Get in to a routine with taking your Citalopram. Your body is far less likely to throw a wobbly after the initial side effects if you can keep the dosage ‘constant’ – speaking of dosage, please do not alter the dosage of your medication without first speaking to a Doctor! I have seen some people self medicate themselves at 10mg for the first week (splitting the butterfly tablet in half), and then upping themselves to 20mg in the second week. I’d imagine that would then put additional strain on your body (as you will be stepping up the amount twice in a short space of time, not once), and should only be done with the advice of a Doctor.
  • Do not stop taking it suddenly! Whilst I was having my panic attack on Day 6 and feeling like I was about to die, I ย absolutely was ready to ring my Doctor up to tell him where he could stick his Citalopram, and that he would have needed more than just a pen-light to find it! Whilst the on boarding effects are dire, going cold-turkey is apparently so so much worse. Sure, you may feel fine for three days owing to the half-life of the tablet, but it seems that almost without fail, you’re going to crash in to a wall, and feel much much worse than pushing through. Even if you’ve only taken the one tablet (and that first one psychologically is always the worst), you really don’t want to screw up your brain!
  • Take Citalopram just after food! It says on the label that they don’t have a preference as to when you take it, and that it can be with or without food. As I discovered, this just means that the drug absorption rate is neither hindered or helped by the digestive process – it’s nothing at all to do with what is best for your stomach. Taking my Citalopram after a piece of toast in the morning helped bring about perhaps the biggest change in my nausea. It was still rough, but taking the tablet on an empty stomach is definitely a lot more brutal! If you can stomach a cup of tea over a glass of water, with your breakfast, that also helped me.
  • Following on from my last point – NEVER take a tablet with a cup of tea. It is MINGING and causes the tablet to dissolve in your mouth, and the chemical taste is abhorrent! Always use a water/cordial based drink ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • As soon as you feel able to, it’s great to have a friend come over and have a good DVD night in or similar. That way, you have an incentive to get up and about and do things, at a gentle pace, and a distraction, plus you also get the chance to reconnect with a friend and the outside world. It’s very easy, especially if you end up as rough as I was, to wallow around feeling terrible, which is perfectly fine when it’s really bad, but the longer you do this the harder it will feel to get back in to it. Having a friend over really helped to motivate me out of that spiral and to battle on through.
  • Please, please, please – for the love of every God under the sun, avoid alcohol! I was shocked to find several people on an online forum bitching about their Citalopram usage, with many mentioning that they were still drinking, and experiencing some pretty horrific side effects because of it. Some people refused the medication flat-out because they weren’t able to have a glass of wine in the evening. How anyone can value a glass of wine over their mental wellbeing absolutely staggers me! In this area, I am aware that alcohol can play a major role in how someone has previously been ‘dealing’ with their situation, however it scares me that there are people who would not see this as the wake up call that they need to seek further help. The people who I saw bitching about this online were not on a dedicated alcohol forum, and cannot all have had a substance misuse problem. I absolutely hate that I cannot have a drink until the summer (at least) – made totally ridiculous as I barely even drank at all previously (maybe as little as one glass of wine a month max!) – but I’ll soldier through it (and count down the days, ha!). Sorry, tough love there, but please, seek help!
  • This drug is sold with a black label warning on it, as it can increase the feelings of suicide in the first few weeks (go figure!!). If this happens, PLEASE go and see the GP, or speak to NHS Direct or the Samaritans etc. Don’t be worried that they’re going to bang you up and put you in a straight jacket etc, that very rarely (if ever) happens any more – more likely, they will be able to adjust your medication and offer further support to you from dedicated wellbeing crisis teams in your area. Do not suffer in silence! I made the mistake of opening up a forum thread online late one night where someone was discussing wanting to overdose on their Citalopram (please, never, never do this – it will really really fuck you up and it won’t work!) and it was absolutely horrible to read it, but on balance, it was good that he had at least reached out. In the end, over a couple of days, the forum members managed to convince the chap to get to his GP and crisis team, and as far as I know, he didn’t take his own life – but it was an incredibly close call, reading the first few pages of the forum, he was pretty much poised to do it there and then – it was a last-ditch cry for help. Absolutely harrowing, it made me cry, and I could not bring myself to talk about Citalopram without acknowledging this dark side to anxiety, depression and also the magnified feelings of both (and suicide) that may arise from the initial use of SSRIs.
  • Above all, if you feel confident enough to, I’d say to be very open with those around you. I’ve been very vocal about my current situation, and how I’ve been feeling. I’ve not been aware of any negative comments, and people will either just ignore what you’re putting out there, or else they’ll really step up as friends and support you so fantastically, that you’ll feel a lot closer to them afterwards. In my opinion, the more taboo this sort of thing is, the more that it starts to win – you’ll often find people very sympathetic to your situation, and the more awkward you are about it, the more awkward it may be for them too. I was lucky enough to be able to joke around about it, generally how I deal with most things in life, and it really helped to keep me upbeat and approachable.

It goes without saying that I am always happy to discuss my Citalopram experience further, especially as I continue to take it – I really would just like to try to normalise this as much as possible. I don’t expect that I’ll have much cause for a follow-up post on my website, as these tablets will either settle and help me out, or they won’t and I’ll either get an increased dosage or a new one to try – but folk reading this should know that Citalopram is well worth a go, and if it proves not to be sitting quite right, your GP can switch you over to something else, until you both find the right SSRI for you. Something like 50-80% of people find the right SSRI first time around, and so totally do stick with it and hopefully you’ll feel more positive soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE 29 Dec 2014

Still on the Citalopram, now at 40mg, very proud at how well this post has taken off and how many people stop by to say that they’ve found it useful. I just wanted to post the monthly stats up for this one post aloneย on this one simple siteย to hopefully illustrate that you’re not out there on your own – plenty of others doing the exact same thing as you are. Hopefully that knowledge helps too ๐Ÿ™‚

Citalopram 2012 to 2014

UPDATE 20 Feb 2016

I continue to feel pleasantly overwhelmed as to the number of people who are contacting me and saying that they have found this post in some way helpful. I’ve had people I know in real life approach me as well as made hundreds of contacts via the site (both email and in the amazing contacts section ย below).

I posted some numbers in the 2014 update, and I’m SO proud to share that this figure is just going up and up, month-on-month – the grand total is currently around 70,000!

I’m still on my 40mg and hoping to bring that dosage down soon – it’s primarily been delayed two years by my having had a brain tumour (I’m alright now!) and we all agreed that it was best not to meddle at such a delicate time.

3 and a half years on, this post continues to inspire me and long may it continue to be of use to others! Always remember, you guys are not ‘mental’, you’re gladiators! x

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About Gari

Thirty-One year old northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

393 Responses

  1. ssce11

    Thanks so much for writing this, my fear of starting Citalopram is just like yours. I was almost as anxious about starting than I was anxious in general! I’m on day 8 and feel fine; days 1-3 I felt nauseous but nothing I couldn’t handle, no appetite from days 1-7 (back today pretty much, love my grub!). Felt amazing on Day 2 overall, be it a placebo I don’t know. Had a glass of wine over the weekend but it didn’t appear to affect anything. I would urge people NOT to believe everything they read about it as it really had been no where near as bad as I expected. Although now I’m hoping I won’t get a second wave! Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

      1. Mihail

        Hi Gari,

        Im into week 6 on Cit and would like to describe you what happen from the beginning till now.On day 3 i had a great feeling of euphoria and noticed my brain was working on 100 %,
        however the desired feeling never happened again and since then im just lethargic not really much motivation for anything…In general I’m better than before the treatment but far from the desired euphoria,happiness or feeling positive (wanting to do stuff) feeling…
        So I,m wondering is that all this medication can do for me ,because so far regarding anxiety or anxiety related depression overall progress is maybe 50 % but still far from what i want to be…?

        Or to describe it better i feel like im almost there to catch the desired feeling but still
        not able …Because my real nature is that i go out immediately when i wake up in the morning and wanting to socialize and interact with people but at the moment still not able to do so …

        What would be your advise and what should i expect from the coming weeks … ?
        Is it possible to catch that feeling of euphoria again ๐Ÿ™‚ ?

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          1. Mihail

            Hi Gary,

            thanks for responding so fast.
            I upped my dose from 30 to max 40 mg daily now and planing to wait another 2 weeks
            on that dose to see what happens..My problem is Im waiting for the brake trough
            which didn’t happen so far,just so i can say it makes a difference.taking them …I heard from people taking them long time that they had the first brake trough after a week which was the case also with me ,,i did feel that first ease of anxiety but then
            people explain around week 6-8 somewhere they had a second brake trough with remarkable effects…So im waiting for that moment now because the firs brake trough didn’t bring enough ease of anxiety,as i said before ,it helped so far maybe 50 % ๐Ÿ™‚
            And i can also notice that this medication made wrinkles under my eyes,more the dose bigger the wrinkles.

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            1. Hi gari,I have just started a course of citalopram , I’m on day 4 now , as of yet I don’t feel any different except more tired , I have been taking the tablet at night before bed so I can go into work without any side effects. Is this the best way or are the side effects that I have heard about just going to kick in all of a sudden. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated .

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            2. Hi gari, thanks for your positive comments, I made a big mistake last night had 2 shandy sand totally threw up within an hour so I guess you cannot drink at all on these tabs , I’m on day 6 and not really noticed any change except for always being tired , hopefully I will feel something next week when I start wk 2 , I don’t really want to have to go on 20mg as this seems to be the one that most people have problems with, but thanks gari for all your help and support in this . I great to have someone to talk too

              Kind regards
              John

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        1. Sue

          I was given cit, for depression and panic attacks, I took the first one and after about 4 hours experienced the worst panic attack ever, I took my blood pressure that had shot up very high, I didn’t sleep all night, I felt sick, very thick heavy head, palpitations jumping out of my neck, sweating, I had diarrreah I really really don’t want to take any more. I will ring my gp and tell him tomorrow I’m not taking them, what do you think???
          Sue

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    1. Ashleigh

      I’m on day 3 and feeling pretty sick. Day 1 was the worst, I had to keep running to the bathroom at work, for a bit of privacy when the nausea got bad. It’s good to see someone write about this in a positive light. I’m sticking with it. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joerg

    Hello Gari,

    I take Citalopram 40 since more than 3 years now. The first 6 weeks I had some problems too. But I think it works well now. But I take Trimipramine too when I get a panic attack.

    Do you have a psycological therapy? My therapist was great and helped me very much. And I got a six week rehab financed by my health care insurance.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Like

  3. Petter

    Hey! Thought I’d share my input as well – having been on Citalopram or similar medication 4 times by now for depression…. Guess I’m unusual, but the first 3 rounds of taking the pill the only sideeffect I ever had was difficulties fallig asleep, something that can easily be solved with yet another pill… So – it’s possible to start the medication (I started with only taking 1/2 of a pill every other day, then 1/2 of a pill ever day until I started taking 1 pill a day, and the other way around when trying to stop) without any real complications at all. Just to give som positive input as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Kaylee

    Hi am new to hear I am 27 and have a really bad phobia of cancer and av had symptoms of a brain tumour so went to doctors there said it was depression and gave me citalopram and has made me worse am on day 4 and can’t get it out my head that I have a brain tumor am so worried x

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  5. Just thought I would share my experience on Citalopram to. I have taken it on and off since I had my oldest daughter six years ago and have always done really well on it. I stopped taking it about 6 weeks ago as I needed some medication for my headaches that can not been taken at the same time.Well after going through the cold turkey stage which was no fun I took a turn for the worse with my panic and have ended up going back on them.
    I am now on day 7 of taking them again and can not recall the side effects been this bad when I started taking them before. I have been really anxious and had a couple of panic attacks but worst of all is the feeling of been dizzy and off balance. I get that worked up about it that it sets off my panic. Yesterday I had a good day so thought I had turned a corner but today I feel back to square one again with the dizzy spells and feeling off balance and are so tired it is unreal. I am currently off work with it all as I do not feel up to it but another part of me thinks it would do me good to try and get back into a routine.
    I would be interested to here how long other people went before the dizzy spells and side effects went and also if you still worked whilst going through this stage.

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  6. Hi, thanks for posting this. Have had a long anxiety issues that became worse after the birth of my children. I’ve finally given in and admitted I need help to get things back on track, so on only day 1 of Citalapram I felt hideous enough to go in search of the side effects and if its worth pursuing! The nausea, dry mouth and urge to heave experienced a few hours after the first tablet, along with slight achey/fuzzy head. All not helped by a related vomit phobia, adding to my fear of continued use. But, you know what? My life can not go on as it is, so will press on. Good to hear things could well be better on the other side!!

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  7. Justin

    Ive been having really bad belly pain lately as well as dizzyness and I keep getting told its my anxiety and depression.. and that I should get off xanax and start taking citalopram… But I am so scared ๐Ÿ˜ฆ the dizzyness/nausea is what bugs me most so I hope Citalopram helps with all this in the long run… I will take my first tablet in about 10mins.. Wish me luck.. :/

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  8. cant tell you how helpful this was thank you! Im just about to start my 10mg today and this has made me feel so much better about it all. im hoping i dont get any nasty side effects because im going paintballing tomorrow haha. im hoping it will take my mind of it if anything! hope your doing well x

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      1. had such a horrible day! been feeling very sick which i expected! but iv been really paranoid, tearful and already had a anxiety attack. is that normal this early into it?
        i hope its all worth it!

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          1. roversforever

            Hi Gari,
            Thanks for your comments on citalopram. I was on this 10mg 2 years ago and had no side effects. I am now back on but 20mg and felt rough for 3 days now. GP has recommended going down to 10mg tomorrow, hopefully this will sort it out. I really feel like staying in the sofa and am not really eating much. Hopefully staying with it will help me in 2 weeks, hope so i have too go back to work in 2 and a 1/2 weeks!

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            1. Maria Gardiner

              Hi Gari thank you for the comments on citalopram I have been told to take them by my GP today they have been in my cabinet for over eight weeks worrying about taking them my anxiety at the moment is really bad so was told to take 10mg and then go back after two weeks I’m still really worried about taking it but I know I can’t keep going on the way I am, so tonight I’m going to take the first one so wish me luck.

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  9. Andy

    This has been a great help. I’ve just 2 day got back from a drinking holiday in Majorca and took my first pill tonight 20mg was fine at first but now even though I’ve not had more than 4 hours sleep for the last week I’m wide awake and feeling so so sick my jaw is painful from clenching my teeth none stop. Glad it will get better though pray i get some sleep I was so tired all day with my hangover from holiday. Managed to make it home but I wish I had waiting until tomorrow to start these meds.Should had recovered from my week bender first I guess. Wish I had seen this page first. Thanks again for ur wise words.

    Male. 22. Day 1

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  10. Hello, I’m currently 14, and I started Citolopram two days ago, only 10mg, once a day, before I go to bed, for my depression and anxiety. My primary doctor was on vacation when I went in with my mum to talk about the medication, because we were originally going in for a pain in my back, though that’s irrelevant. I’d never seen the doctor before, so it was a bit awkward talking about me, looking so plain and innocently shy at the moment, needing an anti-depressant. I’ve been seeing a therapist for over a month now, and she had suggested we get an anti-depressant. I wasn’t sure how I’d react too it, and since I was so young, I figured the side effects would be worse than the average adult. I didn’t know when the often discussed, infamous side effects would begin, and I wasn’t sure if what I’d felt the day after my first dose was because of the medication, or just a bad day talking. My doctor was very nonchalant about the side effects, specifically the suicide ideation, but now, after much, much research, I’m scared myself. I’ve had mild suicide thoughts before, but hearing of people having such extreme feelings frightens me. I mean, who wants to feel that way? Especially if its caused by something that’s supposed to make you feel better? I see my therapist weekly, so I’m hoping that, that may help if I have the thoughts, so I don’t have such a long period to take action In between talking out the feelings.
    Over all, your post helped me the most out of the many I’ve read, because it helped me assess the depth of the side effects. So thank you.
    But though I’m less scared about nausea being a problem for me, I’m definitely scared about school. I’ve told no one other than my mom and dad( obviously) that I’m taking this, so no other kids know, but school is starting next week, and if my side effects are as bad as yours, I’m in deep trouble. If I have to stay home from school because of the side effects, ill be academically in trouble, and that’s a reason for the major anxiety last school year.
    But hopefully, I can stick it out and soon feel better.
    Thank you, just felt the need to share this with you.

    Like

      1. Hello again,
        Thank you so much for replying. I saw that it was posted back in 2012, and was thinking that it was a long shot that you’d still reply. But thanks for feedback. Settled my nerves a whole lot about the side effects, and so far, I’m just getting some massive headaches, and extreme fatigue. But I take it before bedtime, so I think that will solve itself.
        And about the suicide. I figure you live in the England, because I’ve heard that 999 is the emergency number in London. I live in the U.S. and our emergency number is 911, in case you didn’t know that ( Fun fact!), but I would have never thought of that, calling an emergency number.
        My mother told me that if I had suicidal thoughts, to tell her, and she would bring me back to the doctors as soon as possible.
        But so far, and as far as I can see in the future, I may have an easy ride. Hopefully it stays that way.
        But thanks again for the feedback, and even acknowledging my comment!
        Have a good day!
        -Lillian;P

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  11. Gavin

    hi, thx for the post . I can really relate to it a lot. Can I ask you, I was on 10mg citalopram for like 2 weeks and then it was put up to 20mg , which I have been taking now for like 3 weeks. But the nausea is still so bad. When I wake in the morning it hits me first thing , morning sickness and lasts most of the day . It was not like this on 10mg but surely I should be used to 20mg by now ? This morning I actually threw up . I just dunno what to do and hate the sicky feeling . 34 male Ireland, thx. p.s also taking Xanax . P.P.S it good to know Im not alone. thank you !

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  12. I’ve been taking 20mg citalopram for exactly 2 weeks – but I hate the side effects and just want to stop taking them. I was not depressed when I started taking them – my doctor had prescribed them for anxiety (post-traumatic stress. Last April, two men with balaclavas smashed their way into my home and held me at gunpoint). I have, after 4 months, recently moved back home but found I was pacing the house and looking out of the windows constantly. I had dealt with my experience very well up until then, but wanted to be able to relax in my own home.
    But now, the meds seem to be making me feel worse, and I’m more anxious and paranoid than before, when I was actually feeling OK most of the time!
    I don’t really want to call my GP as I know he’ll try to persuade me to persevere with them.
    What I’d like to know is – as I’ve only been taking them a short time – can I just stop? Or shall I take half a tablet for 1 week, then stop? My ‘on-boarding’ side effects were pretty horrendous, dizzy, nausea, jaw clenching and headaches, trembling, yawning, palpitations, the lot! and still continuing…
    Thanks for any advice you can give! Sue

    Like

  13. This may be a silly question but has anyone anywhere got further than being pleased they’ve been able to deal with the side effects of SSRIs? if so have you been able to identify any sort of cure or resolution of the original problem?

    Then, are you able to ever stop taking these things – they seem to guarantee recurring panic attacks or whatever at a regular 6 month interval after supposed cure, sending the patient back for a renewed prescription.

    Sorry not a participant or medic but a concerned observer over 20 years. Also not addressing people who may have started off with really severe life-threatening problems, but those who once might have been diagnosed with a ‘nervous breakdown’ and given de-stress time out to recover.

    Like

  14. gavin

    just a quick update – the morning sickness has left thank god. I now also take my morning tablet after my breakfast ,instead of on an empty stomach with a cup of tea like I used to do. I also seem to be doing a bit more and getting out & about doing stuff. Good luck to everyone !!!

    Like

  15. mandi

    Hi all, I am currently on day 20 of 10mg of Citalopram and really struggling. I have total loss of apetite and abdominal bloating, insomnia, increased anxiety & tremors. Not sure if this will subside as I enter week 3, my question is how long would you persevere? I was thinking of six weeks maximum of putting up with the side effects. My anxiety and depression are due to total loss of hormones through hysterectomy and not be able to use hrt so I’m probably dealing with a mixed bag of surgical menopause symptoms & side effects of the Citalopram and feeling pretty debilitated by it all.

    Like

    1. Gavin

      hi mandi , I agree with everything Gari says. I had the same problems. Seems most people do but the side effects have gone now. A big help is to NOT take them on an empty stomach and to keep ur appetite up. This is what has worked for me. Also perhaps suggest to your doctor about taking a relaxant like Xanax to counter the anxiety and tremors until you get used to the cypramil . wishing u the best, don’t worry, give it time and keep strong. Gavin

      Like

  16. mandi

    Thanks guys, I have asked doctor for a relaxant to try and counter act some of these side effects. On day 23 and thinks are shocking, I feel like I’m on mass doses of amphetamines on it. I’ll try and give it a bit longer and pray it settles. I’ll come back and report as I believe if I do settle it will be important for others to know my progress to give them the strength to continue on it as all it is doing now at 23 days is making me very poorly. Regards Mandi.

    Like

  17. Dee_Dee

    Gari,

    It has just been recommended that I take Citalopram, I previously been able to “handle” my bouts of anxiety & depression, this time my doctor has recommended this treatment.
    I am in 2 minds as wheather this is a good idea, what helped you decide to try this course of action?

    Thank you.

    Like

      1. Dee_Dee

        Gari,

        Thank you for this, it helps to get the view from someone that has been in a similar position. I will keep in touch to let you know what I have decided.

        Thank you again!

        Dee Dee ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  18. Nicki

    Hiya! I’ve been taking Citalopram for anxiety five weeks now and fortunately didn’t have any side effects at first. Week 3 was great and I started to feel a bit happier but week 4 to date I’ve been suffering with terrible low mood, mood swings, tearful and very anxious. All the symptoms I’m trying to get rid of!! Can anyone advise me?

    Like

      1. Nicki

        Hi Gari

        Thanks ever so much for your reply. The GP wants me to give it another 4 weeks but it’s so difficult just waiting and not coping every day!!

        Best wishes

        Nicki

        Like

  19. pip

    Hi,
    I’m currently on my first day of Citalopram and i’m both relieved and gutted to read your post. Relieved because it’s not only me but gutted at the thought of this nausea lasting for longer than just today!
    I took my first pill last night, and woke up at about 2am feeling really rough, nauseous, fuzzy and generally just like …well i can’t really explain it properly…like my thoughts were too loud! Sleep didn’t come easy.
    I’m a teacher of reception children so today has been pretty tough, especially since I havn’t told many people at work about things and so they’re constantly asking me if i have flu/sickness bug!
    I’m really hoping my symptoms don’t last so long!
    thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experience!

    Like

  20. Dee_Dee

    Gari,

    I have looked into this and have decided to try a 3 month course of Citalopram.
    Along side counselling.

    I just want to say thank you for this page. Its nice to know that I am not on my own!

    Fingers crossed & I will keep you updated on how it all goes.

    Dee Dee

    Like

  21. Gavin

    quote ” Iโ€™m over the moon with how useful people seem to have found this post, and it almost makes the situation for having my own experience โ€˜worthwhileโ€™ knowing that it would enable me to try and go some good! ” Exactly Gari , You turned something difficult into something helpful for others. well done lad !!!

    Like

  22. no_idea_i_was_depressed

    Hi Gari,

    This is the most honest and compelling article I have found so far, since I was recommended to start taking Citalopram.

    I have a very similar picture to the one at the top of your post on my phone, except there are only five tablets missing from the first strip. So it’s a bit too early for me to be able to share my experiences, other than so far I’ve not had the nausea, but heartburn and drowsiness. I’m sure there’s plenty more to come. One counselling session down and it feels like my world has turned upside down.

    Thanks for your post, I think it’s great that you can share your experiences, not sure I have the same confidence.

    Good luck to you and everyone else who has commented, or read this post.

    Thank you

    Like

  23. Hey Gari!
    I posted about a month and a half ago, when I first started taking 10mg of Citolopram for my depression and anxiety.
    I just remembered this post when I went to my first appt. with a phsyciatrist, and felt like sharing some things with you.
    My phsyciatrist uped my Citolopram to 20mg, and that was about a week ago. She raised the dosage because we weren’t seeing much of an effect. But aside from that, in the beginning I was scared for the side effects of it, and the only things I’ve noticed was headaches, and EXTREME fatigue. Otherwise I’m doing good, so, this was just an update:)
    -Lillian

    Like

  24. keely

    Hi Gari,

    What a wonderful thing you are doing here to give others hope and belief in recovery when they first start taking citalopram – thank you.

    I am on day 5 of 10mg and finding the side effects somewhat overwhelming – particularly as I can only get around 3 or 4 hours sleep a night max. In addition I am finding that I am worrying out of control about things but trying to practise mindfulness and CBT to combat these effects. I’ll be honest if I had not been on citalopram before and know for sure that it helps I may be considering giving up at this point. So just wanted to reassure others that may be taking this drug for the first time, please carry on even though you may be tempted to quit, give it a fair go as things usually will get better.

    Keely

    Like

  25. Gavin

    Gari Im back to you again . I seen my psychiatrist this morning and she wants me to up my 20mg a day to 40mg . Now as u may know they don’t come in 40mg , at least not in Ireland. So Im just wondering if it were you , would you take TWO 20mg tablets together or maybe one in the morning, one in the evening. Im just wondering which would be more beneficial and OF COURSE its just your opinion . Will it be more effective taking the two together basically ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Gavin

        well I confirmed it with the chemist and Ireland does not do 40mg . Also you say the highest dose is 40mg which is what it also says on my leaflet that I get in the box .

        However a friend of mine which is also taking a generic form of them , her leaflet says maximum dosage is 60mg . weird huh ?

        anyway doing ok on the 40mg, although I get weird anxiety like an hour after taking them and a lot of kind of teeth grinding . Does anybody else get this teeth grinding and a kind of involuntary hand spasms (movements ) . This used never happen to me before on the 20mg.

        Like

  26. keely

    Hi,

    I thought I’d come back with an update. It is now day 9 for me on citalopram. Unlike my last post a few days ago I now longer feel ‘overwhelmed’ with the side effects. For the last 24 hours i’ve felt glimmers of how it is to feel ‘normal’ again!

    So fingers crossed that these side effects are easing a little, I realise it may still be a bumpy ride, but one that I now feel I can deal with. Hopefully this will give a little reassurance to anyone in those first few days of taking the drug. Please persevere – it’s worth it.

    Keely

    Like

  27. Karen

    Hello,
    is great to read everyones comments.
    My situation is I have been trying to fight depression taking hold of me again. Tried flower remedies etc, tonnes of exercise and changing diet. sadly none of that really helped. i got down, lost my self condidance and I have now pushed away my boyfriend and one of my closest friends due to anxiety about my relations ship with my bf and jealousy about his friendship with my friend. It was all totally innocent but convinced myself that he would be better with her rather than me.
    My friend has stopped talking to me ( blocked on facebook etc) due to the emotional battering I gave her. believe me I am not proud of any of it. At the moment, I am not sure if i have a relationship to save so I went back to my doctors.
    Was having a bit of an anxiety attack when i was at doctors
    hand shaking breaking all over the place, so she has prescribed me 20mg.
    that was on Tuesday. thankfully, no major side affects, apart from a really hot body at night. ( not in the exciting way )
    Even after these few days, i am feeling a bit of clarity. Miss my friend. she has a fantastic positive attitude
    I miss my boyfriend but i think that boat will have sailed as he never understood why i was down about stuff as i have not hing to be really sad about if i am totally honest. might try to do a wee blog Like you Gari.
    Big hugs to you and yours xxx

    Like

  28. keely

    Hi again,

    Just in case this helps anyone in the early stages of taking citalopram – Day 11 now for me and things are still beginning to look up. I have noticed myself thinking in ways that I recognise as ways ‘I used to think’ before being taken over by this depression. I am still feeling extraordinarliy tired, but now able to leave the house and do simple tasks like pop to the shops (although may have to lay down for a bit when I get home as it is so exhausting!). I am finding simple tasks around the house, like unpacking the dishwasher, much easier than I did even 3 or 4 days ago. I know from past experience that this extreme tiredness will pass in time, but maybe not for a few more weeks. When I have the energy I plan to up my exercise which should help.

    I have my own business, which is being run by my staff at the moment as I’m not up to working, but for the last couple of days I’ve really been looking forward to the day that I can get back to work and hopefully that will be in a couple of weeks.

    But most of all, the wonderful thing is just to feel more like my old self again in my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    I now accept that I may have to be on these drugs for years (due to recurring depression) but I’m ok with that (there is probably a lot of neurotransmitter damage there that needs to be fixed). They are what keep me well, just in the same way that drugs for diabetes keep sufferers of that illness well and drugs for any other number of illnesses keep their sufferers well. I hope that as time passes we will continue to move away from the stigma that is attached to mental illness.

    Keely x

    Like

  29. Dee Dee

    Gari,

    I am on my 13th day of citalopram, the nausea has only just calmed down – It was awful up until this weekend – felt like it just hit me and then I could barely move!

    I have my first consultation this week with the doctor to see how I am & I start my counselling next weekend.

    I have to say I am having the anxiety attacks and still feel deflated – I can only hope I start feeling better soon.

    The other side effects were not as strong as the nausea – but effected me just as much – dizziness, headaches & tiredness to name a few.

    I ‘ll be in contact again and hopefully am feeling better by then ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Dee Dee

    Like

  30. Tk

    I was misdiagnosed for migraine associated vertigo by a neurologist and put on amitone 10 for 15 days. Then he switched me to nexito 10mg twice a day.
    On the third day I got my FIRST and worst panic attack.
    My cardiologist switched of all medicines.
    For a month I had sudden numbness and weakness and nausea.
    I went back to the neurologist and he started nexito 20 again.
    After that for two weeks I got two to three panic attacks and severe nausea.
    Now in the third week everything has subsided .
    My question is are my panic attacks induced by nexito as I never had depression or anxiety before. Do I then require this nexito and if I taper off will my panic attacks return?

    Like

  31. Gregg

    Hi everyone,

    First of all thanks Gari and everyone for your contributions – this site really helped me to get an idea of what this may be like. I am on 10 mg and so far had no problems at all with any of the symptoms described. So just wanted to drop in and share this as perhaps the tendency is for people who are affected negatively to be more likely to share than those who never experience any problems. Not sure if this will be the case yet but will update if I experience any changes. Very best wishes for everyone and once again thanks for your invaluable insights!

    Like

  32. Lesley

    I first took Citalopram about 2 and 1/2 years ago for a few months without any problems. I restarted them (20mg) about 2weeks ago. First week no problems- went to work as usual etc then last week my weekend was taken up by sleep and a big anxiety attack after this. Since then I have been nauseated most of the day- loose stools in the morning, not able to face food until later in the day. I already take it in the evening but am getting really fed up with this now….. Tempted to just drop to 10mg and see if that makes a difference ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Like

      1. Lesley

        I decided to do the sensible thing and stick to the 20mg prescribed as I’d tolerated it well before, but I did take it a bit earlier than usual (about half hour after eating). This morning I’ve woken up feeling much better- no nausea, hungry, and actually able to face eating (2 slices toast and marmalade!). Maybe the trick is in the timing- whatever it is fingers crossed………..

        Like

        1. Daniel

          Hi there im currently on day 8 of citalopram 20mg day 1-3 nothing
          Really felt day 4 i had the migrane from hell for 8 hours sweating and being sick day 5-7 i felt increased happiness but today ive felt awful all day… Want to cry and feeling terribly anxious and panicky also the side effect ive been having are extremely dilated pupils

          Like

  33. Kate

    Hello
    I have been reading with interest all the posts from everyone starting this drug – it’s great that the site is so active & helpful! I am writing about my Dad who is 75 and desperately depressed and anxious – a state that he has been in to a lesser or greater degree for 15 years. He has been taking other antidepressants on & off during these years and has recently changed to a Citalopram after a 4 year low where the anti depressant he was taking really wasn’t helping his mood to lift. I pushed for this change and now feel bad as this new drug at the moment unfortunately has made him a whole lot worse but still in early days I guess – he started on 10mg for the 1st few weeks and had a load of the side effects mentioned (v v anxious, shaky, insomnia, loss of appetite, worried about absolutely everything, panicky,fearful, lethargic,& even more depressed!) then he perked up and felt briefly normal (maybe 2 days) then took a dive – the doctor upped him to 20mg about 10 days ago and he is in an even worse state – the doctor has said stick with it and encouraging him to go ahead with a planned holiday on 11th Nov (which they are close to cancelling).

    I wonder whether a course of counselling/therapy could help him – altho right now he is in no state to do anything. My mother is finding life very difficult but neither of them have ever been very proactive in finding alternative help and live very much day-to-day in the hope/belief that things will/might improve. It sounds as though this drug should only be temporary thing to give ones mental state a kick start but I was under the impression with clinical depression (which my dad has been told he suffers from) he would need to take an antidepressant long term (forever?). Can this be taken long-term? If not – is this the right drug? How long will it take to see if the 20mg will help?

    Any advice would be great ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

      1. Kate

        Thanks Gari for your thoughtful, helpful response…My dad is still suffering badly but IS going on hols.. In fact I am going to stay at there house to make sure he’s not too anxious to get in the taxi (at 3am!…not good for anxiety!).. We took him to see ‘ Sunshine on Leith’ tonight and it actually cheered him up!! Please go and see this upbeat (and yes.. A little cheesy:) film… It is The Proclaimers answer to Mamma Mia… A ‘must see’ for anyone who needs their day brightening ๐Ÿ™‚ ….will report back in a couple of weeks & hopefully the pills will have started to work some magic ! Thanks again..

        Like

  34. Pat

    Hi Gari,
    It’s great to read these posts.

    I have suffered from Social Anxiety for about 20 years and only last week got the courage to talk to the GP about it, what took so long I’ll never know but mental health stigma and been a ‘man’ are probably the reasons.

    He prescribed Citalopram 10mg for a week then 20mg for 3 months. To be honest I was in shock after getting home and reading about Citalopram….. what? me on anti-depressants?

    I appear to be grounded, have job, play sports,music, don’t suffer panic attacks so my initial thought was that my GP made a mistake. I haven’t collected the tablets yet from the pharmacy and am not sure that I will until I research them to death.

    I’m booked in for CBT next week, been before and found it helped (although it’s so hard to find correct therapist!…most seem to be very young and straight out of college…I’m in my late 30’s and want someone older and wiser, especially for the hourly rates they charge!!

    Next step is popping pill and telling my family that I’m on them which is daunting (we’re not the Waltons).

    Thanks for your blog!

    Like

  35. Sarah

    Itโ€™s been an insight reading everyones comments. My GP started me on 10mg of Cit for GAD, but after a month I felt very little improvement. My GP upped my dose to 20mg 10 days ago, but I am still suffering badly. Do you think I need to give the higher dose a bit longer to get into my system? All in all, I have been taking Cit for almost 6 weeks. I donโ€™t want to feel this low any more?

    Like

  36. Louise

    Hi, I just wanted to share my experience of 10mg citalopram. Ive now been on these for a week and whilst I feel so much better mentally already I feel constantly sick and almost as though im having an out of body experiance. Also I seem to get stomach cramps at night – however I shall perservere, I have to be upped to 20mg in another week, so may have to go through worse times.

    Good luck everyone and stay strong

    Like

  37. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences of Citalopram. I was prescribed it yesterday with 10mg a day for the first week then 20mg after that. I’m glad to read that things improve as I’m suffering bouts of intense nausea already and feeling rather ‘vague’ with a slight headache I’ve never experienced before.
    The doctor did explain the half dosage was to try to minimise the side-effects that occur until your body gets used to the medicine.
    This is 4 hours into day one …
    Angela

    Like

  38. Kirsty Deakin

    Hi Gari,
    I read your blog, and it has been reassuring.
    I have been taking 20mg Citalopram for 9 days. I have been on it before, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget how long it takes to feel steady again and how horrid the side-effects are. Last two days I’ve felt really tired and more anxious, but usually I’m better by later in the day. I can see glimmers of improvement. I just feel very isolated, as friends and family, really don’t understand. I’m trying so hard. Days are so long, but I’m determined to beat this!
    Thanks for taking time to write your blog.
    Kirsty

    Like

  39. Marc

    Hi Gari, Googling away and stumbled on this site. I am 55 year old
    Ive been on 20 mg since Feb 2013. for Anxiety and then depression. I will add it seemed to take 6-8 weeks for it to settle me down and feel “decent” again.. I had many of the side effects and also took Domperidone. I do take Propranolol for anxiety to.. The side effects settled down for me after around 4 weeks.
    It is so good to read all the other comments and know that one is not alone.
    I had CBT privately with a woman of my age aprox and to be honest I cant make my mind up whether I benefitted from the sessions…
    A question I would like to ask is …..Does anybody else suffer from being tired all the time as a side effect of Citalopram? I can sleep now for 8-9 hrs get up then sleep again for 1-2 hrs in afternoon…
    I would like to add that I felt awful for up to 6 weeks before getting the benefits of Citalopram…. STICK with it….or see your Doc…DON’T just stop taking them…
    GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL.

    Like

  40. Hazel

    I’ve just started taking cit 20mg, after An emergency appointment at the doctors because I had a trip to the crisis centre due to suicidal compulsions. I have needed anti depressants since I was a child but I’ve only just been put on them!
    The side effects are less horrendous than other people’s here it seems but I am only on day 2 – feeling nauseous, dry-heaving from smells of food (was really upset yesterday because the smell of KFC made me heave, and I love KFC!) and today I’m still nauseous, teary and incredibly agitated along with really bad tremors. I’m hoping it eases soon because I feel sick all the time as it is without this making it worse! I’ve been signed off work for the week until I see my college tutor to discuss my current state. I was going to speak to him today but I feel so awful I don’t even want to Get out of bed. I sincerely hope these tablets work because this is really awful!

    Like

  41. Cordi

    Hi Gari,

    I am so glad I found this column … I’m into my third week of taking citalopram for a panic disorder (only 10 mgs as I’m a real lightweight), and the side effects are still horrendous. Primarily violent nausea (which wakes me up every morning at about 3 am and persists til well into the afternoon), but also heightened anxiety, an ‘out of body’ feeling, dizziness and muscle aches. I was on citalopram a number of years ago, and don’t remember the side effects being nearly so bad either when I first went on them, or when I came off after a year.

    I know I need to keep going and let the side effects settle, but three weeks in its such hard work, especially being a self-employed with no family around and a teenager to support. Reading so many similar stories has really helped.

    Fingers crossed I can keep going until the side effects start to pass properly.
    All the best, and thank you for your openness and honesty.
    Cordi

    Like

  42. Thank you for writing such a massive insight! 1st day…and having a tough time on it. Its nice to know that the side effects should and hopefully will stop ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  43. Ellie

    I have been on citalopram for 3weeks and haven’t noticed a change in how I’m feeling, I was started on the 10mg dose and today the doctor has advised me to increase to 20mg. I was initially weary of this as the side effects have just begun to settle. I was pretty lucky that I just got very tired with it. After reading this I’m not as anxious to increase the dose. And I completely agree with the no alcohol. Alcohol exaggerates most of the reasons we take citalopram to begin with. I don’t understand why people would want to do that. Thanks for the post. Very helpful.

    Like

  44. Bammbbi

    I took my first 20mg tablet of citalopram last night. I am horrified! Nausea, severe headaches, anxiety, hot flushes, body aches, feeling disorientated. I am basically in hell! Taking Valium as well which eases the symptoms but that only helps for an hour at most )’:

    Like

  45. May

    I had my first tablet earlier today, already my stomach feels so so unsettled, I want to be sick and my head is all over the place. I was getting really down and worried about it until I found and read this post, it’s made me worry less about how I’m feeling. Need to get through these first couple of weeks then should be okay I suppose :S Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience cause it helped me feel much better

    Like

  46. Maria Gardiner

    Hi Gari i am now on day six of the citalopram my anxiety is through the roof as soon as I open my eyes not getting a lot of sleep either, I have been reading other forums and most of the side affects have been headache and nausea I’m just wondering why my anxiety is bad and feeling really awful.

    Like

  47. Maria Gardiner

    Hi Gari
    I thought I would come back to you for an update hope your feeling better yourself I am on day day 27 but day 4 of 20mg things got better and started to feel glimmers of hope then three days ago started to feel unwell again that’s why my DR increased my meds but all the side affect have come back and really not feeling well at all not being able to sleep is the wors only having maybe 2hrs a night was sleeping about 6 on the 10mg so have decided to take med in the morning instead of the night and have had then worst night ever palpitations hot body shakes really anxious and don’t know what to do with myself really has anyone else gone from night meds to morning I did it so baybe I could get some sleep and hoping I’ve don the right thing for myself I just hope there will be a little glimmer of light soon. You have been an inspiration to us all thank you. Maria x

    Like

  48. Hazel

    Hi Gari,

    I Definitely have improved a lot since posting on here last! I feel almost.. like me again. I have the energy and the will to try and look after myself (just things like taking care of my hair and skin, which was sorely neglected during the worst part of my depression) And I think the best part (may be a bad thing depending on your perspective) is that when I have a wave of a down mood, I’m actually aware of it being there now; and because I’m aware of it, it’s easier for me to identify my triggers and try and shift it if possible. I also find it easier to talk about how I’m feeling and what’s bothering me with my fiance, which was like trying to prise open pandora’s box before!! And my favourite part is the fact that I’m happy and enjoy admiring myself in the mirror and actually thinking I look pretty good. This was just a no-no before, and I never thought I’d enjoy doing it! And my fiance comments that I genuinely smile a lot more now, and laugh. Which is brilliant.

    The worst of the side efffects passed within a month, they went through a cycle – first, it was the nausea/agitation/teariness, it then moved to insomnia and lack of appetite and weight loss, then it moved to extreme lethargy randomly throughout the day to the point I was falling asleep at my desk several times a day. That has now eased off almost completely (still have bouts on occasion, but that’s actually normal for me) so I can actually function easily now! The only issue I’m still having is I have difficulty communicating, it seems to have affected my speech. Like, I’ll be trying to say something and mid-sentence I try to say a specific word, and it just won’t come out even though it’s right there on the tip of my tongue, which affects my confidence to a certain degree. Other than that though, 20mg citalipram was the best damn thing to ever happen to me, and It was worth the first horrific month!

    Like

      1. Hazel

        I do hope it does help some people! I know I was incredibly worried about starting it once I had read the side effects, and worried myself further when I looked up other people’s reactions and saw some people had side effects for 6+ months after starting the tablets. It wasn’t enough to put me off them completely, but because I was worrying about it I can’t help but think that worsened the side effects I was already suffering from. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

        I’m sincerely hoping the speech thing wears off too, as it’s infuriating – more so because I’ll be in the ‘flow’ of saying whatever and boom;mental block! I’m not sure if it’s actually a side effect of the medication or not, but I need to go back to my doctor’s for a review anyway, so I can ask them if it’s a known side effect or not.

        Thank you, I hope it does too. It might make things easier for an interview I have coming up at the end of the month – my increased confidence might actually land me the job!! Fingers crossed!

        Like

  49. I am on day 11 of citalopram and although it has helped with the anxiety. My sleep has been affected greatly. I wake around 3 am and have trouble going back. Contemplating giving up on tabs as I need to function for work.

    Like

  50. SD

    It was so nice to find this post. i am on day 3 and so far it has been awful in terms of side effects. I was put on this meds due to anxiety over my 6 months old baby and a troublesome relationship with my husband. Whenever there is an argument, my husband walks off and says it is over, i developed an anxiety over this, in addition, my biggest issue is that i see my son dying from little things several times a day. Be it choking on the food i give him, or me not seeing him fall of the bed and break his head, to chopping off his hand by mistake with food processor (go figure), anything normal and ridiculous – i imagine it. So i finally broke down to my GP and he put me on 10mg to start withโ€ฆโ€ฆ.First night was tremendous, apart from drowsiness (i have been having it non stop these 3 days), my mouth was so dry, even drinking water did not seem to help much, i had restless legs, dry cough, headache, nausea and felt an out of body experienceโ€ฆ.yesterday i was scared to take another one, so just divided the dose in two takes with an interval of 4 hours, do not know if it is psychological, but it seems to be easier on my body, side effects are there but do not hit off my guard. One phrase of yours gave me hope, that the believe it or not, the side effects do not last foreverโ€ฆ..Just annoying, that i started taking them to have more quality time with my son and not be scared of hurting him by mistake (my first son) and instead i feel that i am waiting for him to nap and sleep so i can nap tooโ€ฆ.grrrโ€ฆ..well, one thing i noticed that yesterday my husband said we are over again, and i just said okโ€ฆ.Maybe it was thanks to the C pills?

    Like

  51. dingding

    Hey man just thought id say thanks for posting your experience. Got prescribed the 20’s about an hour ago, just going to make some grub and take my 1st one.

    I was given them for depression, in the space of 3 weeks i lost my job, buried my dad and got t-boned of my motorbike, then to top it off my longterm girlfriend left me but to be fair i might be more anxious than i thought i was too as i have taken a wide variety of recreational drugs over the years without hesitation, never had a problem as such, just a work hard play hard kinda thing but thinking about it, it just seems strange to be paranoid about something the doc gave me!

    Definitely right about everyone just talking about negatives on most sites so im glad to see that not everyone gets it properly tight. One thing that keeps cropping up though is the not sleeping which is a bit of a worry as that is a real problem i have been having but thankfully the doc also gave me a weeks worth of sleepers so im tempted to bang them both together and hopefully sleep through the 1st week of side effects but just not sure if il see any benefits if i only take the cit’s in the evenings though from what i gather it will be a while before i see any benefits i cant really see the harm in it and might be an easier way to get my body used to it.

    Well anyway we’ll see how it goes, took me months to even get to the docs and had a complete breakdown so the only way is up from here, will let you know how i get on and thanks again buddy…

    Like

      1. dingding

        Hey,

        Just thought id check back in on day 4. Thought id be doing the smart thing on day one and took my first one just after a meal, but around 3 hours later the nausea kicked in, didnt see it stopping anytime soon but i had some cornflakes with plenty of sugar that evening and it did seem to help though it wasnt easy it getting down.

        Tried a different tactic on day 2 and i think this is the method il be sticking with. I took my second one on an empty stomach and didnt have nearly as much nasuea but what you loose on nasuea you gain in the form of the jitterbug as i like to call it lol. Shaking hands and legs and a general slightly spaced out feeling. Not the safest method if you have to drive or anything, i wouldnt even attempt to get on my pushbike never mind my R6 but it also means im having to walk everywhere which is getting me out of the house for longer than i otherwise would have been even if i am walking like a bit of a wierdo!

        Tempted to move back in with my mum for a while, she did offer but we generally dont have the best track record of living together hence moving out at 15 but we do get ona lot better now so it might be worth a try as pottering about my own big house myself isnt really doing me any favours and would be alot easier financially which is a major contributor to my issues i think, going from making more money than i knew what to do with to living on fortnightly benefits that i would have spent more on a night out never mind live on for two weeks.

        Well thats enough of a ramble from me today, cheers for the kind words Gari, and il keep this updated as im finding it does help to vent a bit. Im not normally one for for this online stuff, dont even have a facebook lol but this seems actually worthwhile…

        Like

  52. Christine

    Absolutely brilliant site, albeit scary reading that people are still suffering side effects after a long while. I am only 2 tablets in and already have the nausea. I’ve found myself worrying about what if the tablets don’t work and I’m going through all of this for nothing but I guess that’s just the negative thoughts going hand in hand with the depression. I feel like I just want to be scooped up and looked after but sadly whilst I have loads of support from friends on the phone and some face to face I do live alone so feels very lonely. I just want to feel like me again. I am having therapy too with a great counsellor, I had tried to battle the depression without resorting to antidepressants but it had me beat. Please god it doesn’t take too long.
    Christine.
    X

    Like

  53. Freida

    Glad I found your site. Just took my first dose of 20mg Citalopram. (For depression) I was very nervous and wanted to read 1st hand of others’ experiences. I wasn’t real happy to see all the mentions of nausea, but now I’m informed and know that it’s normal. Praying it does what it’s supposed to do soon. I miss being “ME” .Thank you for posting and allowing others to share their experiences.

    Like

  54. Emma

    Hi Gari

    Been on Citalopram 10mg for a few months now but just wanted to say thanks for sharing your insights and it’s so reassuring to hear there are similar symptoms and feelings.

    Like you I read many a horror story online so thanks for sharing a good balance and one that is encouraging of others.

    As for anyone else it does get better, I find small snacks help the nausea pass and in a strange way it’s good to attribute it to the tablets rather than anything else.

    Kind regards
    Emma

    Like

  55. Pat

    Hi Gari,

    I posted a comment above last November, I’ve just gotten around to taking them recently.
    I’m on day 9 and feel good. The first 7 days on 10mg weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be, no nausea at all, just some sleep problems (waking up at 5am feeling rough- like a bad hangover) and feeling a bit spaced out.

    I took my first 20mg last night and was worried about it but today I feel fine, looking forward to the next few weeks feeling normal for a change.

    Thanks

    Pat

    Like

  56. Mihail

    Hi Gari ,

    Im now on 40 mg for a week or so ,total 8 weeks and the things are much better ,just still a bit low energy ,not anymore depressed or anxious but still low energy ,what do you think how long it will take the energy to come back ? and i also sleep all night long and i sleep in the morning to until 12 noon ! Is so much sleeping something expected ?

    Regards
    Mihail

    Like

  57. Justin Hustwait

    Hey Gari
    Just a few lines I have just started my first day of 10 mg and Im petrified
    and not sure if its for me Thanks for all your advice but not sure if too take my second tomorrow.

    Like

  58. Jodi

    Hi
    I know your post was a while ago but just wanted to say thanks, after reading all the awful horror stories it is good to read yours! I have been taking citalopram for 2 weeks, first week felt pretty awful, 2nd not so bad then on day 14 horrible panicky feelings which is why I’m taking them in the first place! Hoping they are just side effects as desperate to get rid of the anxiety! Will keep plodding along

    Like

  59. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a
    doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now
    i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates
    and will talk about this website with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

    Like

  60. claudia

    Hi Gary, I’m so relieved to find this forum. Due a horrible back problem a got anxiety problems, and I was prescribed Citalopram 10 mgs. Im starting week 7 and side effects are bad, and very susceptible to noises !!!. But I feel in a way I’m in control, in comparison to 3 weeks ago, i was like a zombie. I was sleeping ok, but now I ‘m not sleeping well!!! . Im starting exercising again , and looking after myself. BUT NIGHTS ARE NOT GOOD.

    Like

  61. Sarah

    I started cit 10 10 days ago then went up to 20mg three days ago- the first pill took 4 hours to hit but when it did I got a crazy high like being on extasy. It was intense. For 4 days it was like that but then I started taking it at night before bed- which worked better… On the 10 mg- but then I upped my dose to 20 and now I feel absolutely normal. Back to normal. Which sucks because I was horrible normal. So I’m wondering do I up my dose after 3 days because I’m not feeling as good as I did on the lower dose? ( the dr prescribed me 1 week 10 mg – 2 weeks 20mg- 3 weeks 30 mg 4 -40) I don’t know if I should just wait or if my pills went bad in my purse?( hah I know that’s not it- but it feels like nothing)

    Like

  62. Yvonne

    I’m on day 4 of 20 mg of citralopram and like you I’m really struggling with nausea and feeling jittery,a bit like if you’ve had too much caffeine .your blog has reassured me that I’m not alone and that it will get better,I’ve just got to ride it out!back to my docs next week so she can check how I’ve been so I’ll let her know about my side affects .

    Like

  63. Yvonne

    We’ll my doc didn’t seem too concerned about my side effects :-/ she just recommended that I try to eat something small every couple of hours.i definitely don’t feel quite as bad,2 days ago I felt great only for the nausea to kick in again the next day.but today I got out for a walk and chatted to my neighbour which I couldn’t have done last week so hopefully on the way to feeling like myself.
    On another note I wish you well on your own treatment Gari,you have helped so many others with your blog you deserve some luck of your own
    Yv x

    Like

  64. Melt

    In your opinion what dose is better for treating anxiety.? Began with 10mi and I am in week 6 and still do not feel the best. I get panick attack in the am and has loss my appetite feeling down during the day,I also switch From paxil to citalopram 6 weeks ago only because I thought this one has less side effects but I was doing ok with it ..Are the not supposed to work the same and be the same drug? I feel like I started over again adjusting my body maybe I shall I stay with Paxil..not sure what to do

    Like

  65. Ashlle

    Hi Gary
    Was brill to read your experiences with Citalopram. I suffer from sever anxiety and panic!!!
    I have just, for the second time, started taking 10mg again but this time the side effects are right there as with last time I had none!!
    2nd day and within 45 min of taking the tablet I am literally all over the place.
    My anxiety increases so the dry mouth comes along with racing heart, slight confusion, tiredness!! Severe tiredness!! (No nausea though!)
    So I take a lie down (luckily it’s the weekend and I’m at home!) I get abit fidgety and sweaty but then nod off. Feel abit shitty when I wake up after an hour or so but better after a brew!!
    My partner goes back to camp tomorrow for the week (army) so I’m v v anxious about being on my own at the night times but I feel I can get through the initial effects!! I am also trying to figure out at what time in the day to take them when working! I’m thinking half hour before bed maybe if it makes me sleepy :))
    Would be great to hear back from you ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks, Ashlee ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    Like

    1. Yvonne

      Hi Ashlle,
      I take mine early evening as it initially gave me lots of side effects .early evening for me means I get sleepy but it doesn’t interfere with my natural sleep.if I leave it too late I find I wake up after 2/3 hours and struggle to get back to sleep.my partner also away at the moment ,just try to put yourself first for a little while ,if feel better your family will feel better too.good luck!

      Like

  66. Hi Gari

    For 18 months, following treatment for two primary cancers, I have felt exhausted and anxious. Unexplained leg pain and ‘low mood’ stopped me doing the hour long daily walk I’ve always done. GPs and Oncologists suggested that I was anxious and depressed – and explained how and why leg pain etc can be a sign of these conditions _but I wouldn’t have it. Then, six weeks ago, I began having weekly migraines with severe neck pain and nausea which I haven’t had since I was in my thirties (I’m now 63).

    Just over 4 weeks ago, I gave in and began a course of 20mg citalapram. Side effects of nausea, feeling ‘spaced out’ and ‘jumpiness’ lasted about a week and a half and by week 3 I felt good. Aches and pains disappearing, more energy and better mood. Still having weekly migraines though. Week 4 saw me sliding down a bit. with anxiety, intense nausea returning on a daily basis, leg and neck pain – sometimes with migraine, sometimes not. Went back to GP. he said I could either wait for another two weeks (he said meds start to kick in and stabilise at 6/8 weeks) or I could face what may be the inevitable next step and increase dose to 30 mg. He gave me the extra tabs just under a week ago, but I haven’t increased yet. Thought I’d wait to see if the 20 dose would kick in. But today I feel awful. neck pain, migraine, nausea, heavy legs (always seem to come with migraine – wading through mud) and utter exhaustion.

    I don’t really understand why the initial side effects – if that;s what they are – have recurred. I don’t know whether to ‘up’ the dose or wait. I did wonder whether the migraines were an s/e but these had come back two weeks before I began the cit.

    Feeling down and wondering if I’ll ever feel well again. Once you’ve tasted the ‘better’ days the bad ones seem even worse.

    Like

      1. Hi again Gari

        So sorry to hear about the cancer. Not being flippant, but I must say as one whose had it twice, it’s easier to cope with than anxiety and depression. I wish you well.

        A quick question. Do you know whether it’s usual for initial side effects to recurr?

        Like

  67. balanda

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been taking citalopram (40mg mostly) for a decade now, and found it luckily to have very few side effects for me, including at the beginning. (I discovered I still need it unfortunately, sucks to be pregnant too.) Hard to tell if my brain fog is contributed to by this or just my chronic fatigue. Paroxetine definitely fogged my brain but that’s a super-sedating SSRI.

    I hope things have gotten much better for you.

    Like

  68. CF

    I’m on day 5 of Cit 20mg. Your blog is fantastic. So much negative stuff on different sites ( You Tube particularly bad ). I finally gave in and went to see my Doctor Tuesday this week telling him I had been fighting depression which had been spiralling downward since March due to a relationship breakdown plus I also have ‘reverse S.A.D.’ ( dread summer ) so I didn’t know if it was the chicken or the egg in this case but the result was the same . I am au fait with CBT techniques and use Dr Burns handbook ‘Feeling Good’ , however I knew that St Johns Wort ( I was self medicating ) was not working. I found the ‘courage’ to go in and tell him and opened up. He said I had amazing insight : I was quite humbled. I told him I was terrified of losing my libido due to what I had read about SSRI’s and he said what he was prescribing me should not affect that ( so far so good lol ! ). Took first tab Tues night and have had nausea, mild headaches, blunt emotions, yet still ruminating. Been on and off the settee all day soooo tired ( I live alone ) but I am hoping that I am getting through the rough which seems to be the case in the 1st two weeks according to contributions on your blog. Fingers crossed ! Thank you for your excellent blog.

    Like

  69. Kelly

    Thanks for sharing nice to know your not the only person in the world to feel shit on them tablets,I’m now on my 2nd month of tablets and boy what a rollercoaster it’s been,the first 2 weeks were the most awful time of my life I would of done anything to make the pain go away, no sleep,been sick everyday,anxious felt suicidal,lost so much weight I went down to 6stone n I’m 25,my body ached.if it wasent for my dad encouraging me to stick with the tablets I would of come off them and probably made it worse. I live with my fiancรฉ and the worst thing was every morning I would cry and be like y me and he would have to reassure me and u used to feel guilty coz I knew everyone was worried about me and everyone was just as knackered as me. I was off work for 5wks I felt guilty bout that I never take time off work. Was too scared to be left alone. This happened for 3wks,been off work nothing doing anything relli didn’t help.i started feeling better very nervous about going back to work,I started part time then eventually went bck up to full time and I’ve been fine since ๐Ÿ™‚ fingers cross I stay fine,when I first started on the tablets I relli thought there’s no way out,if you are reading this trust me you WILL get through it.it relli does help if you have supportive ppl in your life. X

    Like

  70. Diane

    I really enjoyed reading this. I’m on day 6 of taking cit, I felt quite good the first few days, I now believe that was because I had finally done something to get myself on track after spending my whole life feeling on a knifes edge. The last two days I have felt as flat as a pancake, I am feeling nothing. It’s weird!. I had a mild bout of nausea, but that seems to have gone, as have the banging headaches, I had these before I even started. I’m on 10mg, but will be increasing to 20mg on Monday, feeling very apprehensive about that, but I will do it. Just wish this dead feeling would go away.

    Like

  71. Caitlin

    Thought I’d add my two cents. I was actually on Prozac for… 5 years maybe? I started when I was around 16. I felt I was making a lot of progress so I took myself off the Prozac when I was 21. A year later, regretting that decision. Around 3 months ago I decided to go back on the Prozac. The first time I took it, I had no side effects. If I did, nothing thats enough for me to remember. This time I started out with insomnia, and it went on to intrusive thoughts. I have a huge fear of choking that I’ve struggled with for years, and all of a sudden I’m scared I’m going to intentionally choke on things. Also terrified of hurting those around me. Just really preoccupied with death. I’m 22 years old for gods sake. So I go to regular counselling and had a huge breakdown and cried my eyes out and was told to go back to the doctor. Which is now me, day 3 on 20mg Citalopram. So far, not sure of any side effects… Because I was already feeling like absolute total shit anyway so I don’t think life could feel any worse than I do right now. Just hoping for the best because I’d been sleeping maybe 2 hours a night and I’m just beyond mentally exhausted and full of a lot of fear. I heard this medicine can numb you? I sure hope so. That’d be great. I wish my brain would just STOP for a while. Feeling really guilty for the stress I’m putting on my parents.

    Like

  72. Aimee

    Hi gari, thank you for sharing your experience I no it’s helped me, I’m 22 an have an 11 month old baby, an recently id say 2 weeks I was feeling down an very teary an just generally not wanting to do things I went to the doctors an she prescribed me cit, I’m on 10mg an on day 7. An I can definitely say I’ve had bad side effects I went back today to see if there was anything they could give me to go along the tablets but she said no she said it’s up to me wether I wanted to stay at them or come of them but my mum had said to stick it out then I came on here an saw you have said to stick it out also. It’s the anxiety I can’t cope with I didn’t feel this bad last week before taking them I was taking them t night an have now changed to mornings after the doctor told me too last night was day 6 an it was awful at the night time an I just can’t sit still my legs are constantly shaking was thinking in going to try another week or so then give up or would you say that’s too soon to give up as it’s only been a week?

    Thanks
    Aimee

    Like

      1. Aimee

        Thanks for getting back to me, I was taking the tablet at night time as I found they made me tierd but the last two nights had bad nights so today changed it to the morning, so hopefully that makes it a bit better, it’s my anxiety that has got worse the past week but I have read that can be a side effect too. Yeh mentioned about my legs today at the doctors again this can be due to my anxiety. Yeh it’s difficult looking after a baby when I feel like this but I’ve been having help of family members, I just want the side effects to die down a little I find when I take the tablet about 2 hours after I get hit with the panicky feeling shaky nausea an sleepy but can’t sleep! All this for a tablet ey? Some people say it doesn’t seem worth it but that’s people who aren’t on them or even tried them.

        Aimee

        Like

          1. Aimee

            Morning gari, had a better night last night than I did the night before still got to take my tablet today though I dread taking them! Thanks for all your advice I no I’m still not me as iv not been out of the house all week apart from the doctors yesterday did you find at first you just stayed in all the time on the sofa? Yesterday when I took my tablet at 11am it made me really tierd so I went to bed an slept from 12-3 but don’t want to have to do that every day!

            Like

            1. Aimee

              Sorry to hear that gari you must of been through a lot glad you have come through it! My baby has just gone for the day now with her auntie so I’ve just took my tablet an lay on the sofa I have no appetite what so ever but just tried to eat so I don’t feel sick. Just don’t want it to become a routine me taking it then having to go bed as I can’t do that everyday! But on day 8 now so hopefully it will just get better from here! Fingers crossed anyway.

              I need to get back on top of the house work haha!

              Like

      2. Aimee

        Well I’ve just put all the washing away so I suppose that’s something, thanks for the conversation I’m sure I’ll be back talking some more!

        Aimee

        Like

        1. Aimee

          Hi Gary how are you?
          I had a good week last week no side effects but then woke up this morning feeling like I did on the first week of taking them! It was awful absolutley shaking couldn’t keep still but had no energy but couldn’t sleep! I went to the dr an they have gave me propanol I’m only 2 weeks in thou on the tablets well just over 2 weeks just horrible how I thought i was over it then it hit me again insomnia is driving me mad too! Don’t look forward to ed at all. Get anxious thinking avout it, cos of how I’ve been today!

          Hope things get better!

          Like

  73. John

    I’m on Citalpram. Ask your doctor for a month supply of the U.K’s version of Klonopin for the first four weeks. It keeps you from any anxiety attacks until the Citalpram kicks in and starts working.

    Like

  74. Cally

    Hi Gary, thanks for this blog it’s really useful to knw ur not alone. I am on day 5 of Cit for anxiety. Had really bad side effects with 10mg so Dr said cut it in half and go down to 5mg. Side effects wernt as bad and I just yesterday went up to 10mg again. I am feeling really really ill almost flu like symptoms. Mornings are worst I wake up with my heart fluttering (also taking beta blockers for this) diorreah and generally feeling ill. Is it normal to feel flu like with these tablets? I’m so worried as I am going on holiday in 3 weeks and day knw how I will manage if I’m feeling like this ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Like

    1. Hazel

      Hi there Cally, i felt the exact same way when i first started citalopram. The first week is the absolute worst for side effects, for the first 7 days i was practically bed bound and couldn’t go to work they were so bad. It is normal, but i promise you it WILL fade away if you are persistent. Most, if not all of your side effect are gone by the first month (i found) so you will be fine for going on holiday!

      I have been on the tablets for over a year now (started at 20, now up to 40) and honestly it’s worth pushing through. Saying that, if i hadn’t of found this post by Gary when i started i would have given up with them. He and everyone else really helped make the transition easier. Try to focus on the benefits and you’ll get there!

      Like

  75. Ellie

    i was put on citalopram almost 4 weeks ago and I am still suffering. Dr started me on 10mg last week he changed it to 20mg. I have been unable to stomach food, living on bananas and Weetabix, cant sleep more than 4 hours at night and feel sick in the mornings. With Xmas just 2 days away I feel horrid. Thought about going back to Dr but cant get an appointment but when I mentioned the not eating to him he said I would eat eventually. I don’t want to feel like this anymore

    Like

  76. Michael

    Hey Gari.

    Brilliant little post. I took my first tablet this morning (Well, slightly past midnight now so the morning of the 4th) so it’s really helpful to read about someone else’s experience with the insanely scary situation I’ve just embarked on. I’m not looking forward to my second tablet at all.

    I’ve managed fairly (apart from a small bit of nausea for a couple of hours after taking it and pretty bad drowsiness all day) side-effect free for today but I’ve got a horrible feeling I’m not clear yet am I?
    What was the situation on your first day like, did you get side effects straight away or were they something that came on a few days down the line?

    Thank you.

    Like

  77. Graham

    Today is the first day for me taking Citalopram, and I’ve been nervous about any impending side-effects. It’s really heartening that you’ve been so honest about the side-effects and I feel a bit more prepared for the next few weeks/months. Thankyou!

    Like

  78. Lc

    Hi guys,
    Been prescribed cit 10mg for 10 days and 20mg for 2 weeks so far. It’s reduced my anxiety (based on obsessive negative thoughts) and depression by 50% already. I’ve also been doing mindfulness and self compassion meditation which really helps me not to fear my thoughts so much and can help with reducing any waves of anxiety I may get. Anyone else doing meditation, please reply to me. I’ve been on reduced hours in work (4 hours a day) and am managing. I do take other medication for sleep right now. Have first session with psychiatrist next week as he may authorise me going up on dosage and GP prefers if I check with him first. I take mine at 9am and in 5 days I was zonked but now it’s my most productive time of day. The calmness enables me to tackle difficult task In work slowly and steadily. Unfortunately by 2 or 3pm I’m wrecked and more anxious so that’s when I go home. My friends are saying I’m getting back to my usual self. So hang in there guys and remember we are all in this together! LC

    Like

  79. Stubs

    Hi Gari,

    I was prescribed CIT 20mg, but started off taking 10mg of them 6 days ago. I have been bed ridden for 3 of those days with nausea. On the first day I took the pill in the morning. Around 1sh, I began to feel sick to my stomach. After two days of that I decided to take them at night instead so I could function at work during the day. Well….now I can’t even make it to work because I feel like I drank a fifth of booze the night before. This is how upset my stomach is. I took my pill around 10pm and woke up at 3am without my sea legs. Luckily my anxiety is getting better knowing that it is a side effect of this pill and not my internal organs failing me. (Thanks anxiety):). Reading through everyone’s stories has helped tremendously, however my nausia is really debilitating. I am also kind of jittery and not real sure footed when I do get out of bed.
    Seems like these are all common symptoms, and if I stick with it, worth it in the end?
    I’m waiting on a call back from my doctor to let me know my next steps. I’m supposed to move up to 20mg tomorrow, but I’m not sure I can make it.

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories, and thank you Gari for this blog. It’s made me feel a little less insane. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Stubs

    Like

  80. Gary

    Hi guys,
    I was started on 10mg citalopram about 8 weeks ago and had horrible side effects of nausea, loss of appetite and feeling wiped out and was pretty much bed ridden for the first couple of weeks. The symptoms were still there after the four week mark so I rang my doctor and asked to be switched up to 20mg as I figured the stronger the dose the quicker the side effects would go, so after about a week or two of upping the dose the nausea went away and after about 6 weeks my appetite came back and can now eat for England again. I read that 20mg is the therapeutic dose for this med and 10mg is offered at the start to lessen with the side effects but wish I had started on 20mg to begin with and not spent longer with side effects on 10mg or maybe that’s just wishful thinking, anyway I have turned a corner now and totally glad the side effects which I struggled with the most, have gone. I have lost a stone in weight whilst on this drug as I struggled to eat much but hopefully will put that back on soon. I also was given 8 weeks off work by my doctor which has helped me because there is no way I could of gone to work in the first 6weeks as I was absolutely floored and could hardly function. I never thought these pills would work for me and nearly stopped taking them countless tomes as they made me feel so sick but glad I stuck it out and would say to anyone struggling to give it at least 6 to 8 weeks for the side effects to go away, some of us just take longer, maybe we have been suffering with anxiety longer and they take longer to work, hmmm anyway I wish you all the best of luck with these pills and hope you all manage to stay strong.
    Gary

    Like

  81. Robin

    Hi Gari, I was prescribed Cit 12 days ago and although my GP advised I should expect some nausea, I did not expect the high level of exhaustion and complete lack of energy which depressed me more than before I started the medication. Both my GP and my very helpful Pharmists pressed me to continue. After two weeks it is starting to get better although I am still exhausted all the time and I look forward to the end of the third week and see where we go then. Thanks so much for this site as the different experiences have really helped me. Thanks again, Robin

    Like

  82. Robin

    Hi Gari, just coming up to the end of the third week of CIT and feeling awful, yesterday was the first day ever and thought I would try switching to taking in the evening instead of mornings. Having not taken my 20mg dose this morning I actually feel great at the moment and looking forward to being ‘CIT’ free as it is clearly not working for me. I have never before suffered from depression and only started following a request to my GP to help when it was thought I might have had a TIA, since eliminated with an MRI Scan. Currently waing for a call back from my GP to advise him I wanted to stop the CIT completely as I understand the drug only masks symptoms, not cure them. I have read so much regarding the pros and cons and having never suffered severe depression until the TIA scare, for me I think that ‘positive thinking’ and looking forward to a CIT free future is the real answer. Am I being stupid or what. Comments reall welcomed – thanks. Robin

    Like

      1. Robin Gibson

        Hi Gary, I did speak to my GP and he agreed that as I was suffering somewhat odd symptoms, the best thing was to stop the CIT and update him how the week progresses and see him again next Monday. I will keep you posted for sure. Best wishes, Robin

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

        Like

  83. Hi gari,

    I’m coming upto 12 months now of being on citalopram.im taking 30mgs.everything has been great ,I still have ups and down days but other than that ok. I just hit a bad run and have now been signed off from work by my GP for 4 weeks ,it’s the first time since the depression kicked that I have taken any time off work ,it is a battle but thanks to you and your forum I get a lot of support reading other people’s experiences ,I have been offered counselling but am unsure at the moment ,what are your thoughts on this ?

    Again gari thanks for all your support
    John

    Like

  84. Jo Bobbins

    Hi Gari,
    I am on day 4 of taking cita and its not been great. Just wanted to say how reassuring your sight is and that the fear of starting and the horrible side effects are normal. I thought I was the only terrified one out there. Fingers crossed these tablets work.
    J x

    Like

  85. Caroline Hall

    Hi Gari

    This is my second time of taking cit in the last four years. The first time, as you say, was a rolla coaster of nausea, dizziness and lethargy for the first week. Then my GP increased my dose and I had to endure a second week of it all over again. After that it settled down, but I’m sitting here wondering whether I want that all over again! Don’t get me wrong, I need the tablets at the moment, it’s just that I’ve not been eating much over the last week because I’m depressed, and so my energy levels are very depleted. I’m not sure my body can take this level of side effect…but hey, nothing ventured right? If they stop me bursting into tears halfway round the shops, or at work, then I’ll have to do it again. Time to dig out the big guns, aka Ginger Nut biscuits, Lime and Ginger herbal tea (couldn’t stomach milk last time) and extra strong mints…all of which helped my nausea the first time so let’s hope they work again! Wish me luck…. ๐Ÿ˜ x

    Like

      1. Caroline Hall

        Fingers crossed indeed! It’s nearly midday and I haven’t taken one yet…to be fair I have only just eaten something though. Guess I’m kinda putting it off too…well, here goes, going to take one now. C x

        Like

      2. Caroline Hall

        Hi Gari
        I have to admit I’m struggling at the moment, waking up feeling nauseous all the time, which only seems to stop for a couple of hours during the day then it kicks in again. Not to mention the shakiness, feeling like I’m on the verge of a panic attack all day long, and feeling utterly shattered. I want it to stop now, I can’t cope with it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        I might put a call into my GP today to see if upping the dosage now will help, it seems it has helped others x

        Like

        1. Aimee Beckett

          Hi Caroline, I was the exact same it was awful! In my eyes the side effects to these tablets were worse for me than actually feeling depressed an having anxiety, I personally think I jumped into taking the tablets too soon. I was really poorly with the side effects shaking couldn’t eat couldn’t sit still crying as I didn’t like the feeling the gp told me to carry on so I powered through after roughly 10 days it started to ease of im on 20mg, I find I suffer more now with anxiety than I did before which is quite strange I think it’s because I worry everyday if I’m going to feel like I did in them first 10 days I couldn’t handle it. Dont get me wrong I do have hsppy days but some days I can be going 100mph cleaning playing with my daughter doing my shopping then boom I’m exhausted an on the sofa for the day quite a few ups an downs I don’t no if I need the dose upping but to be honest I don’t no what to do part of me wishes I didn’t take them as the anxiety I now suffer with is awful my boyfriend says to me I was never like this before I started them an I no I wasnt I had 2 weeks of feeling down finding myself crying not wanting to get out of bed an exhausted went to the gp an she put me on them I think I probably could of got through that phase by myself but I’ll never know now, hope you start feeling better because I no how awful it is them side effects!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Caroline Hall

            Hi Aimee, it’s awful isn’t it! I’ve upped my dosage to 20mg now and this morning I still feel nauseous, shaky and dizzy but not as bad as before. Utterly shattered though and feel like I am wading through treacle. Even typing is a bit of a challenge! I don’t feel as anxious as I have in the past week but maybe once the double dosage kicks in properly that will change; who knows. As for tearful and depressed, well that’s the same if not worse but I think that’s to be expected until around the 6-8 week mark. My boyfriend is worried about me as I can’t eat (don’t want to quite frankly) but I’m managing one decent meal a day, slowly. The up side is that I’ve lost nearly a stone in the last month, which I needed to do! Not the best way of doing it though, granted. Fingers crossed we both feel better soon. I must confess to feeling so tired I could probably sleep for a week; no idea how I’m managing to function at work but I’m dragging myself in every day. Take care x

            Like

            1. Aimee Beckett

              Morning,

              You sound just like I did, I lost a stone too I couldn’t eat if it wasn’t for my boyfriend making me eat tea I wouldn’t of ate at all! What do you do for work? I’m not working at the moment as I’m looking after my 15 month old baby, which was very hard when starting these tablets. Please keep me posted as to how your feeling, it’s good to speak to people

              Like

            2. Caroline Hall

              Morning Aimee, I feel hungry sometimes but the waves of nausea usually kick that into touch pretty sharply. I’m struggling to eat even the most basic of things; everything just tastes of nothing and it’s such an effort to chew. My work is part Personal Assistant, part mortgage cases, so I’m desk based a lot of the time. I do find myself “phasing out” occasionally and when I come to, I wonder how long I have been staring into space….probably not long! It must have been hard for you to look after your baby while you were suffering; I struggle looking after myself most days. I agree, it is good to talk. My situation is complicated and I’m wondering whether it would be an idea to get counselling. I have a check up with my GP on 7th April so I will see what they say then. In the meantime I shall try my best not to fall asleep at my desk today!! x

              Like

          1. Caroline Hall

            Hi Gari, I did thank you. She suggested upping the dosage, which seems to have calmed the nausea a bit this morning. Hopefully this will only last another week and I can go back to feeling more normal and less “removed” from my own body! As for smiling, well that takes energy I haven’t got right now, but I shall try! Take care x

            Liked by 1 person

  86. Gary flinn

    Hi everybody , I’m on day 17 of 20mg cit , still having awful nausea mainly in mornings which eases off slightly once I’ve eaten , still really dizzy and wobbling around and I’ve found my eyesight and concentration is shocking , watching TV seems pointless , can’t really exercise or walk much due to having m.s , even typing seems in slow motion , the anxiety has increased to the point where driving is a massive effort and the thought of going anywhere freaks me out , I was on trazadone , certraline and amitryptiline from January until starting on citalopram but nothing worked for my anxiety and depression ( suicide attempt in February ) really hoping these side effects ease off and things get better , I’ve been off work since December 23rd but want my life back !

    Like

  87. Tarryn

    31 and just took my first 20mg pill this morning. Feel like a space cadet with dilated eyes and tiredness. Was so out of it on the tube, like in a constant day dream. Have a full day at work tomorrow and seriously worried about taking my second pill in morning :(!! This has been helpful to get me out of the panic I felt when the drug kicked in mid afternoon. My doctor didn’t sayni would feel any of this.

    Like

  88. Hannah

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve been prescribed cipramil by a neurologist but I’m so afraid to start. I have always been hesitant and this will be my first lot of anti-depressants.

    Long story short – ive always been an anxious person but have been able to manage it in the past. In the last year, I have had a huge amount of stress with studying a uni degree full time, working full time, getting sick, relationship break down and two surgerys. Around this time, I woke up one day and lost my balance and have never been able to get it back again.

    I have tried everything and no one could tell me what was wrong. Due to this chronic dizziness, I have been depressed and anxious about living with this for a year with no relief or answers. The neurologist believes I have mal de debarquement syndrome which is apparently self healing but it has not been the case. Has anyone been prescribed anti depressants for dizziness? He thinks that my depression and anxiety may be fuelling this syndrome and my lack of recovery?

    I have been told to take 10mg of cipramil before bed for the first 1-2 weeks then up to 20mg for two weeks then to 40mg. However, im not seeing my neurologist for three months so I’m afraid to start these and I don’t understand why he would want to up my dosage without seeing what the low dose can do first?

    Like

      1. Hannah

        Hi ๐Ÿ™‚

        Thank you for the reply. I guess im just hesitant to trust anyone since nothing has cured me yet.

        In terms of the cipramil, I have read so many side effects that have freaked me out! I’m also afraid that once I start, I won’t be able to stop.

        How does the dosage work with side effects? Is it the stronger the dose the worse the side effects or less?

        Hannah

        Like

  89. So great to hear you talking about this in an all out manner. My family or boyfriend won’t accept it so I really feel the need to talk to people who understand. I’m not trying to be difficult or annoying, I just know I haven’t been myself for a long time and it upsets me. I can’t talk to anyone about it.

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  90. Bex

    I’m about 3 1/2 weeks into 10mg of citalopram daily.

    I was prescribed for stress and anxiety and despite being given the usual warning of you may get better before you get worse, I was shocked at how truly dreadful I felt. I can honestly say that without your, Gari, honest narrative of your experience, I wouldn’t have stuck it out. My experience pretty much mirrored your own, with horrendous days of despair , day 4 and day 8 for me, nausea and my first panic attack.

    My anxiety manifests itself as nausea so it was quite difficult, differentiating between that and side effects, I decided after 2 weeks to phone the GP and ask for something for the constant gnawing in my tummy. I was given prochlorperazine and what a difference they made, the nausea and anxiety lifted, and I felt great. Unfortunately they are a very short term drug and for my review I saw a different GP who didnt really believe that these tablets would have made the difference.

    At the moment I’m coming off the anti nausea tablets and still on 10mg Citalopram, my GP wont entertain upping the dose until 6 weeks. Im feeling pretty good, and can’t belive how bad I was feeling only 10 days ago. Thanks Gari, I couldnt have got there without your words. Forums are full of doom and gloom and poor advice. Yes it was awful, but I got through it.

    I only hope by adding my post and keeping this active, someone else in the same place as I was will get some comfort.

    Stay well Gari and everyone out there
    xx

    Like

  91. Molly

    Hey Gari!

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been dealing with depression for the last 12 years and it took everything in me to seek further treatment seeing as counseling could only help so much. I was feeling very ashamed about taking cit however your page and everyone’s comments have helped tremendously! It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this journey.

    I am on my 4th day of taking 20 mg and have been blessed with nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and insomnia. However reading your story and comments have changed me from feeling ashamed to very optimistic!

    I just wanted to stop by and say how grateful I am to have come across this forum. I know it has been some time since you wrote this so I hope my post finds you in good health! Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Freya

    Hi Gari,
    I just want to say a big thank you to you for writing this post and for being so good at responding to everyone. Im on day 10 of Cit and like others found the first few days very hard, with severe nausea, fatigue, hot flushes and some dizziness. Reading about yours and others success on this medications is so encouraging and i know the side effects will pass soon and the drug start tocdo its job.
    My only problem is that nausea in the morning is making it so hard fot me to eat qnd Ive lost several pounds this week alone. Is it worth going to the chemist for something to settle my stomach or do you think this effect will pass by the 2 week mark?
    Thanks again and i wish every happiness to you and all mthe others who havr posted here and who are struggling. X

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Freya

        Sorry to hear you’ve had a hard weekend Gari, I really do hope you feel better today and that you enjoy this week ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’ve just phoned the pharmacy about getting something to tone down the nausea, so in a few days this side effect should be a thing of the past. Your advice is very appreciated.
        Best wishes to everyone who is having hard days. We will all get better eventually!

        Liked by 1 person

  93. Michael C

    Hello Gari,
    I found this to be a helpful website/conversation. I started on 20mg of citalopram (Celexa) about 2 weeks ago and after 1 week went up to 40 mg. I was on citalopram for 8-9 years before switching to Cymbalta because I felt the citalopram wasn’t quite working anymore (although I wouldn’t say I was depressed, I just felt kind of blah or indifferent).

    After about a year on the Cymbalta I felt like I wasn’t getting enough energy, didn’t see a difference, and tried this new medication Brintellix for about 2 months (gave me absoultely NO side effects but didn’t do much for my condition) so my doctor recommended I try Zoloft. Zoloft ended up being extremely difficult for me to deal with because one of the side effects I got from it was insomnia. I finally asked my doctor to just go back to citalopram as I was on it for years and did very well on it.

    As weird as it is I am actually experiencing side effects this time around with the citalopram. My first time around I can’t remember experiencing any side effects so I was surprised to find that I am experiencing grogginess/fogginess, nausea, extreme dry mouth, and fatigue. I know it will take about another week or two (maybe more) to get through these start up side effects but I was wondering if anyone has been on citalopram before, stopped for an extended amount of time, and then went back on it and has had different experiences each time.

    Hope all is well!

    Like

  94. Sandra

    Hi Gari!

    So pleased to be reading all these comments and posts I took my first Citalopram on 11th September at 8pm, Saturday morning was hard, dry mouth, shaking, Nausea, Sunday was a lot better just a bit anxious driving to my nieces birthday party (was worried about the amount of people and the germs that the small ankle biters could have been carrying) but was fine once I got there. Monday morning was not good, managed to make it into work after having to really concentrate on not throwing up in the car and then battled through the day with a slightly wish washy head then came Monday 5:30pm ……. shaky, weak, washy head, nausea – remembered that I had not eaten much (lack of appetite) so forced down a nutty cereal bar…. 10 mins relief then bam more nausea, made it home with sweaty palms and plastic bag on my lap just in case, Ate some plain old pan fried potatoes ( about all i can face/stomach) felt better for an hour bam nausea again. Tuesday today and again nausea on the way into work and waves throughout the day, making sure i eat bland dry food with high protein to keep energy up and hopefully if its high in prot I will be able to eat little and and have more meals of a smaller quantity to help nausea. Hoping to sail through the next few days, but I doubt it very much :-/.

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  95. Yvonne

    Hi all,

    So after 18 months of citalopram 20mg I have decided ( with my doctors support ) to come off them.She has recommended coming off slowly so taking 10 mg every alternate day for 2 weeks then on to 10 mg for a month before seeing her again.

    I am having a return of a few of the side affects I saw when I started on my tablets,tight jaw,teeth grinding,insomnia.Has anyone else experienced this?

    Gari is there anything I should watch out for or be prepared for?

    Thanks in advance for any advice

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Sam

    Hi

    It’s been really useful reading others experience of taking Citalopram. I’m on day 6 and whilst I’ve been fortunate not to have much nausea, I am a total bag of anxiety with shakes,tearful (how can one person cry so much!) very tired, not sleeping and not feeling like me. That said I was very anxious before I was prescribed them so I suppose it’s not unexpected. If I could just get my mind to shut up I might get some peace.

    My anxiety and apparent depression stems from my job. The boss was imprisoned 7 weeks ago (we knew about the trial so it wasn’t a total surprise, but still very upsetting) and it turns out the business doesn’t have enough ยฃ to pay its debts. For a couple of weeks I was taking all the calls from angrier and angrier people and companies who weren’t getting paid. The new boss (his son) refused to handle any calls and the only thing he told me to say was that they’ll be paid ‘tomorrow’. Tomorrow came and you can guess what hadn’t happened, so there were more calls. I asked him on three occasions what I should say and would he please take some of the calls to take some of the load off me but he just shrugged his shoulders. I couldn’t eat or sleep for worrying about the next time the phone rang and all there was was me with no answers. I’m signed off sick (the new boss is ‘disappointed’ – I wonder if he’s taking any of those impossible calls now I’m not there?!) but know it’s highly unlikely they’ll bother paying me. I’m hoping the tablets help me feel better soon so I can regain some confidence so I can make inroads into getting a different job.

    Best wishes to everyone on this challenge.

    Like

    1. Yvonne

      Well done on taking the first steps to feeling better Sam.anxiety after a car crash is why I first started on citalopram.i struggled to switch my brain off too and found self meditation really helped ,it took a while to notice any difference but with practice it made a huge difference and still does to my sleeping too.i can recommend David fairweather online for a free download.Taking citalopram was the best thing for me at the time and once in my system has been brill at helping with my low mood and anxiety.good luck
      Yv x

      Like

      1. Sam

        Thank you for responding Yvonne, it’s really appreciated and I’m glad you found Citalopram helped.
        I will check out the David Fairweather download too.
        Thanks again, Sam x

        Like

  97. Victoria

    Hi so glad I came across this site!!! I suffer from paranoia anixety and depression all ways feel like I’m on a roller coaster waiting to fall of but I’ve had enough of the ups and downs so I’ve started taking 20mg cit and it’s made me yawn non stop made my paranoia worse and I feel on edge if I’m not concentrating on some thing I’m on my 3rd day and I’m worried about my paranoia getting worse as I spend most of the day on my own and I don’t want to be freaking out etc, can anyone shed some light for me please x

    Like

  98. Neil Clark

    Hi Gari – first, thanks for running this great site.

    As you pointed out in your opening script, there is a lot of negative stuff out there when it comes to Citalopram and SSRIโ€™s. That made me think too โ€“ if it is so bad, why do so many doctors prescribe it and why does it get a license?

    After many years suffering in silence, I decided to do something about my depression. In my case, this had developed to include anxiety (with bad stomach problems) and panic attacks.

    I started taking Citalopram 10 days ago (10mg = half tablet โ€“ I will up dosage to 20mg in two days) So far my experience has been largely positive. Of course, the side effects hit me after 3 days โ€“ nausea, diahorrea, loss of appetite, fatigue, restlessness, a long day in bed (day 4) etc. Also, the anxiety got slightly worse too. However, I was ready for this both mentally and physically. By this I mean I had cleared my schedule so I could be home if I felt unwell and I had aspirin, tummy calming drugs etc etc.

    10 days into the treatment and I feel great. I am more relaxed, sleep is starting to normalise itself, tiredness is reducing and best of all, my stomach feels 100 times better. Of course itโ€™s early days yet and I am expecting another little bump when I go up to 20mg but I couldnโ€™t be more pleased. I start CBT on Monday and for the first time in ages I feel in control and able to breathe out and relax.

    To anyone suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks I would say this (with the proviso that I am not a healthcare professional).

    – If you are prescribed Citalopram, give it a chance.
    – Accept that the first few days you will feel worse but just like bad weather, batten down the hatches and let it blow over.
    – Donโ€™t book up lots of work appointments or social activities for the first 2 weeks of medication. Ease back into these gradually.
    – Try to take the medicine at the same time every day (in my case morning, before breakfast)
    – During the initial 2 weeks do exactly as you feel โ€“ by this I mean, go at your own pace to your own schedule. If that means a day in bed, do it.
    – When your appetite returns (in my case, day 6) make sure you eat good, nutritious food.
    – Try to get some fresh air or exercise every day โ€“ good for mind and body!

    Believe me โ€“ things can and will get better.

    Love

    Neil

    Like

  99. Keith

    Hi Gari,

    Just wanting to see if you know of how safe it is to start Citalopram for a fourth time? I’ve had a bad experience with ADs and have recently tried to go on Cit again for the third time. I failed at 9 weeks then on 15 mg. It made me more depressed the last two weeks. It fired up on my first decrease, but had lost the plot with it and the doctor didn’t want to up and down doses. I went very slowly and started on 5 mg as I was so scared. I was taken off SSRIs far too fast after two years treatment. At three months I had the worst time and it tried to make me kill myself. So as you can see I’m very scared indeed. Most doctors have little idea of these reactions.

    I had herbal treatment which worked but unfortunately I was pushed off these by my withdrawal group. I have a head injury too which means I have problems. I tried to go back on herbs two years later but could not tolerate them this time. I have become very sensitive.

    So my question basically is how many times can you restart Cit. My research says its more unpredictable each time started,

    So your very Anxious!!

    Keith

    Like

  100. Liz

    Hi Gary, wow is all I can say, I restarted citalopram 8 days ago and have had the usual side effects, dry mouth, nausea, anxiety, flushes extreme tiredness , but everyday I’ve re-read what you have written and you will never know how much you have helped me, I’m going up to 20mg tomorrow , I’ve just decided if I’m going to have side effects then I may as Well get it over and done with, I had 5 years on these before and lived a normal anxiety free life, I’m hoping to get there again, I wish I had never stopped them in the first place x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aimee Beckett

        Hello gari I haven’t spoke on here for a while
        As of tomorrow I will be of citralopram feeling quite nervous to have withdrawals symptoms but I just found when on them I suffered anxiety and panic but never suffered in my life wit anything like that beforehand so I want to come of them now fingers crossed

        Like

      2. Liz

        Day 15 gari, feeling quite jittery and still using diazepam, quite a few side effects have worn off, still sleeping lots, heightened anxiety, have a very annoying post nasal drop, but after investigating its to do with acid reflux, probably all the fizzy water I’m drinking, so I’m on the still stuff and mints today, hope you don’t mind me messaging, always find your words reassuring for some reason, regards Liz x

        Like

          1. Aimee

            Hi gari, have you ever come of these tablets or as anyone else??? I’m really struggling with the side effects of coming off these to the tablets I really wish I never took them these haven’t been good for me I was a complete mess for the first month of taking them an now I am coming off them just isn’t worth it… I haven’t been out the house for 2 weeks as when I’m stood up I’m that dizzy I be sick, I can’t eat sleep focus and I have a 2 year old it’s hard work I’m at the doctors later hopefully they can give me fine thing for the dizzyness

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            1. Yvonne

              Hi Aimee,I too am in the process of coming off my tablets.you don’t mention you dosages but I was on 20 mg and went to 10 mg one day 20 mg the next for two weeks then onto 10 mg everyday which I am still on now after a month.i had a few small side effects,Tight jaw teeth grinding and a bit of insomnia but all in all not to bad but it has been a VERY gradual process under the watch of my GP.Hope this helps

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Aimee

              Hi Yvonne I was on 20mg they then put me on 10mg for 2 weeks an then nothing my doctor wasn’t going to taper me he just said to stop them but I was too scared ha I’m about to Keane for the doctors shortly but finding it difficult as when I stand up I feel like I can’t open my eyes an have to walk there with my 2 year old !! Xx

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            3. Liz

              Hi hun, I came off them in June, took me 4 months, 3 months later I’m now on day 15 of going back on them, should never has stopped, major major crash and back to square one, if it takes just one little tablet a day to help me lead a normal life then I accept that, sending love and hugs xx

              Like

            4. Aimee

              Hi Liz, they just weren’t good for me I think I was put on them too fast I had a bad week or two an doc put me on them, I suffered terribly with side effects an anxiety I never suffered with anxiety before hand whilst on them I was still s bit up an down at times but when I went out with my friends I couldn’t have a drink cos I found I got really bad head aches an anxiety came back I’m only 23 an didn’t want all that so took the step to come of them an will never go back on citalopram again that’s just my personal experience on them though xx

              Like

  101. Yvonne

    I really feel for you.i don’t know how I would have coped with a 2 year old!Are you getting enough sleep?you do need to speak to your doc though to rule out anything else ,like ear infections or anaemia etc that might be making you feel dizzy .Hope you feel better soon ๐Ÿ˜•

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yvonne

        Aw poor you!i had vertigo a long time and it’s horrible!Hope the tablets kick in quick and stop the “standing on a boat ” feeling.good luck with coming off the citalopram

        Like

  102. Keith

    Being dizzy is part of withdrawal as Doctors take people off these pills way too fast. The best way to try and avoid this is to wean at a much slower pace! Very slow is the best to save your body from the shock. Good luck

    Liked by 1 person

  103. Liz

    Day 15, woke up and decided regardless of side effects I need to be positive, my first full day out of bed, still just relaxing, I’m finding reading very relaxing, No diazepam today woohoo, still no appetite, so spent the day sucking polos and drinking boiling water which has kinda settled my tummy, hubby bless him made me a chip butty tonight and I actually ate it, wicked heartburn now but at least I ate, tomorrow is another day, I’ve decided to just accept the side effects and the panics and ignore them because i know they will pass, I even walked the dog to the shop tonight, sending love to all and hopefully I can have a similar day tomorrow, going to try get to matalan, I need a winter coat, it’s cold up north lol , much love Liz xx

    Like

  104. Liz

    Day 17 today feeling horrible, side effects have changed, awful heartburn, bloated tummy, still really tired, but getting out of bed at least, anxiety has worn down but finding myself now getting anxious about side effects, went to the local walk in centre yesterday, seems to think I’ve had a bug or something too, feeling really down x

    Like

  105. Hi Gari thank you for this post. I had a bad first day on sertraline a month ago and didn’t take another one but then I got prescribed 10 mg of cit. They’re still sitting in my cupboard! I have 3 kids to look after, luckily my two eldest are in school all day but I have an 8 month old to watch. My husband works all day and my family are abit preoccupied with my brother who tried to kill himself a few weeks ago. So im terrified to take them because il have nobody to help with the baby if I’m poorly because of side effects. I feel quite stuck. My anxiety started a year ago when my father in law died of a cardiac arrest quite suddenly. It gave me health anxiety with my heart and a few months after the birth of my baby I started getting skipped heartbeats which didn’t help. Anyway I started taking magnesium for this as advised by a cardiologist. They help sometimes and I decided to close that book and get on with life but the day after my brother tried to commit suicide. Which sent me spiralling backwards and now my anxiety is about MY mental health. Because now I worry il end up getting to his point even though he has alot more issues than me. I’m on a waiting list for cbt and I don’t really know what my question is. My sleep is normally good but for the past week I’ve been waking way too early and this morning I was awake half the night. I just don’t know what to do. I wake up with a knot in my stomach every single morning but by evening it’s like I never felt anxious at all its weird.

    Like

    1. Aimee

      Hi snuggabug,
      I had to reply to you as you sound in an awful position an when I started taking the tabs my little girl was a similar age an it was so so hard to look after her with the way I was feeling, have you ever tried anything herbal?

      I have a cousin who sounds like your brother an this is what happened to me I was so scared I would end up in her position that when the doctor offered me the tablets I just took them! You sound as if you suffer more with anxiety than depression can’t you go on a beta blocker I had propanalol which had none of the side effects that these citalopram have- Ive been off them now for over 2 weeks as I didn’t like what they did to me I felt numb not there my anxiety crept up j never even suffers with it before hand these tabs just aren’t for me – you are already getting anxiety about taking them what I’d recommend before trying these with your little one is maybe a beta blocker or somethings herbal and counselling to get you through it if that doesn’t work then go on to the anti depressant I just wish I never jumped into taking them you have such a hard 6 weeks when first going on them then a hard time coming off them, it’s not right what they do to your body they messed my head up so much. In glad to be clear of all prescription drugs my little girl is nearly 2 now an I’m staying focussed on her don’t get me wrong next week I might sit there an have a cry or feel down or fed up etc but that’s life now for me an I have to come to terms with it please please do not suffer on your own- I know we don’t know each other but at times talking to people you don’t know helps my email is aimeebeckett@live.com email me personally I’ll happily talk take care Hun xx

      Liked by 1 person

  106. Ell

    I had been on this med 10g this time last year as I suffer for Health Anxiety. I had a bad virus and then appointments turned up for health checks and they hit me for six. I also feel sick most of the morning, but in the evenings I manage to eat and I do settle down a lot. Manage to get to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. But I only manage to sleep for about 5 hours then I am wide awake and the irritability starts and then the sick feeling. I big problem is that I am the shopper in the house and the thought of going food shopping makes me feel even sicker! So my son and I ended up with a lot of takeaways. I was worried about feeling sick and also the fact that I couldn’t eat much mad me worry even more. Vicious circle formed. well its all kicked off again for me. But I was aware of it coming on this time and fortunately managed to get a Dr appointment quickly. He put me back on the same dose and the same symptoms are with me yet again. The boredom sets in too and day time tv rules! last year I missed out on xmas as I hadn’t prepared, but this year I had all my cards and gifts sorted in Nov.

    Like

    1. Aimee Beckett

      Eli I had to comment back to you as everything you said sounds exactly how I was I’m of them though now an feeling better still get the restlessness in my legs mainly but only been of them for around 3-4 weeks.. I suffer with worry all the time I panic about things! Mainly health, but everyday when I was on the tablets I woke up thinking am I going to feel funny today cos I did most days if I touched alcohol I felt funny if I took certain meds I did too so I just wanted to strip it all back an try herbal way?? Would you not like to try this ?

      Like

  107. Dee

    This has been a brilliant thread. I’ve just started taking Cit and am on my 4th day. Decided NOT to read the side effects or google anything and just ‘hit it’. Googled today because of how crappy I was feeling and found your post Gari….brilliant.
    I keep going out no matter how crappy I feel even if it’s just for an hour or 2. Have been dozing during the day, especially after my ‘outings’.
    After reading these posts, hopefully I’ll be settled better within the next couple of weeks. Keeping PMA and have told my best friend and husband that I may have suicidal thoughts as this has happened in the past…but at least I ‘manned up’ and told them instead of suffering in silence.
    All I can say is tell your nearest and dearest, some will support you others may back off but this is because they don’t know how to handle the situation.
    Onwards and upwards peeps ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  108. Stary

    Interesting stuff all round. I been on ct for last 9 months after years of on/off depression with some big gaps but then bhamm. 48 now and all of a sudden when thinking of coming off them next week get hit by a bullshit teacher support plan at work. Advice please. I know work is far from everything and I could easily sell up and live in a cheap but beautiful place such as rural Spain or Scotland or Iceland but not plan for now!!

    Liked by 1 person

  109. Helen

    Hi Gari, Thank you so much for writing such a helpful post. you have really put my mind at rest. I was constantly googling trying to find information on this subject, and I came across your post. I have been taking Chloroplast for 2 and 1/2 weeks and just starting to feel the benefits. I have been through some nasty side effects but I think I m getting there. I to was feel very nausea and really off my food and started to worry the Doctor had missed something. So finding this has really put my mind at rest. Thanks you once again.

    Like

  110. laurenannlouch

    Hi,

    I’ve just spent the last hour reading through this post & comments. I’ve been on 20mg citalopram for 5 weeks now for anxiety & panic attacks. I think I have a bit of post natal depression too which I feel was brought on by the anxiety etc. I have a 2 year old son who was diagnosed with epilepsy before his 1st birthday and have given birth to a baby girl 3 months ago, we had a lot of issues to begin with her feeding and she was diagnosed with a cows milk allergy and reflux. Safe to say there’s been a lot going on in my life the past 2 years!!

    I feel like I’m not getting anywhere with these tablets, I have read that it can take between 6-8 weeks to work so I’m praying I feel better soon. Doc prescribed me another 10mg which would up my dose to 30mg, I was a bit nervous to increase and have been putting doing so off for a week now as I had awful side effects when first taking citalopram. I feel reassured about upping my dose after reading the comments on here so will start my new dose tomorrow.

    I’m glad I found this post! Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Like

  111. Kelly

    Hiya..

    I’m only 21, and my new therapist has told me I have anxiety and panic disorder, and it’s been making me depressed as I’ve had it since I was very young. He said its probably inherited.
    It’s triggered by a phobia of sickness and vomiting, so if anyone around me is, I panic. If I feel even the tiniest bit off, I will panic. That’s if I’m feeling bloated or with heartburn or intergestion, if I feel any kind of nausea, I will panic and hurt myself. I am so so afraid of being sick. I mean, just an hour ago I had a panic and for the first time I tried using a knife (fortunately I only cut the skin twice).. I felt so horrible for myself after.
    I really feel like I need this medication, but I am petrified, I can’t stand.. those symptoms. Every time I tried reading the leaflet I’d panic.
    I understand that the symptoms will differ for each person.. but my anxiety is making me think the worst, and I know vomiting isn’t one of the super common side effects, but nausea is. And if I feel nausea, I will suffer big time with panic. I don’t know if I can go through with that..
    I’m also in my third year of university, my dissertation is due in 3 weeks. I’m so scared.. I’ve had so many breakdowns over the past two days, and with no friends (my whole life of being antisocial due to my issues) I don’t know who I can get to help me.

    Like

      1. Kelly

        I’m very afraid Gari, usually when I panic I use my nails to calm myself, or if I’m holding something then maybe I’d use that (cutlery, bottles, hot drinks burn if I accidentally squeeze the cup)
        what should I do that could reduce any nausea?
        I’ve been told to take the medication after breakfast at the same time each day, but there are days when I’m at work early and may not get it perfect.
        Thank you for responding so quickly, I’m very concerned and I’m feeling very very anxious about taking the first dose. It’s only a 10mg right now, oral drops as I can’t swallow tablets whole.

        Like

  112. Lisa

    Just wanted to reach out to Kelly. I’m a fellow Emetophobic (vomit phobia), there are many of us about, you aren’t not alone. I used to behave as you describe. Huge avoidance behaviours with any hint of illness around me. Avoidedshellfish, over cooked meat, stuck to use by dates, avoid alcohol, avoid drunk people, for years avoided contact with small children and postponed having a family of my own due to fears around morning sickness. Madness eh? CBT helped A LOT. Especially in combinAtion with citalapram. I still have challenges but can not tell you how improved I am. I have my own children now and am fully there for them when they have sickness (I know just how horrifying that thought will be to you, but just know i was exactly where you are but improvement IS possible I promise) Life can, and will improve.

    I avoided these meds for many years as I feared the same as you, the dreaded nausea side effect. Many do not feel this symptom, but yes, some do. I admit I did. But personally, I had reached a very rock bottom place in anxiety symptoms and needed a certain way to beat it. I pushed through with support and once your body adjusts, the nausea goes and your thoughts…. Clearer somehow and much more ‘balanced’.

    I wish you much luck with whatever you decide. I hope you find peace. It is possible. Even if not through citalapram this time. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelly

      Hello Lisa,

      Thank you soso much for this reply, I’m struggling so much. I’ve had this phobia nearly all my life, so I have no social life because of avoidance. My family won’t take me out for meals, and I can’t even eat around them anymore because my anxiety will trigger and I’ll upset them.
      I think I will start taking the medicine, so do you think I need to take time off work for the first few weeks or do you think I will be OK? And.. was you actually sick? What did you do about the nausea? It must’ve been hard.. any tips?
      I really appreciate it, I’m very anxious about this. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lisa

        Hi kelly,

        Glad to help, if only do you know you aren’t in any way alone. It’s so very hard isn’t it. Had mine since childhood. So restrictive and can be isolating ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        My GP was very understanding regarding the nausea worry I had when discussing trying citalapram. He prescribed a low dose at 10mg, then raising to 20mg, which is the dose I have stayed at. In all it took 6 weeks to get up to 20 mg. I have heard since that it is possible to start on 5mg even and go from there.

        I was not physically sick in any way when I began taking the meds.

        I found, with citalapram that I was fine for the first three days on 10mg. No noticeable symptoms. On day four I guess the dose built up in my system and I felt a dry mouth and light nausea. For the nausea I sucked on lemon drops or nibbled extra strong mints. Both help digestion naturally. I also used travel sickness wrist bands, which really helped! It will be strange to say, but the nausea isn’t like illness nausea. It’s like pregnant nausea – which is where you feel a bit sickly at times, but can eat and you know you aren’t going to be sick (hard to relate to if you haven’t been pregnant lol). As Gary advised, definitely take it in the morning and after done food. That helped greatly. Day 4-10 had nausea waves and my anxiety thoughts/panic DID increase temporarily, but was prepared for that and remembered it was citalapram related and rode it out. Day 11 normal. Day 12 starting to feel relief from anxiety!

        Hard to say about planning to take time off. You may be absolutely fine ๐Ÿ˜Š I did restrict my own activities and responsibilities for that first week I remember.

        You can get through it, I do know how very petrifying the initial thought is. Just keep thinking how very much you want things to change xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Kelly

          Yourself and Gari have been so supportive. I just want to thank you so much, I think I feel a little bit better. I’ll make sure I have lemon drops with me. I hear that ginger biscuits are good for that kind of nausea too, so they’ll probably be my snack over the days 4-10. I trust your experience.. and I hope to get better soon.
          I am so happy with the quick response plans service on this website, having so many people on here with experience. I’ll keep you all updated when I start taking them. It’s a staring dose of 10mg, so hopefully it’ll be OK. Thank you so much.

          Liked by 1 person

  113. OnceOnTheGo7

    Hello! I am new to this whole anxiety/panic feeling of doom lifestyle. I’ve always been a person who thrives in chaos. I work in social services field supporting those with mental,physical, and intellectual disabilities as well as brain injuries so no two days are the same. I’m usually on the go-go and typically like change. When I did have alone time I enjoyed being at home alone with the kids while my husband worked and loved the two hours at night where it was “me’ time. Recently we moved and I had to leave a job I loved and we have had quite alot of changes one after another causing alot of stress on us. We’ll here I am without my family and friends and bam! One day I experience what I know now is a panic attack. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I have since have about 7 in the past 3 weeks because I think I now have scared myself into having panic attacks because of my fear of experiencing another one. My mom suffers with panic disorder and started in her 30s, now she doesn’t leave her home. Anyways I starting getting scared to be alone and panicking every night my husband was at work and for the first time I went to the doctor in 8 years. He was an awesome Dr and let me know some of my back and chest pains were related to a rib that was swollen and dislogged but told me to take 20 mg of citrolapam to help. He knew my weariness of meds but said I’m wearing too many hats and need to relax. He also prescribed me lorazopam which makes me nervous on top.of everything. Your blog had helped me to relax a bit. I’m on day 2 but my jitterness is the worst makes my anxiety intensify but I’m too nervous to take the lorazopam. . Anyway long post sorry, it felt good to get out. Thank you for the positivity on this page and I hope you are doing well with your health encounters!!!

    Like

    1. Keith

      Hello there, I just read your post. Have you looked into a Medical herbalist? It could save you from all these meds. They all have down sides. I had a herbalist a few years ago after coming of Ciprolex, and a couple of years of antidepressants. They worked great, but take a bit more time to work. Best news you can stop many of the anxiety herbs in one day. St Johns wort you need to stop slowly, but the other herbs I had I just stopped.

      Liked by 1 person

  114. Kelly

    Hiya again Gari /Lisa,

    I avoided the dose today, but I’m certain I need it to improve, I’m always feeling nauseous anyway due to my anxiety and ibs, so hopefully I won’t feel any different?
    I’ve just sat and read through all the comments, and it seems the symptoms mainly affects those taking 20mg. I’ll only be taking 10, too afraid to go up. I was thinking, is OK if I start with 5mg?
    I’m going to be taking an oral solution with drops of 2mg, and I’ve been told to take 4 drops daily. It says I can take in water or fruit juice, does that mean I should do it that way or do I have to apply to my tongue?
    I’ve also bought ginger tea and lemon drops, and a stomach settler with paracetamol. I’ve been feeling awfully anxious today about taking it, but I feel like its something I have to do.

    Like

      1. Kelly

        Thank you Gari

        Reading the comments, I’ve found that the higher dosage people start at the worse it is.. so I guess it might be worth a shot?
        I struggle to swallow a pill, and especially if it’s something I have to take every day, this liquid might work better for me. I’m going to start with 5mg after breakfast tomorrow. I’m at work from 6am, but I’ll probably taking it around 10-11am.
        Thank you for all the reassurance, I’ll try my best. Also, well done for winning against your tumor! That’s very impressive. And thank you for accepting my facebook request, I’ll keep in touch on here though so I can leave my experience like everyone else.

        Like

  115. Kelly

    Hello everyone

    Figured I’d keep myself updated on here, so here goes nothing.
    I’m on my 3rd night of being on 5mg.. I know it’s a tiny baby dose but my phobia frightened me so much to start small. I’m planning on going up to 10 on Monday.
    I took my first dose of liquid citalopram with a glass of apple juice after eating two slices of toasted teacakes at work. Needless to say I was very anxious. About an hour after, I got chest pains (could be heartburn) and a light headache. I was able to eat all day, despite having on and off nausea.
    Day too was very similar.
    Day three so far has been slightly more nauseating, and I’ve definitely been more tired. Throughout the duration of the time so far, I’ve felt like absolute poop. And I’m only on 5mg, I can see why people suffer so much starting with 20mg.
    I’ve still been getting anxiety and panic attacks, but I’m not expecting that to change for a while till I’ve upped my dose.
    Staring with 5mg has been alright, however I realise the light symptoms will keep going when I up my dose. I’m just looking forward to getting better one day.
    Good luck to everyone, and thanks again for the feedback! I’ll keep you updated when I go to 10mg, then who knows, maybe I’ll end up on 20 in a few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. Leanne

    Hi everyone

    So I just wanted to share my experience. So I started on 10mg for a few days and was upped to 20mg which I have been on for a few months now. My side effects at the beginning were pretty horrific as I was on sleeping pills to help me get through the night. But amazingly things levelled out after a few weeks and I’ve been feeling great and sleeping well.
    Unfortunate a friend has just recently passed away and my sister has just suffered a miscarriage and it has really knocked me and I feel my anxiety is back. Can this likely level out again or would you think it best to discuss upping my dose with my gp?

    Thanks everyone

    Like

      1. Leanne

        My only thing is it’s only been today really that I felt anxious so I might wait a few days and see if it stabilises again. Is it normal to have the odd bad day? Just don’t want to rush into upping my dose of having some bad news can make you have the odd bad day?
        Thanks again

        Like

  117. Bramwell

    Hi Gari,

    I’ve been reading your site with great interest. It’s been of much help to me.
    I thought readers might like to know what happened to me.

    I’ve been taking 10mg Citalopram for swallowing anxiety for just over eight weeks. I was slightly anxious but not depressed at all.
    I was a fit guy hitting the gym three or four times a week and walking my dog three or four miles through woodland. Although overweight my doctor confirmed before I started on the pills I was a ‘very healthy individual’. Oh how things have changed!

    I never felt the Citalopram really went that well with ever increasing side effects such as ever present nausea and no appetite at all.
    I’ve now lost 2.5 stone over the course of the time and become very dehydrated. My doctor has been aware as I’ve been ringing in to the surgery for advice and reassurance. And did I need reassurance after throwing up once again after a very small light meal!
    The first three weeks into taking the Citalopram weren’t too bad and I did think although my physical symptoms were quite uncomfortable my my mind felt brighter.
    This all changed by week four where I can only describe myself as ‘going down’. Any brightness disappeared and I felt sick all the time. My doctor said push on through it’s just side effects so I kept on taking the pills.

    The culmination was last Saturday night about 8pm – just over my eight weeks into taking the pills.
    I started retching and vomiting what little I’d managed to eat (I’d had increasingly bad sessions of this before but was told it was ‘start up’)!. I had the biggest panic attack I’ve ever had and started pacing round the house like some caged animal. Then I started drooling beside the retching and pacing and hic-cuping violently!
    This carried on through the evening and into the night. I couldn’t sit still and just kept retching deep from my gut.
    My wife was so worried she called 111 at 3am with me still retching, drooling and pacing/panicking.
    The doctor rang back at 4am and said it was undoubtedly a severe reaction to the Citalopram building up in my body and to stop taking them.
    I was still bad at 9am the next day so 111 was called again and the doctor (a different one) confirmed the diagnosis of basically Citalopram poisoning and to stop taking them. He prescribed some anti-nausea pills which my wife picked up which barely helped.

    I spoke to my own doctor on Monday morning and he said without doubt DO NOT take any more pills, so I’m now going cold turkey which, quite frankly is horrendous with constant retching and sickness. I can barely keep down liquids let-alone any food.

    I’m also now finally down for counselling which is what I wanted in the first place but the doctor was insistent that Citalopram was the way to go.

    I write this as a warning. As I said above, about three weeks in taking the pills I knew something was wrong. Any brightness I felt in my mind disappeared and the side effects continued to get worse.
    I never got any kind of mental ‘break through’ and just felt worse and worse every week.
    I never ever want to feel like I did Saturday night again and and was quite sure I would either pass out and be hospitalised or go completely mad.

    If I know now what I did eight weeks ago when a pretty healthy guy was prescribed Citalopram I would’ve put them straight in the bin!
    I will NEVER take any anti-depressant again!

    Like

  118. Becky

    Hi Gari, thanks for this post, so helpful. I’ve just been given 20mg citalopram for depression and anxiety after a few traumatic events and current stress. I tried mirtazapine first but really didn’t get on with it, so I’m on day 3 of citalopram. The side effects are surprisingly intense, I was very nauseated indeed yesterday, a bit today but not as bad but zero appetite at the moment.
    After my first tablet, I woke up in the night with the most intense anxiety ever…really odd. The weirdest thing was I want sure what I was so stressed over, I can normally pin point it at least. I was similar all day, again slightly better now.
    I woke up and felt really low this morning which was odd as I don’t think of myself as suffering from depression, in the sense that I’m not sad all the time, just sporadically and I’m finding some things hard and employing avoidance tactics to distract myself, but getting myself out of bed this morning was really tough.
    Hoping things carry on getting better!

    Like

  119. Kelly

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been about a month and a half now of taking Citalopram.
    I started off taking 5mg for a week, then upping to 10mg for a further two weeks. Symtoms were simply just feeling like a pile of poo, feeling drained and tired, a little depressed, i guess i felt a little nauseous, but it wasnt enough to stop me eating.
    After that, I had a severe panic attack and was taken to hospital, where I was prescribed 20mg Citalopram tablets and 40mg Propanolol tablets. That was two and a half weeks ago.
    I crush the tablet and drink it down after breakfast (commonly taken around 11am-1pm, as my daily schedule changes), id rather take it in the morning, so then i can sleep okay at night, as i get headaches a little after taking them. So far, i’ve had a few panic attacks, and the anxiety seems to be going down? i mean, i think i’m feeling better since the beginning. They’re honestly not as bad as id thought they’d be.
    I wish anyone luck when taking them, as everyone reacts differently. So far, i’m doing well with them, so please give them a shot, they seem to really help. (Half a year ago, i’d have a panic attack every day. Now, i get them maybe 3 times a week?) Also, start therapy. it helps having someone to talk to, who doesnt know anyone you know (more private and personal).

    Liked by 1 person

  120. Thank you for this boost in sanity. I took citalopram for 6 years a while back and now after a slight relapse I am back on them again. This time was completely different and I’ve been through hellish symptoms over the last 2 weeks first with the nausea and drowsiness and now with the rubbish sleep pattern (it’s 3am…yay!) but this post made me less worried about it all. I hope to add to the awareness once I’m a little better ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jess @ http://www.juicyyyjesss.co.uk

    Like

  121. Hi Gari, thanks for keeping this post open to new comments. It’s been a really big help in my journey on Citalopram.

    I started 7 days ago (gp prescribed this for major depression) and I’ve been so super lucky in that I’ve not had any nausea associated with the pills or anything.

    I was really worried about going on any SSRI’s because I ride a motorbike into London for work. It’s a really challenging journey and I was so worried if my head wasn’t focused then I’d have an accident .

    Luckily if anything I fell after 4 days my mind is sharper. And I’ve been alot more relaxed on the road. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My main side effects have been jaw clenching, yawning excessively in the first 4 days and broken sleep. I’m waking up around 3 every morning but can go back fine and am not tired in the morning anymore.

    I’m also having wild dreams but I did before and I rather enjoy them! I also felt fidgety but it wasn’t notable to others. I’ve been taking my pill at 7.30 in the evening as I have to wake up at 5am and this seems to be a good time for me.

    Anyway I just wanted to share my experience. I already feel like a much more relaxed and calm individual. I’m able to confront people about behaviour that upsets me whereas before I just couldn’t.

    Just hoping if my dose gets up’d it will be smooth sailing. Thank you to everyone that has shared their story. I know it’s helped me a ton. X

    Like

  122. JO

    So glad I found this!
    I’m 5 days in … 10mg for first week, then onto 20mg.
    For the past 5 years I’ve been denying depression and anxiety, and finally after what I can only call a breakdown, I saw my GP. I’ve had a lot going on over the past 8 years or so, I lost both my parents, my eldest child is in trouble with the law, and at the start of this year my marriage finally broke down.
    I’ve always been a private person person, and so when trouble strikes I keep it to myself and plod on. I did receive some helpful counselling following my fathers death, but apart from that, I’ve struggled on putting a brave face on to everyone around me. Admitting I’m not well and giving in was a bit of a revelation for me and I took my first pill without hesitation. All I want to do is feel happy.
    I suppose I’m just unlucky with the side effects – feel sick all day, have no appetite, extreme tiredness, hot and sweaty, but the worst is the increased anxiety. Within an hour of taking my pill I find myself really tense, sweaty, pacing up and down, and just feeling down right dreadful. It’s helpful to know that this will ease with time, but when you’re in that hell it doesn’t feel that way. I just keep telling myself “it gets worse before it gets better”
    I’ve been signed off work for a week, but feel I may need a bit longer than that. I’m not sure how that’s going to go down with my employer, so that’s not helping with the anxiety! I don’t want to have to tell them my private business at all and my illness is not related to my job. I find myself worrying about this more than anything. I cant do anything about my personal life-what will be will be, but I’m stressing about my job.
    My GP thinks I would benefit from one to one counselling, but I’m finding that difficult to access. There are waiting lists in my area. I know when I get back to work I’ll probably be referred to occupational health, but I really don’t want to have to tell my employer what’s going on.
    I suppose “over-stressing” is a side effect too, I’m only 5 days in.

    Like

    1. Neil

      Hang in there Jo. The initial side effects are no fun but they eventually get better. I am 9 months in now and am so glad I started taking this medicine even if it made me a little worse before I started to get better. It’s a marathon not a sprint – don’t lose sight of that.

      Neil

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JO

        Thank you both Gari and Neil for your replies. I’ve had a really crap day today, but hopeful that things will get better! I shall ride the storm. I’m due to increase to 20mg on Thursday, bit anxious about that, but will see how it goes. If I’m not ready to go back to work next week, that’s just tough – I need to focus on getting well.
        Thanks again

        Like

  123. Ali

    Gari brilliant job with this blog – super useful for those of us that need to talk about this damned drug Cit!! I have been on Cit twice before for anxiety and slight depression and for some reason after 4 years on it I decided to taper off very slowly last year. Done in conjunction with my doctor I might add. Seems it may not have been the best idea as 5 months in and I have dipped down again – negative thought pattern / panic etc and decided I had to give the tabs a go again. As with these things I have still got the memories of the awful first few weeks when the meds are taking effect….so yesterday was day 1 on 10mg. I should have remembered what to expect but my goodness it came back to bite me!! Sweating profusely and feeling like my hair was standing on end, lack of appetite, racing heart – all at work during an important conference call!! Thankfully it passed and I made it through the rest of the day ok and slept pretty well last night. Am about to take day 2’s dose and then take on the day and whatever it brings. I am fearful but having been here before I know the eventual positives far out way the negatives so am feeling positive. Have a lovely day all and thanks again Gari for a great blog!

    Like

      1. Lisa

        Hi
        I’m on day 13 of 20mg of cit. I have been on them before but can’t remember the side effects. This time I had yawning and lost appetite.i find that I’m having a good day and the next a bad day. I suffer with severe anxiety. Is this normal to have good and bad days.really just want to be me again.

        Lisa

        Like

  124. Lisa

    Hi I have been reading all the comments and found some good advice on here. I started 20mg of cit 13 days ago. Had some side affects like yawning and not being able to eat.these went fairly quickly but now I’m finding that I have a good day and then a bad day. I suffer from severe anxiety and this is the third time I have been on these meds but I forget each time I go back on them just how long it takes me to feel me again.i asked the Dr if I could go up to 30mg but she feels it’s to soon.
    Lisa

    Like

    1. Keith

      Hi Lisa, Wow 13 days and your getting relief. I’m sure it will get better soon, try not to up the dose as it’s best to be on a lower dose if possible. Good luck x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lisa

        The first time I went through this I was on 40mg of cit and trazadone at night.also propranolol. I feel that I should be on 30mg now. Just each time I go through this I always feel like how can I get through it again. I know I will but it’s so hard at the beginning. Luckily I’m sleeping well and work have been supportive. I have been off the last 2 weeks. It’s been great reading people’s experiences on here as it gives me hope
        Lisa

        Liked by 1 person

  125. Dave

    I took Citalopram last year for 3 months. Came off them and i was normal again. No problem. My depression has returned with a vengeance and Im straight back on 20mg. Day two and Im feeling VERY sick, bad head, and ready to end it all. Came close too today but i have a friend coming to stay with me. should be here in about an hour. Im just bursting into tears with real bad attacks. Please someone tell me its normal.

    Like

  126. Lisa

    Hi Gari, I’m so pleased I found this site. I have been taking 10 mg for 7 days now.. This morning horrendous sickness I couldn’t move from my bed. But as the day has gone on that has worn off… However I am shaking /tremors. I also have the added worry of loosing more hair than usual so of course that is making me anxious alone… I’m really hoping for a miracle ( I have been on cit before years ago).

    Like

    1. Dave.

      Awwww. Stick with it. Im week 2 now after restarting them. Yes. Morning was worst for me too. I was ready to throw myself out of the nearest window last week every morning. Real tremors, tears, panic attacks and sickness first thing in the morning til about 10-11ish. It has passed now. Have you got anyone staying with you.? I was lucky to have someone come and stay with me for 3 days and it saw me through the worst. Im still taking 10mg. My GP said to take 20mg but Im fine taking half the tablet. Keep going. It will pass. Im taking them for depression and slight OCD and Im better on them than off.

      Like

      1. Lisa

        Hi Dave, I live with my partner and son. I’m trying my best to hide it from my son as he is worried enough.And my partner doesn’t understand and doesn’t seem interested in trying to.I know exactly that feeling of wanting to jump out of the window. It’s very hard to keep going.xx

        Like

        1. Dave.

          Sometimes it can be hard for close family members to be supportive especially if they have never had any reason to take this sort of medication in the past. Really, Stick with it. The strong side effects will pass. the panic attacks will not be so bad and the strong feeling of a hangover will pass too. Im afraid you MUST make sure you are eating decent food even if you are not eating the sort of meals you would normally. Make sure you keep your fluids up too. I felt very dehydrated the first week.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Lisa

            I am trying to eat but the last 4 weeks of no appetite has taken its toll. Thankyou for your reply and words of encouragement,it’s very reassuring to know people have gone through the same. Xx

            Like

  127. Lisa

    Thank you for your reply, yes it did work before unfortunately this time round I am much worse. I can honestly say I don’t remember any side effects when I took them the first time.x

    Like

    1. Dave.

      No kidding, I have lost 12kg.!! Dropped from 100kg to 88kg in 4 weeks. Probably not a bad thing either but the eating thing will improve and you wont have the stomach cramps. I thought my GP must be madder than me to be dishing out these tablets but really, stick with it. if the side effects/symptoms are still strong after 2 weeks, go back to your GP. Some people report taking other medication to help with stomach cramps

      Like

  128. Lisa

    Hi, well I thought over the weekend as I was feeling good and even went to the cinema… Things were looking up. But I have increased the dose 4 days ago and feel like I did last week… Shaking anxiety through the roof spent the morning in bed ๐Ÿ˜ฆ please tell me this is normal and soon should pass. X

    Like

    1. Dave

      yes. My GP put my dose up and the same thing happened to me. It was like being back to square one. Im happy taking 10-15mg per day. (one to one and a half tablets) Seems to work fine for me. Anything higher just mucks me up. !! Best thing you can do is go back to your GP and ask why they put your dose up. I deffo dont want to tell you to take less. Go back to your GP and ask about your dose.

      Like

  129. Berny

    Hi Gari. Thanks so much for this blog, and for keeping it going. My GP suggested I try citalopram alongside CBT and counseling to help with increasing anxiety that was starting to impact on my day to day life due to C-ptsd and a couple of other things. I struggled for weeks trying to figure out whether to ‘give in’ to the medication. Then I found your site and was able to finally read a balanced and realistic view on what sort of things I might expect. It was your site that gave me the final bit of courage I needed to give citalopram a go. I started on 20mg 30 days ago now. I am one of the lucky ones. Each morning I’d wake up wondering what side effects I’d have, and I’m really pleased to say that I didn’t really have any to speak of. Perhaps a dull headache for a couple of days and I do get a dry mouth every now and again, but that just reminds me to drink more water! I noticed that after about 7 days or so I was no longer crying for no apparent reason, I hadn’t realised just how sad I had become. I went back to see my GP last week and she gave me a 30mg script as my anxiety is still there along with a rather intrusive and destructive internal critic, which I hope to kill off with the CBT! The GP suggested I could try the 30mg when I felt ready and could always reduce back to the 20mg if it didn’t suit. I decided to try 30mg two days ago. Now, I know this might sound odd, and I’m wondering if it’s a coincidence and I would have felt this way had I stayed on 20mg, but yesterday and today, I’ve felt much more like my old self. I’ve been out and about without panicking that something awful might happen. I’ve even caught myself singing along to the radio again! I figure I’ll carry on with the 30mg for a week and see how it goes. I’ve not had any side effects since increasing the dose, perhaps a bit more yawning, but that doesn’t bother me at all! My GP has been great, and I realise that there will be days of one step forward two steps back, but just to have the occasional good day to remind me of how things once were, and how they can be again with a bit of ongoing work, is fantastic. In fact the GP suggested I keep a mood journal as a way of looking back to remind myself of how far I progress, but also for the days that might not be as bright, to reinforce the fact that they will return and with greater frequency. So, thanks for writing this blog. It has obviously helped so many people, you have done a great thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  130. leanne

    Hi everyone, wow I am having a tough few days ๐Ÿ˜ฆ been on escitalopram since December and after a terrible time starting them they have been working great for my anxiety and I have been pretty happy on them. so decided a month ago, after speaking to my doctor, to reduce to one table every other day and I’ve been feeling really goo. however, the past few days have been hell. dizziness, sickness, fatigue and horrific anxiety. so doctor recommended I start on them again as maybe its not the right time to come off them. how long will this last, is it generally quicker if you already have them in your system. cant take feeling like this, its horrible and have two young children to look after too ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Like

    1. Keith

      This is withdrawal your doctor really needs to be taught not to drop the dose by half. It really is dangerous. Please Google ‘The Bristol and District Tranquilliser Project’ if you are in the UK. They have a helpline and will support you if you want to reduce your medication. For now go back on the dose you were stable on. It can’t be reduced so fast. Good luck….

      Like

      1. Leanne

        Thanks Keith. I was just wandering too does it take the 6-8 weeks to stabilise again. That’s what worries me or does it seem to stabilise quicker when it’s already still in your system?

        Like

        1. Keith

          Hi Leanne, I think it depends how long you have been on a lower dose, but my guess is that you will feel ok again in a day or two. There is no sticking it out to see if you stabilise..it just makes you very ill. Escitalopram is a much more potent drug than Citalopram too. As you may know they come in 10 and 20 mg pills. but a 10 mg pill is about 40 of Citalopram I think. If you come off very slowly by no more that a 10% drop of the dose you are on then wait a couple of weeks before your next reduction, hopefully you wont have problems. It takes time of course, but you health is what really matter here. Bristol are experts in this and very helpful..:-) Keith

          Like

  131. Alice

    Week 2 tomorrow of 30mg of citrapram and been feeling really wobbles and dizzy and can’t drive as feel really spaced out really worried they aren’t working and I won’t be able to drive again will these side effects go

    Like

  132. Vicki

    Hi I’ve just spent an hour reading all the comments on here and I’m so relieved that I’m not on my own with side effects from citalopram .
    I started 20mg 13 days ago for severe anxiety. As others have said my anxiety levels went through the roof in the first few days and I’ve had continuous nausea. Really bad dhiarea too but that seems to have stopped now. I can’t eat a thing and I’m literally surviving on cups of tea and a protein shake when I can manage. Anxiety starts as soon as I open my eyes in the morning but I do feel that it’s starting to be more manageable, thing is that starts my sickness feeling and wrenching the. I have my tablet and then that’s me feeling sick all day long.
    The last couple of days I’ve found I’m feeling calmer and less nauseous in the evening so I’m hoping that this is a sign that the side effects are starting to subside???
    All the posts on here are so helpful and gari thanks u for starting this

    Like

  133. Hi Gary, thanks or your testament to citalopram! Well done for overcoming the brain tumour too….a horrendous experience. My daughter had 13 hours of surgery for brain tumour when she was 19….she’s now 44! Citalopram……well, I started taking it only 26 days ago, after a FULL YEAR of another well known SSRI. I became stressed last year because my only brother had died…I was in NZ at the time and couldn’t get back for his funeral….I was devastated. Then last summer I suffered pulmonary emboli in both lungs…lucky to live! I got to something resembling recovery over the winter months, but again became ill, and my doc increased the dose of my former SSRI. After 14 weeks I realised it wasn’t doing its job.

    Soo, 26 days ago, I did a straight swap to citalopram, starting with 20mg/day for a week, then increasing to 30mgfor a week, and now I take 40mg. Obviously side effects have been cumulative over this time, but soon disappeared. I only seem to suffer that spaced out/foggy brain feeling and fatigue, though I’m 69 and expecting to be as energetic as a 20 yr old. I’m slowing becoming curious about the hobbies I left behind (gardening and card making), but with the latter, I still haven’t regained the patience I used to have for detail.
    In reality, I’m only on day 8 of 40mg, so I accept I must go through side effects. I also accept the old adage that “you’ll feel worse before you feel better”, but please, do you know how long my spaced out feeling will last. It’s like I’m in a big bubble, looking out onto the world. My doc says I’m suffering from reactive depression, having been widowed in 2007, losing both breasts to cancer in 2008, and my son emigrating in 2010. He says in the last 10 years I’ve had far too much stress to cope with.
    Thankyou for any advice you can give me

    Iris

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  134. Jo

    Hi everyone, just wanted to say Gari that this blog has helped me so much especially when I’m sat alone in the early hours of the morning with horrendous insomnia and panic. I am 4 weeks into my citalopram journey and boy has it been a roller coaster ride. I’ve been on anti-depressants before but made the foolish decision to come off them without tapering and ended up in a real mess. As I didn’t like the weight gain and other side effects of my old tablets the doctor suggested citalopram. So for two weeks I was on 10mg and then it was upped to 20mg after that. I’m so pleased that I’m not the only one to suffer the horrendous side effects of this medication (not that I wish this on anyone) but it helps so much to know you’re not alone. I have had just about everything on the side effects list but the ones that really bother me are the insomnia, nausea (vomitting too) and ridiculously high levels of anxiety. I have spent so many nights awake without even 5 minutes sleep and as your all probably well aware then the dark negative thoughts start. Been back to the doctors for something to help with the sickness and tried to explain how awful I feel but haven’t had much sympathy. Sometimes I feel so alone even though I have a great support network and most of the time feel like I can’t live like it and feel desperate for the day when I feel better. It’s obviously going to take time and patience something that is in short supply when you feel like the majority of your days are hellish. Find it hard to function especially as the kids are off school. Praying that in the next couple of weeks things start to improve.

    Best of luck to all those on here battling through those first few weeks and well done to everyone who has come out of the other side.

    Jo

    Like

  135. Victoria

    Hi
    I had a much better day yesterday, the usual morning nausea but it eased off around lunchtime and I then felt OK for the rest of the day. I was really hoping that the side effects of the citalopram had started to settle. But today has been truly awful, the nausea hasn’t left me all day and it’s completely floored me. Day 17 today should the side effects be starting to subside yet? Xx

    Like

  136. Jo

    Hi Gari and everyone else, thought I’d come back and update you on how I’m doing! It’s been just over 5 weeks on citalopram now and I’ve had 5 days of either manageable anxiety or no anxiety at all!!! The nasty side effects of nausea, vomitting etc etc disappeared too it was bizarre! However as we all know it’s never smooth on the road to recovery and today I allowed myself to get worked up and ultimately anxious about one particular side effect that is still my constant companion………..INSOMNIA!! It’s improved in that I’m not pacing the house at night (I think because my anxiety has decreased) but I lay in bed for what seems like an age trying to fall asleep and if I do manage to its so disturbed I’m waking frequently until the alarm goes off and I feel like a zombie. It’s got to the stage where I’m dreading going to bed and then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. My doctor has talked to me about sleep hygiene and I’m trying to do calm stuff like reading a book before bed etc but I just wanted everyone’s feedback on whether they have suffered this problem and the ultimate question “does the insomnia go”??? Hope you’re all doing ok.

    Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vicki

      Hi jo
      I’m on day 26 of citalopram and it’s been awful. The anxiety went through the roof to begin with and I had awful constant nausea. I can’t eat and I’m surviving on protein shakes. Last week I found that things started to settle late afternoon evening time. But the mornings are and still are awful. I wake with anxiety and end up wretching and feel really sick.
      The past couple of days I’ve been getting waves of anxiety throughout the day. I am so hoping that the citalopram kicks in soon but I’m getting so dispondent.
      I don’t have the insomnia like you, don’t think I could deal with that too.
      Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  137. Jo

    Hi Vicki, you are not alone I was exactly the same the nausea and vomiting have been awful. As soon as I would wake in the morning it was there. The anxiety would also come in waves which frightened me and meant I didn’t want to the leave the house. Then as things started to improve my afternoons/evenings became easier (the same as you’re experiencing). Around 7 days ago I woke up with no nausea and my anxiety was so much more manageable it was like someone had flicked a light switch on! My appetite returned and I even managed some lunches out which was amazing considering I’ve lost over a stone from the lack of eating since I started the tablets. My family have all noticed the difference. Then yesterday I had to go back to the doctors for a review and that made me feel a little anxious and I didn’t feel as good as I had previously and then today after another poor nights sleep I’ve hit a low again. (No appetite, nausea, anxiety) I’m not good at coping with the bad days I start to panic even though some days have been good that I’ll never get over this and start to doubt myself. It’s a hard road but rather than us seeing ourselves as weak I thing we’re strong for getting through each day and hoping for better times when all seems lost. I know you will get there just hang on and try and have faith that you will be back to your normal self (I will tell myself this to). Here’s hoping your side effects and my Insomnia pack their bags and go on a permanent holiday asap.

    Keep going

    Jo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vicki

      Thanks for the reply jo. It really helps to know someone else has been through the same. I’m finding mornings unbearable but everything seems to calm down late afternoon early evening. I keep telling myself that’s a sign that things are improving! Every day is just so tough to get through.
      I’ll be at the 4 week point tomorrow so hopefully the drugs should start having an effect soon???
      I’m also taking beta blockers, I was just having them as I needed but now I’m trying to take regularly to see if it helps by building up in my system.
      I just want to be able to eat cause I feel so weak. I’ve lost loads of weight, I’ll never complain about being fat again!!!!
      I hope things continue to improve for you xxxx

      Like

    2. Vicki

      Thanks for the reply jo. It really helps to know someone else has been through the same. Iโ€™m finding mornings unbearable but everything seems to calm down late afternoon early evening. I keep telling myself thatโ€™s a sign that things are improving! Every day is just so tough to get through.
      Iโ€™ll be at the 4 week point tomorrow so hopefully the drugs should start having an effect soon???
      Iโ€™m also taking beta blockers, I was just having them as I needed but now Iโ€™m trying to take regularly to see if it helps by building up in my system.
      I just want to be able to eat cause I feel so weak. Iโ€™ve lost loads of weight, Iโ€™ll never complain about being fat again!!!!
      I hope things continue to improve for you xxxx

      Like

  138. Jo

    Hi everyone,

    Wow the road to recovery really is a roller coaster ride! I’m around the 8 week mark now and am still experiencing a mix of days when I feel like my old self and days when I wake and know that it’s a bad day. Had 7 good days in a row and then my anxiety was triggered by a family event and I ended up in urgent care where the doctor had to give me diazepam to help calm me down. Was anyone else’s recovery the same with so many ups and downs. When I’m well it’s like I’m led into a false sense of security then things come crashing down again. I was hoping that things would be more settled maybe I’m expecting too much after 8 weeks I don’t know? I can never seem to get into the doctors and when I do it’s a different one each time and I seem to get different advice. Wish that we had better mental health care as there seems to be so many of us suffering. Sorry today’s update isn’t more positive, I just need to convince myself that I will get there. Hope you are well Gari and to all those who check the blog (Vicki how are you doing any better?). Take care

    Jo

    Like

  139. amanda

    took my first tablet yesterday morning. was fine throughout the day and evening however woke up this morning feeling really sick just like morning sickness. why can’t they make a med that doesnt cause nausea? took an anti-emetic tablet and feeling a bit better now but worried how bad the nausea will get if I keep taking the tabs. don’t know if i can do this. seems as though most people who start this drug feel sick for a while, some up to a few months – which is worrying as doc said its only the first week or two.

    Like

    1. Iris

      You are feeling sick because your body is reacting to a “foreign” substance. All side effects are reactions, but your body will adjust in the next few weeks

      Like

  140. Timber

    I have been taking Citalopram for about 4 years. When i first started I had side effects for about 3 weeks – including feeling very nauseated and extremely tired. Once I got past that stage, I feel that the meds have really helped me manage my anxiety. I also reduced caffeine, had some counselling, do yoga, try to get enough sleep, etc. In August when I refilled my prescription, I noticed I was not feeling well. I noticed that the generic brand of Citalopram I was taking was different than the previous one. I asked the pharmacist and she confirmed I had taken two other brands before but not this one. A few days later (about 2 weeks after being on the different brand) I had a migraine (first in 2 years) and then spent 3 days in bed feeling rotten – headaches and lightheaded. Went to the doctor, she told me to take a few days off work. I felt like I had the flu, but I had not flu symptoms other than fatigue, headache, and dizziness. I talked the the dr about the medication and she agreed it was best to get the other brand back, which I was able to do. But now I have been back to my regular stuff for about 2 weeks and I still feel off. While I am generally ok, I m getting daily headaches and dizziness. I have no idea if I have some type of virus or if its related to the medication. It seems odd to me that a simple change in brand could cause this? and would it last so long??

    Like

    1. Keith

      You could very well be having tolerance issues after so long on the drug. I don’t know how much you are on right now, but GPs tend to up the dose, which will last a bit longer. It may be time for you to make a very slow withdrawal. Look up the ‘Bristol and district Tranquilliser Project’ They have years of experience and a Helpline

      Like

  141. Melanie

    I’m on day 11 of taking citalopram. I’m going back and forth between feeling kinda ok and feeling worse than I did before I started taking it. I’m nauseous almost all the time but the worse thing is the spaced-out, dizzy feeling. I can’t concentrate on anything. I feel like I wanna just curl up in bed and sleep all the time but I can’t even sleep ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’d never suffered with any kind of mental health issue until 5 weeks ago when I had a severe panic attack and the anxiety has not left me since then. I never had the slightest idea that anxiety could make you feel so incredibly ill. Right now I feel like I will never be ‘normal’ again but reading this helped. Thanks for posting x

    Like

    1. Mark

      Stick with it Melanie…It will pass.. Takes a bit of time and just keep telling your self it WILL PASS… everyday you take another dose gets you nearer to feeling fine.That was my experience….I`m sure many others had the same or similar

      Like

  142. Hi everyone. I was on citalopram for quite some time and decided to try and cut down and maybe stop. Idiot!
    Then I spoke to a doc I had never spoken to before and she told me to start reducing to 20 one day and 20 the next. The only problem with that was that I couldn’t remember which dose I had taken from one day to the next and therefore I started to miss doses in case I got it wrong. Of course, the side effects kicked in like a smack in the face.
    I am now back on the regular dose of 20 a day and the side effects are dreadful.
    I know it is partly my own fault but I think I shall stay on that dose now as it worked for me before.
    The side effects are pretty scary but I find when I feel sick, nibbling on a few nuts seems to help. Also, i do manage to eat a little soup with a little bread dipped in to soften it.
    This web site has been a tremendous help as i was beginning to feel a little desperate with the side effects.
    Thank you all so much, especially you GARY.
    I will keep in touch on this site as i am hoping for a breakthrough soon, especially with the anxiety.
    Love to you all.
    Patricia

    Like

  143. Hi, its me again.
    With regard to the inability to sleep, last night I drank a double tea bag cup of camomile tea and put lavender oil either side of my pillow, I then lay down with a small bedside lamp switched on and prepared myself for another restless night. ( this had always worked for me before so thought it was worth a try).
    I had 8 hours sleep!
    Perhaps this might be worth a try for those having trouble sleeping?
    I might add that I had a very difficult evening babysitting my two grandsons.
    The youngest (5 years old) was as good as gold, but the older one (age 8) was very difficult.
    He is going through a very trying stage. He argues about everything!
    If you say its raining, he swears the sun is shining! If you ask him to be quite because he is shouting, he holds his nose, holds his mouth shut and says he cant breathe and its all your fault!
    It was a nightmare getting him to bed.
    How I managed it, I don’t know!
    Eventually, he settled down, and it was blissfully quiet.
    But, it was very hard.
    Oh, as a footnote, I started a Pilates class at the height of my anxiety and thought I would have to run away when I got there, but I forced myself to do it and strangely, I had a fairly good afternoon that day and not such an anxious night. I am continuing with it and it really does help. I go once a week. Also, I force myself to go for a walk every day ( different times) and that seems to help a little too.
    I hope this is of some help to you all, and thank you all for helping me through this difficult time.
    Hugs to Gary.
    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  144. Leanne

    Well I’m currently having a few hard days. I take 20mg escitalopram per day and have for around 14 months now. I’ve started taking 20mg on Day then 10mg the next to reduce it slowly but I feel so weird. Dizzy and extremely tired and a bit sickly. Unfortunately I also have a severe chest and throat infection so on antibiotics which probably isn’t helping. I just hope this passes soon don’t want to feel like this for weeks.

    Like

  145. Hi Gary,
    I hope this finds you well.
    I am now on day 17 of 20 mg of citalopram and have felt really dreadful today.
    Have an appointment with doc tomorrow so will let you all know how I get on. I expect she will tell me to keep going as it is early days yet.
    I was messing around with the dose for quite some time because I felt so good on it, so please, please, don’t mess around with the prescribed dose.
    Going up and down and not taking the odd dose is really not a good idea. I don’t think my poor body knows what is going on and is trying to accept a regular dose again.
    I shall not do this again!
    Best of luck to you all, and I shall let you know how I get on at docs.
    Have been taking sleeping tabs for about ten days but will ask for a lower dose tomorrow.
    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  146. Veronica Velez

    Hi everyone, reading all your post has made me feel a bit better about taking citalopram. This is my first time taking an anti-depressant so I was very skeptical at first. After reading all the reviews online I was very scared to take the pills. I was terrified about the nausea, insomnia, and especially the weight gain. (I’ve always been very conscious about my weight) It took me about a month to get the courage to finally start the treatment. I was prescribed 10mg of cit (for anxiety and depression) along with 0.1mg of clonidine to help me sleep through the night. I started on Feb 1st. The first 2 weeks I cut the cit in half but also skipped a few days here and there (I’m horrible with medication) I didn’t really feel any side effects (maybe because I take it before bed) but I did notice I woke up feeling very groggy. I saw my dr last week and he said I needed to start taking the full pill. Tonight will be day 4 of taking the whole pill. I have noticed I’ve been feeling more anxious than ever but I’m assuming that’s a side effect. I also have been waking up throughout the night even though the clonidine is supposed to help me sleep. I still can’t shake the thought of the weight gain and I feel like I’m becoming obsessed with that idea and it drives me crazy! My dr wants to up the dose next time I see him to 20mg but I’m honestly so scared. Has anyone else noticed any weight gain? I hate to sound vain but if I gain any weight I know that will worsen my depression. Also will I experience any more side effects than I already have since I have been taking it for some time now? I want to feel better and get my life back on track but this anxiety and fear that I have with medication makes it kind of hard. It helps to see that I’m not alone in this. I wish everyone a healthy and happy recovery! We are all in this together.

    Veronica

    Liked by 1 person

  147. Hi veronica,
    No, I did not notice any weight gain with cit.
    I am still working through the side effects, but have just had 3 good days and fourth day afternoon started to drop again. Apparently, this does happen, so I am sticking with it. I am actually half way through the fourth week on 20 and keep going when I remember how well it worked last time I was on it.
    This site has helped tremendously as I was feeling so awful and reading everyone’s different experiences helped me realize that it wasn’t ‘just me’.
    I now know it can take around 8 weeks for the meds to stabilize and I am almost half way there.
    I spoke to the doc recently and she said it was not unusual for people to mess around with meds when they feel better and I should not feel bad about it.
    She advised me to keep going and I have to see her again in a couple of weeks. She has given me something to help me sleep for two weeks too.
    Will keep you posted and wish you all the best with your experience.
    Oh, I am also finding it useful to write my feelings down at the end if the day and find that I am improving slowly but surely, baby steps.
    Love to Gary and hope all is well with you
    Patricia

    Like

  148. Hi all,
    Am now on week 7 and for the past two days have felt truly dreadful.
    Doc put my dose up to 30 mg 12 days ago and just couldn’t understand why I felt so awful. Suddenly realised that my meds were not the usual brand I had always taken before successfully.
    Popped into chemist and had a word with pharmacist. He was absolutely lovely and said that occasionally when the body has adjusted to a particular brand, changing can be a shock to the system and cause initial side effects. So, phoned doc who has put new pres. Into chemist with my regular brand stamped on it.
    Hopefully, I shall feel better after a few days.
    Will keep u all posted.
    Also, Gary, have you heard of the book ‘At last, a Life’, written by a chap who has recovered from long term anxiety and depression.
    I have just ordered it from Amazon as i would like to get better once I am stabilized.
    Apparently, according to reviews, it is a very down to earth, honest account about all the research he did and how he worked out the best way to recover.
    Will let u all know what I think of it, but thought it was worth a mention.
    Sorry this was so long.
    Hugs to you all and Gary, I hope you are well, and thank you for getting back to me.
    Patricia

    Liked by 1 person

  149. crijbragg@gmail.com

    I started 10mg 7 Days ago for severe anxiety, been bed ridden feeling ill, lightheaded, so tired I cant move, no appetite and so on. Ive managed to make it in to work today and yesterday. feeling overwhelming panic and shaky, tired. Just feel so SICK! Yesterday was a better day, I had more energy, until around 6:30pm I was in the kitchen making my kids dinner plates when all of a sudden out of no where I got a dizzy spell for about 4 seconds, I immediately sat on the floor. Of course my anxiety sky rocketed and I have been in panic mode since lastnight because of it. I emailed my doctor but have yet to get a response? Is this normal? I feel so down about it

    Like

      1. Cristan

        Thanks so much for the quick reply. I have health anxiety too I think that’s why I’m so scared. It all started two years ago when my mom died and I have lost 6 other family members since then including my dad so every little thing I feel makes me think I’m dying. Understandably so! I live in the US, I’m not sure what 111 is.

        Like

  150. Claire

    Thanks for this. Real honest no nonsense approach to the bloody side effects. I take mine at night it has helped me sleep currently on day 8 so hoping the nausea passes soon but will be speaking to the doc to see what they recommend I take for that it feels like permanent morning sickness coupled with bad gas of the burping kind! This was so painfull on day 6-7 i though my tummy would explode (i’d been out and had some large meals which i dont think helped) so little foods and often i think from now on and I’ll try them with toast too to see if that helps. Like you I think so far I have been lucky with the side effects….touch wood this will be all I get as I do feel calmer and not in control. Thanks again your post also made my chuckle!

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