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Advise please re Citalopram

(29 Posts)
F0wey Sun 19-Jul-20 10:38:49

After a horrid few months with health issues, I have been diagnosed with depression and prescribed the anti depressant Citalopram. My main symptoms are horrid panic attacks, insomnia, loss of appetite.
I am a bit of an anti tab freak, and I am scared of the side effects and eventually trying to come off of them. In fact the thought of taking them sends my anxiety levels through the roof!
Can anyone relate to that? Am I being irrational? Anyone had a positive outcome by taking them?
My family and friends are encouraging me to try them, as they can see how I am struggling and want me to get better, which of course is understandable. But they don’t understand my fear of the whole scenario.
Am I being unreasonable or can I get through this without medication?
Your personal experiences would be very much appreciated.
Thank you

henetha Sun 19-Jul-20 10:48:19

I've just responded to your other thread about CBD oil and Citalopram. I took Citalopram for panic attacks and depression and it definitely helped me and I had no side effects. I also had CBT at the same time, and together they helped me tremendously. (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).
I think your family and friends are right, and I think your fears about taking Citalopram would fade as you, hopefully, started to feel better. The dosage would be gradually be reduced until you no longer needed them. Wishing you all the best.

MellowYellow Sun 19-Jul-20 10:51:40

Not personally, but my daughter has high end OCD and anxiety and depression and hates taking tablets. As do I, but I could see she needed relief from it all and gently encouraged her to try a course of tablets. It has helped a lot. Now she has decided she doesn't need them any more and is coming off them. If I were you F0wey I would listen to the one person you trust the most and take their advice. There may be some side effects, but maybe not, and you can eventually choose to come off the tablets. I wish you well, it's not easy having panic attacks and your body and mind need a break.

BladeAnnie Sun 19-Jul-20 10:52:00

Please give them a try. I'm a mental health nurse (shielding atm) and sometimes people do improve without medication but antidepressants really can help. You have to give them time to work - it's not like taking paracetamol for instance but I'm sure this has been explained to you. There is no shame in taking them if that is what is worrying you? Feel free to send me a pm if you would like to talk x

silverlining48 Sun 19-Jul-20 11:00:13

Two people close to me have taken Citalopram for some years. It has worked well for both without any side effects.
Good luck hope you feel better soon.

EllanVannin Sun 19-Jul-20 11:07:40

This is a well tried and tested medication which doesn't usually give off any nasty side effects. With most medication you have to persevere for about 6 weeks before you feel the full benefit of them. I'm sure that ( if you don't think about it ) that you'll eventually start to feel the benefit which will be a better feeling than you're having at present.

BlueBelle Sun 19-Jul-20 11:19:52

Silverlining surely if they ve been on them for some years then it’s not doing its job

Namsnanny Sun 19-Jul-20 11:29:21

Bluebell .... is there something others haven't mentioned that you know about that gives rise to this question?

DiscoDancer1975 Sun 19-Jul-20 11:32:15

Hello FOwey, sorry to hear of your difficulties. I think these are the tablets my son takes. He was told he’d feel worse for a few weeks, before he got better. He’s fine now, and realised just how ill he was before. I know what you mean about not wanting to take medication. I used to be fine if ever I was prescribed something. Now I just seem to get all the side effects, half the time outweighing any benefits! Do persevere with these though, I’m sure you’ll feel better soon💐

DiscoDancer1975 Sun 19-Jul-20 11:36:16

BlueBelle, anti depressants, once you find the type and dose for you, are for life. Sounds like Silverlining’s friends have hit the jackpot🤗

Namsnanny Sun 19-Jul-20 11:43:14

The reason I ask is I was it was my understanding tha some of these 'feelings' are a consequence of a lack of serotonin. The tablets stop the dissipation of it, making the brain react differently.
If that's so, if the serotonin level returns to being too low, may be the tablets have to be continued?
Maybe I've not understood the process well, that's why I ask!smile

Sar53 Sun 19-Jul-20 15:13:22

FOwey I have suffered from clinical depression for a lot of my life. I was prescribed many different anti-depressants and Citalopram was the only one that truly worked for me. I took it for many years, didn't have any side effects. I decided that I wanted to come off it about 8 years ago and with the help of my gp reduced my dosage over a fairly long period of time. I haven't had a recurrence of the depression since.
I don't think any of us like taking any form of medication but sometimes help is needed. They do take a few weeks to start working fully but they do help reduce the awful feelings of depression.
I wish you well in whatever you decide xx

Summerlove Sun 19-Jul-20 15:14:47


Silverlining surely if they ve been on them for some years then it’s not doing its job

....that’s not how these pills work. They are not a “quick fix”

Summerlove Sun 19-Jul-20 15:18:17

F0wry, I started feeling a difference within the first two weeks
The side effects were gone within 6 weeks, and well worth it to feel better.
The main ones for me were dry mouth and some shakiness in the afternoons. The dry mouth was easily fixed, and the shakiness just had to be sat through.

I found I preferred taking them in the morning vs night, so keep in mind if it’s not going well at one time, you can switch.

Good luck!

PinkCakes Sun 19-Jul-20 19:40:31

I was on Citalopram for a few years. It certainly helped with the depression and much so, that I stopped taking it as I felt better - that was completely the wrong thing to do - then all my symptoms came back, even worse than before. I then went onto Mirtazapine, and have been so well on them. No side-effects and I feel fine.

Nobody wants to take tablets, do they? But I'd rather take antidepressants, even if it meant for the rest of my life than ever feel like I did before when I was almost suicidal.

My advice - take them, feel better again, and see how you get on, but DON'T suddenly stop taking them.

phoenix Sun 19-Jul-20 19:53:33

I had them, really helped, but agree with others about dry mouth initially, however that is easily overcome.

Coolgran65 Sun 19-Jul-20 20:56:22

I've been taking citalopram for several years.
As a pp mentioned I didn't realise how low I felt until I felt better. It took about 3 weeks to feel a difference

tidyskatemum Sun 19-Jul-20 21:07:40

DH took citalopram for several months while having a particularly bad time at work. It does take a while to kick in but it worked with him. You gradually reduce the dose and certainly as far as he was concerned it had no bad effects.

Hetty58 Sun 19-Jul-20 21:25:26

I take painkillers every day - because I need them at present - despite hating taking tablets. I think you should take the Citalopram, as your fear of side effects seems out of all proportion, considering your suffering without them. Bear in mind that you won't need to take them for life.

cassandra264 Mon 20-Jul-20 00:46:51

Have taken Citalopram in the past for reactive clinical depression - no ill effects,came off them in due course with no problems, and if your doctor feels they are right for you, i wouldn't be worried. Only, continue to get some exercise/ watch your weight. Because you feel less anxious, it is possible to end up eating more than you need...

JenniferEccles Mon 20-Jul-20 10:31:48

I think you are right to be cautious.

As well as possible side effects when taking antidepressants, the main problem seems to be trying to come off them.

Unless this is done very slowly the withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant but it’s often thought that the depression has returned so the pills are restarted.

The problem seems to lie in the fact that these things are not addictive in the same way as tranquillisers but the awful symptoms some people experience in coming off them have been well documented.

Then there is the aspect that these ‘antidepressants’ work on the assumption that depression is caused by some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain.

This has not been conclusively proven but it’s obviously one pushed by the pharmaceutical companies making the pills!

Sussexborn Tue 21-Jul-20 19:03:22

I refused antidepressant initially but my GP put it to me that if my iron levels were low I would take iron medication to restore the levels. I had been through a really bad patch and he said that my serotonin levels were drained and needed to be restored. It took a few weeks to kick in but life soon felt worth living again. I came off them about two years later and it went a lot better then I expected.

It was fascinating how friends and colleagues reacted. Some were brilliant and supportive and a few were judgemental and scathing. You certainly learn a lot about people when the chips are down.

Bellasnana Wed 22-Jul-20 13:26:16

This has struck a chord with me as I have been taking Citalopram and Mexazolam for six years. I was prescribed them when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, and I know they helped me cope with his illness and subsequent death only a year after diagnosis.

I had no side effects at all, but decided a couple of months ago that it is time to wean myself off them. This I have done but am experiencing awful headaches and feeling wobbly and dizzy. It remains to be seen whether the depression and anxiety will recur.

Luckygirl Wed 22-Jul-20 14:26:12

It is always a difficult decision whether to take medication of any sort - it is about balancing the benefits and potential side effects etc.

My view is that if your life is miserable as it is, then why not try something that is known to help? OK, you may have some side effects; but on the other hand you may not. There are side effects to having your leg in plaster if you break it, but you would accept that.

My DD has been on citalopram for many years and it has been an absolute godsend and transformed her life. She inherited her Dad's anxious personality and it was blighting her life in a big way. Now she is living a happy life without these problems. She did reduce the dose a bit at one time, but found that she still needed it, so is still taking it - no side effects, only benefits.

I was on a tiny dose of a very old-fashioned anti-depressant to try and control my migraines. Following a hip replacement I became very depressed and the dose was increased - I am still on that dose as there has not been a good moment to decrease it when I have been free from life stresses - sick OH, problems getting his care, then his subsequent death. I am happy to keep taking it for now as it makes life much easier for me. Hopefully at some point in the future life will stop throwing manure at me and I can consider slowly reducing the dose.

If were in your situation I would simply take it and give yourself a chance of an easy and happy life. We are not getting any younger and it makes sense to grab what is left of life and do everything possible to enjoy it.

logansnanny Sat 25-Jul-20 19:15:54

I have been taking them for 3 years now for Anxiety.I took them at night as I thought if any side effects,I will sleep through them.I did have some weird dreams though.
I did try and come off them but that was a big no no.