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Good experiences with Citalopram?

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    So I've been prescribed 20mg Citalopram for anxiety, depression and panic disorder.

    Just want to be reassured, I've only read about bad experiences so want to hear from some people who found it to be a good drug!

    Obviously it may not be right for me, but it would be helpful to hear from people who it has helped (and didn't have bad side effects, which is what I'm most worried about)

    Thanks!
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    I didn't really had bad side effects from it - a bit of nausea and a headache - but it ultimately didn't work for me. Worth a shot though, you never know which antidepressant is going to work for you until you try it.
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    I love citalopram :love:

    I won't deny that I did have side-effects. I'm on 10mg (for depression - I'm just sensitive to medication) and I got headaches and nausea for about the first two weeks, a dry mouth, weird dreams for quite a while, I sweated far too much, and it's permanently ****ed my sex drive (as SSRIs are notorious for doing). I think it's rare that someone will actually find a pill that doesn't give them any side-effects, and in any case, all of mine except the loss of sex drive went away after about 2 weeks. And I think it's worth it. I can function now, it's turned off my critical inner monologue, and I'm a lot more able to think about life rationally and cope with what's going on.
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    I started out on 10mg, and it didn't do anything horrific to me, don't worry. 20mg made me feel very outside of myself and floaty for a few weeks but that's not exactly a bad thing (unless you operate heavy machinery for a living or something >.< )
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    Im on 40mg and it has worked really really well! The only side effect i had was nausea especially when eating, but it went away after about 2 weeks.
    Relax and try not to worry about it, people usually make side effects sound a lot worse than they are, and if citalopram doesnt work for you, there are loads of other drugs avaliable.
    Good luck
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    I think Citalopram saved my life. I was on 20mg but I couldn't orgasm at all. I was on it for about 5 months into a new relationship with regular sex and had 2 orgasms that whole time.

    After a week or so of stopping it (I did this suddenly- don't do it, I was pretty much sick and dizzy and head-rushy for a week, as well as crazy vivid dreams that lasted a lot longer) the ability to orgasm came back. No effect on sex drive.

    I don't know if I'd want to take it again due to the side effects but that's all well to say when you're better. If you need it, you need it.
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    First of all let me stress that, from what I know, each individual may be affected differently depending on their own personal make up and you will only find out by trying yourself.

    I suffer from anxiety and this can also lead to outbursts of anger. My GP says I suffer from "anxiety related depression".
    My GP eventually agreed to let me try medication and put me on 20mg Citalopram.
    Now, although they say it takes time to start working, I started to feel the effects within a couple of days. I became much more aware of the times that I was feeling anxious for no real reason. I could question myself as to why I was feeling anxious and pull myself away from it. I also had much more control over my feelings of anger, again because I could reason with myself much more easily about the way I was feeling and pull away from any emotional outbursts.

    For me I've definitely benefitted and I really do think for me that the effects are substantial.

    I do have side effects, but I am more than happy to cope with the side effects because of the benefits.

    For me, side effects are:

    -dry mouth in the morning (but goes off as soon as I get up) I don't really think about this now as I'm so used to it

    -to start with, more intense dreams on a night. I found these quite interesting, but they go off after you get used to the dosage (shame).

    -there's a possibility that I may be sweating more easily, but I'm also much less bothered by cold weather (this section may be just co-incidence)

    -over the longer term, you may be slower to remember to do things that you would have previously remembered just by making a "mental note" - to counteract this I have a diary that I write in anything of importance just in case.

    -I feel less intense about situations at work, therefore act less intensly in my work. My GP argues that this can be a good thing. On the whole, I tend to agree.

    -for men, difficulty in maintaining an erection. I counter this by having a supply of herbal viagra to hand and planning accordingly (speak to your GP before doing this as there are other things you need to know first). However, there may also be a positive side effect in that you may be able to last longer before climaxing, so not all bad.

    For me, I have learned to cope with the side effects and enjoy the benefits.
    My personal anxiety problems seem to be of a hereditary nature and I've had to continue with the medication for longer than you would normally. In fact, I'm not sure if I'll ever be able or willing to stop taking it.

    But normally you only need to take it for a few months to get you back to normal.

    I advise that you monitor yourself closely the first week as it can lead to increased thoughts of suicide in some cases, although this did not happen to me. If you find anything like this happening, go straight back to your GP for assistance. I do not have suicidal thoughts myself (too much to do!).


    Hope this helps.
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    I used to be on it and for the first couple of weeks I was throwing up every morning, but once that went away I didn't have any other side effects.
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    I have been on this drug for a while now about 7 months. People that say the drug does not work after first taking it. They need to give it more time. Its not an instant miracle cure and can even take up to three months to notice a difference so don't give up on it !

    I would say it has really helped me get back to myself before taking the drug i would just sit and cry for hours or just lay in my bed and not move all day and not eat for days sometimes. I would also panic about the smallest things and small problems seemed huge. Uni presentations were also hell i once passed out from over anxiety !

    When i went to my doctor i just sat and cried in his office for 15 mins ! kinda embarrassing. At the start i had some side affects such as feeling sick in the mornings and a bit shaky. Now i just have very strange dreams and feel tired easily. But i would say the side affects are worth the outcome as for the first time in years i feel happy.

    Another thing i would say about citalopram is make sure you don't miss a dosage or just stop taking it for a couple days or week then start again. I once thought i could cope without it because it made me feel that good. After a couple days i got seriously paranoid and thought people were coming after me ! it can mess your emotions up if you mess around with the drug.
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    (Original post by Sabertooth)
    I didn't really had bad side effects from it - a bit of nausea and a headache - but it ultimately didn't work for me. Worth a shot though, you never know which antidepressant is going to work for you until you try it.
    Sabertooth is spot on, I have had a similar experience with citalopram EXCEPT it does work for me. Citalopram is the SSRI indicated for depression with anxiety / panic , so it's perhaps unsuprising that it's the first choice for the OP given the diagnosis


    (Original post by kerily)
    I love citalopram :love:

    I won't deny that I did have side-effects. I'm on 10mg (for depression - I'm just sensitive to medication) and I got headaches and nausea for about the first two weeks, a dry mouth, weird dreams for quite a while, I sweated far too much, and it's permanently ****ed my sex drive (as SSRIs are notorious for doing). I think it's rare that someone will actually find a pill that doesn't give them any side-effects, and in any case, all of mine except the loss of sex drive went away after about 2 weeks. And I think it's worth it. I can function now, it's turned off my critical inner monologue, and I'm a lot more able to think about life rationally and cope with what's going on.
    exactly -

    (Original post by bertie-x)
    Im on 40mg and it has worked really really well! The only side effect i had was nausea especially when eating, but it went away after about 2 weeks.
    Relax and try not to worry about it, people usually make side effects sound a lot worse than they are, and if citalopram doesnt work for you, there are loads of other drugs avaliable.
    Good luck
    i'd agree with bertic as well


    (Original post by Jaimee)
    I have been on this drug for a while now about 7 months. People that say the drug does not work after first taking it. They need to give it more time. Its not an instant miracle cure and can even take up to three months to notice a difference so don't give up on it !
    valid point - some people get put off the Idea of SSRIs becasue of the warnings regarding increased risk of suicidal ideation etc in the first few weeks of taking an SSRI - despite the fact this is a sign that the drug is beginning to work

    <snip>
    Another thing i would say about citalopram is make sure you don't miss a dosage or just stop taking it for a couple days or week then start again. I once thought i could cope without it because it made me feel that good. After a couple days i got seriously paranoid and thought people were coming after me ! it can mess your emotions up if you mess around with the drug.
    i'd agree with that
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    I found Citalopram quite good, I felt very sick for the first week and my hands would shake randomly. It stopped working sadly for me after around 9 months but that doesn't mean it will happen to you
    #1

    I had awful side effects to Citalopram the first time I took it, to the point where it was actually scaring me. I would be up all night shaking, in a cold sweat, and I was having strange shooting pains in my limbs.

    Previous to that, I was on Trazodone which wasn't as bad, but I lost uhealthy amounts of weight on it, and starting having daily panic attacks because the anxiety got even worse. It really effected my work as well, because I was always weak and tired from losing so much weight, and tired from the high dose of sedatives.

    I would never take ADs again, they added a whole new set of problems to the recovery process. I think in some cases they can work, but for me it wasn't worth all the disruptive side-effects. Just a warning.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I would never take ADs again, they added a whole new set of problems to the recovery process. I think in some cases they can work, but for me it wasn't worth all the disruptive side-effects. Just a warning.
    Same here, I'd never take Antidepressants again as well. I think that the best way to recover from anxiety is to work against it yourself. But just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it wouldn't work for anyone else.
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    (Original post by kerily)
    I love citalopram :love:

    I won't deny that I did have side-effects. I'm on 10mg (for depression - I'm just sensitive to medication) and I got headaches and nausea for about the first two weeks, a dry mouth, weird dreams for quite a while, I sweated far too much, and it's permanently ****ed my sex drive (as SSRIs are notorious for doing)..
    Ah yes mine disappeared too. I guess it wasnt a bad thing as I wasnt getting any anyway (perhaps if they could make a version that ONLY removed your sex drive frustrated virgins worldwide would be happy). Did you get blurred vision?
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    I'd tried a couple of different ones (and citalopram on a way too low dose for a brief period which did nothing for me at that point) and went back to try again a couple of years ago. As with the previous time I had a pretty crazy couple of days/nights feeling really weird and horrible and scared by the side-effects (can't even explain it properly, I was freezing and sweating and too hot at the same time, but not in a flu way, and I felt exhausted but wide awake and didn't know what to do with myself other than sit on the floor by the heater and rock back and forth while wondering whether I could just walk round my student house at 3am and wail until someone fixed the problem). I also have the sex drive/ability to climax issues but then, with constantly suffering from depression and sometimes being on pills, that wasn't an obvious change for me.

    After the first two or three weeks I felt noticeably better mentally and then at around 8 weeks (apparently this is quite standard) I had another breakthrough and I've not been the same person since. It's just gone uphill from then until now and that was two years ago. At the time I started back on Citalopram I was seeing a counsellor weekly, which I think probably made the difference between some pills not working at all for me before and Citalopram having such an impact this time. I'd definitely recommend persevering with a pill and/or trying different pills if you're still sceptical, it has been totally life-changing for me this time and I will be staying on it for as long as it feels like it's what's stopping me from getting ill again.
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    I've been taking them for depression and anxiety for 2 years now. I remember the first couple days, (and also if I haven't taken them over the course of a few days) I had/get these awful chills, even though it isn't actually cold. I just can't stop shivering and I feel really dizzy. I also feel quite tired a lot of the time. Other than that, they have helped my anxiety issues quite a lot. I used to feel constantly anxious and nauseous, but it's much better than it used to be. It's worth putting up with the tiredness, so I don't have to feel constantly nauseous.

    I don't think they've improved my mood all that much, but they've made me feel better, physically.
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    I've been on Citalopram for 23 months now - went from 20mg to 40mg.
    The only negative side effect which I experienced when I first started taking it was that I couldn't sleep properly for the first few months - I could only get to sleep if my body was literally exhausted first.
    Although having read a lot of the above posts I now have my explanation for why my sex drive has been v low all this time...
    I would also reiterate what other people have said about giving the drugs time to work - it takes a while for your body to get used to them.
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    nope
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    I couldnt get outta bed on the stuff, had to stop it.
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    I've been on 40mg of Citalopram for around 18 months now.

    I started on 20mg, and had HORRENDOUS side effects - severe anxiety, nausea, sleeplessness, suicidal thoughts etc.

    But, after around 3 weeks, these symptoms eased off. My doctor upped the dosage to 40mg and now I'm pretty much cured - with the exception of standard PMS/PMT every month.

    Personally, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Citalopram.

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Updated: February 22, 2012
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