Please help please read my last post and reply to this post

Please read last post - this on carries on

I started my first 20mg dose of citalopram and i feel f****ng awful ! Detached. Sick. Dizzy. Shaky. Coulnt sleep and extremely panick. What are other peoples experiences on this and was first day the worst


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43 Replies

  • It's normal started for me about day 2 lasted for about 2 weeks I finally broke about day 5 and started taking 2.5 mg of valium to help with the heightened anxiety which helped a ton!

  • Doesnt valium make you feel drowsy and spaced out. I cant stand this feeling i have severe health anxiety as well as general anxiety and ive always had a phobia of taking tablets and now i just think how can i take my second tablet when i feel this bad ? Is the first day the worse or does it go downhill from here xx

  • No 2.5 is a very low dose it just relaxes my anxiety it helps me so much

  • Okay because i cant feel like this i feel like not taking my tablet

  • The valium will help you I felt the same way when I first started the citalopram, just start off with the 2.5 they usually give you 5 mg tablets so cut it in half

  • Okay thank you x

  • That's what I do, Wyoming, I break the 5mg valium in half, 2.5mg is quite an effective dose.

    Hollie, a low dose of valium won't leave you spaced out. As Dahl says here maybe you should gradually build up the dose of citalopram over say 10 days to give your system time to adjust to it. But as I often say: Anxiety about taking anti-anxiety meds is just another symptom of anxiety.

    What doctors never consider is the body weight of the patient, for example a 5mg med given to a 9 stone person is twice the dosage as the same 5mg med given to an 18 stone person. (For the benefit of our U.S. friends an English stone is fourteen pounds but English pounds are heavier than U.S. pounds.

  • Ask for liquid diazapem I'm on that as I can't swallow tablets or eat would food. I got my Anxiety tablet stuck 4 months ago now I have terrible fear and a phobia. They don't like giving it cos it costs so much but take no crap and make them give it to you. My mental health team did it for me if u have a support worker get them on the case. Otherwise crush the tablet in a drink it's not to bad. Good luck

  • Thanks x

  • I've never taken citalopram but had similar effect from fluoroxetine for about 3 weeks. I hope you can speak to someone over the weekend if you need to although I'm sure they'll settle down Best wishes

  • Thank

    You x

  • I had a very similar reaction to 20mg of Citalopram when I first started taking them. It's very difficult to describe how I felt, everything was surreal and not normal anymore, it scared the hell outta me. So I reduced my dose to just half a tablet, 10mg for the next 6 days which I found much better to cope with. Then I went up to 20mg again and the side effects were not so distressing. But I'll never forget that first tablet, it was like having my mind torn apart. It was only my first 20mg tablet that affected me like that and I've been comfortable with Citalopram ever since. Try to last one week, you should adapt by then, it has been a very good medication so far and it's helped me improve a lot in just 6 weeks. Good luck 😊.

  • Did u take 10mg without consulting dr. Is the first tablet the worst one

  • Sorry for the delay responding I'm in the UK timeline. I decided to lower my dose to 10mg of Citalopram myself and stayed on this lower dosage for 6 days, then increased to 20mg again on the 7th day. It was only the first tablet that gave me the extreme side effects that you were reacting to. Try to share with Wyominganxiety and myself over your first few weeks taking Citalopram, we've both started the medication about 6 weeks ago and we've shared and supported each other through the side effects. Jeff1943 makes 2 good points about body weight and dosage. I'm a slim build around 150lbs and had a bad first reaction and I have a health care background in the NHS so building up to a correct dosage to begin with is as sensible as slowly reducing a dosage when we stop taking a particular medication. In my case once I'd taken the first tablet for the first time it was never that bad again, but naturally I had a lot of fear and anxiety taking it the next evening. Keep in touch and best of luck 😊

  • Thank you. I never took my tablet last night i have only taken one 20mg tablet so should i start today with 10mg x

  • Because of this message and everyones support i have finally plucked up the courage to take my second tablet. I only took 10mg but its a start

  • Remember that you've experienced a lot of anxiety about taking this tablet so give yourself 45 minutes to feel comfortable about it, by 60 minutes you should be ok. I was still a little spaced out after my first half a tablet, 10mg, but nothing like the first 20mg tablet. It was much more gentler. I'm here online if you need me 😊

  • Thank you so much. I cut the tablet in half will this be okay to do without drs consent. He give me 20mg so im guessing taking 10 wont hurt

  • Yes that will be ok. My Citalopram tablets are scored so I just broke mine in two. But there is no danger or risk in reducing the dose. How are you feeling 😊

  • I feel okay at the moment but heard it takes 4 hours to fully be in your system. Im still a little panicky but trying to remember i only feel like this because i have taken a tablet nothing is actually wrong with me

  • Your doing exactly the right thing. Keep giving yourself a reality check. You've had a lot of anxiety about this tablet but you've already come through a much larger 20mg dose and you're still here. 10mg now will be easier for you 😊 If you haven't slept well the lack of sleep will make you a little more anxious as well so try to relax and remember I'm here 😊

  • Thank you i really appreciate it

  • You're very welcome. In 6 weeks time you may be supporting someone else who's taking Citalopram for the first time and you'll be their support. That's the wonderful thing about this site 😊

  • Hi, normally you start on 10mg for a few weeks and then onto 20. That's a gradual process. Hope that helps you.

  • I started on 20 mg for a month then upped to 40 mg almost 3 weeks ago

  • That's interesting, Dahl, we all taper the dosage down when we come off meds but little attention is given to gradually increasing to the required dose so the body can get used to it.

  • I started on 20mg aswell but phoned my doctor as I thought the dose was to high to start on at first and he said just had the tablet and take 10mg for 8 days then take 20mg after the 8 days I did that I did still have side affects but not as bad as the first 20mg tablet! I then went on for 5 weeks and then took 40mg at the one time I also got very bad side affects but now I’m feeling the side affects have worn of after 2 weeks of the 40mg and after 3 weeks of the 20mg you should have your tablet it won’t harm you! Even consult your doctor if you would like but I’m sure he wouldn’t disagree. Good luck citalopram have changed my life.

  • I have to agree, Citalopram has worked very well for me so far. I used to be like a squirrel trying to cross the road at one time, all over the place. Much better now 😊

  • Doctors haven't been on these drugs. I agree with Jeff- we are told to taper off very slowly but never on. I took Zoloft years ago and the dose was 50mg. Dr told me to have half for 3 days then whole. No way. I thought I was dying. I stopped and started with a tiny crumb for a week then about 1/8th of a tablet for a week then slightly less than a 1/4 after that. It took me 3 months to get to theraupeutic dose but with much fewer side effects. Problem wws it also took much longer for my anxiety to go away. Take the valium, it will help with side effects. And drop your dose and take it slower in building up to the correct dosage (not as slow as me though!!!!! 🤣🤣)

  • Thank you i was ment to take my tablet last night it is now 4:36 i am wide awake and have my tablet next to me deciding wether i shuld take it or not

  • Have a quarter. The more you fear it the more sensitive you will be.

  • Is the first day the worst or does it get worse and then get better

  • Honey it will get better. My Dr took me off citalopram and put me on something else for over a year and I finally demanded to go back to Citalopram. I have been on it for a couple of months now and my anxiety is all but gone. If you have Valium use it!! Valium should take your anxiety down,. Way down! My Dr is a jerk and he won't give me ANYTHING like Valium for the extreme anxiety and panic attacks. I would be very grateful to have Valium right now.

  • Thank you x

  • It will get better over time.

  • The first day was the worst for me definitely but a lower dose of 10mg of Citalopram was ok. Still a little spaced out but easier to cope with, went back up to 20mg after 6 days. My sleeping pattern became as and when I needed to sleep and for some reason I stopped dreaming as well but my quality of sleep was much better very quickly. Keep trying, it reads like you have a lot of good support at the moment on this site.

  • I have just come off citalopram after giving it 4 months. I was on it from the age of 18 to 30 and helped me alot. Second time round totally different experience. I have tried sticking with it but my anxiety didnt improve infact it seemed to be ramping it up more. I agree to give citalopram at least 8 weeks and it can make you feel awful when first taking it. It did help with my depression but nausea and internal shaking was not improving. I also had very fuzzy head. I would wake with internal shaking and would be dry heaving every morning. No appetite at all. Couple of decent hours in evening but from morning until about 6 i felt utter crap. Now im not blaming all this on the medication as i know anxiety causes these symptoms but it was oviously not getting it under control and making it worse. Iv recently gone back on to mirtazapine which it helping alot with anxiety in under a week. Shakes and nausea gone. Sleeping and eating better. Mirtazapine makes you very hungry and i gained alot of weight before on it. I just cant handled ssris nomore and this is the only medication that seems to help. Please give it time but it you seemed to be getting worse after 6 to 8 weeks speak to your doctor. I hung it out for 4 months which is a long time when suffering with depression and anxiety and needing relief. I take 7.5mg mirt which is a low dose but seems to be helping so sticking with that now.

  • Yeah ive done that now

  • Hon, are you feeling any better? I'm worried about you. Take care of yourself.


  • Hi yes i have started to feel a little better. I cut my tablet in half so i am now on 10mg. The side effects are no where near as bad. I still feel like im moving and a bit dizzy. Dry mouth and anxious xx

  • Hey there

    I'm so sorry you're experiencing these.

    I tried this tablet last year and it was just awful, made me feel rubbish, just horrendous, for the first week at least, then it improved, the only down side is that it didn't really work for me.

    My best advice is that if you are early on in the course of this medication is to potentially just stop if that is what you want to do but speak to the doctor first, even if over the phone

    the sad truth is that anti depressants can sometimes take a while before they make a difference, i believe they physically change your chemical in your brain which do make you feel awful

    my experiences of antidepressants were not great but that doesn't mean they are rubbish because ive seen some people take them and have amazing results.

    you will get there, i promise, its hard, but be strong and speak to your doctor constantly, make a fuss, i went to my doctor each week whilst taking antidepressants and told her everything - from there we worked out a plan of what to try next, i believe there is about 6 main anti depressants out there (might be wrong) and it is trial and error, until you find the perfect balance, the road will be rough, but stay strong, it'll smooth out and have amazing benefits

  • Thank you x

  • I've been on citlopram for 2 years. I started off on 10mgs and decided to stay on that dose because it worked with less side effects.

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