Citalopram side effects

Hi forum, last time I was here I got some great advice from you all and I'm happy to say, I took the leap and saw my GP about my issues. Long story short, I've started a course of daily citalopram 10mg to see if this helps with some of my recent anxiety problems. I've previously been on citalopram, albeit a couple of years ago now but it was to help me come off a previous med that caused me severe withdrawal. I'm 1 week in to this small dosage and I'm beginning to wonder about the side effects. My transition from one med to another a few years ago must have been a lucky escape because I don't recall anything more than some dry mouth and tiredness - this time, I've been experiencing more anxiety, more panic attacks, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, brain fog and sever mood swings. I understand these are all very normal side effects but it's becoming a struggle with each passing day. I can't sleep the whole night through without waking up and thats making my days blur passed. Can anyone relate to this and give any advice? Or should I just go see my GP again?

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  • I was advised that after two weeks such symptoms would subside, however your's do sound quite extreme at a small dose. I was on 20mcg. If symptoms persists best to see your GP and make sure your liver is monitored. I wonder if 5-HTP 12 hours after citalopram would help?

    Just a thought as a fellow patient...have you had your adrenals checked? I had the Cortisol Saliva 6 and DHEA Sulpate done through Medichecks and discovered that I have stage 2 adrenal insufficiency. I suffer from insomnia (that's why I am typing this at 03:50) anxiety...I am looking at adrenal support. Sorry if I am off beam with that!

  • Not at all! I realised I was still posting in the thyroid group and now my anxiety group! My bad! I had bloods done a month or two ago and all came back fine. I was mostly concerned because I've been vegan for over a year now and had somehow convinced myself that it was causing me more harm than good. I'm definitely going to see the GP if this persists. Thanks again for the reply!

  • But how are your recent blood levels... is everything absolutely optimal? I'm inclined to think not if you are having anxiety. Antidepressants help for some people but for thyroid patients it's so vital that our levels are excellent or other areas can be impacted (yup, mental health absolutely). When my recent levels weren't very good I had accompanying severe depression and frightening anxiety (Turns out my iron levels were almost non-existent amongst other things). But do get your blood levels checked and create a new post back here for feedback. Don't forget to fast beforehand (water OK) and take your dose of thyroid meds afterwards for the best results.

    PS: I've just read your post from a few months back and you haven't mentioned at any point wether you actually have thyroid issues or not (?) and didn't post results then. Do you have a thyroid problem or no? Just curious as that hasn't been addressed here yet.

  • Sorry I realised I was still in the thyroid group posting and not the anxiety group! Apologies! I had blood work done over a month ago, and everything came back satisfactory- with no fiurther action needed. Hence, they've advised antidepressants as I've suffered from panic disorder and anxiety for over 4 years now.

  • Anxiety and depression are symptoms of un/under-medicated hypo - you are posting in the right place! Your blood work came back satisfactory for whom? Your doctor? Not the same thing as being satisfactory for you! Why not post it here, with the ranges, and let us have a look? Were any thyroid bloods done?

    Being a vegan will mean you are low on B12. Have you had your B12 tested? How about ferritin? You could also be low on iron.

  • Hi

    Sorry if this is intrusive.

    Do you know what started them or events that led up to them?

    Aricular accupunture is fantastic for anxiety and panic attacks. Do you have regular support except a gp?

    ( like a counsellor/ support group)

    The advice from rusty64 is good. It's v v rare every vitamin thyroid adrenal gland level is optimal. Gps just don't cover them all. Also one persons normal is low for another.

    The adrenals need a saliva test to check cortisol and dhea five times through the day. It's usually private.( if your cortisol were high at night say that would explain how you feel- they are just in range in the morning. Low or high dhea is serious especially the first. The second stops you sleeping.

    If you check out www. Drsarahmyhill.co.uk and google sleep it's v helpful- low melatonin levels can cause depression too. It's only produced between 10 pm to .0.01 am so early nights essential.

    Did you every try St. John wort? You can't mix it now but natural adaptagens are non addictive and pulsatilla is fab for sleep( so is melatonin but I am not your specialist) Pulsatilla is a homeopath remedy helps anxiety too.

    Good luck and if we can help more we will try.

  • Suggest you get your vitamin B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D levels checked

    Low vitamin D linked to insomnia

    Low B12 common if vegetarian

    Post results here in a new post when you've got them

    Vitamindtest.org.uk - £28 postal test

    Or all can be tested privately via Medichecks or Blue Horizon if GP is unhelpful

  • I have had underactive thyroid for many years - also depression for many years. After everything I've read I've always asked myself if it is the underactive thyroid causing it and taking antidepressants will not help. I've taken a small dose of citalopram for many years but it just wasnt working - still feeling depressed, anxious and terrible exhaustion. I have stopped taking citalopram gradually and now not on it. I feel no difference with depression but I dont get the headaches I feel were due to citalopram now. I also feel the drug causes more tiredness. Only recently found out it should not be taken last thing at night, which I'd always done because I assumed as its supposed to be for anxiety too, I would sleep better. But actually the reverse is true. I had terrible sleep with it. GPs treat depression and thyroid problems as two separate conditions. I now believe they are absolutely linked.

    This is an awful condition isnt it Saraukulele? I think the GPs just dont know enough about it and put us on antidepressants and when these dont work and the 100 mg levo isnt working either just say - as mine did - well you've had all the blood tests. You're up to your maximum with levo according to your blood tests, there's nothing else I can do. The fact that every day is a struggle to get through with no energy means nothing to them. I dont want life to be a struggle, I want to enjoy what time I have left. But I cant help myself because I dont have the funds to be treated privately or buy medication privately. Grrrrrrr.

    End of rant! Nice to be able to get it out of ones system with people who will understand and sympathise because the medical profession certainly dont.

  • I was put on this some 5-6 years ago for anxiety, thyroid results kept coming back "normal" which I now know weren't I was told constantly I was suffering with anxiety. I had the same symptoms as you it made me have anxiety I saw another Dr in the practice I said I felt like I was going crazy I had wet palms he told me to stop it as he didn't think I anxious I didn't ask what he thought was wrong but under his instructions I stopped it ,I had been taking it for 4 weeks.

    I think you should go back and talk to your GP if anything they might give you something else x

  • I had higher anxiety, panicky moments, nausea a d loss of appetite, when I went on to Citalopram 20mg daily.

    I think my pharmacist strongly advised take it in the morning with food (maybe half hour after your thyroxine?), to try and help prevent the nausea and disruption of appetite. I felt more stable after about 2-3weeks.

    I weaned myself off, about 15montgs later, very slowly over 8 weeks, and was 'ok''.

    I still have lows and some anxiety, with the odd period of quite bad anxiety recently, and I felt that bad patch recede after I focused on taking daily a good multivitamin, plus omega 3-6-9, and L-Theanine, that helps with GABA production, a precursor to most(/all?) hormones, inc seratonin. I'm thinking I'll get the b12, ferritin, vitD and folate checked, and do the cortisol /dhea saliva tests, as I've only recently come across hashimotos, after 16years thinking I was just hypo, and on levothyroxine. Can never get GP to refer me to an endo, so will try once more, and then get private tests and go from there....

    Good luck!

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