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Author Topic: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety  (Read 405 times)

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Offline painfully_confused

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I added the link to my entire mental history if you want some background info, it includes a list of symptoms and my physc evaluation
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,90183.0.html
Anyway to sum u, I have struggled with GAD, panic disorder, severe depression for almost half my life. Ive rebounded several times but each time it comes back worse and worse. I also show signs of bipolar and BPD

Most recently as it was on the rise, my son was born 3 months premi and I am falling apart. (Hes doing really well, for the record)
I came almost completely off 2 pills of 0.5mgs of Clonazpeam very slowly over the course of several months. Got down to 1/4 at night to help me sleep.
I have been mulling over trying something else for a long time and after his birth I absolutely had to try something.
The dr perscibed me 10mg of Citalopram once daily, starting at 5mgs for a week then to 10.
I dont react well to any med(even headache meds) so I started at 0.25mgs and have been on it for 11 days. It doesnt seem possible to me to have any reaction to such a low dose but I am definetly having some reaction.
Its really hard to tell whats what. Everything was on the rise before his birth and after his birth it got much worse even before the first dose.
Anyway I summed it up, as before his birth,after,and when I started the meds
Before his birthMost prevailing and disturbing symptoms
Neck and shoulder tightness(so far that my head is permanently pinched forward) which seems to be causing occipital neuralgia
Headaches (tension type, varying degrees,almost always present to some degree)
Panic attacks(severe, feel like Im dying or losing my mind)
GAD (always feel unwell,like I have the flu,trembling)
Weakness,Overwhelming exhaustion
Dizziness(always there,sometimes whirling sensations,objects or floor moving, feeling like Im walking on a boat)
Ear pain,fullness
Jaw tightness
Brain fog that is debilitating(lasts a few hours a day)
Feelings of unreality,visual hallucinations(mostly in peripheral vision)
random IBS,(bloody stool, fissures)
Unable to relax
Depressed mood, no motivation, feel overwhelmed
Social Anxiety, barely leave the house because I feel so terrible
After his birth
Everything listed above as well as
Uncontrollable Shaking,especially when I fist wake up
Trouble sleeping at night,staying awake all day
Panic attacks and Nausea upon waking
Overwhelming sense of doom, and very overwhelmed, so bad its hard to move
Increased GAD, and Panic attacks(hyperventilation severe)
After my first dose
Everything above as well as
Dry mouth,increased thirst and urination
Drowsiness (always feel off, unable to concentrate, things take much more effort to do,cant drive)
Eyes out of focus, dark vision
Tense Jaw
Constant Indigestion,heartburn, nausea,bad burning pain in stomach when I first wake
Very restless, keyed up
Faint,become veryvery pale,sweat,see spots,almost pass out
Insomnia( vivid disturbing dreams)
Confusion,breif moments of unreality,trouble finding words
Facial numbness and eye twitch
Full sinuses,ringing in ears
No appetite
Hot flashes
Suicidal thoughts( I feel like I cant take this anymore, though it would take a lot for me to end myself)
I know most of the side effects listed above are common, I dont think they should be so severe at such a low dose(unless its hypersensitivity)
Its the increase in the GAD.panic attacks,shaking and especially the feeling faint,turing pale and almost passing out that scares me the most.
Im afraid that since I am not tolerating it well on such a low dose,a higher dose will be much worse
I dont want to give up if it will all get better, and I cant do the back and forth finding the right med game, my mental state is very fragile right now. The pharmacist suggested I try 5mg and see if it makes me feel worse,to the point I cant tolerate.
I havent really experienced any positive effects other than my chronic dizziness becoming more like drowsiness
 
Thoughts?
Advice?
Does it seem like this med is not for me?
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 04:06:09 AM »
Thoughts?
Advice?
Does it seem like this med is not for me?

I don't think that the symptoms you are attributing to the med are actually from it, but are your mind meeting your expectations of it. 2.5mg is a tiny dose compared to the 20mg needed to initiate a therapeutic response. Fwiw, I don't subscribe to the theory that some people are physically more sensitive to meds than others, only that they are psychologically more sensitive.

It is up to you whether you continue taking Celexa, however, it is usually the best tolerated of the SSRIs and I doubt you'd have an easier time with one of the others. If you decide to continue with it then there is little point in delaying dose increases beyond 7 days as any side-effects caused by the increase won't be less if you leave it longer, though ramping the dose up earlier may increase the side-effects more than necessary.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 06:30:33 AM »
I dunno, it sure feels like side effects. I originally started taking it in the morning, it left me feeling really drowsy,and with a new born baby I cant not be available so I switched to nights.
I havent slept a wink at night, since. The pale,sweating,almost passing out thing has never happened to me.
I Have such a hard time taking pills. I hate that once you swallow that pill,you are along for the ride no matter what.
Would it be considered safe to take ativan while increasing the dose? Would it increase the effects of the ativan?
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2014, 08:12:53 AM »
Would it be considered safe to take ativan while increasing the dose?

Yes, it is safe and imho it should be the standard practice for doctors to prescribe benzodiazepines for a few weeks to all patients beginning antidepressants. It would go a long way to reversing the high attrition rates.

Quote
Would it increase the effects of the ativan?

No, but the Ativan may slightly delay the kick-in of the citalopram. However, the benefits of taking the Ativan will greatly outweigh that.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 10:45:55 AM »
I took the other 1/4 of my pill this morning. So thats 5mgs since last night.
I fell asleep for 2 hours and woke with a fluttering pounding heart,shaking uncontrollably, sick sore stomach, feelings of hopelessness and a stabbing pain in the back of my head. Its been an hour and has yet to settle down.
I dunno, this cant just be a coincidence. I dunno how much longer I can handle this. I dont want to suffer for weeks with these side effects,but I dont want to just give up and remain the way I was before them.I should add that if these pills dont agree with me,Im done with meds. Im too mentally unstable right now to deal with the ups and downs of finding the right med.
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2014, 05:46:01 PM »
Im too mentally unstable right now to deal with the ups and downs of finding the right med.

Is therapy and option? If so, the cognitive/nehavioural/mindfulness therapies can be at least as effective as meds.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 02:35:50 PM »
I have been seeing a phys for over a year now, and honestly hes not very good. We continue to dance around the same issues,and have gotten no where. I am actually much much worse now than I was when I started seeing him.
He pushes the mindfulness/acceptance approach, and although it has provided me with a little relief and some good tips, it is utterly useless to someone who suffers from a high level of anxiety. Silly breathing techniques and being aware thats its just anxiety has gotten me 0 relief when it applies to my more disturbing symptoms such as dizziness. If I find a little relief from the Cit, then perhaps I can apply some of the techniques Ive learned, but right now feeling miserable is all I can focus on.The appointments have become an annoyance in my life as of late. I feel awful driving there, and even worse sitting in his office, so whats the point. I have missed my last app and the rescheduling because of my increased anxiety and the Cit.

And so back to the pills. Im almost convinced that Citalopram was forged in the pits of hell. It is making everything much much worse. I havent given up yet, because in all honesty this is my last go at trying to get better. If I dont find relief soon, Im checking out of this hell.
Since upping the dose, I get no sleep until the following day. My dizziness has worsened to the point where Ive spent the last 3 days in bed. Driving is almost impossible. My right eye refuses to focus and Ive been running a temp of 100 for 3 days. Im very pale and faint all of the time,and the panic comes in waves. However I also add that I seem to have a little less tension in my neck,and the headaches have improved. The morning shaking is a little less,and the nausea,diarrhea,and stomach pain have become bearable.
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 06:35:01 PM »
Ive been running a temp of 100 for 3 days.

That is unlikely to be the antidepressant. Could you have a cold or the flu?

Quote
And so back to the pills. Im almost convinced that Citalopram was forged in the pits of hell.

Antidepressants can feel like that for some in the beginning, but it does get better. Also be aware that it isn't necessarily all from the med. The mind is also probably producing some of the symptoms.

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 08:44:37 PM »
yeah....with a fever certainly a virus could be a strong possibility for what's going on. Dizziness, elevated heart rate, pale skin, weakness. All those could be attributed to illness, and in your case I hope that's what it is and things resolve soon for you. Good luck.

Your current therapist may not be helpful, but it's worth a try finding a new one. Sometimes it takes a few tries before you click with the right person
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Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2014, 12:53:04 PM »
I dunno if I can handle these pills anymore.
The stomach probs have returned with a vengeance. Acid reflux/heartburn within an hour of taking it, it lasts all night and into the next day. My family has a history of serious GI bleeds, and its freaking me out. Id like to punch my **** doctor in the face for prescribing this sh*t, as she knows my family history.

Cant sleep. At all! Im probably averaging 3 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. It doesnt even feel like sleep, just lost time.

The muscles in both legs suddenly became very rigid and numb last night and the feeling still hasnt left. And of course there is little to no useful info on the web.
Please help!
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2014, 05:34:33 PM »
My family has a history of serious GI bleeds, and its freaking me out.

In that case the serotonergic antidepressants may not be the right meds for you. You need to raise this with your doctor. Antidepressants which mainly inhibit norepinephrine reuptake such as desipramine (Norpramin) and nortriptyline (Pamelor) could be a better option.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 09:56:53 PM »
I dunno I hate to give up on them if they could eventually work for me.
Last night I was very very tired and didnt think Id have any trouble sleeping.
I took my pill(5mg) at about 1 in the morning. I lay down to sleep and within an hour my jaw was so tense, I knew it wasnt going to happen.
At this point I am wide awake and go sit down to watch a movie to take my mind off of things. Then the chest pains and fast heartbeat started,and feeling of doom set in. Up into 9 am this morning
I cant play this switching meds game.
Has anyone else ever felt like this and got over it in time, and had the meds work for them?
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 12:28:02 AM »
I lay down to sleep and within an hour my jaw was so tense, I knew it wasnt going to happen.
At this point I am wide awake and go sit down to watch a movie to take my mind off of things. Then the chest pains and fast heartbeat started,and feeling of doom set in.
Has anyone else ever felt like this and got over it in time, and had the meds work for them?

These are probably all anxiety symptoms, not the direct effects of the med, though may be significantly adding to your anxiety levels at the moment, however, this usually only lasts for a couple of weeks though it may return for a while if the dose is increased. You should discuss these with your doctor who may prescribe a small dose of one of the benzodiazepines for a week or two to help ease you past this. If s/he's a benzophobe then ask for hydroxyzine, a prescription antihistamine with anti anxiety properties.

Perhaps taking it in the morning would be better. It might at least allow you to then sleep.

Quote
I cant play this switching meds game.

You may yet have to. While no antidepressant is intrinsically any better than the others, one or two may be for you and it may take 2-3 switches to find them.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline painfully_confused

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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 09:23:26 AM »
DONE WITH CITALOPRAM!!!!!!!!
It was one of the biggest mistakes of my life going on this sh*t
No sleep at night for over a month.
Constant Acid reflux and pain that turned into a bleed I am now dealing with
Horrible GAD and constant panic attacks
And all that off of a mere 5mgs
The Dexilant I had to go on cause me to be extremely dizzy,so the trade off is to get the hell off Cit,stop the stomach probs,get back to my baseline while increasing my Clonazepam and try something down the road.
Damn GP,has no idea or business prescribing meds. She refused to talk to me on the phone ,expecting me to make app when I cant drive bc of the meds she put me on. Seeing her tomorrow and I cant wait to tear her a new one. I have been on the psychiatrist waiting list for 3 months,thanks to good old medicare. 

My only question is. Will I experience withdrawl? I was on it for approx 1 month,most of that time on 2.5 mgs,and only 5mgs very recently. I have missed a few doses in the past,and today is my second day without it. I should be able to offset it with Clonazepam shouldnt I?
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Re: Please help, bad reaction to Citalopram or just increased anxiety
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 05:41:06 PM »
My only question is. Will I experience withdrawl? I was on it for approx 1 month,most of that time on 2.5 mgs,and only 5mgs very recently.

It's unlikely. It wouldn't have produced any brain changes to unravel which seems to be what creates the unpleasant withdrawal effects such as the zaps.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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