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Old 01-12-08, 07:29
youheard youheard is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

Hi guys,

Brief outline-

Started AD's in April, Dosulepin, 3 months on them, didn't work out.

Started on Citalopram in August to present date, currently on 40mg

I'm currently at a crossroads at the moment, I did reach a peak on these were I wasn't exactly doing cartwheels but the anxiety went,I was content and I was fully concentrated at work etc. While my anxiety is still ok and I'm not as worked up as I once was, my original symptoms are back from before I started on AD's. Lack of concentration, feeling flat, strange crawling sensations in my brain (the reason why I was put on AD's, after seeing a specialist). I even started a new temp-perm job 2 weeks ago and I was so bad I didn't go back after the first day as my head was all over the place.
Now some of you might say this is the medication that maybe the cause, but I will state again this is exactly what I was like before starting AD's, so it makes me believe that the meds are losing there effectiveness.

I have an appointment with my GP tonight and i do feel that this is the last throw of the dice regarding AD's so I feel its important to finally find one that will suit me.

I was thinking it was maybe an option to switch to Escitalopram, i know it's a purer form of citalopram, has any done this? if so was it more effective and what dose did you start on bearing in mind that I am currently on 40mg .

I was also looking into the possibility of switching to Cymbalta, but I will discuss this with my GP tonight, just wanted your opinions first.

All help apprecitated!

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Old 04-12-08, 01:16
alias_kev's Avatar
alias_kev alias_kev is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 346
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

If we accept what Wikipedia tell us then:
citalopram (Celexa): usual dosing is 20 mg initially; maintenance 40 mg per day; maximum dose 60 mg per day.
escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro): usual dosing is 10 mg and shown to be as effective as 20 mg in most cases. Maximum dose 20 mg. Also helps with anxiety.
So on that basis 20mg escitalopram would be at least equivalent to your drug. How the transition should be managed I am unclear. The newer drug seems to always be credited with less side effects and perhaps more effectiveness. So you may well gain from that. I've only had esc' so I cannot really add much.

I've just found this site http://www.globalrph.com/antidepressants.h whose accuracy I cannot vouch for, claims that:
Approximate equivalent dosages of SSRIs:
citalopram 20mg
escitalopram 5 mg
So esc' may well be more effective.

Good Luck
Kevin, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK
Probably GAD & Phobias. Anxiety and renewed Depression medicated (Venlafaxine). Trying to improve.

Last edited by alias_kev; 04-12-08 at 01:18. Reason: Improved quoting from wikipedia
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Old 04-12-08, 09:18
bab bab is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,070
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

hi there
i did this switch and i would say there is a slight improvement on cipralex
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Old 04-12-08, 09:44
youheard youheard is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?


Thanks for the replies, I went to the doctors yesterday to see if she could switch me to escitalopram but she said it was exactly the same. I tried explaining to her that some people said it was more effective but she wasn't having any of it.

She prescribed me Effexor, starting dose of 37.5mg while I taper down off citalopram, I am wary about taking this drug as I have heard bad things about it. I haven't picked the prescription up yet, just mulling it over.
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Old 04-12-08, 14:00
rickb rickb is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

hi there,
interesting post, i have used Escitalopram (aka cipralex) twice before, for anxiety, over the last 3 years both times with success after a couple of weeks. this latest time was put on citalopram 10mg which took a good 3 weeks to kick in then kinda slid back to square one after a couple of good weeks, upped to 20mg then same scenario took a while to kick in, a couple of good weeks, then yesterday i felt a wave of adrenaline/anxiety while at work (for no apparent reason). i would be interested to hear how people get on, i'm toying with coming off present med getting it out of my system seeing where i'm at then going back onto cipralex as i know these work.
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Old 04-12-08, 19:16
bab bab is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,070
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

the reason they are different is that escitalopram is the purer form of citalopram so u need less of it and there are fewer side effects = the reason its not prescribed as much is that citalopram costs about 40p a box and cipralex about £30 -
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Old 10-12-08, 19:15
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mummy4 mummy4 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 369
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

hey there
i was on citalapram on and off for 4 years. started and stayed on 20mg dose all the time. had awful side effects.

i then was on a stop and knew i needed to get back on something again so gp suggested i try escitalapram this was 3 yaers ago and im still on them today. started on 5mg and still on that dose. gp said 5mg escitalapram is = to 10mg citalapram and it has much fewer side effetcs.
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Old 11-12-08, 20:47
mlondon mlondon is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 248
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

I agree with Babs. I was put on Citalopram but this time around asked for Escitalopram. I have a new doctor and she said yes this could be better for you as has less side effects. I asked her why I wasn't give it before by my old doctor and she told me probably because it costs a lot more!
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Old 17-01-09, 14:53
sweetpea24 sweetpea24 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 36
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?


I was on Citalopram for only 2 months and the side effects were so unbareable!! I was off work the whole time

My Dr then prescribed me Ecitalopram a few days ago and this is day 5 on 5mg and i have to say the only side effect i am having is tiredness and dizzyness, almost like a pressure in my head. But nothing like the 5 mg i was taking on the Citalopram, i would never take those pills again.

My Dr told me in theory they are similiar tablets but Ecitalopram(cipralex) are more advanced and give less side effects and also have a quicker effect.
She went on to tell me that Ecitalopramm are much more expensive for the NHS than Citalopram so they prefer to try patients on these first rather than the more expensive Ecitalopram...

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Old 24-01-09, 21:57
anne60 anne60 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 20
Re: Switching from Citalopram to Escitalopram?

I was on 40mg Citalopram then down to 20mg. After 1 year I was changed to Escitalopram as I was going back to work but was put on 10mg. I take the 10mg when I am very nervy (not very often now) as I found they made me very sleepy in the mornings as I take my tablets when going to bed at night. I mostly take 5mg which seems to stabilise me at moment. I did not have any side effects when i changed to Escitalopram accept sleepiness in the mornings. Hope this helps
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