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Thread: Clomipramine advice

  1. #1

    Clomipramine advice

    Hi, I'm new here and would really welcome some advice.

    I'm 41 and have had depression on & off since my teens. Around 4 years ago I thought I was finally over it. However 6 months ago I began to suffer from intrusive thoughts, negativity & anxiety, to the extent that they were affecting my daily life.

    As a result I visited my GP who prescribed Clomipramine. Initially I suffered nasty side effects including dry mouth, constipation, shaking, blurred vision, dilated pupils, pins & needles etc. I started on 25mg with little improvement and increased to 50mg after 2 weeks ( I take the dose around 9.30pm). I persevered and 6 weeks on I feel much better and like life is worth living again. The anxiety is much less frequent and I am much more optimistic. I've also suffered from frequent headaches since my teens which have now disappeared, which has been a very welcome side effect. But..... I am suffering from horrendous insomnia.

    I fall asleep OK (I go to bed between 10.30 and 11.15pm) but wake hourly and sleep very lightly. I wake very early (around 5am). Whatever time I wake my brain switches on immediately and I start to sing songs in my head - this drives me CRAZY!! In the day I don't feel too bad, but have started to suffer from more colds, sore throats etc which is a sure sign for me that I am not getting enough sleep. I went back to my GP who said insomnia is relatively uncommon with Clomipramine. She has prescribed me a short course of low dose Zoplicone - I know these will work as I have used these before, but I found them addictive so am reluctant to start on them, unless I have an important/busy day coming up where a full night's sleep is essential.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? I'm reluctant to change meds as they are making me feel so much better, but at the same time, I am struggling with the lack of sleep and song-singing! I'm currently also using a sleep hypnosis CD but I've had little success with this.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  2. #2

    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Findingmyway View Post
    Hi, I'm new here and would really welcome some advice.

    I'm 41 and have had depression on & off since my teens. Around 4 years ago I thought I was finally over it. However 6 months ago I began to suffer from intrusive thoughts, negativity & anxiety, to the extent that they were affecting my daily life.

    As a result I visited my GP who prescribed Clomipramine. Initially I suffered nasty side effects including dry mouth, constipation, shaking, blurred vision, dilated pupils, pins & needles etc. I started on 25mg with little improvement and increased to 50mg after 2 weeks ( I take the dose around 9.30pm). I persevered and 6 weeks on I feel much better and like life is worth living again. The anxiety is much less frequent and I am much more optimistic. I've also suffered from frequent headaches since my teens which have now disappeared, which has been a very welcome side effect. But..... I am suffering from horrendous insomnia.

    I fall asleep OK (I go to bed between 10.30 and 11.15pm) but wake hourly and sleep very lightly. I wake very early (around 5am). Whatever time I wake my brain switches on immediately and I start to sing songs in my head - this drives me CRAZY!! In the day I don't feel too bad, but have started to suffer from more colds, sore throats etc which is a sure sign for me that I am not getting enough sleep. I went back to my GP who said insomnia is relatively uncommon with Clomipramine. She has prescribed me a short course of low dose Zoplicone - I know these will work as I have used these before, but I found them addictive so am reluctant to start on them, unless I have an important/busy day coming up where a full night's sleep is essential.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? I'm reluctant to change meds as they are making me feel so much better, but at the same time, I am struggling with the lack of sleep and song-singing! I'm currently also using a sleep hypnosis CD but I've had little success with this.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
    Anyone ?????

  3. #3
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    191

    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi there, I am new here as well and just prescribed clomipramine, first day today and a little apprehensive as I am on all meds. I have been prescribed 10 mg 3 times a day. I have switched from 20mg prozac ( only took it 3 weeks ) as I couldn't stomach it and I was getting worked up with my over anxiousness. I was on lofepramine last year which did help a bit but not enough. I used to wake at 5am on that everyday and it wasn't great for sleep although I have heard that clomipramine should be better for anxiety. How are you getting on with yours now?

  4. #4

    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi,
    Did you end up staying on Clomipramine?

    I am actually here for regarding insomnia as well! Most of these meds seem to make everyone tired and yet this is doing the opposite for me! Like you said once my eyes open I am instantly awake. I also have had issues falling asleep - My muscles are twitchy and I toss n turn for hours.
    I am taking this for a symptom of Narcolepsy ironically enough (sleep disorder known for Excessive Sleepiness). I am used to being able to sleep whenever wherever (too much so)! However the now lack of sleep is concerning me greatly.
    The first week I averaged 2-3 hrs a night. I have heard of similar addicting properties of zopiclone and would hesitate to add a new drug to manage side effects of another. Sigh.
    I think I am going to try a different medication but am curious how things worked out for you or any others who may have experienced similar symptoms.

    [I am currently taking 25 mg 2x a day]

  5. #5
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi Dizzylizzy

    Yeah I am still on the clomipramine, I am about 2 weeks off six months of it now. I take 10mg in a morning and 25mg before bed. I am not sure if it is my stmptoms or the meds, but at the moment, I have little motivation and I am peeling myself off the bed in the morning as I have started a small cleaning job and I have to be up early. I don't wake with any enthusiasm but it does get better as the day goes on. I am going to discuss this with doc next time I see him.

    When my insomnia was at its worse , I had exactly what you have, waking all of a sudden, body twitches going to sleep and waking me up, I still don't know what was going on but it jsut must have been severe anxiety and panic.

    I wouldn't say the clomipramine has done anything major to my sleep but I am only on a low dose, the usual dose is upto around 75mg a day going to 225 if needed, but I didn't want to be zombied up. I wouldn't take zopiclone if you can help it as it is a slleping tablet that can become addictive and hard to get off, I have a friend on them and he can't seem to sleep at all without them. The clomipramine are not addictive, just something you shouldn't come off all at once. I am happy to stay on them for a while as my mad thoughts have calmed down as have I to some degree. Like I say I am far from perfect but don't know if its me or the meds?

    I hope this helps. Keep me informed as to how you are getting on.

    Purplepie x

  6. #6
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi Purplepie, i see like me you are one of the very few(well it apears that way) who is on clomipramine. This is my 5th med in 17 months and i just so want to get better.
    I noticed you're on 35mg per day; how you feeling?

    ---------- Post added at 12:24 ---------- Previous post was at 12:22 ----------

    Hi D Lizzy,

    hows you with the clomiprmine, did you go back on or lower dose?

  7. #7
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi Sober2000june

    Yeah, there aren't many of us on clomipramine, not sure why it isn't used as much as other older ads but it seems to have helped me more than anything else. I wouldn't say any drug is perfect as everything comes with side effects and I hate takeing meds anyway, I think , why am I not ok without them?! Anyway, I have jsut this week come down to 30mg, off my own accord really. I see the Doc again on Tues, so I will have a chat with him about that. I seem to be ok once I am up, but I am really struggling getting out of bed and in my sleep, I wake with a pounding heart and strange head things going on.... heard to explain. I am not sure if I am still anxious and/or depressed or if there is something else going on hormonally?

    I feel a lot better than I did a few years ago and this is my 4th med and mum thinks that's a lot to try, but it's really is trial and error and some of them make you feel damn right ill!!

    How long have you been on them and what dose? They say 3 x 25mg a day is what you should be on, going higher if needed, but I don't think I would function on much higher than I am on, plus I already find it difficult to go to the loo ( number 2s). I would need dynamite of I was anymore than this .

    Keep in touch, it's a good way to see how you progress.
    love pp x

  8. #8
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Hi PP,

    I started clomipramine on 24th Jan so this is me into my 3rd week. 1st week 10mg, 2nd 20mg - well 9 days cus scared to go up, and last night took my 1st 25mg. Still toiling. This all came on me like a torrent during Aug 2011, and ive been fighting my way back ever since. If it wasnt for my 3 kids i think id have given up. I am currently seeing a Psychiatrist private $$$$, as ive had poor experience with NHS shrinks as and when you can get them e.g. texting whilst you are trying to lay your soul on the line. My shrink i believe wants me on 30mg but no more than 50mg. I beleive the plan was to go up 10/wk. I suppose i should know by now its going to take a few week to help; it's just that i tried my hardest there for 10 months to make venlafaxine work. before that it was 7 weeks on mirtazapine, 7 on sertraline, and finally gave citalopram 3 months previous to sert. So i've had a fair go on the med go round. Im really hoping this works as my aunt tried various new meds and was at the jumping off stage when her gp as a last ditch gave her immipramine and it got her back to herself and sh'es been on it since(mid 90's).

    really good to hear from you,

    Paul

  9. #9
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    I know what that jumping off stage feels like after 5 weeks trying fluoxetine, I thought I was going to die. I did 5 months citalopram at 20mg, didn't do anything, but nor was I really dealing with my life problems either, I then took nothing until a nervous break down where I couldn't take any more, I stopped sleeping and felt so ill and on the edge that I spent 4 months living in my mum's back bedroom and I am nearly 42!!!
    I then started on lofepramine - 140mg but that gave me bad side effects for what little it was doing, for three weeks off it I felt ok and then bump off we went again, crying for no rason and feeling really low, so on to sert for 1 day only, I woke up, thought I was going to black out and spent the mornign on my sisters floor feeling dizzy and faint. On the fluox we went while i had a psych assesment with a nurse, she said you wouldn't believe the amount of people who couldn't tolerate ssri's, I thought I can, I am one of them! So back to my understanding doc and onto clomipramine we went, on his recommend, I started to feel better after a week, I think it was just the relief from coming off the others. I stopped retching and after a few months even got a small part time cleaning job after 3 years of not working. I sometimes feel crap in work, but not from anxiety, more from feeling hot and a little faint when I am working, not sure if this is the tabs or me? I will ask on my next Doc apt. The one appt I did have with a psychiatrist after my assesment was a complete waste of time, he spent the first 10mins talking about the weather and the next half talking about my hobbies, my relationship, my family, my financial stuff - this is kindergarten stuff, I needed proper understanding of my condition. I told my Doc and he agreed that the mental health services offered to people that he refers are totally not good enough. I could have done better myself!

    I hear of people like your aunt being on meds for years, I supposse if you feel good and you can just take em and get on with your day then fine, but I questions all the time, why I aren't ok without them, there must be a reason? I don't want to be on them forever but I don't want to go back to how I felt.

    Don't be frightened of going up in small mgs, I started on 3 x 10mg a day and then went to 40 but that stopped orgasms ( I say it like it is! Can you believe that when I mentioned this to the Psych, I had told him I was in a new relationship and he asked could it be the new boyfriend not being quite up to it!!!! I told him I hadn't had problems before the new tab!!) so I chatted to Doc and went down to 35 per day and Os are now hit and miss, I hope as I go down a bit more, it will help but at the same time keep the anxiety at bay.
    Life eh, never thought this would be me, even though I am not the most self confident, I never feared going anywhere or trying new things. I used to be cabin crew flying all over the world and end up sleeping in my mums back bedroom at 40 odd

    I read everything about the meds as I am paranoid that they will make me ill, so when I was put on these, I googled - naughty me ha ha, they said that these are also given to dogs, for seperation anxiety and excessive barking etc, so I am hoping to be wagging my tail any day now or maybe I will just start weeing up lamp posts.
    I know it's no joke but sometimes you just got to laugh or you'll cry and I have done my share of that!



    ---------- Post added at 19:20 ---------- Previous post was at 19:15 ----------

    Sorry for the spelling, I feel I have that much in my head I want to type that my fingers can't keep up! Plus I am hungry and waiting for an Indian.

  10. #10
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    Re: Clomipramine advice

    Evening PP,

    Just noticed we're similar ages, im 41 in a few months. TBH the ol' sexual disfunction does not worry me at mo' as i have a house full of kids and its prob for the best. I'm the opposiste escpecially with Mirtazapine and Venla. Clomipramine had not stopped the ol' chap workin'. Looking at none of them have so maybe ive not had enough of a rise in serotonin yet. If i feel calm and happy im not too bothered about "hows yer farther?" at the mo.

    Good post it cheered me up. especially as i thought i was loosing it yest.

    keep in touch,

    Paul

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