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Thread: High Anxiety when on Citalopram

  1. #1
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    High Anxiety when on Citalopram

    I have been on 10mg Citalopram for 4 weeks now. Since starting my anxiety increased but it was manageable. Had other side effects as some loss of taste and brain fog (which I still have). Starting the end of the 3rd week, the anxiety has slowly increased further until the last couple of days when it has gone up even more so much that finding it difficult to function. I am not sure if it is the citalopram which is causing it. Has anybody experienced this high anxiety even after this amount of time on it? Should I just try and ride it out and hope it subsides - it so difficult to do anything though just feel like staying in bed.
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    Re: High Anxiety when on Citalopram

    Why have you stayed on 10mg, which is not a therapeutic dose? You should have been increased to 20mg by now.

    I would speak to your GP about raising dose, Eric. It will probably help reduce anxiety.
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  3. #3
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    Re: High Anxiety when on Citalopram

    Quote Originally Posted by StressedEric View Post
    I have been on 10mg Citalopram for 4 weeks now
    As KK77 has posted, this is a sub therapeutic dose for most. It should have been increased to the minimum recommended 20mg after 1-2 weeks. Antidepressants have no direct effect on anxiety (or depression) in the way say aspirin has on a headache. They work by stimulating the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis) to replace cells killed, or prevented from growing by high brain stress hormone levels. The therapeutic response is produced by these new cells and the stronger interconnections they forge, not the meds directly, and it takes a certain amount of the drug to initiate and sustain the process with 10mg probably dropping below the therapeutic threshold at times, interrupting neurogenesis.

  4. #4

    Re: High Anxiety when on Citalopram

    I have been on citalopram twice now, once back in 2010 and again in these past few weeks. I started on 10 mg in 2010 for 2 weeks before moving up to 20mg and I had raised anxiety whilst on the 10mg and for the first 1-2 weeks on 20mg, but then started noticing it reduce over a few more weeks until I was genuinely feeling fine. This time I started on 20mg and by week 3 have noticed a significant reduction in the morning anxiety and generally finding other episodes more manageable.

    As I understand it, 10 mg is generally just to allow your body to adjust to a new medication and deal with side effects, but it wasn't a therapeutic dose level for me. I need the 20mg to notice a difference. The 20mg made the side effects more noticeable for me this time, but for a shorter period of time, so there are pros and cons to both. I keep a good dialogue open with my doctor and also use meditation and other things to manage the side effects of the tablets and the anxiety itself. I think we can often attribute the physical and emotional feelinsg we are having to the tablets without recognising that they are also the same feelings that we get with anxiety anyway. Be kind to yourself, speak to your doctor and consider raising your dose. I am not sure what other coping mechanisms you use to help handle the anxiety and panic, but maybe increase them during this time - I found it helpful

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