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Thread: Citalopram to Escitalopram - side effects of changing?

  1. #1
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    Citalopram to Escitalopram - side effects of changing?

    Just over two weeks ago I had to change from 20mg Citalopram to 10mg Escitalopram. I had some headaches and so on but thought I was managing it well and everything was going ok. However the last 4/5 days I have had bad nightmares, increasing anxiety/panic, intrusive thoughts and headaches. Has anyone else had any of these side effects from switching? Iím very on edge at the moment and appreciate some advice/support if possible.

  2. #2
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    Re: Citalopram to Escitalopram - side effects of changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionwhispers View Post
    Just over two weeks ago I had to change from 20mg Citalopram to 10mg Escitalopram.
    Why did you have to switch?

    I had some headaches and so on but thought I was managing it well and everything was going ok. However the last 4/5 days I have had bad nightmares, increasing anxiety/panic, intrusive thoughts and headaches. Has anyone else had any of these side effects from switching?
    This is unusual as they are essentially the same med. Citalopram two isomers of citalopram, the 'S' form which is the active component, and a 'R' mirror image form which is a poorer fit biologically and so is mostly inactive. Lexapro (escitalopram) is more refined and only contains the 'S' isomer. While there can be differences in side-effects between the two they are usually only subtle and short-lived.

    How long were you on citalopram before the switch? Have you been under greater stress since switching?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Citalopram to Escitalopram - side effects of changing?

    I was sensitive to a binding agent in the makes of citalopram that are in stock where I live. My doctor said I should switch. I was on Citalopram for about 9 years at different doses.

    I don’t think greater stress, a bit more stress at work but not a sudden increase. I’m just desperately trying to work out why I feel this way and whether it is related to the change if medication of not.

    Thank you for replying

  4. #4
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    Re: Citalopram to Escitalopram - side effects of changing?

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionwhispers View Post
    I was sensitive to a binding agent in the makes of citalopram that are in stock where I live.
    Has this been a long-term issue, or has there been a recent change? What is the binding agent and what symptoms does it trigger?

    I donít think greater stress, a bit more stress at work but not a sudden increase. Iím just desperately trying to work out why I feel this way and whether it is related to the change if medication of not.
    While it is unusual, it could be the med. ADs can be very unpredictable. If the symptoms are not getting worse I would stick with escitalopram for another week as side-effects typically begin to diminish at around 2-3 weeks.

    Have you talked to your chemist/pharmacist about this? They may be able to get in a generic which doesn't contain the agent especially for you. Also, citalopram comes in a liquid formulation which presumably doesn't have binding agents.
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    The opinions expressed above are based on my observations and, where applicable, interpretation of cited data and are general in nature. Consult your physician before acting on anything stated.

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