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Long Term Side Effects


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#1 shyboots

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 06:12 AM

Hey there,
I've been on citalopram for it feels like forever, about a year and a half in all I think. I've been trying so hard! But life is all ups and downs, about February-ish last year I started to work my way down the doses (was up to 40mg) and have been on 20mg since then when stuff went kind of crazy in my life and it didn't seem a good time to stop. Now I feel fine almost all of the time but sometimes (maybe once or twice a week) I get hit by a wave of overwhelming depressing, suicidal ideation, the works. I spoke to my GP last night and he's really not sure what will work in the long run but suggests I start by trying going back up to 30mg and see how that works. The thing is I get really really awful night sweats, again not every night, but often enough to really motivate me to get off these meds. And they were worse when I was on a higher dose.
My questions are - is it normal to be getting these side-effects long term? Are there any tricks for avoiding the night sweats? I'm willing to try anything, herbal, whatever!
I changed my username! I used to be called Worrier999. I am still a worrier, but my new name is a bit more...me!

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#2 BetterOff

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:36 AM

Hey there,
I've been on citalopram for it feels like forever, about a year and a half in all I think. I've been trying so hard! But life is all ups and downs, about February-ish last year I started to work my way down the doses (was up to 40mg) and have been on 20mg since then when stuff went kind of crazy in my life and it didn't seem a good time to stop. Now I feel fine almost all of the time but sometimes (maybe once or twice a week) I get hit by a wave of overwhelming depressing, suicidal ideation, the works. I spoke to my GP last night and he's really not sure what will work in the long run but suggests I start by trying going back up to 30mg and see how that works. The thing is I get really really awful night sweats, again not every night, but often enough to really motivate me to get off these meds. And they were worse when I was on a higher dose.
My questions are - is it normal to be getting these side-effects long term? Are there any tricks for avoiding the night sweats? I'm willing to try anything, herbal, whatever!


Hello, I just wanted to chime in perhaps 30 mg will be *the dosage* that will be perfect for you. You sound like you are doing okay on the med but 40 mg was a tad too much and 20 mg was a tad too little. A person does have to *play* with a dosage to get it just right like goldilocks and the three bears. Also Perhaps its good you carry with you an anti-anxiety medication for when that wave of depression hits, it calms you down and gets you through it. Many people do this as some *stressor* can come along and set us off, some can shake it off, some need a little help.

Also I would like to mention that *sometimes* (not saying this is your case) a nightsweat can be a sign of something else physically wrong. I offer an example, I was having night sweats and couldnt understand why, I started to check out my temperature as thats what nightsweats do in some cases, your body is trying to regulate your temperature, and discovered I was running a bit of temperature each evening below 100 but higher than 98.6 (it varied usually around 99.4 but varied). I wondered what the heck is going on. I finally discovered I had an infected tooth, it was a crowned tooth that had gone bad and it was hard to discover this until finally my jaw got swollen and an x-ray discovered the infection. This happens to people with root canals also. Root canals and a crowned tooth can just *go bad* over time dentists dont know why this happens for crowned teeth but for root canals, an endodontist didnt get all the bacteria out before sealing tooth. In fact there is a movement underway that is small but determined to stop root canals because of this. Just in case, and I only say this because I went for like 2 years with this unknown infection, its good to have a deep x-ray of the roots of all crowned teeth and those with root canals as a deep x-ray of the roots can show if this has occured. It is *one* factor you can rule out. I mention this because it often takes a person a long time to discover an infected tooth that has been worked on and its failed and its *very* hard for a general practioner doctor to locate this particular infection, my GP checked me out from head to toe and told me that some people are just known to run higher than normal temperature, but I *knew* something was wrong with myself and I got very scared over these nightsweats and I never would have discovered the cause if finally it didnt get so bad my infection resulted in a swollen jaw.
Its just a suggestion but to anyone who reads this response, I think it is a very good thing to have all old crowned teeth and root canals checked periodically for something like this. It is *far* more common that the public is being made aware of and has even been known to cause death in some people because teeth are located so close to the brain that an infection can spread to that area. Its nothing to worry about if its caught in time and the tooth removed.
I hope I havent scared anyone, but I have a mission in life to get this one message out and your post seemed a perfect time to mention this as it may get to someone and help...

Anyway, I ramble, its just that nightsweats that persist need to checked out by a physician as it *can* be something else going wrong like a bad gall bladder, infected appendix, all of which nowdays are quick easy fixes which can be removed nowdays even as an out-patient process, i.e. you can leave the hospital the same day the operation is done and go home, as they have great technology for making a little incision and insert an optic devide to locate and remove the infected organ. These two organs can go bad and cause night sweats also as a preliminary to flaring up! This is just an fyi post for any who many stumble across it.
I guess I just wanted to say, a night sweat may or may not be attributed to an anti-depressant as other factors could be causing this and you may think it is the AD when in fact is could be another *issue* - bring this up to your doctor and ask him about these night sweats again and could they be attributed to something else going bad! The three aforementioned items i.e. bad tooth, appendix and gall bladder are known to cause this effect also if going bad.

Edited by BetterOff, 02 November 2010 - 10:38 AM.

Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 jimbow15

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:56 AM

Hi Worrier999,


All types of antidepressants can cause night sweats as a side effect, with a range in incidence from 8% to 22% of persons taking antidepressant drugs. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.

As Betteroff said you need to ensure that there is no other physical cause for night swats as well, so ask you Doctor for a check up.

As for the Citalopram it may be that you will be able to stabilize at 30mg and that will overcome your sudden episodes of 'severe depression feelings' . In the long run it is always difficult to predict how any AD is going to work simply because tolerance grows and medication become less effective.

Getting off ADs is going to cause you withdrawal side effects that are similar to depression returning, this can be a problem for a lot of people weaning off ADs as they feel it is the return of their depression again. However in time these side effects ease off.

I do hope that you are able to stabalise at 30mg and do see your Doctor about the night sweats just to ensure there is no other physical cause.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." Albert E.


Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#4 tam181

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:50 AM

I just wanted to share with you that I recently went off of Paxil and tried to go the natural route with a Naturopathic Dr. After things went way down hill probably from withdrawal and the return of symptoms, I ended up with a psychiatrist (rather than the GP that prescribed the Paxil) and really got to dig down and see the reason for my anxiety. In my case it is most likely that through giving birth and losing an excessive amount of blood, my brain began to misfire, hormones were messed up, and I was left with severe anxiety. Knowing that, I can accept that my body will not be able to regulate this part of my brain on its own and if I want to live a normal, low stress, life, then Celexa (or another med) is the only way my brain will be able to level out. I had such an issue with being on the meds originally and the stigma that something was wrong with me and that I should be able to cope. But, I can't. So, my point is, from the experience I have had and where I am now, I think that it is important to look at the cause for your depression/anxiety, and determine if getting off the meds will be beneficial or detrimental. There are some things we can't control and just like any other medical condition, I don't think mental health is something to mess with or overlook.

#5 shyboots

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for all the replies :-)

I never had a night sweat before taking this ADs so I'm pretty sure it is associated with that for me, but I'm due at the dentist soon anyway so I'll make sure to mention it just in case. I have to go back to the GP in 4 weeks to see how the change in dose is going too so I can keep saying about this to him and see if it is worth looking into other causes. It happened again last night, ugh! I tried some of the general tips from the internet like not eating close to bed time and wearing cool bedclothes.

I really, really hope this is the dose for me...actually weirdly today I feel really good and I didn't get my AD this morning at all because my prescription just ran out and I forgot to go to the pharmacy. This seems weird to me! Normally I get a headache if I miss a pill and wonder why.

On the underlying causes, I've been working really hard at it, I've been for CBT and was feeling great, finished therapy and started to work down the medications, then someone I know died by suicide and it sort of went a bit wobbly from then, went off work sick again, had some more counselling (person-centred this time), that was really positive but just a short course of it funded through work, and in the meantime my whole work is restructuring and I know I'll be starting some new job in January so finding very demotivated at the current place because, mentally, I've left already, at the same time I know starting a new job, however good it is in the end, is going to be challenging and I really went to be in good shape for facing that challenge.

Edited by Worrier999, 03 November 2010 - 10:03 AM.

I changed my username! I used to be called Worrier999. I am still a worrier, but my new name is a bit more...me!

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I want to feel my life while I'm in it - Meryl Streep

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I would much rather have been merry than wise - Jane Austen


#6 shyboots

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 09:11 AM

Ok this is weird, I still haven't got to the pharmacy so I've been 2 days without and I feel fine except a bit of nausea. I didn't expect this. Almost tempted to stop altogether??!
I changed my username! I used to be called Worrier999. I am still a worrier, but my new name is a bit more...me!

__________

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  • Alone



__________

I want to feel my life while I'm in it - Meryl Streep

__________

I would much rather have been merry than wise - Jane Austen


#7 BetterOff

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 02:35 PM

Ok this is weird, I still haven't got to the pharmacy so I've been 2 days without and I feel fine except a bit of nausea. I didn't expect this. Almost tempted to stop altogether??!


Whew, glad I came back to this post - please do *not* stop taking your medication without a doctors approval. The reason you are still feeling okay is that you still have a high amount of the anti-depressant in your system. Its stored in the fat cells and can take a long time to work its way out of your system altogether. If you stay off meds in *alot* of cases, anxiety and depression will start to creep back so slowly that you wont notice it until you get to
the point where depression has creeped back in resulting in increased anxiety, nervousness, perhaps even panic attacks and all of a sudden you realize you are in full blown depression again.

People can phase off anti-depressants, but this is with a doctors consent and you should *never* do this on your own without a doctors consent. Trust me, this website is *full* of people who made the *mistake* of thinking they could go it alone and then got themselves in lots of trouble falling back to ground zero and having to work their way back up again. Again, this may not be your case, but please I beg of you, consult your doctor about this, depression could start to hit alot sooner than later but in alot of people alas it will be back with a vengance. I did this once and really regretted it later as have many of us... dont mean to burst your bubble and hope I havent offended but two days off an AD and still feeling great is quite normal because the AD is still there stimulating your happy hormones, if you stop their stimulation, you could go into remission.
Good Luck and again I *beg* you to consult your doctor for your own sake and dont fall into the "I dont need an AD anymore trap - I bet others wil chime in with the same advice....
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#8 shyboots

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 04:58 AM


Ok this is weird, I still haven't got to the pharmacy so I've been 2 days without and I feel fine except a bit of nausea. I didn't expect this. Almost tempted to stop altogether??!


Whew, glad I came back to this post - please do *not* stop taking your medication without a doctors approval. The reason you are still feeling okay is that you still have a high amount of the anti-depressant in your system. Its stored in the fat cells and can take a long time to work its way out of your system altogether. If you stay off meds in *alot* of cases, anxiety and depression will start to creep back so slowly that you wont notice it until you get to
the point where depression has creeped back in resulting in increased anxiety, nervousness, perhaps even panic attacks and all of a sudden you realize you are in full blown depression again.

People can phase off anti-depressants, but this is with a doctors consent and you should *never* do this on your own without a doctors consent. Trust me, this website is *full* of people who made the *mistake* of thinking they could go it alone and then got themselves in lots of trouble falling back to ground zero and having to work their way back up again. Again, this may not be your case, but please I beg of you, consult your doctor about this, depression could start to hit alot sooner than later but in alot of people alas it will be back with a vengance. I did this once and really regretted it later as have many of us... dont mean to burst your bubble and hope I havent offended but two days off an AD and still feeling great is quite normal because the AD is still there stimulating your happy hormones, if you stop their stimulation, you could go into remission.
Good Luck and again I *beg* you to consult your doctor for your own sake and dont fall into the "I dont need an AD anymore trap - I bet others wil chime in with the same advice....


Um...ok...actually I got to the pharmacy last night and am back on it again so don't worry I'm fine :)
I changed my username! I used to be called Worrier999. I am still a worrier, but my new name is a bit more...me!

__________

  • You
  • Are
  • Not
  • Alone



__________

I want to feel my life while I'm in it - Meryl Streep

__________

I would much rather have been merry than wise - Jane Austen





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