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Deciding between taking Citalopram or Effexor- advise please?
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Deciding between taking Citalopram or Effexor- advise please?

Hi,

I've suffered from bouts of depression since childhood.  At the moment I'm going through a lot of life changes and feel like I need to take an anti-depressant for 3 to 6 months to get me through this time.

I was going to start on Effexor as my doctor says that is the best one, but having looked up the side effects from other users and I'm not too sure.  Also I tried to take it for a couple of days and felt quite strong side effects (although it was probably not long enough to really work out whether it suited me).

So he has given me Citalopram instead.  I was hoping I could get some advise from people to which one they would recomend?  I know it's different for everyone, but this effexor sounds like harsh withdrawal symtoms (symptoms).  I was on fluxotine (I think it was called ) for a year five yeats ago, and it worked and I'm glad I took it during that period of my life as I needed something, i tapered off the drug and got no withdrawal symptoms.  My doctor does not prescribe this one any more as he says the amphetamine-like side effects are too strong.

I'm not very motivated at the moment and feel like I've kind of got a sedated mood anyway, so I was hoping that Citalopram wouldn't make me feel even more sleepy as I might not get out of bed! Also I'm scared of getting fat, I know this is stupid...but there you go.  Also I have been suffering from insomnia for about a year and a half, but I'm not working at the moment and I don't get insomnia.

Would be very greatful for any advise.

Thanks so much.
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26 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
I'd go for the citalopram if i were you - i've known a couple of people who've had a pretty bad time of it on effexor. Hope it goes well, X
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Avatar_n_tn
i am on Effexor XR and i havent had any bad side effects. I started out on 37.5mg a day and after a week moved to 75 mg a day... the only rough day i had was my 1st day on 75 mg. i felt very drugged.. but i adjusted rather quickly.. best wishes =-)
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Avatar_n_tn
i would try the wellbuturin sr before those.  i had a bad time trying to get on those and never did.  didn't had a hard time at all with the wellbuterin sr.  good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know much about the side effects of citalopram but my husband is on effexor and had tried to come off it and when he cuts back he does feel it.  It does however help him with back pain and when he isn't on it he is in terrible pain.  I think the effexor made him cold and exact with little feelings behind his thoughts etc.  But his doctor has added another med and the two together have really started to bring back his feelings.  You want help but you don't want to not have any emotions.  The other medicine is Mirtazapine/remeron 15 mg.
Hope this helps.  
This may seem shallow but does anyone know if Citalopram causes weight gain?  I think it is totally stupid to make an antidepressant that puts weight on an already depressed person,
Thanks
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366488_tn?1198119471
Effexort works wonders but you can't miss a dose or you feel like a crack head who needs a fix. I call it the whooshes, where you turn your head and feel and hear a whoosh woosh woosh! But it really does fix your head!
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Avatar_f_tn
My sister is taking citalopram and this medication is working for her.  She has no side effects.  My niece is taking Effexor XR and this medication is working for her.  The only side effect is an increase in "sweating" when nervous.  The only way you will know what is best for your body is to try one.  I really think it is "six of one" and a "half dozen of the other".  If one doesn't work, then you try another.  Life really is too short to not feel well then there are options out there.  
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Avatar_n_tn
well, it is good to use Liquorice . It is known a very powerful antidepressent. It is especially good in stress relief. Take a  boiled decoction made of 2-5 g of dried root, three times a day. You will see the effect so soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Citalopram is the only medication I've ever been on, and it's been great for me. Like you might know, Citalopram works on serotonin only, while Effexor works on more than one neurotransmitter. I've heard great experiences with Effexor too, but also, they say it's much, much more difficult to wean off of.

I agree that you should give it a try, either to one of those two or something else. Medication is good when used properly. Talk to your doctor and he/she will prescribe you the most suitable for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I use citalopram and its been great. Gained a bit of weight but needed it. Not really any other side effects and I have been on it a year now.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been on Effexor XR 150 mg for a year and am currently going through the withdrawal process.  While I was on Effexor, I felt wonderful.  I do honestly think it's a drug that does what it states it will do.  The only problem I have with it is the withdrawal symptoms.  It's been 4 days since I've introduced any Effexor to my system and I feel like death!  Between the hyper feeling and the sleeplessness, not to mention the feelings of electric shocks in your head and the tingles in my hands, I don't know which is worse. I was glad (in a strange way) to see I'm not the only one who is having this kind of withdrawal problem but, had I known before I started taking it what the withdrawal would be like, I don't know I would have even started on it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have took antidepressants on and off since i was 20. i am now 47. zoloft has worked with me well. the only thing is it is harsh on the stomach.keeps mine upset. i am now for the first time taking citalopram. i have been on it for only 3 days now. everyone is saying you gain weight? i am overweight now. why would my doctor prescribe me something if i am going to put on more weight? that's not thinking right is it? if i notice that i am putting on more weight i will have to change it i guess. have you gained weight? i haven't taken it long enough to know yet.

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Avatar_f_tn
please dont do effexer it was so hard for me to get off terible withdrawls lexie pro is much better.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you have a history of short-term antidepressant use, and you feel like this is a short-term difficulty, I don't know that Effexor is the best option. The withdrawal effects from effexor are well-documented. If you plan to discontinue the medication after 3 or 6 months, perhaps might want to try another one. If Prozac (fluoxetine?) worked for you before there's a chance it would work for you again. I think Celexa is in the same class as Prozac, but Celexa can cause increased jitteriness. I was on Celexa (citalopram) for about two days and I felt like I was having a heart-attack. As you said, it's different for everyone. A good doctor will take lots of stuff into account, including your history and your concerns (yes, even your concerns about weight gain. You should never be afraid to voice a worry and you are definitely not the only person who was ever depressed and still worried about weight gain.) If you're not feeling listened to or you feel like you're not being given enough say, you may want to consider a consultation (second opinion) with another doctor.

Good luck.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I've been on Effexor XR 150 mg for 2 years. I recently read enough documentation to scare me into making a change to citalopram. I'm into my 3rd week of reducing the effexor and the withdrawls are wicked.I read it was in the top 15 of the worlds most dangerous drugs. I can hardly wait to start the citralopram. I have read tons of documentation that it is far better tolerated, and way easier to come off of. Search the net there are tons of web sites that compare the two. Citralopram wins hands down.
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1192491_tn?1265035429
I have been on a mixture of several antidepressants and antidepressants with mood stabilzers.  I have been thru withdrawal from Effexor and it is brutal, however, worth it.  I have been in a deep depression for a few months and my p-doc has switched my meds several times lately.  I believe we have finally come up with the right mixture, 300 mg. Effexor, 20 mg. Celexa and 30 mg. Risperdal.  I am beginning to feel good and have strong hope that the effects will continue  to build.

I had took Celexa (40 mg.) only a few years back and it did not do much for me.  So, if you continue to suffer from depression, keep trying until you find the correct med for you...it's worth it.  

As far as weight gain, too early to tell, however, I really am not  aware of  an antidepressant that doesn't result in some weight gain, just another side effect...I started a high protien diet the day I started Celexa to try to starve off the weight gain.

Don't give up...there is hope and it just takes time to find the best one for you.
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1192491_tn?1265035429
Hi, I have been on both separately and now I am taking them together, 300 mg. a day of Effexor and 20 mg. Celexa and 30 mg. of Risperdal  The Effexor by far is better to treat depression in my experence but it is a brutal withdrawal.  The Celexa alone did nothing for me but together I am responding very good.  If it were me, I would try the Celexa first and if that doesn't help go for the Effexor or on of the other antidepressants that are available till you find what works best for you.  Good luck, Jude
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,
I've been on Celexa for 7 years (40 mgs) and the worst side-effect for me is weight gain. Still, I would not let my experience scare you off because not everybody seems to gain weight on Celexa.

As far as minimizing depression, Celexa did the trick for me.

Before that, I was on Zoloft which also worked great for me for 5 yrs, but then it started not to work as well, so my Doc put me on Celexa instead.

The thing that I like about Celexa (for me) is that it doesn't make me dizzy or anything like that. Just tired.

Also, Celexa stays in your system for around 37 hours (I heard) but in a slower way, so the medicine seems to be spread out for longer periods, and thus (for me) it does not cause any weird side-effects.

Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
oh, btw, CELAXA is just another name for the "citalopram" you had mentioned.
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Avatar_f_tn
My DR. Perscribed effxor for hot flashes.I am unable to take hormone therapy. I was on effexor for 3 months. I became dislocated from my body.the side effects were horrible, and when I tried to stop I was in a state that required the help of my entire famly. I would rather burn up than to induce myself with chemical mental illness.
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Avatar_f_tn
Effexor worked wonders for me, but I lost my insurance and can't afford it.  So I've been taking Lexapro, now I can't get samples of the Lexapro so I don't know what to take, thinking about Celexa?
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Avatar_m_tn
Effexor withdrawal made my withdrawal from lorazepam seem like a walk in the park. 8 months on over 3 months to get off not a very good trade off.
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1912115_tn?1322147233
switched to effexor after long term Citalopram use. Dumb. Effexor has horrendous side effets from rashes to chills, nausea, agitation etc. Only been on Effexor for a very short time and switched back today, will see MD in the morning.

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Avatar_f_tn
I have been on Citalopram (40mg) for over a year now, and have seen no weight gain. I know that Elavil (Amnitryptiline) does cause significant weight gain, as I was on that for close to 5 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been taking celexa (citalopram 40mg) for a year now. It was prescribed for hot flashes due to my hysterectomy, and the fact that I am a high cancer risk patient and can not take hormone replacement. I have experienced no side effects from this med at all, not even weight gain which seems common in quite a few patients, and it has worked quite well.

I also have chronic pain, due to being hit by a car several years ago. My doctor says that depression is one of the major symptoms of chronic pain and says he wants to take care of it before it happens. He recently added Effexor XR (Venlafaxine 37.5 mg) to the long list of medications I am currently on. I am a bit concerned about taking both the celexa and effexor together.

Much of the information I have located about these two medications being taken together has not been encouraging. I am also on Elevil and Ambien for insomnia, but am going to stop taking the Elevil, as it causes significant weight gain, and does not seem like a safe medication to take with the effexor.

I have seen one other person in this forum that is on the celexa/venlafaxine combo, and their comments are positive, but I would like to hear from other people, as well.

I have not started the venlafaxine as of yet because I am so nervous about combining the two. I want to follow my doctor's orders, but am concerned that this is not a safe combination. I know that the doctor would know better than me, but I just can't get it out of my mind.

So if there are any other people on this combo please let me know the results.

Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
I have serious body pain which has caused some depression.  I asked my doc adn she gave me Effexor.  I took half of a 75 mg pill.  By that afternoon I was in the hospital ER with my blood pressure at 195 / 115, horrible headache, sick to my stomach and my heart felt like it was in a race.  She has now prescribed generic Celexa and I am really worried the same thing will happen.   It scared the crap out of me not to mention I felt like heck and I don't want to go thru that again.Not sure I want to even try another anti depressant.
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Avatar_f_tn
I, personally, took Citalopram starting Feb/2012... in May I had 2 suicide attempts, within days of each other. Called my doc, got off that right away. I had a very bad reaction to it. I also gained 20lbs while on it... which did not help the depression at all!
Just my personal experience though.
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