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1243620 tn?1274794297

Need your Celexa experiences/advice. Please reply asap!

I took Celexa a few weeks ago (one 10 mg pill) and got serotonin syndrome and had to go to the hospital. Now I've been having severe panic attacks and social anxiety again, and I'm desperate. The doctor have me celexa again, and I'm taking 5mg.

I took it last night, I was up most of the night. Worrying, anxious, etc. I feel pretty shakey today, it's hard to focus, I haven't worked on anything I need to get done. I have no motivation and I feel on edge. IS THIS A NORMAL REACTION TO STARTING CELEXA? WILL IT GO AWAY IN A FEW DAYS? WHAT DID YOU EXPERIENCE THE FIRST TIME YOU STARTING TAKING CELEXA? I don't know if I should stick this out or not and take another 5mg tonight or just give up and stop it... (I'm also on Klonopin that doesn't seem to be working.)

Also, I'm having severe insomnia, I'm going to take melatonin tonight, the pharmacy said it's ok to take it.

Please reply asap. I don't know what to do, I have a class tomorrow and I'm panicing because I don't know if I should stick with the Celexa, I don't know if I'll still feel like this tomorrow.
14 Responses
1243620 tn?1274794297
P.S-I don't know how to edit my post. BUT I STARTED CELEXA LAST NIGHT, JUST ONE 5MG PILL.
Avatar universal
I'm confused.  Are you sure it was serotonin syndrome?  They told you that?  Because it's rare and quite serious and no way would they put you back on an ssri if you got serotonin syndrome from it.  I have a feeling something else was up, not serotonin syndrome.  I'd find out exactly what happened if I were you.  It would seem scientifically impossible to get serotonin syndrome from one Celexa pill, paricularly such a low dose -- it takes some weeks to build up in the system.  There are a lot of bad reactions to these meds that don't add up to serotonin syndrome.  Are you on another serotonin affecting med as well?
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree with Paxilled. No way would they put you back on Celexa had you had SS.  One 10mg Celexa by itself would not cause SS either.

These meds DO cause significant side effects in the initial phase of treatment, which is what I would bet you experienced.

You need to find out for sure.
1243620 tn?1274794297
Yes, the hospital said it was definitely serotonin syndrome and they were shocked, as they'd never seen it from such a small dose. They said serotonin syndrome usually occurs within the first few hours, it started 4 hours after taking it last time.

Today I felt like my brain was sucked out of me. I was walking really slow, everything was slowed down and I didn't have one thought in my head for about ten minutes on the bus, it was bizarre. I was just staring at things like they weren't even there. Then, around 7pm tonight I think the celexa was wearing off, I got really panicy and jumpy and had a creepy feeling. I took clonazepam and calmed down.

I am only taking clonazepam. That's it. But I am having severe insomnia so I'm taking melatonin tonight.

I called the pharmacy, they said that there is something wrong with my body (chemicals, electrolytes, or enzymes) so I should stop the Celexa. My doctor will give me anything I ask for, no matter what has happened in the past, and I was desperate because of panic attacks so asked for Celexa again.

It seems like I'm trapped, because I can't take anything really. I'm going to try meditating or something...I'm kind of out of options.
Avatar universal
I agree with the above posts. serotonin syndrome just does'nt happen that fast. When first starting these meds you can feel very strange, especially the first couple of days. I really think that's what happened to you.
Your not out of options. There are many antidepressants to choose from. You don't have to take Celexa.
You have to be prepared to possibly feel a little strange the first few days so you might want to think about starting your meds when your going to be home from work a couple of days, like the weekend.
In my opinion, I would not take melatonin or any other supplement with my antidepressant. Only vitamins. Take care. Remar
Avatar universal
Here's the thing.  If this really was serotonin syndrome, then no way should you ever take another ssri, especially not the one that gave it to you from one small dose.  You might be a rare person with liver metabolites that make it too strong for you.  But I'd still question the diagnosis.  If it's true, you're very rare.  Maybe you can earn some bucks as a research study!  But at any rate, when side effects are this strong, it means it's the wrong med for you, even if it isn't serotonin syndrome.  Hard to believe someone would put you right back on it when there are other ssris to try.
470885 tn?1326332637
Like others have said, I'm pretty confused as to why they'd have you taking another SSRI....especially Celexa, since that's what brought on the seritonin syndrome in the first place.

I took 10mg of Celexa for just over a year and I can confirm that I had similar symptoms to what you described (anxiety, shakiness, etc.) for the first 2 weeks after starting on the med.  I recall being at work and just sitting at my desk, unable to concentrate.  I had a meeting at work one day right after starting on it, and I honestly don't know how I made it through. Another thing that happened to me was going down to the cafeteria at lunch at work and being very jumpy...unable to handle being in a crowd - I had met a friend for lunch and had to leave, I simply couldn't handle being around people.  I also had these weird brain "zap" things......freaky.

After the first 2 weeks, it got SO much better.....I didn't have any other side effects once my body got used to the medication.
1131131 tn?1275112088
I also had a reaction to celexa. I was on it for about a year and it built up in my system. My bp shot up, shaking, chills, muscle spasm, etc. My md sent me to ER. Doctor said it was a reaction to the celexa and that I had to stop it asap. My md started my on another ssri right away. Within two weeks I was reacting again ( increased bp, etc) I had to stop meds cold turkey. I went through withdrawls for a while. My md refused to see me for psych meds anymore and sent me to psychiatrist. I am now taking only 5mg of lexapro and trying to figure out what else I can take. was on xanex and now being changed over to klonopin. 10mg lexepro caused similar symptoms of increase bp, muscle spasms, etc. Psychiatirst said I was was very  sensitive to meds.
the funny thing is, I use to take lexapro at 20 and at one time 40mg. now I can only handle 5mg since the reaction to celexa. Everyone is different. My mother takes 40mg of celexa and goes well, but can't take lexepro. I can handle small dose of lexepro but not celexa. Not all ssri are the same. If one does not work, another might. There are also snri like effexor. dont give up.
Avatar universal

I also agree with the above posters, I think you were misinformed. I too tried Celexa and the 1st  few days were terrible, very hightened anxiety, insomnia, light tremors, sweats,  jittery jumpy. I decided to go back on Paxil which was less harsh to start on, but unfortunately is hard to come off of.
perhpas you need to give this time. Reducing it to 5mg is a good start. Also, Klonopin usually take a good 2 weeks to reach steady levels. It is best when taking 2-3 times a day. Im not sure how you were dosed but it should be taken 2-3 times to build up in your system. If your Dr didnt prescribe this way please speak to him/her about this.

best wishes

Avatar universal
This really isn't instilling confidence in me starting Celexa soon. I was prescribed 20mg to start (will be my first SSRI). I have been hesitating to start because of 1) anxiety of taking new medicines 2) because we are coming up on finals week and I cannot afford to go through some serious side effects  right now.
Avatar universal
Meds are no picnic.  If you need them you need them, but if you're still functioning pretty well, try therapy first.  The meds aren't going anywhere.  But if therapy doesn't help and you life just doesn't work anymore, and there's no physiological cause and you've tried meditation and relaxation techniques and such, then you have to put up with the meds.  If you do, you do.  But starting on them, changing doses, and quitting often do bring on hard times as the body adjusts, so it is something to consider and discuss with your psychiatrist.
1243620 tn?1274794297
The doctors have said I'm extremely sensitive to meds too, I'm afraid because things aren't getting better for me...If I could take all the pills the drs throw at me, and they'd make me better, I would take them. Everything is making me worse. I'm on the waiting list to see a pharmacologist...But who knows how long that will be.

The hospital CONFIRMED THAT I HAD SEROTONIN SYNDROME from the ONE 10mg pill of Celexa. I was only prescribed to take a small amount of Klonopin at bedtime. One doctor is sure I have liver problems, the whites of my eyes turn yellow at night, and my skin also sometimes turns yellowish orange.

I had such a bad time today that I just cut up another Celexa pill into tiny pieces and took one piece. I'm getting no help from any doctors, they're clueless and I'm going to snap. I can't take this anymore. My mood keeps changing rapidly, and I can't function day to day anymore.

To anyone who has never been on meds-GO FOR THERAPY INSTEAD. This is not worth it.
1316973 tn?1313260827
You certainly COULD get a reaction on such a low dose, as you are taking other meds which can affect the body's/liver's reactions. Both TAKING and NOT TAKING meds can get a reaction , sometimes  within the time it takes to metabolize the med -- 4-5 hours.
What else are you doing besides medication? Exercise, fresh/organic greens, some kind of meditation/yoga/tai chi. You could check out "Unstuck" the book by James Gordon, who talks about the effects of SSRI's on the WHOLe body, and suggests other (complementary? not necessarily instead of) modes of treatment.
I have taken psychoactive meds for over 15 years, but they take a tremendous toll on your body and mind because there's no such thing as SIDE effects, they're all effects.
Avatar universal
Wow.. I have been depressed for 5 months since losing my job. Been suffering from anxiety as well. I was issued generic Celexa by my PCP at the VA several months ago but did not take the pills because my research showed some possible side effects. Finally I got so bummed out that I decided to give it a shot. I was told to break my 20 mg pills in half. I felt desensitized which I guess was good. Whenever depressing thoughts would enter my mind I would just turn them off quickly. No big deal. I didn't feel bad but didn't feel good either. I also would say I lost all inhibitions. Just kind of felt outside myself. Well, yesterday was my 4th day taking the pill. All was well until the evening. Began feeling lethargic. I looked in the mirror and it seemed like my pupils were pretty dilated. The kids and my wife were becoming extremely irritating to me so I just said I had to go and got in my truck and left. The radio was on and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, even the music seemed slow. I also felt like I was hallucinating. Seeing tracers or something. I just kept praying, begging God to help me and finally began calming down somewhat. My hands and feet were sweating, my motor skills seemed impaired. I felt like I had no control over myself, as if the drug was in control of me and I wanted off! Like being stuck on a roller coaster that would never stop. It was very very scary. Needless to say I am not taking my pill again today and am now turned off to anti depressants. I enjoyed the lack of anxiety I was experiencing such as my kids not getting on my nerves, not worrying about finances and being able to go into crowded public places with ease but after yesterday, the cons certainly outweighed the pros.. I really hope they legalize marijuana soon. Yesterday was a horror show.
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