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Citalopram And Ritalin

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#1 Manda



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Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:13 PM



Has anyone got experince of Narcolepsy and citalopram? I got put on citalopram for anxiety a year ago and came off of it a month ago. Since then I have noticed that my REM sleep and episodes of cataplexy have increased. My zeo sleep monitor has gone from showing REM of around 40% to 50-60%. Two days ago my zeo registered 61% REM and a 3 hour continuous block of REM. I have had a lot more incidents of (what I assume is) cataplexy. Over christmas I had real laughing fit and I just kept falling onto the floor and everytime I think about the incident that made me laugh I feel my knees starting to buckle. I've only once experienced this sort of thing recently (another very funny incident over the summer). I've so had a lot more problems with experiencing weakness in my arms. I had a real struggle to eat my christmas dinner because I couldn't make my hands grip my knife and fork properly or lift the food to my mouth. It felt like trying to operate two limp and floppy objects that were only semi connected to my body. The sensation in my arms made me feel very silly and (I guess drunk looking) everytime I started laughing about it, it just got worse. Tonight I went out to my dance class and could almost feel what was going to happen. I had tiring day, lots of REM (53%) and little deep sleep (10%), fell alseep on the train, the bus etc and after finishing the dance class I could feel weakness in my body...just felt wobbly and then bam, knees go and I'm on the floor. Was not fun as there was a lot of people there and I felt like a total idiot.


I have however also noticed a couple of good things that have happened since comming off the citalopram, one is that I am waking up much less and falling asleep much quicker at night, another is that I am going into REM sleep much faster (often straight from wake). 


I was on the citalopram when I did my sleep tests (I asked them if it was ok that I was taking it and they said yes). Is it possible that being on the citalopram affected my sleep tests (which they said didn't resemble narcolepsy? - I had a lot of anxiety and stress as well which meant I didn't sleep "normally" anyway...but I wonder if it could have affected the amount of REM + sleep latency I had, especially after the changes in my sleep I have seen with the Zeo since comming off of it?


My neurologist has tentitively diagnosed narcolepsy because of all my symptoms and has prescribed Ritalin. I haven't taken any yet as I am worried how it will affect my anxiety and wanted to give myself a bit of time to adjust comming off citalopram before bombarding my body with more drugs. Has anyone got any experiences of using ritalin especially with anxiety??


Thanks :0)

#2 DeathRabbit



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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:13 AM

SSRI cessation, especially in an abrupt manner, will cause horrible REM rebounds, since they suppress REM sleep. I was on Paroxetine, and I was never able to quit it by myself, because at the one month mark, the EDS, malaise, and brain zaps would all become too much. My doc ended up putting me on fluoxetine to help me off them. It is a weaker SSRI with a much longer half life. I was on the fluoxetine for merely two weeks, then I stopped and it caused me zero issues whatsoever and I was off the Paroxetine for good! And yes, it is also entirely possible that the citalopram caused an inconclusive sleep study with it's REM suppression and REM latency effects. Some doctors just don't think about these things, I guess.