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Anxiety behaving strangely



New member
Oct 21, 2019
Hi all. First post here. I have had a life free of anxiety or depression up until a few years ago. My wife was expecting our first child, and a difficult birth where she and the baby were in danger, it triggered an immediate onset of severe anxiety. I literally woke up the next day having gone from no anxiety ever to full blown land you in a mental institution anxiety.

I didn't know what was wrong with me at first but it was the most frightening thing I've ever gone through. After repeated visits to my GP who played it down and prescribed me sleeping pills and then Propranalol, went back and begged him to give me something to make me feel better. This was after months of nearly going insane. He finally prescribed me Citalopram which after the initial period made me feel like a human again.

This is where it gets interesting.

I was on 20mg per day and for the first few months I felt great. Anxiety was completely gone and I felt like a new person. Because of this I thought it would be a good idea to start coming off(on advice from my GP). I went down to 10mg per day and almost immediately I started feeling worse again. Because it creeps up on you, you think I'll stick it out, it must just be a few bad days. It just got worse and I had a few panic episodes after which I asked my GP to put me back on my original dose. He suggested to go straight to 40mg to try and help me feel better as quickly as possible. It made no real difference and I continued to feel crap.

Then he said we should try another medication and I opted for Venlafaxine. As I was cross tapering and coming off of the Citalopram I suddenly started feeling a lot better. In fact at the point where I was on the lowest dose Citalopram before I introduced the Venlafaxine, I felt the best I had in months. Then as soon as I started taking the Venlafaxine I started feeling worse again.

I finished tapering and went onto a maintenance dose of 150mg per day. After a few weeks I started feeling better but never quite right. I still had noticeable anxiety every day, especially in the mornings. It was there but it was manageable. From reading that different brands can have an effect on how you feel, I opted to stay with the Pfizer Efexor brand. A few months in my pharmacy ran out and the only thing they could get was Vencarm 150mg. I was apprehensive at first to switch brands but went ahead to avoid any hassles. As soon as I started taking the Vencarm I felt noticeably worse. This continued right throughout the rest of the month. When I got my next prescription I made sure I got the Pfizer capsules again. Since switching back to it it was like a light switch had been flicked. Not only did I start feeling much better again but my anxiety has now all but gone. It's been a few months and there has been no change. I feel great and stable and happy for the first time in a long time.

My question is, how can you feel so different on the same brand and same dose? Why did I start feeling better when I started coming off the Citalopram? I know SSRI's and SNRI's aren't very well understood, but I was wondering if there was anyone here that could have an explanation.


Well-known member
Oct 4, 2019
United Kingdom
I 've woken up with my brain feeling weird and are scared hat it ain't gonna go back to normal


Well-known member
Aug 3, 2019
Kent, UK.
:welcome: Pezzy

Regarding the brand change, I have done a little research into this as I had a similar issue with another psychiatric drug that's also used for nerve pain.

Even though the active ingredient is the same, the filler ingredients can effect quite how it's delivered and how it's absorbed. The branded drugs often have had all the development and research into the best possible outcome, whereas the generic types just get the active ingredient and, I believe, "pack it out" based on the "success" of other generics that are absorbed in a similar way.

There is also some evidence that your body gets used to one delivery method and changing brands upsets this and takes an adjustment period (or just doesn't work at all).

I'm my case it was finding the best generic, one would keep my pain stable over a period of time, and the other 2 that I tried would taper off after 2 weeks and I would end up as if I had stopped taking the medication alltogether. The generic that worked was the first brand that I had taken and had been on for two months before the pharmacy gave me a different one. I stick to the one generic brand now.

A bit off topic, but I also read that it's really important to stick with the brand you start with when taking thyroid hormones.
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