This is Survivor Story number 33.
Total number of stories in current database is 77
Three Hellish Days on Cipramil (Celexa)
“I woke up having the most horrendous panic attack I’ve ever had in my life. I was going out of my mind, the walls and floors were morphing into my body, my torso felt like it was on fire with an icy heat, my chest was bursting…”
I read through your site with interest and would like to include my story of 3 hellish days on Cipramil (Celexa) and how it set me on the road to tranquilizer addiction.
My name is Lisa, and I’m from the UK. I’d rather you didn’t include my email address, but please feel free to use my name.
I had been suffering with panic attacks for several years. First I was tried on beta blockers, and when they ceased to be effective, the doctor put me on Cipramil. Straight in at the high dose of 20mg. (I’ve since discovered you should start low and work your way up).
I was staying at a friends house at the time as I was pretty much suicidal. I took my first dose of Cipramil – nothing untoward happened apart from blurry vision and a dry mouth. Then at 3am the next morning, all hell broke loose. I woke up having the most horrendous panic attack I’ve ever had in my life. I was going out of my mind, the walls and floors were morphing into my body, my torso felt like it was on fire with an icy heat, my chest was bursting – I honestly thought I was dying. My friend called an ambulance, and this was the start of the worst day of my life. I ended up going by ambulance to hospital twice in the same day. The panic attack lasted 36 hours. (they’re supposed to last 30 minutes, tops).
While I was at hospital, they gave me Valium to abate the symptoms of the Cipramil. After taking it for a week, I couldn’t function without it.
Later on down the road, my doctor decided that as the Cipramil hadn’t worked, he was going to try me on Effexor. Like a fool, I thought it might be different this time. It wasn’t. Exactly the same thing happened – 3 days and I was a raving lunatic going completely out of my head with insane symptoms. My dose of Valium was upped to cope with the side effects of the Effexor. I took 3 Effexor, and threw the rest away.
I wish I could say that was the end of it, but it isn’t. I’m now a Valium addict. I honestly believe that if I’d never been given the Cipramil, I never would have ended up on Valium. I’m tapering off now with the help of a wonderful online support group, following the Ashton manual, and suffering horrible withdrawal symptoms. My doctor has been no help. I haven’t been able to work for 9 months and have been reduced to claiming Incapacity benefit.
All from taking Cipramil for 3 days – if only I’d known. These drugs should be banned.