April 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
I’ve been struggling for the first time since evening out after stopping my Citalopram. Panic attacks, feeling miserable, crying (something I found the Citalopram actually PREVENTED me from doing!). I quit coffee and that definitely helped with the generalised anxiety but not enough.
I found mention of inositol on a Citalopram support page and ordered some Swanson 100% Pure Inositol Powder from healthmonthly.com, which is the only UK place I could find to get it by itself, instead of combined with some other rubbish.
Inositol is a B vitamin, B8. It naturally occurs in our cells, and is found in melons, nuts and a few other good things. That’s what makes me favour taking it over Citalopram. There are few side effects recorded for inositol and I reckon it’s because our bodies KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. Taken in large enough doses (and some people report a difference with just 2g a day), it has a very similar effect to SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors): it regulates serotonin. Poor management of serotonin is what causes anxiety – we don’t keep a consistent level of OK-ness, so can’t live in the moment and find it hard to chuck negative thoughts out of our heads.
I’ve been taking inositol a week now and I know that the placebo effect can be convincing, but I feel like I’ve managed being around people much better, and it’s also been fairly easy to stop myself digging my nails into my scalp (the compulsive manifestation of my anxiety). So much of my anxiety is caused by worrying about being anxious and imagining that I’m going mad or having a heart attack. If taking this creates a placebo effect that convinces my brain I’m calmer, I’ll be calmer. Magic.
[It’s not like starting Citalopram – I was pretty much EUPHORIC a few weeks after starting that. Smiling as I walked down the road, giggling to myself. Tell me that’s not a bit too far in the other direction!]
Negative side effects thus far: super vivid dreams and feeling like there are snakes wriggling in my tummy. Both totally manageable if I get the other, bigger positives alongside. I’ve also heard that the side effects tend to subside after a few weeks of taking.
I’m having a 6g scoop in my (decaf) coffee in the morning, which has the added bonus of being a sugar replacement as inositol has about half the sweetness of sugar. I may increase this by another scoop in the evening after a bit but don’t want to up it too soon. The original studies with inositol against fluvoxamine (an SSRI) showed that 12-18g doses spread throughout the day had much more impact than the SSRI, with far fewer side effects.
It’s also been examined for use in cancer prevention and treatment as studies have shown it can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and lots of people take it for dealing with the symptoms of polycystic ovaries. Miracle substance? Maybe, we’ll see.
For more information about inositol, read the thread on nomorepanic.com. It’s a labour of love, written by someone who has experience of many SSRIs and using inositol as a substitute.