I’ve been off caffeine now for two weeks, and while I greatly miss my daily cups of black tea and coffee, I think cutting out caffeine has made my arthritis better.  I’ve been meaning to give it up just for general health purposes, but this time it’s been out of necessity.

The back story that prompted my caffeine sacrifice is that two weeks ago I started suffering from extreme anxiety and mini panic attacks for seemingly no reason.  I’ve had anxiety and panic attacks in the past, but they were always a result of some specific thing(s) I was worrying about.  This time, the anxiety hit me out of nowhere.  The normal stresses of work and Christmas busyness have been getting on my nerves this month, but nothing to freak out about.  Nothing worthy of heart palpitations, shaky hands, stomach pain and nausea.

After a couple days of very uncomfortable jitters and jumpiness, I decided to call my pharmacist and ask about one of the medications I’ve been taking that had just changed.  I’ve been on citalopram, a generic for celexa, for the last two years.  I’ve never had a problem with it, but wondered if the latest refill might be causing the anxiety.  The new refill was also for 20 mg of citalopram, but it was from a different manufacturer than what I was used to taking.  Speaking with the pharmacist made me feel a bit relieved (that I wasn’t going crazy) and confirmed that changing the manufacturer of a generic drug could indeed cause these types of side effects.  She immediately offered to refill my prescription with the former generic I was used to.  The next day I threw out the “bad” drug and started back on my regular medication.  I was hoping this would solve the problem and that I’d feel normal again right away.  However, it’s not until…um…yesterday that I really feel better.  Maybe it just takes this long for the “bad” generic to get out of my system and my old stuff to kick back in?  I have no idea, but it’s been really awful feeling so anxious for this long.

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