Citalopram: A Proficient Antidepressant

According to WHO(World Health Organisation), depression is the main cause of disability. Depression is referred to as a Mood disorder that involves continual feelings of sadness and loss of interest in daily activities. There is another category that is Mood fluctuations  and this category is different from depression because depressed people experience persistent sadness while people experience Mood fluctuations regularly as a part of their lives. Depression is an ongoing problem and it can affect adults, children and adolescents as well. It has different episodes having different symptoms that last for about 2 years. For treatment, depression takes time of several weeks, months or even years. 

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

Signs and symptoms of depression are different from person to person. Some common symptoms are given as follows:

  • Poor Concentration 
  • Feeling of worthlessness 
  • Thoughts of harming yourself 
  • Lost of interest if daily activities, in those things which you were used to love 
  • Persistent sadness 
  • Feeling of emptiness, hopelessness 
  • Irritability, frustration even over small matters
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Decreased energy, Fatigue
  • Anxiety 
  • Appetite changes 

Causes Of Depression:

As it is known that depression is a complex disease and it does not have any exact causes to be known. Some main causes of depression that can be:

  • Conflict 
  • Age
  • Abuse
  • Use of certain medications
  • Genes
  • Gender 
  • Death or loss
  • Serious illness
  • Major events , even they can be good events too like a new job, graduation, marriage etc.
  • Substance Misuse 
  • Personal issues

Antidepressants have a vital role in the treatment of depression. They are used in the treatment of major depression disorders, chronic panic attacks, and also helps to manage some addictions. There are many classes of drugs which belong to antidepressants. One of them is SSRIs(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and Citalopram is a SSRI. It is a prescription medicine for treatment of depression. 

Paroxetine; Proficient Antidepressant:

Paroxetine belongs to SSRIs(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and it can be used to treat depression, panic disorders, OCD, anxiety disorders etc. 

Paroxetine Benefits:

  • It can improve your sleep problems.
  • It improves your mood.
  • It improves your appetite and your energy.
  • It helps to restore your Interest in daily activities.
  • It may decrease patient’s anxiety, fear, panic attacks etc.

Citalopram Uses:

  • Citalopram is used to treat Depression.
  • Citalopram is also used in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder(MDD).
  • Citalopram is also used for treatment  of anxiety.

Citalopram Brand Names:

There are different brands of citalopram like:

Celexa and Lexapro 

  • Citalopram comes in the market as the brand name Celexa.
  • Escitalopram comes in the market as the brand name Lexapro.

Citalopram Dosage:

The patient should take Citalopram exactly as prescribed by his/her doctor. Before taking medicine one should read all the guidelines which are given on the label and rigorously follow those instructions too. Citalopram comes under different Dosage forms i.e oral solution, oral tablet, oral capsule. 

Citalopram Dosage for adults:

  • Initial Dosage:

20 mg orally once each day

  • Maintenance Dosage:

20 to 40 mg orally once each day

  • Maximum Dosage:

40 mg orally per day

If necessary, the initial dose of Citalopram is increased 40 mg orally once each day after use for at least one week. Citalopram Dosage should not be increased upto 40 mg because it can cause risk for QT Prolongation. For treatment of acute episodes of depression may be required for several months or more of sustained Pharmacological Therapy.

Citalopram Dosage for Geriatrics:

20 mg orally once each day 

For treatment of acute episodes of depression may be required for several months or more of sustained Pharmacological Therapy.

Citalopram Interactions:

Interactions of different drugs can affect the efficacy of medicine and may also increase the risk of many serious side effects. To manage these interactions of drugs the patient should tell about all his previous medical history and all those drugs(Prescription/Non Prescription or herbal drugs) he/she is taking. The patients should be well aware about this point that they don’t start, stop or change the Dosage of any medicine without telling his consultant. The patient is at risk if he/she is already taking medicines for following Conditions:

  • Asthma 
  • Heart Problems 
  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Depression 
  • Mental illness
  • Cancer 
  • HIV 
  • Malaria 

Before taking Citalopram, tell your doctor if you are taking any medicine among them:

  • Lithium 
  • Cimetidine
  • Diuretics or water pill
  • Blood Thinners like warfarin, Jantoven
  • Tramadol
  • Tryptophan 
  • Metoprolol
  • Esomeprazole(Nexium)
  • Xanax(alprazolam)
  • Zyrtec(Cetirizine)
  • Plavix(Clopidogrel)

There are many other drugs which can interact with Citalopram this is not the complete list of drugs.

Citalopram Disease Interactions:

  • Depression 
  • Weight loss
  • Renal Dysfunction
  • Mania
  • Platelet Functions
  • QT Prolongation 
  • Seizures Disorder 
  • Liver diseases
  • SIADH(Syndrome of Inappropriate secretion of antiDiuretic Hormone)

Citalopram Side Effects:

Along with its needed effects citalopram has also some side effects. If you experience any of these side effects then you should not consult your concerned doctor. Some Citalopram Side Effects are given as below:

  • Abnormal Electrical activity of Heart
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviour
  • Serotonin Syndrome
  • Seizures 
  • Serious Allergic Reactions 

Common Side Effects of Citalopram include:

  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Tremor
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Increased sweating 
  • Anxiety 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach Upset

Citalopram Warnings:

Citalopram can cause some serious issues to the health of patients. If you experience any serious issue immediately check with your doctor. 

  • It can cause Suicidal thoughts or behaviour especially in age of 24 years or younger.
  • If this medicine is taken with other medicines it can affect the level of Serotonin in your brain and can cause Serotonin Syndrome.
  • If the patient suddenly leaves the use of citalopram it causes withdrawal symptoms of depression.
  • If the patient is already taking blood thinning medicines and then uses citalopram, it causes higher bleeding risk.
  • It can cause Abnormal Electrical activity of Heart i.e. Abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack etc.
  • If any patient of bipolar syndrome is treated with only one antidepressant, it can cause Manic episodes to that patient.
  • Citalopram should used with cautions in the patients who have a previous history of Seizures.
  • SSRIs are considered as safe and effective medications to be used during pregnancy. Even they are the first choice drugs for treatment of depression during pregnancy. So citalopram can be used during pregnancy.
  • Citalopram can pass through breast milk and can cause undesirable effects on infants. So consult your doctor in this matter.

Citalopram Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • It is available as tablet, liquid and capsule form as well.
  • It is cheap and more effective.
  • It can be taken with or without food, once each day.

Cons:

  • It is not good for the patients who already have heart or liver issues.
  • It can interact with many other medicines.
  • It can cause Suicidal thoughts or behaviour in young people.

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