Citalopram is the general form of the branded antidepressant Celexa.
In addition, citalopram is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric syndrome (PMDD).
Many medical experts believe that depression is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. And citalopram works by increasing serotonin.
Citalopram was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998.
Some children, adolescents and young people (up to 24 years old) who took antidepressants, such as citalopram during clinical trials, had suicidal thoughts and behavior.
National Institutes of Health advise that children under the age of 18 do not take citalopram unless advised by the doctor.
In 2012, the FDA also issued a safety announcement, which recommended that a dosage of more than 40 milligrams per day should not be given because of the increased risk of potentially dangerous cardiac arrhythmias (changes in heart rate).
Children taking citalopram may be more sensitive to side effects, especially to appetite and weight loss. Your doctor will closely monitor both.
Sitalopram can cause problems in newborns after childbirth, if it is taken during the last months of pregnancy.
Some babies develop withdrawal symptoms, including difficulty with feeding / breathing, convulsions or constant crying. Any of these should be reported to the doctor.
This drug may make you sleepy. Do not engage in activities that require you to be vigilant until you learn how citalopram affects you.
Other conditions that may cause anxiety when taking citalopram are a history of bipolar or manic-depressive disorder, past suicide attempts, liver disease, seizures, low sodium levels in the blood, ulcers of the bowel or bleeding problems.
Citalopram and QT
Citalopram can cause a condition known as QT (rapid or irregular heartbeat). This is a serious but rarely fatal phenomenon.
If you experience changes in the heartbeat or other symptoms, such as severe dizziness or fainting, consult a doctor immediately.
The risk of QT may be increased if you already have heart problems, such as a slow heartbeat, a recent history or a family history of some heart problems, including sudden death due to heart problems.
A low level of potassium or magnesium in the blood can also increase the risk of QT.
Elderly people may also be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially bleeding, loss of coordination and QT.
Your doctor can sometimes prescribe an electrocardiogram (ECG, ECG) to monitor heart rate and rhythm, and can also often perform a blood test to check the potassium and magnesium levels.
Pregnancy and citalopram
Discuss current or planned pregnancy with your doctor before taking this medication.
Also talk to your doctor if you plan to breast-feed while taking citalopram. It is known that this drug enters the breast milk.
There are anecdotal reports that citalopram, like other antidepressants, is used to achieve a sense of euphoria.
However, the researchers found that the drug has few opportunities for abuse. However, talk to your doctor if you have a history of substance misuse.
Stopping the reception of cytotoxic drugs and other SSRIs can cause the status of SSRI withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms of withdrawal may include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
- Problems with memory
- Bright dreams
Do not stop taking citalopram without talking to your doctor.
Your doctor will gradually reduce your dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Citalopram: side effects
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Blurred vision
Serious side effects
If you experience serious side effects on this medication, consult a doctor immediately.
- Severe or irregular heartbeat
- Black chair
- Vomiting, similar to the coffee grounds
- Decreased sexual desire
- Changes in sexual ability
- Light bruising or bleeding
A very serious allergic reaction to citalopram is rare, but seek medical help immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Itching or swelling (especially on the face, tongue or throat)
- Severe dizziness
- Labored breathing
Since this drug may increase the serotonin level, in rare cases it can cause a condition known as serotonin syndrome.
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Severe palpitations
- Loss of coordination
- Severe dizziness
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Severe diarrhea
- Muscle cramps
In some rare cases, men may have a painful erection (priapism) lasting four or more hours.
If this happens, consult a doctor immediately.
MAOI should not be taken 14 days before or after taking citalopram.
Some examples of MOAI are isocarboxazid (Marplan), linezolid, phenelzine (nardyl), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar) or tranylcypromine (Parnate).
If you stop taking citalopram, you should wait at least two weeks before taking MAOI.
Drugs that can cause bleeding or bruising, including antiplatelet agents such as clopidogrel; Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and blood thinners, such as warfarin, can interact with citalopram.
The risk of serotonin syndrome (too much serotonin in the brain) is increased if you simultaneously take other drugs that increase serotonin levels, including:
- Street drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy)
- Dietary supplements, such as St. John’s wort
Tell your doctor if you are drinking alcohol or taking any medications that cause drowsiness.
Do not use medicines containing escitalopram when using citalopram, because these drugs are very similar.
Sitalopram can make you sleepy. Drinking alcohol can increase this effect.
You should always tell your doctor about all the medicines and dietary supplements that you use.
Dosage of citalopram
Citalopram is available in the form of tablets in 10, 20 and 40 milligrams (mg) or in the form of a liquid solution taken orally.
Your doctor will most likely prescribe a 20 mg dose, taken once a day, to start. This dose can gradually rise to 40 mg per day, when you get used to the medicine.
It can be taken with or without food.
It may take from one to four weeks before you notice the benefits of taking citalopram, so keep taking the medication even if you are feeling well.
Symptoms of an overdose include:
- Thoracic pain
- Inconsistent Breath
- Excessive sweating
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle cramps
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, eyes, hands, feet, ankles or feet
If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical care or call a toxicology center.
Missed dose of citalopram
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
Skip it if it’s time to take the next scheduled dose. Do not use a double dose.