What is Citalopram?

Definition, side effects and treatment for addiction.

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All you need to know about Citalopram

The antidepressant Citalopram is used for severe depression or prevention of intermittent depression. The use of happy pills is on the rise, so it is important to be aware that they are not free of side effects.

If you are a daily user of the drug or a relative of someone who is on Citalopram, you may need to know more. There may be a risk of developing a dependence or addiction when taking the drug. Below you can find out everything you need to know about antidepressants.

Effect and use of Citalopram

Citalopram is an antidepressant used to treat people with severe depression, social phobia, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The dosage and use therefore depends on the diagnosis. It is therefore important that you or your family member read the leaflet carefully and stay in close contact with a doctor, who will take care of the dosage. It is important that the medication is dosed according to the individual needs of the patient.

The medication will typically be felt after a treatment period of 1-2 weeks. In some cases, it can take between 6-8 weeks before you notice a change. You can get all the information you need about Citalopram the moment you contact your doctor and make an appointment for a consultation.

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Are you or a relative of someone addicted to Citalopram? At Alfa Fredensborg we are ready to help.

What is citalopram

Dependence on antidepressants – how?

When you use medicines for depression, anxiety or other mental disorders, the risk of addiction is not imminent.

With an SSRI like Citalopram, you don’t get any immediate rushes or a direct feeling of happiness, even though they’re actually called happy pills. Therefore, dependence rarely occurs.

Addiction only occurs when there is an overuse that goes against the recommended doses of medication intake. It can also be in cases where, for example, the antidepressant has not been prescribed for depressive conditions, but is still taken despite a lack of diagnosis or symptoms. In those cases, there will be a dependency.

If you experience abuse and a strong dependence on the medicine, it is important that you seek help immediately. There is no need to take antidepressants if you are not depressed or have other mental disorders.

Read also: What is Ritalin?

Symptoms like weight gain

Weight may increase in some cases if you are on Citalopram. It may be useful to know in advance so that you are aware of any changes and side effects during treatment.

However, as mentioned, it is also good to be aware that not all patients experience the same side effects. In addition, antidepressant medicines can vary widely.

It is normal to experience an increase in weight when taking happy pills. Weight gain associated with antidepressants may also be due to an increased appetite in some cases.

How long do you have side effects from Citalopram?

Sometimes, once you start taking antidepressants – in this case Citalopram – the side effects will slowly disappear. Other times, they will continue for the rest of the treatment course. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Increased sweating
  • Lethargy
  • Blurred vision.

As with other medicines, it is important that the dosage is strictly followed as recommended. In the event of an overdose, there is a risk of fatal side effects. It is important to be aware that side effects can vary greatly from person to person. In addition, you should be aware that the side effects come immediately, whereas the desired effect comes only weeks after the first dose.

If you are a family member or patient, it is important to have good support from your loved ones as well as doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists. Even if you are a relative, it is important to be informed about the course of treatment, the medication and the side effects that may occur along the way.

In cases where the side effects are not acceptable, or where the happy pills are not working, it may be necessary to change the medication. If more serious side effects such as bleeding, anaphylactic reactions or similar occur, it is important to stop the medicine immediately.

What you need to know about antidepressants and pregnancy

Are you pregnant and taking Citalopram Sandoz at the same time? Then it is important to ask your doctor for advice. There are specific guidelines on which preparations you should take.

For an antidepressant such as Citalopram, there is generally little experience of pregnancy during treatment. In cases where you are already on the medication and have become pregnant, it is very important that you do not stop right away. However, you should tell your midwife or doctor that you are pregnant or taking happy pills. If you don’t tell your doctor or midwife, you risk damage to the baby that can develop in the first 24 hours after birth. For example:

  • The child is not eating properly.
  • The child has bluish skin.
  • The child has breathing problems.
  • The child vomits.
  • The child is lethargic.
  • The child has flaccid muscles.

Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the risks that may occur during pregnancy when you are on antidepressants, in consultation with your doctor.

Despite the limited amount of research in this area, new studies are constantly emerging. Overall, it is therefore impossible to find an antidepressant that does not pose risks during pregnancy.

Fortunately, the data on Citalopram are relatively reassuring. It is therefore not impossible to be on an antidepressant during pregnancy.

Antidepressants and alcohol

It is also important to know how antidepressants and alcohol go hand in hand. The fact is that both these drugs and alcohol are psychoactive substances that can automatically have a major effect on our bodies. Some patients with depression also drink alcohol, while alcoholics may experience depression.

As a rule, doctors recommend avoiding combining medication and alcohol. Especially when we talk about antidepressants like Citalopram Orion. For these reasons, it may be wise to carefully consider whether you want to combine the two. The effect is the same, which means that the effect is even more powerful when you combine the medicine with alcohol.

In the long run, this may result in you relapsing into depressive symptoms and uncontrollable behaviour. Besides the fact that you will feel it physically quickly, in some cases you may also feel it mentally. These substances will affect your brain – and taking antidepressants in particular can have an intense effect on your nervous system.

Despite the combined effects of alcohol and antidepressants, you can still drink alcohol now and again – just in moderation. It’s about the effect that drugs and alcohol can have at the same time. It’s important to seek help if you’re struggling to balance a healthy alcohol intake with being on an antidepressant.

Citalopram tapering

Treatment on Citalopram will typically last for at least six months. It is important that you do not start a taper until the medicine makes you feel completely well. If you get out too quickly, you could risk a relapse.

When tapering off antidepressants, it is very important to taper slowly. In this case, many recommend that you do it over several months to make sure it is done at a slow and steady pace. Before considering a taper, it is therefore important that you do so in dialogue with your doctor. Here you need to plan carefully how long you should taper off.

It’s also important to be aware that once you’ve been through one, you’re at risk of more depression. If you have had more than one, the risk is even greater. This is one of the reasons why you need to taper off treatment slowly, so that you are sure to detect if the depression returns.

When is Citalopram out of the body?

The first while of tapering off antidepressant drugs may put you at risk of some unpleasant conditions. These can include headaches, nausea, muscle and joint pain and sweating – flu-like conditions. Fortunately, you can take comfort in the fact that these symptoms will disappear quickly.

If you are the carer of a patient who is on antidepressants, it is important that you are aware of the process. Before a doctor or psychiatrist accepts a withdrawal, they often want to hear the views of the relatives. That’s why it’s important to stay on the sidelines during this time and watch for symptoms of depression to return.

It is important to be aware that it may take a while for the medicine to completely leave your body. If you or someone you know is addicted to the drug, you can contact us for treatment and withdrawal.

How treatment with Citalopram works

Before treatment takes place, the first item on the agenda is to make the correct diagnosis. This usually requires several consultations with your doctor, who will assess your condition and symptoms. Once you are given the medicine, your doctor will probably ask you to take only half a dose.

The dosages always depend on the effects and side effects that occur continuously with the form of treatment.

For example, if you experience side effects in the first two days, you may need to take small steps forward in your treatment. If you suffer from anxiety, it is even more important to take small doses at a time, as rapid side effects can increase your anxiety in the long term.

Throughout your treatment, you will be in close dialogue with your doctor or psychiatrist. This is necessary, among other things, to monitor both effects and side effects along the way.

This will give your doctor a clear picture of whether the dose is working or whether you need to increase or decrease it. As mentioned, some patients may feel an effect within 1-2 weeks. Other times, it can take up to six weeks. Like many things, this can vary greatly depending on the patient.