Treating Depression more Effectively with Citalopram

For the past twenty years, a certain class of anti-depressant drugs has been the most common content of doctors’ prescriptions both within and outside the US. This class of medication is known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, and all specific drugs under it are highly reputed due to their effectiveness and safety.

SSRIs are said to increase the amount of serotonin or neurotransmitters, a chemical that is produced by the brain and which attaches themselves to other brain nerve receptors, altering a patient’s mood in the process.

SSRIs were specifically developed to treat major depressive disorder; however, these are also commonly prescribed to treat cases of anxiety disorders, including obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, chronic pain, social anxiety disorder, eating disorders and, sometimes, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Besides blocking the “reuptake” or re-absorption of serotonin in the brain, SSRIs also do not affect other neurotransmitters, thus, the term “selective.” This selectivity is one of the therapeutic advantages of SSRIs over other antidepressant.

One specific type or SSRI medication is the generic drug Citalopram (with brand name Celexa). This oral antidepressant drug works by preventing neurotransmitters from being reabsorbed into the brain (after the brain has manufactured and released them), resulting to more of these chemical to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells.

Citalopram was primarily developed to treat depression; some doctors, however also prescribe it for off-label use (not among those approved by the US Food and Drug Administration) for  treatment of panic disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder and premenstrual dysphoric syndrome or PMDD. Citalopram has also been known to be an effective treatment for patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Citalopram should never be used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin or any other medication that affect bleedings as this may increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Complications may also result if taken by pregnant women of nursing mothers.

Some of those who take the drug may experience any of the following side-effects: sexual dysfunction; dry mouth; nausea; headache; vomiting, drowsiness; excessive sweating; tremor and inability to sleep. Stopping the intake of Citalopram, though, may, to some, result to withdrawal reactions, like dizziness, tiredness, irritability, tingling sensations, and vivid dreams.

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