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Nowadays, Citalopram is prescribed to treat depression because its intake improves patients’ feeling of well-being and energy levels. This medicine belongs to SSRIs, and it works by restoring the right serotonin balance in the brain, but some doctors may advise it to treat such mental conditions as panic disorder, anxiety, OCD or hot flashes.
Recommendations for Use
It’s possible to take Citalopram both with and without food once a day, either in the morning or in the evening, but patients always need to follow the recommendations given by their physicians. Their regular dose is based on such important factors as their age, individual response, lab tests and other, but the maximum one is 40 mg a day. If people prefer a liquid form, it’s necessary to use special measuring devices to get the right dosage. Besides, to decrease a possible risk of adverse effects, doctors usually advise to start this kind of treatment from lower doses and decrease them gradually. Patients shouldn’t adjust their doses or stop taking Citalopram abruptly because they may end up with worsening of medical conditions and a set of unwanted symptoms, including headaches, sleep changes, mood swings, tiredness and so on. Normally, it takes up to 4 weeks to benefit from this medication, but if an overall condition doesn’t improve, doctors need to know about that.
Precautions and Contraindications
Patients need to understand that such antidepressants as Citalopram may result in mood changes, such as suicidal attempts or ideas, especially if they are taken by anyone younger than 25 years old. If people notice such symptoms as panic attacks, angry feeling, irritability, difficulty sleeping and other mood changes, they need to call their physician at once. Before they start taking this medication, doctors also need to know everything about the medical history of their patients, especially if they have certain allergic reactions, suicidal attempts, manic or bipolar disorders, seizures, liver problems, heart conditions, low sodium and potassium blood levels, bleeding issues, etc. Besides, Citalopram may affect normal heart rhythms and lead to such signs as dizziness and fainting.
People should remember that its intake may make them feel drowsy, dizzy or cause vision changes, so that they shouldn’t drive or do other activities that require their full alertness.
There are some pharmaceutical products that shouldn’t be combined with Citalopram to avoid dangerous drug interactions. For example, they include other medications that result in bruising or bleeding, such as blood thinners and NSAIDs. Patients are not allowed to combine MAO inhibitors with Citalopram if they don’t want to end up with annoying symptoms. Their risk of serotonin toxicity will be increased after taking other meds that work by increasing the levels of this hormone, including certain antidepressants, SNRIs, MDMA, etc. When it comes to other products that cause drowsiness, such as antihistamines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, alcohol, and pain relievers, doctors need to be informed about their intake.
When taking Citalopram, some patients may experience a number of side effects, but they are rare and most of them are mild. The most common ones include losing appetite, nausea, sweating, unusual tiredness, dry mouth, drowsiness, vision changes, yawning and others. Finally, serious adverse effects include tremors, easy bleeding or bruising, seizures, fainting, irregular heartbeats and so on.
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