The Dangers and Side Effects of Citalopram Abuse
Citalopram is a medication used to treat depression and other mental health and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s a generic prescription drug that’s also sold under the brand name Celexa.
Although a prescription drug, citalopram has side effects if use and/or abused. Learn what you need to know.
Although antidepressants are safe for most people, they can cause side effects. And some people have trouble stopping them after they start taking them. Zinnia Health has many years of experience in antidepressant and citalopram abuse, and our treatment programs can give you or your loved one the professional help you need. For support, call (855) 430-9439. We work with most healthcare providers.
What is Citalopram?
Citalopram is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and emotions. SSRIs such as citalopram work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved citalopram in 1998, and millions of people have used it since then. Its full pharmaceutical name is citalopram hydrobromide.
What Are Some Common Side Effects Of Citalopram?
The most common side effects of citalopram (Celexa) are:
- Upset stomach
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Sexual problems
- Blurred vision
These side effects are usually mild and go away after a few weeks of treatment. But if they persist or are severe, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Does Citalopram Give You a High?
Some people may experience feelings of euphoria or elation when taking citalopram, but these effects are generally mild and short-lived. In most cases, Celexa use does not produce a “high” or cause people to feel intoxicated. However, some people may experience side effects such as agitation or restlessness.
What Are the Short-term Side Effects of Citalopram?
While antidepressant drugs like citalopram are effective for many people, they also have certain side effects. One of the most serious side effects is an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This occurs more frequently in children, adolescents, and young adults.
If you or someone you know is taking antidepressants, it’s crucial to be aware of this risk. However, it’s important to remember that depression and other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, are also associated with an increased risk of suicide. Anyone considering antidepressant medication should balance the risks and benefits with their doctor.
Other short-term side effects of citalopram can include:
- Muscle twitching
What Happens if Someone Takes Too Much Citalopram?
High doses of citalopram can cause serotonin syndrome, which occurs when too much serotonin builds up in the body. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome can include agitation, hallucinations, coma, and seizures.
Serotonin syndrome is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. If you think you or someone you know has taken too much citalopram, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Taking too much citalopram can also cause abnormal heart rhythms.
Celexa addiction is a serious problem that can be difficult to overcome. If you or someone you know is struggling with citalopram abuse, Zinnia Health can help. Addiction treatment options include inpatient and outpatient programs. Call (855) 430-9439.
What Are Long-term Side Effects of Citalopram?
Some people who take citalopram for extended periods may experience long-term side effects such as:
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical advice. Your doctor may recommend ways to help lessen the side effects or decide to change your medication.
Can Citalopram Cause Permanent Damage?
In rare cases, citalopram may cause permanent damage to the kidneys or liver. In addition, some studies have suggested that taking citalopram long-term may increase the risk of developing dementia.
As with any medication, speaking with a doctor before starting citalopram is essential to ensure that the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
Does Citalopram Affect Your Personality?
People sometimes worry that antidepressants will change their personalities. However, it’s important to remember that depression is a medical condition caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Antidepressants work by correcting this imbalance, helping relieve the symptoms of depression.
While it’s true that antidepressants can cause some side effects, such as nausea or drowsiness, these are usually temporary and don’t last long.
In rare cases, people may experience more severe side effects, such as changes in mood or behavior. However, these side effects are usually not permanent, and people typically return to their usual selves once they stop taking the medication.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that antidepressants will not permanently change your personality. Instead, they will help correct an imbalance in your brain chemistry.
How Does Citalopram Affect the Brain?
As mentioned previously, SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. This neurotransmitter is important in regulating emotions and moods. By increasing serotonin, SSRIs can help someone have a brighter outlook and even reduce anxiety.
However, it’s not entirely understood how SSRIs work. One theory is that they work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin. This means they prevent the neurotransmitter from being broken down and excreted from the body, increasing the level of serotonin in the brain.
In addition to this neurotransmitter’s effect on mood, anxiety, and panic attacks, SSRIs also have other effects on the brain. For example, higher levels of serotonin can improve sexual function, sleep, appetite, and energy levels.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Citalopram?
Many prescription drugs, illicit substances, and supplements can interact with citalopram.
These drug interactions include but are not limited to the following:
- Amphetamines, such as those found in Adderall and Desoxyn
- Blood thinners, such as warfarin
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
- Medications for migraine headaches
- Other SSRIs such as Zoloft
Some of these interactions can be dangerous and can cause serious side effects. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs, substances, and supplements you take before starting citalopram. And always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines, substances, or supplements while taking citalopram.
Quitting citalopram cold turkey can be extremely difficult, and many people will experience Celexa withdrawal symptoms when they try to do so. Substance abuse can also lead to other problems, such as financial and relationship problems. If you or someone you know is struggling with citalopram or drug abuse, it’s essential to seek professional help. Zinnia Health can provide you with the medical detox resources you need to recover from citalopram abuse and addiction. Contact us today or call (855) 430-9439 to learn more.