Did You Know?
This drug was first formulated and synthesized in the year 1972, by researchers at Lundbeck, a Danish international pharmaceutical company.
Citalopram hydrobromide is a depression medication that is used to treat major depression and severe mood swings. It is used for treating most depression cases, except for bipolar depression, as it may actually aggravate the symptoms, or cause sudden unprecedented and rapid mood swings from depressive moods to manic moods. It is also used unofficially to treat disorders like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). The mechanism of action of citalopram hydrobromide is similar to those of other antidepression drugs. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), that acts on the brain, and boosts the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers of the central nervous system, which is known to elevate the mood of a person. However, just as there are two sides of every coin, there are certain citalopram hydrobromide side effects that people taking this medication must be aware of.
Mild Side Effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased sleep and drowsiness
- Excessive sweating
- Dizziness and hallucinations
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Ejaculation disorders
- Involuntary tremors of hand
- Anorexia and loss of appetite
- Heavy and Painful menstruation
- Dry mouth and throat
- Teeth grinding, especially at night
- Irritability and agitation
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reduced sexual drive
- Long term use can lead to increased susceptibility to other infections, like respiratory tract infections, sinus inflammations, etc.
Precautions to be Followed
- There is another class of antidepressant drug which is known as MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitors. Citalopram hydrobromide is known to have drug interactions with this class of drugs. These drug interactions can often prove to be fatal, hence, it is extremely important to give a proper and detailed history of the drugs and medications that you are taking. If you are on MAO inhibitors, then you should stop taking these drugs at least two weeks prior to taking citalopram hydrobromide.
- There are certain people who have an idiosyncratic allergy to this drug. In such cases, normally after a single dose itself, the person starts developing rashes, itching, fever, irritability, excessive sweating, etc. Thus, one should be aware of this possibility, and if he/she recognizes such signs of an allergic reaction, then he/she should stop the intake of the drug and bring it to the attention of the doctor immediately.
- Another most dangerous side effect is the possibility of this drug causing suicidal thinking and suicidal tendencies if taken on a long term basis. This may especially occur if the person develops another parallel depressive disorder. This is one of the reasons why this drug is not given to anyone below 18 years of age.
- In certain cases, there may be worsening of symptoms seen, like increased frequency of mood swings, going into extreme depression, suicidal tendencies, etc,.
- For women that are pregnant or are lactating, the safety of this drug is equivocal, as some studies have shown that this drug maybe responsible for birth defects, although these findings are yet to be validated. Hence, it is best to avoid this drug during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Never overcompensate for a missed drug dose by taking a double dose, as an overdose of this drug can have dire consequences. Hence, it is best to simply take a dose as soon as one remembers. Also, do not abruptly stop the intake of this drug, because it may lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Thus, while taking antidepressant drugs, it is important to be aware of the various possible side effects that they come with because although the above given side effects are not always evident and detected immediately, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.