Can citalopram cause neck tension? (5+ ways to get rid of it)

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can citalopram cause neck tension?”. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

This antidepressant is associated with a number of side effects including neck tension which may be caused by the excessive tension or contraction of the neck muscles. This blog will cover the tips to help relieve the discomfort, if you suffer from this side effect.

Can citalopram cause neck tension?

Yes, citalopram can cause neck tension by causing tension and spasms of your neck muscles. One theory suggests that citalopram may disturb sodium and chloride levels in your blood, which can result in muscle tension. 

Usually, citalopram induced side effects begin to subside within a few weeks of treatment. If your symptoms persist or are pretty intense, then reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. 

Several research studies have monitored the effects of citalopram on muscles and revealed that this antidepressant is associated with general muscular tension and spasms. Several case studies were also reviewed for the very same purpose. 

These cases showed that some people were presented with severe neck pain. They described their neck being stiff and hard to move around. Various physiotherapy sessions were conducted to help provide some relief to such patients. 

Several cases included people who also complained of the same muscle tension, rigidity and painful movement in their lower back. These people could not bend down easily. Physiotherapy was also preferred for them and it significantly helped them get their flexibility and painless movements back. 

It is always recommended to reach out to your healthcare provider right away if you suffer from any such side effect that makes your daily life activities difficult for you.

How to get rid of citalopram induced neck tension?

There are a few tips to help relieve your citalopram induced neck tension. These include:

Dose reduction 

If your neck muscle tension is very pronounced or it becomes more problematic after a recent dose escalation then reducing down your dose can help you with them. However, it is not recommended to reduce your dose without your doctor’s approval. 

High doses of antidepressants are associated with more pronounced and newer side effects, which are not that common on lower doses. This is why it is always advised to start your antidepressant with the lowest effective dose. 

Massage

You can try massaging your affected muscles with warm oil. It really helps reduce the swelling by increasing the blood flow, which also helps in healing broken tissues. You can try peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil to massage your sore neck muscles.

Hot or cold press

You can try hot or cold press to relax your stiff neck muscles. It totally depends which one suits you more. Some people get relief from cold press, while others find hot press far more soothing and effective. Hot compress increases the blood flow which can help heal the broken tissues.

Stay hydrated

It is Important to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make your symptoms much worse. Water clears out toxins from your body. 

Several studies suggest that water can actually boost your energy levels and make you feel fresh and it also relaxes your muscles by providing them with enough hydration. 

Try making a detox water by adding your favourite fruits in it. You can add lemon, cucumber, kiwi, oranges, berries, ginger etc, to make drinking water less boring. This will not only add taste, but also makes your water nutritious and full of antioxidants. 

Stretch your neck

Either medication induced or caused by heinous exercise, muscle tension is quite disturbing and painful. Stretching is crucial in order to release muscle tension. It is a way of making your muscles breathe.

Stretching is the best way to help relax your muscles. There are plenty of stretching videos online if you’re a beginner. Neck stretching is probably one of the easiest stretching moves. 

This helps you release tension from your neck muscles. It’s pretty easy to do and you don’t have to be in a certain position to do it. You can do it while sitting on your bed. Steps include:

  • Sit down on your bed or a chair. You can remain in the standing position as well.
  • Make sure your posture is straight 
  • Start rotating your neck slowly in all directions, clockwise and anticlockwise.
  • Continue this movement for 2 to 3 minutes. 

Low intensity workouts

You can try engaging in low intensity workouts which can really help strengthen those muscles. Exercise is essential for your overall health. It makes you active, tough and relaxed. It releases happy chemicals in your brain and boosts your immunity. 

A balanced diet

A good diet is beneficial for you in more ways than you can imagine. Add foods which are rich in minerals like milk and other dairy foods, rice and almond milk, soy milk, fresh fruit juices, oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks etc.

Make sure you have enough vitamin D

If you have vitamin D deficiency, you’re more likely to suffer from citalopram induced neck muscle tension. Make sure you add vitamin D rich foods in your diet, like oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat, liver, egg yolks etc.

It is also present in fortified foods, such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals. If your vitamin D level is extremely low, diet alone can not fix it. Your healthcare provider will recommend using supplements. 

Make sure you have enough magnesium and calcium

Magnesium is an important mineral for muscle health. It maintains normal muscle function and is also necessary for your nerve health. Common sources of magnesium include legumes, bananas, rice, almonds etc. 

In case of magnesium deficiency, your healthcare provider may prescribe you a supplement to replenish magnesium, as natural sources can help maintain it but for deficiency, you need something stronger.

Calcium is an important element associated with muscle contraction. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily recommended amount of calcium is given below:

  • For young adults: 1000 mg
  • For women over 50 years and men over 70 years: 1200 mg

Common sources of calcium include milk and other dairy foods, rice and almond milk, soy milk, fortified orange juice and salmon etc. 

Add natural muscle relaxants in your diet

Nature has sources for pretty much everything, including muscle relaxants. Chamomile tea is best known for relaxing your muscles and making it easier for you to fall asleep. It contains many flavonoids which possess anti-inflammatory properties. 

You can try drinking chamomile tea or you can also try massaging with chamomile essential oil which can provide relief to your affected muscles. 

A study shows that eating Blueberries can help facilitate the recovery of affected muscles. It also reduces muscle tension. Blueberries are known to have antioxidants and it’s anti-inflammatory in nature. You can either consume them the way they are or make a delicious smoothie.

Consuming cherries is another delicious way to get rid of muscle tension. Studies have revealed that drinking cherry juice relaxes your muscles and can relieve your muscle pain after running or jogging. 

The fruit has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe your muscles naturally. 

What other medications can cause tension in your neck muscles?

Following are medications other than antidepressants, which can increase muscle tension and cause muscle pain:

  • Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium)
  • Glucophage (metformin)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Ultram (tramadol)
  • Omeprazole
  • Famotidine 
  • Erectile dysfunction medications
  • Migraine medications
  • HIV medications

Make sure you are not using any of the above mentioned medications along with citalopram. Always discuss with your healthcare provider before using two or more medications together. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed citalopram induced neck muscles tension. Neck tension is caused by tension and spasms of your neck muscles. One theory suggests that citalopram may disturb sodium and chloride levels in your blood, which can result in muscle tension. 

Usually, citalopram induced side effects begin to subside within a few weeks of treatment. If your symptoms persist or are pretty intense, then reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. 

Do not stop citalopram abruptly thinking that your side effects will go away if you just stop taking it because that won’t happen. Instead. you’ll just end up opening your doors for withdrawal symptoms. Always consult your healthcare provider before you start or stop using any medication.

FAQs: citalopram neck tension

Can citalopram cause muscle tension?

Yes, citalopram can cause muscle tension. This tension can lead to muscle cramps and fatigue. One theory suggests that citalopram may disturb sodium and chloride levels in your blood, which can result in muscle tension. 

Usually, citalopram induced side effects begin to subside within a few weeks of treatment. If your symptoms persist or are pretty intense, then reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. 

Can antidepressants cause stiff neck?

Yes, antidepressants can cause neck stiffness, pain and muscle tension. Several people described their neck being stiff and hard to move around after the use of antidepressants. Various physiotherapy sessions were conducted to help provide some relief to such patients. 

Does citalopram cause jaw clenching?

Citalopram is associated with jaw clenching and teeth grinding, up to the point where the patient suffers from severe jaw muscle ache. This side effect is rare and could relate to some underlying health condition. 

Jaw clenching, for which another term ‘bruxism’ is also used, is a condition when you clench or tighten your jaw and grind your teeth. Now there are a few explanations why citalopram makes you clench your jaw. Jaw clenching during sleep is also common among citalopram users.

Do side effects of citalopram go away?

Side effects associated with the use of citalopram usually begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of your treatment. However, this time period can vary from person to person. Some people recover earlier than the others.

Can you take muscle relaxers with citalopram?

Always consult your healthcare provider before using two or more different kinds of medications together. You can also try using natural muscle relaxers like chamomile, cherries, blueberries, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D etc. Make sure you stretch to relax your muscles. 

Can antidepressants cause muscle spasms?

Yes, antidepressants can cause muscle spasms. A 2018 study indicated that antidepressants can cause structural changes in skeletal muscles. It was also indicated that prolonged use of high doses of antidepressants can affect metabolism and functions of skeletal muscles and can cause muscle spasms, twitching, stiffness and pain. 

The study also explained how these side effects vary from person to person. Some people showed no signs of muscular side effects, while others were severely affected. Studies suggest that medication solely is not responsible for producing effects as the reaction of your body when it is exposed to a med also matters.

References

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