Can citalopram make you feel weird? (3 side effects)

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

It is associated with a number of side effects ,a few of which make your initial journey with this antidepressant quite difficult. This blog will cover the weird feelings associated with the use of citalopram.

Can citalopram make you feel weird?

Yes, citalopram can make you feel weird, especially during the first few weeks of your treatment. It is a known fact that citalopram, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. However, it starts producing side effects way earlier. 

Your body takes time to adjust to antidepressants and once it completely adapts to the presence of the drug, that’s when these side effects begin to subside. Citalopram belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

When the serotonin is released in the synaptic cleft, it binds to its receptors and produces its respective effects. However, when all the receptors are taken, some of the serotonin is left in the synaptic cleft. 

In usual practice, this serotonin is taken up from the synaptic cleft back into the presynaptic neuron (the neuron which released this excitatory neurotransmitter in the first place). 

Citalopram and its fellow antidepressants inhibit the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT) which are solely responsible for the reuptake of serotonin. This results in increased amounts of serotonin to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety. 

Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter which is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Once your antidepressant starts working, It improves sleep quality, increases appetite, boosts energy levels, reduces the frequency of panic attacks and much more. Anxiety and depression do not progress overnight. 

These health conditions gradually start deteriorating your mental health and with time your symptoms become much worse and you start needing the actual antidepressant treatment. Similarly, the treatment also takes time to produce the beneficial effects. 

What are the side effects of citalopram?

Common side effects of celexa include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue 
  • Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Dysmenorrhea or heavy periods
  • Flu like symptoms including irritation in eyes and runny nose
  • Loss of libido in both male and females. Males may suffer from inability to ejaculate, while females may suffer from inability to have an orgasm. 

Celexa (Citalopram) is also associated with some serious side effects, which may include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations 
  • Nose bleeds
  • Severe headache
  • Arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats
  • Impaired memory and concentration 
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.

These side effects can vary from person to person. It is impossible to predict how your body will react when exposed to antidepressants. 

This is exactly why the doctors usually start the treatment from the lowest effective dose in order to determine that you are not allergic to citalopram or any other excipient present in its formulation. 

Once it is confirmed that you are tolerating citalopram well and can gain benefits from it in the long run, only then your dose is increased. 

How to make your antidepressant journey better?

You can adopt a few lifestyle changes that can help make your journey a little easier. These include:

Stay active

Staying active is the best way to make your body (and mind) strong enough to fight against the challenges that come with the treatment of depression. Make sure you workout at least 3 to 4 times a week. 

Exercise releases happy chemicals in your brain. It not only makes you feel good, but also spikes your energy levels. Morning workout is considered most efficient in increasing your energy levels, mood and cognition. 

Go for a walk or do 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HITT). It not only helps you to overcome side effects caused by citalopram, but it also makes your body healthy, like actually healthy. 

Some of the best exercises to increase energy levels include:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • Resistance strength training

Give your body time to adapt

Your body needs time to get used to the medication. Most side effects begin to subside in 3 to 4 weeks. Insomnia and tiredness can be avoided by changing the time at which you take citalopram.

If nothing works or you begin to notice some unusual side effects, reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. If something REALLY disturbs you, seek medical help. Do not wait for it to go away on its own. 

Sleep well

When you start taking your med at night/bedtime, make sure that it’s the last thing you do. Do not engage in any other activity after that. Just lie down and drift off to sleep. 

Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suggests following tips to make your sleep quality better than it is now. These include:

  • Try to go to bed at the same time every day, working days as well as weekends. 
  • Make sure your bedroom is always quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature to help you relax and make your sleep quality better.
  • Do not use electronic devices or gadgets before going to bed. They reduce your sleep quality. Make sure you remove such devices from your room or switch them off.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. They will only ruin your sleep quality.
  • Stay active. Exercise can help relax your muscles and make your sleep quality better.

Increase your protein intake

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. It’s necessary to incorporate them in your diet. You can make scrambled eggs (maybe add a little cheese, because why not?), for breakfast. Other sources of protein include:

  • Lentils
  • Quinoa 
  • Nut
  • Fish
  • Chickpeas 
  • Green peas
  • Cottage cheese 
  • Tofu
  • Almond
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Soy protein 
  • Chia seeds
  • Milk 
  • Legumes 
  • Beans
  • Peanuts

Stay hydrated 

Drink plenty of water. Water clears out toxins from your body. 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. 

What health conditions are sensitive to the use of celexa? 

Citalopram should not be used in people living with the following health conditions:

Bipolar disorder

Taking citalopram might trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder. If you have this condition, talk to your doctor before using this med. 

Kidney problems

If your kidney function is compromised you may not be able to clear this drug out. When the drug is not properly eliminated, it starts getting accumulated in the blood which, in simple words, means more side effects.

Seizures

The use of this drug increases your risk of having seizures. Consult your healthcare provider to make sure if the use of citalopram is safe for you in this condition or not.

Glaucoma

Citalopram may trigger a glaucoma attack. If you have glaucoma, consult your doctor before taking this medicine. 

Liver problems 

If your liver function is compromised, your body might not metabolise this drug effectively. This increases the level of citalopram in your body and causes more side effects. 

How to ensure the proper use of celexa? 

In order to achieve the maximum therapeutic response from a drug, it is extremely important to use it right. Make sure celexa is the right choice of antidepressant for you. Stick to your doctor’s recommended dose. Do not take more or less than that. 

Ask your doctor before taking celexa if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or if you’re a breastfeeding mother. This drug can pass into the breastmilk, which is why it is important to ensure its safety in a breastfed baby. 

If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist. In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 

If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but if a lot of time has passed and your next dose is near, do not take it. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one.

Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 

Keep the bottle away from children and pets. In case of overdose, immediately take them to the hospital. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed how citalopram makes you feel weird, especially during the first few weeks of your treatment. It is a known fact that citalopram, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. 

However, it starts producing side effects way earlier. Your body takes time to adjust to antidepressants and once it completely adapts to the presence of the drug, that’s when these side effects begin to subside. 

Citalopram is used to treat mild to severe episodes of depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It can also be used to treat erectile dysfunction, migraines and pain associated with diabetic neuropathy.

Once your citalopram starts working, It improves sleep quality, increases appetite, boosts energy levels, reduces the frequency of panic attacks and much more. 

FAQs: citalopram feeling weird

Does citalopram make you feel weird at first?

Yes, citalopram can make you feel weird, especially during the first few weeks of your treatment. It is a known fact that citalopram, in fact every other antidepressant, takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to start producing noticeable therapeutic results. However, it starts producing side effects way earlier. 

How do you feel when you start taking citalopram?

Citalopram may start to make your physical symptoms associated with depression a little better. However, it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to start making your psychological symptoms better. 

You may also experience a few side effects, which may start right after you take your first ever dose, but these side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. 

Will side effects of citalopram go away?

Yes, citalopram induced side effects begin to subside within 2 to 3 weeks of your treatment. However, this time period can very from person to person. 

Does your brain go back to normal after antidepressants?

Your brain does go back to normal after you stop using antidepressants, but it takes time and this time taken depends on the duration of your antidepressant therapy. It could take up to 10 months to go back to your normal serotonin levels, after long-term antidepressant therapy.

How long does increased anxiety last with citalopram?

Citalopram induced increased anxiety lasts about 2 to 3 weeks of your treatment with this antidepressant. The side effects usually begin to subside when your body is adjusted to the medication. 

References

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