Can you switch from Celexa to Prozac?

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about switching from celexa to Prozac. Both celexa and prozac are antidepressants which belong to the same class and are used to help relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

This blog will cover what circumstances lead to the discontinuation of celexa and why prozac could be a good option. 

Can you switch from Celexa to Prozac? 

Yes, you can switch from celexa to prozac if you are unable to tolerate celexa or you’re allergic to it. In such conditions, most healthcare providers weigh out the pros and cons to determine the safety and efficacy of long-term treatment of antidepressants. 

Switching antidepressants is a common practice because there is no way to predict how your body will react once it is exposed to such medications. 

Many people change antidepressants throughout the course of their treatment until they come across the best possible antidepressant to help relieve the symptoms unique to their mental health condition. 

Why switching from celexa to prozac can be a good idea? 

It is not easy to switch antidepressants. Infact, they should be switched only when necessary. Your doctor might recommend another antidepressant for one of the following reasons:

Celexa intolerance 

Intolerance is the biggest issue with antidepressants and celexa may become extremely difficult for some people to bear. It can not only cause an allergic reaction, but also cause side effects that become extremely difficult to manage. Some mental health conditions require years and years of treatment, but is it possible if your antidepressant doesn’t suit you? No. It is impossible to live with a medicine that you can’t tolerate well. Intolerable side effects of celexa 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.

The above mentioned side effects can make your journey with celexa unbearable and it can lead to the discontinuation of treatment with this antidepressant. This is why celexa is often switched to prozac. Now, one thing to bear in mind is that it’s not necessary that prozac will work 100% for you. You may or may not tolerate it well. 

Inadequate therapeutic response 

If your celexa, or any other antidepressant you might use, is not living up to the expectations and it fails to provide relief from depression symptoms, your doctor might think of increasing the dose of the same antidepressant. 

However, it’s not wise to blame the drug right away and jump to conclusions. Sometimes, it’s the dose that’s not working out for you. If celexa fails to give an adequate therapeutic response even at high doses (even highest), now it’s time to switch.

Your doctor will prescribe another antidepressant and follow proper switching strategy. 

Note: Dose escalation is a tricky process and should be done only by your doctor. You are not authorised to reduce or escalate your dose on your own. Make sure you ask your healthcare provider if you think your dose is too high or too low.

Drug interactions

If your celexa is interfering with the effects or metabolism of some other medicines that you are taking along with it, it’s best to switch to another antidepressant, like prozac, that’s safe to use with your other prescribed medications. 

Side effects of celexa

If your celexa is producing side effects which are not going away, even after 3 to 4 weeks of your treatment, you might need to change it. Your antidepressant should be well tolerated as you have to live with it everyday, for several months or even longer. 

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. 

What are the important points to keep in mind when you switch your antidepressant? 

There are few things you need to understand before you switch from celexa to prozac. These include:

Your new antidepressant might take a few weeks to work

The new drug will not start working overnight. Your body will take its time to adapt to prozac. Be patient. Don’t lose hope or think that no antidepressant is working for you. Just give it a few weeks, be consistent and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

You may suffer from side effects 

Prozac may produce some unwanted side effects at first, but as your body gets used to it, they will begin to subside. So don’t think that your new med doesn’t suit you, it’s just your body adapting to it. Hang in there! 

Common side effects of prozac include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Anxiety 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Skin rash
  • Muscular pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Tiredness 
  • Sweating 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Loss of sexual desire 

You may experience withdrawal symptoms

In case of completely washing out the celexa, you might face withdrawal symptoms. The best way is to taper down celexa slowly while starting prozac from the lowest effective dose. 

This can be done because both of these meds belong to the same class of antidepressants, that is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

How to determine the best switching strategy? 

When we specifically talk about celexa and prozac, they both belong to the same class of antidepressants so they can be switched easily. 

The best switching strategy is determined according to the severity of your symptoms and the reason which led to the discontinuation of the first drug. Common switching strategies include:

  • Direct switch: Here, you stop one antidepressant and directly switch to another. This strategy is only applicable if you’re switching to a drug which belongs to the same class of antidepressants.
  • Cross taper: Here, you taper off one antidepressant while gradually increasing the dose of the next one, over a few weeks period. 
  • Taper and switch right away: Here, you gradually taper off your current drug. As soon as you have completely stopped the first drug, you start taking the next one. 
  • Taper and switch, after washing out the first drug completely: Here, you gradually taper off the first drug and wait a couple of weeks, usually 1-6 weeks, for your body to completely wash out the drug from your system, even traces.

In case of switching from celexa to prozac, you can try either direct switch or cross taper. It is not recommended to cross taper if celexa is causing terrible side effects. 

Such people are already suffering from enough side effects and discomfort, it is not suitable to start another antidepressant with celexa, no matter how low the dose is. Your healthcare provider will closely study your condition and determine the best switching strategy for you. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed switching from celexa to prozac. Both celexa and prozac belong to the same class of antidepressants, that is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

It is easy to switch from one antidepressant to another which belongs to the same class. Your doctor may recommend switching to another antidepressant, if the current one doesn’t work best for you. It usually takes a few trials to determine which antidepressant works best for you. 

Just stick to your doctor’s advice and do not deviate from it. Make sure you don’t stop or start using any medication without your doctor’s approval.

FAQs: switching from celexa to prozac 

Is Prozac stronger than Celexa?

Both prozac and celexa are strong antidepressants. They both belong to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT). However, some studies suggest that celexa may work faster than prozac and may start to show reduction in physical and mental symptoms associated with depression earlier than prozac. However, this can vary from person to person. 

Can you switch antidepressants without tapering?

Switching your antidepressant without tapering depends on a lot of factors. If you’ve been on a short term treatment and your antidepressant does not seem to produce any beneficial effects or it causes an allergic reaction or unbearable side effects, then your doctor may directly switch to another antidepressant. 

This practice is also common if you’re switching from one antidepressant to another which belongs to the same class. However, it is strictly prohibited to change your antidepressant, alter your dose, or stop your treatment without your doctor’s approval. 

What can I replace Celexa with?

You can replace citalopram with other SSRIs including sertraline, escitalopram, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can also be used.

Can you switch from one SSRI to another without tapering off?

Yes, you can switch from one SSRI to another without tapering off but only if it is advised by your mental healthcare professional. The best switching strategy is always recommended by your doctor. In usual practice, direct switch is preferred only after a short duration of treatment with your antidepressant and it doesn’t seem to work that well for you. 

If you are switching after months or years of taking it, it is not recommended to just stop and switch. You need to taper your older antidepressant down and start the new one from the lowest effective dose. 

How do you know when to switch antidepressants?

Your healthcare provider may switch your antidepressant if your current antidepressant:

  • Doesn’t suit you
  • Cause side effects 
  • Fails to provide adequate therapeutic response. 

How long does it take to notice a difference with Prozac?

Prozac usually starts to show noticeable improvement in the symptoms of your mental health condition within 4 weeks of treatment. However, it may show relief in physical symptoms but it still takes a few weeks to make changes in your psychological symptoms. The time duration can vary from person to person. Some people may start to notice differences much earlier than the others

References 

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