How does Citalopram make you feel? (A review)

In this article, we answer the following question: How does Citalopram make you feel? We will also give you all the information you need to know about antidepressant treatment: side effects, categories of antidepressants and other advice for people suffering from depression and seeking medication treatment.

How does Citalopram make you feel? 

Citalopram will make you feel more like yourself again. The symptoms of your condition will become less severe or will happen less often. But you have to be patient, as it may take several weeks before starting to see the effects of Citalopram, as with any other antidepressant. The effectiveness of a drug may depend on how long it stays in your body.

To explain in a simple and summarized way how antidepressants work in our brain, we will begin by mentioning that one of the many functions of neurons is to capture serotonin from a space called synaptic.

What happens with depression drugs is that they prevent the neuron from picking up again the serotonin found in the synaptic space in order to increase the amount of serotonin between the neurons themselves. 

Therefore, they cause the amount of serotonin to rise exaggeratedly from one moment to the next. Apart from the fact that serotonin is responsible for increasing mood, it is also responsible for regulating the sleep cycle, sexual desire, appetite, vomiting, among other things.

Thus, it is normal that at the beginning of the treatment, when the serotonin levels in our brains are abruptly altered, some annoying side effects such as sleep disturbances, appetite, decreased sexual desire, vomiting, dizziness may appear. , etc. 

Once our serotonin levels are finally regulated, we can experience the benefits of consuming these drugs. This explains why antidepressants can take time to take effect in our brain, and despite the fact that our body has a great capacity to adapt to changes, it does not do so immediately and it takes some time to do so. 

Generally, the time required for antidepressants to take effect in our body is more or less 2 to 3 weeks.

Though Citalopram is a nice drug, many argue on it’s effectiveness, comparing Citalopram to Aripiprazole and Propranolol.

Effects of antidepressants in the first days

First of all, it is necessary to mention that not all people react the same to antidepressants because each body is different and has different levels of adaptation. That is why there are also different types of antidepressants, which should only be diagnosed by a professional so that he prescribes the one that best suits your needs. 

Despite this, sometimes you have to try different types to know which is the one that causes the desired effect and the least possible discomfort at first. Some of the side effects that antidepressants can cause you the first days of consumption are the following:

  • Decreased sexual appetite (sexual anorexia)
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness and on rare occasions may be accompanied by vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Oral dryness
  • Headache (mild)
  • A certain degree of anxiety and restlessness

It is necessary to mention that all these symptoms can be normal to a certain extent since if they are presented in an exaggerated way and remain for a long time, it is necessary to consult with the doctor since, probably, as I mentioned before, it should be tried with another type of antidepressant.

Everything you need to know about antidepressant treatment

Depression is a mental disorder that usually begins in the early years of adulthood. Statistics show that this is more common among women; however, anyone at any age can experience depression.

 Depression affects the brain and its functionality, so drugs that act on the brain can be useful in treating this disease. Antidepressants are drugs that balance the levels of neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain responsible for regulating mood and emotions. They are prescribed to treat clinical depression or to prevent its recurrence.

 Antidepressants are also prescribed to treat other conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, antidepressants may be prescribed to treat severe, chronic, long-term pain.

The effectiveness of antidepressants depends on the case. However, they are the most effective treatment when fast results are desired, rapid relief of symptoms, especially in the case of severe depression.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (the leading professional organization of psychiatrists in the UK) estimates that between 50-65% of people taking antidepressant treatment have seen an improvement in their condition, while 25-30% of people following, in In parallel, a placebo-type treatment observed improvements in their symptoms.

 Antidepressant treatment is started on the recommendation of a psychiatrist. It starts with small doses, and within 7 days, as a rule, the patient will begin to feel relief from symptoms. If no improvement in symptoms is seen 4 weeks after starting treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor who may order an increase in the dose or prescribe an alternative medicine.

Antidepressant treatment usually lasts for 6 months, but for people with a history of depression, it is recommended that it last 2 years. For people whose depression recurs at certain intervals, it may be recommended to follow a lifelong drug treatment.

Categories of antidepressants

 The major categories of antidepressants, the situations in which they are recommended and the side effects are presented below, as follows:

 – selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These are the antidepressants that doctors most often prescribe. Their functionality starts from the idea that an imbalance of serotonin levels (also known as the happiness hormone) plays a role in depression. 

Due to their effect, these antidepressants maintain a high level of serotonin in the brain for a longer time. This category includes medicines containing the active substances Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Citalopram, Escitalopram (Lexapro), Paroxetine and Fluvoxamine.

Also worth noting are the side effects that may occur as a result of treatment with this type of antidepressant, including nausea, tremors, sleep problems, nervousness, sexual dysfunction.

serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These are antidepressants that are prescribed to reduce the symptoms of depression. This category includes Venlafaxine (Effexor), Duloxetine (Cymbalta) – in addition to treating depression, this drug also helps relieve chronic physical pain. 

This is important because chronic pain can lead to the development of depression or worsen the symptoms of depression. In other cases, people with depression feel more pain, so a drug that addresses both manifestations may be helpful.

Side effects include nausea, headache, dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation and dizziness.

tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). These are often prescribed if the drugs in the two categories above do not work. However, their role in treating depression is not fully known.

This category includes: Amitriptyline, Amoxapine (Asendin), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Desipramine (Norpramin and Pertofrane), Doxepin, Imipramine (Tofranil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor), Protriptyline (Vivactil), Trimipramine (Surmontil).

Common side effects are constipation, dry mouth, fatigue.

These antidepressants can also have more serious side effects, including low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures.

tetracyclic antidepressants. This category includes Maprotiline (Ludiomil), a drug used to treat anxiety and depression.

Common side effects: drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth.

dopamine reuptake blocker. The active substance Bupropion in these medicines (Wellbutrin, Elontril, Aplenzin) acts as an inhibitor of the reabsorption of norepinephrine and dopamine. It is used in case of depression, a major depressive disorder caused by changing seasons, but also to quit smoking.

Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, blurred vision.

serotonin 5-HT1A receptor antagonist. The antidepressant in this category is called Vilazodone. It is not the first alternative as a treatment for depression. Therefore, it is used when another treatment with antidepressants does not work or when the side effects of other drugs are too unpleasant.

Side effects of this medicine include vomiting, sleep disturbances.

Advice for people who suffer from depression

When you suffer from depression and no longer feel any pleasure, the idea that a pill can give you the normal life of yesteryear, and the hope for a better future, is incredibly appealing.

Antidepressants increase the level of serotonin in the brain, but this does not mean that depression is necessarily caused by a lack of serotonin. After all, aspirin can cure a headache, but that doesn’t mean that headaches are caused by an aspirin deficiency.

When it comes to depression, serotonin is only a small part of the story.

The causes of depression are much more complex than the theory of chemical imbalance suggests. A growing body of research indicates other physiological factors, including inflammation, increased stress hormones, suppression of the immune system, abnormal activity in certain parts of the brain, and nutritional deficiencies. 

And these are just the biological causes of depression. Social and psychological factors such as loneliness, lack of exercise, poor diet and low self-esteem also play a huge role.

But if you decide to take treatment for depression, it is wise to learn everything you can about what you have been prescribed. The more you know about your antidepressants, the better prepared you will be to face possible side effects.

Below, we have some suggestions for the person who feels depressed and wants to start the healing process.

1. Go to a psychiatrist

Your family doctor can help you by realizing that you need medication. But no other doctor can prescribe drugs except psychiatrists – these are doctors who specialize in treating mental illness. Your health depends on the doctor’s expertise, so it is important to choose a doctor who has the best qualifications.

2. Follow the instructions

Make sure you take your antidepressants as prescribed by your doctor and do not give them up when you start to feel better. To stop treatment prematurely means to have a higher recurrence rate.

3. Monitor the side effects

Watch for any physical and emotional changes you experience and discuss this with your doctor. Contact your psychiatrist if depression worsens or if you experience an increase in suicidal thoughts.

4. Be patient

Finding the right medicine and the right dosage can sometimes take time. Antidepressants need 4 to 6 weeks to begin to take effect. Many people try several medications before finding one to help them.

5. Go to therapy

go to therapy even if you are taking medication for depression

Medication can reduce the symptoms of depression, but it does not treat the underlying problem. Psychotherapy can help you get to the root of depression, change negative thinking patterns, and learn new ways to deal with the problem you are facing.

If you decide to stop treatment without the consent of a psychiatrist, although it is not recommended, consider the following two aspects:

  • The dose should be reduced gradually, leaving at least 1-2 weeks between each dose reduction.
  • It is advisable to stop the treatment at a time when you are not very stressed.

Discontinuing treatment can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to start this process when you’re not under stress. If you are currently going through a period of major changes in your life, it would be better to wait until you reach a state of emotional balance.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

FAQ on How does Citalopram make you feel

How does citalopram feel?

Citalopram will make you feel more like yourself again. The symptoms of your condition will become less severe or will happen less often. But you have to be patient, as it may take several weeks before starting to see the effects of Citalopram, as with any other antidepressant.

Does citalopram make you happy?

Citalopram won’t necessarily make you extremely happy.  What this drug does, is causing the amount of serotonin to rise exaggeratedly from one moment to the next. Apart from the fact that serotonin is responsible for increasing mood, it is also responsible for regulating the sleep cycle, sexual desire, appetite, vomiting, among other things.

Is citalopram good for anxiety?

Yes, citalopram is good for anxiety disorder. More popular by the name of social phobia, this type of disorder is distinguished in that the person experiences a deep feeling of fear and anxiety in one or more social situations in which they must interact with other people.

Can citalopram work immediately?

No, citalopram does now start to work immediately. It will start to take effect in a week or two, and it will build up over a few weeks. All antidepressants have a latency period in their effect that can be from two to three weeks. You have to be patient and consistent.

Does citalopram make you feel worse before better?

In some cases, yes, Citalopram can make you feel worse before better.  Your doctor will inform you about all the side effects of these antidepressants and will require a follow-up in 2 or  3 weeks after starting the treatment. 

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: How does Citalopram make you feel? We also gave you all the information you need to know about antidepressant treatment: side effects, categories of antidepressants and other advice for people suffering from depression and seeking medication treatment.

Citalopram is an antidepressant drug that has been produced since 1989. This drug, popularly known as Celexa, is included in the category of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

This type of drug increases the amount of serotonin by preventing it from being recaptured. The main function of serotonin is to maintain harmony, balance and emotional well-being, which is essential when intervening in emotional disturbances such as depressive disorders or in conditions with anxiety symptoms.

If you have further questions or comments, please let us know!

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

Resources

Healthline.com – Depression medication 

Nhsinform.scot – Antidepressants

Helpguide.org – Antidepressants medication

Webmd.com – Fears and facts about antidepressant

Medicalnewstoday.com – How antidepressants work 

Mayoclinic.org  – Antidepressants

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