Increasing citalopram dose from 10mg to 20mg? (5+ rare side effects)

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “What are the side effects of increased citalopram dose from 10mg to 20mg?”. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

However, this antidepressant produces a number of side effects, especially when the dose is escalated for the first time. This blog will cover the side effects that can occur when your dose is increased from 10mg to 20mg.

What are the side effects of increased citalopram dose from 10mg to 20mg?

The side effects associated with the increased citalopram dose from 10mg to 20mg 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 and rare 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.

What is the clinical significance of citalopram?

Citalopram is used for the treatment of following mental health conditions:

Depression 

Citalopram is used in the treatment of mild to major depression disorder (MDD). It is a state of mind which is concerned with disturbing thoughts, especially about one’s self. 

It is associated with symptoms like hopelessness, tearfulness and emptiness. Depression is caused by the deficiency of excitatory neurotransmitters. 

Citalopram increases the amount of active serotonin to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) 

Citalopram is also used to treat generalised anxiety disorder. As the name implies, this mental health condition is associated with general worry or anxiety about pretty much everything without having any logical reason. 

People suffering from GAD worry about small matters related to family, friends, relationships, study, work, health, wealth etc. 

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Citalopram is used to treat symptoms of OCD. It is a condition characterised by troublesome thoughts that won’t go away, no matter what you do, and a weird urge to do things over and over again. 

Panic attacks 

Overtime, Citalopram has proven to be a suitable treatment option for treating panic attacks. They are sudden, uncontrollable attacks of fear and worry. A patient might unwillingly exaggerate a certain condition and gets frightened, often to the point where he gets attacked by seizures. 

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) 

Citalopram is also used to treat social anxiety disorder. It is a condition in which the patient fears facing crowds or social gatherings, and doesn’t really know how to react among people. 

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Citalopram can also be used to treat the symptoms associated with PTSD. It is concerned with extreme psychological symptoms that develop after a disturbing incident, such as death of a loved one or a horrific accident.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) 

Citalopram is also used to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including symptoms like mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness.

What are the recommended doses of Citalopram?

Citalopram is recommended in the following doses:

Depression

For adults: The treatment is usually started from 20 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For elderly people: The treatment usually starts from 10 mg/day. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) 

For adults: The treatment is usually started from 20 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For elderly people: The treatment usually starts from 10 mg/day. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) 

For adults: The treatment is usually started from 20 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For elderly people: The treatment usually starts from 10 mg/day. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Panic attacks 

For adults: The treatment is usually started from 10 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For elderly people: The treatment usually starts from 10 mg/day. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

For adults: The treatment is usually started from 20 mg/day, taken usually at morning or whatever time is suggested by your healthcare provider. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For elderly people: The treatment usually starts from 10 mg/day. However, the dose can be adjusted by the healthcare provider if needed and should not exceed 40 mg/day. 

For children: Dose is suggested by the doctor according to the condition and body weight.

What are the important points to consider before using this medication?

Citalopram is indeed a good choice of antidepressant, but not for everyone. There are some points that you need to consider before starting to use this med. These include:

  • Make sure citalopram 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 citalopram if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or if you’re a breastfeeding mother. 
  • 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 the most common and rare side effects of citalopram that you suffer from if your dose is increased from 10mg to 20mg. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems.

It is indeed a good choice of antidepressant, but not for everyone. Make sure you consult your healthcare provider right away if you suffer from unbearable side effects or an allergic reaction. 

It indicates that citalopram is not the right choice of antidepressant for you and your doctor may switch it to ensure your safety.

FAQs: increasing citalopram from 10mg to 20mg side effects

What happens if I increase my citalopram?

Your citalopram dose is increased by your healthcare provider only if you seem to tolerate this antidepressant well. You may suffer from the side effects but it can also help to improve your symptoms. 

Does increasing citalopram cause side effects?

You may suffer the following side effects when your dose is increased:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Loss of hair
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 

How long does it take for an increase in citalopram to take effect?

The increased dose may take a week or two to enhance mood stability and help relieve the symptoms associated with your mental health condition. However, increased side effects are also expected and are extremely common when the dose is escalated. 

Several studies also suggest that dose escalation may cause side effects which were not present on the lower dose. Make sure you report your side effects to your healthcare provider and avoid non-adherence. 

What is the difference between 10mg and 20mg citalopram?

The only difference between 10 mg and 20 mg citalopram is the amount of active ingredient present in it. Everything else is the same as it literally is the same medication and produces the same kinds of effects. However, 20mg can produce more side effects as compared to the 10mg dose, but the low dose has to be increased eventually to meet the needs of your treatment plan.

What are the symptoms of serotonin syndrome?

Serotonin syndrome occurs because of too much serotonergic activity in your system. The signs and symptoms include:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Fever with chills
  • confusion
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps

Will side effects of citalopram go away?

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

References

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