Generic Name: Citalopram HBr
Class: Antidepressant [Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)]
Availability: Prescription only
Molecular Formula: C20H22BrFN2O
Substance UNII: I1E9D14F36
What is Citalopram?
Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) given as a prescription. It is the generic name of the trade name Celexa.
What is Citalopram Used For?
Citalopram is an antidepressant that is used to treat depression. When used as an antidepressant, it is designed to bring about better mental balance by improving a person’s mood by increasing the serotonin levels present in the brain.
During certain occasions, medical professionals may also prescribe this drug to treat other conditions such as alcoholism, eating disorders, social phobia (excessive interaction anxiety), panic disorders, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, according to MedlinePlus. This list of conditions that citalopram is prescribed for is not complete, as you should speak with a medical professional regarding additional uses. Since citalopram can be prescribed for conditions other than what it was originally approved for by the FDA, it is considered an off-label drug and has off-label uses.
How Does Citalopram Work?
Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical created naturally by the body that helps with certain bodily functions, such as digestion and bowel movements. It is also believed that serotonin helps to regulate a person’s mood.
When serotonin levels are low, a person may experience a low mood and symptoms of depression. Citalopram prevents the nerve cells from reabsorbing the serotonin. By blocking this reabsorption, it helps to increase the levels of serotonin that are present for the brain. The higher serotonin levels available for the brain helps to improve the person’s mood.
How Long Does It Take for Citalopram to Work?
Citalopram can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks before a person starts to see noticeable results. It can be prescribed as a tablet or as a solution. It may be taken with or without food.
Do Not Use Citalopram If:
There are several situations where taking this medication may not be the right choice for a person. According to the FDA, you should not use citalopram if having these conditions or experiencing these situations:
- Taking MAOIs
- After stopping treatment of MAOIs for 14 days
- Concomitant use of pimozide
- Having a hypersensitivity to citalopram or its inactive ingredients
Please understand that this list of contradictions may not be complete. There may possibly be other situations where starting the use of this drug is not advisable.