[ Citalopram Hydrobromide ] - Celexa is the brand name used for Citalopram
HBr by Forest Pharmaceuticals. Citalopram is an oral medication used
for the treatment of drepression.
Citalopram is not a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI: the most
common form of antidepressant). Instead, Citalopram is an antidepressant
that is a member of the family of drugs known as selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Citalopram helps to restore the brain's
chemical balance by increasing the supply of a substance in the brain
called serotonin. Citalopram appears
to relieve depression by increasing serotonin without affecting many
of the other chemicals in the brain that influence mood.
HOW SSRIs WORK: Although the brain chemistry
of depression is not fully understood, there does exist a growing body
of evidence to support the view that people with depression have an
imbalance of the brain’s neurotransmitters. These are chemicals in the
brain that allow nerve cells to communicate. One of these neurotransmitters
is serotonin. An imbalance in serotonin may be an important factor in
the development and severity of depression. SSRIs affect how much serotonin
is available by blocking its reabsorption during transmission from one
nerve cell in the brain to another. Serotonin is released from one nerve
cell and passed to the next. In the process, some of the serotonin released
is reabsorbed by the first nerve cell. SSRIs block the reabsorption
of serotonin into the first nerve cell. It is this blocking action that
causes an increased amount of serotonin to become available at the next
nerve cell. This is how SSRIs affect the balance of serotonin in the
WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT USE THIS MEDICINE: You should
not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to citalopram.
You should not use citalopram within 14 days before or after taking
an MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor such as phenelzine (Nardil ®),
isocarboxazid (Marplan ®), tranylcypromine (Parnate ®), or selegeline
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are believed to relieve
depression by increasing the effectiveness of the neurotransmitter serotonin
in the brain. In a review published four years ago, Irving Kirsch, PhD,
first suggested that the antidepressants are just slightly more effective
than a placebo. The findings were widely criticized by mental health
professionals at the time, and Kirsch says the latest review attempts
to address the criticisms.
Kirsh and colleagues pooled data from roughly 40 studies of six SSRIs
that won FDA approval between 1987 and 1999. The drugs included Prozac,
Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa,
Effexor, and Serzone.
All of the studies compared depression relief among patients treated
with the SSRIs with those given placebos. The patients were not told
which treatment they were getting, and both groups improved. Using a
standardized 50-point depression scale, the pooled results showed that
patients treated with antidepressants had a 10-point improvement, while
those given placebos improved by 8 points.
Kirsch concedes that the design of the placebo-controlled studies may
mask the true effectiveness of the antidepressants and overstate the
effectiveness of the placebos. But he adds that the finding also clearly
suggests that too many people are relying on unproven drugs to treat
the symptoms of depression.
"People may be better off exploring other treatment options such
as psychotherapy or exercise, which has been shown to reduce depression.
And the side effect of physical exercise is better health. That is much
better than the loss of sexual function, tremors, agitation, diarrhea,
and nausea that are side effects of SSRIs."