Celexa, is the brand name of a drug called Citalopram Hydrobromide which is one of the most widely prescribed Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) on the market. It is widely used to treat major depression, panic disorder, anxiety, and agoraphobia. You should remember that drugs are never a solution, just a crutch, and there are other non-drug approaches which can help in getting over anxiety.
I used this drug for some time, taking the standard dosage of 20mg a day. Occasionally larger doses are prescribed if 20mg are found to be insufficient, and often the elderly or inform are started on a lower dose of 10mg which is increased when tolerance has been established.
Side effects are what most people think about first when anti depressants are mentioned, there has been much made in the media about addiction and suicide. Celexa does have a good side effects profile, to you and me that means that the side effects are usually mild and short lived. And in terms of addiction the relative long half life of the drug (the amount of time it spends in your system) means that it is much easier to come off than drugs like Seroxat (Paroxetine Paxil, Seroxat, Deroxat). Side effects that I encountered included very short lived bouts of dizziness, lasting less than a few seconds, and a week long drop in libido. Within a week all side effects had effectively passed and I never had anything that made me want to stop taking the drug. I never really experienced nausea or a dry mouth, and my sleeping improved quickly. I would say that on the very first day of taking the drug I felt as weird as I have ever felt in my whole life. I felt a spacey depression that was most unusual and odd. I would describe it as absolute helplessness. It passed later that day when I applied some techniques that I had recently learnt. (more on that tomorrow)
Would I recommend Celexa?
Well, from a side effect standpoint I would have no qualms (although of course everyone one is different and some people can not tolerate Celexa).
The question is, does it work?
Well, I think that it stops the really dire lows and keeps you stable, but it is not a pep pill and it does not put you on cloud nine. Neither does it change your outlook on life or your major cognitions, so while it does make desensitization easier if for example you were agoraphobic, it won’t make problems disappear, or didn’t for me anyway. For that you do need to use therapy as well as drug treatment. Drugs are just symptomatic relief.
Please read the disclaimer.