One reader who has taken Celexa (citalopram) for and anxiety disorder wrote:
I had been in a bad way when I decided to take medication. I had been off my food (extremely rare for me) and had been suffering a month of continued anxiety, which seemed to be some kind of Acute Stress Response. My usual weight was generally in the region of about 86KGs but when my exercise regime had been lacking my weight was closer to 89KGs.
When I started the Celexa I weighed only 82KG. I remember this distinctly because it was the only thing that made me happy. Being anxious and depressed, and feeling night-time panic, had seen my appetite drop massively and I was thinner than I ever remembered being.
After a few weeks on Celexa my appetite came back with a vengeance. I saw this as a positive thing and I was able to enjoy food again. The problem was that my appetite turned vast and I couldn’t say no to sweet foods and high carbohydrates. I stayed on Celexa as it was very effective with dealing with my anxiety levels and my mood. My free-floating depression all but vanished.
Another common side effect of Celexa (and other SSRIs) is lethargy, and I didn’t feel very inclined to do exercise. In fact that’s an understatement; I couldn’t muster the energy to do anything taxing at all. People started telling me I was putting on weight but that didn’t seem to bother me, I shrugged it off. But when I weighed myself I got a shock. I was nearly 100KGs!!!
This immediately inspired me to cut sweets, added sugar, bread and much more from my diet. I also started to do more vigorous exercise. The results were quite dramatic. I managed to lose 2.3KGs in one week and am now on the road to my old weight again. I am still on the Celexa while I go through therapy, but now I have my eating under control. I am glad I used this medication and I am sure it helped me a lot.
You don’t have to put on weight when you use Celexa, but it is good to be aware of the risks and keep an eye on your diet so you can check any negative changes.