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What Is Citalopram Hydrobromide?

By Jacquelyn Gilchrist
Updated May 17, 2024
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Citalopram hydrobromide is prescribed to treat depression. It may also help alleviate symptoms of other mood or mental disorders. This drug is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which means that it helps to elevate the mood by raising serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, or a type of chemical that allows for the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain. People who have low levels of serotonin may be more susceptible to mental problems, such as depression, panic, and anxiety.

This medication for depression may be taken by mouth as a tablet or a liquid solution. Patients may take a low dose of citalopram hydrobromide initially and the doctor may gradually increase the dose if needed. Typically, one to four weeks of treatment are needed before the full effects of the medicine may be noticed. Patients are frequently instructed to take a dose once every day, with or without food.

Abruptly discontinuing citalopram hydrobromide may result in some withdrawal effects. These can include insomnia, anxiety, and mood changes. To avoid a period of withdrawal, patients should not stop using this drug without discussing it with the prescribing physician. The doctor will likely recommend reducing the dose gradually.

Taking citalopram hydrobromide may result in some side effects, which should be reported to the doctor if they become bothersome or persist. These can include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, along with stomach pain. Patients may experience fatigue, sleepiness, or excitement. Muscle pain, blurred vision, and loss of appetite have also been reported.

Those who experience more serious side effects should go to the emergency room as soon as possible. These can include hallucinations, seizures, and severe muscle stiffness. Fainting, vomit with the appearance of coffee grounds, and difficulty urinating may also occur. Shakiness, severe stomach pain, and rapid heartbeat have been reported.

Parents and caregivers of children and young adults should be aware that a small percentage of patients under the age of 24 became suicidal when taking an antidepressant like citalopram hydrobromide. This is a rare complication; however, these patients must get immediate medical help. Signs of possible suicidal tendencies can include hostility, panic attacks, and impulsive behavior. Caregivers may also notice frenzied excitement, worsening depression, or severe restlessness.

Before using citalopram hydrobromide, patients should disclose other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid this drug. A history of heart attacks, seizures, and kidney or liver disease may preclude a person from taking citalopram hydrobromide. This antidepressant may interact with St. John's wort, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and sleeping pills.

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