Pros: Cheap, works well
Cons: short term memory loss
Okay, so I don't really want to delve too deep into my medical history, but I feel like I should today, just so that other people have a chance to know the pros and cons of taking an anti-depressant such as Citalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor).
A few months ago, my blood pressure was sky-high (it had been consistently high for awhile, but that day, my top number was in the 200s), and my doctor told me that I was lucky I didn't have a heart attack or a stroke. I'm only 25, so this scared the you-know-what out of me. I follow a very healthy diet (primarily organic, all-natural foods), and exercise enough to where my blood pressure shouldn't be high, so my doctor determined that stress, anxiety, and depression must be playing major roles in affecting my health.
He was right, of course, but although he prescribed two medications that day (Citalopram, which is a generic form of Celexa, as well as a medication for my blood pressure), I only took one of them (shhh!): the Citalopram. On my follow-up visit, my blood pressure was significantly lower, and my doctor excitedly told me that he was glad the blood pressure medication (yeah, the one I didn't even take) was working so well.
At first, Citalopram was the answer to all of my prayers. It started kicking in about a week after I began taking it (although my doctor said it could take up to 3 weeks), and I was incredibly happy (chemically happy, that is). I had tried other anti-depressants in the past (a few years ago), with results that didn't even compare to the wonderful effect Citalopram had on my depression.
I'll never forget the day, about 2 weeks after I started taking Citalopram, when I walked past my boss, smiled, and shouted out a jolly hello.
"Wow, Missy," she said, "You just seem so light and happy today".
And I was.
It was great.
Fast forward to a month later.
I got in my car to run some errands-and couldn't remember where I was going. So I sat there. And sat there. And eventually gave up.
The next day, my ex boyfriend called and asked what was wrong with me. I had no clue what he was talking about, and told him as much. He informed me that I had just responded to a text message he sent me THREE TIMES within half an hour (and I had no recollection of any of this).
Later that week, I apparently emailed my professor with a question; she answered it that night in class, and I stared at her blankly, as I had no clue I had even emailed her. Talk about embarrassing.
Convinced that I was either losing my mind or suffering from some major side effects, I started researching Citalopram. I found that it was invented in 1989, which means it is fairly new; too new, in fact, for any long-term side effects to be known. Yikes.
Through my research, I found a website that offered firsthand encounters of patients who were taking antidepressants. My doctor had told me that side effects of Citalopram included dry mouth, nausea (which I experienced), headaches, shaking, diarrhea, insomnia, and increased sweating. He mentioned nothing about memory loss, and neither did the handy little informational packet that came with my medication. However, this website had tons of people who stated that a scary side effect of Citalopram was short term memory loss.
At least now I know I wasn't just losing my mind.
Despite the fact that I wear $25 mascara and $18 lip gloss, I value intelligence over beauty; I stopped taking my Citalopram immediately.
It was terrible. I cried nonstop (for no reason) for the next 3 days. Then my depression turned into anger, and I was incredibly angry for the next week or so. I finally started to mellow down after about 3 weeks without Citalopram, although I barely made it.
Citalopram isn't all bad though, and the purpose of this review is to show you the good AND the bad sides:
-Inexpensive (my prescription was $4 at Target)
-Effective (it definitely made me happy)
-Easily tolerated (I was only nauseous for the first month, and after that, I just had the occasional headache when the Citalopram started to wear off)
-If you miss a dose, you will feel terribly depressed for the next day (I felt even worse than BEFORE I started taking the Citalopram)
-SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS
-Highly addictive (I had a horrible time weaning myself off of this medication)
-Long term effects are not known
-May cause suicide (my doctor stated that he was required by law to tell me that, which almost scared me out of taking it)
The decision to take an anti-depressant is a personal one, and should only be made with the help of a doctor or mental health professional. Citalopram is definitely more effective at curing depression than any other medication I have ever taken; however, the side effects are not worth it (in my opinion). I'd rather be sad than stupid any day.
Just for the record: after discontinuing Citalopram for about a month, my short term memory appears to have returned. Thank God.
If you have questions about Citalopram not answered by this review, please visit www.celexa.com, or make an appointment with your doctor.
Thanks for reading!