Citalopram for fibromyalgia

Citalopram for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia patients may have a promising future with the treatment of Antidepressant Citalopram

Fibromyalgia is a condition which affects the muscles and soft tissues. It causes chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points, which can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management.

While treating fibromyalgia, doctors turn to a wide variety of medications to relieve symptoms that include pain and fatigue as well as depression.

Antidepressants have been studied for fibromyalgia and have shown to help improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Antidepressant drugs are also used to treat people suffering from fibromyalgia.

These antidepressants drugs help regulate certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, that are implicated in various fibromyalgia symptoms, including muscle pain, sleep problems, and fatigue.

There are three classes of antidepressants drugs. It includes Tricyclic antidepressants, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs).

During the 19th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, experts have reported that citalopram, an antidepressant under the class Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) helps in improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

What is Citalopram?

Citalopram is an antidepressant drug used to treat depression. It was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration to treat major depression in 1998.

It is believed to improve a person’s energy level and feelings of well-being. Citalopram is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

This medication works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.

Does Citalopram work on fibromyalgia patients?

A study conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, United States, evaluated the use of citalopram in 22 patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

The fibromyalgia patients were asked not to take any medications for pain, sleep or depression for a week. After the week, these patients were treated with 20 mg to 40 mg of citalopram a day for six weeks.

The patients were not allowed to take their usual medication during the time frame. However, they were provided with hydrocodone 5 mg/acetaminophen 500 mg twice daily as a rescue medication.

The results showed significant improvement for the patients. The study found out that both depressed and non-depressed fibromyalgia patients reported significant improvement.

A total of 42 percent of the change in pain was attributed to changes in depression, while the rest 58% attributed to other factors.

The study concluded that citalopram is effective in making changes in the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

How does Citalopram work?

The brain cells called neurons releases a number of chemicals which stimulates other neurons. It leads to electrical impulses which result in many functions controlled by the brain.

Serotonin is one such chemical in the brain. Once serotonin is released, it stimulates other neurons and is then taken back into the neuron cells and recycled.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like citalopram increase the amount of circulating serotonin available in your brain. This may help the symptoms of depression or panic disorder in some people.

Citalopram Dosage

It is important to understand how much of citalopram should be consumed by a patient. For depression, experts recommend a usual dose of 20 mg a day for an adult. This amount is likely to be increased to a maximum of 40 mg a day by your doctor.

The starting dose for a panic disorder is recommended at 10 mg a day for the first week and 20 mg to 30 mg a day. It may be increased to 40 mg a day by your doctor.

For elderly patients, the citalopram medication dosage is 10 mg to 20 mg a day. It is important to note that children and adolescents under the age of 18 years should not be treated with citalopram.

Side effects of Citalopram

Some of the side effects of citalopram include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Yawning

These are some of the side effects caused by citalopram medication. It is important to consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.

It is also important to note that citalopram medication may increase serotonin which causes a condition called serotonin syndrome or toxicity.

However, this condition is rare. The risk of getting this condition increases if you are on other medication too. Therefore, it is important to let your doctor know what medication you are on before taking any citalopram.

Here are some of the symptoms of serotonin syndrome:

  • increased heartbeat
  • hallucinations
  • loss of coordination
  • severe dizziness
  • severe nausea
  • severe vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • twitching muscles
  • unexplained fever
  • unusual agitation

If you experience some of these symptoms it is important that you see your doctor immediately. One may also experience allergic reaction due to citalopram medication although it is very rare.

The allergic reactions may include rash, itching, swelling of the face, tongue, and throat, and breathing trouble.

When not to take Citalopram medication

Here are a few things one should remember before going into citalopram medication.

  • Do not take citalopram if you are expecting or breastfeeding
  • Do not stop taking citalopram medication on your own
  • Do not take citalopram if you have any kind of liver or kidney disorders
  • Do not take citalopram if you have a heart condition
  • Do not take citalopram if you have epilepsy
  • Do not take citalopram if you have sugar diabetes
  • Do not take citalopram if you have glaucoma
  • Do not take citalopram if you have ever had a bleeding disorder
  • Do not take citalopram if you have ever had mania.
  • Do not take citalopram if you are being treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
  • Do not take citalopram if you have allergic reactions

It is, therefore, important for you to let you doctor know about any kind of conditions that you may have or had or any kind of medical history.

16 Comments

  • I took citalopram for many years to treat depression before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It didn’t do any of this for me! My doctor added busiprone to my meds list because my depression and anxiety was so bad. I take Lyrica 100mg 3x daily. I feel that has helped me more than anything!! I want a cure for this hedious ailment! Can’t imagine how many people are going thru the same thing I am.

      • Lyrica made me nearly go crazy! I had hallucinations, could hear people whispering in my ear so realistic that at night in be when I was laying in bed hearing them, I could feel their(I don’t know who or what) breath on my skin! That is one medication I would never recommend anyone take! Luckily I was able to pull it together and got off of it before it made me suicidal… My friend was not so lucky💔

    • Have you had a significant weight gain while being on Lyrica? It all bloated in my belly and I found it hard to breathe. .Elavil also helped significantly for years but I had the same reaction. .

  • My sister was on Citalopram, unfortunately it didn’t work for her at all, the Dr kept giving her more drugs to try and nothing could ease her pain, i really believe in more natural ways of healing and helping the body, the body have it’s own natural antibiotics and pain killer, you just need to adapt a very good healthy diet, and some self help techniques to heal the body, it take time but in the end your body get a change to defend and heal itself, sadly Dr never recommend that!

    • I think you are exactly right. Most of the chemicals that are used by the brain are produced in the gut. I believe it is important to fix that by consuming fresh fruits and veggies organic if possible, multi-strained probiotics found in things like organic plain yogurt and fermented kefir. We as a society put so much junk into our bodies that it disrupts the natural flora of the gut.

  • I was on citalopram for 6 years and recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Though the citalopram helped my depression, it did nothing ito my Fibromyalgia. my GP changed my medication to Duloxetine and it’s worked wonders!

    • Its so strange how the meds work so differently for different people. I took Duloxitine for o little bit more than a year. The entire time I was bed ridden and having convulsions at night. I got a new Dr and he took me off right away, I am now out of bed finally. Gabapentin was also a bad reaction from the first dose.

    • Huh…..I just went the opposite from duloxetine to celexa. I had to go down to 20mg every other day due to side effects…..meds bother me easily!!! It helps well with depression & increases my energy.

  • I have just started taking Duloxetine and have been feeling real good and practically pain free so far..15 days. I am still struggling to sleep for more than 3hours though.

  • I was ok on cilitropan but then my dr said I had to stop because I was on amatriptaline n taking both can cause major heart problems even heart attack I would like to know if this is true x

    • Sounds right….Amitriptyline is an old drug used for many conditions…mainly sleep. I couldn’t tolerate it as it dried my mucus membranes so bad it affected my gums & teeth!!!! Drs & pharmacists study the chemistry of drug interactions, so listen to them!!!!

  • i’ve been on citalopram for several years, not for pain refeif but for anxiety. it made no difference to my fibromyalgia. this appears to be no more than an advert for this drug. i have a reaction to most drugs but this is one of the few i can take but not for fibromyalgia specifically.

  • I’m just coming of citalopram and then going on to sertialine, at the moment it’s day two and I feel very alone, frightened, angry and I got another five days to go before introducing sertialine, I’m also on lyrica an zapain, feel like I’m going mad

    • I was on Sertraline (Zoloft) for 15 yrs & it quit working ince I got FM! At least it’s good to know our dics are trying…..very nasty condition indeed!!

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