Difference between citalopram escitalopram

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Citalopram and escitalopram are both commonly prescribed antidepressants that belong to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While they share similarities, there are key differences between the two drugs that may impact your treatment.

Citalopram is an older medication that is available as a generic drug, while escitalopram is a newer version that is only available as a brand-name drug (Lexapro).

Both drugs are used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, but some studies suggest that escitalopram may be more effective and have fewer side effects compared to citalopram.

Consult your healthcare provider to discuss which medication is right for you based on your individual needs and medical history. Make informed decisions about your mental health treatment and explore the differences between citalopram and escitalopram.

Main differences

Citalopram and escitalopram belong to the same class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The main difference between citalopram and escitalopram lies in their chemical structure and pharmacological properties.

Citalopram:

Citalopram:

Citalopram is a racemic mixture, meaning it contains equal amounts of both R- and S-enantiomers. R-citalopram is considered inactive and may even have negative effects, while S-citalopram is responsible for the therapeutic effects of the drug.

Pharmacological properties:

Citalopram mainly inhibits the reuptake of serotonin, leading to increased levels of serotonin in the synaptic cleft. It also has a moderate affinity for other receptors, such as histamine, muscarinic, and adrenergic receptors.

Indications for use:

Citalopram is commonly used to treat depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Side effects:

The common side effects of citalopram include nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction.

Dosage:

The usual starting dose of citalopram is 20 mg per day, which can be increased to a maximum of 40 mg per day.

Escitalopram:

Escitalopram:

Escitalopram is the S-enantiomer of citalopram and is considered the active form of the drug. It is a more potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor compared to citalopram.

Pharmacological properties:

Escitalopram primarily acts by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, leading to increased serotonin levels in the brain. It has minimal effects on other receptors, making it more selective compared to citalopram.

Indications for use:

Escitalopram is commonly used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Side effects:

The common side effects of escitalopram are similar to those of citalopram, including nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, and sexual dysfunction.

Dosage:

The usual starting dose of escitalopram is 10 mg per day, which can be increased to a maximum of 20 mg per day.

Pharmacological properties

Citalopram and escitalopram are both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in regulating mood, emotions, and behavior. By blocking the reuptake of serotonin, these medications help improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

In addition to their effects on serotonin, citalopram and escitalopram may also have some impact on other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine. This dual action may contribute to their efficacy in treating a wider range of symptoms and conditions.

Side effects comparison

When comparing the side effects of citalopram and escitalopram, it’s important to note that both medications belong to the same class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). However, there are some differences in the side effects profile of these two drugs.

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Citalopram Side Effects:

Common side effects of citalopram may include nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, drowsiness, and increased sweating. In some cases, it may also cause sexual dysfunction and weight changes.

Serious side effects of citalopram can include suicidal thoughts, serotonin syndrome, and allergic reactions. It may also increase the risk of bleeding, especially when taken with other medications that affect blood clotting.

Escitalopram Side Effects:

Escitalopram Side Effects:

Common side effects of escitalopram are similar to citalopram and may include nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, drowsiness, and increased sweating. It may also cause sexual dysfunction and weight changes.

Serious side effects of escitalopram can also include suicidal thoughts, serotonin syndrome, and allergic reactions. It may increase the risk of bleeding as well when taken with other medications affecting blood clotting.

Overall, both citalopram and escitalopram have similar side effect profiles due to their similar mechanism of action as SSRIs. It is important to discuss any concerns or experiences of side effects with a healthcare provider when taking these medications.

Side effects comparison

When comparing the side effects of citalopram and escitalopram, it is important to consider that both medications belong to the same class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This means that they share some common side effects such as:

  • Nausea: Both citalopram and escitalopram can cause nausea, especially when first starting the medication. This side effect usually improves over time as the body adjusts to the drug.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep may occur with both medications. It is recommended to take them in the morning to reduce the risk of insomnia.
  • Sexual side effects: Both citalopram and escitalopram may cause changes in libido, arousal, or performance. It is essential to discuss these side effects with your healthcare provider.
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However, there are some differences in side effects between citalopram and escitalopram:

  • Cardiac effects: Citalopram has been associated with a risk of QT prolongation, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm. Escitalopram may have a lower risk of this side effect.
  • Weight changes: Some patients may experience weight gain or weight loss while taking citalopram. Escitalopram is less likely to cause significant changes in weight.
  • Agitation: Agitation or restlessness may be more common with citalopram compared to escitalopram.

It is essential to discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider before starting either medication and to report any new or worsening symptoms promptly.

Dosage comparison

When it comes to dosage, citalopram and escitalopram have some differences. The typical starting dose of citalopram is 20 mg per day, while the maximum recommended dose is usually 40 mg per day. On the other hand, the usual starting dose of escitalopram is 10 mg per day, with a maximum recommended dose of 20 mg per day.

Citalopram Dosage:

Citalopram is usually taken once a day, in the morning or evening, with or without food. The dose may be adjusted by your doctor based on your response to the medication.

Escitalopram Dosage:

Similarly, escitalopram is typically taken once a day, in the morning or evening, with or without food. Your doctor may adjust the dose if needed, depending on how you respond to the treatment.