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Hi, during the last year I have been taking Citalopram for my depression. This drug has helped me a lot. My depression is under control and I am able to function normally. But now my doctor wants me to try Escitlopram. He says it is better than Citalopram. I worry that my depression will return if I change my therapy. Can you tell me why is Escitlopram better than Citalopram?

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Hi, both Citalopram and Escitalopram are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The difference between the two drugs is on the chemical level. I will not bother you with the explanation of this difference but basically, Escitalopram is an active form contained in Citalopram. Because of this the mechanism of action is the same. But, since Escitalopram does not contain the inactive component found in Citalopram, it is a more selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This means that Escitalopram works more effectively in treatment of depression. However, these advantages are not that significant in patients that are responding well to Citalopram therapy. This would mean that in your case there is no need for the change in the therapy. And if you are paying for your medication, you should definitely stick with Citalopram because it is cheaper than Escitalopram. You should try to make your doctor explain why he is so keen on changing your therapy since there is no obvious need to do so.
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Fully agree with deana. While a person may notice a decrease in side-effects with the ascitalopram, those effects are more noticable in the first few weeks of taking the medication. If the citalopram is working for you, why change?
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HI , i was originally taking escitalopram for my depression. It really helped me. I moved area and when i visited my new doctor for that area he insisted that citalopram and escitalopram were the same drug and insisted on prescribing citalopram for me. In the 12 months i was taking citalopram i had major flip flopping moods, to the point i had suicidal thoughts. I became irrational beyond control. So i went to see a different doctor and asked them what difference there is between the two drugs, and although it is only slight difference, and the fact that escitalopram (my original ) is more expensive, the difference could definitely be the cause of my spiral into further depression. Now i am back on escitalopram and far more 'evened out' and less roller-coaster highs and lows. So to me the difference is almost life saving !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Hi. I am in the field of medicines and I totally agree with the fact that if one medicine works perfectly fine on you, there is no need to take the other one. Besides, depression causes various hormonal changes and effect of different chemicals may vary from person to person. While citalopram works great on one Escitalopram might work wonders on the other. I think you should stick to whatever works on you and why change when there is no need to (unless your doctor fears that you might get dependent on it). Why guess? You may want to find out if one could get dependent on citalopram. (But then, you better consult a different doctor than the one you're taking treatment from).

Hope this helps!!
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hi there

I was on citalopram for about 1 year and it worked wonders for me. I was just taking half a tablet per day and felt that I was no longer angry or anxious and was very pleased apart from my extreme tiredness. I swapped over to escitolopram about 5 mths ago as my doctor said this could help with my tiredness. suffered insomina again for about the first 4 weeks but have actually found myself becoming slightly depressed on it, very emotional and still extremely tired. I want to swap back to citalopram. stopped cold turkey about 1 week ago on the tablets and now going to try citalopram again. is this ok for me to do this? thought I might be able to manage not being on the pills but have just spent the last 24 hrs crying over nothing.
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mamabear wrote:

heinrick wrote:

Hi, both Citalopram and Escitalopram are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The difference between the two drugs is on the chemical level. I will not bother you with the explanation of this difference but basically, Escitalopram is an active form contained in Citalopram. Because of this the mechanism of action is the same. But, since Escitalopram does not contain the inactive component found in Citalopram, it is a more selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This means that Escitalopram works more effectively in treatment of depression. However, these advantages are not that significant in patients that are responding well to Citalopram therapy. This would mean that in your case there is no need for the change in the therapy. And if you are paying for your medication, you should definitely stick with Citalopram because it is cheaper than Escitalopram. You should try to make your doctor explain why he is so keen on changing your therapy since there is no obvious need to do so.


hi there
I was on citalopram for about 1 year and it worked wonders for me. I was just taking half a tablet per day and felt that I was no longer angry or anxious and was very pleased apart from my extreme tiredness. I swapped over to escitolopram about 5 mths ago as my doctor said this could help with my tiredness. suffered insomina again for about the first 4 weeks but have actually found myself becoming slightly depressed on it, very emotional and still extremely tired. I want to swap back to citalopram. stopped cold turkey about 1 week ago on the tablets and now going to try citalopram again. is this ok for me to do this? thought I might be able to manage not being on the pills but have just spent the last 24 hrs crying over nothing.


Hi. Heinrick, I'm a psyquiatrist and I'll just tell you not to fight with 'the pills' as they're not just 'the pills' for you're talking about the ones which had actully helped you lots. One should only try getting rid of pills when they are actually not necessary anymore but he became addicted to them: feels perfectly well , living great, but suffers in the absence of the 'pills' and needs increasing amounts of them to remain steady. That doesn't seem to be your case, you seem to suffer of true pathological depression and succeeded with the appropiately prescribed drug.
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nilsonfa wrote:

mamabear wrote:

heinrick wrote:

Hi, both Citalopram and Escitalopram are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The difference between the two drugs is on the chemical level. I will not bother you with the explanation of this difference but basically, Escitalopram is an active form contained in Citalopram. Because of this the mechanism of action is the same. But, since Escitalopram does not contain the inactive component found in Citalopram, it is a more selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This means that Escitalopram works more effectively in treatment of depression. However, these advantages are not that significant in patients that are responding well to Citalopram therapy. This would mean that in your case there is no need for the change in the therapy. And if you are paying for your medication, you should definitely stick with Citalopram because it is cheaper than Escitalopram. You should try to make your doctor explain why he is so keen on changing your therapy since there is no obvious need to do so.


hi there
I was on citalopram for about 1 year and it worked wonders for me. I was just taking half a tablet per day and felt that I was no longer angry or anxious and was very pleased apart from my extreme tiredness. I swapped over to escitolopram about 5 mths ago as my doctor said this could help with my tiredness. suffered insomina again for about the first 4 weeks but have actually found myself becoming slightly depressed on it, very emotional and still extremely tired. I want to swap back to citalopram. stopped cold turkey about 1 week ago on the tablets and now going to try citalopram again. is this ok for me to do this? thought I might be able to manage not being on the pills but have just spent the last 24 hrs crying over nothing.


Hi. Heinrick, I'm a psyquiatrist and I'll just tell you not to fight with 'the pills' as they're not just 'the pills' for you're talking about the ones which had actully helped you lots. One should only try getting rid of pills when they are actually not necessary anymore but he became addicted to them: feels perfectly well , living great, but suffers in the absence of the 'pills' and needs increasing amounts of them to remain steady. That doesn't seem to be your case, you seem to suffer of true pathological depression and succeeded with the appropiately prescribed drug.


Hi, I have asked my doctor over the last few years whether antideps are addictive and have had the answer no to this, I have just read your post that you say they are.
I have tried mostly every anti dep possible.
I am on escitalopram and the shaking is horrendous but only been on them a week.
I have tried getting off them to no avail and have had many dips, anxiety being the main reason I want to stay on them which has been acute over the last ten years, I am hoping this woeks for me as i'm at the end of my tether.
I just want an insight to whether once I get used to this I might need more and also I have been taking diazepam to get me over the first couple of weeks, is this safe enough, I have only been taking 1 to 2mg per day?
I have felt suicidal trying to cope with this, will this wear off and the tremours, please reply to this, i'm flapping off when speaking and irationaly scared at the moment getting panick attacks.
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nilsonfa wrote:

mamabear wrote:

heinrick wrote:

Hi, both Citalopram and Escitalopram are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The difference between the two drugs is on the chemical level. I will not bother you with the explanation of this difference but basically, Escitalopram is an active form contained in Citalopram. Because of this the mechanism of action is the same. But, since Escitalopram does not contain the inactive component found in Citalopram, it is a more selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This means that Escitalopram works more effectively in treatment of depression. However, these advantages are not that significant in patients that are responding well to Citalopram therapy. This would mean that in your case there is no need for the change in the therapy. And if you are paying for your medication, you should definitely stick with Citalopram because it is cheaper than Escitalopram. You should try to make your doctor explain why he is so keen on changing your therapy since there is no obvious need to do so.


hi there
I was on citalopram for about 1 year and it worked wonders for me. I was just taking half a tablet per day and felt that I was no longer angry or anxious and was very pleased apart from my extreme tiredness. I swapped over to escitolopram about 5 mths ago as my doctor said this could help with my tiredness. suffered insomina again for about the first 4 weeks but have actually found myself becoming slightly depressed on it, very emotional and still extremely tired. I want to swap back to citalopram. stopped cold turkey about 1 week ago on the tablets and now going to try citalopram again. is this ok for me to do this? thought I might be able to manage not being on the pills but have just spent the last 24 hrs crying over nothing.


Hi. Heinrick, I'm a psyquiatrist and I'll just tell you not to fight with 'the pills' as they're not just 'the pills' for you're talking about the ones which had actully helped you lots. One should only try getting rid of pills when they are actually not necessary anymore but he became addicted to them: feels perfectly well , living great, but suffers in the absence of the 'pills' and needs increasing amounts of them to remain steady. That doesn't seem to be your case, you seem to suffer of true pathological depression and succeeded with the appropiately prescribed drug.


Why do you claim to be a psychiatrist when you obviously are not? It´s dangerous do give people advice when you make them believe you´re a doctor.
It´s fine to give advice, but not lie about your medical competence. You can seriously harm people´s health if they actually believe you.

A real psychiatrist knows how to spell psychiatrist, to begin with...
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Sweetheart, if you stop cold turkey, you will suffer from withdrawal symptoms, and thus spend 24 hours crying over nothing. These meds are no joke, you can´t just decide to quit on your own.



Contact your doctor and tell him that they don´t work for you and you need to swap back to Citalopram, that does work for you.

I know it can be hard, since doctors usually are paid to prescribe a certain drug, but in this case, you feel bad with the drug he´s giving you, so be adamant about your wish.
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i am on 20 mg of citalopram and i am beginning to get flushing hot sweats and low feelings.  would escitalopram 10 or 20 mg. be better for me.   been having a time getting something to work well without so many bad side effects. janet
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mamabear.. do you mean that you are a Psychiatrist? lol..um, doubting
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Escitalopram has an anti anxiety property in it where as the Citalopram does not. For me that is a huge difference. With out the anti anxiety properties I am moody, suicidal and so on. If you are prescribed Escitalopram always make sure the pharmacy gives you the correct one...had the pharm make a mistake with that too
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This person is impersonating a psychiatrist and isn't qualified to give medical advice. I've worked with plenty of psychiatrists, and they all know that antidepressants aren't addictive -- even if it is easier to taper off of them. Withdrawal symptoms do not equal addiction; the psychological need to keep using a substance when it is clearly causing harm is addiction.

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If your worried about getting addicted to antidepressants, you may want to consider the fact that your depression is always going to plague you, it may never go away, however you can maintain a good emotional balance when the correct medication is takein, in this case citlalopram. If it helps, and your always going to need it, so be it. What you want to watch out for is the drugs like diapazine or (valume) as those types of benzo's are extremly addictive and never prescribed for long term use. So its little short term "helpers that you should becareful with and just start condering your antidepressant, a daily vitaman. : ) 

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