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Postpartum Depression and Celexa

written by: Sanchia Fernandes • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 3/16/2011

Women with postpartum depression find it difficult to cope with the challenges that arise soon after the baby’s birth as they suffer from mood disorders, lack of sleep and anxiety. If you experience these symptoms soon after the birth of your baby, Celexa may be ideal for you.

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    When and Why is Celexa Prescribed?

    Celexa is generally prescribed after the doctor confirms that you're suffering from postpartum depression and not another disorder as some of the symptoms overlap with other medical problems.

    Celexa is prescribed because it contains ingredients that address chemical imbalances in the brain that are the cause of some of the symptoms. In some cases, Celexa may actually worsen the symptoms. You will thus have to visit your doctor frequently particularly during the first few weeks of treatment. The dosage will also be adjusted based on your initial response to the drug.

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    Postpartum Depression and Celexa

    Celexa belongs to a class of drugs termed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that correct chemical imbalances in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being but in mothers with PPD it is present in low levels. Celexa increases the extracellular level of serotonin in the patient’s brain by preventing it from being reabsorbed by nerve cells. And this helps to alleviate some of the symptoms.

    The drug has to be administered with caution because it can exacerbate the symptoms of postpartum depression in some patients. Therefore, it’s important that you carefully follow the instructions of your doctor if you’re prescribed Celexa.

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    What it Contains

    Celexa contains Citalopram hydrobromide along with a few inactive ingredients like crosscarmellose, magnesium stearate and copolyvidone. It is available in tablet form and as an oral solution. The tablets are available in varying potencies of 10, 20 and 40 mg. The oral solution also contains 2mg of Citalopram per ml. Some of the inactive ingredients that are present in this solution include propylene glycol and propylparaben. Certain patients require 10 mg tablets once a day but those suffering a severe bout of postpartum depression require one 40 mg tablet once a day.

    The doctor will prescribe the lowest dose at first and may increase the potency after a few weeks. It will take nearly 4 weeks for the drug to have any effect on you. You should take the drug around the same time everyday. Avoid discontinuing the drug unless the doctor asks you to do so as sudden discontinuation of Celexa may cause withdrawal symptoms.

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    Postpartum Depression and Celexa: Drug Interactions

    Celexa is not ideal for patients who are taking any other medications that belong to a class of drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. It shouldn’t be prescribed to patients who have a known sensitivity to it and shouldn’t be given to women who are taking pimozide.

    Women who are taking Celexa need to conduct frequent follow up checks with the doctor to determine their response to the treatment. Patients suffering from postpartum depression may have thoughts of suicide. While the medication may help to eliminate these thoughts in some patients it may have the opposite effect in others.

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    When you Should Visit your Doctor

    If you start taking Celexa and experience any of the symptoms given below, you must not hesitate to call your healthcare provider. Your family or your caregiver should be aware of the side effects of Celexa which can include:

    • Panic attacks
    • Thoughts of committing suicide
    • Insomnia
    • Extreme restlessness
    • Aggression
    • Impulsive behaviors
    • Irritability
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    If you are suffering from postpartum depression and Celexa doesn’t work for you, your healthcare specialist will prescribe another anti-depressant drug that may be better for your body. It’s important to start treatment early so that the condition doesn’t progress to a major depressive episode.

    NB: The content of this article on postpartum depression and Celexa is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.

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