Nowadays, children and young people feel depressed and gloomy more often than before. For example, in 2021, no fewer than 18 percent of young people (12-25 years old) did not feel well mentally. In 2019 this was still 11 percent. In some cases the situation is no longer tenable and a doctor prescribes citalopram.
A drug that, in combination with psychotherapy, improves the mood of children. Read more about citalopram experiences in children here.
Experiences with citalopram in children and young people
Citalopram is a drug that belongs to the serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This means that it regulates the amount of the body’s own serotonin in your child’s brain. Serotonin is also called the happiness hormone. Experiences with the drug citalopram are that it improves your child’s mood and reduces anxiety. This medication is therefore suitable for children or young people with autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder or severe depression. It is available in tablet and drop form.
Citalopram can only be prescribed by a child or adolescent psychiatrist and only in combination with psychotherapy. Because citalopram can have serious side effects, it is not often that a doctor prescribes it for children. This only happens if it is the best possible treatment for the child and of course your child will be closely monitored.
How do you notice that citalopram is starting to work?
It takes quite a while for citalopram to work. This can even take one to three months with an anxiety disorder and autism. Is your child receiving citalopram for depression? The medicine can then start to work after four to six weeks.
First experiences with citalopram
During those first weeks of taking citalopram, your child may experience side effects and anxiety. This sometimes happens because your child still has to get used to the medicine. These side effects usually diminish quickly or even disappear completely.
This is what your child experiences when citalopram starts to work
Children with autism notice after a while that they experience less anxiety and fewer depressive symptoms. Children and young people with an obsessive-compulsive disorder experience fewer obsessive thoughts, which reduces or disappears. Young people with depression notice that they are more energetic and feel more positive when they use citalopram.
How do you feel about citalopram?
Citalopram is available in the form of drops and tablets. Some children become drowsy after taking the medicine. In that case, it is recommended that your child takes it before going to sleep. Other children actually become restless, in which case it is better to take the medicine in the morning.
What side effects do children experience from citalopram?
Children’s experiences about side effects of citalopram are less known than in adults, but the side effects known in adults can probably also occur in children. Known side effects of citalopram are:
- Drowsiness and sleepiness
- Less appetite
- Temporary sexual disorders
- Psychological complaints such as being overly happy
- Dry skin
What does citalopram do in the long term?
After three months, citalopram should work. If it does not work for your child, it is advisable to consult your doctor. There is often no point in continuing with it in that case.
By using the medicine for about six months after it starts to work, your child is less likely to experience depression. In the case of an obsessive-compulsive disorder or autism, your child must also use the medicine for at least six months after the symptoms have improved. Citalopram is often prescribed for a longer period of time and a doctor will assess again and again whether it is better for your child to continue taking it or not.
Contact your GP
Are you concerned about your child or do you have questions about the use of citalopram with your child? Always contact your doctor or another healthcare provider.
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