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Celexa Shows Promise for Individuals with Chronic Fatigue



Celexa and Chronic Fatigue:


celexa picture back imageCelexa (citalopram) has been found to offer symptomatic relief and improvement in certain individuals with idiopathic chronic fatigue according to a recent study. Chronic fatigue is a frequent complaint of many people visiting physician offices, and is commonly treated with antidepressant medications.


Comparing Celexa with Placebo for Chronic Fatigue: 


Arthur Hartz and a research team from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, U.S.A., studied patients who had suffered from unexplained chronic fatigue for a period of at least six months.  Research subjects did not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and were not experiencing either depression, organic illness or lifestyle behaviors which would contribute to their chronic fatigue symptoms.


Subjects were divided into two groups with 31 subjects receiving a placebo for one week and then Celexa (20-40 milligrams per day) for the next two months.  Another group of 76 subjects were given either Siberian ginseng or a placebo for two months.


Hartz and his group reported that there was substantial improvement in symptoms of chronic fatigue when subjects were switched from the placebo to Celexa.  This was confirmed by ratings on the Rand Vitality Index, the Global Improvement Scale, the Mood and Anxiety Symptoms Questionnaire and individual self-reports of somatic symptoms, including headache, muscle aches and dizziness.




Celexa Study Benefits:


The most significant overall improvement was noted by individuals who had suffered from fatigue for less than five years, and improvement was  more pronounced in women. These same groups (women and those with less severe symptoms) also demonstrated greater improvement than those taking either a placebo or Siberian Ginseng.  While there was little overall change in depression scores among most subjects, women had significant improvement in this parameter over original baseline scores also.


It was reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry ( 2003; 64: 927-935): “In summary, there is some evidence suggesting that citalopram (Celexa) benefited subsets of persons with idiopathic chronic fatigue. Further studies of how to characterize the persons benefited may improve the understanding and treatment of chronic fatigue.”


Additional information and webpage by Paul Susic  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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