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Antidepressants Could Help Major Alzheimer's Side Effect

A new study says the antidepressant Citalopram can help with agitation, a major side effect of the disease.
Posted at 2:25 PM, Feb 19, 2014

An antidepressant may soon be the drug of choice to help alleviate agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study says the antidepressant Citalopram, also sold under brand names Celexa and Cipramil, can help with agitation, a major side effect of the disease. (Via KBAK)

The study’s lead author says they gave high doses of the drug to some of the 186 Alzheimer’s patients involved in the study over a nine week period. He said 40 percent of those in the study noticed significant level of improvement.

“The difference was actually enough that the caregivers of the patients that got the medication had reduced stress.” (Via WHEC)

“However, doctors say the same patients were more likely to have slightly decreased cognitive function.” (Via WAGM)

Other complications with the drug include abnormal heart function, which can increase the risk of heart attack. But researchers say low doses of Citalopram may be safer than the current goto drugs.

“Antipsychotic medications … also increase the risk of heart attack, perhaps even more so than Citalopram.  … [They] also increase the risk of stroke and death.” (Via Health Day News)

Researchers say more research needs to be done to see if small doses of Citalopram will help accomplish the same results.