Celexa

 

Antidepressant, Celexa (Citalopram), Produces Less Weight Gain Than Paxil
(Paroxetine)



SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- December 15, 2000 -- Clinically significant body
weight gain is five times more prevalent with Paxil (paroxetine HCl) than
CelexaT (citalopram HBr), according to a major new study of patients treated
for depression and anxiety.

The study involving the two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
was presented by University of Wisconsin researchers at the American College
of europsychopharmacology Annual Meeting in San Juan.

"Though they all belong to the same category of antidepressants, SSRIs have
significant structural and clinical differences, including side effects,"
says James W. Jefferson, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, University of
Wisconsin Medical School, and lead investigator of the study. "Evaluating
weight gain was a primary focus of this study due to the serious emotional
role it can play in the patient's life and the relative lack of data
available on the subject."

In the 28-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel group study, citalopram
and paroxetine produced significant improvements of similar magnitude on
measures of anxiety and depression among 104 adult male and female
participants (18-65 years of age). However, clinically significant body
weight gain occurred among 21.6 percent of paroxetine-treated patients
compared to 3.9 percent of citalopram-treated patients. Clinically
significant body weight gain was defined in this study as greater than or
equal to 7 percent increase.

"Weight gain is an extremely important factor in evaluating SSRIs," notes
Dr. Jefferson. "A weight gain of seven percent or more is considerable for a
patient who is suffering from depression and anxiety. This physical change
may lead a patient to make a unilateral decision to end treatment."

During the post-medication follow-up period of the study comparing
citalopram and paroxetine, the paroxetine group exhibited a trend towards
more dizziness, headache, and nausea -- adverse events that may be
associated with a discontinuation syndrome. The two-week post-medication
period was the last part of the study design that consisted of a one-week
single-blind placebo lead-in period, followed by a 24-week double-blind
treatment period, and a two-week double-blind down-titration period. Dosing
started at 20 mg/day and could be titrated (based on response and
tolerability) up to 40 mg/day for
either drug.

All patients enrolled in the study had a diagnosis of Major Depression and
Mixed Anxiety Depressive Disorder (according to DSM-IV) and were required to
score at a certain level on two different depression and anxiety ratings
scales.

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