The efficacy of citalopram for headaches is dependent upon the source. The term headache vaguely describes a common discomfort in the cranial region; however, there are literally thousands of possible causes. Though not primarily prescribed for headaches, it is possible that citalopram for headaches may be utilized by a medical provider if he or she feels the source of pain is related to depression.
Citalopram is an antidepressive drug commonly used in medicine to treat a number of conditions falling under the broad depressive spectrum. Antidepressants function in a number of ways to target potential causes of depression. There are pharmaceutical interventions, such as citalopram, which promote the presence of mood-altering chemicals in the brain, theoretically improving the mood of a person suffering from a depressive disorder. There are also many therapeutic techniques, such as counseling or meditation, that are sometimes helpful in treating depression.
The mechanism of an antidepressant is specific to each drug, meaning not all medications function alike. Citalopram belongs to a class of antidepressants known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. What this means is that the drug causes an increase in serotonin levels — a neurotransmitter thought to be responsible for pleasure and mood regulation — in the brain. Neurons utilize chemicals known as neurotransmitters to communicate with each other through a microscopic connecting space known as a synapse. By preventing the reabsorption of serotonin in the neural synapses, SSRIs increase the available amount.
Headaches are loosely defined, and due to the subjectivity of pain, one person's migraine may be another person's minor ache. Clinically known as cephalgia, headaches can be brought about by serious trauma or more mental stimuli, such as anxiety or depression. In the case of the latter, one possible treatment is the prescription of citalopram for headaches. This may help ease the negative thought loops that are sometimes characteristic of depression, in turn relieving the mind of the physical pain possibly accompanying mental angst.
People experiencing chronic or severe headaches should seek immediate medical attention. A medical professional will utilize a number of techniques to identify the source of the headaches and may begin a treatment, such as citalopram for headaches, as soon as possible. Although a headache may be caused by a minor ailment or event, there are also a number of severe causes of headaches, such as a tumor or internal bleeding. For this reason, the common condition of pain in the head or neck should not be taken lightly, and only a professional will be able to definitively identify and treat any discomfort.