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Citalopram no good for autism

Posted Jun 08 2009 7:00pm

An interesting study for me personally as it involves a crazymed I’m familiar with – Citalopram (the generic name) brand name Celexa in the US and Cipramil over here in Blighty.

Citalopram is an anti-depressant of the class SSRI which means ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’. In plain english an SSRI based crazymed stops serotonin being reuptaken and therefore your neurons wallow for longer in it. This is, apparently, good. Why? I don’t know, I am not a scientist, I am a user :) Well, I’m not anymore, I take a different sort of anti-depressant crazymed called Venfalaxine which is an SNRI. I don’t know how that works either but it does and thats good enough for me. Hopefully it has plenty of formaldehyde and monkey kidneys in it.

Anyway, I had no idea that Citalopram was used off-label for autism and when I heard about this study my first thoughts were ‘what the hell did they expect it to do?’ Shortly followed by ‘Citalopram is some serious shit’.

What the hell did they expect it to do? They expected it to reduce repetitive behaviours.


They put these kids on heavy duty SSRI ’s because they flapped their hands and rocked back and forth. Excuse me for being a little rude here but so fucking what?


Side effects were more common in the children taking Celexa, the researchers found. Those on Celexa were more likely to have increased energy levels, impulsiveness, decreased concentration, hyperactivity, mechanical repetition of the same movement or posture, and sleep problems.

Oh wait, all the symptoms of the beginnings of what to me sounds like hypomania. Which is (gasp!) a side-effect of most if not all SSRI ’s.

Because they flapped and rocked and swayed and liked routine. Good call.

“A medication that we thought would be helpful for these repetitive behaviors was no better than placebo,” he [Bryan H. King] says. “That calls into question how or if we should use [Celexa] or even related medications for this purpose.

Yeah? Does it? How about we call into question the necessity of drugging the shit out of a kid because s/he likes to rock and flap?

I have to wonder, I really do. How the hell did this study – which to me sounds more like torture – ever get past an IRB?

Apologies for the rant but this is appalling to me.

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