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16 Oct 2006

Cilift vs Cipralex
I have a 20 year old daughter who suffered a bout of major depresson with anxiety in 2004, recovered well and has now had a relapse. In 2004 she was treated with Cipramil and group therapy. This time around she was hospitalised for 2 weeks, put on Cilift( generic of cipramil) and is in private cognitive therapy. She is recovering reasonably well albeit very slowly.

She battles daily with headaches, fatigue and has had a weight gain of 8 kg. This is about the same weight gain she experienced in 2004. She is keen to recover and feel better but the headaches and fatigue are debilitating and the weight uncomfortable. She believes these may be a side-effect of the Cilift. What do you think?

She wants to see another psychiatrist for a second opinion as the one she sees totally believes in Cilift and seems to ignore the side-effects despite 2 visits to him about the problems.

I am not very keen for her to chop and change doctors or meds but perhaps I should trust her feelings about this. What should I do and what drugs besides Cilift would be recommended. I know there is a new version of cipralex?
Answer 5,331 views

01 Jan 0001

O'm not sure why her recovery would be slower this time, but the treatment you describe is about as good as one would reasonably want. Group Therapy has never been proved to be useful in treating Depression, whereas Cognitive Therapy has been shown to have significant and lasting benefits. Obviously she needs to discuss these side-effects with the doctors treating her, as they will have the benefit of far more knowledge of her, in evaluating this. The weight gain can usually be handled by more care of the diet and exercise, which will help the fatigue, too.
All medications have side-effects, but they are usually not intolerable. Cipralex is much more expensive, and almost identical to Cilift / Cipramil. Some chemicals can come in two very similar versions, if you can picture this --- a right-handed and a left-handed shape of molecule, with the same atoms linked in the same way, but shapes like your right and left hands --- identical but the other way round. CIlift / Cipramil contaions right and left handed versions of the molecule, Cipralex only one-handed versions. I am not yet convinced that it has advantages worth its price, but it is being very heavily promoted.
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