Health Guide

Citalopram (By mouth)

Citalopram (sye-TAL-oh-pram)

Treats depression.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to citalopram.

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Tablet

  • Take this medicine as directed. You may need to take it for a month or more before you feel better. Your dose may need to be changed to find out what works best for you.
  • Oral liquid: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not use this medicine together with pimozide. Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of each other.
  • Some medicines can affect how citalopram works. Tell your doctor if you are using the following:
    • Buspirone, carbamazepine, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, fentanyl, gatifloxacin, levomethadyl, lithium, methadone, moxifloxacin, omeprazole, pentamidine, St John's wort, thioridazine, tramadol, or tryptophan supplements
    • Amphetamines
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Diuretic (water pill)
    • Medicine for heart rhythm problems (including amiodarone, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol)
    • NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (including aspirin, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen)
    • Triptan medicine to treat migraine headaches (including sumatriptan)
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, glaucoma, heart problems, or a seizure disorder. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a bipolar disorder, heart rhythm problem (such as QT prolongation or a slow heartbeat), or a recent heart attack.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Heart rhythm problems
    • Serotonin syndrome (more likely when used with certain other medicines)
    • Increased risk of bleeding problems
    • Low sodium levels
    • Slow growth in children
  • This medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel depressed and have thoughts about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Anxiety, restlessness, fever, sweating, muscle spasms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual, trouble sleeping, racing thoughts
  • Eye pain, vision changes, seeing halos around lights
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Painful, prolonged erection of your penis
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Decreased appetite, weight loss (in children)
  • Dry mouth
  • Sexual problems
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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