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Citalopram (By mouth)

Citalopram (sye-TAL-oh-pram)

This medicine is an SSRI that 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 if you had an allergic reaction to citalopram or any inactive ingredient.

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.
  • 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.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • 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.

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 with pimozide. Do not use this medicine and an MAO inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days of each other.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using St John's wort, tryptophan supplements, buspirone, carbamazepine, cimetidine, fentanyl, levomethadyl, lithium, tramadol, methadone, omeprazole, or pentamidine. Tell your doctor if you are using medicine for heart rhythm problems, antibiotics, medicine to treat mental illness, NSAID pain or arthritis medicine (such as aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen), medicine to treat migraine headaches, a blood thinner (such as warfarin), or a diuretic (water pill).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, bleeding problems, heart problems, a mineral imbalance (low magnesium, potassium, or sodium levels), or a seizure disorder. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation or a slow heartbeat. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic depression) or has tried to commit suicide.
  • For some children, teenagers, and young adults, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed or think about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serotonin syndrome
    • Heart rhythm problems
    • Low sodium levels
  • Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if this medicine makes you feel dizzy or drowsy.
  • Your doctor may want to monitor your child's weight and height, because this medicine may cause decreased appetite and weight loss in children.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • 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
  • Confusion, weakness, and muscle twitching
  • Chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Feeling more excited or energetic than usual, trouble sleeping, racing thoughts
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others, unusual behavior
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

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

  • Dry mouth, mild nausea
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • 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: 4/4/2014

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