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Citalopram Fact Card

Brand Names Cipramil, celexa
Used For Treatment of anxiety disorders and depression
Doseage Dosage ranges from 10mg-40mg . The most common dosage used is 20mg.
Side Effects Nausea, diarrhoea, insomnia, drowsiness, initial increase in anxiety on starting medication, sweating
Warnings Alcohol is best minimised if you are suffering from mental health problems
Pregnancy Speak to a doctor if you are taking citalopram and are planning to get pregnant or find out that you are pregnant.

Citalopram is a type of drug called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

What is Citalopram used to treat?

Citalopram is commonly used to treat anxiety disorders and depression. It can also be used to treat phobias, OCD and post traumatic stress disorder.

How does Citalopram work?

It is a class of drug called an selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is thought that these drugs block the re absorption of a neurotransmitter called serotonin in the brain, therefore increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain which has a positive effect on the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

citalopram alcohol

How do I take Citalopram?

This drug is usually started at a dose of 10-20mg. It can be increased (only if required) to a maximum dose of 40mg.

It is important to be aware that if your doctor recommends starting an antidepressant we would aim to treat for at least 6 months(provided the medication has a positive benefit for you and no intolerable side effects). Stopping the medication before this period, even if you are feeling better, increases the risk of relapse.

Side effects of Citalopram

Common side effects:

Dry mouth 




Feeling weak 




Sexual dysfunction eg loss of libido or ejaculation problems in men 

Other more serious less common side effects are 

Bleeding problems 

Serotonin syndrome(high temperature, agitation, sweats, tremor, increased reflexes, diarrhoea).

Heart issues (prolonged QT syndrome)

Suicidal thoughts 

citalopram side effects

Things to avoid


Citalopram can also enhance the effects of caffeine which can cause some people to experience symptoms of nausea or palpitations. Therefore large amounts of caffeine should be avoided.

St John’s Wort

This is a common herbal remedy that is sometimes used for the treatment of depression. St John’s wort is believed to contain active ingredients just like medications. However, it is sold as a supplement so it is not regulated in the same way medications are. Therefore we are not sure how it will react with other medications and should be avoided.

Taking citalopram with other medication

Anti inflammatory drugs- Using medication such ibuprofen with citalopram increases the risk you will have stomach problems.

Other antidepressants-These can have dangerous side effects when taking with citalopram so it is important your doctor have a full list of your prescribed medications.

Antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin- Taking with citalopram these can increase the risk of bleeding from your stomach. The risk and benefit of each medication needs to be weighted up.

Citalopram and alcohol

Alcohol itself may increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression and therefore should be avoided.

citalopram when pregnant

Can I take Citalopram when pregnant?

It is not usually recommended to start citalopram during pregnancy especially in the first 3 months due to possible risks to the baby. However if you are already taking this then don't stop it until you have seen a doctor.

Citalopram and breastfeeding

It is generally advised that citalopram  is avoided during breastfeeding , in case the medication is passed through the milk to the baby. Please speak to your doctor before stopping this medication though.

citalopram when breastfeeding

Our doctors are available now and can issue same day prescriptions for all standard medications. To see a GP regarding a prescription for citalopram or for any other reason book an appointment now and start feeling better right away.

See a doctor about citalopram now

Please note. This site is for information only. If you are taking any medications please follow the instructions given by your doctor. Should you have an adverse reaction to any medication please seek medical advice.

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