Citalopram is used for treating depression. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How to use
Use Citalopram as directed by your doctor.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by restoring the balance of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain, which helps to improve certain mood problems.
If you miss a dose of Citalopram, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Citalopram at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Citalopram out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Citalopram if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Citalopram;
you are taking escitalopram;
you are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (e.g., phenelzine), selegiline, or St. John's wort within the last 14 days;
you are taking a fenfluramine derivative (e.g., dexfenfluramine), an H1 antagonist (e.g., astemizole, terfenadine), nefazodone, pimozide, or sibutramine.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Citalopram may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Citalopram with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Do not drink alcohol while you are using Citalopram.
Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (e.g., sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Citalopram; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
One to 4 weeks may pass before your symptoms improve. Do not take more than the recommended dose, change your dose, or use Citalopram for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
Children, teenagers, and young adults who take Citalopram may be at increased risk for suicidal thoughts or actions. Watch all patients who take Citalopram closely. Contact the doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.
Citalopram and a medicine called escitalopram have the same active ingredient. Do not take Citalopram if you are also taking escitalopram.
Citalopram may rarely cause a prolonged, painful erection. This could happen even when you are not having sex. If this is not treated right away, it could lead to permanent sexual problems such as impotence. Contact your doctor right away if this happens.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; increased sweating; lightheadedness when you stand or sit up; loss of appetite; nausea; stuffy nose; tiredness.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); absent menstrual period; bizarre behavior; black or bloody stools; chest pain; confusion; decreased concentration; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory loss; new or worsening agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, or inability to sit still; persistent, painful erection; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent anxiety or trouble sleeping; stomach pain; suicidal thoughts or attempts; tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe mental or mood changes; vision changes; worsening of depression.
Citalopram is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.