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Generic Name: Citalopram (sye-TAL-oh-pram)
Brand Name: Celexa

The RISK OF SUICIDAL THINKING AND BEHAVIOR was increased by antidepressants in short-term studies in children and adolescents with certain psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Citalopram or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be watched closely for worsening of symptoms, suicidal thoughts and behavior, or unusual behavior changes. Families and caregivers should be aware of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Results from several studies in children and adolescents with certain psychiatric disorders have revealed a greater risk of side effects related to suicidal thinking and behavior during the first few months of treatment with antidepressants.

Citalopram is used for:

Treating depression. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It helps to restore the brain"s chemical balance by increasing the supply of serotonin, which helps improve mood.

Do NOT use Citalopram if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Citalopram
  • you are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (eg, phenelzine) or St. John"s wort within the last 14 days
  • you are taking astemizole, pimozide, dexfenfluramine, fenfluramine, phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), sibutramine, or terfenadine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Citalopram :

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have suicidal tendencies or have attempted suicide, liver or kidney disease, stomach bleeding, seizures, or mania

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Citalopram . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines (especially any of the following):

  • Cyproheptadine or risperidone because the effectiveness of Citalopram may be decreased
  • Anorexiants (eg, phentermine), linezolid, lithium, or sumatriptan because side effects such as irritability or altered consciousness may occur
  • Clozapine, H1 antagonists (eg, diphenhydramine), metoclopramide, phenothiazines (eg, thioridazine), risperidone, or trazodone because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Sumatriptan because the effectiveness of Citalopram may be decreased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, ibuprofen) because of increased risk of bleeding of the stomach and bowels
  • Fenfluramine and derivatives, MAO inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), selegiline, sibutramine, St. John"s wort, and tramadol because the actions and side effects, such as irritability or altered consciousness, of these medicines may be increased
  • Pimozide because the risk of a change in heart rhythm may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Citalopram may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Citalopram :

Use Citalopram as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Citalopram comes with an additional patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully and reread it each time you get Citalopram refilled.
  • Citalopram may be taken with or without food.
  • You may notice improvement in your depression in 1 to 4 weeks. Continue to take your medicine as directed even when depression improves.
  • If it is necessary to stop Citalopram , your doctor will need to reduce the dosage over a few days to a week.
  • Do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of Citalopram , skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Citalopram .

Important safety information:

  • Citalopram may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Citalopram . Using Citalopram alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If you experience a worsening of your symptoms (anxiety, agitation, insomnia, irritability, restlessness, or suicidal thinking) contact your doctor immediately.
  • Citalopram will add to the effects of alcohol and other depressants. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines are depressants.
  • Additional monitoring of your condition is recommended at the start of treatment with Citalopram and whenever a change in your dose is made.
  • LAB TESTS may be performed to monitor your progress. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Citalopram is not recommended for use in CHILDREN. Safety and effectiveness have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Citalopram has been shown to cause harm to the human fetus. If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Citalopram during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor about gradually decreasing your dose during the last trimester of pregnancy. Citalopram is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Citalopram .

Possible side effects of Citalopram :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Change in taste; decreased menstrual flow or painful periods; diarrhea; dry mouth; ejaculation disorder; impotence; increased sweating; loss of appetite; nausea; runny nose; sinus inflammation; tiredness; tremor; upset stomach; weight loss or gain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); anxiety; cold sweat; confusion; dizziness; fatigue; hostility; impulsiveness; irritability; lack of concern; mania; mental/mood changes; panic attacks; restlessness; seizures; shakiness; sleeplessness; sore throat or fever; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; vision changes; worsening of depression.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; drowsiness; fast heartbeat; nausea; sweating; tremor; vomiting.

Proper storage of Citalopram :

Store Citalopram at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Citalopram out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Citalopram , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Citalopram is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Citalopram . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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