September 19, 2021

Citalopram Side Effects

Citalopram is prescribed by doctors for individuals suffering from depression. Modern science currently believes that some cases of depression are caused by an imbalance in serotonin in the brain. By increasing levels of serotonin, citalopram can ease or eliminate the symptoms of depression. According to the FDA, citalopram can only be prescribed to treat major depression. Some doctors choose to prescribe it for anxiety conditions, PMDD, OCD, panic disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. Despite this off-label use, citalopram is technically only approved as an antidepressant.

Normally, citalopram is taken in one oral dose each day. Patients who suffer from nausea or vomiting can take citalopram with eating. Compared to other antidepressants, citalopram produces less drug interactions. Even though citalopram carries a lower risk compared to other medications, patients should still tell their doctor about any medication they are taking.

Who Should NOT Take Citalopram

citalopram side effectsIndividuals who are currently taking MOAIs or St. John’s wort should not take citalopram unless their doctor approves of it. These drugs can interact with citalopram and cause negative side effects like serotonin syndrome. Patients who take citalopram for extended periods of time should also remember to gradually taper off their dosage. Studies have found symptoms of withdrawal in patients who stopped taking their medication immediately.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that citalopram be avoided by people with heart problems. Since citalopram can interfere with electrical activity in the heart, it could lead to a heart attack or death if used in high doses. Patients who experience these symptoms should immediately seek medical care.

Citalopram Side Effects

Taking citalopram can cause side effects in certain individuals. Some people may lose interest in sex, have difficulty achieving orgasm or suffer from genital anesthesia. In addition to sexual side effects, citalopram can also cause apathy, insomnia, drowsiness, weight change and increased urination. It can also cause vomiting, rapid or irregular heartbeats, bruxism and mood swings. If individuals experience nausea or vomiting, they can try eating before they take citalopram. Individuals who experience drowsiness should also discuss with their doctor about taking citalopram before bed instead of in the morning.

On very rare occasions, this drug can cause hallucinations, allergic reactions or convulsions. Anybody who experiences these symptoms should immediately visit their doctor to discuss switching medicines or receive emergency medical care.

Overall, side effects of citalopram may include:

– Dry mouth
– Heartburn
– Loss or increase of appetite
– Flatulence
– Abdominal pain
– Vomiting
– Nausea
– Constipation
– Diarrhea
– Headaches or migraines
– Dizziness
– Vivid dreams
– Mood swings
– Muscle weakness
– Fatigue or insomnia
– Inability to concentrate
– Dilated pupils
– Irritability or anxiety
– Frequent urination
– Sexual dysfunction
– Decreased libido
– Blurry vision or dry eyes
– Memory problems
– Photosensitivity
– Rashes
– Suicidal thoughts

These are the primary symptoms reported among users of citalopram. If individuals suffer from other symptoms, they should discuss it with their doctor and report their side effects to the FDA.


Although it is taken to cure depression, citalopram can sometimes worsen a patient’s depression. They may suffer from increased levels of apathy or lethargy. Ironically, citalopram can also increase suicidal tendencies. According to the warning label, patients under the age of 24 could suffer from an increase in suicidal thoughts.

If patients take too much citalopram it can lead to sedation, heart arrhythmias, dizziness, vomiting, nausea or mental confusion. In extreme cases, an overdose can lead to convulsions or coma. Patients should always take the exact amount of medication that is prescribed by their doctor and keep any prescriptions out of the reach of children.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before they take citalopram. Taking medication while during pregnancy or while nursing a child can cause negative effects for the baby. If an individual experiences any symptoms after taking citalopram, they should immediately make an appointment to visit their doctor. Only a qualified medical care practitioner can address any symptoms or provide the emergency care needed.