OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

As is the case with any other medication, there may be some instances where citalopram interactions can occur. Use of citalopram is not recommended or the dosage amount will have to be adjusted by your medical professional in order to prevent or reduce the risk of negative interactions that occur from other drugs, medical conditions, or even food and drink.

Drug Interactions

According to the FDA, drugs that may interact with citalopram include the following.

  • Serotonergic drugs
  • CNS depressant drugs
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Triptans (Sumatriptan)
  • Drugs interfering with hemostasis (NSAIDs, aspirin, and others)
  • Cimetidine
  • Lithium
  • Pimozide
  • Carbamazepine
  • Triazolam
  • Warfarin
  • Ketoconazole
  • CYP2C19 inhibitors
  • Metoprolol
  • Imipramine and other tricyclic antidepressants
  • Electroconvulsive therapy

Please know that this list of drug interactions may not be complete. Other interactions may occur with drugs that are not listed here.

Citalopram and Tylenol

Currently, there are no interactions when it comes to taking citalopram with Tylenol. However, continued studies are being performed to determine if pain relievers lessen the effects of SSRI medications for patients taking these medications to treat depression, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Citalopram and Adderall

Citalopram has been found to increase the effects of amphetamines, such as Adderall, to cause anxiety, nervousness, jitteriness, and racing thoughts. Taking these two drugs together may increase the risk of a serious condition called serotonin syndrome that could cause confusion, seizures, hallucinations, fever, increased heart rate, blurred vision, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, muscle spasm, and shivering. Some severe cases of serotonin syndrome may result in a coma or death.

Citalopram and Tramadol

Research has indicated that tramadol taken with citalopram can increase the risk of the serious condition of serotonin syndrome and/or seizures.. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include confusion, seizures, hallucinations, fever, increased heart rate, blurred vision, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle spasm, and shivering and severe cases could lead to a coma or death.

In addition, the use of citalopram with tramadol may increase the risk of irregular heart rhythm for susceptible people who have congenital long QT syndrome heart conditions, other cardiac diseases, electrolyte disturbances or conduction abnormalities.

Citalopram and Omeprazole

Recent studies have shown that taking citalopram and omeprazole may cause sudden cardiac arrest, according to the Journal of American Heart Association (JAHA). In addition, taking citalopram and omeprazole together may increase drug levels of citalopram and ultimately lead to increase in side effects from citalopram.

Citalopram and Melatonin

There are no current interactions between citalopram and melatonin.

Citalopram and Buspirone

Taking buspirone with citalopram may increase the risk of undergoing a rare but serious condition called serotonin syndrome. People experiencing this condition may experience vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, confusion, hallucinations, seizures, fever, increased heart rate, blurred vision, excessive sweating, muscle spasm, and shivering. Severe cases of serotonin syndrome could lead to a coma or death.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics such as clarithromycin and azithromycin taken with citalopram may increase the risks of an irregular heart rhythm that could be life-threatening. This condition can be more serious for people who have congenital long QT syndrome heart conditions, other cardiac diseases, electrolyte disturbances, or conduction abnormalities.

Antihistamines

People may experience increased drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness when taking antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or Benadryl, with citalopram. For the elderly, some people have experienced thinking impairment, an impairment in motor functions and an impairment in judgement. You should avoid engaging in dangerous activities or operating motor vehicles or machinery when taking these medications together.

Birth Control

Types of birth control medications, such as levonorgestrel, do not have any interactions with citalopram. Studies are still being conducted to determine if this drug causes any fertility impairment.

Food Interactions

There are times when the food and beverages we consume can interact with certain medications. Food and drink that may have an interaction with citalopram include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

Please note that this list of foods and drinks may not be complete. There could possibly be other foods and beverages that have an interaction with this drug.

Citalopram and Caffeine

Many people will take ergotamine in combination with caffeine as a treatment for migraine headaches. However, taking this combination with citalopram may increase serotonin syndrome risks. Confusion, hallucinations, seizures, fever, blurred vision, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasm, and shivering are symptoms of serotonin syndrome. Severe cases of serotonin syndrome could lead to a coma or death.

Citalopram and Alcohol

For more information, please visit our page on citalopram and alcohol interactions.

Herbs

According to Kaiser Permanente, studies have indicated that taking certain herbs can have interactions with SSRIs and citalopram. St. John’s wort with other SSRIs, such as fluoxetine, may cause nausea, grogginess, lethargy, fatigue or weakness. Taking 5-HTP and L-tryptophan may cause nausea, headache, vomiting, agitation, restlessness, sweating, dizziness and other symptoms.

Vitamins

There are currently no interactions between taking vitamins and citalopram.

Disease & Conditions Interactions

Sometimes the medications you take can increase the risk of negative side effects with certain diseases or other medical conditions. According to the FDA, diseases and medical conditions that are known to negatively interact with citalopram include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Hyponatremia from inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion or ADH
  • Mania/hypomania activation
  • Cognitive and motor performance interference
  • Concomitant systemic illnesses
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Hepatically impaired patients
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy or electroconvulsive treatment

Note that this list may not be complete, as there may be other medical conditions and diseases where patients should not take citalopram.

Citalopram and Pregnancy

For more information, please visit our page on citalopram and pregnancy risks.

Citalopram and Weight Gain

Citalopram does not directly make a person gain or lose weight. However, studies have shown that people may lose their appetite when first taking this drug and regain their appetite once the citalopram improves their mood, potentially leading to weight gain.

Citalopram and Blood Pressure

High blood pressure may be a symptom from citalopram as it could be an indication of the patient experiencing serotonin syndrome. People who take an MAOI close to when they take a dose of citalopram may also experience high blood pressure and they should seek medical attention. Before taking citalopram, you should tell your medical provider if you have high blood pressure.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.



OVERVIEW
DOSAGESIDE EFFECTSINTERACTIONSHALF-LIFE

Generic Name: Citalopram HBr

Brands: Celexa

Class: Antidepressant [Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)]

Availability: Prescription only

Molecular Formula: C20H22BrFN2O

Substance UNII: I1E9D14F36

What is Citalopram?

Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) given as a prescription. It is the generic name of the trade name Celexa.

What is Citalopram Used For?

Citalopram is an antidepressant that is used to treat depression. When used as an antidepressant, it is designed to bring about better mental balance by improving a person’s mood by increasing the serotonin levels present in the brain.

During certain occasions, medical professionals may also prescribe this drug to treat other conditions such as alcoholism, eating disorders, social phobia (excessive interaction anxiety), panic disorders, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, according to MedlinePlus. This list of conditions that citalopram is prescribed for is not complete, as you should speak with a medical professional regarding additional uses. Since citalopram can be prescribed for conditions other than what it was originally approved for by the FDA, it is considered an off-label drug and has off-label uses.

How Does Citalopram Work?

Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical created naturally by the body that helps with certain bodily functions, such as digestion and bowel movements. It is also believed that serotonin helps to regulate a person’s mood.

When serotonin levels are low, a person may experience a low mood and symptoms of depression. Citalopram prevents the nerve cells from reabsorbing the serotonin. By blocking this reabsorption, it helps to increase the levels of serotonin that are present for the brain. The higher serotonin levels available for the brain helps to improve the person’s mood.

How Long Does It Take for Citalopram to Work?

Citalopram can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks before a person starts to see noticeable results. It can be prescribed as a tablet or as a solution. It may be taken with or without food.

Do Not Use Citalopram If:

There are several situations where taking this medication may not be the right choice for a person.  According to the FDA, you should not use citalopram if having these conditions or experiencing these situations:

  • Taking MAOIs
  • After stopping treatment of MAOIs for 14 days
  • Concomitant use of pimozide
  • Having a hypersensitivity to citalopram or its inactive ingredients

Please understand that this list of contradictions may not be complete. There may possibly be other situations where starting the use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


More about Citalopram

Written by

Medically reviewed by