Medication for Anxiety and Depression: Citalopram

Julie Carter

When it comes to depression and anxiety many drugs are prescribed by Doctors; but the most prescribed drug for this medical illness is Celexa or better known by the brand name Citalopram (Goldberg,2015). The drug Citalopram is produced by the company Cyril Pharmaceuticals, this medication belongs to a group known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These medications are thought to work by increasing the chemical of serotonin in the brain (“Citalopram”,2016). Serotonin is a chemical produced in the brain the creates the feeling of wellbeing and happiness, it is also found the when using an antidepressant such as Citalopram to effect the producing of serotonin many cause nausea as well as vomiting(Mclntosh,2016). When prescribed Citalopram it comes in a small round pill usually given in the adult dose of 20mg po daily without food(“Celexa”,2016). “Citalopram 20 mg and 40 mg tablets are scored, biconvex, capsule-shaped, film coated tablets containing citalopram hydrobromide in strengths equivalent to 20 mg or 40 mg citalopram base. The 20 mg and 40 mg tablets also contain the following inactive ingredients: copolyvidone, corn starch, croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol and titanium dioxide. Iron oxide is used as coloring agent in the light pink (20 mg) tablet”(Sandoz Inc.,2007).

In the beginning Citalopram was just given for acute depression but studies further showed that when the 24 of taking the medication the patients had relapsed or the case had worsened(“Celexa”,2016). When it comes to the indications for this drug it is mainly to treat severe depression that causes the patient interference with everyday functions. When taking this drug it can take up to 6 weeks to fully take effect. Usually including 5 of these 9 symptoms “depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation”(“Celexa”,2016). Citalopram has many drug interactions the most common are: Gabapentin, Klonopin, Lamictal, lasix, levothyroxine, lisinopril, metformin, neurontin, omeprazole, prilosec, seroquel, synthroid, tramadol,trazodone, vitamin D3, buspirone, lithium, carbamazepine, chlorpromazine, cimetidine, fentanyl, levomethadyl, methadone, omeprazole, pentamidine,pentamidine, and Xanax(“Celexa”,2016). Citalopram also has an interaction with alcohol as well as some diseases including Depression, renal dysfunction, hyponatremia, liver disease, mania, platelet function,QT prolongation, seizure disorders, siadh, and weight loss(“Celexa”,2016).

Things to be aware of before taking Citalopram is do not taking the medication if your taking any medications for heart rhythm problems, pain or arthritis, migraines, blood thinners,or water pills. Always tell your Physician immediately if your breastfeeding have glaucoma, heart problems, seizure disorder, or a family history of bipolar and suicide attempts(“Citalopram”,2016).

When taking Citalopram the most common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, tiredness, drowsiness,sweating,blurred vision, and yawning. Serious side effects are as listed tremors, decreased interest in sex, easy, bruising or bleeding.Very serious side effects that you should notify your doctor as soon as possible include fainting, fast heart rate, black stools, vomit resembling coffee grounds, seizures, and any eye pain(“Citalopram”,2016).

In the case of taking to much or overdosing on Citalopram you need to notify someone immediately and go to a hospital even if you’re not experiencing any changes. But in the case that you’re experiencing changes they will be more or less Changes in heartbeat, nausea, seizure, sweating, feeling sleepy, passing out, trembling or dizziness, change in blood pressure, feeling agitated, pupils dilating, skin color changing to blue, fingers and toes feeling cold, and quick breathing. A rare side effect if overdosed on citalopram is serotonin syndrome this is when you’re experiencing a high fever, agitation, confusion, and trembling(Neal,2012).

If in the case you want to seize taking citalopram you need to contact your doctor, because when stopping suddenly this may cause withdraws and or worsening the depression. It is important when taking this medication to not miss doses because in doing so you may cause a relapse in your depression. If you do miss a dose never double up on a dose this may cause a drug overdose.

Research shows that the most important thing to look out for when taking citalopram as Citalopram at doses greater than 40 mg per day could potentially cause a dangerous abnormality in the electrical activity of the heart. Citalopram use is discouraged in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. Patients with low levels of potassium and magnesium in the blood are also at increased risk. If you are currently taking citalopram at a dose greater than 40 mg per days, talk to your healthcare professional. Seek immediate care if you experience an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting while taking citalopram. If you are taking citalopram, your healthcare professional may occasionally order an electrocardiogram to monitor your heart rate and rhythm. Your healthcare provider may also order tests to check levels of potassium and magnesium in your blood(“Citalopram” n.d.).


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  1. McIntosh, J. (2016, April 29). “Serotonin: Facts, What Does Serotonin Do?.”

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  1. National Alliance on Mental Illness:Citalopram(celexa).(n.d.).

4. U.S. National Library of Medicine:Citalopram(by mouth),(2016,December1).

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