How should I use this medicine?
Take citalopram by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly except upon the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Patients over 60 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Bipolar disorder or a family history of bipolar disorder
- Heart disease
- History of irregular heartbeat
- Kidney or liver disease
- Low levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood
- Receiving electroconvulsive therapy
- Seizures (convulsions)
- Suicidal thoughts or a previous suicide attempt
- An unusual or allergic reaction to citalopram, escitalopram, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Pregnant or trying to become pregnant
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take citalopram with any of the following medications:
- MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate
- Methylene blue (injected into a vein)
citalopram may also interact with the following medications:
- Aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
- Certain medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
- Certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
- Certain medicines used to treat infections like chloroquine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, pentamidine
- Certain medicines for migraine headaches like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
- Medicines for sleep
- Medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin, enoxaparin, and dalteparin
- NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Other medicines that prolong the QT interval (cause an abnormal heart rhythm)
- Supplements like St. John’s wort, kava kava, valerian
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- Allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- Chest pain
- Fast, irregular heartbeat
- Fast talking and excited feelings or actions that are out of control
- Feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- Hallucination, loss of contact with reality
- Shortness of breath
- Suicidal thoughts or other mood changes
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- Blurred vision
- Change in appetite
- Change in sex drive or performance
- Increased sweating
- Trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medicine, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your doctor.
Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. Also watch out for sudden changes in feelings such as feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, overly excited and hyperactive, or not being able to sleep. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your health care professional.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water will help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.