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Citalopram (By mouth)
Treats depression. This medicine is an antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to citalopram, or if you are using pimozide (Orap®). You should not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor (such as Nardil®, Marplan®, Parnate®, or Eldepryl®) within the past 14 days.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You may need to take this medicine for several weeks before you feel better. Keep taking the medicine as your doctor ordered.
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using linezolid (Zyvox®), lithium, tryptophan, St. John's Wort, pain or migraine medicines (such as aspirin, tramadol, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, Ultram®, Imitrex®, Zomig®, or Maxalt®), or a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®). Tell your doctor if you are also using cimetidine (Tagamet®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), metoprolol (Lopressor®), or other medicines for depression (such as amitriptyline, imipramine, Norpramin®, or Tofranil®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), or kidney disease. Also tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures (convulsions) or bipolar disorder.
- For some children and teenagers, this medicine can increase thoughts of suicide. All of the warnings in this leaflet are true for a child or teenager who is using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you start to feel more depressed. Also tell your doctor right away if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Report any unusual thoughts or behaviors that trouble you, especially if they are new or get worse quickly. Make sure your caregiver knows if you have trouble sleeping, get upset easily, have a big increase in energy, or start to act reckless. Also tell your doctor if you have sudden or strong feelings, such as feeling nervous, angry, restless, violent, or scared. Let your doctor know if you or anyone in your family has bipolar disorder (manic-depressive) or has tried to commit suicide.
- Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Chest pain or shortness of breath.
- Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
- Increased thirst, increase in how much or how often you urinate.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
- Painful, prolonged erection of the penis.
- Rapid weight gain, swelling of face, ankles, or hands.
- Seizures (convulsions) or tremors.
- Severe confusion, problems with memory or balance.
- Severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased sweating.
- Unusual behavior or thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Dry mouth, change in appetite, weight changes, mild nausea, or vomiting.
- Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet.
- Problems with sex.
- Trouble sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor