ISO 27001

The independent platform for sharing experiences with medication

The independent platform for sharing experiences with medication

A professional outlook on Citalopram

Arjen Walstra

Arjen Walstra


5written expert review(s)


 depression - antidepressant ssri Effectiveness: 2


Condition for which this medication is usually prescribed


Short description of this condition

Depression is more than a few bad days in a row or just feeling down. Someone who suffers from depression may have a variety of symptoms. A doctor will be able to confirm whether or not you are suffering from depression.

Effect of this medication

Citalopram works on the brain. It binds to certain parts and ensures an increase in the concentration of serotonin. In depression, the amount of serotonin produced in the brain is often greatly reduced. Other, different anti-depressants work on other chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and noradrenaline. An imbalance of the other chemicals can have an influence on how you feel. It is not yet possible to measure these chemicals in the brain which means it can be difficult for the doctor to know which anti-depressant will work best for you. Citalopram is a medicine that only works on serotonin. Because serotonin is not the only chemical active in the brain there may also be some other side effects. Serotonin also plays a role in the stomach and bowels as well as in sleep.

Advice on this condition

It is important to take this medicine for at least 4 weeks as it can take this long before you start to feel its effects.

Common side effects

Insomnia, nausea.

Advice with regard to these side effects

The effect of citalopram is usually only noticeable after 4 weeks. Sometimes, during these first weeks, a sedative is also prescribed so that you suffer fewer side effects.

Any other expert information?

If you want to stop taking anti-depressants, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about it first. You must not just stop taking these tablets, but decrease them gradually over a number of weeks. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to organise your own withdrawal plan. The use of anti-depressants in those younger than 24 is associated with an increased risk of suicide. In general, the use of anti-depressants in those younger than 24 is not recommended.