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Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Citalopram (Celexa, Seropram, Cipramil) - Contraindications

This page abstract: When not to take citalopram.

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Independent medical expert answers on psychiatry and psychology

Citalopram (Celexa, Seropram, Cipramil) - Contraindications

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Question(s): 
Written by: Petros Skapinakis, MD, MPH, PhD, lecturer of Psychiatry in the University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece. Eva Gerasi, postgraduate student in the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 29 Jul 2008.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking citalopram (Celexa, Seropram, Cipramil)?

Answer:

  • Patients cannot take citalopram if they have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) during the last 2 weeks. A dangerous drug interaction can occur if citalopram is combined with any of these medications.
  • Before taking citalopram, patients must tell their doctor if they
    • have liver disease,
    • have kidney disease,
    • suffer from seizures, or
    • suffer from mania or have suicidal thoughts.
  • They may not be able to take citalopram, or they may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment in such conditions.
  • Citalopram should not be taken during treatment with escitalopram (Lexapro). Also, if the patient has had an allergic reaction to escitalopram (Lexapro), he/she may also have an allergic reaction to citalopram. The patient should not take citalopram without first talking to his/her doctor if he/she has had an allergic reaction to either medication in the past.
  • Citalopram is in the FDA pregnancy category C. Patients should not take this medication without first talking to their doctor about pregnancy. More about SSRI and pregnancy.
  • Citalopram passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Patients should not take this medication without first talking to their doctor if they are breast-feeding a baby.
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