Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Citalopram


Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Citalopram


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Arpolax, Cipram, Selon, Talam

DRUG CLASS: Antidepressant, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)

USED FOR: Depression, anxiety, depressive phase of bipolar disorder, panic disorder

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Escitalopram, Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, Fluvoxamine

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS: 10mg, 20mg, 40mg (tablets)

What is Citalopram for?

Citalopram belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Sertraline. SSRIs are antidepressants that work by allowing a type of chemical, serotonin, to stay longer in the brain in order to boost mood. Citalopram is commonly indicated for depression, anxiety, depressive phase of bipolar disorder, and panic disorder.

How to use it?

Citalopram can be taken by mouth in conventional tablets. It often takes a few weeks to see noticeable improvement in your symptoms. Do not stop Citalopram abruptly since a withdrawal syndrome can occur. It is important for you to check for drug interactions with citalopram with your doctor or pharmacist. People older than 60 years of age, with liver problems, or taking certain medications which raise Citalopram blood levels, should limit their dose to 20 mg per day. 

The usual starting dose of Citalopram is 10-20 mg per day. The dose may be increased gradually by your doctor based on your response.

What are the side effects of Citalopram?

The most common side effects of Citalopram include excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, headache, insomnia, and ejaculation disorders. 

Who should not take Citalopram?

Anyone who has an allergy to Citalopram.

Pharmacist Tips:

Do not discontinue Citalopram on your own since it may cause withdrawal symptoms. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you would want to discontinue Citalopram and set a proper withdrawal plan.

Common dosing schedule:
May be taken with or without food, either in the morning or evening.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Citalopram may interact:
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors  (e.g. Selegiline, Rasagiline)
QT-prolonging agents (e.g. Amiodarone, Sotalol)
– Antiplatelet medications (e.g. Aspirin)

 Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Citalopram in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Citalopram is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Citalopram in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.