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Citalopram (Celexa, Seropram, Cipramil) - Contraindications

Abstract: When not to take citalopram.

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Citalopram (Celexa, Seropram, Cipramil) - Contraindications

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Written by: , 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)?


  • 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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