Published on 09 June 2023

Can You Overdose On Citalopram? - Is It Fatal?

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Depression is a prevalent condition known worldwide. This condition makes a person negatively affected with thinking and acting on to circumstances. Generally, it is treatable, but if a person neglects such a condition, it can show worsened symptoms.  

When a person is in depression, they might go through signs of losing interest in something that they enjoyed once, physical and emotional issues, and also decreased ability to function at home or work.

Medicines can be the only savior when a person goes through all this. It is when people try to take more medicine for various reasons, as Citalopram is one of the most common drugs that help treat conditions. But due to low activity in the brain, people tend to take more medicine for quick effectiveness. Can You overdose on the drug? Know more in detail below.

What Is Citalopram?

Citalopram is a medicine that helps you treat conditions such as depression. As the disease is commonly caused to many people, Citalopram medicine is one of the most effective drugs. The brand version of Citalopram is available as Celexa. 

It also treats conditions such as depressive psychosis, Dementia with depressive features, arteriosclerotic Dementia with depressive features, Bulimia, OCD, and anxiety disorders. People under 18 years should not take Citalopram.  

How Does Citalopram Work?

Medications that belong to a particular drug class work the same. Different medications available in the market are prescribed to the people according to the suitability of the medicine's active ingredients.

Citalopram is not a controlled drug but it is a prescription medicine, so you always need a prescription to buy Citalopram from an online pharmacy or a local drug store.

Citalopram is an antidepressant in the Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors class. The working pattern of Citalopram in the body is increasing serotonin levels in the brain. A chemical meant to be transferring signals within nerves.

Citalopram at night benefits as it starts to change the person's mood, sleep, and metabolism. A person suffering from low serotonin leads to depression and anxiety. It helps to improve brain function once Citalopram starts to work. 

Dosage of Citalopram

Taking a perfect dose is always necessary. If you take the correct amount, the condition gets cleared accurately. So whenever you get a prescription, follow them punctually. Also, inform your doctor about any other medical condition you have been facing, which can help the doctor to give you a precise dosage.

  • Initial Dose: 20mg
  • Continuous Dose: 20mg to 40mg
  • Maximum Dose: Not more than 40mg.

These are the standard dosage that the doctor might recommend. The dosage might depend on the severity and how long you can stay on Citalopram, which could be decided only after the doctor's recommendation.

Can You Overdose on Citalopram?

Yes, People who overdose on Citalopram recover from depressive conditions quickly. But it should be taken only under the doctor's guidance. If you tend to consume more than prescribed without a proper prescription, it can lead to severe effects. 

If an overdose didn't work well on your condition, you should get emergency help and get treated as soon as possible. 

Treatments After Citalopram Overdose

Treatment plays a vital role in lowering overdose symptoms. You should quickly consult a doctor. You will be given serotonin blockers to help you reduce the effects of overdose in your body. 

Later few observations might be done that may help the doctors to know about the lowered amount of the drug. Sometimes the treatment also can be changed according to the need.

Can Citalopram Overdose Be Dangerous?

Yes, Any medication you take more than prescribed is considered an overdose. If you take Citalopram more than specified, it is dangerous. If you are on low (as defined) dosage, the serotonin levels will be expected and help you cure the depressive symptoms. When it comes to overdose, the serotonin will flood the brain. It will eventually trouble you with seizures, worse side effects, or death. 

Signs And Symptoms Of Citalopram

Any medication you take more than prescribed will show specific symptoms, and you should get help from a medical practitioner. Citalopram overdose can show up few signs, such as:

  • Shivers and shakes
  • Slow or fast heartbeats
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Cramps
  • Over sweating
  • Fever.

These are a few of the symptoms. If you feel different after taking the medicine, do get medical help. 

Possible Side Effects

Side effects are pretty common when you take medicine. If you go through severe symptoms, you should be alert and get help from the doctor.

Common Side Effects

Severe Side Effects


Nose bleeding


Blurred vision


Severe headache

Digestive system problems

Suicidal thoughts 

Muscle aches

Heart palpitations

Change in appetite

Worse depression 

These are some of the side effects. If you suffer any other adverse effects on your body, get help from a medical practitioner. 

Risks of Citalopram Overdose

Various risks can cause if you overdose on Citalopram. As Citalopram works on the brain, it also causes different effects on the heart. The chances can increase if the person has not spoken to their doctor about their health conditions, medicines they are consuming, or any substance use. This can make the symptoms worse, which causes high-level risks to the person who overdoses.

Why Do People Overdose On Citalopram?

There are various reasons a person might overdose on the Citalopram drug. Sometimes people forget about the previous dose they have consumed, so they tend to retake more. Few instances occur where people think consuming more than prescribed can solve their condition quickly. 

Few people may also consume because it has been told by someone known. This can also be called illegal or illicit. This type of consumption can lead to suffering severe conditions. 

Warnings And Precautions

You should follow the precautionary measures told by the doctor. This will prevent you from having unnecessary side effects. Also, it will help you positively cure mental conditions faced. 

  • If you have any allergic reactions to Citalopram, inform the doctor.
  • If you consume other medicine for different reasons, tell your doctor
  • Stop drinking alcohol 
  • If you are on herbal supplements, do not take medicine
  • Pregnancy and Citalopram can lead to severe effects
  • Breastfeeding and Citalopram can cause severe consequences for the baby.

These are a few of the mandatory precautions that should be taken. Apart from this, get all the information from the medical practitioner.

Also, Read

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Citalopram is an effective drug for treating depression. When it comes to consuming, it is necessary to follow preventive measures to keep you safe from unwanted effects. Also, it contains side effects that can harm your health. 

People overdose to get a cure quickly, but the reality is different, wherein if a person consumes as prescribed by the doctor can lead to a smooth treatment. Taking more can create many problems in the person's body. To this extent, it can also cause death. So taking medical practitioners' suggestions seriously and keeping yourself safe is advised.

Frequently asked questions

You should avoid taking certain medicines such as Buspirone, Methylene blue injection, St. John's wort, Pain or headache/migraine medications, Ultram, and many more.
Yes, according to different research, people who have consumed citalopram for years have shown certain weight changes that have increased.
Yes, Citalopram can affect the heart. There are chances of a change in heart rhythm, which can eventually cause death.
This can only happen when you have overdosed on citalopram. There will be an increased level of hair loss if the dosage is higher than prescribed.
Yes, Citalopram can increase the level of energy in the body. This happens when the body comes into a normal state.
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