Citalopram: Five ‘common’ side effects of the antidepressant and how to overcome them


While it can take up to six weeks to experience the benefits of citalopram, the side effects can be felt much sooner – especially if you take St John’s wort (a herbal remedy). The once-daily dose could cause five common side effects, according to the NHS. One of the most likely side effects – affecting one in 100 people – is a dry mouth.

In order to help remedy this side effect until it subsides, it’s worth chewing sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets.

Another possible reaction is “sweating a lot”, which can be combatted by:

  • Wearing loose clothing
  • Using a strong anti-perspirant
  • Utilising a fan.

If these measures don’t work to alleviate the excessive sweating, it might be worthwhile speaking to your doctor to try a different brand of anti-depressant.

Citalopram could also lead to feelings of restlessness, causing difficulty with falling asleep.

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It will also help if you “cut down the amount of alcohol you drink”.

If you do suffer from difficulty sleeping and drowsiness, do speak to your doctor.

Citalopram could also lead to feelings of tiredness and weakness, which may improve if you cut down on alcohol consumption.


“Some of the common side effects of citalopram will gradually improve as your body gets used to it,” reassured the national health body.

Serious side effects

  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness or passing out
  • Painful erections that last longer than four hours
  • Cuts or nosebleeds that continue to bleed for longer than 10 minutes.

For females, any changes in your period require a doctor’s appointment.

Menstrual changes can include heavy bleeding, spotting, or bleeding between periods.


It’s also important to tell your doctor if you experience weight gain or weight loss without trying.

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