Revised: October 2007


Revised: October 2007

Revised: October 2007

Prescription Drug Name:


Revised: October 2007





Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

id: AEBE7B1F-9583-478D-A113-0CC86B16AB9D
FDA Article Code: 34066-1

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of citalopram or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Citalopram is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See
Warnings: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk,
Precautions: Information for Patients
, and
Precautions: Pediatric Use


id: A1D5FE2A-B7FE-4EC0-B4ED-17EB395D7145
FDA Article Code: 34089-3

Citalopram HBr is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) with a chemical structure unrelated to that of other SSRIs or of tricyclic, tetracyclic, or other available antidepressant agents. Citalopram HBr is a racemic bicyclic phthalane derivative designated (±)-1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-1-(4-fluorophenyl)-1,3-dihydroisobenzofuran-5-carbonitrile, HBr with the following structural formula: Citalopram HBr occurs as a fine, white to off-white powder with a molecular formula of C20H22BrFN2O and a molecular weight of 405.35. Citalopram HBr is sparingly soluble in water and soluble in ethanol. Each Citalopram Tablet USP for oral administration contains citalopram HBr equivalent to 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg citalopram base. Each tablet also contains the following inactive ingredients: corn starch, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, mannitol, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, and titanium dioxide.


id: AC04FE23-C538-49A2-8AC6-D0BC184B1C9A
FDA Article Code: 34067-9

Citalopram HBr is indicated for the treatment of depression. The efficacy of citalopram HBr in the treatment of depression was established in 4-6 week controlled trials of outpatients whose diagnosis corresponded most closely to the DSM-III and DSM-III-R category of major depressive disorder (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed or dysphoric mood that usually interferes with daily functioning, and includes at least five of the following nine symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation. The antidepressant action of citalopram in hospitalized depressed patients has not been adequately studied. The efficacy of citalopram in maintaining an antidepressant response for up to 24 weeks following 6 to 8 weeks of acute treatment was demonstrated in two placebo-controlled trials (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Nevertheless, the physician who elects to use citalopram for extended periods should periodically re-evaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.


id: A0CA34D5-CA57-4D8B-9B2A-051721921C59
FDA Article Code: 34070-3

Concomitant use in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s) is contraindicated (see WARNINGS).  Concomitant use in patients taking pimozide is contraindicated (see PRECAUTIONS). Citalopram HBr is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to citalopram or any of the inactive ingredients in citalopram tablets USP.


id: A5EC9749-AB97-4A2A-8D48-7D1213098AB7
FDA Article Code: 34071-1

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk:

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1:

Table 1
Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number
of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients
Number of Cases of Suicidalit
<18 Increases Compared to Placebo
14 additional cases
18-24 5 additional casesDecreases Compared to Placebo
25-64 1 fewer cases
≥65 6 fewer cases
No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide. It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression. All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases. The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality. Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms. If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION—Discontinuation of Treatment with Citalopram, for a description of the risks of discontinuation of citalopram.) Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for citalopram should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose. Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder: A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that citalopram is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression. Potential for Interaction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors In patients receiving serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), there have been reports of serious, sometimes fatal, reactions including hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability with possible rapid fluctuations of vital signs, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma. These reactions have also been reported in patients who have recently discontinued SSRI treatment and have been started on an MAOI. Some cases presented with features resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Furthermore, limited animal data on the effects of combined use of SSRIs and MAOI’s suggest that these drugs may act synergistically to elevate blood pressure and evoke behavioral excitation. Therefore, it is recommended that citalopram HBr should not be used in combination with an MAOI, or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI. Similarly, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping citalopram HBr before starting an MAOI.


id: A8A25297-4C5B-427C-9A90-41808BB77137
FDA Article Code: 34084-4

The premarketing development program for citalopram included citalopram exposures in patients and/or normal subjects from 3 different groups of studies: 429 normal subjects in clinical pharmacology/pharmacokinetic studies; 4422 exposures from patients in controlled and uncontrolled clinical trials, corresponding to approximately 1370 patient exposure years. There were, in addition, over 19,000 exposures from mostly open-label, European postmarketing studies. The conditions and duration of treatment with citalopram varied greatly and included (in overlapping categories) open-label and double-blind studies, inpatient and outpatient studies, fixed-dose and dose-titration studies, and short-term and long-term exposure. Adverse reactions were assessed by collecting adverse events, results of physical examinations, vital signs, weights, laboratory analyses, ECGs, and results of ophthalmologic examinations. Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recordedby clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and tabulations that follow, standard World Health Organization (WHO) terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events. The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment-emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.


id: A67CF50B-791A-4BF9-9EE2-31E68E54691B
FDA Article Code: 34088-5

Human Experience: In clinical trials of citalopram, there were reports of citalopram overdose including overdoses of up to 2000 mg, with no associated fatalities.  During the postmarketing clinical evaluation of citalopram, citalopram overdoses, including overdoses up to 6000 mg, have been reported.  As with other SSRIs, a fatal outcome in a patient who has taken overdose of citalopram has been rarely reported. Symptoms most often accompanying citalopram overdose, alone or in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol, included dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting, tremor, somnolence, and sinus tachycardia. In more rare cases, observed symptoms included amnesia, confusion, coma, convulsions, hyperventilation, cyanosis, rhabdomyolysis, and ECG changes (including QTc prolongation, nodal rhythm, ventricular arrhythmia, and one possible case of torsades de pointes). Management of Overdose: Establish and maintain an airway to ensure adequate ventilation and oxygenation. Gastric evacuation by lavage and use of activated charcoal should be considered. Careful observation and cardiac and vital sign monitoring are recommended, along with general symptomatic and supportive care. Due to the large volume of distribution of citalopram, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. There are no specific antidotes for citalopram. In managing overdose, consider the possibility of multiple drug involvement. The physician should consider contacting a poison control center for additional information on the treatment of any overdose.


id: A9FF607D-C424-4F16-B78C-13EC42E994D3
FDA Article Code: 34068-7

Initial Treatment:  Citalopram Tablets USP should be administered at an initial dose of 20 mg once daily, generally with an increase to a dose of 40 mg/day. Dose increases should usually occur in increments of 20 mg at intervals of no less than one week. Although certain patients may require a dose of 60 mg/day, the only study pertinent to dose response for effectiveness did not demonstrate an advantage for the 60 mg/day dose over the 40 mg/day dose; doses above 40 mg are therefore not ordinarily recommended.  Citalopram Tablets USP should be administered once daily, in the morning or evening, with or without food. Special Populations:  20 mg/day is the recommended dose for most elderly patients and patients with hepatic impairment, with titration to 40 mg/day only for nonresponding patients. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with mild or moderate renal impairment. Citalopram should be used with caution in patients with severe renal impairment. Treatment of Pregnant Women During the Third Trimester:  Neonates exposed to citalopram and other SSRIs or SNRIs, late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding (see PRECAUTIONS). When treating pregnant women with citalopram during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment. The physician may consider tapering citalopram in the third trimester. Maintenance Treatment: It is generally agreed that acute episodes of depression require several months or longer of sustained pharmacologic therapy. Systematic evaluation of citalopram in two studies has shown that its antidepressant efficacy is maintained for periods of up to 24 weeks following 6 or 8 weeks of initial treatment (32 weeks total). In one study, patients were assigned randomly to placebo or to the same dose of citalopram (20-60 mg/day) during maintenance treatment as they had received during the acute stabilization phase, while in the other study, patients were assigned randomly to continuation of citalopram 20 or 40 mg/day, or placebo, for maintenance treatment. In the latter study, the rates of relapse to depression were similar for the two dose groups (see Clinical Trials under CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Based on these limited data, it is not known whether the dose of citalopram needed to maintain euthymia is identical to the dose needed to induce remission. If adverse reactions are bothersome, a decrease in dose to 20 mg/day can be considered. Discontinuation of Treatment with Citalopram:  Symptoms associated with discontinuation of citalopram and other SSRIs and SNRIs, have been reported (see PRECAUTIONS). Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate. Switching Patients to or from a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor:  At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI and initiation of citalopram therapy. Similarly, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping citalopram before starting an MAOI (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS).


id: AD9EDB3F-F3D6-4AA9-AD5A-AED0854424C1
FDA Article Code: 34069-5

Citalopram Tablets USP are available as: 10 mg: White, round, biconvex film coated tablets debossed with WPI on one side and 3176 on the other side, supplied in bottles of 100 and 500. 20 mg: White, round, biconvex film coated tablets debossed with WPI and 3177 on one side and a bisecting score on the other side. The WPI curves across the top and the 3177 curves across the bottom. They are supplied in bottles of 100 and 500, and in unit dose packages of 10 x 10. 40 mg: White, round, biconvex film coated tablets debossed with WPI and 3178 on one side and a bisecting score on the other side. The WPI curves across the top and the 3178 curves across the bottom. They are supplied in bottles of 100 and 500, and in unit dose packages of 10 x 10. Store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F). [See USP controlled room temperature.]


id: A283DE8E-F410-45AC-AD86-24B892A99460
FDA Article Code: 42229-5

Retinal Changes in Rats: Pathologic changes (degeneration/atrophy) were observed in the retinas of albino rats in the 2-year carcinogenicity study with citalopram. There was an increase in both incidence and severity of retinal pathology in both male and female rats receiving 80 mg/kg/day (13 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 60 mg on a mg/m2 basis). Similar findings were not present in rats receiving 24 mg/kg/day for two years, in mice treated for 18 months at doses up to 240 mg/kg/day or in dogs treated for one year at doses up to 20 mg/kg/day (4, 20 and 10 times, respectively, the maximum recommended daily human dose on a mg/m2 basis). Additional studies to investigate the mechanism for this pathology have not been performed, and the potential significance of this effect in humans has not been established. Cardiovascular Changes in Dogs: In a one-year toxicology study, 5 of 10 beagle dogs receiving oral doses of 8 mg/kg/day (4 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 60 mg on a mg/m2 basis) died suddenly between weeks 17 and 31 following initiation of treatment. Although appropriate data from that study are not available to directly compare plasma levels of citalopram (CT) and its metabolites, emethylcitalopram (DCT) and didemethylcitalopram (DDCT), to levels that have been achieved in humans, pharmacokinetic data indicate that the relative dog to human exposure was greater for the metabolites than for citalopram. Sudden deaths were not observed in rats at doses up to 120 mg/kg/day, which produced plasma levels of CT, DCT and DDCT similar to those observed in dogs at doses of 8 mg/kg/day. A subsequent intravenous dosing study demonstrated that in beagle dogs, DDCT caused QT prolongation, a known risk factor for the observed outcome in dogs. This effect occurred in dogs at doses producing peak DDCT plasma levels of 810 to 3250 nM (39-155 times the mean steady state DDCT plasma level measured at the maximum recommended human daily dose of 60 mg). In dogs, peak DDCT plasma concentrations are approximately equal to peak CT plasma concentrations, whereas in humans, steady state DDCT plasma concentrations are less than 10% of steady state CT plasma concentrations. Assays of DDCT plasma concentrations in 2,020 citalopram treated individuals demonstrated that DDCT levels rarely exceeded 70 nM; the highest measured level of DDCT in human overdose was 138 nM. While DDCT is ordinarily present in humans at lower levels than in dogs, it is unknown whether there are individuals who may achieve higher DDCT levels. The possibility that DCT, a principal metabolite in humans, may prolong the QT interval in the dog has not been directly examined because DCT is rapidly converted to DDCT in that species. Mfd. for:          Watson Laboratories, Inc.
                         Corona, CA 92880 USA
Mfd. by:          Cipla Ltd. Kurkumbh, INDIA Revised: October 2007 0807B