Most people who are treating depression with citalopram start at 20 mg once a day. If depression symptoms continue or if bothersome side effects develop, your healthcare provider may adjust this amount accordingly. The maximum daily citalopram dosage is 60 mg.
The dose of citalopram hydrobromide (Celexa®) your healthcare provider prescribes will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you are currently taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust this amount unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The recommended starting citalopram dose for people with depression is 20 mg once daily. Your healthcare provider may choose to increase this amount if symptoms continue or decrease it if side effects occur.
The maximum recommended dosage of citalopram is 40 mg once daily. Amounts above 40 mg are generally not recommended because higher doses have not been shown to be more effective than 40 mg and the higher amounts increase the risk of an irregular heart rhythm.
For people over age 60, people with liver problems, and people taking certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Citalopram), the maximum recommended dosage is lower (20 mg a day).
Some considerations to keep in mind during treatment with citalopram include the following:
- It usually takes several weeks (perhaps even more than a month) to feel the beneficial effects of citalopram. Try not to be discouraged if the medication does not work right away for you.
- If citalopram makes you drowsy, try taking your dose before bedtime. If it causes insomnia, try taking it in the morning.
- You can take the medication with or without food. If it bothers your stomach, try taking it with food.
- Citalopram should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
- Abruptly stopping medications like citalopram can result in withdrawal symptoms (see Citalopram Withdrawal for more information).
- For this medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. The antidepressant will not work if you take it differently than how your healthcare provider prescribes.
- If you are unsure about anything related to dosing with citalopram, please talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. Do not stop taking the medication without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.