Citalopram and Ibuprofen (A brief guide)

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss how do citalopram and ibuprofen interact, what are they meant to do and their known side effects. 

Citalopram and Ibuprofen: How do they interact?

When using citalopram together with ibuprofen there might be an increased risk of internal bleeding.

This is especially the case for elderly people or if you have a liver or kidney disease.

It is always recommended to talk to your doctor before you suddenly and abruptly stop taking any of the medications.

So it is  not recommended to mix Citalopram and Ibuprofen or use both drugs at the same time.

Your doctor needs to assess your case, medical history and he/she will decide.
Citalopram (Cipramil)

Citalopram is a type of depressant (an SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) often used to treat depression and also sometimes it is prescribed to treat panic attacks.

It has been identified that it helps people recover from depression and has fewer side effects than other antidepressants.

However, it is only available on prescription, like tablets and liquid drops for faster intake.

It usually takes between 4 to 6 weeks for Citalopram to start working and as with any other drug, it poses the risk of experiencing side effects.

Some of the common side effects include but are not limited to tiredness, dry mouth, and sweating.

How and when to take it?

You need to take it once a day (at any time of the day but it is recommended to take it in the morning if you have trouble sleeping) and it can be taken with or without having food.

How much do I have to take?

Citalopram tablets come in different strengths ranging from 10mg to 40mg and the usual recommended dose for adults is 20mg a day (max dose of 40mg a day).

In children, the usual dose is 10mg a day, but it may get increased to 40mg a day as in adults. 

If you take too much by accident or get to experience symptoms such as the following, contact your doctor straight away:

  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Shaking
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Fast heart rate
  • Seizures

Be aware that your body needs to gradually get used to the medicine, as soon as this happens, some of the side effects might disappear.

However, if they are persistent in time or get worse, you need to seek medical assistance. 

Some of the serious effects are listed as follows:

  • Chest pain or pressure or shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness or passing out
  • Painful erections that last longer than 4 hours – this may happen even when you’re not having sex
  • Any bleeding that’s very bad or you can’t stop, such as cuts or nosebleeds that won’t stop within 10 minutes

Reviews from users after taking Citalopram (from

Here are some helpful reviews based on the experience of real users of Citalopram.

Let’s take a look at how was their experience with the drug and if you are taking it or planning to, then it will let you make a decision about whether you should start taking it or stop (always under medical supervision.


Taken for 1 to 6 months

November 27, 2019

“I have battled against depression all my adult life and finally caved in a few months ago. Went to the doctor and asked for help. This drug has made me realise just how bad I have been and wish I hadn’t waited till I was 53 to take something. Now on citalopram I feel great and positive and looking forward to the rest of my life. Still have a bad day every now and then but am now able to understand and except the bad day and not want to run away and hide. Would tell anyone who feels they are struggling with life to see a doctor and let them help.”



November 20, 2019

Celexa (citalopram): “This drug made me sleepwalk three nights in a row, talk about scary,!…the final night, I took a giant swig of paint thinner, in my sleep. I immediately discontinued the drug, and all sleepwalking stopped, I was only taking it for about 5 weeks. I can still taste the turpentine”




Taken for less than 1 month

November 19, 2019

“Started on these 3 weeks ago after my mam passing away then a fall out with a family member I just felt so emotional all the time after realising I needed. My GP he put me on 20mg I can honestly say I feel loads better + not so emotional I’ve been off work for 5 months but know I’m ready to return now Good luck all.”



November 11, 2019

“On citalopram for 18 days plus quitiapine which is working wonders for me and my depression. Back to my old self, these 2 drugs are helping a lot”



October 30, 2019

“citalopram has been a life changer for me. I have took this drug for the last 10 years after suffering with social phobia, severe depression , anxiety etc etc. After trying many drugs over 32 years I finally found my miracle drug. Although I deal with a lot of stress I cope so much better. Different drugs suit different people, just wanted to say this drug is at least worth a try.”




Taken for 1 to 6 months

October 30, 2019

“The anxiety this citalopram caused over the 5 weeks I used it for has left me scarred. I was extremely suicidal and still recovering. I am now using prozac and slowly returning. I would not use this medication as it had a deep psychological distortion that has left me with very bad mental health. This is just my experience. Would not use.”




Taken for less than 1 month

October 24, 2019

Celexa (citalopram): “I started this medication today, about 8 hours ago and I thought it’d be cool to leave a day 1 review. This is my first SSRI and I am usually sensitive to medications. Maybe I’ll come back and update it, however, 6 hours in I had pressure in my head, and felt really tired. I took a small nap for 20 mins and now it’s 2 am and I can’t sleep and I feel like I could do 100 laps. The energy spike is definitely there. Someone also told a joke and I could NOT stop laughing, even 30 mins after the joke had passed. That’s really it, nothing extremely negative like I’ve read. ~Leah.”


Ibuprofen is a commonly, day to day, used painkiller that provides relief for a range of aches and pains such as back pain, period pain or toothache.

It also helps with inflammation from strains and sprains and even pain caused by arthritis.

It can be found as tablets or capsules, topic gel, mousse or spray you can apply into your skin, and even as a syrup you can swallow.

You don’t normally need a prescription so you can easily buy it at your local pharmacy and some supermarkets, however certain types do need to be prescribed by your doctor.  

Key Facts of Ibuprofen:

  • If you take it orally, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. 
  • If applied to your skin It takes 1 to 2 days.
  • Ibuprofen works by reducing hormones that cause pain and swelling in the body.
  • For strains and sprains, some doctors and pharmacists recommend waiting 48 hours before taking ibuprofen as it may slow down healing. If you’re unsure speak to a pharmacist.
  • It can be used to alleviate toothaches or period pains. 
  • Some people even find ibuprofen better than paracetamol for back pain.
  • Try not to take it on an empty stomach, instead always take ibuprofen tablets and capsules with food or a drink of milk.
  • If you’re taking tablets, it is recommended to take the lowest dose for the shortest time. 
  • It is not recommended to use it for more than 10 days unless you have consulted this with your doctor. 
  • Some of the commercial names of Ibuprofen include Nurofen, Brufen, and Calprofen (syrup). Ibuprofen gel can be called Fenbid, Ibugel, and Ibuleve.

Recommendations when taking Ibuprofen

  • If you have had an allergic reaction to ibuprofen or any other drugs in the past do not attempt to use ibuprofen.
  • If you have had allergic symptoms such as wheezing or a runny nose after aspirin intake or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, do not attempt to use ibuprofen.
  • If you are trying to get pregnant or you already, do not attempt to use ibuprofen.
  • If you have high blood pressure that is not being monitored or handled by a doctor, do not attempt using ibuprofen.

How much do I have to take?

The usual dose for adults is one or two (200mg tablets), three times a day.

In some cases, your doctor might higher up the dose up to 600mg to take 4 times a day when needed. 

Why is this blog about Citalopram and Ibuprofen?

In this blog about Citalopram and Ibuprofen, we discuss how combing Citalopram and Ibuprofen can increase the chance of internal bleeding.

Remember it is important to get medical advice if after reading this post you decided you want to start taking citalopram or are planning to stop using it.

Also, you can have now a more comprehensible approach on the benefits of Citalopram (as an antidepressant) and Ibuprofen (as a pain killer).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about Citalopram and Ibuprofen

Can you take ibuprofen with an antidepressant?

It is not recommended to take ibuprofen with an antidepressant.

Researchers have identified that it increases the risk of haemorrhage from combining an antidepressant with drugs like ibuprofen.

It is advised to consult it with your doctor or pharmacist.

What time of day is it best to take citalopram?

You can take citalopram at any time of the day, with or without food.

However, if you suffer from insomnia or have difficulties sleeping then it is best to take it in the morning. 

Does citalopram make you worse before better?

Citalopram may make you feel worse before you can start feeling better.

This is because the effect won’t be noticeable right away.

It can actually take 4 to 6 weeks for you to see results.

Also, do not take more than the recommended dose, this will make you feel worse.

Can I drink alcohol while taking citalopram?

You can drink alcohol (with moderation) while taking Citalopram, however, you can feel that alcohol consumption during the first few days can actually make you feel sleepy or losing your focus.

To avoid that try not to drink alcohol during the first few days of taking Citalopram.

What should you not take with ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen should not be taken with certain drugs as Diclofenac (Voltarol), indometacin or naproxen because it may increase the chances of stomach bleeding.

Ibuprofen should not be necessary with these drugs, as they are already painkillers.


NHS UK: Citalopram

NHS UK: Ibuprofen

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