Is Citalopram a controlled substance? 

No, citalopram is not a controlled substance. It is an antidepressant which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain. 

This chemical is responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. Serotonin is closely related to a number of mental health conditions and Citalopram can help you with them by increasing the amount of this chemical. Make sure you only take this medication if your doctor has prescribed it. 

What are controlled substances and why is Citalopram not a controlled substance?

As people may get a little confused about understanding what controlled substances are, let’s take a brief look at them. Controlled substances are those drugs which are controlled by the government officials of your country to be used only when absolutely necessary. 

These drugs have a high potential for addiction and abuse. They can significantly damage your physical and mental well-being. Some examples include:

  • Opioid analgesics like Morphine. 
  • Amphetamine and its derivatives 
  • Cannabis 
  • Marijuana 
  • Hallucinogens like Phencyclidine
  • Sleeping pills 

Where can you get Citalopram from? 

You can get Citalopram from any pharmacy as the drug is almost always available. This is one of the major differences between Citalopram and controlled substances. Controlled drugs are not easily available as only a few healthcare practitioners can prescribe them. 

They are available in a few pharmacies and only a registered head pharmacist can dispense these medications. Citalopram is not characterised as a controlled substance because it does not hold a risk of abuse or any kind of addiction. 

What mental health conditions are treated with Citalopram? 

Let’s look into some of the conditions treated by this medication to help you understand its clinical significance. 


Citalopram is considered one of the safest medications for the management and treatment of mild to moderate episodes of depression. However, it may not work that well in the case of major depressive disorder (MDD), which is a persistent kind of depression. Citalopram is well tolerated, but it may not work that well in some people. 

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) 

Citalopram is also used for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder. The drug may take a few weeks to kick in, but once it does, it actively controls your anxiety by balancing the chemicals in your brain. 

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 

Citalopram also holds good clinical importance for the treatment and management of symptoms related to OCD. Patients have reported good therapeutic outcomes as the drug actively controls obsessive behaviour and intrusive thoughts which are the signature symptoms of OCD. 


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