Citalopram For OCD: A Comprehensive Guide

Citalopram For OCD: A Comprehensive Guide

If you have been diagnosed with OCD, you may be wondering about the best way to treat it. Citalopram is a common medication prescribed for OCD, and it can be very effective in helping to control symptoms. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about citalopram and OCD. We will cover how citalopram works, potential side effects, dosage information, and more!

What Does Citalopram For OCD Mean?

What Does Citalopram For OCD Mean?Citalopram for OCD is a treatment that aims to help people with OCD manage their symptoms. It is a type of medication called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that plays a role in mood and anxiety. It is believed that Citalopram for OCD is used to treat:

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that can cause a person to experience intense and intrusive thoughts, as well as engage in repetitive behaviors. These thoughts and behaviors can interfere with a person’s ability to function in their daily life. While there is no complete cure for OCD, Citalopram can help manage symptoms. It is one such treatment for OCD.

Citalopram appears to be the most effective SSRI for treating OCD. According to 2012 studies, it was effective in treating moderate to severe OCD in adults and children. In 2015, another study found that Citalopram was more effective than placebo for treating OCD in adolescents.

How Does Citalopram For OCD Works?

Citalopram for OCD works in a very similar way to other SSRI medications. It functions by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain. This action results in an increase in available serotonin, which can help reduce anxiety and obsessive thoughts.

Citalopram takes a few weeks to start working, and it is important to continue taking it even if you don’t feel any immediate benefit. Like other SSRIs, this medication also works best when combined with therapy.

Moreover, the way of work is also by impacting the levels of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. It is a neurotransmitter that helps with communication between the different areas of the brain. An imbalance of serotonin is thought to be linked with depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Citalopram for OCD is available as a generic drug and as the brand-name drug Celexa. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as branded drugs. Brand names: Celexa, Lexapro citalopram for OCD dosage.

Citalopram Dosage Information

Citalopram Dosage Information

It is important to be aware of the information below before starting citalopram for OCD.

  • Citalopram comes in tablet form and is taken orally, typically once a day.
  • The usual starting dose is 20 mg per day but it can be adjusted up or down based on response and tolerability.
  • It may take several weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms.
  • The maximum recommended dose is 60 mg per day.
  • Citalopram should be taken with food and at about the same time each day.
  • Dosage increases should be made in increments of no more than 20 mg at a time, as needed.
  • Some patients may require doses greater than 60 mg/day and in these cases, division of the dose (e.g., twice daily) may be necessary.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not take two doses at once.

These are some of the most important things to know about citalopram dosage before starting treatment. This eventually leads to the question, how long does one need to be on citalopram for OCD? The answer to that question is not as simple as a certain dosage for a specific period of time. OCD is a chronic illness, meaning that it can last for months or even years. Citalopram is typically used as a long-term treatment.

The duration of treatment will vary from person to person. But it is often recommended that people continue taking citalopram for at least 12 months after symptoms have resolved. This allows for a full course of treatment and reduces the risk of relapse.

What Are The Side Effects Of Citalopram?

There are a few common side effects of citalopram that you should be aware of. However, if you take medication as prescribed then there may be only a small chance you will experience them.

Common side effects

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Increased sweating
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleep patterns

These side effects should improve after the first week or two as your body gets used to the medication. If any of these persist or worsen then speak to your doctor. Some people may also experience more serious side effects.

Serious side effects

  • Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening condition caused by too much serotonin in the body)
  • Mania (an abnormally elevated mood)
  • Seizures
  • Allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing)

If you experience any of these side effects then speak to your doctor immediately. Citalopram is generally a well-tolerated medication with few serious side effects. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before starting treatment. As with any medication, citalopram may not be suitable for everyone. If you have any concerns about taking citalopram then speak to your doctor.

Moreover, it is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking citalopram and never take more or less than prescribed. Citalopram may be taken with or without food. If you experience an upset stomach then it is best to take citalopram with food.

Things To Avoid While Taking Citalopram For OCD

Things To Avoid While Taking Citalopram For OCDThere are certain things you should avoid while taking citalopram for OCD. These include:

  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while taking citalopram can increase the risk of side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired judgment.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine can interfere with the effectiveness of citalopram and should be avoided.
  • Driving or operating machinery: Citalopram can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how citalopram affects you.
  • Other medications: Taking citalopram with other medications, such as MAO inhibitors, can increase the risk of side effects. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking before starting citalopram.
  • Herbal supplements: St. John’s wort, ginseng, and garlic can all interact with citalopram and should be avoided.
  • Dietary changes: Some foods, such as aged cheeses and pickled foods, can interact with citalopram and should be avoided.

You should also avoid activities that may trigger your OCD symptoms. These may vary from person to person but can include things like crowds, dirt, germs, and blood. If you know something is going to trigger your OCD symptoms, it’s best to avoid it.

Of course, there are some things you can’t avoid. In these cases, it’s important to have a plan in place to deal with your OCD symptoms. This may include things like deep breathing exercises or visualization techniques.

Alternatives To Citalopram For OCD

There are chances that Citalopram for OCD may not work for you. If that is the case, your doctor will likely prescribe another medication. Some of the other medications used to treat OCD include:

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

These medications can be just as effective as Citalopram. The most important thing is to find the right medication for you. If one doesn’t work, don’t give up. There are plenty of options available.


TherapyIn addition to medication, therapy can be a helpful treatment for OCD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating OCD. CBT can help you learn how to manage your OCD symptoms and live a more normal life.

Mainly for OCD, ERP is the most effective type of CBT. ERP stands for exposure and response prevention. This therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to your fears and learning how to manage your anxiety without engaging in compulsions or avoidance behaviors.

If you’re looking for a therapist, make sure to find one that specializes in treating OCD. Mantra Care would be a great place to start. They provide therapists with specialized training in ERP. You can try by booking a free consultation with a counselor to choose the effective treatment for you.

There are many effective treatments for OCD. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work for you. There is no shame in seeking help for OCD. It is a real disorder that can be debilitating if left untreated. With the right treatment, you can live a normal, happy life.


To conclude, citalopram for OCD is an effective treatment option that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. While there are potential side effects to be aware of, these are typically mild and resolve with time. If you or a loved one is struggling with OCD, speak to your doctor about whether citalopram may be right for you.

Citalopram is a tool that fights against OCD and can be a powerful one. With the help of this medication, many people have found relief from their symptoms and been able to live happier healthier lives. If you think citalopram might be right for you, talk to your doctor today. Thanks for reading!

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