Side Effects of Citalopram in Women

Citalopram (Celexa) is a medication used to treat depression. It belongs to a group of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors -- SSRIs. These drugs work by increasing the activity of serotonin in your brain. Side effects are generally the same in both men and women, except that women may experience menstrual irregularity on this medication. You should be careful driving or operating machinery when you begin taking citalopram, until you know how this medication will effect you.

Pharmacist giving woman a prescription (Image: BakiBG/iStock/Getty Images)

Menstrual Irregularity

Women might experience menstrual irregularity while taking citalopram. This means that your monthly menstrual schedule may change. This side effect usually diminishes once your body gets used to this medication. If your cycle remains irregular, or you are experiencing any other menstrual discomfort, you should see your gynecology provider to rule out any other types of illness.

Sexual Effects

Citalopram can diminish sexual desire and decrease the ability to orgasm in women. This may improve once your body is used to the medication. You should consider speaking to your physician if this effect begins to have a negative impact on your lifestyle.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Nausea and diarrhea are a common side effect of citalopram. You could run the risk of becoming dehydrated if your vomiting becomes severe or lasts several days. Eating smaller meals more frequently and adhering to a bland diet may help to alleviate intestinal discomfort. If these side effects persist, consult your doctor.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common side effect of citalopram. Consider carrying lozenges or mints with you to help alleviate dry mouth. Using a good mouthwash throughout the day may help your mouth feel more refreshed. Make sure your drink an adequate amount of fluid to remain hydrated.

Insomnia, Fatigue, and Drowsiness

Women may experience insomnia -- difficulty falling or staying asleep, fatigue, and drowsiness while on citalopram. This side effect may diminish over time as your body gets used to this medication. In the event that you are too drowsy or fatigued to carry out your daily activities, you should speak to your health care provider for more options.

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