Can Citalopram cause joint pain? (3+ tips)

In this summarized article, the question ” Can Citalopram cause joint pain?” will be answered as well as other related questions, such as the occurrence of joint pain while using Citalopram, if Citalopram is causing joint pain, what steps should be taken? and important warnings to consider when using Citalopram.

Can Citalopram cause joint pain?

Yes, citalopram can cause joint pain. Joint pain is a common side effect of using Citalopram. This may impact one out of every ten individuals.

However, If you do not experience joint pain or any associated side effects, you can safely use this drug as directed by your physician, as every individual reacts differently to medication, and their response may vary. (1)

The occurrence of joint pain while using Citalopram

There is limited data on the occurrence of joint pain while using Citalopram. However, research studies have shown that using Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), like Citalopram, for over 12 months can lead to an increased risk of bone fractures and a decrease in Bone Mineral Density (BMD). (2)

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study on men aged 65 years and above and taking SSRIs to determine whether the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors decreases Bone Mineral Density or not.

The study found that men who used SSRIs had 3.9 percent lower Bone Mineral Density at the total hip and 5.9 percent lower at the lumbar spine compared to those who did not use SSRIs. (3)

Another study was conducted on patients aged 66 years and above who were taking SSRIs aimed to determine whether Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors increase the risk of Bone fractures or not. The study found that the use of SSRIs can increase the risk of bone fractures by 22 percent. (4)

What to do if Citalopram is causing joint pain?

If you are experiencing joint pain while taking Citalopram, it is crucial to consult your physician as soon as possible. This should be your first course of action.

Your physician or healthcare provider may need to adjust your dosage and evaluate other factors that could be contributing to the joint pain such as age, gender, family history, and the use of concomitant or other antidepressant drugs.

However, it is important to never alter your treatment plan or lower your dosage without first consulting your physician. If the joint pain persists, your physician may need to discontinue or change your medication.

If you experience joint pain while taking Citalopram, here are some tips to consider:

  • Applying ice packs or cold compresses on a sore joint can reduce joint pain and inflammation and heat therapy helps in relaxing sore joints and relieves pain.
  • Engaging in gentle aerobic exercises such as walking can help relieve joint pain.
  • Following a weight management program and adjusting your diet can help reduce joint pain.
  • Monitor your joint discomfort, if it is increasing then make sure to contact your physician to discontinue or alter the medication.

Important warnings while using Citalopram

Citalopram should not be stopped abruptly without consulting a doctor. Doing so can cause various withdrawal symptoms like irritability, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nightmares, headache, and paresthesia or tingling sensation.

In addition, Citalopram may affect the heart and cause cardiac issues. Therefore, if you experience any heart problems such as chest pain or shortness of breath, consult your physician immediately.

If you have depression or mental illness, you may experience suicidal thoughts, which can intensify when starting a medication for depression. It’s important to inform your physician right away if you notice any sudden changes in mood or behavior.

Citalopram should not be taken if you have used a MAO inhibitor (the first type of antidepressant developed) within the last 14 days or have received a methylene blue injection as this can cause a fatal reaction. (5)


In Conclusion, Citalopram can cause joint pain among other side effects. If you experience any undesired side effects, seek medical attention immediately. There are also home remedies that can help alleviate pain.

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Citalopram 10mg Tablet – Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) – (emc) [Internet]. 2023. Available from:


Ak, E., Bulut, S.D., Bulut, S. et al. Evaluation of the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on bone mineral density: an observational cross-sectional study. Osteoporos Int 26, 273–279 (2015). Available from: (2)


Haney EM, Chan BKS, Diem SJ, Ensrud KE, Cauley JA, Barrett-Connor E, et al. Association of Low Bone Mineral Density With Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Use by Older Men. Archives of Internal Medicine [Internet]. 2007 Jun 25;167(12):1246–51. Available from: 


Use of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants and risk of hip fractures in elderly people. The Lancet [Internet]. 1998 May 2 [cited 2021 Aug 17];351(9112):1303–7. Available from:


Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. [Updated 2021 Dec 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: 

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