Does Citalopram affect pregnancy tests? (+3 factors)
In this article, we will discuss whether Citalopram affects pregnancy tests. We will also discuss some factors affecting the interaction between Citalopram and pregnancy tests.
Does Citalopram affect pregnancy tests?
Citalopram generally does not affect pregnancy tests. It is one of the simplest antidepressants which does not affect the results of pregnancy tests. However, individual responses to medications can vary.
Citalopram, an antidepressant available under the brand name Celexa, is an antidepressant used to treat different mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression (1).
Pregnancy tests are used to check the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which is a hormone seen during pregnancy in women. Citalopram does not affect the presence of HCG or alter the accuracy of pregnancy tests (2).
However, if you are concerned about Citalopram use during pregnancy, reach out to your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.
What does research suggest?
There are limited research studies indicating the relationship between Citalopram and pregnancy tests. However, antidepressants in general can alter pregnancy tests.
One study indicated that certain antidepressants like SSRIs can cause higher levels of a hormone called prolactin, leading to changes in menstrual cycles. However, this is the first case known where starting SSRIs led to a false positive result on a urine pregnancy test (3).
However, individual responses to medications vary, especially those medications which affect the brain chemistry. So always reach out to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your treatment plans.
What factors influence Citalopram and pregnancy tests?
Several factors can influence the interaction between Citalopram and pregnancy tests:
Citalopram does not directly affect hormone levels in some people. While it is not known to affect pregnancy tests directly, its impact on hormones may affect hormone-related tests, potentially impacting the efficiency of pregnancy tests (4).
Every individual is unique and has a unique genetic makeup due to which their responses to medications vary. This is why some people might have altered hormone levels while taking Citalopram which can affect their pregnancy tests.
Timing of test
A pregnancy test is also affected by the time of ingestion of Citalopram. When you take the pregnancy test compared to when you take Citalopram might affect how they interact.
The timing could change hormone levels and might cause pregnancy tests more or less accurate.
Dosage and duration
The dosage of the medication affects the hormone levels. People responding well to lower doses might experience changes in hormone levels with dose escalation.
Changes in hormone levels might also occur when Citalopram is used for a long time and without medical supervision.
Concurrent use of medications
Concurrent use of other medications especially those which affect hormones, can interact with Citalopram and may potentially affect the pregnancy test.
It is important to discuss the medications and supplements you are taking with your doctor to minimise the risk of adverse effects.
What are the side effects of Citalopram in pregnant women?
Although Citalopram is a safe antidepressant, it may affect pregnant women or affect the developing foetus. While considering its use during pregnancy, it’s crucial to weigh the potential risks against the benefits.
Here are the side effects associated with Citalopram use during pregnancy, categorized by their incidence levels:
|Changes in heart rhythm
What to do if you need pregnancy tests while on Citalopram?
If you are undergoing a pregnancy test while taking Citalopram, the following points should be kept in mind:
Consult your doctor: Before starting, stopping or planning a pregnancy consult your healthcare provider because there have been concerns about the use of SSRIs during pregnancy and their effect on developing foetus.
Interactions and timing: Be aware of the potential for medication interactions or changes in hormone levels and always discuss with your healthcare provider the best timing for pregnancy tests concerning Citalopram usage.
The more recent the intake of Citalopram, the greater the likelihood of potentially inaccurate pregnancy test results.
Reliable tests: Choose reliable pregnancy tests with higher sensitivity to detect HCG for clear and accurate results. The less reliable tests may give you inaccurate results or false positive or negative results sometimes.
Lifestyle modifications: Remember to look for changes in your body, menstrual cycle or overall health while using Citalopram and follow a healthy lifestyle, including proper nutrition, exercise and stress management. Remember to discuss alternative medications with your healthcare provider if you are planning or suspecting pregnancy.
In my view and the research available, it is clear that Citalopram does not directly affect the accuracy and efficiency of pregnancy tests. However, individual responses to medications can vary.
There are rare cases where antidepressants, including Citalopram, may indirectly impact hormone levels potentially affecting the reliability and accuracy of pregnancy tests.
It is important for individuals taking Citalopram to consult their healthcare provider before undergoing pregnancy tests to minimise the risk of wrong results.
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Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. [Updated 2023 Nov 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482222/
Selvaraj V, Hour S, Gunasekar P, Gray C, Smith JF. Escitalopram-Induced Amenorrhea and False Positive Urine Pregnancy Test. Korean J Fam Med. 2017 Jan;38(1):40-42. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2017.38.1.40. Epub 2017 Jan 18. PMID: 28197332; PMCID: PMC5305664.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5305664/#:~:text=There%20have%20been%20a%20few,following%20initiation%20of%20escitalopram%20treatment.
Reeves KW, Okereke OI, Qian J, Tworoger SS, Rice MS, Hankinson SE. Antidepressant use and circulating prolactin levels. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Jul;27(7):853-61. doi: 10.1007/s10552-016-0758-x. Epub 2016 May 10. PMID: 27165168; PMCID: PMC4925273.
Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. CMAJ. 2017 May 29;189(21):E747. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.160991. PMID: 28554948; PMCID: PMC5449237.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449237/#:~:text=The%20mnemonic%20FINISH%20summarizes%20the,disturbances%20(%E2%80%9Cburning%2C%E2%80%9D%20%E2%80%9C