Does Citalopram cause euphoria?

Does Citalopram cause euphoria?

Citalopram can rarely cause euphoria and you can rarely get high on this medication. Citalopram is an antidepressant and is not generally considered a substance of abuse (1).  

However, it may make some people euphoric during the early course of their treatment with this antidepressant, but it is extremely rare and it goes away as your body adjusts to the med.

Citalopram is not one of those medications which can detach you from reality when you take too much of it (2). In fact, a high dose of Citalopram can make you feel miserable because of the side effects it causes and it doesn’t get you high. 

However, taking a moderately high dose of Citalopram on a daily basis can make your body dependent on it. It doesn’t necessarily mean ‘addiction’, but the severity of this dependence varies. 

In some cases, too much Citalopram has been known to cause abnormally increased serotonergic activity, which can give rise to a rare but life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome (3). 

Make sure you don’t take a high dose of Citalopram thinking it’ll get you all high. This is not a typical scheduled drug and an overdose can cause dangerous side effects without actually making you feel ‘high’ at first. 

In case of citalopram overdose, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. You may require immediate treatment to manage overdose symptoms. In some cases of citalopram or SSRI overdose, a serotonin antagonist like Cyproheptadine can be prescribed.

How is Citalopram different from drugs that cause euphoria?

Citalopram is an antidepressant medication that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). (1,4)

Its primary purpose is to treat depression and anxiety disorders by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. Citalopram works to balance the chemicals in the brain and improve mood. (1)

On the other hand, drugs that cause euphoria, often referred to as recreational drugs or stimulants like Adderall, have different mechanisms of action (5). These drugs directly stimulate the reward pathways in the brain, leading to feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria. 

The key difference lies in the intended purpose and mechanism of action. Citalopram is prescribed to help individuals manage symptoms of depression and anxiety by addressing the underlying chemical imbalances in the brain (1). 

It does not produce euphoria or a “high” because it does not directly stimulate the reward pathways like drugs of abuse do (5).

It’s important to note that recreational drugs can have significant risks and can be addictive. They can lead to various health problems, legal issues, and detrimental effects on overall well-being.

In contrast, Citalopram and other antidepressants are prescribed by healthcare professionals for specific therapeutic purposes and are not intended to be used recreationally.

Some examples of drugs that can induce euphoria

Some drugs that are known for causing euphoria include (5):


Drugs such as Heroin, Morphine, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone can produce feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria. They work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, triggering a release of dopamine and other neurotransmitters associated with reward and pleasure.


Substances like Cocaine, Amphetamines (including illicit drugs like Methamphetamine), and certain prescription medications like Ritalin and Vyvanse can cause euphoria. 

They stimulate the central nervous system, increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, leading to heightened energy, alertness, and pleasurable sensations.


Drugs in this class, such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan, are primarily prescribed for anxiety and sedation. They can induce a sense of relaxation and calmness, which may be perceived as euphoria by some individuals.

MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)

This synthetic psychoactive drug has both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. It can produce intense feelings of euphoria, empathy, and heightened sensory perception.


Marijuana, commonly known as weed or pot, can produce a sense of relaxation, euphoria, and altered perception. Its main psychoactive compound, THC, interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

It’s important to note that the use of these drugs for recreational purposes or without medical supervision can be illegal, dangerous, and harmful to both physical and mental health. 

If you have concerns about substance use or are seeking more information, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or addiction specialist.

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Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. 2021 Dec 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29489221.


Personne M, Sjöberg G, Persson H. Citalopram overdose–review of cases treated in Swedish hospitals. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1997;35(3):237-40. doi: 10.3109/15563659709001206. Erratum in: J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1997;35(5):577. PMID: 9140316.


Simon LV, Keenaghan M. Serotonin Syndrome. 2022 Jul 19. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29493999.


Chu A, Wadhwa R. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. 2023 May 1. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32119293.


Aro HJ, Hussain A, Bobrin BD. Controlled Substances. 2023 Apr 8. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32119270.

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