Does Citalopram cause vomiting? (5+ tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Citalopram causes vomiting. Furthermore, we will talk about what the research suggests, why Citalopram causes vomiting, what other side effects are caused by Citalopram, and what to do if vomiting persists.

Does Citalopram cause vomiting?

Yes, Citalopram does cause vomiting, and it is a common side effect. Vomiting and nausea are commonly experienced by some patients during the early phase of Citalopram treatment. However, this side effect may subside as the body adapts to the medication.

What does research suggest?

According to a research study, Citalopram’s side effects like vomiting and nausea are mild and temporary. These side effects may be reduced or disappear within 1-4 weeks of Citalopram treatment as it starts working.

Citalopram may take around 8-12 weeks to show its complete therapeutic effects. Citalopram is a safe and well-tolerated antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) class of drugs.

A research study also compared Citalopram with Amitriptyline for the incidence of side effects. It was found that Citalopram had fewer side effects compared to Amitriptyline and was easier for patients to tolerate (1).

Citalopram works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, into the brain cells, thereby causing increased serotonin levels. This increase in serotonin levels helps alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms (2).

Citalopram is also considered safe and effective with low risks of side effects in elderly patients with mild to moderate kidney or liver problems (3).

Why does Citalopram cause vomiting?

Citalopram causes vomiting as it increases the serotonin levels in the brain; this increase in serotonin levels affects the digestive system significantly.

Due to this mechanism, SSRI antidepressants like Citalopram are commonly associated with gastrointestinal adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, dry mouth, changes in appetite, or abdominal pain. Patients with sensitive stomachs are more prone to experience vomiting while using Citalopram.

How to manage vomiting while using Citalopram?

You can manage the feeling of nausea and vomiting when using Citalopram by trying the following tips:

  • Avoid oily, spicy, and greasy foods or foods with strong odours.
  • Take Citalopram with food.
  • Take smaller meals and eat slowly.
  • Drink clear fluids like herbal tea and ginger tea, or increase your water intake.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption.
  • Suck on some mint or hard candies.

What to do if Citalopram-induced vomiting persists?

If Citalopram-induced vomiting persists or worsens after even 4 weeks of using Citalopram, please inform your doctor. They may evaluate your current symptoms, your response to the medication, and other health conditions.

However, your doctor may advise you to manage vomiting with a few tips or remedies, but if it persists, he may suggest reducing the dose and increasing it gradually afterwards, giving some time for your body to adjust.

What other side effects can be caused by Citalopram?

Other than vomiting, Citalopram may also cause other side effects.

Common side effects

Citalopram may also cause other common side effects, including:

These common side effects may not be experienced by everyone taking Citalopram; however, if you experience them, they may subside as your body adapts to Citalopram.

Rare side effects

Rare and serious side effects should be immediately reported to your doctor. Citalopram may also cause such side effects in a few patients, including:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Severe headaches
  • Concentration problems
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Tremors
  • Chest pain (4,5)


Citalopram is commonly associated with vomiting, especially in the early stages of treatment. Research findings have suggested that vomiting occurs mildly and temporarily, often improving as the body adapts to the medication.

However, Citalopram is generally a safe and well-tolerated antidepressant and has a lower risk of side effects compared to other SSRIs.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Kyle CJ, Petersen HE, Overø KF. Comparison of the tolerability and efficacy of citalopram and amitriptyline in elderly depressed patients treated in general practice. Depress Anxiety. 1998;8(4):147-53. PMID: 9871816. Available from: 


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


Nemeroff CB. Overview of the safety of citalopram. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2003 Winter;37(1):96-121. PMID: 14561952. Available from: 


MedlinePlus[Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US);2023. Citalopram; [updated 2022 Jan 15; cited 2023 JUL 10]. Available from:


FDA Label. Celexa (Citalopram). [Internet]. Available from:

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site