Does citalopram help with muscle pain? (+5 Medications)

In this article, we will discuss whether citalopram can be used in the management of muscle pain. We will also explore research studies suggesting the use of citalopram for muscle pain. Additionally, we will discuss alternative medications that can be considered for the management of muscle pain if citalopram proves ineffective. 

Does citalopram help with muscle pain?

Citalopram may help with muscle pain. However, it is an antidepressant medication primarily prescribed for treating depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. While not specifically indicated for the treatment of muscle pain, some healthcare providers may prescribe citalopram for certain chronic pain conditions, particularly those with a comorbid mental health component (1).

If you are experiencing muscle pain, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. They can assess your specific situation, consider the underlying causes of your muscle pain, and determine the most appropriate treatment plan, which may involve medications specifically designed for pain management.

What does research suggest?

According to some research studies, citalopram shows potential for managing muscle pain.

In one study, citalopram at a dose of 20mg daily was used in patients with underlying depression experiencing muscle aches and depression. After 4 weeks of treatment, as the symptoms of depression improved, patients reported a corresponding improvement in their muscle pain and fatigue. This study suggested that citalopram could potentially be used in the management of muscle pain (2).

However, it is important to note that in another study focused on the use of citalopram for the management of fibromyalgia, the patient reported no significant improvement in symptoms after taking citalopram for a month (3).

What to do if citalopram fails to manage muscle pain?

If you have been prescribed citalopram for managing muscle pain and notice no improvement in your symptoms after a few weeks of treatment, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.

They will assess your condition to determine the cause of citalopram’s inefficacy. In some cases, adjusting the dosage may be helpful. However, if higher doses lead to negative symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend an alternative medication more effective in managing your muscle pain compared to citalopram.

It’s crucial not to make any changes in your treatment without consulting your healthcare provider, as abrupt withdrawal of citalopram and transitioning to another medication can worsen your condition

What other medications can be used for muscle pain?

There are various medications used in the treatment of muscle pain, and the choice depends on the underlying cause and severity of the pain. Some common medications include: 

Pain relievers  Acetaminophen Naproxen 
Muscle relaxants  



Opioids   Morphine
Topical medications 

Capsaicin cream 

Lidocaine patches 

Anti-seizure medications  Gabapentin for nerve-related pain

What are the management tips for muscle pain?

Here are some management tips for muscle aches that can be followed along with pharmacological treatment for better outcomes and quicker recovery:

  • Stay hydrated as proper hydration supports muscle function.
  • Always warm up before exercise to prevent muscle strain.
  • Maintain good posture to reduce muscle strain. 
  • Regular massages can alleviate muscle tension.
  • Soaking in Epsom salt can ease muscle soreness.
  • Ensure sufficient, quality sleep for muscle repair.
  • Compression garments can aid in muscle recovery.
  • Adequate levels of vitamin D  are essential for muscle function.
  • Some herbs like Arnica may help with pain.
  • Moderate, consistent exercise promotes muscle health.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity.

In my experience

In my experience, the use of citalopram in clinical settings is limited to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders like OCD, as there are better options available for the management of muscle pain. However, it may be prescribed in cases where the patient has both an underlying mental disorder and muscle aches.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. [Updated 2023 Nov 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Hartz AJ, Bentler SE, Brake KA, Kelly MW. The effectiveness of citalopram for idiopathic chronic fatigue. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003 Aug;64(8):927-35. doi: 10.4088/jcp.v64n0811. PMID: 12927008.


Nørregaard J, Volkmann H, Danneskiold-Samstøe B. A randomized controlled trial of citalopram in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Pain. 1995 Jun;61(3):445-449. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(94)00218-4. PMID: 7478688.

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