Is Citalopram like Adderall? 

Is Citalopram like Adderall? 

No, Citalopram is not like Adderall. They are two entirely different medications used for different purposes. Citalopram is an antidepressant, belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). (1,2)

Adderall, on the other hand, is an Amphetamine – which is a controlled substance and it is only prescribed by a few registered practitioners for the management and treatment of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (3)

Adderall is completely different from Citalopram and other SSRIs like Lexapro, Prozac, etc and is used for a different type of symptomatic relief. However, both Citalopram and Adderall are prescription medications and they shouldn’t be taken without a doctor’s approval. 

How is Citalopram different from Adderall?

Citalopram differs from Adderall in a number of ways, including:


Citalopram is an antidepressant medication primarily used to treat depression and various anxiety disorders. It works by balancing serotonin levels in the brain (1). Citalopram can also be used with some antipsychotics to manage mania and paranoia.

Adderall, on the other hand, is a central nervous system stimulant that is commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It contains a combination of amphetamine salts that help increase focus and reduce hyperactivity (3).

Mechanism of Action

Citalopram belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of drugs. It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain, which helps improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression (1,4).

Adderall contains amphetamine salts that stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This stimulation enhances focus, attention, and cognitive performance (3).

Target Conditions

Citalopram is primarily prescribed for depression and various anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder (1). 

It helps stabilize mood, reduces feelings of sadness or anxiety, and improves overall well-being. Citalopram may take several weeks for the full therapeutic effects to be noticeable.

Adderall, on the other hand, is prescribed for ADHD, which is characterized by symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is also used for narcolepsy, a sleep disorder (3).

It enhances focus, attention, and concentration. It can increase alertness, improve task performance, and decrease hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD.

Side Effects

Common side effects of citalopram may include nausea, drowsiness, dry mouth, and sexual dysfunction. It can also have rare but serious side effects, such as changes in heart rhythm (1).

Common side effects of Adderall may include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, insomnia, decreased appetite, and nervousness. It can also have rare but serious side effects, such as cardiovascular problems or psychiatric reactions (3).

Addiction Potential

Citalopram is not considered addictive. It does not lead to physical dependence or cravings and is not known to cause feelings of euphoria. However, it is important to follow the prescribed dosage and not abruptly stop the medication without medical guidance (1).

Adderall has a higher potential for abuse and addiction compared to Citalopram. It contains amphetamine salts that can stimulate the brain’s reward system, leading to a potential for misuse or dependence. It is classified as a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse (3,5).

Final words

To sum up, Citalopram and Adderall are different medications with distinct uses and effects. They should be taken only as prescribed by a healthcare professional, and any concerns or questions should be discussed with them to ensure safe and effective use.

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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.


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


Martin D, Le JK. Amphetamine. 2022 Aug 1. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32310563.


Bezchlibnyk-Butler K, Aleksic I, Kennedy SH. Citalopram–a review of pharmacological and clinical effects. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2000 May;25(3):241-54. PMID: 10863884; PMCID: PMC1407724.


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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