Citalopram hydrobromide (sigh-TALO-pram high-dro-BRO-mide)
Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet contains answers to some common questions about Cipramil.
It does not contain all the information that is known about Cipramil. It does not
take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using
this medicine against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What Cipramil is used for
Cipramil is used to treat depression.
It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
(SSRIs). They are thought to work by their actions on brain chemicals called amines
which are involved in controlling mood.
Depression is longer lasting or more severe than the "low moods" everyone has from
time to time due to the stress of everyday life. It is thought to be caused by a chemical
imbalance in parts of the brain. This imbalance affects your whole body and can cause
emotional and physical symptoms such as feeling low in spirit, loss of interest in
activities, being unable to enjoy life, poor appetite or overeating, disturbed sleep,
often waking up early, loss of sex drive, lack of energy and feeling guilty over nothing.
Cipramil corrects this chemical imbalance and may help relieve the symptoms of depression.
Your doctor, however, may prescribe it for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
Cipramil is not addictive. However, if you suddenly stop taking it, you may get side
Tell your doctor if you get any side effects after stopping Cipramil.
Before you take it
When you must not take it
Do not take Cipramil if you have a condition called 'congenital long QT syndrome'.
At high doses, Cipramil can cause changes in the way that your heart beats.
See your doctor immediately if you experience an irregular heartbeat, shortness of
breath, dizziness or fainting while taking Cipramil.
Do not take Cipramil if you are allergic to it or any of the ingredients listed at
the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty
breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, or rash,
itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take Cipramil at the same time as the following other medicines:
pimozide, a medicine used to treat mental disorders
monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), which are also used for the treatment of depression.
monoamine oxidase inhibitors such as selegiline which is used in the treatment of
Do not take Cipramil when you are taking a MAOI or when you have been taking a MAOI
within the last 14 days.
Taking Cipramil with MAOIs may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in
body temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions. Your doctor
will know when it is safe to start Cipramil after the MAOI has been stopped.
the antibiotic linezolid
Do not take Cipramil when you are taking the antibiotic linezolid, or have recently
stopped taking linezolid in the last 14-days.
Do not take it after the expiry date printed on the pack.
If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well. The expiry
date refers to the last day of the month.
Do not take it if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if:
1. you have allergies to any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
2. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
Citalopram has been shown to reduce the quality of sperm in animal studies, which
theoretically could affect fertility. If you are intending to start a family, ask
your doctor for advice.
Do not take Cipramil if you are pregnant unless you and your doctor have discussed
the risks and benefits involved.
Make sure your doctor and/or midwife know you are on Cipramil.
When taken during pregnancy, particularly in the last three months of pregnancy, medicines
like Cipramil may affect the general condition of your newborn baby and may increase
the risk of a serious condition in babies, called persistent pulmonary hypertension
of the newborn (PPHN), making the baby breathe faster and appear bluish. These symptoms
usually begin during the first 24 hours after the baby is born. If this happens to
your baby you should contact your doctor and/or midwife immediately.
If used during pregnancy Cipramil should never be stopped abruptly.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
3. you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Do not take Cipramil if you are breast-feeding unless you and your doctor have discussed
the risks and benefits involved. It is not recommended that you breast-feed while
taking Cipramil as it is excreted in breast milk.
4. you have, or have had, the following medical conditions:
congenital long QT syndrome or other heart conditions. Your doctor may occasionally
need to check your heart beat and rhythm with an ECG test
illnesses which require you to have regular blood tests
a tendency to bleed or bruise easily
bipolar disorder (manic depression)
a history of seizures or fits
restlessness and/or a need to move often.
Raised intraocular pressure (fluid pressure in the eye), or if you are at risk of
5. you are receiving electroconvulsive therapy.
If you are lactose intolerant, contact your doctor before taking Cipramil.
Cipramil tablets contain lactose.
Do not give Cipramil to a child or adolescent.
There is no experience with its use in children or adolescents under 18 years old.
Cipramil can be given to elderly patients over 65 years of age with a reduced dose.
The effects of Cipramil in elderly patients are similar to that in other patients.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you use
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy
without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Cipramil may interfere with each other. These include:
ketoconazole and itraconazole, medicines used to treat fungal infections
macrolide antibiotics, e.g. erythromycin and clarithromycin
medicines used to treat reflux and ulcers, such as cimetidine and omeprazole
medicines known to prolong bleeding, e.g. aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
warfarin, a medicine used to prevent blood clots
sumatriptan, used to treat migraines
tramadol, used to relieve pain
carbamazepine, a medicine used to treat convulsions
some heart medications, such as beta-blockers (e.g. metoprolol) or antiarrhythmics
selegiline, a medicine used to treat Parkinson's disease
tryptophan, an amino-acid
lithium, used to treat mood swings and some types of depression
linezolid, an antibiotic
fluconazole, an anti-fungal medicine
antipsychotics, a class of medicines used to treat certain mental and emotional conditions
tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. imipramine, desipramine
St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a herbal remedy
any other medicines for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or pre-menstrual
These medicines may be affected by Cipramil, or may affect how well it works. You
may need to use different amounts of your medicines, or take different medicines.
Your doctor will advise you.
Some combinations of medicines may increase the risk of serious side effects and are
potentially life threatening.
Drugs that are known to affect the way the heart beats (for example some heart medicines
, antibiotics, asthma medicines, antihistamines) should be avoided while taking Cipramil.
If it is necessary for you to be on these medicines at the same time as Cipramil,
your doctor may perform an ECG test to check your heart rate and rhythm.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or
avoid while taking Cipramil.
How to take it
How much to take
Your doctor will decide what dose you will receive.
The standard dose for adults for this medicine is between 20 mg and 40 mg (one to
two tablets) per day.
The recommended starting dose in elderly patients is 10 mg (half a tablet) per day
but may be increased to a maximum of 20 mg (one tablet) per day by your doctor if
If you have liver problems, or are taking medicines such as cimetidine and omeprazole,
the recommended starting dose is 10mg (half a tablet) per day. The dose can be increased
to a maximum of 20mg (one tablet) per day.
Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose. If you have been prescribed or are
currently taking doses of Cipramil greater than 40mg, talk to your doctor about reducing
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you.
They will tell you exactly how much to take.
Follow the instructions they give you.
If you take the wrong dose, Cipramil may not work as well and your condition may not
How to take it
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water.
Do not chew them.
When to take it
Take Cipramil as a single dose either in the morning or in the evening.
Take Cipramil with or without food.
How long to take it
Continue to take Cipramil even if it takes some time before you feel any improvement
in your condition.
As with other medicines for the treatment of these conditions it may take a few weeks
before you feel any improvement.
Individuals will vary greatly in their response to Cipramil. Your doctor will check
your progress at regular intervals.
The duration of treatment may vary for each individual, but is usually at least 6
In some cases the doctor may decide that longer treatment is necessary.
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you, even if you begin
to feel better.
The underlying illness may persist for a long time and if you stop your treatment
too soon, your symptoms may return.
Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly.
If Cipramil is stopped suddenly you may experience mild, but usually temporary, symptoms
such as dizziness, pins and needles, sleep disturbances (vivid dreams, inability to
sleep), feeling anxious or agitated, headaches, feeling sick (nausea), vomiting, sweating,
tremor (shaking), feeling confused, feeling emotional or irritable, diarrhoea, visual
disturbances, or fast or irregular heart beats.
When you have completed your course of treatment, the dose of Cipramil is gradually
reduced over a couple of weeks rather than stopped abruptly.
Your doctor will tell you how to reduce the dosage so that you do not get these unwanted
If you forget to take it
If you miss a dose and remember in less than 12 hours, take it straight away, and
then go back to taking it as you would normally.
Otherwise, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take
the next dose when you are meant to.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you have missed.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (Tel: 13 11 26
for Australia and Tel: 0800 764 766 for New Zealand), or go to Accident and Emergency
at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, dizziness, fast
or slow heart beat or change in heart rhythm, decreased or increased blood pressure,
tremor (shaking), agitation, dilated pupils of the eyes, drowsiness, sleepiness, lethargy,
sweating, blueish discolouration of the skin, and an increase in rate of breathing.
Convulsions or coma may occur. A condition called serotonin syndrome may occur with
high fever, agitation, confusion, trembling and abrupt contractions of muscles.
While you are taking it
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist
that you are taking Cipramil.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking
If you become pregnant while taking Cipramil, tell your doctor immediately.
Persons taking Cipramil may be more likely to think about killing themselves or actually
trying to do so, especially when Cipramil is first started or the dose is changed.
Tell your doctor immediately if you have thoughts about killing yourself or if you
are close to or care for someone using Cipramil who talks about or shows signs of
killing him or herself.
All mentions of suicide or violence must be taken seriously.
Occasionally, the symptoms of depression may include thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
It is possible that these symptoms continue or get worse until the full antidepressant
effect of the medicine becomes apparent. This is more likely to occur if you are a
young adult, i.e. 18 to 24 years of age, and you have not used antidepressant medicines
Patients and care givers should pay attention for any of the following warning signs
of suicide-related behaviour while taking Cipramil. Tell your doctor immediately,
or even go to the nearest hospital for treatment:
thoughts or talk of death or suicide
thoughts or talk of self-harm or harm to others
any recent attempts of self-harm
increase in aggressive behaviour, irritability or agitation.
Do not stop taking this medicine or change the dose without consulting your doctor,
even if you experience increased anxiety at the beginning of treatment.
At the beginning of treatment, some patients may experience increased anxiety which
will disappear during continued treatment.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as restlessness or difficulty
in sitting or standing still.
These symptoms can occur during the first weeks of treatment.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you suddenly experience an episode of mania.
Some patients with bipolar disorder (manic depression) may enter into a manic phase.
This is characterised by profuse and rapidly changing ideas, exaggerated gaiety and
excessive physical activity.
Sometimes you may be unaware of the above-mentioned symptoms and therefore you may
find it helpful to ask a friend or relative to help you to observe the possible signs
of change in your behaviour.
Things you must not do
Do not give the tablets to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not take Cipramil to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not stop taking Cipramil, or lower the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
Do not let yourself run out of medicine over the weekend or on holidays.
Suddenly stopping Cipramil may cause unwanted discontinuation symptoms such as dizziness,
headache and nausea. Your doctor will tell you when and how Cipramil should be discontinued.
Your doctor will gradually reduce the amount you are using, usually over a period
of one to two weeks, before stopping completely.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Cipramil affects you.
It may cause nausea, fatigue and dizziness in some people, especially early in the
treatment. If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery, or
do anything else that could be dangerous.
Avoid alcohol while you are taking this medicine.
It is not advisable to drink alcohol while you are being treated for depression.
All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but
most of the time they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of using this medicine
against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are taking Cipramil.
It helps most people with depression, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few
The side effects of Cipramil are, in general, mild and disappear after a short period
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
ringing or other persistent noise in the ears
aching muscles or joint pain
flu-like symptoms, fever, runny or blocked nose, sneezing, facial pressure or pain,
coughing or sore throat
increased saliva or dry mouth, taste disturbance
loss of appetite or increased appetite, weight decrease or weight increase
diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence, indigestion, stomach pain or discomfort
nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
sleepiness or drowsiness, fatigue, yawning
a sense of indifference to everything
sexual disturbances (decreased sexual drive, problems with orgasm; problems with ejaculation
problems with menstrual periods
Restlessness or difficulty keeping still
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
a fast heart rate or decrease in heart rate or irregular heartbeat
shortness of breath
dizziness when you stand up due to low blood pressure
low sodium levels in the blood (the symptoms are feeling sick and unwell with weak
muscles or feeling confused) which may be caused by SSRI antidepressants, especially
in elderly patients
increased tendency to develop bruises
unusual bleeding, including bleeding from the stomach or bowel
passing more urine than normal or problems when urinating
tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
nervousness, confusion, problems with concentration, loss of memory
agitation, anxiety, worsening of depression.
These may be serious side effects of Cipramil. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital,
if you notice any of the following:
thoughts of suicide
serious allergic reaction
(symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling of the face, lips, mouth or
throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, or hives)
high fever, agitation, confusion, trembling and abrupt contractions of muscles
(these symptoms may be signs of a rare condition called serotonin syndrome which has
been reported with the combined use of antidepressants)
tremors, movement disorders (involuntary movements of the muscles).
fast, irregular heart beat with feelings of dizziness or difficulty breathing
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some people.
An increased risk of bone fractures has been observed in patients taking medicines
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
After taking it
Keep Cipramil tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the box or the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep Cipramil tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink, or on a window-sill.
Do not leave it in the car.
Heat and damp can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place
to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking the tablets, or the tablets have passed their
expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
Return any unused medicine to your pharmacist.
What it looks like
Cipramil 20 mg film-coated tablets are oval, white, scored and marked with "C" and
A box contains 28 tablets.
Cipramil 20 mg tablets - 20 mg citalopram (as hydrobromide) per tablet
Cipramil does not contain gluten, sucrose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Cipramil is made by H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.
Distributed in Australia by:
Lundbeck Australia Pty Ltd
1 Innovation Road
North Ryde NSW 2113
Ph: +61 2 8669 1000
Distributed in New Zealand by:
PO Box 62027
Mt Wellington, Auckland
Ph: +64 9 918 5100
This leaflet was prepared on
Australian Registration Number:
20 mg AUST R 61164
"Cipramil" is the registered trademark of H. Lundbeck A/S.