Can you take sleeping tablets with citalopram?

Understanding Citalopram

Citalopram is a commonly prescribed medication for patients with depression and anxiety disorders. It belongs to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and works by increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain. Although it is generally well-tolerated, patients who take citalopram may experience side effects such as nausea, headache, insomnia, and drowsiness.

Sleeping Tablets and Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, which can lead to fatigue, irritability, and poor concentration. Sleeping pills, or sedative-hypnotics, are often prescribed to help patients with insomnia. However, these medications should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can be habit-forming and have potential side effects.

The Risks of Combining Citalopram and Sleeping Tablets

One concern that patients may have is whether it is safe to take citalopram and sleeping tablets together. Combining these medications can increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness, confusion, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, it can even lead to a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome, which occurs when there is an excess of serotonin in the brain. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a doctor before taking sleeping tablets while on citalopram.

Alternatives to Sleeping Tablets

For patients who are hesitant to take sleeping tablets or are unable to due to the risk of drug interactions, there are several alternatives available. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help patients develop healthy sleep habits and manage their anxiety or depression, as well as natural remedies such as valerian root or chamomile tea. It is important to discuss these options with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

What to Tell Your Doctor

Before taking any new medications, including sleeping tablets, it is essential to inform your doctor about your medical history and any current medications you are taking. This includes over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins. Your doctor can help determine whether sleeping tablets are appropriate for you and which ones are safe to take based on your specific medical needs and history.

Other Factors to Consider:

  • Your age and weight
  • Your liver and kidney function
  • Any chronic health conditions you have, such as heart disease, diabetes, or respiratory problems
  • Your mental health history, including any history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Your family history of medical conditions

Side Effects of Sleeping Tablets

While sleeping tablets can be effective for treating insomnia, they can also have side effects that should be taken into consideration. These can include dizziness, confusion, daytime drowsiness, and impaired balance or coordination. Additionally, some sleeping tablets can lead to dependence or addiction if taken regularly over time. It is crucial to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding these side effects.

Common Side Effects of Sleeping Tablets:

  • Daytime drowsiness and fatigue
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Memory problems and difficulty concentrating
  • Impaired motor coordination and balance
  • Heartburn or gastrointestinal problems

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you are experiencing any symptoms of an allergic reaction or side effects such as confusion, difficulty breathing, or severe dizziness, seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, if you experience any unusual changes in behavior or mood, such as aggression, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts, contact your healthcare provider right away.

Other Signs and Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations
  • Fever or chills
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising


While it is possible to take sleeping tablets while on citalopram, it is not recommended without first consulting a doctor. The risk of drug interactions and potential side effects can be significant, and alternative treatments such as CBT or natural remedies may be a safer option. If you are struggling with insomnia or other sleep-related issues, talk to your healthcare provider to discuss the best course of treatment for your specific needs.

FAQs: Can You Take Sleeping Tablets with Citalopram?

  • Can citalopram cause insomnia?
    Yes, citalopram can cause insomnia as a side effect in some patients. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping while taking citalopram, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.
  • What are the risks of taking sleeping tablets with citalopram?
    Combining citalopram with sleeping tablets can increase the risk of side effects and potentially lead to serotonin syndrome. It is essential to consult with a doctor before taking any new medications while on citalopram.
  • What are some alternatives to sleeping tablets?
    Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and natural remedies such as valerian root or chamomile tea are alternatives to sleeping tablets that may be effective for treating insomnia. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine which option is best for you.
  • What should you do if you experience side effects while taking sleeping tablets?
    If you experience any side effects while taking sleeping tablets, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help determine whether the side effects are significant and may recommend alternative treatments or adjust your medication dosage.


  • “Citalopram – Oral”. WebMD. Retrieved 2 February 2022, from
  • “Insomnia”. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2 February 2022, from
  • “Sleeping Pills and Natural Sleep Aids”. Sleep Foundation. Retrieved 2 February 2022, from