Difference Between Escitalopram and Citalopram

Escitalopram and Citalopram are very frequently described drugs. These drugs are used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorders and OCD also known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. There are lots of similarities between the two drugs as well as slight differences.


Escitalopram is commonly sold under the trade name Lexapro. This drug is frequently prescribed as a medicine for anxiety, depression, OCD, and panic disorder. The drug is effective for a variety of mental health issues by increasing activity of certain chemicals inside the brain. But there is a tendency that Escitalopram may intensify the depression feeling of a person when the medicine is actually prescribed to reduce it. Careful attention should be given to a person who is under the medication because self-harming and suicidal feelings are high in the beginning of usage. The dosage of medicine should be frequently monitored by a doctor and is differed depending on the level of response. The medicine addresses special and sensitive mental health issues; therefore, should not be shared with anybody who has no medical approval.

The drug is very strong; therefore, it is not prescribed to people over 65, people who are allergic, under electroconvulsive therapy, diabetic, epileptic, who have a history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or people having weak heart, liver, or kidneys, or people who have or had mania. Escitalopram is not given to patients under 18 years old. Escitalopram can affect concentration. It is advisable to stay away from operating machinery and driving while under medication. Alcohol use is not encouraged because it may increase side effects. When Escitalopram is taken during pregnancy, the baby may suffer from serotogenic or withdrawal symptoms after birth. For men, the drug can cause infertility as it reduces sperm production. Some medicine like antihistamines, antimicrobials, antipsychotics, medicine affecting central nervous system, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, other antidepressants etc. should not be taken simultaneously because they can interact and cause complications.


Citalopram is commonly known by the trade name Celexa. This is also a drug used to treat the same mental health issues mentioned earlier. Citalopram also has the ability to increase thoughts of self-harm, suicide and depression symptoms. Proper and close attention should be given to a patient who is taking the medicine. The same limitations mentioned for Escitalopram earlier applies for Citalopram, as well. Both these drugs belong to the drug class of selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Serotonin is a chemical used in nerve- signaling. Apart from the side effects shown by Escitalopram, Citalopram also shows nausea, sexual dysfunction and some other side effects.

What is the difference between Escitalopram and Citalopram?

• Escitalopram and Citalopram are structurally similar but enantiomers of each other (mirror images).

• Escitalopram has less side effects and low occurrence rate compared to Citalopram.

• Escitalopram has a shorter half-life than Citalopram.

• Escitalopram is preferred over Citalopram when treating general anxiety disorder.

• Citalopram is also used to treat menopause mood shifts.

• These drugs also differ in price and prescription rate. (Doctors prefer Escitalopram).