Citalopram as treatment of depression in patients with epilepsy

Luigi M. Specchio, Alfonso Iudice, Nicola Specchio, Angela La Neve, Antonia Spinelli, Renato Galli, Raffaele Rocchi, Monica Ulivelli, Marina De Tommaso, Chiara Pizzanelli, Luigi Murri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the safety of citalopram as a treatment of depression in patients with epilepsy. Methods: This is an open, multicentered, uncontrolled study. Depressed epileptic patients on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) took part in the study. Patients who had a mild frequency of seizures in the 4 previous months underwent treatment with citalopram (20 mg/d) for 4 consecutive months. A change in seizure frequency from the baseline was chosen as the primary measure for the safety of citalopram and efficacy against depressive symptoms was taken as secondary measure. Depression was rated using the Montgomery-Asberg and Zung depression rating scales. Clinical assessments were performed at baseline, and at 2 and 4 months of citalopram therapy. Results: Forty-five patients were enrolled. Six patients dropped out of the study early: none of them because of a deterioration of seizure frequency. An overall improvement in seizure frequency was observed in the 39 patients who completed the study. Plasma AED concentrations were unchanged during therapy, and depressive symptoms improved markedly. Twenty-two patients complained of adverse effects, mainly headache, nausea, dizziness, somnolence, and fatigue. Conclusions: In this open, multicentered, uncontrolled study, 4 months' of treatment with citalopram (20 mg/d) were associated with an improvement in depressive symptoms and reduction in seizure frequency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Citalopram
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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