Is citalopram equal to Xanax?

No, citalopram is not equal to Xanax. Although both are prescription medications used for the treatment of anxiety and depression, they belong to different drug classes and have different mechanisms of action, side effects, and risks.


Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and other bodily functions. By increasing serotonin levels, citalopram can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

While citalopram has been found to be effective in treating depression and anxiety, it is not without its potential side effects. Common side effects of citalopram include nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. In rare cases, citalopram may cause more serious side effects such as suicidal thoughts or behavior.


Xanax, on the other hand, is a benzodiazepine that works by enhancing the effects of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps to calm the brain and reduce anxiety. By enhancing the effects of GABA, Xanax can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders.

While Xanax can be effective in treating anxiety and panic disorders, it is also associated with a number of potential side effects and risks. Common side effects of Xanax include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and memory impairment. Xanax is also highly addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms if use is discontinued abruptly or without medical supervision.


In conclusion, while both citalopram and Xanax are used for the treatment of anxiety and depression, they are not equal medications. Citalopram is an SSRI that works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, while Xanax is a benzodiazepine that enhances the effects of GABA. Additionally, each medication has its own set of potential side effects and risks that should be carefully considered before use.

It’s important to remember that medication should always be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor or mental health provider about the best treatment options for you.

There are various forms of drugs available, such as tablets or liquids, and each may have a separate patient information leaflet (PIL) for different doses. It is important to refer to the PIL for the specific form and dose of the drug that you have been prescribed.

You can search for further information and PILs on websites such as:

  • The British National Formulary (BNF)
  • Electronic medicines compendium (emc)
  • The National Library of Medicine's DailyMed
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
  • Different drug forms like tablets or liquids have specific patient information leaflets (PIL) for various doses. Refer to the PIL for your prescribed drug form and dose.

    Search for PILs on websites like:


    • ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé):


    • AEMPS (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios):


    • BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte):


    For questions about your medication:

    • Consult your doctor, a healthcare professional, or a pharmacist


    • Contact SOS Médecins: 3624
    • For mental health support, contact SOS Suicide: 01 45 39 40 00

    Belgium (French)

    Switzerland (French)

    • La Main Tendue: 143
    • Website:

    Canada (French)

    • Centre de prévention du suicide du Québec: 1 866 APPELLE (1 866 277-3553)
    • Website:


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Teléfono de la Esperanza: 717 003 717


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefonseelsorge: 0800 111 0 111 or 0800 111 0 222


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Telefono Amico: 199 284 284


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact 113 Zelfmoordpreventie: 0800 0113


    • Contact emergency number: 112
    • For mental health support, contact Sos Voz Amiga: 21 354 45 45, 91 280 26 69, or 96 352 46 60

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