Citalopram in children and adolescents with depression or anxiety

Jennifer L. Baumgartner, Graham J. Emslie, M. Lynn Crismon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the efficacy and tolerability of citalopram in children and adolescents. METHOD: Retrospective chart review of 17 outpatients treated with citalopram at a tertiary care center. Subjects were diagnosed with a depressive or anxiety disorder with or without comorbidities and may have received concurrent medications. The primary outcome measure was the Clinical Global Impression Improvement Scale (CGI-I). Secondary outcome measures were the Children’s Depression Rating Scale - Revised (CDRS-R), Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and Screen for Child Anxiety-Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). Adverse effects were assessed via chart documentation. RESULTS: Patients were treated with a mean citalopram dose of 22.4 ± 7.3 mg for 12 weeks. Thirteen patients (76%) had CGI-I scores ≤2: 8 of 12 patients with depression and 5 of 5 patients with an anxiety disorder. The mean time to response was 7.6 ± 3.6 weeks. Additionally, 6 of 8 patients had ≥50% reduction from baseline CDRS-R score, with 3 patients (38%) meeting criteria for remission. Three of 4 patients had a >50% reduction for baseline SCARED-parent score. Overall, adverse effects appeared minor and transient. One patient discontinued citalopram due to intolerable adverse effects, and 1 patient required dose reduction. CONCLUSIONS: Citalopram appears to be effective and well tolerated in this group of children and adolescents with depressive or anxiety disorders and a high degree of comorbidity. Controlled studies in this patient population are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1692-1697
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2002


  • Citalopram
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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