September 23, 2018

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Modafinil and citalopram interactions – safe?

Modafinil and citalopram interactions – safe?

Patient: I’ve just been prescribed citalopram 20mg to assist in treating extreme sleepiness and a lack of appetite as symptoms of depression. On days when I need to get a lot of work done, or when I haven’t gotten much sleep, I sometimes take 100mg or 200mg modafinil (this is not prescribed). I am a little concerned about taking the citalopram as I have read that there can be interactions between these two drugs resulting in a raised QT interval (abnormal heart beat) as the modafinil can affect liver metabolism of citalopram. I have however also read several research papers which have stated that modafinil use in combination with ssri therapy improves cure rates for depression (statistically significant).Reading further in the matter, it is said that doctors may need to monitor heart rates of patients on these two drugs but usually only for doses above 20mg/day citalopram. Is it safe to take these two drugs, or should I abstain treatment for two weeks until my next appointment and inform the doctor that I wish I switch to an antidepressant with more side effects but no interactions with modafinil?Many thanks



Symptoms: Depression, drowsiness, loss of appetite, loss of concentration



Doctor: HelloThanks for using “Ask The Doctor” for posting your query.Modafinil is routinely used for ADD when accompanied with depression along with the SDRIs. Mostly it doesn’t lead to any such side-effects and more so in young it is further safe. You may continue to use it daily and then discuss it with your Doctor in the next visit.Hope this helps,Wish you a good health.


Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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