Does Celexa (Citalopram) Interact With Melatonin?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses whether or not there is an interaction between Celexa (citalopram) and melatonin.

Does Celexa (Citalopram) Interact With Melatonin?
Dec 24, 2017

Ella asked

My 10 year old daughter takes 25mg Celexa once a day in the morning. Is it safe for her to take melatonin for one night?


Melatonin With On Blackboard with text - with Celexa

There is no listed or reported drug interaction between melatonin and Celexa (citalopram). Giving your daughter melatonin in the evening should not interfere with the Celexa she takes in the morning.

It is important to note that Celexa may cause drowsiness, and this effect could be additive if taken with melatonin. Other than that, the drugs should not have an effect on one another.

In the next sections, I discuss melatonin in more detail.

How Melatonin Works

Melatonin is an endogenous (i.e. 'natural') hormone that our bodies produce in the pineal gland. The release of melatonin in our bodies is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light and has a major role in our sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythm.

To generalize, when we get ready to sleep, melatonin levels increase. When we are ready to get up, melatonin levels decrease. 

Many studies show that melatonin supplementation is effective for certain situations that can lead to disruptions of the sleep-wake cycle such as with jet lag or in night shift workers.

There is less evidence for benefit when used for short term treatment of insomnia. Nevertheless, there are studies that do show that melatonin can decrease sleep latency (i.e. time to fall asleep) and increase total sleep time, although the effects don't appear to be that profound. 

Safety Of Melatonin

Melatonin is generally considered to be safe when used in children. Dosages ranging from 0.5 mg to 10 mg have been used safely in children in numerous studies.

However, the long term effects of consistent and prolonged use are unknown. Melatonin production is generally high and undisturbed in most individuals under the age of 20 and supplementation isn't often necessary unless there are underlying problems. As such, there is a lack of studies regarding long term use.

In addition, it appears that melatonin levels in the body are closely associated with gonadal development. Altering levels via supplementation has unknown effects.

Melatonin Drug Interactions

Below are some commonly referenced drug interactions in regard to melatonin:

  • Anticoagulants: Combined use of melatonin and anticoagulants can prolong bleeding time.
  • Anticonvulsants: Evidence suggests that melatonin can increase seizure frequency in certain patients.
  • Fluvoxamine: Fluvoxamine can significantly increase melatonin levels. 
  • Immunosuppressants: Studies indicate that melatonin can stimulate the immune system in some situations, potentially interfering with immunosuppressive therapy

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is no reported drug interaction between melatonin and Celexa. Co-administration is considered to be safe. Having said that, there is a lack of information on the overall safety of melatonin in children long term.

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