Consumer Medicine Information
Escitalopram oxalate, 5 mg, 10 mg & 20 mg tablets
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some of the common questions people ask about CILOPAM-S. It does not
contain all the information that is known about CILOPAM-S.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor and pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor will have weighed the risks of you taking this
medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What CILOPAM-S is for
CILOPAM-S is used to treat depression.
It belongs to a group of medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They are
thought to work by their actions on brain chemicals called amines which are involved in controlling
Depression is longer lasting or more severe than the "low moods" everyone has from time to time
due to the stress of everyday life. It is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in parts of the
brain. This imbalance affects your whole body and can cause emotional and physical symptoms
such as feeling low in spirit, loss of interest in activities, being unable to enjoy life, poor appetite or
overeating, disturbed sleep, often waking up early, loss of sex drive, lack of energy and feeling
guilty over nothing.
CILOPAM-S corrects this chemical imbalance and may help relieve the symptoms of depression.
CILOPAM-S may also be used to treat patients who may avoid and/or are fearful of social
CILOPAM-S may also be used to treat patients who have excessive anxiety and worry.
CILOPAM-S may also be used to treat irrational fears or obsessional behaviour (obsessive-
compulsive disorder). Obsessive-compulsive disorder involves having both obsessions and
compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts that occur over and over again. Compulsions are
the ongoing need to repeat certain actions as a result of these thoughts.
Your doctor, however, may prescribe this medicine for another purpose.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
CILOPAM-S is not addictive. However, if you suddenly stop taking it, you may get side effects.
Tell your doctor if you get any side effects after stopping CILOPAM-S.
Before you take CILOPAM-S
When you must not take it
Do not take CILOPAM-S if you are allergic to it, to any medicine containing citalopram, or
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing,
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body, or rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take CILOPAM-S at the same time as the following other medicines:
pimozide, a medicine used to treat mental disorders
monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as phenelzine, tranylcypromine and moclobemide
which are also used for the treatment of depression.
One day must elapse after you have finished taking moclobemide before you start taking
CILOPAM-S. If you have taken any other MAOI you will need to wait 14 days. After stopping
CILOPAM-S you must allow 14 days before taking any MAOI including moclobemide.
Taking CILOPAM-S with MAOIs may cause a serious reaction with a sudden increase in body
temperature, extremely high blood pressure and severe convulsions. Your doctor will know
when it is safe to start CILOPAM-S after the MAOI has been stopped.
Do not take it after the use by (expiry) date printed on the pack.
If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well. The expiry date refers to the
last day of the month.
Do not take it if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to. Do not give this
medicine to anyone else.
Before you start to take it
You must tell your doctor if:
1. you have allergies to any other substances such as foods, preservatives or dyes.
2. you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
Do not take CILOPAM-S if you are pregnant unless you and your doctor have discussed the risks
and benefits involved.
Make sure your doctor and/or midwife know you are on CILOPAM-S.
When taken during pregnancy, particularly in the last three months of pregnancy, medicines like
CILOPAM-S may affect the general condition of your newborn baby and may increase the risk of a
serious condition in babies, called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN),
making the baby breathe faster and appear bluish. These symptoms usually begin during the first
24 hours after the baby is born. If this happens to your baby you should contact your doctor and/or
If used during pregnancy CILOPAM-S should never be stopped abruptly.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
3. you are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.
Do not take CILOPAM-S if you are breast-feeding unless you and your doctor have discussed the
risks and benefits involved. It is not recommended that you breastfeed while taking CILOPAM-S
as it is excreted in breast milk.
4. you have, or have had, the following medical conditions:
a tendency to bleed or bruise easily
bipolar disorder (manic depression)
a history of seizures or fits
restlessness and/or a need to move often.
5. you are receiving electroconvulsive therapy.
Do not give CILOPAM-S to a child or adolescent.
There is no experience with its use in children or adolescents under 18 years old.
CILOPAM-S can be given to elderly patients over 65 years of age with a reduced dose.
The effects of CILOPAM-S in elderly patients are similar to that in other patients.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you use CILOPAM-
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a
prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and CILOPAM-S may interfere with each other. These include:
bupropion, a medicine helping to treat nicotine dependence
medicines used to treat reflux and ulcers, such as cimetidine, omeprazole, esomeprazole and
medicines known to prolong bleeding, e.g. aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
ticlopidine and warfarin, medicines used to prevent blood clots
mefloquine, an anti-malaria medicine
sumatriptan, used to treat migraines
tramadol, used to relieve pain
medicines affecting the chemicals in the brain
some heart medications, e.g. flecainide, propafenone, metoprolol
tryptophan, an amino-acid
lithium, used to treat mood swings and some types of depression
antipsychotics, a class of medicines used to treat certain mental and emotional conditions, e.g.
risperidone, thioridazine and haloperidol
tricyclic antidepressants, e.g. imipramine, desipramine
St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), a herbal remedy
any other medicines for depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder or premenstrual
These medicines may be affected by CILOPAM-S, or may affect how well it works. You may need
to use different amounts of your medicines, or take different medicines. Your doctor will advise
Some combinations of medicines may increase the risk of serious side effects and are potentially
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while
How to take it
How much to take
Your doctor will decide what dose you will receive.
The standard dose for this medicine is 10 mg per day. This may be increased by your doctor to 20
mg per day.
The recommended maximum dose in elderly patients is 10 mg per day.
It is recommended that patients with liver disease receive an initial dose of 5 mg daily for the first
two weeks. Your doctor may increase the dose to 10 mg daily.
Your doctor may have prescribed a different dose.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of the correct dose for you.
They will tell you exactly how much to take.
Follow the instructions they give you.
If you take the wrong dose, CILOPAM-S may not work as well and your condition may not improve.
How to take it
Swallow the tablets whole with a full glass of water.
Do not chew them.
When to take it
Take CILOPAM-S as a single dose either in the morning or in the evening.
Take CILOPAM-S with or without food.
How long to take it
Continue to take CILOPAM-S even if it takes some time before you feel any improvement in
As with other medicines for the treatment of these conditions it may take a few weeks before you
feel any improvement.
Individuals will vary greatly in their response to CILOPAM-S. Your doctor will check your progress
at regular intervals.
The duration of treatment may vary for each individual, but is usually at least 6 months.
In some cases the doctor may decide that longer treatment is necessary.
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you, even if you begin to feel
The underlying illness may persist for a long time and if you stop your treatment too soon, your
symptoms may return.
Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly.
If CILOPAM-S is stopped suddenly you may experience mild, but usually temporary, symptoms
such as dizziness, pins and needles, electric shock sensations, sleep disturbances (vivid dreams,
inability to sleep), feeling anxious or agitated, headaches, feeling sick (nausea), vomiting,
sweating, tremor (shaking), feeling confused, feeling emotional or irritable, diarrhoea, visual
disturbances, or fast or irregular heart beats.
When you have completed your course of treatment, the dose of CILOPAM-S is gradually reduced
over a couple of weeks rather than stopped abruptly.
Your doctor will tell you how to reduce the dosage so that you do not get these unwanted effects.
If you forget to take it
If you miss a dose and remember in less than 12 hours, take it straight away, and then go
back to taking it as you would normally.
Otherwise, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take the
next dose when you are meant to.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you have missed.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for hints.
If you take too much (Overdose)
Telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (Australia: 13 11 26), or go to
Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital immediately if you think that you or
anyone else may have taken too much CILOPAM-S, even if there are no signs of discomfort
You may need urgent medical attention.
Symptoms of an overdose may include dizziness, low blood pressure, nausea (feeling sick),
vomiting, agitation, tremor (shaking) and rarely convulsions and coma.
While you are taking CILOPAM-S
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that
you are taking CILOPAM-S.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this
If you become pregnant while taking CILOPAM-S, tell your doctor immediately.
Persons taking CILOPAM-S may be more likely to think about killing themselves or actually
trying to do so, especially when CILOPAM-S is first started or the dose is changed. Tell your
doctor immediately if you have thoughts about killing yourself or if you are close to or care
for someone using CILOPAM-S who talks about or shows signs of killing him or herself.
All mentions of suicide or violence must be taken seriously.
Occasionally, the symptoms of depression may include thoughts of suicide or self-harm. It is
possible that these symptoms continue or get worse until the full antidepressant effect of the
medicine becomes apparent. This is more likely to occur if you are a young adult, i.e. 18 to 24
years of age, and you have not used antidepressant medicines before.
Patients and care givers should pay attention for any of the following warning signs of
suicide-related behaviour while taking CILOPAM-S. Tell your doctor immediately, or even go
to the nearest hospital for treatment:
thoughts or talk of death or suicide
thoughts or talk of self-harm or harm to others
any recent attempts of self-harm
increase in aggressive behaviour, irritability or agitation.
Do not stop taking this medicine or change the dose without consulting your doctor, even if
you experience increased anxiety at the beginning of treatment.
At the beginning of treatment, some patients may experience increased anxiety which will
disappear during continued treatment.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as restlessness or difficulty
in sitting or standing still.
These symptoms can occur during the first weeks of treatment.
Contact your doctor as soon as possible if you suddenly experience an episode of mania.
Some patients with bipolar disorder (manic depression) may enter into a manic phase. This is
characterised by profuse and rapidly changing ideas, exaggerated gaiety and excessive physical
Sometimes you may be unaware of the above-mentioned symptoms and therefore you may find it
helpful to ask a friend or relative to help you to observe the possible signs of change in your
Things you must not do
Do not give the tablets to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not take CILOPAM-S to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not stop taking CILOPAM-S, or lower the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
Do not let yourself run out of medicine over the weekend or on holidays.
Suddenly stopping CILOPAM-S may cause unwanted discontinuation symptoms such as
dizziness, headache and nausea. Your doctor will tell you when and how CILOPAM-S should be
discontinued. Your doctor will gradually reduce the amount you are using, usually over a period of
one to two weeks, before stopping completely.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how CILOPAM-S affects you.
It may cause nausea, fatigue and dizziness in some people, especially early in the treatment. If you
have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be
Avoid alcohol while you are taking this medicine.
It is not advisable to drink alcohol while you are being treated for depression.
All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the
time they are not. Your doctor has weighed the risks of using this medicine against the benefits
he/she expects it will have for you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are
It helps most people with depression, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), generalised anxiety
disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few
The side effects of CILOPAM-S are, in general, mild and disappear after a short period of time.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
decreased appetite or loss of appetite
nausea (feeling sick)
fatigue, sleepiness or drowsiness, yawning
sexual disturbances (decreased sexual drive; problems with ejaculation or erection; women may
experience difficulties achieving orgasm).
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
agitation, confusion, panic attacks*, anxiety, restlessness*
dizziness when you stand up due to low blood pressure*
low sodium levels in the blood (the symptoms are feeling sick and unwell with weak muscles or
abnormal liver function tests (increased amounts of liver enzymes in the blood)*
unusual secretion of breast milk*
Bleeding disorders including skin and mucous bleeding (e.g. bruising*) and a low level of blood
rash, itching, patches of circumscribed swellings.
An increased risk of bone fractures has been observed in patients taking this type of medicine.*
These may be serious side effects of CILOPAM-S. You may need urgent medical attention.
Tell your doctor immediately, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if
you notice any of the following:
Thoughts of harming yourself or thoughts of suicide, see also section "Things you must do"*.
serious allergic reaction (symptoms of an allergic reaction may include swelling of the face, lips,
mouth or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing, or hives)
high fever, agitation, confusion, trembling and abrupt contractions of muscles (these symptoms
may be signs of a rare condition called serotonin syndrome)*
mania (i.e.: elevated mood and associated symptoms)*
seizures, tremors, movement disorders (involuntary movements of the muscles)*.
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
*The side effects marked with an asterisk (*) are a number of rare side effects that are known to
occur with medicines that work in a similar way to CILOPAM-S.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may occur in some people.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
After taking CILOPAM-S
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take CILOPAM-S out of the blister pack it will not keep well.
Keep it in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard, at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground, is a good place to store
Do not leave it in the car on hot days.
Ask your pharmacist what to do with any CILOPAM-S tablets you have left over if your
doctor tells you to stop taking them, or you find that the expiry date has passed.
What CILOPAM-S looks like:
CILOPAM-S 5 mg tablets are white to off-white, circular, biconvex film-coated tablets with ‘C5’
embossed on one side and plain on other side in blister packs of 14*, 28*, 56* and 98* tablets.
CILOPAM-S 10 mg tablets are white to off-white, oval, biconvex film-coated tablets with ‘C4’
embossed on one side and notch break-line on other side in blister packs of 14*, 28*, 56* and 98*
CILOPAM-S 20 mg tablets are white to off-white, oval, biconvex film-coated tablets with ‘C3’
embossed on one side and notch break-line on other side in blister packs of 14*, 28*, 56* and 98*
* Some pack sizes and presentations may not be marketed.
CILOPAM-S contains escitalopram oxalate as the active ingredient, equivalent to escitalopram 5
mg, 10 mg and 20 mg.
The tablets also contain the following in-active ingredients:
Colloidal anhydrous silica;
Macrogol 400; and
Eris Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Ltd
6 Eastern Road,
South Melbourne Vic. 3205
This leaflet was prepared in October 2013.
AUST R 191871
AUST R 191884
AUST R 191878