Open-label treatment with citalopram in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A pilot study

Prakash S. Masand, Sanjay Gupta, Thomas L. Schwartz, Subhdeep Virk, Ahmad Hameed, David S. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: This open-label pilot study investigated whether the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) citalopram improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a functional gastrointestinal disorder with frequent psychiatric comorbidity. Method: Fifteen patients meeting Rome I criteria for IBS were administered open-label citalopram (20-40 mg/day) for 12 weeks. The study was conducted from October 2000 to August 2001. Results: Twelve (80%) of the 15 subjects reported a ≥ 50% decrease in the presence of abdominal pain, 10 (67%) reported a ≥ 50% reduction in the severity of the symptom, and 12 (80%) reported a ≥ 50% reduction in the frequency of the symptom. Approximately one half of the patients met criteria for remission (≥ 70% improvement) of abdominal pain. Conclusion: Results of this pilot study suggest that large controlled trials are needed to further evaluate the efficacy of SSRIs such as citalopram for the treatment of IBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-166
Number of pages5
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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