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Celexa (Citalopram) is an antidepressant medication used to help treat depression including major depressive disorder (MDD).
Celexa belongs to the class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The medication works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin to increase the available amount and improve the serotonergic system. Unlike tricyclic antidepressants, Citalopram does not cause adverse anticholinergic or cardiovascular affects.
Thanks to its effect on the brain’s serotonin, this medication may also help relieve symptoms of illnesses related to serotonergic dysfunction including: anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual dysphoria, alcohol dependence, and behavioral disturbances of dementia.
Uses and Dosages
The dose of Celexa prescribed will depend on who and what is being treated. Follow your doctor’s instructions; do not take more than you are prescribed.
- Take with or without food
- Adults typically start with 20mg once a day
- Adults should not take more than 40mg per day
- Adults over 60 are advised not to take more than 20mg a day
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can
- Do not double dose
Since Celexa affects your brain and its serotonin, this medication may cause some side effects.
Speak with your doctor immediately if you have new or sudden mood or behavior changes such as new or worse depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, restless, more active, or have suicidal thoughts.
Common Celexa side effects include:
- Sexual problems
- Dry mouth or increased thirst
- Increased sweating or urination
- Loss of appetite, nausea
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Anxious, agitated, or shaky feeling
- Insomnia or other sleep problems
- Increased muscle movement
- Nosebleeds, heavier menstrual bleeding
- Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat)
Consult with your doctor for more information and advice on any side effects that you may encounter.
Serious Side Effects
Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following serious side effects when taking Celexa.
- Light-headed, sudden dizziness like you might pass out
- Blurred vision, seeing halos around lights
- Eye pain or redness
- Fast or pounding heartbeats
- Unusual chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Manic episodes (racing thoughts, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, risk-taking, being agitated or talkative)
- Severe nervous system reaction (stiff, rigid muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors)
- Low blood sodium (headache, confusion, problems thinking or remembering, weakness, feeling unsteady)
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of serotonin syndrome such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, stiff muscles, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Do not take Celexa if you are allergic to citalopram or escitalopram. Stop taking and seek medical attention if you notice an allergic reaction.
Celexa allergy symptoms may include:
- Joint pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
Do not use this medication two weeks before or after using an MAO inhibitor. These include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, and tranylcypromine.
Consult with your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Celexa. This medication could harm your baby if taken while pregnant or breastfeeding.
When first taking this medication, young people may notice an increase in suicidal thoughts. Keep track of your moods and symptoms.
Also tell your doctor if you use a stimulant, opioid, herbal product, or other medicine for depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, infection, or to prevent nausea. Some of these medications could interact with Celexa and cause serotonin syndrome.
Celexa may increase your risk of heart problems. This risk is increased if the medication is taken with others for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV. Consult with your doctor.
Form and Strength
This medication is available in tablet form.
Celexa strengths and quantities available:
Celexa 10mg tablets are available in quantities of 84, 20mg tablets come in quantities of 28 or 84, and there are quantities of 30, 84, or 90 available for 40mg.
What is the difference between Celexa and Lexapro?
Both Celexa and Lexapro are SSRIs. Celexa is a branded version of citalopram, a mixture of two stereoisomers, while Lexapro is a branded version of escitalopram, which only contains one isomer. They are both FDA approved to treat depression and have similar effects. Consult with your doctor to determine which is best for you.
How long does it take for Celexa to work?
This medication may take one or two weeks to begin relieving symptoms and between four and six for full benefits to be noticeable. Citalopram levels need this time to build up in your body and for you to adapt to it.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Celexa?
Yes, you can drink alcohol while taking this medication, but it might make you sleepy. See how this medicine affects you before drinking.
10mg, 20mg, 40mg
28, 30, 84, 90