What is Celexa?

Celexa is a medication known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. The mediation is approved to treat major depressive disorder, but it is sometimes prescribed to treat other conditions.


When did the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the medication?

Celexa was first approved by the FDA in 1998.


Is there a generic version of Celexa?

Yes, the generic version of Celexa is known as citalopram and is sold in the U.S.


Are there any major differences between Celexa and other mental health medications?

Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). The drug is sold in tablet and oral solution form. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed type of antidepressants, and they work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. If you have bipolar disorder and take an SSRI, you may be at risk for triggering a manic episode if you are not also taking a mood stabilizer. Talk to your doctor about your specific symptoms, other health concerns, and other medications you take so they can make the best recommendation for your condition and symptoms.


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Can children take Celexa?

Celexa has not been approved for use in pediatric patients.


Are there potential interaction issues for people taking Celexa and any other drugs?

There are hundreds of drugs which are known to interact with Celexa in major, moderate, or mild ways, so let your doctor know what other medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins, and supplements you are taking before you begin taking the medication. Be sure to tell your doctor if you take or have taken an MAO inhibitor or escitalopram (Lexapro).


Are there any other medical conditions that would make someone ineligible for Celexa therapy?

Talk to your doctor about other medical conditions before you take Celexa, such as long QT syndrome, slow or irregular heartbeat, low levels of magnesium or potassium, high blood pressure, stroke, bleeding problems, heart attack, other heart conditions, kidney disease, or liver disease.


What is the typical dose that would be prescribed to someone taking Celexa?

Dosage will vary but is recommended not to exceed 40 mg per day.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

Take the dose of Celexa when you remember, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for your next dose. You should never take extra doses of the medication to make up for missed doses.


How long does it take for Celexa to reach full efficacy?

It may take several weeks or longer for the medication to be fully effective and for initial side effects to decrease.


What side effects can Celexa cause?

Common side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • diarrhea
  • nervousness
  • fatigue
  • sleep problems
  • sexual side effects

It also is recommended that you wait to drive or operate machinery until you know how the medication affects you. It is also recommended that people avoid alcohol and illegal drugs while on the medication, as they can worsen adverse effects. Report side effects to your doctor immediately. Serious side effects can include irregular heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, chest pain, fainting, loss of coordination, rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, bleeding or bruising, swelling, memory problems, seizures, hallucinating, and coma. You can also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online.


What are the potential psychological side effects of taking Celexa?

A small percentage of teens and young adults who take antidepressants experience an increase in suicidal thoughts and behavior. Seek medical help if you experience these thoughts or other changes in behavior or mood.


What are the potential long-term effects of taking Celexa?

Celexa can cause angle-closure glaucoma, so talk to your doctor about the risks.


Is it safe for a woman who is pregnant, about to become pregnant, or nursing to take Celexa?

There is limited research on Celexa and pregnancy, but animal studies show adverse effects on fetal development. The drug is excreted in breast milk. Therefore, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are nursing before you take Celexa.


Can symptoms occur if Celexa is discontinued?

It’s important not to discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor. Withdrawal symptoms of Celexa can include irritability, headache, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, nightmares, or tingling sensation on the skin.


What should I do if I overdose on Celexa?

An overdose of Celexa could be fatal, so seek immediate help or call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you overdose. Overdose symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, uncontrollable shaking, sweating, confusion, irregular heartbeat, fast breathing, blue color on mouth or fingers, confusion, muscle pain, dark-colored urine, and coma.


Is Celexa habit-forming?

Celexa is not habit-forming, but it is not recommended that you discontinue use of the drug before talking with your doctor, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.


How much does Celexa cost?

According to goodrx.com, 30 tablets of 20 mg generic citalopram cost approximately $22. 30 tablets of 20 mg Celexa cost approximately $268.


Are there any disadvantages to Celexa?

The biggest disadvantages of Celexa are the potential side effects. Talk to your doctor about what medication is best for you.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other healthcare providers. This article mentions drugs that were FDA-approved and available at the time of publication and may not include all possible drug interactions or all FDA warnings or alerts. The author of this page explicitly does not endorse this drug or any specific treatment method. If you have health questions or concerns about interactions, please check with your physician or go to the FDA site for a comprehensive list of warnings.

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Last Updated: Jan 3, 2018