- What is citalopram (Celexa) and how does it work?
- Do I need a prescription for citalopram (Celexa)?
- What are the side effects of citalopram (Celexa)?
- What is the dosage for citalopram (Celexa)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with citalopram (Celexa)?
- Is citalopram (Celexa) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about citalopram (Celexa)?
What is citalopram (Celexa) and how does it work?
Citalopram is an antidepressant medication that affects neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves within the brain use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are manufactured and released by nerves and then travel and attach to nearby nerves. Thus, neurotransmitters can be thought of as the communication system of the brain. Many experts believe that an imbalance among neurotransmitters is the cause of depression. Citalopram works by preventing the uptake of one neurotransmitter, serotonin, by nerve cells after it has been released. Since uptake is an important mechanism for removing released neurotransmitters and terminating their actions on adjacent nerves, the reduced uptake caused by citalopram results in more free serotonin in the brain to stimulate nerve cells. Citalopram is in the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that also contains fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft). Citalopram was approved by the FDA in July 1998.
Citalopram is approved for treating depression. It is also used off-label for treating:
What are the side effects of citalopram (Celexa)?
The most common side effects associated with citalopram are
Overall, between 1 in 6 and 1 in 5 persons experience a side effect. Citalopram is also associated with sexual dysfunction. Some patients may experience withdrawal reactions upon stopping citalopram. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of citalopram or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.
What is the dosage for citalopram (Celexa)?
The usual starting dose is 20 mg in the morning or evening. The dose may be increased to 40 mg daily after one week. A dose of 60 mg has not been shown to be more effective than 40 mg. As with all antidepressants, it may take several weeks of treatment before maximum effects are seen. Doses are often slowly adjusted upwards to find the most effective dose.
Which drugs or supplements interact with citalopram (Celexa)?
All SSRIs, including citalopram, should not be taken with any of the mono-amine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor-class of antidepressants, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl), and procarbazine (Matulane). Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure, tremor, and hyperactivity. If treatment is to be changed from citalopram to an MAOI or vice-versa, there should be a 14 day period without either drug before the alternative drug is started. Tryptophan, a common dietary supplement, can cause headaches, nausea, sweating, and dizziness when taken with any SSRI. Linezolid and intravenous methylene blue are also MAO inhibitors and should not be combined with citalopram.
Use of an SSRI with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other drugs that affect bleeding may increase the likelihood of upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
Is citalopram (Celexa) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Exposure of neonates to citalopram in the third trimester may cause complications.
What else should I know about citalopram (Celexa)?
Do I need a prescription for citalopram?
Yes, a prescription is needed.
Is citalopram available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
What brand names are available for citalopram?
What preparations of citalopram are available?
Tablets: 10, 20, and 40 mg. Solution: 10 mg/5 ml
How should I keep citalopram stored?
Citalopram should be stored at room temperature, 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F).
Latest Depression News
Daily Health News
Citalopram (Celexa) is an antidepressant drug used to treat: depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric syndrome (PMDD), anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
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Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain. Diseases and medications can also cause low blood pressure. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys; the organs do not function normally and may be permanently damaged.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include; depression, irritability, crying, oversensitivity, and mood swings. For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
Phobias are unrelenting fears of activities (social phobias), situations (agoraphobia), and specific items (arachnophobia). There is thought to be a hereditary component to phobias, though there may be a cultural influence or they may be triggered by life events. Symptoms and signs of phobias include having a panic attack, shaking, breathing troubles, rapid heartbeat, and a strong desire to escape the situation. Treatment of phobias typically involves desensitization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and beta-blockers.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is considered a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMDD has also been referred to as late luteal phase dysphoric disorder. The cause of PMDD is unknown. Some of the common symptoms of PMDD (not an inclusive list) include mood swings, bloating, fatigue, headache, irritability, headache, breast tenderness, acne, and hot flashes. Treatment for PMDD is with medication to treat the symptoms of PMDD.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
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Cocaine and Crack Abuse
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Depression in Children
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Childhood ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children)
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Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. Different types of psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, shared psychotic disorder, delusional disorder, substance-induced psychotic disorder, paraphrenia, and psychotic disorders due to medical conditions.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to suffer repeated obsessions and compulsions. Symptoms include irresistible impulses despite a person's realization that the thoughts are irrational, excessive hand washing, skin picking, lock checking, or repeatedly rearranging items. People with OCD are more likely to develop trichotillomania, muscle or vocal tics, or an eating disorder. Treatment for OCD includes psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication.
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Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are mental illnesses that share some risk factors and treatments. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include mood changes and manic and depressive episodes. Symptoms of schizophrenia include unusual behavior, delusions, and hallucinations.
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion to food. Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder and is a condition that goes well beyond out-of-control dieting. With anorexia, the drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one's body. There are psychological and behavioral symptoms as well as physical symptoms of anorexia including: depression, social withdrawal, fatigue, food obsession, heart and gastrointestinal complications, kidney function, flaky skin, brittle nails, and tooth loss (this list is not exhaustive).
Agoraphobia is a fear of being outside or of being in a situation from which escape would be impossible. Symptoms include anxiety, fear, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, or dizziness. Treatment may incorporate psychotherapy, self-exposure to the anxiety-causing situation, and medications such as SSRIs, benzodiazepines, and beta-blockers.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Separation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults can suffer from symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. Common separation anxiety treatment methods include therapy and medications. Factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully a child moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include: how well the parent and child reunite, the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues. For example, children of anxious parents tend to be anxious children.
Dysthymia is a less severe form of chronic depression. Symptoms and signs include insomnia, suicidal thoughts, guilt, empty feeling, loss of energy, helplessness, sluggishness, and persistent aches and pains. Treatment may involve psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and antidepressants.
Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within a year after delivery. It is thought that rapid hormone changes after childbirth may lead to depression. Symptoms of postpartum depression include crying a lot, headaches, chest pains, eating too little or too much, sleeping too little or too much, withdrawal from friends and family, and feeling irritable, sad, hopeless, worthless, guilty, and overwhelmed. Treatment typically involves talk therapy and medication.
People with bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder that involves episodes of bingeing and purging, experience symptoms and signs such as deteriorating teeth, sore throat, constipation, thinning hair, and dehydration. Treatment of bulimia may involve cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, nutritional counseling, and medication.
Sick Building Syndrome
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or also referred to as sick building syndrome or environmental illness is the name given by some to a condition in which various symptoms reportedly appear after a person has been exposed to any of a wide range of chemicals. The exposure may occur as a major event, such as a chemical spill, or from long-term contact with low-levels of chemicals, such as in an office with poor ventilation. As a result of exposure, people with MCS (Si ck Building Syndrome) develop sensitivity and have reactions to the chemicals even at levels most people can tolerate.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include tiredness, fatigue, depression, irritability, body aches, poor sleep, and overeating.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Mood Swings
- Poor Hygiene
- Unusual Behavior
- Inability to Regulate Emotions
- Illness Anxiety Disorder (Hypochondria)
- Panic Attack
- Bipolar Disorder
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Teen Depression
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder FAQs
- Panic Attacks Disorder FAQs
- Bipolar Disorder Mania FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
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Medications & Supplements
- Antidepressants (Depression Medications)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Prozac Weekly)
- fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva)
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- Celexa vs. Cymbalta (Comparison of Differences and Similarities)
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Prevention & Wellness
- Common Antidepressants May Work in Unexpected Way: Study
- 1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: Study
- Study Finds No Heart Risk From SSRI Antidepressants
- Certain Antidepressants May Be Linked to Bipolar Disorder: Study
- Antidepressants During Pregnancy Have Benefits, Risks: Study
- Common Antidepressants Linked to Higher Fracture Odds in Menopausal Women
- Risk to Baby From Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Is Small, Study Says
- Depression During Pregnancy Linked to Child's Asthma Risk
- Certain Allergy, Depression Meds Tied to Higher Odds for Dementia
- Study Questions Link Between Antidepressants, Miscarriage
- Weight Gain From Antidepressants Is Minimal, Study Suggests
- Could Certain Antidepressants Slow Alzheimer's?
- Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Not Linked to Autism
- Antidepressants Celexa, Lexapro Tied to Irregular Heartbeat: Study
- Common Antidepressants Too Risky During Pregnancy, Researchers Say
- Some Antidepressants May Raise Stroke Risk
- FDA Adds More Warnings to Antidepressant's Label
- Newer Antidepressants Work Equally Well, Study Finds
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- Prozac May Lessen Autism Symptom in Adults
- FDA Warns of Celexa Heart Risk
- Recall of Generic Citalopram, Finasteride
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