Celexa is the brand name of a medication called citalopram hydrobromide. It’s an antidepressant that is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, known as an SSRI. This medication is a first-choice drug for treating adults with depression as well as those with major depressive disorder. It’s not approved for use in children. After starting this medication, it can take a few weeks for patients to start noticing mood improvements.

It’s important to keep taking this medication unless the doctor indicates that you should top it. Generally, a doctor will have the patient taper off this medication so that there aren’t any withdrawal symptoms. These can include anxiety, insomnia, and stomach upset.

This medication works to improve mood by increasing the body’s amount of serotonin. This is a natural chemical that the body already makes. It’s used in the brand to help keep a balanced mental state. Getting more serotonin in those who are deficient in it can help to raise the mood and fix a chemical imbalance.

Precautions and Warnings of Celexa

This medication carries a warning about being used for depression in anyone under 25. Many antidepressants can cause younger people to have suicidal thoughts, and these include Celexa.

Celexa can cause patients to develop a heart rhythm condition called QT prolongation. This condition can cause fainting, dizziness, and an irregular or fast heartbeat. If this happens to you, you need to get medical care as fast as possible. Your risk of developing QT prolongation is higher if you have any heart problems such as a recent heart attack or any heart problems in your family. There’s also a higher risk if you take diuretics, you have a low magnesium or potassium level in your blood or you develop severe vomiting, diarrhea, or sweating.

It’s possible for Celexa to cause blurry vision and drowsiness. Find out how Celexa affects you before you drive a car. Taking cannabis or drinking alcohol while on Celexa can make these effects worse. Avoid using both while on this medication.

If you’re going to have any type of surgery, let the doctor or dentist know that you take this drug as well as any other medications you’re on. If you’re an older adult, you are at a higher risk of developing side effects such as loss of coordination, bleeding, and QT prolongation. This can put them at a higher risk of falling.

Don’t stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor. Leaving mood and mental problems untreated can be serious.

If you’re planning to become pregnant or may become pregnant, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication. There may be risks to the baby, but this medication may be truly needed. In some cases, babies are born with withdrawal from this medication, though this is rare. If this happens, it can cause muscle stiffness, constant crying, problems with eating and breathing, and seizures. Let the doctor know immediately if your baby has these symptoms. Celexa does go into breast milk, and it can pose a risk to babies.

If you get new mental symptoms or your existing symptoms get worse while taking Celexa, tell your doctor right away. This is especially important if you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or you feel agitated, aggressive, impulsive, or you have panic attacks.

If you’re allergic to Celexa, tell your doctor and don’t take this medication. Before you take it, make sure that your doctor knows your full medical history. It’s particularly important to tell your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • History of bipolar disorder or a family history of it
  • Any suicide attempts or suicide attempts in your family
  • Low sodium in your blood
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • A history of glaucoma or a family history of it
  • Sexual problems
  • A history of stroke
  • Bleeding problems
  • Heart problems

Celexa Side Effects

Many side effects can occur while taking Celexa, though you may not have any. If you do have one or more, it may go away after a few weeks of taking this drug.

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects are:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Symptoms of a cold like sore throat, sneezing, and a stuffy nose
  • Feeling shaky, agitated, or anxious
  • Sexual problems
  • Thirst, dry mouth, increased urination, or increased sweating
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, or diarrhea
  • Insomnia, feeling tired or weak, and yawning
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding or nosebleeds
  • More muscle movement

Serious Side Effects

There may also be serious side effects that you need to tell your doctor about right away. These include:

  • Feeling so lightheaded you think you’ll pass out
  • Getting blurry vision, redness or pain in the eyes, or seeing a halo when you look at a light
  • Heartbeats that are pounding or fast, shortness of breath, fluttering in the chest, chest pain, or sudden dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Having bleeding that’s unusual for you such as bleeding gums, nosebleeds, or any other bleed that won’t stop
  • Symptoms of low sodium in the blood: confusion, weakness, headache, memory or thinking problems, or an unsteady feeling
  • Symptoms of a serious nervous system reaction: rigid muscles, confusion, tremors, sweating, high fever, or uneven or fast heartbeats
  • Symptoms of manic episodes: being talkative or agitated, risky behavior, needing less sleep, having more energy, and racing thoughts
  • Symptoms of serotonin syndrome: hallucinations, vomiting, shivering, sweating, agitation, rapid heart rate, nausea, loss of coordination, diarrhea, fever, or twitching

Celexa Drug Interactions

Many medications cause adverse reactions when they are paired with Celexa. Make sure you tell your doctor about everything you take, even if it’s an OTC herbal supplement or pain reliever. Some of the drugs that can interact poorly with Celexa include:

  • Linezolid
  • Dronedarone
  • Fungal infection medications like ketoconazole and fluconazole
  • Escitalopram
  • Cisapride
  • Thioridazine
  • Methylene blue
  • MAOIs like Marplan and Parnate
  • Pimozide
  • Alcohol
  • Aspirin and similar drugs
  • Many drugs for anxiety, depression, and psychosis
  • Amphetamines
  • Carbamazepine
  • Erythromycin and many other medications that treat infections
  • Migraine medications such as naratriptan and almotriptan
  • Some sleep medications
  • Diuretics
  • Mediations for preventing blood clots such as warfarin
  • Fentanyl
  • Cimetidine
  • Methadone
  • Lithium
  • NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen
  • Procarbazine
  • Omeprazole
  • Tramadol
  • Ziprasidone
  • Rasagiline
  • Tryptophan
  • Herbal supplements such as valerian, kava kava, and St. John’s wort

Strengths and Dosages of Celexa

Celexa is only available as an oral tablet. The drug comes in three strengths – 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg. Usually, patients start out on a small starter dose that is increased slowly over time. Typically, adults get anywhere from 20 mg to 40 mg a day. The highest dose is 40 mg per day.

Oral tablets:10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

Cost of Celexa in the USA

The strength of the tablets and the pharmacy you choose will each affect the price you’ll pay. For a month of the 20 mg strength, the price is about $370. Typical costs for this drug are between $200 to $400. You can get a lower price by using a free coupon card that is available in most pharmacies.

Why Is Celexa So Expensive?

This medication is in high demand because it is generally so well tolerated. It’s a proven medication that has been sought after because there are so many people who need to take antidepressants, and this one generally comes with few if any side effects. However, there is a generic available that can cost significantly less.

Celexa Alternatives

There is a wide range of antidepressants on the market. Lexapro is often prescribed as an alternative to Celexa. Other possible alternatives include Cymbalta, Wellbutrin XL, Zoloft, and Fluoxetine.

Celexa FAQs

What is Celexa used for?

It’s an antidepressant that’s made to treat patients who have depression or major depressive disorder.

How long does it take for Celexa to work?

Many patients start to feel a difference after one to four weeks. However, it can take as long as 12 weeks to get the full effect of this medication.

How long does Celexa stay in your system?

It can take about one week for this medication to leave your system completely.

How does Celexa work?

It’s an SSRI, meaning that it causes the brain to have more serotonin so that mood is elevated and more stable.

How to taper off Celexa?

Follow your doctor’s plan to taper off the medication. The doctor will create a plan that takes into account your dosage and what kind of effects you’re having so that you can wean off the medication slowly and prevent withdrawal.

When is the best time to take Celexa?

This medication can be taken at any time of the day or night, but it should be taken close to the same time each day.

How to avoid weight gain on Celexa?

To avoid weight gain, avoid high-calorie foods. Eat several small, healthy meals each day instead of three larger ones. Get plenty of exercise and cut out sugary sweets whenever possible, including sodas.

How long does Celexa withdrawal last?

The amount of time it takes depends on the individual. It can vary from a few days to a few months. It typically lasts at least four weeks.

What is the difference between Celexa and Lexapro?

While both are SSRIs, each has a different active ingredient. Celexa is the brand name of a medication containing citalopram while Lexapro is the brand name of escitalopram.

Who makes Celexa?

Forest Laboratories, Inc., is the manufacturer.

When does Celexa peak?

It peaks at around 12 weeks.

What happens if I miss a dose of Celexa?

If it’s been a few hours or less since you missed your dose, you can take the missed dose then. If more time has passed and the time for your next dose is coming up, don’t take the missed dose. Never double up on your doses.

What happens if I have taken too much Celexa?

If you’ve taken too much of this medication, call your doctor or for emergency medical care if you’re having severe side effects. You can also call a poison control center if you aren’t sure what to do.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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