Celexa - Use | Dosage | Side Effects

This article was medically reviewed by M.Pharm, Marko Tanaskovic on August 12, 2018. To read more about an author, click here.

Celexa (Citalopram) is a medicine that belongs to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Celexa belongs to a group of medicines known as antidepressants which act to relieve symptoms of depression. Celexa is used to treat depression and prevent the return of symptoms of the disease when the patient feels better. It can also be used to relieve symptoms in patients prone to panic attacks. Treatment for depression typically last longer than six months, while treatment for panic disorder last three months minimum.

Do not use this medicine

  • If you are allergic to Celexa or to any of the excipients of the medicine;
  • If you are taking pimozide at the same time (a medicine in the treatment of schizophrenia and psychoses);
  • If you are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors at the same time (medicine for depression) or selegiline (a medicine used to treat Parkinson's disease).

If you are on the treatment with irreversible inhibitor of monoamine oxidase you should not use Celexa. When you finish treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors you must wait at least fourteen days before you start treatment with Celexa. Monoamine oxidase inhibitor treatment can be started fourteen days after discontinuation of Celexa.

When to be careful when applying this medicine

  • If you entered a manic phase. In this case you need to stop taking Celexa
  • If you suffer from anxiety. In some patients with panic disorders, exacerbation of anxiety may occur at the beginning of antidepressant therapy. This paradoxical effect usually resolves within two weeks.
  • If you have severe renal or hepatic impairment or heart problems
  • If you have heart problems
  • If you suffer from diabetes. In patients with diabetes, treatment with Celexa may affect blood sugar levels. The dose of insulin and / or other medicines to treat blood sugar must be adjusted.
  • If you suffer from epilepsy or have previously had seizures. Celexa should be discontinued immediately if you experience seizures. Celexa should not be used inpatients with unstable epilepsy. If the frequency of seizures increases, then you must stop taking this medicine.
  • If you have bleeding
  • If you have low levels of sodium in the blood
  • If you are receiving electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock)
  • If you have closed-angle glaucoma
  • If you have akathisia or psychomotor restlessness

If any of the above applies to you, be sure to tell your doctor before you start using Celexa. Considering that Celexa is medicine from SSRI group you may experience serotonin syndrome. If you experience symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: intense excitement, tremors, muscle spasms and high fever, you should stop taking Celexa and call your doctor. In such cases symptomatic treatment should be initiated.

Thinking about suicide and worsening of depression and anxiety

If you suffer from depression and / or anxiety, you may sometimes think about suicide or self-harming. In the beginning of antidepressant treatment such thoughts can be increased, considering that these medicines need about two weeks to start working. These adverse effects are more likely if you've been thinking about suicide or self-harming in the past or if you are younger than 18 years. If you notice thoughts about suicide or self-harming immediately contact your physician! If you suffer from depression and / or anxiety, your family and friends should notify doctor if they notice any changes in your behavior.

Children and adolescents under the age of 18

Celexa is not intended for use in children and adolescents under the age of 18. Be aware that patients under the age of 18 who take this medicine have an increased risk of side effects, such as: suicidal thoughts and aggression. However, your doctor may decide that you start taking Celexa.

Elderly patients

Dose should be adjusted depending on individual patient's response.

Taking Celexa with food and liquid

Although there is no evidence of interaction between Celexa and alcohol you should refrain from drinking alcohol during Celexa treatment.

Celexa and its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you use antidepressants during the last three months of your pregnancy, following adverse effects may occur in newborns: difficulty breathing, muscle stiffness, restlessness, blue-colored skin, high or low body temperature, insomnia and vomiting. Tell your doctor if your baby has any of these symptoms.


There is not enough data regarding the safety of Celexa use in pregnant women. Celexa should not be used during pregnancy unless your doctor think that is you are necessary to be treated with Celexa after careful evaluation. If this medicine is used during pregnancy, dose should be decreased and if possible, treatment should be discontinued in the last weeks before delivery.


Celexa passes into breast milk in small amounts. Celexa should not be used during breastfeeding

Taking Celexa with other medications

Avoid use of following medications while you are on the treatment with Celexa:

  • Phenelzine, tranylcypromine and isocarboxazid (MAO inhibitors). You must wait 14 days after the end of MAO inhibitors treatment and than you can start taking Celexa
  • Pimozide (medicine for treatment of schizophrenia and psychoses)
  • St. John's wort
  • Metoprolol (a beta blocker mostly used to treat heart diseases and migraine)
  • Lithium and tryptophan (a medicines that is prescribed for patients with depression or those who are prone to panic attacks)
  • Insulin and other anti-diabetic medications
  • Blood thinners
  • Painkillers
  • Triptans (medications for migraine treatment)
  • Tramadol (narcotic painkiller)
  • Cimetidine
  • Desipramine

How to take Celexa

Celexa should always be taken as your doctor has told you. If you are not sure, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Oral use

Dosage and duration should be determined by your doctor. This medicine should be taken once a day with plenty of fluids in the morning or evening. Celexa can be taken regardless of meals.


If you take a higher dose of Celexa than you should immediately contact your doctor or pharmacist! Celexa overdose may be manifested with the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, sweating, rapid heart rate (tachycardia), drowsiness, coma, dystonia, seizures, rapid and deep breathing. It also can lead to arrhythmia, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, sudden transient loss of consciousness and serotonin syndrome.

Side effects

Like all other medicines, Celexa can cause side effects. They are usually mild and transient. In particular, extra precautions should be taken during the first few weeks of the treatment. The following side effects may occur while on Celexa treatment:

  • Drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Headache
  • Tremor
  • Dry mouth
  • Palpitations
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Postural hypotension
  • Indigestion
  • Euphoria
  • Extrapyramidal syndrome
  • Decreased libido
  • Rhinitis
  • Irregular secretion of antidiuretic hormone

This medicine is also known: Citalopram, Cipramil

Information on this website are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.