What is Celexa (Citalopram)?
Citalopram is in selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, and it’s an antidepressant, used to treat depression symptoms.
It may be used for other purposes than listed in this article.
Important information about Celexa (Citalopram)
Do not use citalopram if you have a known allergy to it or if you take a drug called pimozide. If you are being treated with methylene blue injections, citalopram is not able to be taken.
If you’ve taken an MAO inhibitor in the past two weeks, don’t use citalopram due to dangerous drug interactions being a possible occurrence. Some MAO inhibitors are linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazid.
When first taking an antidepressant young adults may have suicidal thoughts. Progress should be checked regularly by your doctor when using citalopram. Family or other caregivers should always be kept up-to-date about mood or symptoms.
Any worsening symptoms should be reported right away to your doctor. This includes panic attacks, trouble sleeping, impulsiveness, irritability, agitation, hostile moods, aggression, anxiety, restlessness, exasperated depression, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or hyperactivity (mentally or physically).
What to discuss with your healthcare provider before taking Celexa (Citalopram)
Don’t use citalopram if you have a known allergy to it, or if you’re taking pimozide. If you’re being treated with any form of methylene blue infections, this medication is not safe to take.
Citalopram should not be used within two weeks of taking an MAO inhibitor. Dangerous drug reactions can occur if you do so. Some MAO inhibitors are linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, isocarboxazid, tranylcypromine, and selegiline.
Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
- seizures or epilepsy
- personal or family history of Long QT syndrome
- liver or kidney disease
- heart disease, heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, slow heartbeats, or recent history of heart attack
- bipolar disorder (manic depression); or
- an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood)
- a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder
Antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts in young people. Your doctor should monitor your progress with regular visits while on citalopram. Family or other caregivers should always be kept alerted to changes in your symptoms or mood.
It’s in FDA pregnancy category C. SSRI antidepressants should not be taken during pregnancy or it can cause lung problems in the unborn child. If a relapse of depression starts after you stop taking your antidepressant, your doctor should be alerted right away. They should also be alerted if you become pregnant while on citalopram. Don’t start or stop citalopram during any phase of your pregnancy without doctor’s advice.
It can pass into breast milk, so it can be harmful to a nursing baby. Breastfeeding while on citalopram is not recommended.
This medication should not be given to anyone under 18 unless advised by a doctor otherwise.
Side Effects of Celexa
Emergency medical help should be sought if any signs of allergic reaction appear. These include skin rash or hives, swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat, as well as difficulty breathing.
New or worsening symptoms should be reported to your doctor quickly. This includes impulsive feelings, agitated, hostile, irritable, aggressive, restless, exasperated depression, thoughts of suicide or self-harm, hyperactive (both mental and physical), panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or anxiety.
If you have any of the following, contact your doctor.
- agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, feeling like you might pass out
- headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats; or
- headache, slurred speech, severe weakness, muscle cramps, feeling unsteady, seizure (convulsions), shallow breathing (breathing may stop)
- stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
Common side effects:
- sleep problems (insomnia)
- mild nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, dry mouth
- increased sweating or urination, weight changes; or
- drowsiness, tired feeling
- decreased sex drive, impotence, or reaching orgasm
- cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough
This list is not complete with all of the side effects that can occur. Always call your current doctor for any medical advice about side effects. Unlisted side effects should be reported to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
You can experience tiredness or breathing increase when you take citalopram with other drugs. Your doctor should be asked before taking sleeping pills, narcotic pain medicine, and medicine for anxiety or seizures, or muscle relaxers with citalopram.
Citalopram can interact with various drugs. Not every possible interaction is listed in this document. Your doctor should know all the medications you are currently taking as well as anything you start or stop taking while on citalopram. Especially the ones listed below.
- a blood thinner like warfarin, Coumadin
- antibiotic–azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine
- anti-malaria medication–chloroquine, halofantrine, mefloquine
- arsenic trioxide, vandetanib
- heart rhythm medication–amiodarone, dofetilide, disopyramide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol
- HIV or AIDS medications
- medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting–dolasetron, droperidol, ondansetron
- medicines to treat psychiatric disorders–chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone
- migraine headache medicine–sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
- other antidepressants–amitriptyline, doxepin, clomipramine, desipramine, imipramine, nortriptyline, protriptyline, trimipramine
- pain medication–fentanyl, methadone, tramadol
- seizure medication; or
- St. John’s wort
- stomach acid reducers–cimetidine, lansoprazole, omeprazole
- trytophan (sometimes called L-tryptophan)
The list is not complete, but your doctor can tell you the rest. Prescription, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, or herbal products should be listed in your medications when you tell your health care provider.
What should be avoided when taking Celexa (Citalopram)
Before taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for things like arthritis, pain, swelling, or fever, you should ask your doctor. These include diclofenac, indomethacin, aspirin, celecoxib, meloxicam, and others. NSAID use while on citalopram may make you bruise or bleed easier.
Alcohol can increase the side effects while on citalopram.
This medication can impair your reactions or thinking process, so you should be careful driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert.
Proper Celexa Dosage
The directions on the prescription label should be followed to the letter. Your doctor may chane your dosage to make sure the best results are achieved. Don’t take this medicine in any amount other than the recommended one.
Liquid medicine should be measured with a medicine cup or dose-measuring spoon. Ask your pharmacist for one if you don’t have it already.
Expect it to take up to four weeks or longer before symptoms start to improve. Medication should continue to be taken as directed, but let your doctor know if they have not improved after four weeks.
Citalopram shouldn’t be stopped suddenly because withdrawal symptoms could start. So ask your doctor to safely help you stop citalopram.
It should be stored away from both moisture and heat, as well as at room temperature.
If an overdose of Celexa (Citalopram) occurs
Emergency medical attention must be sought or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
When you miss a dose of Celexa (Citalopram)
If you take celexa regularly, then do not take a missed dose too close to the time for the next one. If it is before the next one, make sure to take it as soon as you remember.