By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Celexa Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is Celexa® (citalopram) used for?

Celexa® is an antidepressant that is commonly used to treat depression.

It may improve your energy level and feelings of well-being. Citalopram is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). This medication works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.

How should I take Celexa® (citalopram)?

Take Celexa® exactly as prescribed and directedby your doctor. This medication can be taken with or without food, usually once daily in the morning or evening.

It may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms improve. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.

Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

How do I store Celexa® (citalopram)?

Celexa® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Celexa® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Celexa® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Celexa® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Celexa® (citalopram)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Celexa® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Celexa® if you also take pimozide, or if you are being treated with methylene blue injection.

Do not Celexa® if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Taking an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may cause serious lung problems or other complications in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.

Citalopram can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Celexa®.

Do not give Celexa® to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice. Citalopram is not approved for use in children.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Celexa® (citalopram)?

Common side effects may include:

  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased sweating
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Feeling shaky
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Feeling tired
  • Yawning
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat
  • Changes in weight
  • Difficulty having an orgasm

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • Blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights
  • Headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats
  • Severe nervous system reaction – very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
  • High levels of serotonin in the body – agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting
  • Low levels of sodium in the body – headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, feeling unsteady

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Celexa® (citalopram)?

Celexa® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are antiplatelet drugs (such as clopidogrel), NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), “blood thinners” (such as warfarin).

Does food or alcohol interact with Celexa® (citalopram)?

Celexa® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Celexa® (citalopram)?

Celexa® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Depression
  • Renal Dysfunction
  • Hyponatremia
  • Liver Disease
  • Mania
  • Platelet Function
  • Qt Prolongation
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Siadh
  • Weight Loss


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Celexa® (citalopram) for an adult?

For Depression

Initial dose: 20 mg orally once a day.

Maintenance dose: 20 to 40 mg orally once a day.

Maximum dose: 40 mg orally per day.

Over 60 years of age: recommended dose is 20 mg orally once a day.

What is the dose of Celexa® (citalopram) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Celexa® (citalopram) available?

Celexa® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablets, film coated: citalopram hydrobromide 10mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Celexa®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: July 12, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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