Drug Class: Antidepressant, SSRI

Table of Contents


Celexa (Citalopram) is used to treat depression. It may improve feelings of well being as well as energy levels. It is classified as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.

Celexa may also be used to treat other mental conditions, such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For women in menopause, it may also be used to treat hot flashes.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How to Take It

This medicine should be taken about the same time every day, morning or evening and can be taken with or without food. This medicine may take up to 4 weeks to reach full effect, but you may see symptoms of depression improving in as little as 1 week.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • nausea
  • yawning
  • appetite loss
  • blurred vision
  • drowsiness
  • increased sweating

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • seizures
  • fainting
  • black stools
  • changes in sexual ability / decreased sex drive
  • irregular / fast heartbeat
  • bruising easily or bleeding
  • shaking or tremors

Warnings & Precautions

  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist of other drugs you are taking and if you have heart problems, including QT prolongation in the EKG, slow heartbeat, heart failure, or have had a recent heart attack.
  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have a family history of heart problems.
  • This medicine may cause blurred vision and drowsiness. DO NOT drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to this medicine.
  • Alcoholic beverages can increase the effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • Older adults may experience greater sensitivity to side effects of Celexa, particularly QT prolongation, bleeding, and loss of coordination.
  • Children may experience greater sensitivity to side effects of Celexa, particularly weight loss/ loss of appetite. Children taking this medication should have their height and weight monitored.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

Citalopram is available as a tablet in 10, 20, and 40 mgs, or as a liquid solution, taken orally. It can be taken with or without food.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

It may take 1-4 weeks before the full benefit of citalopram is noticeable, so continue taking this medication even if you feel well.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy. It is NOT known if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. It is recommended that you DO NOT breast-feed while taking this medicine unless your doctor or pediatrician has told you to.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a699001.html for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.