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Citalopram (Celexa)



Citalopram is a SSRI(Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). It works by helping to balance the natural neurotransmitter called serotonin within the brain, achieving beneficial effects in the treatment of depression.



How to Use


Take this medication by mouth with water, it can be taken with or without food.


Take it exactly as directed, do not take it more than directed.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.



Important Information



Visit with your doctor regularly while taking this medication. If your symptoms are not improving or are getting worse, tell your doctor right away.


Do not suddenly stop taking this medication, this can cause your condition to worsen. If you have been taking it for a long time, your doctor may want to gradually decrease the dose.


It may take a few weeks before this medication begins to work. Do not stop taking unless directed by your doctor.


It is important for patients and their families to monitor for any mood and behavioral changes and contact a healthcare provider in the case of  worsening depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiousness, hostility, aggression, restlessness, excitability, and lack of ability to sleep.


Do not stop taking this medication suddenly without consulting with your doctor.


Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or engage in other activity that requires fine motor skills until you are sure of how this medication affects you.


Stand and sit slowly when first starting this medication to avoid dizziness.


This medication can make your mouth dry. Drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, or sucking on candy can help to decrease this side effect.



Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication


Bipolar disorder or family history of Bipolar disorder, glaucoma, diabetes, heart conditions, irregular heartbeat or history of irregular heart beat, kidney disease, liver disease, seizures, any history of suicidal thoughts or actions, if you receive electroconvulsive therapy, low levels of magnesium or potassium, pregnancy, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant.



Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider


Allergic reaction(hives, itching, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, confusion, dizziness, heartbeat changes, excitability, fast talking, out of control actions, hallucinations, feelings of a loss of reality, seizures, suicidal thoughts, bleeding or bruising that is unusual.



Other Side Effects


Appetite changes, blurred vision, libido changes, headache, increased sweating, nausea, sleep trouble.


Adult Dose




20 mg by mouth daily as a starting dose. The dose can then be increased by 20 mg after a one week interval.


Max Dose: 40mg/day





1. Celexa(R) oral tablets, oral solution, citalopram hydrobromide oral tablets, oral solution[package insert]. St Louis, MO: Forest Pharmaceuticals (per FDA); 2011.


2. Celexa (citalopram) [package insert]. St. Louis, MO: Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; 2014.


3. Blier P, de Montigny C. Serotonin and drug-induced therapeutic responses in major depression, obsessive-compulsive and panic disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology 1999;21:91S-98S.

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