Celexa (citalopram) is an antidepressant medication that affects neurotransmitters, the chemicals that nerves within the brain use to communicate with each other. Neurotransmitters are manufactured and released by nerves and then travel and attach to nearby nerves. Therefore, neurotransmitters can be thought of as the communication system of the brain. Citalopram works by preventing the uptake of one neurotransmitter, serotonin, by nerve cells after it has been released.
Since uptake is an important mechanism for removing released neurotransmitters and terminating their actions on adjacentnerves, the reduced uptake caused by citalopram results in more free serotonin in the brain to stimulate nerve cells. Citalopram is in the class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class that also contains fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Celexa if you are allergic to citalopram or escitalopram (Lexapro), or if you also take pimozide.
Do not use Celexa if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.
To make sure Celexa is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
- liver or kidney disease;
- narrow-angle glaucoma;
- heart disease, heart failure, a heart rhythm disorder, slow heartbeats, or recent history of heart attack;
How should I take Celexa?
Take Celexa exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may change your dose.
Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
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.
Do not stop using Celexa suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
What are the side effects of citalopram?
The most common side effects associated with citalopram are
What is the dosage for citalopram?
The usual starting dose is 20 mg in the morning or evening. The dose may be increased to 40 mg daily after one week. A dose of 60 mg has not been shown to be more effective than 40 mg. As with all antidepressants, it may take few weeks of treatment before maximum effects are seen. Doses are often slowly adjusted upwards to find the most effective dose.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using citalopram. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this medication.