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Celexa Side Effects

Celexa Side Effects

Celexa is a prescription medication used to treat depression and other mental health conditions. Celexa is available in many regions of the world and has been available since the 1990s. Celexa is one of the first choice treatments for mental health care. Before taking the drug, there are some Celexa side effects patients should know about.

Understanding the Celexa side effects in an important aspect of treatment. Here we present information about the drug Celexa. We will discuss what it is, what it is indicated for, how to take it, and Celexa side effects.


What Is Celexa?

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Celexa is the brand name for the prescription antidepressant medication citalopram. Celexa is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug.


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Inadequate serotonin levels are believed to cause mental health conditions. Celexa and other SSRI medications are thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD).

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Celexa for treating major depression in 1998. Celexa is also approved to treat panic disorder in Australia and many countries in Europe. Denmark and Spain have indicated Celexa for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

"Off-Label" Use

Dosage, Contraindications, and Interactions

When Will Celexa Start Working?

How Long Do I Take Celexa?


Celexa Contraindications And Interactions

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Celexa is considered safe to use. Always tell your doctor about any medications and dietary or herbal supplements you take to avoid complications caused by contraindications. Disclosing information to your doctor about the medication and supplements you take can prevent the development of serious Celexa side effects.

  • MOAIs

Celexa should never be taken with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MOAI). MOAIs include drugs in the MOAI antidepressant medication class and dietary or herbal supplements containing MOAIs. MOAIs must be completely cleared from the bloodstream before taking Celexa.

  • Orap

Celexa should not be mixed with the antipsychotic drug Orap (pimozide). Combining these two medications can cause serious alterations in the heart’s natural rhythm.

  • OrapQT Syndrome or QT-Interval Prolongation

Patients with QT syndrome or QT-interval prolongation should not take Celexa. Individuals with heart disorders including bradycardia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, myocardial infarction, or heart failure should speak to a mental health professional before taking Celexa.

  • Celexa Sensitivity

Patients should not take the medication if they are allergic to Celexa or any of the other ingredients found in Celexa.

  • Celexa Black Box Warning For Children

The FDA requires Celexa to feature a black box warning label for children. FDA black box warnings are required when research shows a serious risk for patients.

Clinical trials reveal children can experience serious and adverse Celexa side effects. These side effects include the worsening of depressive symptoms, agitation, and suicidal thoughts and behavior.

  • Renal Impairment

People with severe renal (kidney) impairment should use Celexa with caution. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new medications or treatments.

  • Pregnancy

Taking Celexa during the third trimester of pregnancy can create complications. Pregnant women should consult their doctor at the beginning of pregnancy to discuss the safety of taking an SSRI during pregnancy.

  • Discontinuing Celexa

Unpleasant Celexa side effects can occur if the medication is stopped abruptly. To prevent or ease these discontinuation symptoms, consult with a doctor about gradually reducing the dose of Celexa.


Celexa Side Effects

There are Celexa side effects patients should know before taking the medication. Celexa side effects are categorized as very serious, serious, common, less common.

We have also included information about Celexa withdrawal side effects and the side effects caused by serotonin syndrome. Withdrawal side effects occur when a patient misses a dose or when stopping treatment with Celexa. Serotonin syndrome is a potential side effect of Celexa and all SSRI medications.

Very Serious Celexa Side Effects

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Very serious side effects associated with taking Celexa are rare but do occur. Immediate medical help is necessary if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulty 
  • Extreme itching
  • Extreme face or neck swelling 
  • Rash

Serious Celexa Side Effects

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Serious Celexa side effects require immediate medical attention. If you or someone you know experiences any of the following symptoms after taking Celexa, contact a doctor immediately.

  • Black stool
  • Black vomit
  • Bleeding 
  • Bruising easily 
  • Decreased libido
  • Fainting
  • Heartbeat that is rapid or irregular
  • Sexual functioning changes
  • Seizures

Common Celexa Side Effects

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  • Appetite loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry or parched mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Less Common Celexa Side Effects

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  • Abdominal pain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Body aches
  • Bleeding gums
  • Breast changes
  • Concentration problems
  • Chills
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Irritated eyes
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of emotion
  • Lethargy
  • Mania
  • Memory loss
  • Menstrual changes
  • Muscle pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shivering
  • Skin changes
  • Teeth grinding
  • Urination changes
  • Weight gain

Withdrawal Celexa Side Effects

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Withdrawal side effects occur when you miss doses or stop taking the medication. To prevent withdrawal side effects, ask your doctor about the proper guidelines for discontinuing the medication. Side effects of Celexa withdrawal are:

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Dream changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Electric or shock sensations in the brain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle twitching 
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to temperature
  • Sweating

How Long Does Celexa Stay In The Body?

Celexa has a half-life of 35 hours, so withdrawal symptoms can begin after this time frame. The complete elimination of Celexa from the body varies depending on how long a person has taken Celexa, the dosage, and a person’s biological makeup.  

Some people report symptoms of withdrawal ending within a couple weeks. Other people report symptoms lasting for as long as a year.

  • Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome is a potentially fatal condition caused from having too much serotonin the body. Serotonin syndrome is more common than previously thought. If you experience any symptoms of serotonin syndrome, visit a doctor immediately. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:

  • Agitation
  • Coordination problems
  • Extreme dizziness
  • Extreme restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle twitching
  • Racing heart
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting


The SSRI anti-depressant medication Celexa has been used to treat major depressive disorder for over 20 years. In that time, Celexa has also been proven effective for the treatment of other mental health conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. Some doctors and patients use Celexa “off-label” for many other conditions.

When used as prescribed, Celexa can be a valuable tool for improving the quality of life for mental health patients. As with all medication, it’s important to note the Celexa side effects and warnings. If the Celexa side effects become intolerable, consult a doctor before altering your dose or stopping the medication.

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