What is Celexa?

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Citalopram (Celexa) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression.

Why is it important to treat depression?

It is important to treat depression because untreated depression can lead to: anxiety, substance abuse, work/school problems, relationship difficulties and even death.

How does Celexa treat depression?

Celexa affects mood by selectively inhibiting serotonin reuptake.

How is Celexa administered?

Celexa is typical administered by mouth once daily (Celexa should be taken at the same time every day).

What is a typical Celexa dose?

The typical initial adult dose of Celexa used to treat depression is 20 mg a day.

What is the maximum dose of Celexa?

The recommended maximum adult dose of Celexa used to treat depression is 40 mg a day.

What is Celexa's onset of action?

Celexa's onset of action is 1 - 4 weeks; however individuals' responses to Celexa vary greatly and full response to Celexa may take up to 12 weeks - meaning individuals beginning a Celexa medication regimen may not feel relief from their depression symptoms until upwards of 12 weeks after therapy initiation.

Should Celexa be taken with food?

Celexa may be administered without regard to food.

What are Celexa side effects?

Celexa side effects include: somnolence, fatigue, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, hypotension, fever and sexual dysfunction.

What are Celexa safety concerns?

Celexa safety concerns include:

Suicidal thinking/behavior - (U.S. Boxed Warning): Antidepressants may increase the risk of suicidal thinking/behavior in individuals 18 - 24 years of age with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Caution is advised.

QT prolongation - Celexa may lead to QT prolongation, a sign of an irregular heartbeat that may lead to death. Caution is advised.

Abruptly stopping Celexa therapy - Celexa therapy should never be abruptly stopped, even if individuals feel their Celexa therapy is not working to relieve depression symptoms. Celexa may take up to 12 weeks to fully relieve depression symptoms. Therefore, individuals often abruptly stop taking Celexa before it reaches its full treatment potential. Health care providers should always be contacted before medications are discontinued. Caution is advised.

Drug interactions - Celexa may interact with other medications...be sure to inform health care providers about any other medications (including herbal supplements) that may be taken concurrently with Celexa.

Pregnancy - Celexa may affect child development. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking Celexa become pregnant.

Breast-feeding - Celexa may be excreted into breast milk. Health care providers should be notified if individuals taking Celexa are or plan to breast-feed their children.

Liver impairment - Caution is advised in patients with liver impairment.

Kidney impairment - Caution is advised in patients with renal impairment.

Elderly patients - Elderly patients may be more sensitive to Celexa therapy. Caution is advised.

Seizure disorder patients - Caution is advised in patients with a history of a documented seizure disorder.

Alcohol consumption - Alcohol consumption may increase risk of Celexa side effects. Caution is advised.

What are Celexa monitoring parameters?

Celexa monitoring parameters include: mental status for depression, social functioning, anxiety, suicidal ideation, signs/symptoms of arrhythmias and liver function.

About the Author

Marc Macera, PharmD, RPh's picture


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