Anxiety Medication Overview of Celexa

Why is Celexa prescribed?

Celxa or Citalopram, is used to treat depression. Citalopram is in a class of antidepressants (mood elevators) called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of a certain natural substance in the brain.

How should this medicine be used?

Citalopram comes as a tablet and a solution to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take citalopram exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

It may take a few weeks before you feel the full benefit of citalopram. Continue to take citalopram even if you feel well. Do not stop taking citalopram without talking to your doctor, especially if you have taken large doses for a long time. Your doctor probably will want to decrease your dose gradually.

What special precautions should I follow?

Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to citalopram or any other drugs. And tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin); other antidepressants; metoprolol (Lopressor); antihistamines; carbamazepine (Tegretol); cimetidine (Tagamet); estrogens; fluoxetine (Prozac); itraconazole (Sporanox); ketoconazole (Nizoral); levodopa (Sinemet, Larodopa); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); medications for high blood pressure, seizures, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, asthma, colds, or allergies; medications to treat an infection (bacterial or fungal); methylphenidate (Ritalin); muscle relaxants; oral contraceptives (birth control pills); sedatives; sleeping pills; thyroid medications; tranquilizers; and vitamins. Do not take citalopram if you have taken an MAO inhibitor (phenelzine [Nardil] or tranylcypromine [Parnate]) in the last 2 weeks.


Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had glaucoma; an enlarged prostate; difficulty urinating; seizures; an overactive thyroid gland; or liver, kidney, or heart disease.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking citalopram, call your doctor immediately.

If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking citalopram.

You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how citalopram will affect you.

Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.

Tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may decrease the effectiveness of this drug.

Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Citalopram may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you take citalopram once a day in the morning, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. If you take citalopram once a day at bedtime and do not remember to take it until the next morning, skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Constipation
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Frequent Urination
  • Blurred Vision
  • Changes in Sex Drive or Ability
  • Excessive Sweating

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Jaw, Neck, and Back Muscle Spasms
  • Slow or Difficult Speech
  • Shuffling Walk
  • Persistent Fine Tremor or Inability to Sit Still
  • Fever
  • Difficulty Breathing or Swallowing
  • Severe Skin Rash
  • Yellowing of the Skin or Eyes
  • Irregular Heartbeat

These are some of the side effects, if you have any side effects that are unusual or that become persistent you should talk to your doctor.

More Articles

This article is Part II of a two-part article. Click here to read part I....

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that develops following a horrible or terrifying event. Reliving the trauma with nightmares...

Elavil (known generically as amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant that was approved by the FDA back in 1961 for treatment of major...

Norpramin is a brand name for the pharmaceutical desipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant which operates by inhibiting the reuptake of...

Controlling anxiety is never an easy thing to do. Some suffering from an anxiety disorder chooses to take medication to ease their symptoms.

...