Citalopram, also known by the trade name Celexa, is an antidepressant of the SSRI class. It is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. Benefits may take one to four weeks to occur. It is taken by mouth.

The recommended dose is:

The usual dose of citalopram is 20mg a day in adults. But it may be started at a lower dose and increased to a maximum dose of 40mg a day. If you’re over 65, or have liver problems, the maximum recommended dose is 20mg a day. The usual dose of citalopram in children is 10mg a day, but this may be increased to 40mg a day.

How long will it take to start working?

You may not notice much improvement in your symptoms for a week or two until citalopram begins to take effect. It usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks before you feel the full benefits. Do not stop taking citalopram after a week or two just because you feel it isn’t helping your symptoms. Give the medicine at least 6 weeks to work.

Side Effects:

Common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping, sexual problems, shakiness, feeling tired, and sweating. Serious side effects include an increased risk of suicide in those under the age of 25, serotonin syndrome, glaucoma, and QT prolongation.

Withdrawal symptoms can occur when this medicine is suddenly stopped, such as paraesthesia, sleeping problems (difficulty sleeping and intense dreams), feeling dizzy, agitated or anxious, nausea, vomiting, tremors, confusion, sweating, headache, diarrhea, palpitations, changes in emotions, irritability, and eye or eyesight problems. Treatment with citalopram should be reduced gradually when treatment is finished.


Your Experiences:

If you take or have taken this medication in the past please leave a comment describing your experiences so that we can help the rest of the community understand what to expect and help them decide whether this is the right medication for them. 🙂

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8 thoughts on “What is Citalopram?

  1. I have taken it for symptoms relating to high anxiety and depression. The medication itself works very well, however it is best to take it in intervals away from other medications such as thyroid medicatio , as it can increase gastro intestinal fluidity and cramping. In addition, I must add that this medication not only should not-but MUST not be take with alcohol. This comj g from an alcoholic in recovery.

    On more than one occasion while taking this medication, I consumed and had conscious (awake) blackouts, one resulting in a driving while impaired charge. I do not have any reason at all to encourage mixing medications of sorts, but if you partake, even in moderation, do not take this medication.

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  2. I took Citalopram 20mg for years. Then had to go up to 40mg because it wasn’t having the same effect anymore. Unfortunately this dose triggered migraines for me. I was having at least one a month and they were completely debilitating. I was lucky that my doctor had knowledge that this was a side effect, he took me off of them and I only have a migraine occasionally now. In the leaflet I think the occurrence is only 1/1000, unfortunately I was the 1. I’ve now found the antidepressant that works for me. If you’re struggling finding yours, don’t give up.

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  3. I have taken Prozac for 2 long periods. Chemically virtually identical. Unfortunately on both occasions the effect more or less wore off eventually – after some years I didn’t seem to be getting the same benefit. Mind you I last stopped in August 2018 having taken the medication for some years since I wanted to try something else and now I am recognizing that my depression has worsened.. I went cold turkey which was foolish in order to try the much publicized psilocybin. The latter has not been a great success and I am considering going back onto Prozac which did at least seem to take away the worst of my sense of hopelessness.

    In my case the drug took a good three months to work and in the early stages lead to frequent almost permanent panic attacks. A constant feeling of fear. Interesting psilocybin has also caused the same sort of anxiety off and on over the 3 months I have been experimenting with it.

    The short answer is that there is no “cure” for severe unipolar depression. Merely some amelioration. Side effects of Prozac in my case are weight gain, occasional brain zapping (a kind of dizziness) and complete absence of sexual functioning.

    I am tempted to try trans-cranial direct or alternating brain stimulation but it will probably prove yet another of a long list of complete wastes of time.

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  4. I took citalopram for 4 years on 40 mg in high school for anxiety and depression and it truly worked wonders for me! Although, it did taper off it’s effectiveness after 4 years and I had to be put on a new line of medications! But I still think it’s a great medication.

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  5. I had horrible side effects and little if any help. I’m Bipolar II and it was not the right one to add to my mix. I’m sure it helps many. I’m Bipolar II but my med mix is mostly stimulants because when I start getting depressed I just keep falling. The last med added has worked very well at 2mg, Rezulti. It’s a big weight gainer but mu head is clear and I’m out of bed. That’s most important. When I was younger I fought all drugs that made me gain 20 lbs, at 55 I know what’s important. Thanks for the great information. 🙂

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  6. I’ve been on 40mg Citalopram since 1999-ish. The only side effect in myself I can be certain of is diruption of sexual function. I have some of the other side effects linked with the drug but I am on 8 diff meds so can’t be sure. I was suicidal before Citalopram, after a fw months on it, I think it may of saved my life.

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  7. I took Celexa for a number of years in my early 20’s and felt relief after taking it for only 2 weeks. Nothing crazy but a sense of calming and normalcy. I suffer from anxiety and major depressive disorder as well as migraines. I did have to deal with some of the side effects such as sleeping issues and appetite issues but I never had any sexual side effects, sounds like that was more so problems with men taking it. Anyway I really liked Celexa and was on it for years until Lexapro came out which as my dr described, it was more of a time released version of Celexa so I switched to Lexapro and was happy with that for many years into my 30’s until I started feeling hopeless and depressed again along with anxiety attacks and switched to an ok antidepressant that I’ve been on for about a year now. Just doesn’t feel as relieving as the Celexa and Lexapro made me feel 🙁

    Liked by 2 people

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