Celexa is an antidepressant medication, a brand name of the drug citalopram. Celexa belongs to a group of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. What these drugs do is elevate the level of serotonin within the body. Serotonin is a chemical that the brain produces naturally; when there is too little serotonin within a person’s system, depression can result. Celexa doesn’t just target depression, however. Rather, it can be used to treat a wide range of mental issues, from eating disorders to alcoholism to social anxiety disorders. It can even treat panic disorder, a debilitating medical condition in which a person is immobilized by sudden and unexplainable panic attacks. Celexa is a drug that drastically improves many people’s lives, and makes going through a daily schedule and interacting with other people easier and a lot more pleasant.
Once your doctor puts you on Celexa, you may not notice any effects of the medication for a full week, and perhaps closer to four weeks. Make sure that you follow your doctor’s prescription exactly, and don’t simply stop taking the medication simply because you feel much better. Instead, you will probably need to wean yourself off this drug by taking it in smaller and smaller doses. A sudden end of Celexa use can result in a number of withdrawal symptoms, including confusion, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, increased nervous energy and mood swings.
If you are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, you and your doctor will have to think carefully about whether Celexa represents the right course of treatment for you. The reason for this is that there have been reported instances of younger people who take antidepressants such as Celexa suffering from suicidal thoughts and impulses. These suicidal thoughts have only affected a small percentage of the number of young people who have taken antidepressants, but there have been enough instances reported to give doctors pause about prescribing these kinds of medications to younger patients. And even if you are twenty-five years old or older, stay aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors the entire time you are on an antidepressant medication. If at any point you feel as though your depression is worsening, you need to call your doctor. Likewise, if you experience any seizures, hallucinations or flu-like symptoms (fever, cold sweats and so on) you need immediate medical help. As for patients who are under the age of eighteen, it’s much less common for doctors to prescribe antidepressant medication to them; usually alternate therapies are found.
There are other side effects someone taking Celexa may experience. They are generally mild, and you won’t have to contact your doctor unless these symptoms don’t go away or they pose an undue burden on your life. Such side effects would include nausea and vomiting, unexplainable nervousness or excitement, fatigue, diarrhea, muscle pains or trembles, extra sweating or dry mouth, and loss of appetite or libido or both.
You should store your supply of Celexa responsibly, as you would any prescription medication: in a tightly-sealed container, the container that the Celexa came in, at room temperature and away from both heat sources and moisture. Should anyone in your family accidentally ingest a Celexa tablet when they don’t have a prescription, seek emergency medical care right away.
You should not take Celexa if you’re taking Lexapro, as the two medications are very similar. In addition, let your doctor know what other medications you are on. If you’re on another medication, a blood thinner for example, your dosage of that medicine may have to be changed. You shouldn’t take Celexa if you are in the last few months of a pregnancy, either.