The brand name for citalopram, Celexa is a medication commonly prescribed to people with anxiety. Click to learn more about this medication.


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The information below is presented as a generalized and educational overview. The specific details of treatment protocols mentioned in this article may not reflect the protocols utilized by A Mission for Michael.

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Infographic - What is Celexa (Citalopram)

Celexa is the brand name for citalopram, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Celexa for anxiety is used to treat mental disorders, most commonly anxiety. However, the medication is also prescribed for the treatment of depression.

Citalopram for anxiety disorders works by reducing the amount of serotonin absorbed by the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that creates positive sensations in the brain. When serotonin is rapidly absorbed, fewer serotonin molecules remain, thereby lowering the rate of positive emotions in the brain.

SSRIs like Celexa for anxiety reduce the absorption rate of serotonin so that the neurotransmitters can be more readily transmitted, resulting in brain chemistry that promotes positive moods and cognitive processes.1

Serotonin is also responsible for other key functions, such as memory, learning, and physiological processes. As a result, Celexa’s effectiveness and its benefits stem from its ability to address a variety of concerns relating to the brain chemistry and serotonin levels of people with anxiety.

Side Effects of Celexa

When considering Celexa for anxiety, you must consider not only the benefits but the side effects as well. Certain side effects can appear as a result of taking citalopram for anxiety.

These potential side effects can vary in terms of severity, but they often lessen with time. Celexa side effects that are severe and last for long periods should be discussed with the healthcare professional who prescribed the medication.

Common Side Effects

As with any new medication, citalopram for anxiety has the potential to cause side effects. Common Celexa side effects are usually mild, and they will typically go away as the body adjusts to the new medications within two to three weeks.

While these side effects tend to be of no major concern, side effects that either do not go away on their own or are especially uncomfortable should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Some common side effects include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Citalopram anxiety
  • Celexa headaches

Severe Side Effects

In rare cases, more severe Celexa side effects may occur, but rarely are any of them life-threatening. Regardless of the severity, discussing the side effects that you are experiencing with your healthcare provider is important to ensure that you have the utmost levels of comfort and success with it for anxiety.

The more severe side effects can include any of the following:

  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Hyponatremia
  • Unusual agitation or restlessness
  • Respiratory infections


As an SSRI, there are several Celexa uses in the medical field. While the medication is most well-known for its ability to treat a wide array of mental disorders, Celexa uses can also include the treatment of physiological issues, like appetite problems.

Major Depressive Disorder

Celexa is most prescribed for mood disorders, including major depressive disorder, or MDD.2 Major depressive disorder can be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, resulting in low moods and a decreased interest in everyday life. Studies have found that Celexa may be a beneficial tool in preventing relapse with MDD as well.3

Anxiety Disorder

In addition to major depressive disorder, Celexa is most used for the treatment of anxiety. Studies have shown that low serotonin levels may be a major cause of anxiety disorders. As an SSRI, Celexa helps correct and balance brain chemistry.

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar depression is one of many names for this mental disorder, with others being bipolar disorder and manic depression. Bipolar depression is characterized by fluctuating moods, energy levels, and interest in activities. Citalopram works to balance chemicals in the brain and reduce the severity of symptoms with the goal of eliminating them altogether.

Compulsive Disorder

Compulsive disorder can often cause increased anxiety because of obsessions and compulsions. While Celexa can help alleviate anxiety, as shown by its ability to treat anxiety, it can also help reduce the severity of other symptoms linked to chemical imbalances, like compulsive disorder.


Infographic - Celexa used for

Major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar depression, and compulsive disorder are four mental disorders that Celexa can treat. However, it is also used for the treatment of other health concerns, including appetite issues and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Changes in Appetite

While serotonin is a main player in many mental processes, the neurotransmitter is also tied to internal regulation systems, like suppressing your appetite. Celexa can assist you in restoring a regular appetite by balancing and regulating the absorption of serotonin.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that yields both physical and mental symptoms, such as extreme shifts in mood. Additionally, PMDD can cause symptoms just like those caused by depression and anxiety, including low energy, little to no interest in day-to-day activities, fatigue, and overall hopelessness. That’s why Celexa effectiveness is a major appeal for people seeking treatment for PMDD.


Celexa may not be suitable for everyone. The following precautions and warnings should be discussed with your doctor before you begin taking citalopram for anxiety or other mental disorders.

Pregnancy and Nursing

Celexa should be avoided if you are pregnant or nursing. Taking the medicine at all, let alone for extended periods, can harm unborn babies and potentially cause withdrawal symptoms for the mother after birth. The substance also has the potential to affect babies who are nursing because traces of the substance could be passed from mother to child.

Bleeding Problems

While this medication is beneficial for the treatment of many mental disorders, the medication comes with an increased risk for bleeding, as many SSRIs do. As a result, those with pre-existing blood-related problems may need to consider an alternative to Celexa.


People who take the medicine are at an increased risk for seizures, especially if it is combined with other substances or medications.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Though rare, angle-closure glaucoma can arise alongside the use of antidepressants and medications similar to Celexa. This risk is increased in the event of an overdose.


For those who may not be the best candidates for Celexa as a treatment method, there are alternatives to citalopram. Alternatives to this medication also reduce symptoms of mental disorders. Many people start by looking at Celexa vs. Lexapro and Celexa vs. Zoloft.

Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Escitalopram is very similar to citalopram. Both medications are SSRIs that treat anxiety. On a chemical level, the two medications are similar as well. The only major difference is their respective number of isomers or chemical formulas determined by the arrangement of their atoms. When it comes to Celexa vs. Lexapro, Celexa is less effective than Lexapro for the treatment of depression, making Lexapro a better alternative for depression.

Sertraline (Zoloft)

There are few similarities between Celexa vs. Zoloft. However, just like Lexapro and Celexa, Zoloft is an SSRI designed to treat mental disorders, but Zoloft inhibits serotonin uptake differently than Celexa.

Buspirone (Buspar)

Buspar is specifically designed to treat anxiety disorders because Buspar is an anxiolytic, or a medication explicitly intended for the treatment of anxiety. Buspar increases the activity taking place at the serotonin receptors in the brain, which results in lower anxiety levels.

Paroxetine (Paxil)

Paxil functions similarly to Celexa. It is also an SSRI used to treat depression and anxiety, but Paxil may cause more side effects than Celexa. It’s important to consult your healthcare provider when trying to decide if Celexa anxiety medication is best for you.


Questions may arise either before starting Celexa or while taking this anxiety medication. Always discuss concerns about the substance with a medical professional.

How Does Citalopram Make You Feel at First?

Citalopram can cause mild side effects. You might experience citalopram hydrobromide anxiety, an increased level of anxiety stemming from medication.

As your body adjusts, the side effects fade and the beneficial effects of citalopram are felt to a greater extent. Physical side effects, like headaches, are more common after your first few doses. You’ll start with low dose Celexa to minimize the chances of adverse side effects.

Is Celexa Better for Anxiety or Depression?

As an SSRI, this medicaiton can be beneficial in treating both anxiety and depression. It treats a variety of disorders that are caused by imbalanced brain chemistry just like anxiety and depression. However, due to its chemical properties, it is better for the treatment of depression than citalopram anxiety.

Is Celexa Similar to Xanax?

They are both used to treat anxiety disorders.4 However, they’re not in the same medication classes. Celexa is an SSRI. Xanax is a benzodiazepine.

Should I Take Celexa in the Morning or at Night?

Celexa for anxiety can be administered at any time of the day as long as the medicine is taken at the same time every day.

How Long Does Celexa Take to Work?

Celexa usually takes one to two weeks before it starts working, but you might not notice any benefits for up to eight weeks.


We also accept many others insurance plans. verify your benefits with no obligation required.


OR CALL US 24/7: (844) 926-0729


We also accept many others insurance plans. verify your benefits with no obligation required.


OR CALL US 24/7: (844) 926-0729