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Does Citalopram Help With Anxiety

How Does It Work

Citalopram (celexa) week 1 update. Anxiety.

Serotonin is a chemical messenger that sends signals between nerve cells. It has various functions in the body and is important for regulating our mood, thoughts, digestion, behavior, and memory. You may have heard it being referred to as a happy hormone.

Serotonin is naturally produced within nerve cells in the brain. The nerve cell releases serotonin into the space between two nerve cells. At this point, the serotonin either binds to another nerve cell to initiate a signal and nerve impulse, or it enters a reuptake pump to be reabsorbed into the nerve cell that released it.

This process is important because it allows serotonin to be recycled when its needed, but it also reduces the amount of serotonin in the brain. Insufficient amounts in the brain can lead to depression or anxiety.

SSRIs block the reuptake pump, preventing serotonin from reabsorbing into the nerve cell. This means more serotonin is available between nerve cells, sending more signals and resulting in better mood regulation.

Although many factors can contribute to mental health conditions, low levels of serotonin¹have been associated with depression and anxiety. This is why SSRIs, such as citalopram, effectively treat anxiety because they increase serotonin levels. Also, because SSRIs are selective for serotonin , they dont impact the uptake of other chemical messengers in the brain.

Common Questions About Citalopram

Citalopram is one of a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These medicines are thought to work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is thought to have a good effect on mood, emotion and sleep.

It may take 1 or 2 weeks before citalopram starts to work on your symptoms. It usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks before you feel the full benefits.

This is because it takes around a week for citalopram levels to build up in your body, and then a few weeks longer for your body to adapt and get used to it.

Do not stop taking citalopram after 1 or 2 weeks just because you feel it is not helping your symptoms. Give the medicine at least 6 weeks to work.

Antidepressants like citalopram help lift your mood so you feel better. You may notice that you sleep better and feel less anxious. You will hopefully be more relaxed about things that used to worry you.

Citalopram will not change your personality, it will simply help you feel like yourself again.

Do not expect to feel better overnight, though. Some people feel worse during the first few weeks of treatment before they begin to feel better.

Citalopram is not any better or worse than other antidepressants. But sometimes people respond better to one antidepressant than to another.

Talk to your doctor if you are not feeling any better after 6 weeks.

Differences include:

Other treatments for depression and anxiety include:

How Long Do I Need To Be On Celexa

You and your provider can work together to determine how long you should be on Celexa, but many people safely take it for a long time. If it is helping you, and you arent having bothersome side effects, your provider might recommend that you keep taking it. This is to help prevent your anxiety from coming back.

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What To Do In Case Of Overdose

If you think youve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

When you get Celexa from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.

The expiration date helps guarantee the effectiveness of the medication during this time. The of the Food and Drug Administration is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.

Can I Drive While Taking Citalopram

Celexa (Citalopram HBr): Dosage, Side Effects &  Details

Do not drive or ride a bike just after you start taking citalopram.

Taking citalopram may affect your concentration when doing things like driving a car, riding a bike, or anything else that needs a lot of focus. It might be best to stop doing these things for the first few days, until you know how it affects you.

Don’t worry – most people drive as normal while taking citalopram.

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Celexa For Other Conditions

In addition to the use listed above, Celexa may be used off-label. Off-label drug use is when a drug thats approved for one use is used for a different one thats not approved. And you may wonder if Celexa is used for certain other conditions.

Celexa for anxiety

Celexa doesnt have FDA approval to treat anxiety. However, some studies suggest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Celexa may be good treatment options for anxiety. These medications may be an option for people with anxiety who may benefit from taking medication.

Celexa for OCD

SSRIs, including Celexa, are sometimes used off-label for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder . This is a behavioral health condition in which unwanted thoughts or behaviors keep coming back or repeat over and over.

A review of studies has looked at people with OCD who were treated with Celexa, other SSRIs, or a placebo. People who took Celexa or another SSRI had their symptoms ease more than people who took a placebo.

Treatment of OCD usually requires doses of Celexa that are higher than those used for depression. And it can take longer for people with OCD to notice that Celexa is working.

Although the maximum recommended dose of Celexa for depression is 40 mg, doses of 60 mg have been used to treat OCD. Taking 60 mg of Celexa may increase your risk for heart-related side effects such as dizziness and heart palpitations .

Celexa for bipolar depression

Celexa for PMDD

Celexa for menopausal symptoms

Celexa for IBS

Citalopram Reviews For Anxiety

Citalopram may be an antidepressant, but it is also used for anxiety, and to understand how it helps, here are some citalopram reviews for anxiety:

For Anxiety and Stress: I have been taking this citalopram medication since last year summer 2019. Each time I have taken it, it has really helped me calm down for my anxiety. This year I have been taking it since February as I started feeling anxious and weird again. Like I feel like I dont know where I am and what room Im in and overthink any little unwell feeling I get. Particularly with my nose throat and chest. It has been so much better these last 6 months however these last few days I feel anxious again and I do not know why. Does this mean I need to increase my dose or just carry on with the 20mg I have been taking these past few months?

For Panic Disorder: Ive been on this drug citalopram for 3 weeks, I had been on sertraline before which worked well for my panic/anxiety but gave me tummy issues. Im still struggling with the increased anxiety. Calling GP tomorrow to chat, hoping this is normal and will aim to carry on to the 6 weeks.

For Anxiety and Stress: It doesnt cure anxiety but it Helps manage it with other lifestyle and cognitive changes.

For those who take CBD for anxiety and are curious if you can take CBD with citalopram as well then this guide will provide you further info.

Also Check: Can Anxiety Make You Tired

When Should I Call A Doctor

If your child or teen is taking an SSRI, your doctor will monitor your childs symptoms closely on a regular basis.

You should call your doctor immediately if your child or teen experiences any of these uncommon side effects:

  • becomes impulsive or hyperactive.
  • becomes uncharacteristically happy or irritable.
  • shows signs of self-harm
  • talks about or gives any indication they are thinking about suicide.

Celexa And Herbs And Supplements

My views on taking Citalopram for anxiety / panic attacks

You should check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any herbal or supplement products while taking Celexa. Taking St. Johns wort or tryptophan may increase your risk for serotonin syndrome, but there arent specific studies that prove an interaction.

Serotonin syndrome is a potentially serious condition that requires treatment. For symptoms of serotonin syndrome, see the Celexa side effects section above. If you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, tell your doctor right away.

If you take St. Johns wort or tryptophan, tell your doctor. They may have you pause your use of the supplement during your Celexa treatment.

Its unclear if Celexa is safe to use during pregnancy. Although there have been studies of Celexa use in pregnant mothers, the drug hasnt been widely researched.

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How Do You Take Citalopram

Citalopram is a prescription medication that can only be taken if your doctor or psychiatrist prescribes it for you.

Generic citalopram tends to be cheaper than the brand name alternative, Celexa. Citalopram usually costs US$0.74 per tablet, whereas Celexa costs about US$9.97 per tablet. This is important to keep in mind because both forms are equally effective.

Citalopram is available as a liquid or tablet.

Remember always to take medications as prescribed, but generally citalopram:

  • Can be taken with or without food

  • Can be taken in the morning or at night, depending on whether it makes you feel more alert or drowsy

Once you find a time that suits you, make sure you stick to it each day.

Because citalopram can cause you to feel drowsy, you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking it. Its also recommended to avoid alcohol because the combination of citalopram and alcohol can impair your judgment, coordination, and motor skills.


The typical doses are 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg per day. Your doctor will start you with a low dose to prevent any possible side effects. If needed, you can gradually increase the dose over time to a maximum of 40mg per day. However, 20mg should be the maximum dose for people over 65.

Can Celexa Treat Anxiety

While the FDA has not specifically approved Celexa for treating anxiety, doctors have been using Celexa and other SSRIs off-label to successfully treat generalized anxiety disorder and other forms of anxiety, as well as other imbalances in the brain.

Celexa may produce feelings of calm in the brain by increasing serotonin levels, which may help to reduce feelings of anxiety or panic.

Also Check: Does B Complex Help With Anxiety

Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions

For people with heart problems: Dont take citalopram if you have a heart problem, including a condition called congenital long QT syndrome. Taking citalopram may put you at higher risk of a serious heart rhythm change called QT prolongation, which can cause sudden death. People with slow heart rate, recent heart attack, or severe heart failure should also not take citalopram.

For people with low potassium levels: Dont take citalopram if you have low potassium levels. Taking citalopram and having low levels of potassium may put you at higher risk of a serious heart rhythm change called QT prolongation, which can cause sudden death.

For people with low magnesium levels: Dont take citalopram if you have low magnesium levels. Taking citalopram and having low levels of magnesium may put you at higher risk of a serious heart rhythm change called QT prolongation, which can cause sudden death.

For people with kidney disease: Talk with your doctor before using citalopram if you have kidney disease. This drug may build up and cause more side effects in people with severe kidney disease.

For people with liver disease: Citalopram is processed by the liver. If you have liver disease, the levels of this drug in your body might increase. You may have more side effects. People with liver disease shouldnt take more than 20 mg of citalopram per day.

Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Celexa Vs Lexapro

What Is Citalopram (Celexa)?

Celexa is a prescription medication that is covered by both commercial and Medicare drug insurance plans. The average retail price for a 30-day supply of Celexa 20 mg is approximately $65. With a coupon from SingleCare, you could obtain the generic for less than $4.

Lexapro is also a prescription medication that is typically covered by both commercial and Medicare drug plans. The out-of-pocket price for a 30-day supply of Lexapro 10 mg can be as much as $180. SingleCare offers a generic Lexapro coupon, which brings the price to less than $15 at participating pharmacies.


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How Effective Is Taking Citalopram For Anxiety

Studies have found that for people with generalized anxiety disorder, 12 weeks of treatment with citalopram has led to complete or partial improvement in anxiety symptoms.

Another study showed that citalopram is effective for up to 24 weeks after six to eight weeks of treatment.

Although there are several types of anxiety disorders , citalopram is usually only prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder.

How Should Xanax Be Taken

Take Xanax exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it. Your healthcare provider will tell you how much Xanax to take and when to take it.If you take too much Xanax, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Xanax is a benzodiazepine medicine. Taking benzodiazepines with opioid medicines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants can cause severe drowsiness, breathing problems , coma and death.

Xanax can make you sleepy or dizzy, and can slow your thinking and motor skills.

Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Xanax affects you.

Do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that may make you sleepy or dizzy while taking Xanax without first talking to your healthcare provider. When taken with alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness or dizziness, Xanax may make your sleepiness or dizziness much worse.

Do not take more Xanax than prescribed.

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What Drug Interactions Does Celexa Have

The following medications can interact with Celexa :

Drugs that affect serotonin

Taking Celexa with other drugs that affect the serotonin in your body, can increase the risk of a condition called serotonin syndrome. These drugs include MAOIs , other antidepressants, and triptans for migraines . Although serotonin syndrome is a rare side effect, its a possible occurrence when Celexa is combined with these medications. And if not treated, it can be fatal. Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Agitation or confusion

Blood thinners

Serotonin plays a role in blood clotting. Because of this, SSRIs may raise your risk for dangerous bleeding, particularly stomach bleeding. This risk is higher if you are already on blood thinners such as warfarin .

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam, which are used to treat pain, inflammation, and arthritis. Taking them regularly can put you at higher risk for bleeding. You should discuss with your provider whether its safe to take NSAIDs occasionally for aches, pains, or fever.

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