Celexa or Citalopram (its generic name) is an antidepressant drug and one of many selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which works by restoring the balance of serotonin in your brain. This medication is approved to treat depression and its harmful symptoms—such as tiredness and feelings of hopelessness—but is also sometimes used to treat alcoholism, binge-eating disorder, panic disorder, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

How to Use Celexa

Those who are prescribed Celexa should take the medication with or without food (as told by your doctor), typically once a day, either in the morning or the evening, but at the same time every day. The specific dosage can vary depending on several significant factors, including your age, your underlying condition, other medications, and how well you respond to the treatment—but the maximum dosage is 40 milligrams a day.

In order to avoid potential side effects, you may first be prescribed a low dose to see how your body reacts. Then, the dose may be gradually increased. Regardless, it is important you listen to and follow your doctor’s careful instructions, as increasing your dose or overusing this medication will not improve your condition any faster; it will, instead, increase your risk of experiencing harmful side effects.

It is essential that you continue taking Celexa, even if you feel your condition or symptoms have improved or subsided, unless otherwise instructed by your health care practitioner. Doing so can worsen conditions, as well as worsen or induce symptoms like mood swings, headaches, and sleep disruption. If you do wish to stop using Celexa, your doctor will reduce your dose gradually in order to prevent the aforementioned symptoms.

Side Effects of Celexa

The side effects of antidepressant medications can be difficult to deal with, but they are typically outweighed by the benefits. With that being said, most people who use Celexa do not have seriously harmful side effects. Still, it is important to be aware of possible mild, serious, and severe effects:

    1) Mild Side Effects

    • Nausea
    • Dry mouth
    • Tiredness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Drowsiness
    • Sweating
    • Blurred Vision
    • Yawning

    2) Serious Side Effects

    • Tremors
    • Bruising or bleeding
    • Changes in sexual ability or interest

    3) Severe Side Effects

    • Fast/Irregular heartbeat
    • Seizures
    • Eye pain, swelling, or redness
    • Widened pupils
    • Vision changes
    • Black vomit or stools

It may be normal to experience mild side effects at the start of this medication, but if they persist or worsen over time, you should have a conversation with your doctor. If, on the other hand, you experience serious side effects, you should tell your doctor immediately. And you must seek medical attention right away upon experiencing any of the severe side effects listed.

Furthermore, Celexa can sometimes (though rarely) cause serotonin syndrome/toxicity, which is a very serious condition that stems from an increase in serotonin. Symptoms of this condition include fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, severe nausea or vomiting, unexplained fever, and unusual twitching. If you experience even just one of these symptoms, you must get medical help right away.

Before Taking Celexa…

It’s important you take precautionary measures while on your treatment journey. Before you start taking Celexa, you should first…

  • Tell your health care practitioner about any allergies you have, as active ingredients in Celexa can cause allergic reactions or other issues.
  • Talk to them about your medical history, including personal and family history with bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder, suicide attempts, liver disease, seizures, bleeding problems, or glaucoma.
  • Disclose all of the products you use, whether they are prescription or nonprescription drugs (like alcohol or weed).
  • Ask your doctor any questions you may have. It’s important that you understand what kind of medication you’re going on before actually beginning use. So ask the doctors any question you may have about Celexa, its purpose, and its side effects.

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