Celexa is a commonly prescribed medication used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Many individuals wonder how long it takes for Celexa to work and start experiencing its therapeutic effects. Understanding the typical timeline for when one can expect to see improvement in their mental health symptoms after starting Celexa treatment can help them determine if this medication could be beneficial as part of their mental health treatment for depression or anxiety. 

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What Is Celexa?

Celexa is the brand name for the medication Citalopram. It is a type of antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin helps regulate mood, emotions, and behavior.

What Does Celexa Treat?

Celexa is commonly prescribed to help alleviate symptoms such as feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, persistent sadness, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, loss of interest in activities, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide that are associated with depression and major depressive disorder.

In addition to depression, Celexa may also be used to treat conditions like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It can help reduce excessive worry or fears, intrusive thoughts, or repetitive behaviors seen in these disorders.  It is usually taken orally in tablet form.

How Long Does It Take for Celexa to Work?

Celexa usually starts to work within one to four weeks of starting treatment. However, individual responses may vary, and some people may experience improvement in their symptoms sooner, while others could take longer.

It is important to continue taking Celexa as prescribed, even if you do not notice immediate improvements. How long does it take Celexa to work and reach its full effectiveness in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders can sometimes take longer than four weeks.

If you have been taking Celexa for a while without experiencing any improvement or if your symptoms worsen, it is vital to inform your healthcare provider. They may need to adjust your dosage or consider alternative treatment options based on your response to this mental health medication.

What Are the Side Effects of Celexa?

Celexa may cause certain side effects, such as: 

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Changes in appetite or weight

Less common but potentially serious side effects that  require immediate medical attention include:

  • Self-harm and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
  • Serotonin syndrome – a rare but serious condition characterized by high levels of serotonin in the body, leading to symptoms like confusion, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, fever, sweating or shivering, tremors, and muscle stiffness.
  • Allergic reactions such as rash, hives, or swelling.

Is Celexa Addictive?

Celexa is not considered addictive in the same way other medications, like benzodiazepines or opioids, are. Celexa does not produce the same euphoric addictive effects on the brain’s reward system as these drugs. However, abruptly stopping Celexa can cause withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Mood swings

To safely discontinue Celexa or switch medications, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to develop an appropriate plan to taper off Celex or switch to a different medication properly.

Celexa vs. Lexapro

Celexa and Lexapro (escitalopram) are both SSRIs used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. While they belong to the same class of medications, the two have some differences. Celexa contains a mixture of R-enantiomer and S-enantiomer molecules, while Lexapro comprises solely S-enantiomer molecules. This difference may contribute to variations in effectiveness or side effects.

Both medications can cause similar side effects, such as nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, or changes in appetite.  Additionally, some studies suggest that Lexapro may be slightly more potent than Celexa at lower doses due to its higher concentration of S-enantiomer molecules.

Celexa vs. Prozac

Celexa and Prozac are both antidepressants, but they belong to different classes. Celexa is an SSRI, while Prozac is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Celexa works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, while Prozac affects both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters.

Some studies suggest that Prozac may be more potent or long-lasting in its effects for certain individuals than Celexa. Both drugs can cause similar side effects.

Celexa vs. Cymbalta

Celexa and Cymbalta (duloxetine) are used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, and other conditions. However, they belong to different classes of antidepressants. Cymbalta is an SNRI and may be more effective for some individuals than Celexa. Both medications have similar side effects.

Celexa vs. Wellbutrin

Celexa and Wellbutrin are both antidepressants, but they belong to different medication classes. Celexa is an SSRI, while Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that works on dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. They also share similar side effects, but Wellbutrin has others, including: 

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Seizures, especially at higher doses
  • Mood changes or unusual behavior 
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure 
  • Blurred vision

Who Can Prescribe Celexa?

Celexa is typically prescribed by licensed healthcare providers such as:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Primary care physicians
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychiatric nurse specialists

Find Mental Health Treatment at Peachtree Wellness Solutions in Atlanta

Whether you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions, Peachtree Wellness Solutions in Atlanta is here to help. Our expert team offers caring and comprehensive mental health treatment, including medication-assisted treatment using Celexa or other medications, personalized to your unique needs. Contact us today to take the first step to improved mental health and well-being.

Contact us immediately. In the case of a medical emergency, contact 911 or visit your local emergency department.

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