If you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, one potential medication that may be prescribed is Celexa (citalopram). Learning more about Celexa can help you determine whether this medication could be beneficial as part of your personalized treatment plan at Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry. 

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What Is Celexa?

Celexa is the brand name for citalopram, which is classified as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). This medication increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotions, moods, and behavior. Higher levels of serotonin help reduce stress and anxiety while increasing relaxation and calmness.

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    What Does Celexa Treat?

    Celexa is primarily used to treat various types of depression and anxiety disorders, such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. However, some people also benefit from this medication when it is used to treat other mental health disorders, including:

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    How Long Does It Take for Celexa to Work?

    The time it takes for Celexa to work and start producing noticeable improvements in symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people may notice improvements within one to two weeks as Celexa levels build up in the body. Then, it can take another few weeks or sometimes longer before the body adapts to the medication and you start noticing its effects.  


    It is important not to stop taking Celexa even if you do not feel it is working. Many people do not notice its full effects until they have been taking it for six weeks. However, experiencing the full effects could take as long as twelve weeks. 


    If you do not notice any improvements after six weeks, let your psychiatrist know. Sometimes, the dosage level may be too low. In addition, do not discontinue Celexa on your own, as you may need to be weaned off it under the guidance of your psychiatrist.

    What Are the Side Effects of Celexa?

    Celexa, like other medications, has side effects you should be aware of when considering this medication. However, most side effects are moderate to mild and often dissipate after adjusting to the medication within the first few weeks. The most common Celexa side effects include:


    • Insomnia or drowsiness
    • Headaches
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dry mouth
    • Sweating
    • Sexual dysfunction


    There are also some rare serious side effects some people may experience, such as:


    • Hemorrhaging and abnormal bleeding
    • Hyponatremia
    • Heart attack
    • Stroke
    • Chest pain
    • Irregular heart rhythm
    • Vision problems
    • Shortness of breath
    • Seizures
    • Serotonin syndrome
    • Self-harm and suicidal thoughts
    • Mania

    If you experience any side effects while taking Celexa, notify your psychiatrist as soon as possible. For the rare serious side effects, seek medical treatment immediately.

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    Is Celexa Addictive?

    Celexa is not an addictive medication when taken as directed. However, the longer it is taken, the more likely the body will develop a tolerance to it, which can cause withdrawal symptoms if the medication is suddenly stopped. Therefore, when you want to stop taking Celexa, it is vital to be weaned off it to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 


    Who Can Prescribe Celexa?

    Celexa can be prescribed by licensed healthcare providers, including:


    • PCPs (primary care physicians)
    • Nurse practitioners
    • Physician assistants
    • Psychiatrists


    Celexa vs. Lexapro

    Both Celexa and Lexapro are similar in how they treat various mental health disorders. They are also SSRI medications. The only difference is that Lexapro is also offered in tablet and liquid form, while Celexa is only available in tablet form.

    Celexa vs. Cymbalta

    Cymbalta is in another class of medications called SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). SNRIs increase both serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Unlike SSRIs, like Celexa, SNRIs can be used to treat certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

    Celexa vs. Wellbutrin

    Both Celexa and Wellbutrin can be used to treat depression. However, they are in different drug classes. Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant that affects dopamine and norepinephrine levels, similar to SNRIs. Wellbutrin can also be used for weight loss, smoking cessation, and other medical conditions. Celexa, on the other hand, can be used to treat anxiety and other mental health disorders.

    Find Psychiatry Services at Atlanta Integrative Today

    Has anxiety, depression, or other mental health condition taken control over your life? Regain control of your mental health and well-being with psychiatry services at Atlanta Integrative. We offer comprehensive and personalized outpatient mental health treatment services using evidence-based and holistic therapies tailored to your unique needs. We can also prescribe Celexa or other medications when they are beneficial for your mental health condition. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to start the path to a brighter tomorrow.

    You are not alone. You deserve to get help.

    Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry is an Industry leader in mental health treatment . Our team of top medical experts specialize in dual diagnosis treat and are committed to ensuring that each patient is treated as an individual.
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