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Some Precautions and Warnings With Celexa

Some Celexa precautions and warnings to be aware of include:
  • Antidepressants (including Celexa) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Depression and Suicide for more information). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include: anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior (see Celexa and Suicide for more information).


  • Antidepressants can cause a group of dangerous symptoms known as serotonin syndrome. Taking Celexa with other medications that affect serotonin can increase your risk of serotonin syndrome. These other medications include other antidepressants, triptans (migraine medications), and several other medications (see Celexa Drug Interactions for more information). Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you have any possible symptoms of serotonin syndrome, including:
    • Confusion
    • Seeing or hearing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
    • Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
    • Feeling faint
    • Fever
    • Sweating
    • Muscle spasms
    • Difficulty walking
    • Diarrhea.


  • Celexa can cause a potentially dangerous change in the heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. Combining Celexa with other QT-prolonging medications increases this risk, as does taking high doses of Celexa (more than 40 mg a day). People with low blood potassium levels, low blood magnesium levels, congestive heart failure, or certain arrhythmias have a higher risk for this problem. People with congenital long QT syndrome should avoid this medication if possible.
  • Before prescribing Celexa for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and Celexa can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
  • If you have a seizure disorder, there is a possibility that taking Celexa may cause seizures. Talk to your healthcare professional before taking Celexa if you have seizures.
  • If you are stopping Celexa, you should be monitored by a healthcare professional for Celexa withdrawal symptoms. If you do develop any symptoms of a withdrawal, such as irritability, anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, or insomnia, your healthcare provider may slow down the rate at which the Celexa is stopped (see Withdrawals From Celexa).
  • Celexa may cause bleeding in the stomach or intestines. This risk is increased in those taking aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding may include:
    • Bright red blood coating the stool
    • Dark blood mixed with the stool
    • Black or tarry stool
    • Bright red blood in vomit
    • Vomit that has the appearance of coffee grounds.


If you experience any of these symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
  • If you are elderly or taking a diuretic, Celexa could cause low salt levels in the blood (hyponatremia). This generally returns to "normal" once you stop taking Celexa.
  • If you have liver or kidney problems, you may need a lower Celexa dose (since the liver and kidneys help remove Celexa from the blood).
  • Celexa may affect your ability to perform complex tasks requiring mental and motor skills. Therefore, it is recommended that you become accustomed to its effect on you before becoming involved in activities requiring mental or motor concentration (such as driving a car or operating machinery).
  • Celexa can interact with certain medications (see Celexa Drug Interactions).
  • Celexa is a considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that Celexa may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Celexa during pregnancy (see Celexa and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Celexa passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using Celexa (see Celexa and Breastfeeding for more information).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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