Depression Home > Celexa

Celexa is a prescription drug that is used to treat depression in adults. The drug works by balancing the levels of a certain chemical in the brain (serotonin). In addition to reducing the symptoms of depression, Celexa has also been shown to reduce the chances of a relapse. The medication comes in both tablet and liquid form, and is generally taken once a day. Possible side effects include nausea, dry mouth, sweating, and insomnia.

What Is Celexa?

Celexa® (citalopram hydrobromide) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
(Click Celexa Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Celexa?

Celexa is manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals. Generic Celexa is made by several manufacturers.

How Does It Work?

Celexa is part of a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short. SSRIs, such as Celexa, act on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. Serotonin is one of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another.
As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin. The serotonin enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it. When enough serotonin reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin that remains in the gap between cells. This is called "reuptake."
Normally, this process works without any problems. When the levels of serotonin become unbalanced, however, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Celexa helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so more serotonin remains in the space between the brain's nerve cells. This gives the serotonin a better chance of activating the receptors on the next nerve cell.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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