Celexa is a medication used to treat depression. It may be prescribed by a doctor depending on an individual’s symptoms, age, and health. There are many ways to receive a Celexa prescription, both in-person and online. Before considering this prescription, talk with your doctor to understand any associated risks or side effects.
What Is Celexa (Citalopram)?
Celexa (citalopram) is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).1 Celexa belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) class of drugs that works by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, thus increasing the concentration of serotonin in the brain. This helps to improve one’s mood and symptoms of depression.
SSRIs work the same way as SNRIs. However, SSRIs increase the duration of serotonin activity, while SNRIs increase the duration of both serotonin and norepinephrine activity.
In some cases, Celexa may be prescribed by practitioners for off-label uses (not FDA approved) in the treatment of various mental and physical health conditions.2
Celexa may be prescribed off-label for the treatment of:
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Postmenopausal flushing
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
Side Effects of Celexa
Celexa commonly results in mild side effects, such as nausea and sweating, as a person’s body adjusts to its presence. However, side effects may persist for some individuals. It may take four to six weeks before users notice symptom improvement while taking Celexa.3
Side effects of Celexa may include:1
- Dry mouth
- Sleeping problems
- Loss of appetite
Drug Interactions With Celexa
Combining Celexa with other substances can lead to adverse and sometimes severe reactions. Side effects of certain drugs and supplements are triggered and/or worsened when combined with Celexa, and vice versa. Before starting Celexa, it is essential to talk with your doctor about these risks to avoid harmful health implications.
Substances that negatively interact with Celexa include:1
- Non-Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- MAOI inhibitors
- Other SSRI medications
- Migraine medicines
- Blood thinners
- Water pills
- St. John’s Wort
Do I Need a Celexa Prescription?
Individuals must have a prescription for Celexa before taking the medication. While psychotherapy can be effective for treating depression, some individuals consider seeking medication instead or as a complementary treatment. Before it is prescribed, a physician will conduct diagnostic tests to understand your current mental and physical health history. They will determine if you will benefit from taking this medication and set a suitable Celexa dosage.
Who Shouldn’t Take Celexa?
Depending on a person’s health and age, side effects of Celexa can be severe. The FDA warns of an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, young adults, and adolescents. Breastfeeding or pregnant women should not take the antidepressant without a doctor’s order, as the medication increases the possibility of birth defects, preterm labor, and infant exposure to the drug.1
If Celexa does not relieve your symptoms or leads to unwanted results, talk to your doctor about determining a better alternative. While Celexa may not prove effective for some, there are other options available to help individuals manage their symptoms.
How to Get a Celexa Prescription
Celexa requires a prescription from a licensed health practitioner. Your doctor will conduct a diagnosis test to determine if you are a good candidate for the medication.
When looking to get prescribed Celexa, be sure to follow these steps:
- Make an appointment with your physician: Before a prescription can be issued, an appointment with a licensed physician must be made and attended.
- Talk with your provider about your condition: Be sure to inform your doctor about any and all of your symptoms. This will help them determine the best course of action.
- Receive a diagnosis: Upon reviewing your symptoms, a doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, inform you of treatment options, and offer tips for coping.
- Consider costs and insurance coverage: Celexa medication can be costly, especially if you do not have insurance. Consider your options before fulfilling your prescription.
Who Can Prescribe Celexa?
Like other FDA approved antidepressants, Celexa is a prescription medication, meaning that only professional medical practitioners with the appropriate training can prescribe this medication.
Professionals who can prescribe Celexa include:4
- Primary care providers
- Licensed nurse practitioners
- Psychiatrists or other medical doctors
- Some clinical psychologists
- Licensed physician assistants
How to Get Celexa Prescription Online
There are a number of online psychiatry solutions that offer Celexa prescriptions. This form of telehealth allows you to meet your physician without needing to visit a health facility.5 This can be especially helpful for those with limited local mental health resources or who have busy schedules. Using a computer, you can search for preferred providers within your area or expand it to other locations.
What If I Can’t Get Prescribed Celexa?
Celexa should only be taken as directed by a doctor. Failure to do so can worsen side effects and symptoms. In extreme cases, misuse can result in sudden death. Because of this, it is imperative that one do not take Celexa without a prescription. If you are unable to receive a Celexa prescription, your doctor can offer alternative options that work similarly.
Alternative medications to Celexa include:
Do Over the Counter Alternatives Exist?
While antidepressants are only available via a prescription, certain over-the-counter (OTC) remedies and supplements may be considered. These can help manage less severe symptoms of depression. However, before consuming these substances, talk with your doctor about any potential medical interactions and safety concerns.
OTC medications and natural supplements for depression include:4
- Vitamin D
- Fish oil
- St. John’s Wort
Questions to Ask Your Health Team
If you have been recommended Celexa and are considering it, be sure to discuss associated side effects and risks with your doctor. You can ask your physician if there are adverse reactions you may be predisposed to based on your medical and physical health history.
Questions to ask your care team about Celexa include:
- What are the severe side effects of Celexa?
- Are there alternatives to Celexa that would work better for me?
- How long will it take for Celexa to work?
- What are the best online psychiatry options for fulfilling a Celexa prescription?
- What are the safety concerns about using over-the-counter alternatives?
- How long will side effects of Celexa last?
- If my symptoms worsen while on Celexa, what should I do?
When to Seek Immediate Assistance
Certain side effects of Celexa can be life-threatening, sometimes resulting in overdose and death. If you are experiencing severe adverse reactions to your medication, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately.
Celexa is a medication that can help a person manage their symptoms of depression. However, before taking Celexa, it is necessary to first receive a prescription. Your doctor will determine if Celexa is suitable medication for you or offer alternatives to treat your condition.