Citalopram (Celexa) Prescription Facts

Citalopram (commonly known by its brand name, Celexa) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used to treat depression by helping regulate imbalanced levels of serotonin in the brain. The drug is most commonly taken in pill form, though liquid varieties may also be available to some patients.

The timing, dosage, duration, and even physical effects can all vary based on the situation of the individual being prescribed the drug. As is the case with any medication, it is important that medical professionals carefully consider all of these factors when designing a medication regimen for their patients.

Citalopram Regulations

As is the case with any drug, it can be very beneficial, but there are risks that must be considered. Fortunately for professionals and patients, the United States Food and Drug Administration continuously updates a series of guidelines regarding the prescription and use of Citalopram (Celexa). According to these government-backed regulations, it is dangerous and unlawful for medical professionals to prescribe the drug in doses exceeding 40mg per day.

It is recommended that patients with heart conditions and those over the age of 60 take Citalopram (Celexa) with particular caution, as it can increase the risk of heart failure. For all patients, it is recommended that they never suddenly cease their regimen and schedule frequent electrocardiograms with their healthcare providers in order to monitor their heart rhythms.

Risks Associated With Misuse Of Citalopram (Celexa)

Like many antidepressants, Citalopram (Celexa) can be used in a context that may be harmful to the consumer and even counterproductive to their own health and wellness. While often unpopular in a recreational context, due to its intense clinical effects, episodes in which individuals abuse the drug in combination with other substances (often alcohol and/or prescription opiates) in order to achieve a high have been known to occur. Using Citalopram (Celexa) in this way has been known to provoke feelings of euphoria, haziness, and even vivid and bizarre dreams.

It is possible to overdose on Citalopram (Celexa). Symptoms of an overdose can include discolored skin, amnesia, coma, confusion, dizziness, convulsions, drowsiness, hyperventilation, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, and vomiting. The amount that may be toxic to any given individual varies based on a wide variety of factors, including the size of the individual and their hydration level. This is why it is vital that patients strictly follow the regimen prescribed to them by a medical professional, and do not exceed the limitations of the prescription or share their medication with others.

How Citalopram (Celexa) Affects The Brain and Body

Though this drug is typically intended for the singular purpose of treating depression, Citalopram (Celexa) can still provoke a wide variety of side effects that are important for consumers to be aware of. Particularly in the first few weeks of starting the antidepressant regimen, it is common for patients to experience some uncomfortable effects as their bodies and brains adapt to the drug.

These symptoms can include lethargy, nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, sweating, blurred vision, and increased yawning. It is important for patients to continue taking the drug through this phase in order to give themselves time to adjust before considering switching to a different medication.

Factors That Influence How Long Citalopram (Celexa) Stays In Your System

In comparison to other prescription drugs, Citalopram (Celexa) has a relatively short half-life, lasting around 35 hours. This means that, in most patients, it takes 35 hours after the initial consumption for the drug to be 50 percent cleared from the body provided another dose is not taken during this time.

After the full elimination period, approximately 80 percent of the drug has been cleared through the liver and the remaining 20 percent by the kidney. Naturally, the duration of this phase can vary based on the individual’s age, size, and lifestyle. The elimination process often takes longer for elderly patients and those with hepatic or renal failure.

How Long Does Citalopram (Celexa) Stay In Your Urine, Hair, and Blood?

While Citalopram (Celexa) may be cleared from the bloodstream in just a few days, this does not necessarily mean that it can’t still be detected by other means. As is the case with many other drugs, the body can retain remnants of the medication in hair follicles and urine long after it has been filtered out of the bloodstream. With Citalopram (Celexa), experts estimate that it can take up to 10-14 days for the drug to fully leave the body.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.