What is Citalopram (Celexa)?

Celexa, the brand name for the generic medication Citalopram, is commonly used to treat depression. This medication is among a group of prescription medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain, thus helping to rebalance the patient’s mood and alleviating the symptoms of depression.

Other reasons a doctor might prescribe this medication is to treat eating disorderspanic disordersalcoholismpremenstrual dysphoric disorder, or social phobia.

Citalopram (Celexa) takes anywhere between one and four weeks to reach maximum effectiveness for the patient and, like many medications, it can lead to various side effects over the short and long term. Taking this medication over a long period of time can cause your body to become addicted to it, making withdrawal challenging, as the side effects of withdrawal itself can be difficult.

Citalopram (Celexa) Withdrawal And Detox

If you have been taking Citalopram (Celexa) for four weeks or less, it is unlikely there has been enough effect on your serotonin levels to cause withdrawal symptoms if you stopped taking your prescription.

Longer-term users of this medication will probably have withdrawal symptoms of varying degrees, depending on a few different factors: how long the drug has been taken, the daily dosage, the body’s physiology, and how the withdrawal is handled (tapering vs. “cold turkey”).

Detoxification can take anywhere from six weeks to 90 days, depending on the above factors, and experiences vary widely. There’s no way to know exactly how the withdrawal will affect you until you go through it.

What Are Common Citalopram (Celexa) Withdrawal Symptoms?

Withdrawal symptoms can be similar to the flu and not everyone will experience all withdrawal symptoms when stopping Citalopram (Celexa), but here are some that have been reported.

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Vivid dreams
  • Drowsiness
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Tingling or painful sensations
  • Sweating
  • Tremors

While this list may look rather intimidating, it’s important to keep in mind that, if the patient does experience some of these withdrawal symptoms, they will soon pass as their body recovers and re-adjusts to new serotonin levels. Things may get worse before they get better, but they will get better. Recovery is achievable!

Research shows that about 25% percent of those who take SSRI medications like Citalopram (Celexa) and stop will experience some type of withdrawal symptoms, but again, degrees will vary.

Citalopram (Celexa) Withdrawal Timeline And Symptoms Durations

The biological half-life of a drug is the time it takes for the pharmacologic activity to move through your body. For Citalopram (Celexa), that’s 35 hours, so patients who have been taking the prescription for more than four weeks could start feeling the effects of withdrawal as soon as 35 hours after taking their last dose.

The duration of the symptoms of Citalopram (Celexa) detoxification will vary by person. Some patients say their withdrawal symptoms subside after a few weeks, whereas others experience symptoms for several months. In either case, there is an end to withdrawal and complete recovery is just on the other side.

The length of time and the dosage of the prescription Citalopram (Celexa), and the patient’s own genetic and physiological makeup, will determine what they experience and how long withdrawal will last.

Managing Withdrawal Symptoms Of Citalopram (Celexa)

Recovering from the withdrawal of Citalopram (Celexa) should be monitored by a physician. Some withdrawal experiences can be severe, but a qualified physician can guide you through.

While withdrawing from Citalopram (Celexa), it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of rest, and engage in some light exercise to keep you moving and to lessen your symptoms.

Citalopram (Celexa) Medications And Detox

Because this medication is an SSRI and adjusts the serotonin levels in the brain, patients wanting or needing to stop taking Citalopram (Celexa) should taper off the medication with the help of a doctor, instead of stopping suddenly or “going cold turkey”.

Recommended tapering rates vary, so it is best to consult your doctor and have them guide you through the withdrawal process. They can help you develop a plan to deal with your underlying condition of depression after your body recovers.

How To Choose A Citalopram (Celexa) Treatment Center

A comprehensive recovery plan specific to withdrawal from SSRI medications, both physical and mental, is essential in your search for a recovery center, should you choose to go that route. There are places on the internet you can research, but it’s best to consult your doctor for recommendations. Be careful to choose a reputable facility specializing in Citalopram (Celexa) recovery, as every withdrawal and recovery process is unique.

Also, consult the Addiction Resources in Nearby Cities section to find the closest recovery center to you. Help is close by and there are doctors trained to help with recovery for your body and mind.

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.