Does Celexa cause irritability? (3+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Celexa (Citalopram) cause irritability. We will also discuss some factors influencing irritability and how to manage irritability while taking Celexa.

Does Celexa cause irritability?

Yes, Celexa may cause irritability in some individuals. Although it is a common side effect, individual responses to medications may vary. 

Celexa, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, is an antidepressant used to treat mental health conditions including depression and anxiety (1).

Irritability is usually experienced during the early course of treatment and it begins to subside when your body adjusts to it (2).

This is because antidepressants alter the number of active chemicals in your brain and your body does not get used to it right away. It can take 4 to 6 weeks before you begin to see a noticeable difference in your depression symptoms.

So, if you are feeling irritable during the first few weeks of your treatment with Celexa, don’t worry!

What to do if Celexa causes irritability?

If Celexa causes irritability, reach out to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will properly examine your condition and will determine the most appropriate way to resolve your symptoms.

Although irritability or agitation caused by Celexa is not a serious side effect and may subside on its own once you get used to the medication if this side effect is bothersome, communicate with your healthcare provider.

They try dose reduction at first. If you find relief on a lower dose your doctor may ask you to take it for some time. However, if dose reduction does not work, your doctor will recommend stopping the medication gradually.

It is crucial to not skip the doses or discontinue the antidepressants abruptly. Celexa can take some time to leave your system. Its abrupt withdrawal is associated with a condition called “discontinuation syndrome” (3). It results in symptoms like

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Headache 
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating

If the antidepressant continues to harm you and affect the quality of your life, your doctor will most likely switch you to another medication.

Potential factors influencing irritability in Celexa users

Several factors can influence the occurrence of irritability in individuals who are taking Celexa:

Dosage: Higher doses of Celexa may increase the likelihood of irritability as a side effect. So, for some people lower dose might be more appropriate.

Individual variability: People react differently to medications because of their genetic makeup, what causes irritability in one person may not affect another in the same way.

Initial adjustment: Irritability could be more pronounced during the initial adjustment period and could improve with time. 

Duration of use: Some individuals experience irritability when they have been using Celexa for a long period. This might be related to long-term changes in the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

Drug interactions: Celexa can interact with other medications which increases the risk of irritability. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking to minimize potential interactions.

Underlying conditions: Depression and anxiety themselves can cause irritability, and as the medication helps alleviate these symptoms, irritability may decrease. 

Adherence to treatment plan: If an individual is not taking Celexa as prescribed it can result in fluctuations in medication levels in the body which may contribute to irritability or other side effects.

Tips to manage irritability while taking Celexa

Here are some tips for managing irritability as a side effect while taking Celexa:

  • Maintain a consistent medication schedule as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid or limit the consumption of alcohol and substances that can interact with Celexa.
  • Do regular physical activity and exercise to help reduce stress and improve mood.
  • Maintain a balanced diet with nutritious food.
  • Be patient as your body adjusts to the medication and irritability may lessen over time.


In conclusion, Celexa (Citalopram) can cause irritability as a side effect, particularly during the initial adjustment phase. However, not everyone will exerpience this side effect, and irritability may improve with time as the body adapts to the medication. Monitoring by healthcare provider is important to address and manage any adverse effects while taking Celexa.



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