Is citalopram generic for Celexa? (3+ uses)

In this article, we will discuss whether citalopram is the generic for Celexa. We will also discuss the available dosage forms of Celexa, its uses, and other relevant information. 

Is citalopram generic for Celexa?

Yes, citalopram is the generic name for the medication sold under the brand name Celexa. Citalopram, an antidepressant, is categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). 

Forest Pharmaceuticals is the original company that developed and marketed Celexa. Now, multiple pharmaceutical companies have produced their versions of citalopram that are sold under different brand names.  

Citalopram is the active ingredient of Celexa and it is used to treat several depression and anxiety disorders.

The generic versions of Celexa refer to medications that contain the same active ingredient but differ in the inactive ingredients. They are produced by different pharmaceutical companies and are typically more affordable than brand-name medications. 

The generic versions of Celexa may differ in appearance, packaging, and cost but are similar in terms of efficacy, safety, and indications. 

What dosage forms are available for Celexa? 

Citalopram is supplied as Celexa in the form of tablets and oral solutions. Tablets are oval and film-coated and vary in appearance based on their strengths. Here is how citalopram is supplied as Celexa (1): 

dosage forms strength color scored (N/Y) quantity 
tablets 10mg beige N 100
tablets 20mg pink Y 100
tablets 40mg white Y 100
oral solution 10mg/5ml 240ml 

How does citalopram work as Celexa? 

Celexa influences the neurotransmitters in your body. It is an antidepressant that increases the levels of serotonin as a serotonin deficit is involved in the development of depression (1)

By regulating the levels of serotonin, Celexa improves your mood and reduces negative emotions like fear, anxiety, self-blame, criticism, and feelings of disgust that are commonly present in depressed individuals. 

Citalopram, the active ingredient in Celexa is also known to elevate the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is reduced in depressed individuals. Citalopram also has antihistaminic activity that causes sedation (2). 

Does Celexa work well? 

The effectiveness of citalopram when supplied as Celexa has been well-established in different clinical trials. Patients with depression have been treated with Celexa in the dose range of 20-80mg per day (1)

Celexa has been tested for its efficacy in short-term and long-term studies and it has been demonstrated that it is effective, well-tolerated, and safe to be used in patients with depressive disorders (1). 

Studies have also shown the efficacy of citalopram in treating anxiety disorders and improving the occupational and social functioning of individuals (3). It can be used to treat different conditions in which symptoms like depression are present. 

What is Celexa used for? 

Celexa is primarily used for depression and is officially approved for this purpose. However, antidepressants like Celexa are used off-label to manage different conditions. Celexa is used to treat the following conditions besides depression (2):

  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • panic disorder
  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • binge eating disorder 
  • social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • separation anxiety disorder 
  • premature ejaculation 

What are the side effects of Celexa? 

Celexa has the active ingredient citalopram which is associated with several side effects. The intensity and incidence of these side effects are more with higher doses. Side effects caused by Celexa include (1,2): 

  • nausea
  • tiredness
  • gas
  • dry mouth
  • sweating
  • lightheadedness
  • sleep disturbance
  • vomiting
  • increased heartbeat
  • abdominal discomfort
  • restlessness
  • suicidal thoughts
  • weight changes
  • sedation
  • drowsiness 
  • low blood pressure
  • confusion 

How to take Celexa properly? 

Celexa is a prescription medication so it should be used if prescribed by the healthcare provider. The treatment with Celexa begins with a dose of 20mg/day which can be raised to a maximum of 40mg/day gradually (2). 

For patients who are older than 60 years of age, or those who suffer from liver disease, the maximum recommended dose of Celexa is 20 mg (2). If these patients don’t respond to the treatment, the dose might be raised to 40mg/day (1). 

Celexa can be taken in the morning or night and with or without food. Celexa is not generally prescribed at doses higher than 40mg due to the risks of side effects. Research has shown that a 60mg dose does not work better than a 40 mg dose (1).

Thus, you should not increase the dose of Celexa by yourself if you feel that the medication is not working for you. If you don’t respond to Celexa, your healthcare provider may prescribe another antidepressant. 

Alternatives to Celexa include: 

  • other SSRIs like paroxetine, sertraline
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine
  • serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors like trazodone 
  • tricyclic antidepressants (SNRIs) like amitriptyline 

Your healthcare provider may prescribe Celexa with other antidepressants to enhance the therapeutic effects. Celexa can also be combined with psychotherapy for better outcomes. 

What are some other brands of citalopram? 

Citalopram is available under various brand names worldwide. Some of the brand names of citalopram other than Celexa include the following: 

  • Cipramil
  • Cipralex
  • Citrol
  • Dalsan 
  • Seropram 
  • Ciprapine
  • Ciprotan 

In my perspective, citalopram is the generic for Celexa. Celexa is the brand name for citalopram and is supplied as tablets and oral solutions. Celexa differs from generic drugs of citalopram in appearance, cost, and inactive ingredients. 

However, the generic versions of citalopram are similar to Celexa in terms of efficacy, safety, and uses. The efficacy of Celexa in treating depressive and anxiety disorders is well-established. 

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Celexa® (citalopram hydrobromide) Tablets/Oral Solution. Forest Pharmaceuticals. Reference ID: 3224284 [Internet] [updated 2012 Dec; cited 2024 Jan 03]. Available from:,021046s015lbl.pdf


Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. [Updated 2023 Nov 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Varia I, Rauscher F. Treatment of generalized anxiety disorder with citalopram. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2002 May;17(3):103-7. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200205000-00002. PMID: 11981350.

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