What does Celexa treat? (3+ uses)

In this article, we will discuss the uses of Celexa (Citalopram). We will also discuss its FDA approved and Off-label uses and some common side effects.

What does Celexa treat?

Citalopram, sold under the brand name Celexa, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following conditions:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Celexa is a prescription medication and works primarily in the brain by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, a brain chemical. In this way, Citalopram allows more serotonin to remain in the synapses for a longer period. The increased levels of serotonin help to normalize the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. This, in turn, can alleviate symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety (1).

Let’s discuss the FDA-approved uses of Celexa.

Major depressive disorder (MDD)

Citalopram is primarily prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorder, commonly referred to as depression, in adults aged 18 years and above. It helps to reduce the symptoms of sadness, loss of interest in daily routine, and changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

Panic disorder

Citalopram is also used to treat panic disorder, a type of anxiety disorder characterised by sudden and recurring panic attacks. It decreases the duration and intensity of panic attacks. It also reduces the symptoms of fear and physical discomfort (2).

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

Celexa may also be prescribed for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a type of anxiety disorder characterized by excessive worry about different aspects of life.

What are the off-label uses of Celexa?

Off-label uses of Celexa include (3):

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):  In some cases, Citalopram may be prescribed to manage symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD involves recurring unwanted thoughts (obsession) and repetitive behaviours or rituals (compulsions). Citalopram can help reduce the severity of these symptoms (4).

Social anxiety disorder (Social phobia): Citalopram is used to treat social anxiety disorder, which involves intense fear and avoidance of social situations due to anxiety about being judged or embarrassed.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Celexa may be used to treat symptoms of PTSD such as intrusive thoughts, nightmares and anxiety.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD): Celexa can be used to alleviate symptoms of PMDD by regulating mood and reducing emotional symptoms.

Always use Celexa after consulting your doctor first. They will determine the appropriate dosage and duration of treatment based on the specific condition and individual needs. Additionally, Celexa, like other antidepressants, may take several weeks to show its full therapeutic effects, and discontinuing the medication should be done under medical supervision to prevent potential withdrawal symptoms.

What are the side effects of Celexa?

Citalopram can cause some common and rare side effects (1).

Common side effects: The early side effects of Citalopram may appear within the first few days. They may vary from person to person and not everyone experiences all of them.

Some early side effects include:

Rare side effects: Some serious and rare side effects of Citalopram include:

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned side effects and they are not resolving on their own, you must see a doctor.

How to know if Celexa isn’t suitable for you?

If Celexa is not suitable for you, you may experience difficulty with sleep, temporary mood improvement that doesn’t last, consistently low mood after three months, worsening depression etc. In this case, inform your doctor immediately.

Your healthcare provider may adjust your medication dosage, consider alternative treatments, or provide additional guidance.

It is essential to maintain open communication with your healthcare provider while taking Citalopram as they can provide personalized guidance and ensure safe and effective use of medication.


In conclusion, Celexa (Citalopram) is primarily prescribed to treat depression and related mood disorders such as major depressive disorder. Additionally, it may be used for other conditions including anxiety disorders and certain off-label indications. The therapeutic use of Celexa should be determined by a healthcare provider based on an individual’s diagnosis and needs.


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