Will Celexa-induced side effects go away? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether Celexa-induced side effects go away. We will also share some common side effects of Celexa, tips to manage those side effects, and other relevant information. 

Will Celexa-induced side effects go away?

Yes, Celexa-induced side effects are likely to go away once your body adjusts to the medication. Celexa results in some side effects in the initial phase of treatment but they are mild and are resolved after a few weeks of the treatment (1). 

Celexa contains citalopram, an antidepressant belonging to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It is commonly prescribed for depressive, anxiety, and panic disorders. 

Celexa results in side effects due to its interaction with the neurotransmitters in the body. It increases serotonin levels and also interacts with the receptors of acetylcholine, histamine, and adrenaline (2). 

Celexa-induced side effects are mild to moderate in intensity and do not persist for a very long time. They are likely to go away within a few weeks. However, some factors may influence the intensity and duration of side effects.

What are the side effects of Celexa? 

Celexa is associated with the following side effects (2): 

frequent side effects  nausea, tiredness, sleep disturbance, gas, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, abdominal discomfort, rhinitis, low blood pressure, ejaculation difficulties, restlessness, sweating, vomiting, tremors, dizziness, drowsiness, indigestion, migraines, increased saliva production, changes in weight, lack of interest, thoughts of self-harm, mental confusion
rare side effects high blood pressure, muscle tension, inflammation of the colon, slow heartbeat, vertigo, leg cramps, difficulty swallowing, fainting, gastritis, hot flushes, easy bruising, clotting disorder, 

What factors influence Celexa-induced side effects?

The severity, intensity, or duration of side effects may be influenced by the following factors: 


The incidence of side effects while taking Celexa is based on the dosage. In a study, it was demonstrated that some of the common side effects of Celexa had a greater incidence with higher doses (2). 

One study revealed that side effects were more pronounced with a 20mg dosage of Celexa compared to a 10mg dose (3). Thus, individuals taking higher doses are likely to experience more side effects. 

Individual characteristics: 

Individual characteristics like age and genetic makeup can influence the absorption and metabolism of Celexa in the body and affect the incidence of side effects. In some cases, side effects may persist for a longer time than the others. 

A study conducted with citalopram showed that elderly participants demonstrated a higher incidence of bradycardia and a lower incidence of sweating, headache, and gastrointestinal side effects than the younger population (4). 

Health conditions: 

Different health conditions may impact how an individual responds to the medication and may be more susceptible to the side effects of Celexa. In such cases, the duration or incidence of side effects may increase. 

Concomitant use of Celexa with other medications may also increase the incidence of side effects as every medication is associated with its respective set of side effects. Some shared side effects may be amplified with concomitant use. 

Is long-term treatment with Celexa safe? 

The efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Celexa in short-term and long-term treatment is well established. Studies have shown that a long-term treatment is associated with common side effects that have a mild to moderate severity (5).

Common side effects are well-tolerated and do not last for a long time. Celexa can be used safely in adults and the elderly population (5). 

One study included 52 elderly patients who were treated with citalopram for one year. Results demonstrated that citalopram was safe effective and well-tolerated as the side effects were infrequent and mild in intensity (6). 

How to manage some common side effects of Celexa? 

Here are some tips to deal with common side effects of Celexa (7): 

  • if you experience dry mouth, take sips of water and suck on ice chips or sugar-free sweets. 
  • if you experience sweating, try to wear loose clothes and use anti-prespirant. You can also contact your healthcare provider if you experience excessive sweating while taking Celexa. Your healthcare provider may consider reducing the dose, switching to another antidepressant, or prescribing agents like benztropine to control sweating. 
  • if you experience difficulty sleeping while taking Celexa, take it in the morning. If you feel sleepy after taking Celexa, take it at night.
  • avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, and drinking alcohol if you experience drowsiness while taking Celexa

Thus, the common side effects of Celexa can be managed and will go away within a few weeks. If side effects persist for a longer duration, or are severe in intensity, contact your healthcare provider 

What to do if Celexa-induced side effects persist?

If Celexa-induced side effects persist or become intolerable reach out to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may consider dose reduction or switching to other antidepressants if Celexa is not suitable for you. 

Alternatives to Celexa include the following: 

  • other SSRIs like sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like venlafaxine, desvenlafaxine, duloxetine
  • atypical antidepressants like bupropion
  • serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) like trazodone 

In my perspective, Celexa-induced side effects will go away within a few weeks. However, individual response may vary, and due to some factors, the intensity, severity, and duration of side effects may be increased. 

Celexa-induced side effects are mild to moderate in intensity and do not persist for a long time. Celexa is an antidepressant and its efficacy, safety, and tolerability are well-established in the literature. 

If you experience prolonged side effects while taking Celexa, contact your healthcare provider. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



National Health Service. About citalopram. [Internet]. London: National Health Service (NHS). Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/citalopram/about-citalopram/



Celexa® (citalopram hydrobromide) Tablets/Oral Solution. Forest Pharmaceuticals. Reference ID: 3224284 [Internet] [updated 2012 Dec; cited 2024 Jan 01]. Available from: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021365s030lbl.pdf


Bech P, Tanghøj P, Andersen HF, Overø K. Citalopram dose-response revisited using an alternative psychometric approach to evaluate clinical effects of four fixed citalopram doses compared to placebo in patients with major depression. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Aug;163(1):20-5. doi: 10.1007/s00213-002-1147-6. Epub 2002 Jul 3. PMID: 12185396.


Barak Y, Swartz M, Levy D, Weizman R. Age-related differences in the side effect profile of citalopram. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2003 May;27(3):545-8. doi: 10.1016/S0278-5846(03)00041-1. PMID: 12691792.


Nemeroff CB. Overview of the safety of citalopram. Psychopharmacol Bull. 2003 Winter;37(1):96-121. PMID: 14561952.


Ragneskog H, Eriksson S, Karlsson I, Gottfries CG. Long-term treatment of elderly individuals with emotional disturbances: an open study with citalopram. Int Psychogeriatr. 1996 Winter;8(4):659-68. doi: 10.1017/s1041610296002967. PMID: 9147178.

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site