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Celexa Side Effects

Generic Name: citalopram

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of citalopram. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Celexa.

For the Consumer

Applies to citalopram: oral solution, oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by citalopram (the active ingredient contained in Celexa). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking citalopram:

Less common:
  • Agitation
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • fever
  • increase in the frequency of urination or amount of urine produced
  • lack of emotion
  • loss of memory
  • menstrual changes
  • skin rash or itching
  • trouble breathing
Rare
  • Behavior change similar to drunkenness
  • bleeding gums
  • breast tenderness or enlargement or unusual secretion of milk (in females)
  • chills
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with concentrating
  • dizziness or fainting
  • drowsiness
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • irregular heartbeat
  • lack of energy
  • lethargy
  • nosebleed
  • overactive reflexes
  • painful urination
  • poor coordination
  • purple or red spots on the skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • red or irritated eyes
  • redness, tenderness, itching, burning, or peeling of the skin
  • shivering
  • slow or irregular heartbeat (less than 50 beats per minute)
  • sore throat
  • stupor
  • sweating
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  • trembling, shaking, or twitching
  • trouble with holding or releasing urine
  • unusual or sudden body or facial movements or postures
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known:
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • back or leg pains
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloating
  • bloody stools
  • chest pain
  • confusion as to time, place, or person
  • constipation
  • cough
  • darkened urine
  • difficult or fast breathing
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • drooling
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • general body swelling
  • hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, or throat
  • hives
  • holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
  • impaired consciousness, ranging from confusion to coma
  • indigestion
  • itching, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of bladder control
  • loss of consciousness
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle tightness
  • muscle twitching or jerking
  • painful or prolonged erection of the penis
  • pale skin
  • penile erections, frequent or continuing
  • recurrent fainting
  • rhythmic movement of the muscles
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • swelling of the breasts or unusual milk production
  • tenderness, pain, swelling, warmth, skin discoloration, and prominent superficial veins over the affected area
  • tightness in the chest
  • total body jerking
  • twitching, twisting, uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
  • uncontrolled jerking or twisting movements
  • unusual excitement
  • vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with citalopram may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Decrease in sexual desire or ability
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
Less common:
  • Body aches or pain
  • change in sense of taste
  • gas
  • headache (severe and throbbing)
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating
  • increased yawning
  • loss of voice
  • pain in the muscles or joints
  • sneezing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tingling, burning, or prickly feelings on the skin
  • tooth grinding
  • unusual increase or decrease in weight
  • watering of the mouth
Incidence not known:
  • Bruising
  • inability to sit still
  • large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  • need to keep moving
  • uncontrolled eye movements

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to citalopram: oral solution, oral tablet

General

The side effects observed with citalopram (the active ingredient contained in Celexa) in clinical trials were generally reported as mild and transient, occurring most frequently in the first 1 to 2 weeks of therapy, and attenuating subsequently. The most commonly reported side effects were nausea, somnolence, dry mouth, increased sweating, tremor, diarrhea, and ejaculation disorder.[Ref]

Nervous system

Potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SSRIs and SNRIs as monotherapy, but particularly with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs and drugs that impair the metabolism of serotonin.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 26.9%), somnolence (up to 17.9%), dizziness (up to 10.3%)
Common (1% to 10%): Amnesia, extrapyramidal disorder, migraine, paresthesia, tremor,
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal gait, ataxia, cerebrovascular accident, convulsions, dystonia, hypoesthesia, involuntary muscle contractions, neuralgia, speech disorder, syncope, hyperkinesia, hypertonia, hypokinesia, dyskinesia, vertigo, transient ischemic attack
Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal coordination, dyskinesia, grand mal convulsion, hyperesthesia, stupor
Frequency not reported: Akathisia, movement disorder, serotonin syndrome
Postmarketing reports: Choreoathetosis, myoclonus, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, nystagmus[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 21.4%), dry mouth (up to 20%)
Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, increased saliva, taste loss/perversion, vomiting
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal bleeding (predominantly of the mucous membranes), dysphagia, eructation, esophagitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, stomatitis, teeth grinding
Rare (less than 0.1%): Colitis, diverticulitis, duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux, gingival bleeding, glossitis, rectal hemorrhage
Frequency not reported: Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis[Ref]

Psychiatric

Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 18.8%)
Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal dreams, aggravated depression, agitation, anxiety, apathy, confusion, depression, impaired concentration, nervousness, suicide attempt, sleep disorder
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Aggressive reaction, delusion, depersonalization, drug dependence, emotional lability, euphoria, hallucination, mania, panic reaction, paranoid reaction, paroniria, psychosis, psychotic depression
Rare (less than 0.1%): Catatonic reaction, melancholia, suicide-related events
Frequency not reported: Bruxism, restlessness, panic attack, suicidal ideation/behavior
Postmarketing reports: Delirium, withdrawal syndrome[Ref]

Other

Very common (10% or more): Asthenia (up to 11.5%)
Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, fever/pyrexia, tinnitus, asthenia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Facial edema, malaise, rigors
Postmarketing reports: Spontaneous abortion[Ref]

Dermatologic

Very common (10% or more): Increased sweating (up to 11.3%)
Common (1% to 10%): Rash, pruritus
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal bleeding of the skin, acne, alopecia, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, flushing, photosensitivity reaction, psoriasis, purpura, skin discoloration, urticaria
Rare (less than 0.1%): Decreased sweating, cellulitis, hypertrichosis, keratitis, melanosis, pruritus ani
Frequency not reported: Angioedema, ecchymosis
Postmarketing reports: Epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme[Ref]

Genitourinary

Urinary retention and galactorrhea have been reported with other SSRIs.

The estimates of the incidence of untoward sexual experience and performance may underestimate their actual incidence, partly because patients and physicians may be reluctant to discuss this issue. In placebo-controlled clinical trials, ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculation delay) was reported as a treatment-emergent side effect at an incidence of 6% and at least twice the incidence in placebo-treated male patients.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal orgasm/anorgasmia (female), amenorrhea, decreased libido, dysmenorrhea, ejaculation disorders/ejaculation delay, impotence, menstrual disorders, polyuria, ejaculation failure, micturition disorders
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Breast enlargement, breast pain, dysuria, galactorrhea, increased libido, menorrhagia, micturition frequency, nonpuerperal lactation, vaginal bleeding, vaginal hemorrhage, urinary incontinence, urinary retention
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hematuria, oliguria
Frequency not reported: Metrorrhagia, priapism[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Coughing, pharyngitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infection, yawning
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Bronchitis, dyspnea, epistaxis, pneumonia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Asthma, bronchospasm, hiccups, increased sputum, laryngitis, pneumonitis, pulmonary embolism[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain, hypotension, palpitations, postural hypotension, tachycardia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, cardiac failure, edema (extremities), extrasystoles, hematomas, hot flushes, hypertension, myocardial infarction, myocardial ischemia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Bundle branch block, cardiac arrest, phlebitis, QT prolongation, torsades de pointes
Frequency not reported: Ventricular arrhythmia, orthostatic hypotension
Postmarketing reports: Thrombosis[Ref]

This drug has been associated with a dose-related QT-interval prolongation; there have been reports of QT-interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmia, including torsade de pointes, particularly in females, patients with hypokalemia, or with pre-existing QT-interval prolongation, or other cardiac disease.[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Epidemiological studies, primarily in patients aged 50 years or older, have shown an increased risk of bone fractures in patients receiving SSRIs or TCAs.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia, back pain, myalgia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthritis, leg cramps, muscle weakness, skeletal pain
Rare (less than 0.1%): Bursitis, osteoporosis
Postmarketing reports: Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, decreased/increased weight, decreased/increased appetite
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal glucose tolerance, thirst
Rare (less than 0.1%): Alcohol intolerance, dehydration, hypokalemia, hyponatremia, hypoglycemia, obesity[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal accommodation
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal vision, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, eye pain, mydriasis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal lacrimation, cataract, diplopia, photophobia, ptosis
Frequency not reported: Visual disturbance, acute narrow angle glaucoma
Postmarketing reports: Angle-closure glaucoma[Ref]

Hepatic

Common (1% to 10%): Increased alkaline phosphatase
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased ALT, GGT, and AST
Rare (less than 0.1%): Bilirubinemia, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, hepatitis, jaundice
Frequency not reported: Abnormal liver function test
Postmarketing reports: Cholestatic hepatitis, hepatic necrosis[Ref]

Immunologic

Common (1% to 10%): Influenza-like symptoms
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hay fever[Ref]

Hematologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anemia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, lymphadenopathy
Rare (less than 0.1%): Coagulation disorder, granulocytopenia, hemorrhage, hypochromic anemia, lymphocytosis, lymphopenia
Frequency not reported: Thrombocytopenia
Postmarketing reports: Decreased prothrombin, hemolytic anemia[Ref]

Endocrine

Rare (less than 0.1%): Goiter, hypothyroidism
Frequency not reported: Inappropriate ADH secretion
Postmarketing reports: Prolactinemia[Ref]

Renal

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pyelonephritis, renal calculus, renal pain
Postmarketing reports: Acute renal failure[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic reaction, hypersensitivity not otherwise specified
Postmarketing reports: Allergic reaction[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Celexa (citalopram)." Forest Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, MO.

Not all side effects for Celexa may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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