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{"id":556054839369,"title":"Celexa Review: Can The Pill Cure Depression?","created_at":"2021-12-15T13:39:29-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Celexa Review: Can The Pill Cure Depression?\",\n \"keywords\": \"celexa, celexa reviews, celexa review, citalopram, citalopram reviews, citalopram side effects, celexa side effects, celexa generic, celexa vs lexapro, celexa for anxiety, celexa generic name, celexa vs zoloft, celexa for pain\",\n \"description\": \"Our MD and research team reviews the medical studies on antidepressant medication Celexa to determine if it’s likely to be effective, and we highlight side effects shown in medical trials. We also discuss a natural research-backed supplement for depression that patients may want to consider.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/celexa-review\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber MD\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"contributor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Celexa_Thumbnail.jpg?v=1642289380\",\n\"width\": \"3000\",\n\"height\": \"3000\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10860138\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30201459\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22786497\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/probiotics-dead-on-arrival\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/14561952\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/drugs\/drug-safety-and-availability\/fda-drug-safety-communication-revised-recommendations-celexa-citalopram-hydrobromide-related\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/cymbalta-review\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/contrave-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4034101\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/15107719\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18674407\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/20875220\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/17647298\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9547134\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6415809\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28064110\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"side effects\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Zoloft\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Lexapro\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"citalopram\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"St. John's Wort\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2021-12-21\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Logo.png?v=1641249064\", \n \"width\": 150,\n \"height\": 150\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"Address\": {\n \"@type\": \"PostalAddress\",\n \"streetAddress\": \"50 Union Street, Unit 9\",\n \"addressLocality\": \"Northampton\",\n \"addressRegion\": \"Massachusetts\",\n \"postalCode\": \"01060\",\n \"addressCountry\": \"US\"\n},\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cem\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/em\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Celexa_Review_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1639594397\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eDisclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regards to prescription medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eC\u003c\/span\u003eelexa is the brand name for a generic drug called citalopram which is prescribed for depression. We will use these two terms interchangeably throughout this article. It’s a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is one of the most common classes of drugs used to treat depression.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll review the medical research on Celexa to determine if it’s likely to be effective, and cover side effects shown in medical trials. We’ll also highlight a natural alternative treatment for depression that patients may want to talk with their doctor about.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eDoes Celexa Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelexa has been studied extensively in medical trials. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. to treat depression in adults. It’s also one of the oldest drugs, having launched in the U.S. in 1998.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/10860138\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e from 2000 found that Celexa was significantly more effective for depression than placebo, and was comparably effective to other first-line depression drugs.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/30201459\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emore recent medical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, published in 2018 in the Journal of Stroke \u0026amp; Cerebrovascular Diseases, analyzed 20 individual studies on Celexa for depression. The researchers found that the drug was more effective than placebo for treating depression, and also noted that Celexa was effective in a shorter timeframe than other SSRIs.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/22786497\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical study\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e compared the effectiveness of Celexa with other leading antidepressants. While all of the drugs reviewed helped treat depression on average, there were some interesting results. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelexa was shown to be “significantly less effective” than escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) but more effective than paroxetine (brand name Paxil). Researchers also noted that fewer patients withdrew from trials involving Celexa when compared with a class of antidepressants called tricyclics.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOverall this data suggests that Celexa is effective for treating depression. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that the FDA has very stringent requirements for the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs. We should note that the clinical data shows that Celexa works \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eon average\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, and does not mean it will work for every individual patient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eHow Does Celexa Work?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelexa works by inhibiting reuptake of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that facilitates nerve signaling and proper brain function. Interestingly, the vast majority of serotonin is released into the gut and not the brain, which may explain why \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/probiotics-dead-on-arrival\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eprobiotics\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e can benefit mental health. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eInhibition of reuptake means that Celexa delays natural processing of serotonin by the body, resulting in artificially elevated levels of serotonin in the brain.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince serotonin is shown in research to directly influence mood, this is thought to be the main biochemical pathway by which Celexa (and other SSRIs) are effective for treating depression.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCelexa Side Effects\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs with most pharmaceutical drugs, Celexa does have side effects to consider. According to \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/14561952\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical studies\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, the most common side effects of Celexa are: nausea, sleepiness, dry mouth, and increased sweating. These side effects are relatively minor.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe more rare side effects of Celexa are more concerning in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe FDA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.fda.gov\/drugs\/drug-safety-and-availability\/fda-drug-safety-communication-revised-recommendations-celexa-citalopram-hydrobromide-related\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003epublished a safety announcement\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on the risk of Celexa causing abnormal heart rhythms. The agency recommended the drug not be used at doses higher than 40 milligrams (mg) daily to minimize this risk.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSuicidal ideation seems to be a rare side effect of Celexa, which is unfortunately the case for a number of antidepressants (notably \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/cymbalta-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCymbalta\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e and \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/contrave-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eContrave\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e which we recently reviewed).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC4034101\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e of various antidepressants found that Celexa nearly doubled the rate of suicidal ideation or attempted suicide, with 7.1% of Celexa users in the cited study reporting one of these issues compared to only 3.6% of users taking placebo.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMost users of Celexa will not suffer from rare and severe side effects based on the data, but it’s unfortunate that the potential for such serious adverse events exists.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCelexa Vs. Lexapro\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe referenced in a previous section how Lexapro was more effective than Celexa for depression in a medical review, but there have actually been clinical trials directly comparing the two. Since these are two of the most popular SSRI medications for depression, consumers are often curious which of the two has a stronger medical backing.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/15107719\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e comparing Celexa and Lexapro for major depressive disorder found that Lexapro was significantly more effective, and that the effects were observable in the data as early as week 1.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/18674407\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003estudy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on Celexa vs. Lexapro in elderly patients found that patients taking Lexapro were significantly less likely to be hospitalized, and were less likely to discontinue treatment (indirectly suggesting that the treatment was more effective or tolerable).\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOne \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/20875220\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e analyzed 8 different individual trials on Celexa vs. Lexapro and concluded that Lexapro was more effective as an antidepressant.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBased on the available research, we conclude that Lexapro is more effective overall for treating depression than Celexa.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eCelexa Vs. Zoloft\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother popular SSRI is Zoloft, which is the brand name of a drug called sertraline.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/17647298\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the Human Psychopharmacology journal found that Celexa was more effective on average than Zoloft on average and had a higher number of patients that responded positively to the treatment.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAnother \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/9547134\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003estudy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e (this one double-blinded, making the results more trustworthy) comparing Zoloft and Celexa in patients with major depression found that Celexa was more effective, but not to a statistically significant degree. 81% of participants responded favorably to Celexa, while 76% responded favorably to Zoloft.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIt appears based on clinical data that Celexa is slightly superior to Zoloft as an antidepressant.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eShould I Take Celexa Generic?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe generic form of Celexa is called citalopram. Purchasing generic drugs is often cheaper than buying the brand-name drug.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC6415809\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003estudy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e on the effectiveness of generic drugs vs. brand-name drugs found that there was no difference. The study analyzed data on hundreds of thousands of patients taking brand-name and generic drugs of the same compound.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor patients with a tight budget who are prescribed Celexa, we do think it makes sense to ask your doctor about the generic form, since the active chemical compound is exactly the same. Citalopram should be just as effective as Celexa, since they are the same compound just named differently.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural Depression Alternative - St. John’s Wort\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eGiven that Celexa has rare but significant side effects, patients considering medication for depression may wish to speak with their doctor about an herbal supplement called St. John’s Wort which has been studied extensively for antidepressant effect, and doesn’t have any significant side effects at proper doses.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eFor mild-to-moderate (but not major) depression, St. John’s Wort was shown in an \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/28064110\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eextensive medical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be as effective as SSRIs. The researchers conducting this review analyzed 27 individual trials on St. John’s Wort for depression. The studied ranged from 4-12 weeks so the long-term safety of this supplement isn’t as well-established as the long-term safety data of prescription medication.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eSince herbal supplements can vary so much in terms of quality as they aren’t as strictly regulated as prescription drugs, we think it’s worth noting that most of the St. John’s Wort extract used in the medical trials was standardized to 2-5% hyperforin and 0.3% hypericin. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePatients considering St. John’s Wort may wish to speak to their doctor about sourcing a supplement which mirrors those standardization ratios used in medical trials on the herb.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCelexa can cure depression effectively on average, but it may cause some rare but life-threatening side effects such as heart arrythmias and suicidal ideation.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eOur review of medical research found that Celexa appears to be more effective for depression than Zoloft, but less effective than Lexapro. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eCitalopram, which is the generic form of Celexa, should be just as effective and can sometimes be purchased at a lower cost.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePatients with mild-to-moderate depression who are considering treatment may wish to talk to their doctor about herbal supplement St. John’s Wort, which has very impressive clinical data and essentially negligible side effects if dosed properly. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2021-12-21T00:30:01-05:00","updated_at":"2022-08-18T20:09:28-04:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eWe review the medical research on antidepressant medication Celexa to determine if it’s likely to be effective, and cover side effects shown in medical trials. We’ll also highlight a natural alternative treatment for depression that patients may want to consider.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"celexa-review","tags":"_related:antidepressant"}

Celexa Review: Can The Pill Cure Depression?

Celexa Review: Can The Pill Cure Depression?


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice, and is just the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regards to prescription medication.

Celexa is the brand name for a generic drug called citalopram which is prescribed for depression. We will use these two terms interchangeably throughout this article. It’s a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is one of the most common classes of drugs used to treat depression.

In this article we’ll review the medical research on Celexa to determine if it’s likely to be effective, and cover side effects shown in medical trials. We’ll also highlight a natural alternative treatment for depression that patients may want to talk with their doctor about.

Does Celexa Work?

Celexa has been studied extensively in medical trials. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. to treat depression in adults. It’s also one of the oldest drugs, having launched in the U.S. in 1998.

A medical review from 2000 found that Celexa was significantly more effective for depression than placebo, and was comparably effective to other first-line depression drugs.

A more recent medical review, published in 2018 in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases, analyzed 20 individual studies on Celexa for depression. The researchers found that the drug was more effective than placebo for treating depression, and also noted that Celexa was effective in a shorter timeframe than other SSRIs.

One medical study compared the effectiveness of Celexa with other leading antidepressants. While all of the drugs reviewed helped treat depression on average, there were some interesting results. 

Celexa was shown to be “significantly less effective” than escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) but more effective than paroxetine (brand name Paxil). Researchers also noted that fewer patients withdrew from trials involving Celexa when compared with a class of antidepressants called tricyclics.

Overall this data suggests that Celexa is effective for treating depression. This shouldn’t be surprising, given that the FDA has very stringent requirements for the efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs. We should note that the clinical data shows that Celexa works on average, and does not mean it will work for every individual patient.

How Does Celexa Work?

Celexa works by inhibiting reuptake of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that facilitates nerve signaling and proper brain function. Interestingly, the vast majority of serotonin is released into the gut and not the brain, which may explain why probiotics can benefit mental health. 

Inhibition of reuptake means that Celexa delays natural processing of serotonin by the body, resulting in artificially elevated levels of serotonin in the brain.

Since serotonin is shown in research to directly influence mood, this is thought to be the main biochemical pathway by which Celexa (and other SSRIs) are effective for treating depression.

Celexa Side Effects

As with most pharmaceutical drugs, Celexa does have side effects to consider. According to medical studies, the most common side effects of Celexa are: nausea, sleepiness, dry mouth, and increased sweating. These side effects are relatively minor.

The more rare side effects of Celexa are more concerning in our opinion.

The FDA published a safety announcement on the risk of Celexa causing abnormal heart rhythms. The agency recommended the drug not be used at doses higher than 40 milligrams (mg) daily to minimize this risk.

Suicidal ideation seems to be a rare side effect of Celexa, which is unfortunately the case for a number of antidepressants (notably Cymbalta and Contrave which we recently reviewed).

A medical review of various antidepressants found that Celexa nearly doubled the rate of suicidal ideation or attempted suicide, with 7.1% of Celexa users in the cited study reporting one of these issues compared to only 3.6% of users taking placebo.

Most users of Celexa will not suffer from rare and severe side effects based on the data, but it’s unfortunate that the potential for such serious adverse events exists.

Celexa Vs. Lexapro

We referenced in a previous section how Lexapro was more effective than Celexa for depression in a medical review, but there have actually been clinical trials directly comparing the two. Since these are two of the most popular SSRI medications for depression, consumers are often curious which of the two has a stronger medical backing.

One clinical trial comparing Celexa and Lexapro for major depressive disorder found that Lexapro was significantly more effective, and that the effects were observable in the data as early as week 1.

Another study on Celexa vs. Lexapro in elderly patients found that patients taking Lexapro were significantly less likely to be hospitalized, and were less likely to discontinue treatment (indirectly suggesting that the treatment was more effective or tolerable).

One medical review analyzed 8 different individual trials on Celexa vs. Lexapro and concluded that Lexapro was more effective as an antidepressant.

Based on the available research, we conclude that Lexapro is more effective overall for treating depression than Celexa.

Celexa Vs. Zoloft

Another popular SSRI is Zoloft, which is the brand name of a drug called sertraline.

A medical review published in the Human Psychopharmacology journal found that Celexa was more effective on average than Zoloft on average and had a higher number of patients that responded positively to the treatment.

Another study (this one double-blinded, making the results more trustworthy) comparing Zoloft and Celexa in patients with major depression found that Celexa was more effective, but not to a statistically significant degree. 81% of participants responded favorably to Celexa, while 76% responded favorably to Zoloft.

It appears based on clinical data that Celexa is slightly superior to Zoloft as an antidepressant.

Should I Take Celexa Generic?

The generic form of Celexa is called citalopram. Purchasing generic drugs is often cheaper than buying the brand-name drug.

A study on the effectiveness of generic drugs vs. brand-name drugs found that there was no difference. The study analyzed data on hundreds of thousands of patients taking brand-name and generic drugs of the same compound.

For patients with a tight budget who are prescribed Celexa, we do think it makes sense to ask your doctor about the generic form, since the active chemical compound is exactly the same. Citalopram should be just as effective as Celexa, since they are the same compound just named differently.

Natural Depression Alternative - St. John’s Wort

Given that Celexa has rare but significant side effects, patients considering medication for depression may wish to speak with their doctor about an herbal supplement called St. John’s Wort which has been studied extensively for antidepressant effect, and doesn’t have any significant side effects at proper doses.

For mild-to-moderate (but not major) depression, St. John’s Wort was shown in an extensive medical review to be as effective as SSRIs. The researchers conducting this review analyzed 27 individual trials on St. John’s Wort for depression. The studied ranged from 4-12 weeks so the long-term safety of this supplement isn’t as well-established as the long-term safety data of prescription medication.

Since herbal supplements can vary so much in terms of quality as they aren’t as strictly regulated as prescription drugs, we think it’s worth noting that most of the St. John’s Wort extract used in the medical trials was standardized to 2-5% hyperforin and 0.3% hypericin. 

Patients considering St. John’s Wort may wish to speak to their doctor about sourcing a supplement which mirrors those standardization ratios used in medical trials on the herb.

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Conclusion

Celexa can cure depression effectively on average, but it may cause some rare but life-threatening side effects such as heart arrythmias and suicidal ideation.

Our review of medical research found that Celexa appears to be more effective for depression than Zoloft, but less effective than Lexapro. 

Citalopram, which is the generic form of Celexa, should be just as effective and can sometimes be purchased at a lower cost.

Patients with mild-to-moderate depression who are considering treatment may wish to talk to their doctor about herbal supplement St. John’s Wort, which has very impressive clinical data and essentially negligible side effects if dosed properly. 





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