Celexa Side Effects In Women

What Is Celexa?

Celexa, also known by its scientific name citalopram, is an antidepressant medication belonging to the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It’s frequently prescribed to alleviate symptoms of depression and, in some cases, anxiety disorders. Celexa functions by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, a key neurotransmitter that regulates mood, improving overall emotional well-being. While Celexa can be highly effective in treating these conditions, it is also important to be aware of the potential side effects, particularly those that may uniquely affect women. 

Citalopram, molecule

Common Celexa Side Effects in Women

There are several side effects of Celexa in women as their bodies adjust to the medication. These can vary in intensity and duration but often improve over time. Side effects may include:

  • Nausea and Indigestion: These are common during the early stages of treatment with Celexa. These symptoms usually decrease as your body adjusts to the medication.
  • Headaches: These are another common side effect that typically decreases over time as your body becomes used to Celexa.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or excessive sleepiness can occur while taking Celexa. Monitoring your sleep patterns and observing significant changes is important.
  • Weight Changes: Weight changes, whether gain or loss, are possible when using Celexa. Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine can help manage these changes.
  • Sexual Health: A decrease in libido and difficulty achieving orgasm are side effects some women may experience with Celexa, affecting intimate relationships.
  • Emotional Changes: An initial increase in nervousness or anxiety may occur when starting Celexa. These symptoms usually improve as your body adjusts to the medication.

Celexa Long-Term Side Effects

While it is effective for many women, some serious side effects may occur. Being aware of these can help in managing them promptly and effectively. Potential Celexa long-term side effects include:

  • Serotonin Syndrome: It is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by excessive levels of serotonin in the brain. Symptoms include rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, muscle twitching, and confusion.
  • Heart Rhythm Issues: Celexa can cause irregular heartbeats, known as QT prolongation, which can be serious. Watch for unusual heart symptoms, and contact a healthcare provider immediately in the case of symptoms.
  • Neurological Impacts: Celexa may cause seizures or significant changes in mental status, such as confusion or hallucinations. Seek immediate medical attention if these occur.
  • Hyponatremia: This condition involves low sodium levels in the blood, leading to symptoms like headache, confusion, and weakness. Severe cases can cause seizures.
  • Bleeding Risks: Celexa can increase bleeding risk, especially when combined with other blood-thinning medications. Look out for easy bruising or unusual bleeding.

Impact of Celexa During Pregnancy

Taking Celexa during pregnancy requires careful consideration due to potential risks to the fetus. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Risk to the Fetus: Celexa may cause birth defects and complications in the fetus.
  • Manage Depression: It’s important to weigh the benefits of treating depression against the potential risks to the fetus.
  • Close Monitoring: Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor both the mother’s and baby’s health.

Impact of Celexa During Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers taking Celexa should be aware of its potential effects on the baby. Here are several key factors to consider:

  • Presence in Breast Milk: Celexa is present in low levels in breast milk and may affect the baby.
  • Infant Monitoring: Watch for any side effects in the baby, such as fussiness or feeding problems.
  • Healthcare Guidance: Discuss the benefits and risks of continuing Celexa with your healthcare provider.

Impact of Celexa During Menopause

Celexa can be particularly relevant during menopause, as it may help manage mood changes. Consider the following points:

  • Symptom Management: Celexa can help manage mood swings and depression during menopause.
  • Side Effects: Be aware that Celexa may worsen some menopausal symptoms.
  • Personalized Treatment: Work with your healthcare provider to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.

Celexa vs Zoloft

Celexa and Zoloft are both common treatments for depression and anxiety in women. They work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain to improve mood and reduce anxiety. While both are effective, they can affect women differently. Celexa is more likely to cause sleep problems, like insomnia or feeling very sleepy. Zoloft might cause more stomach issues, such as nausea and diarrhea. Deciding between Celexa and Zoloft depends on how you react to each medication and the side effects you experience. It’s important for women to talk to their doctor about their symptoms and side effects. 

Tips for Managing Side Effects

Successfully managing the side effects of Celexa is key to maintaining well-being while on this medication. Here are some tips to help reduce the impact of side effects:

  • Prescribed Dosage: Always take Celexa exactly as your healthcare provider tells you.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help reduce side effects.
  • Open Communication: Talk to your healthcare provider about any side effects you experience so they can help adjust your treatment.
  • Symptom Monitoring: Keep a diary of any side effects and how they impact you, and share this information with your healthcare provider.
Drug Side Effects

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common side effects of Celexa in women include nausea, headaches, sleep disturbances (like insomnia or excessive sleepiness), weight changes, decreased libido, and initial increases in nervousness or anxiety. These symptoms often improve as the body adjusts to the medication.

Celexa long-term side effects in women can include persistent sexual problems, changes in bone density, potential memory and thinking issues, and the risk of dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can help manage these effects.

Celexa withdrawal symptoms can include dizziness, irritability, nausea, headaches, and sensations like electric shocks. These symptoms usually appear if the medication is stopped suddenly and can be managed by gradually reducing the dose under medical supervision.

Celexa withdrawal typically starts with dizziness and nausea, followed by mood changes like irritability or anxiety. Physical symptoms, such as headaches and sensory disturbances, may occur. Symptoms usually peak within the first week and gradually decrease over the following weeks.

To stop taking Celexa safely, gradually reduce the dosage under your healthcare provider’s guidance. This helps minimize withdrawal symptoms and allows your body to adjust slowly. Never stop Celexa suddenly without consulting your doctor.

Yes, Celexa can cause changes in your menstrual cycle, including irregular periods or changes in flow. If you notice significant changes, discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Taking Celexa during pregnancy has potential risks, including birth defects and complications. It’s important to discuss the benefits and risks with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision.

Celexa can pass into breast milk in low amounts. It’s important to weigh the benefits of treating depression with Celexa against the potential risks to the infant. Discuss this with your healthcare provider and monitor the baby for any side effects.

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