Celexa® is a brand name of the prescription medication called citalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and antidepressant.
How Celexa works
Celexa can alter your moods by adjusting how nerve cells in your brain take in serotonin, a chemical which nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Serotonin travels from one nerve cell to the next. When it arrives at the second nerve cell, it activates receptors there. After that, the first cell reabsorbs any extra serotonin that may remain in the space between the cells. This reabsorption process is called "reuptake."1
If the serotonin levels in these cells become unbalanced, depression can occur. A class of antidepressants called SSRIs adjust how brain cells reabsorb serotonin. Celexa is one of these medications.
Conditions Celexa can treat
Celexa was introduced on the market initially as a treatment for major depression. Since then, doctors have begun prescribing it for many off-label uses, including the treatment of:2
- Panic disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Body dysmorphic disorder (distress about one's physical appearance)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Premature ejaculation
- Hot flashes
These off-label uses have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Although Celexa has been used to treat autism, research shows it is not effective in doing so.3 This may mean that other SSRIs are not effective treatments for autism as well.
Celexa's efficacy for treating migraines has also been called into question. At least one other medication has been shown to be more effective than Celexa.4
Medical malpractice and Celexa
Since Celexa is a prescription antidepressant, it may sometimes cause unwanted health consequences. If you believe your doctor has prescribed Celexa inappropriately or has not informed you about its side effects, contact a personal injury attorney to inquire about your legal rights.