Celexa (citalopram) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for use in adults to treat major depressive disorder. This condition is also referred to as depression.
Celexa comes as an oral tablet. It’s an antidepressant that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Celexa is a brand-name medication. It’s also available in a generic form called citalopram.
For information about the dosage of Celexa, including its strengths and how to take it, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Celexa, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Celexa provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Celexa, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
Read below for recommended dosages of Celexa for major depressive disorder in adults. This condition is also referred to as depression.
Celexa comes as an oral tablet. It’s taken by mouth.
Celexa is available in three strengths:
- 10 milligrams (mg)
- 20 mg
- 40 mg
Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage of Celexa. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for depression
For depression, the typical starting dosage of Celexa in adults is 20 mg taken once per day.
Your doctor will monitor you to assess how well the drug is reducing your symptoms. They may change your dosage if needed.
The typical dosage range for Celexa in adults is 20 mg to 40 mg taken once per day. The maximum dosage of Celexa is 40 mg per day. However, always take the dosage prescribed by your doctor. There isn’t an “average dose” of the drug.
Celexa is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Celexa is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Celexa and their answers.
What’s the maximum dose of Celexa?
The maximum recommended dosage of Celexa for depression is 40 milligrams (mg) taken once per day. A 40-mg tablet is the highest dose strength of Celexa that’s available.
To learn more about typical recommended dosages of this drug, see the “Celexa dosage” section above.
Is Celexa used for anxiety? If so, what is the Celexa dosage for anxiety?
That said, some doctors may prescribe Celexa off-label for anxiety. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.
If you are interested in taking Celexa for anxiety, talk with your doctor. They can recommend appropriate treatment options for this condition.
Is there a 5-mg or 60-mg dose of Celexa?
No, 5-milligram (mg) and 60-mg strengths of Celexa aren’t available. These aren’t recommended doses of the drug, either.
Celexa does come as a 10-mg tablet, but the tablet should not be split. So, Celexa’s lowest available dose strength is 10 mg.
A 60-mg dose of the drug is not recommended. The maximum recommended dosage of Celexa for depression is 40 mg taken once daily. Taking more than 40 mg of Celexa may increase your risk of side effects, including heart-related ones such as dizziness and palpitations.
In some situations, 60-mg Celexa doses have been used for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, treating OCD is an off-label use for Celexa. (Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.)
Never take a higher dose of Celexa than your doctor prescribes, as this can increase your risk of side effects. Be sure to take this drug as your doctor recommends.
The Celexa dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the severity of the condition you’re using Celexa to treat
- your age
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Celexa dosage.
If you have liver problems or are older than 60 years of age, your doctor may lower your dosage of Celexa.
In this case, the maximum daily dose of Celexa is 20 milligrams (mg) once daily. This is unlike the usual maximum recommended dosage of Celexa for depression, which is 40 mg once daily.
Celexa comes as oral tablets that you’ll take by mouth, with or without food.
It’s best to take the drug at around the same time each day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so it can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
If you’re having trouble reading your prescription label, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Celexa in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss a dose of Celexa, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, do not “double up” on that dose. Instead, just take that scheduled dose as you usually would.
If you take more Celexa than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects.
It’s important that you do not take more Celexa than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to side effects or overdose.
Symptoms of an overdose
Overdose symptoms of Celexa can include:
- tachycardia (fast heart rate) or other changes in heart rhythm
- changes in blood pressure
If you take more than the recommended amount of Celexa
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Celexa. Another option is to call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Stopping Celexa too quickly can cause side effects. In fact, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking the drug. These can last days to weeks.
Withdrawal symptoms can happen when you suddenly stop taking a drug your body has become dependent on. With dependence, your body needs the drug for you to function like usual.
Symptoms of Celexa withdrawal can include:
- low mood or other mood changes
- electric shock-like sensations
If you need to stop taking Celexa, your doctor will help you slowly decrease your dosage. This can help you avoid having withdrawal symptoms.
It’s important you do not suddenly stop taking this medication or change your dosage unless your doctor instructs you to do so.
The dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Celexa, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Celexa without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Celexa that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Celexa. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Celexa. For information about other aspects of Celexa, see this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Celexa, see this article. You can also look at Celexa’s prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. If you’d like to know how Celexa compares with Lexapro, see this article. For details on how Celexa and Zoloft compare, see this article.
- Interactions. For information about substances Celexa interacts with, see this article.
- Details about depression. For details about depression, which Celexa treats, see our depression hub and mental health hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.