Celexa (citalopram) is a drug that is prescribed for the treatment of depression and other types of mental conditions. It is a SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that has an effect on chemical imbalances in the brain that are believed to cause depression.
Celexa has been beneficial for many depression sufferers, providing them with improved functioning and well-being and increasing energy levels. However, as with many prescription antidepressants, the drug is also linked to many side effects that can have a significant impact on your daily life.
Common Side Effects
There are some common side effects associated with Celexa, including:
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Changes in vision
- Dry mouth
- Diarrhea, constipation, nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Gaining or losing weight
- Decreased sex drive or difficulty having sex
- Sneezing, stuffy or a runny nose, cough, and sore throat
- Impaired thinking
These side effects are often reported when patients first start using the drug, and they typically go away after several days to a few weeks after taking the drug.
Psychological Side Effects
Users of Celexa have also reported psychological side effects after taking the drug, some of which are quite serious:
- Panic attacks
- Aggressiveness, hostility, irritation, and agitation
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Increased depression
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Each of these symptoms can be serious, and patients are advised to contact their doctor if these side effects occur to determine the proper course of action.
Severe Side Effects
Severe side effects are those that pose a significant risk to the person suffering from the depression. Celexa has been linked to some severe reactions that require immediate doctor intervention:
- Eye swelling or pain, blurred or tunnel vision and seeing halos when looking at lights
- A headache accompanied by severe dizziness and chest pain, pounding or fast heartbeat or fainting
- Tremors, muscle stiffness, confusion, high fever, sweating or feeling faint
- Loss of coordination, hallucinations, fever, agitation and other indicators of increased serotonin in the body
- Decreased sodium levels leading to slurred speech, confusion, headache, vomiting and weakness
- Abnormal heart function
Each of these Celexa side effects can be dangerous, and may have long-term effects on overall health if they are not addressed as quickly as possible.
Celexa Use During Pregnancy
Celexa has been labeled as a Class C medication by the FDA, which means that research and study indicate that the drug has caused harm when used on animals during pregnancy. Due to the ethical ramifications, it is not possible to study the effects of the drug on pregnant women. However, there have been cases studies that have shown Celexa use during pregnancy may cause:
- An increase in miscarriage
- Premature delivery or decreased birth weight
- Withdrawal in the infant, which can include constant crying, problems with feeding and seizures
- Heart defects in the infant, including holes in the heart wall that can lead to irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure or stroke
- Malformations of the skull or brain
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), which is a condition wherein the infant is unable to breath in enough oxygen
- Omphalocele, which is a condition where a portion of the infant’s organs are outside of the body and require surgical intervention to return them to their proper locations
Celexa may provide benefits for pregnant women suffering from severe depression, and in many cases, doctors will recommend continuing the medication for those benefits, rather than focusing on the risk to the baby.
If you or your baby have suffered from Celexa side effects, you need to consider contacting an attorney to determine your legal rights to compensation in the case.