Mental Health Home > What Is Citalopram Used For?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved citalopram for the treatment of depression in adults. The antidepressant, which may take several weeks to begin working, has been shown to significantly improve depression symptoms. Occasionally, citalopram is used for off-label purposes, including the treatment of anxiety, diabetic neuropathy, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

An Introduction to Uses for Citalopram

Citalopram hydrobromide (Celexa®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).

Understanding Depression

Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms include:
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.
Citalopram has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants (including citalopram) take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first, sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment.
It usually takes at least four to six weeks before significant changes in mood occur. It is important to give citalopram a chance to work before becoming discouraged.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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