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Celexa FAQs

Q: What is Celexa?

A: Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide) is an antidepressant medication that is manaufactured by Forest Laboratories, Inc. and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998. It's part of a class of medications known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Q: Has there been any recent news about Celexa?

A: The FDA released two alerts related to Celexa in July 2006. First, the agency announced the results of a study regarding the link between the use of antidepressant medicines during pregnancy and babies being born with a serious condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Second, the FDA reported that a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome can occur when SSRIs like Celexa are taken in conjunction with medicines used to treat migraine headaches known as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonists (triptans).

In recent years, the FDA has worked closely with the manufacturers of all marketed antidepressants to fully evaluate the risk of suicidality in children, adolescents, and adults treated with these medications. Celexa maker Forest Laboratories, Inc. added a black box warning, the FDA's most stringent warning, to Celexa's packaging, describing the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents taking these types of drugs.

Q: Who shouldn't take Celexa?

A: You shouldn't take Celexa if you take another type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), or if you've stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Taking these two drugs close in time can result in serious and sometimes fatal reactions, including coma, seizures, and high body temperature.

Q: Are there any serious health risks associated with Celexa?

A: Harmful side effects may occur if you stop taking Celexa suddenly. Your healthcare professional should slowly decrease your dose as necessary. Other risks of Celexa use include an increased risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions, bleeding problems, mania, seizures, and sexual problems. There are also increased risks if you take Celexa while you are or may become pregnant.

Q: Are there any side effects associated with Celexa?

A: Side effects associated with Celexa use include dry mouth, nausea, and sleepiness.

Q: What should I tell my healthcare professional before he or she prescribes Celexa?

A: It's important to tell your healthcare professional about all known medical conditions, especially if you have liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. Also, tell your healthcare professional if you breast-feed or plan to breast-feed your baby.

Q: Can other medicines or foods affect Celexa?

A: It's important to tell your healthcare professional about all prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you take. You shouldn't take Celexa with Lexapro (escitalopram), another drug used to treat depression. Since these two drugs are similar, taking them together can increase the risk of an overdose. Finally, you should talk to your healthcare professional if you plan to drink alcohol while taking Celexa.

Q: What should I do if I think I have been injured as a result of taking Celexa?

A: If you've experienced harm such as a birth injury related to Celexa use, you may be entitled to legal remedy for any injuries to you or your child caused by Celexa use. You should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. Once you've received medical attention, it may be in your best interests to contact an experienced product liability attorney

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