Celexa is a drug with the generic name of Citalopram Hydrobromide. It is also available in other brands such as Cipramil and Seropram. Celexa is an antidepressant under the SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class. The US FDA has approved its use for major depression. However, some claim that a patient can use Celexa for anxiety.

Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals first created Citalopram, the main component of Celexa, in 1972. It took another 26 years before it first came to the US in 1998. Afterwards, the patent for the drug expired in 2003 allowing other companies to reproduce the generic form of the drug. Moreover, only Forest Laboratories, Inc. currently manufactures and markets Celexa in the US.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes people to experience excessive fear or worry. It is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world. It affects at least 44 million adults in the US alone. Sadly, only about a third of them get the proper treatment. (1)

Anxiety may be due to various factors such as the environment, stress, trauma, or genetics. Its severity can range anywhere from mild worry to disabling panic attacks. Multiple forms of it exist such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorders, and social anxiety disorders. It may also worsen through time if the patient disregards its symptoms.

Can I Use Celexa For Anxiety?

There are several types of anxiety that a person may experience. Hence, each kind of anxiety often needs to be treated differently. Moreover, drugs that can help one type of anxiety disorder may not be enough for other types.

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration has only approved Celexa for the treatment of depression. However, other countries allow the use of Celexa for anxiety. For example, most European countries allow the use of Celexa for the treatment of panic disorder. Spain and Denmark have likewise approved using the drug for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety that causes a person to experience recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. On the other hand, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a mental disorder that urges a person to perform or think certain actions repeatedly. The person may or may not know that these activities are unnecessary but are still unable to stop doing them. (2)

Other Off-Label Uses Of Celexa

Furthermore, some doctors often prescribe Celexa for other off-label uses such as dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder), dysmorphophobia (body dysmorphic disorder), and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. However, physicians and patients alike are reminded to take extreme caution when using any drug outside of their approved use.

Some studies were also able to show significant evidence on the efficacy of citalopram in treating generalized anxiety disorder. Furthermore, Celexa has been shown to have some potential in treating diabetic neuropathy or the pain felt by diabetic patients.

The FDA has not yet approved the use of Celexa for anxiety and these other uses. Thus, before taking the drug for disorders other than depression, make sure to consult a physician.

Also Read: Does Wellbutrin Work For Anxiety?

Understanding Anxiety. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2017, from Anxiety and Depression Association of America: https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (January 2016). “What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?”. U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Archived from the original on 23 July 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2016.

Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Celexa® (citalopram hydrobromide). Retrieved January 14, 2018, from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/020822s042,021046s019lbl.pdf