Compare Celexa vs. Effexor

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Celexa
(Citalopram)

Effexor
(Venlafaxine)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Celexa (Citalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. Might be less likely to cause side effects than some antidepressants, but not the best choice for people with heart or liver problems.Improves mood and helps you relax. Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.98Celexa
Reviews for Celexa (Citalopram)
61%
of people (All ages) say Celexa (Citalopram) is worth it
51%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (Citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Effexor (Venlafaxine)
62%
+1% vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
51%
Same vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
23%
7% vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CelexaEffexor
  • Abnormal ejaculation 5%
More Celexa side effects »
  • Nausea 42%
  • Drowsiness 22%
  • Dizziness 20%
  • Nervousness 17%
  • Loss of appetite 15%
  • Sweating 14%
  • Muscle weakness 14%
  • Sleep difficulty 13%
  • Anxiety 7%
  • Vomiting 7%
More Effexor side effects »
How it works
CelexaEffexor
Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.
Type of medication
CelexaEffexor
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)
Prescription only
Available as
CelexaEffexor
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
CelexaEffexor
Risk factors for serious side effects
CelexaEffexor
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Effexor (Venlafaxine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
CelexaEffexor
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
CelexaEffexor
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sex
CelexaEffexor
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Weight
CelexaEffexor
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
CelexaEffexor
  • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
  • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
  • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
  • Might work when other antidepressants haven't worked since it affects two chemicals in the brain that impact your mood. Many other antidepressants affect only serotonin, but not norepinephrine too.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
CelexaEffexor
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
  • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (40 mg a day, or more).
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Overdosing on this medication could be fatal.
  • It's more likely to cause nausea and vomiting or make you feel sick if you miss a dose than other antidepressants. Also causes more sleepiness than others.
  • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CelexaEffexor
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • You can take the extended-release form once a day with food either in the morning or in the evening at about the same time each day.
  • Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole. If you can’t swallow pills, open the capsule, sprinkle it on a spoonful of applesauce and then swallow it without chewing.
  • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
  • Stop taking it slowly to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Celexa (Citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Effexor (Venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it