Compare Celexa vs. Lexapro

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

Celexa
(Citalopram)

Lexapro
(Escitalopram)

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. Lexapro (Escitalopram) 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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.954148471615721Celexa
Reviews for Celexa (Citalopram)
60%
of people say Celexa (Citalopram) is worth it
50%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Lexapro (Escitalopram)
59%
1% vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
46%
4% vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
15%
Same vs. Celexa (Citalopram)
Side effects
CelexaLexapro
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Abnormal ejaculation 5%
  • Ejaculation disorder 5%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Sweating increased 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Loss of appetite 2%
More Celexa side effects »
  • Ejaculation disorder 12%
  • Ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay) 11%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Nausea 10%
  • Diarrhea 9%
  • Headache 7%
  • Drowsiness 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Dizziness 5%
  • Lower sex drive 5%
More Lexapro side effects »
How it works
CelexaLexapro
Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
CelexaLexapro
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Antidepressant
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)
Prescription only
Available as
CelexaLexapro
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
CelexaLexapro
How well it works for depression
The free Iodine Start program helps people track how well they are improving, and find the right antidepressant faster.

After 4 weeks using Start and Celexa (Citalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

After 4 weeks using Start and Lexapro (Escitalopram), here’s how much better people feel.

Risk factors for serious side effects
CelexaLexapro
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • History of bipolar disorder
  • At risk for bipolar disorder
  • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly
  • Higher dose
  • History of heart problems
  • History of liver problems
  • Older age
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
    Detailed Celexa (Citalopram) risks & warnings »
    • Age 24 years or younger
    • Using other medications that affect serotonin
    • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly
    • Higher dose
    • History of heart problems
    • History of liver problems
    • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
      • History of bipolar disorder
      • At risk for bipolar disorder
      Detailed Lexapro (Escitalopram) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CelexaLexapro
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Celexa (Citalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Lexapro (Escitalopram) can cause lower sex drive or difficulty having an orgasm. If the problem persists after the first 2 to 3 months, you can talk to your doctor about alternative antidepressants or performance-enhancing medications.
      Sleep
      • Stopping Celexa (Citalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      • Stopping Lexapro (Escitalopram) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Withdrawal symptoms usually occur within 3 days of stopping the medication, and go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      Weight
      • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      Upsides and benefits
      CelexaLexapro
      • 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 less sleepiness than some 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.
      Downsides and risks
      CelexaLexapro
      • 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).
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24 years.
      • 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.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
      • More likely to cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds) than other antidepressants.
      • Can cause an irregular heartbeat if you take a high dose (20 mg a day, or more).
      • Like most antidepressants, it can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people younger than 24.
      • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work, and might have side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you and that you can tolerate.
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CelexaLexapro
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert