Compare Effexor vs. Celexa

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

Effexor
(venlafaxine)

Celexa
(citalopram)

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.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.
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Prices and coupon for 60 (75mg) tablets of venlafaxine
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Prices and coupon for 30 (20mg) tablets of citalopram
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.07Effexor
Reviews for Effexor (venlafaxine)
62%
of people (All ages) say Effexor (venlafaxine) is worth it
51%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
577 reviews
Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Celexa (citalopram)
61%
-1% worse vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
51%
Same vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
16%
+7% better vs. Effexor (venlafaxine)
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EffexorCelexa
  • Nausea 24%
  • Dizziness 19%
  • Sleep difficulty 10%
  • Drowsiness 14%
  • Muscle weakness 12%
  • Loss of appetite 12%
  • Nervousness 10%
  • Sweating 7%
  • Abnormality of accommodation 8%
  • Indigestion 5%
More Effexor side effects »
  • Nausea 7%
  • Dry mouth 6%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 1%
  • Sweating increased 2%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Tremor 2%
  • Ejaculation disorder 5%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Indigestion 1%
More Celexa side effects »
How it works
EffexorCelexa
Effexor (Venlafaxine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulate mood.Celexa (Citalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
EffexorCelexa
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
EffexorCelexa
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
EffexorCelexa
Risk factors for serious side effects
EffexorCelexa
  • 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
    • History of bipolar disorder
    • At risk for bipolar disorder
    Detailed Effexor (venlafaxine) risks & warnings »
    • 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 »
      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
      EffexorCelexa
      No food related info.
      • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
      Kidneys and liver
      EffexorCelexa
      No kidneys and liver related info.
      • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
      Sex
      EffexorCelexa
      • 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
      EffexorCelexa
      No weight related info.
      • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
      Upsides and benefits
      EffexorCelexa
      • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
      • Lowers relapse rates of depression.
      • Causes more sleepiness than other antidepressants, so it's good for people who have trouble sleeping.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      • 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.
      • Causes less sleepiness compared to other antidepressants.
      • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
      Downsides and risks
      EffexorCelexa
      • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • 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
      EffexorCelexa
      • Takes about 8 to 12 weeks to see the medication's full effects on your mood.
      • 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.
      • 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 EffexorSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Effexor (venlafaxine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it