Compare desipramine vs. Celexa

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

Norpramin
(desipramine)

Celexa
(citalopram)

Stabilizes your mood. Norpramin (desipramine) is not a first choice for treating depression because of its effects on the heart, but it can be good if other medicines haven't worked.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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Coupons for desipramine
Best available price for 30 (25mg) tablets of desipramine
Coupons for Celexa
Best available price for 30 (20mg) tablets of citalopram
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Celexa
61%
-61% worse vs. desipramine
51%
-51% worse vs. desipramine
16%
+16% better vs. desipramine
520 reviews
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
desipramineCelexa

The desipramine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about desipramine 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
desipramineCelexa
Norpramin (desipramine) is a tricyclic antidepressant. It increases the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, two chemicals that 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
desipramineCelexa
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
desipramineCelexa
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
desipramineCelexa
Risk factors for serious side effects
desipramineCelexa
  • People under age 24
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Buspirone
Detailed Norpramin (desipramine) 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
Detailed Celexa (citalopram) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

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
desipramineCelexa
No food related info.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
desipramineCelexa
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option for you if you have heart or liver problems.
Sex
desipramineCelexa
No sex related info.
  • Can cause sexual side effects like low libido and an inability to orgasm or ejaculate.
Weight
desipramineCelexa
No weight related info.
  • Can cause minor weight gain (1 to 5 pounds).
Upsides and benefits
desipramineCelexa
  • Norpramin (desipramine) is available in generic and in many different strengths, so the dose can be more customized.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) has fewer side effects than similar tricyclic antidepressants.
  • 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
desipramineCelexa
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't recommended if you or your family has heart disease, seizures, or glaucoma.
  • Norpramin (desipramine) isn't a first choice for depression because it has more side effects than other antidepressants.
  • In some people, Norpramin (desipramine) can make you sleepy. In other people, Norpramin (desipramine) can keep you awake.
  • If you have diabetes, Norpramin (desipramine) can make your blood sugar go up.
  • Not recommended in children under 12 years of age.
  • 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
desipramineCelexa
  • Don't drive or do anything requiring concentration until you know how Norpramin (desipramine) affects you since it can make you feel sleepy.
  • Talk to your doctor right away if your mood suddenly darkens and you want to hurt yourself while taking Norpramin (desipramine).
  • If you're being switched to Norpramin (desipramine) from monoamine oxidase inhibitors, you'll need to wait 2 weeks before you can start it.
  • Don't stop taking Norpramin (desipramine) suddenly without talking to your doctor first.
  • 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 desipramineSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norpramin (desipramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CelexaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Celexa (citalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it