What is Celexa (Citalopram)?

Celexa is the brand name of the drug Citalopram (Cipramil in Europe). Celexa is a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor.1

Citalopram (Celexa) is a type of drug called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI. SSRIs are believed to prevent serotonin (a chemical produced in the nervous system, the vascular – heart and veins – system and the gastrointestinal tract that is thought to affect mood) from being transferred between cells.2

Celexa is sold in the United States by Forest Pharmaceuticals.3

Citalopram was created by H. Lundbeck A/S A, a Dutch pharmaceutical company, in 1989.4

Lundberg Pharmaceuticals began a strategic partnership, selling citalopram to Forest Pharmaceuticals for sale in the United States under the brand Celexa in 2000.5

Citalopram (Celexa) is has two molecules called stereoismomers, one active and one not active. The active molecule was used to create another drug, escitalopram, when the patent for citalopram expired. Escitalopram is sold in the United States under the name Lexapro, also by Forest Pharmaceuticals.6


1 PubMed Health, “Citalopram” (revised 15 May 2012, retrieved 30 October 2012), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001041/

2 Michael W King, PhD,”Discover what is serotonin,” http://www.whatisserotonin.com; themedicalbiochemistrypage.org, LLC, “Table of Neurotransmitters,” (last modified 25 June 2012) http://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/nerves.php#5ht

3 http://www.frx.com/products/celexa.aspx

4 Psychosomatics, Dorell K. et al., “Citalopram-Induced Diplopia” (1 February 2005), http://www.deepdyve.com/lp/american-psychiatric-publishing-inc-journal/citalopram-induced-diplopia-fL4N6mutqF

5 H. Lundbeck A/S, Annual Report 2000 (Retrieved 1 January 2012), http://www.e-pages.dk/lundbeck/82/fullpdf/full50e39a777e9f4.pdf

6 Psychopharmacology, Sanchez S. et al., “Escitalopram versus citalopram: the surprising role of the R-enantiomer” (July 2004), http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-004-1865-z; Int Clin Psychopharmacol., Lepola U. et al., “Do equivalent doses of escitalopram and citalopram have similar efficacy? A pooled analysis of two positive placebo-controlled studies in major depressive disorder.” (May 2004), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15107657; Chicago Tribune, Miller M., “Is there an advantage to Lexapro vs. Celexa?” (11 July 2012) http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-11/lifestyle/sns-201207111300–tms–harvmedctnme-a20120711-20120711_1_lexapro-escitalopram-side-effects