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Sunday, July 06, 2008 CathyB, Community Member, asks

Q: I am taking Effexor XR, could Celexa be used instead?

I was put on Effexor XR when my husband died in 05 and have found that it allows me to maintain and even temperment.  It has made a huge favorable difference in my overall well being.  I am now retired and do not have the same insurance coverage.  With the price of everything going up I was wondering if Celexa would be an equidable substitute for the Effexor?

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Answers (2)
Casey McNulty, Health Guide
7/12/08 6:56pm

Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your question. Although Celexa and Effexor XR are both anti-depressants, they belong to different classes of medications. Celexa is an SSRI, while Effexor is an SNRI. Since you are well-controlled on an SNRI, it may not be in your best interest to switch to a different class of medications. You may want to see if the short-release form of Effexor is covered by your insurance. You may have to take the medication twice a day, but it would probably work better for you than switching to another medication altogether. You could also call your insurance company to determine which antidepressant medications are covered by your insurance. I would recommend discussing your different options with your doctor, and the two of you can decide which would be the best route for you to take. You can read more about the medications used to treat depression here. I hope this helps!

Best of luck,


leafout, Community Member
10/25/08 7:16pm

the "XR" part in Effexor XR stands for time release. you get less of a zippy feeling after taking it but it can also keep you up at night [for some people]. I suggest switching to "plain" Effexor, that is without the XR after it. Take the same number of milligrams and spread the pills out over the course of the day. This is what I did to save money. I used to take 75 mg. of Effexor XR and now I take two 37.5 mg. tablets of Effexor. Except it comes in a generic so it is much cheaper! I can take the 2 pills at once or take one, wait four hours and take the second one. Works just fine!

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By CathyB, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/03/12, First Published: 07/06/08