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Sunday, August 17, 2008 Lee Kiker, Community Member, asks

Q: How long does it take for Celexa 20mg qd to work?

When can I expect to feel reliel with the Celexa 20mg?

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Answers (4)
casey, Community Member
8/20/08 4:00pm

Hi Lee,

   Thanks for your question.  Celexa is an Selective Seritonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) that works by increasing the levels of seritonin in your brain. Seritonin is one of the  neurotransmitters that is responsible for our feelings of pleasure.  Like all medications in this class (ex Prozac,Lexapro,Paxil, Zoloft,) it takes awhile to exert its full effects.   You will notice improvements in a gradual fashion with this medication.  Usually after approximately 2 weeks you will start to see an improvement in your energy and increased activity.  Then after about 2 more weeks you will start to have less feelings of guilt and hopelessness.  The full effects of your Celexa should be see between 4 to 6 weeks. 

   A good way to visualize the effects of celexa is to picture a stock market graph representing a stock that is gradually rising.  You see the line going up for a period of time and then it will have a small decline and then rise again.  This represents your mood on Celexa.  Your depression gradually improves, but then you will hit a low spot, however that low spot is better than what your baseline was before the medication.


   With all of that being said, that is why it is extremely important to take your Celexa every single day as prescribed. The improvement in your mood will not be seen instantly.  Many individuals quit their treatment with these medications because they feel that the medication is not working properly.  However, if they had continued their treatment for a longer period of time, they would have noticed the effects. Stopping the medication prematurely can also cause you to lose any gains towards reaching the drugs maximum effect. 

  Hopefully this helped answer your question.  You can find out more information on Celexa at http://www.healthcentral.com/depression/find-drug-99-150.html. Thanks again for your question.



B>J>, Community Member
8/12/09 11:54am

can I take a low dose of clonazepam during the first few weekas till celexa starts to work?

fghgjkl, Community Member
10/14/09 10:01pm

Yes, I was prescribed both of those medications at the same time by my doctor, and they work fine. Ive had no anxiety associated with the first few days of Citalopram therapy, probly due to the Clonazepam I was taking (0.5mg 3x daily)

Harlene, Community Member
10/ 2/10 3:37pm

Would it be harmful to take 5mg of diazepam while taking celexa 20 mg until the celexa begings to work?  Have been taking calexa 20mg for one week.  Thanks.

timi, Community Member
11/20/10 7:50pm

what if my doctor switched me from zoloft to celexa (both being an SSRI) would it still take time to notice any improvement? (I've been on Zoloft 100mgs for years)


TakingBackLundey, Community Member
2/26/11 6:27pm

(I posted this on another site but felt it was on pg 2 and ppl might not read it)


READ THIS POST!!!! CELEXA HELPED ME ALOT!!! I WENT THROUGH HELL AND CAME OUT FEELING BETTER THAN BEFORE!!! (i know its a long post but its worth reading bc i clear up a lot of problems i had that ppl might think are worth getting off the medication, but i persisted through and i feel new again)
I am 19 years old/male and started taking Celexa February 5th 2011...I had no idea i had an anxiety disorder (Generalized Anxiety Disorder / Depression) until late January. I had physical symptoms such as trouble swallowing, trouble sleeping, panic attacks (never hyperventilating just a strange rush of adrenaline and then a very uncomfortable anxious feeling proceeding), pressure around my head, inability to concentrate, worry about my family members dying and other irrational thoughts. They began about two years ago but the symptoms got so bad in the month of january that i would go through periods of eating only one small meal a day and averaging around 3 panic attacks a day. I finally went to the doctor and he prescribed me 20 mg of celexa. I was really against taking medication but realized its what i needed. I was freaked out about the side effects of SSRI's and was worried because he said anxiety disorders dont just go away and i would prob have to be on medication most of my life.

The first night i took celexa i went through HELL...My anxiety was already bad but the celexa just made it sky rocket. I slept only three hours that night and woke up shaking so much it felt like i was going through heroin withdrawal. That next day i was freaked out all day, and had only an apple to eat. I took the celexa again that night (2nd day of celexa) and the same thing happened. I woke up shaking and feeling ******* miserable. This persisted for around 6 days. I only ate one meal a day, slept no more than 3 hours a night and felt more depressed, anxious, and hopeless than i had ever felt in my life. I saw a 70 year old pyschiatrist who was supposed to be the best in my area on the seventh day who told me he wanted me to go up to 40mg.. I was like "are you ******* kidding me?" I already felt like s*** and he wanted me to go up even more? ...i didn't listen to him and stuck with 20mg but took the prescription for Ambien he gave me to help me sleep. On the 8th night i went into my parents room and cried my eyes out saying "i cant go on like this" ( i wasnt suicidal just really scared ) i was so scared that i wasnt going to get out of this slump in my life. I took the Ambien that night and it calmed me down SOOO MUCH. i was able to finally sleep. On the 9th day i started to feel a little better. Things have just gone up from there. It is day 22 and i feel ******* AMAZING. My life is back and i cant believe it. These drugs also take up to 6 weeks to work and i havent even finished a month yet so hopefully things will just get better

Side Notes- My Anxiety/depression got better on the 9th day, and then dipped again 3 days later (it wasnt NEARLY as bad as it was before, just not 100 percent there) This is common so dont think the medication is wearing off or w.e.
In terms of the Sexual Side effects i will say this. i Knew about them before i took the medication. The first three nights i *********d and my d**k would go soft and was never fully erect. I was FREAKED out. This didnt even have anything to do with the celexa it was all in my head and my anxiety was making it hard for me to finish the deed. Now i can get rock hard erections lol BUT...it takes me a little bit longer to finish...its something i can live with .....On a finishing note ill say this....Everyone reacts differently to these drugs...this is my experience...i just want ppl to know what i went through so if their going through these similar feelings that there is hope 

missanxiety20011, Community Member
4/29/11 7:15pm

wow your post describes me to a T i have been on anxiety meds for 7yrs and thought i could go off with my dr help we tried this and four days into it my anxiety symroms were back i am now on 20mg of celexa and feel some better already. these attacks are so awful but i am slowy getting able to get through them thank you for you post now i dont feel alone

GailK, Community Member
5/ 3/12 6:43pm

Way to go and stay stong!

looper50, Community Member
8/27/12 11:40am

I am experiencing bad side effects on celexa. Can't sleep although I am sleeping a little more than when I first started taking them. I started taking them Aug 13 it is now Aug 27 when do these side effects go away and when do the meds kick in. I am so depressed for no reason that its hard to go anywhere. I have also been on wellbutrin for a while but they stopped working thats why she also give me celexa. I am so spaced out on these. mproper50@gmail.com


GailK, Community Member
5/ 3/12 6:42pm

Thanks to all that posted on this subject.... not to say that Im glad you are all feeling these symptoms, but just glad to know that I am not along.   I have been suffering from severe panic/anxiety attacks since my husband passed away 3 years ago and had never taken any meds like this before... Like to old saying I thought I was cured about a year ago and decided I didn;t need them any more.  Well everything has come back with a vengence as they say the panic/axiety attacks are so debilitating and the depression symptoms (tired, don;t care, cannot hold a thought in my head and sick stomach) are back... Glad to say I am back on my Celexa and clonzapam.  Its only been a couple of days but I am looking forward to being the best mom that I know I can be and feel good about myself.


Looking forward to the day I can go back to work and be TOTALLY there for my girls (11 and 13) cause both them and I deserve it.

Georgialee, Community Member
9/26/12 4:33am

I have been off celexa for approx. 20 days and am feeling a lot of anxiety.  I have a Rx I am going to fill today.  How long will it take to feel relief from severe anxiety?Cool

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We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Lee Kiker, Community Member— Last Modified: 05/22/14, First Published: 08/17/08