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How long will my child need to take Celexa?

Your child may need to take the antidepressant Celexa (citalopram) for as long as your child's doctor recommends it. Research is limited on the potential benefits and side effects of treating children with Celexa, because the drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. Prescribing Celexa to children is considered an "off-label" use of the drug, which is a common practice in medicine.

Research in adults indicates that many people with MDD require long-term treatment with medication to prevent the return of depression symptoms. (Adding psychotherapy to medication may also help children, teens and adults with depression or other mental health disorders.) Your child's doctor will probably monitor him closely during treatment with Celexa to make sure he's benefiting from the drug, adjust the dose if necessary, keep tabs on his growth (which may be affected by taking Celexa) and watch for side effects.

Your child, his doctor and you may all be involved in deciding when it might be best for your child to stop taking Celexa. Your child should not stop taking Celexa suddenly. Doing so may lead to withdrawal symptoms. When it is time for your child to stop taking Celexa, the doctor will likely gradually lower the dose so he can go off the medication slowly, minimizing side effects.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.