Celexa (citalopram) is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They are among the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of depression. Combining Celexa and alcohol is not advisable and can increase the severity of side effects associated with Celexa, reduce its effectiveness, and lead to several adverse health complications.
What Is Celexa?
Celexa acts in the brain to boost serotonin levels, a neurochemical that helps regulate emotions and mood, among other essential functions. Health providers often prescribe Celexa to treat mild-moderate depression, and it can take as long as one month for patients to experience a significant difference in mood. In essence, Celexa works to balance the amount of serotonin in the brain. An imbalance of this chemical is believed to be a primary reason people experience feelings of depression.
Should You Combine Celexa and Alcohol?
When a person starts taking a medication, such as Celexa, several potential side effects can manifest. Alcohol comes with the risk of many severe adverse side effects of its own, and drinking can further exacerbate the side effects of Celexa.
Celexa side effects may include the following:
- Nausea and upset stomach
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty having an orgasm
- Sleep disturbances
- Dry mouth
- Increased sweating
- Frequent urination
- Weight fluctuations
- Sneezing and stuffy nose
- Sore throat and cough
Certain drug interactions or excessive use of serotonin-boosting medications may also cause a severe and life-threatening complication known as serotonin syndrome. This condition is characterized by extreme agitation, hallucinations, elevated heart rate, dizziness, muscle tremors, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Mixing Celexa With Alcohol
Alcohol is a CNS (central nervous system) depressant, and using it in combination with other depressant drugs such as Celexa can adversely affect one’s health. In fact, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends avoiding alcohol use while taking Celexa.
Some of the risks associated with using Celexa and alcohol include the following:
- Impaired judgment
- Feeling dazed
- Increased risk of overdose
Long-Term Effects of Mixing Celexa and Alcohol
Alcohol can have potent effects on an individual’s physical and psycho-emotional health. When alcohol is combined with another psychoactive substance, adverse effects have a higher risk of emerging. Using Celexa and alcohol amplifies the risk and severity of side effects associated with either substance.
Chronic effects of using Celexa and alcohol include the following:
- Reduced effectiveness of Celexa
- Increased risk of developing a physical dependence on alcohol
- Increased risk of overdose, unconsciousness, and death
Side effects of Celexa and alcohol can also be heart-related and may cause severe issues that require immediate medical intervention and/or hospitalization. For example, one potential side effect of combining Celexa and alcohol is known as torsades de pointes, a dangerous irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that can potentially cause death.
Many individuals are not aware that even a small amount of alcohol can cause an adverse reaction when used in conjunction with Celexa. If your doctor has prescribed Celexa to you, consider taking an extended break from alcohol consumption to help the medication do its job and treat your depression.
Alcohol and Depression
Alcohol use has long been known to exacerbate depression and even be a direct cause of it. A patient prescribed Celexa has been permitted by a licensed health provider to use this medication because they experience some form of clinical depression. For this reason, those who consume alcohol while using Celexa for depression may, unfortunately, discover that the medication is not only less effective, but that alcohol use also serves to make feelings of depression worse.
Although the side effects of combining Celexa and alcohol can be severe, it’s also critical that you don’t suddenly stop taking this medication in order to drink. Abrupt discontinuation of Celexa can lead to the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Rebound depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Sleep disturbances
Treatment for Substance Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction
If you feel you could benefit from professional help for Celexa dependence or alcoholism, help and support are available. Just Believe Recovery offers intensive addiction treatment programs that include comprehensive, evidence-based services and activities essential for the process of recovery, such as the following:
- Behavioral therapy
- Group support
- Individual and family counseling
- Life skills training
- Substance abuse education
- Nutrition and wellness
- Trauma and grief counseling
- Relapse prevention
- Co-occurring disorder treatment
- Art and music therapy
- Mindfulness meditation
- Aftercare planning
We employ highly-skilled, licensed health and addiction professionals dedicated to providing those we treat with the support, education, and medical assistance they need to overcome addiction and sustain long-lasting sobriety and wellness.