If you suffer from depression, you may have been prescribed medication – such as an antidepressant – to help you cope with your symptoms. One common antidepressant is Celexa or citalopram hydrobromide. This medication is part of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs block the reuptake of the chemical serotonin, increasing its levels in the brain to improve mood. While taking any medication, it is important to consider the warnings and risks, including those related to drinking alcohol while taking the medication. Below is more on the effects of Celexa and alcohol interaction.
What Is Celexa?
Celexa is the brand name for the drug citalopram, which is an antidepressant from the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) drug class. This medication is commonly prescribed to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and other similar mental health conditions.
This antidepressant works by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood, emotions, and behavior. By doing this, Celexa can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and worthlessness.
Celexa may be used as an off-label (non-FDA-approved) treatment for certain disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social phobia. No matter what it is prescribed for, it is important to always take Celexa as directed by your healthcare provider. As with any other medication, some side effects may occur upon starting treatment and usually go away within the first few weeks. It is also important to ask your healthcare provider about any warnings or risks concerning the medication, though they normally always outline these when writing a prescription.
Can You Drink On Celexa?
No, you cannot drink on Celexa. If you have been prescribed this medication, your doctor will likely advise against any alcohol consumption while taking citalopram. Combining the two can be highly dangerous and contribute to a variety of negative side effects.
Alcohol and Celexa may produce similar side effects, such as drowsiness, tiredness, and sedation. When combined, one can heighten the effects of the other or produce an unpredictable reaction that could have major consequences. Additionally, drinking on Celexa can prevent the medication from working properly, which can exacerbate symptoms of the mental illness the medication was prescribed to treat.
Overall, major side effects of Celexa and alcohol include:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Blurred vision
- Changes in appetite and mood
- Dry mouth
- Impulsive behavior
- Irregular heart rate
- Loss of appetite, consciousness, and coordination
- Low sodium
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Sense of euphoria
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep problems, which can include drowsiness, insomnia, tiredness, and other sleep issues
- Suicidal ideation
- Trouble making decisions
- Weakened immune system
- Weight changes
- Worsening symptoms of mental illness, such as sadness, anxiety, and nervousness
Combining alcohol with Celexa can also cause hangover anxiety or “hangxiety.” This refers to a negative emotional state marked by anxiousness and stomach aches after consuming copious amounts of alcohol. It is also important to consider these substances’ individual side effects, which may become more severe when combined.
What’s more, if you are taking Celexa and you want to drink or are struggling to control your drinking while using this medication, speak to your healthcare provider right away. Also, avoid stopping Celexa use or skipping any doses to drink, as this can impact the drug’s efficacy and, ultimately, your mental health.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol and Celexa?
Despite the risks, some people may mix alcohol and Celexa accidentally or intentionally to experience certain effects. In cases of an incidental interaction, the individual may have forgotten that they already took their dose for the day, or they may have believed that the drug had worn off by the time they consumed alcohol.
On the other hand, some people may intentionally mix alcohol and citalopram to experience specific side effects. These individuals may struggle with an alcohol or antidepressant addiction, which may encourage them to experiment with different drug combinations. In this case, it is recommended that the individual undergo a medically assisted detox to clear out their system and help them recover from any significant side effects and begin the process of getting sober.
Whether the drug was accidentally taken with alcohol or the two were consumed together on purpose, if you were prescribed Celexa, you need to know how long Celexa and alcohol stay in your system. Celexa has a half-life of approximately 35 hours, meaning it will take 35 hours for half of the drug to leave your system and about one week for all of it to leave your system. Therefore, it is likely that you will experience a negative interaction if you consume alcohol during this period while taking Celexa.
Polysubstance Abuse Treatment
While most people who experience an alcohol and Celexa interaction did so accidentally, others with substance use disorders may have intentionally combined these substances to get high or intoxicated. In the case of the latter, our drug rehab in Pennsylvania can help those addicted with our alcohol treatment and prescription drug addiction treatment.
Patients in our residential program usually begin their recovery with medical detox, which allows them to slowly taper off from drugs and alcohol while receiving medication for their withdrawals. Following detox, clients work with our licensed therapists on establishing boundaries in recovery and healthy coping skills to help them remain abstinent outside of rehab.