Can You Take Celexa and Alcohol Together?

Depression is a common mental illness in the United States. People with major depression can experience persistent sadness and loss of interest. It can inhibit their ability to perform daily tasks.

The National Institute of Mental Health states that depressive episodes were higher among people aged between 18 and 25 in 2020. Doctors prescribe Celexa, an antidepressant, to treat patients with such mental disorders.

If you are using this medication to alleviate the symptoms of depression and planning to pour a glass of wine. In that case, it is best to learn about the effects of the interaction of Celexa with alcohol before you take a sip.

Alcohol addiction can impact your social and personal life. If you are going through a drinking problem, contact The Recovery Team. We offer alcohol treatment in a supportive setting, and a team of medical professionals will assist you throughout this procedure.

Key Takeaways

Celexa treats depression, panic disorder, and various mental illnesses. Its combination with alcohol can have adverse effects on your well-being.

This article guides about Celexa, its interaction with alcohol, and treatment to overcome addiction.

  • Citalopram has a brand name Celexa that belongs to the SSRI class of drugs.
  • Celexa enhances serotonin levels and improves mood and mental health issues.
  • Mixing it with alcohol can affect motor skills and cause dizziness.
  • Celexa and alcohol can lead to heart problems, coma, and other health issues.
  • Detox, therapies, and support groups can aid you in living a substance-free life and recovering from mental illness.

The Recovery Team aims to help you move forward without depending on substances. Call us today at (800) 817-1247 for more information.

How Celexa Works

Celexa is a brand name for an antidepressant drug known as citalopram. This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class.

This prescription medicine works by increasing the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that carries signals between neurotransmitters and neurons.

Lack of serotonin leads to mental health conditions. Celexa balances serotonin, calms you and improves your mental health.

Celexa is used to treat major depressive disorder and other conditions such as:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Since this drug increases serotonin levels, avoid mixing it with medications that impact the brain, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.

Side Effects of Celexa

SSRIs like Celexa can cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. However, in some cases, it can have potential side effects. Some of the common side effects of using this drug include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Celexa can sometimes lead to:
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory infections

Celexa works quickly and improves your symptoms within six weeks. If it does not lessen depression symptoms, then contact a healthcare provider so they can prescribe you suitable drugs. Avoid immediately stopping the use of Celexa since you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Blurry vision

Combining Celexa and Alcohol: Understanding the Risks

Alcohol while on Celexa is not advised, and this combination can amplify Celexa’s adverse effects. There are various risks of mixing antidepressants with alcohol.

Even a moderate amount of alcohol is not suitable to drink with Celexa because both substances impact serotonin levels and receptors individually. You may consume alcoholic beverages with this drug to experience calmness, but this combination can cause impaired thinking and judgment.

Alcohol can also lower the drug’s effectiveness on your body and worsens depressive symptoms. People with mental illness often prefer to use alcohol with Celexa so they can quickly overcome the feeling of sadness and anxiety.

However, if that does not happen, you will experience severe side effects such as extreme dizziness and irregular heart rate. Long-term misuse of this drug can lead to overdose. Symptoms of overdose due to Celexa and alcohol include:

  • Convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Heart issues

If you want to drink alcohol and avoid the interaction, then it is best to learn about the half-life of Celexa. Half of the antidepressants will leave your system after 35 hours, taking one week to leave your system altogether.

Even after it leaves your body, there is still a chance of alcohol interaction with Celexa. Get information about drug interaction from your doctor to stay safe and healthy.

Interaction Between Celexa and Alcohol

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and when you combine it with Celexa, a strong antidepressant, it can adversely affect your health. FDA has issued a warning regarding the use of Celexa with alcohol.

They have stated that alcohol is not suitable for patients showing signs of depression and taking SSRIs like Celexa. Health complications that you are likely to experience due to this combination include:

Heart Issues

If you are taking more than 40 milligrams of Celexa per day, then you are likely to experience heart problems. People with long QT syndrome should avoid this drug and inform doctors to get helpful medical advice.

The risk of heart problems increases when you mix this drug with alcoholic drinks like wine or beer. People with alcohol addiction can experience cardiovascular disease due to this mixture. Taking Celexa with alcohol can weaken your heart muscle and increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

Panic Attacks

Celexa is beneficial to help you stay calm and balance your mood and emotions. However, alcohol with SSRI can lead to panic attacks and amplifies anxiety symptoms. Shortness of breath and detachment from your surroundings are signs of panic attacks.

Suicidal Thoughts

People with significant depression taking Celexa may experience suicidal thoughts. Such individuals are likely to use alcohol to numb their thoughts. Alcohol with Celexa may make you feel relaxed for some time, but both substances together increase the risk of self-harm and suicide attempt.

Loss of Consciousness

Celexa and alcohol use can cause poor motor skills and loss of consciousness. If you have taken medicine and alcohol together, avoid performing activities requiring attention.

Avoid driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. That can also lead to memory loss leading to a condition known as amnesia.

Serotonin Syndrome

If you drink cans of beer, it will increase dopamine and serotonin production, which will lead you to experience euphoria. Combining it with Celexa will increase serotonin in the brain, which causes serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are:

  • Extreme nervousness
  • Feeling restless
  • Agitation
  • Muscle spasms
  • High or low blood pressure

Long QT Syndrome

People with alcohol use disorder are at risk of developing long QT syndrome. This syndrome can cause sudden heart attacks and abnormal heart rhythms. Celexa with alcohol can worsen this condition. Overcoming substance addiction can improve your personal and social life.

You can start a sober life by receiving residential treatment at The Recovery Team. You will stay in a dorm-style setting under 24/7 care. You will learn to live without drug dependence through counseling and healthy activities.


As mentioned, mixing Celexa with alcohol increases the risk of overdose. If this condition is left untreated, it can also lead to coma and, in severe cases, death.

Treatment Options To Recover From Celexa and Alcoholism

It can be tricky to overcome substance addiction, especially with mental illness. Having guidance and a personalized plan for your needs would be best. Getting help from rehab centers improves the chances of your recovery.

Medical Detox

Detox is the first step toward recovery. During this procedure, your body will eliminate the toxins. The length of this treatment varies and depends on the severity of your condition.

The rehab facility’s healthcare provider will offer prescription drugs to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and decrease drug or alcohol cravings.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is suitable for people with substance use disorder and behavioral problems. You will stay at a facility and spend 30 to 90 days following a structured routine. Doctors supervise and monitor patients to ensure that their health is improving.

Clients will spend their day attending individual and group therapy sessions. They also offer meals, yoga, meditation, and various activities to keep patients engaged and help them learn new things.

Outpatient Treatment

If you have to attend school or work and have a mild addiction, outpatient treatment is the right option. You will receive the same services as an inpatient but can leave the facility after attending sessions and doctor’s appointments.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

A person with a dual diagnosis has mental health and substance use disorders. Both conditions need to be treated together to avoid complications. Such individuals face problems in performing tasks without using drugs or alcohol.

If they do not get help, they may develop a high tolerance to the addictive substance. Dual diagnosis treatment includes various therapies like trauma therapy and talk therapy. The patient will recover from addiction and mental illness through a proper treatment plan.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy provides a space for clients to discuss their addiction struggles. A professional therapist assisting during the session can focus on addressing emotional and psychological problems. Through individual therapy, you will better understand what triggers you to use substances.

You will learn to cope with cravings and learn healthy ways to deal with stress. Working with a therapist will also improve your communication skills, which will help you to connect with your family members.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy. Each session involves multiple clients with similar problems and a healthcare provider to lead the group.

You can discuss your situation with people who can understand you. Group therapy is effective because it highlights the common issue, and members can examine it to find the solution.

Support Groups

Various support groups are providing their services in the United States. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) gathers people struggling with alcohol addiction in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

They have introduced 12-step programs. Narcotics Anonymous and Alateen also follow 12 steps and have a slight element of spirituality.

If you want to join a non-spiritual program to gain support during recovery from Celexa or alcohol addiction, join SMART Recovery. This group follows a scientific approach to help individuals achieve long-term recovery.