Citalopram And Alcohol: Depression Medication And Addiction

Citalopram is a prescription drug used to treat depression. It helps regulate the serotonin levels in the brain, which are the most popular antidepressants.

They cause lesser side effects with better efficacy compared to other classes of antidepressants. However, as drugs that act on the central nervous system, there are risks and dangers of misuse. If a patient has depression, they are also likely to drink alcohol or take other substances.

Addiction may lead to social, occupational, and health consequences. Developing an addiction, especially with antidepressants and alcohol, should be given urgent attention. With a personalized treatment plan, a proper assessment can be done. 

What is Citalopram (Celexa)?

The prescription drug citalopram is prescribed for depression and anxiety. It is also known by the brand name Celexa. It belongs to the drug class selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They increase serotonin in the brain.

It is generally considered to have a safer drug profile compared to other antidepressants. It comes in an oral tablet form and is usually taken once a day. Celexa has potential side effects that should be monitored and reported to your healthcare provider. 

Common adverse effects:  

  • Tremors
  • Hot flushes
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Weight changes
  • Sexual impairment

Why Do People Take Celexa?

Celexa is primarily prescribed for depression. This includes major depressive disorder. It helps maintain the mental stability of a patient. Antidepressants like Celexa are taken with an initial low dose. This gradually increases until the effective minimal dose is determined. There are also other mental health conditions where Celexa is prescribed. 

Other indications also include:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sexual disorders
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Citalopram?

Drinking while taking citalopram should be avoided. This medication should not be taken with other substances that can affect the brain. Celexa can increase serotonin levels, and drinking alcohol will intensify its side effects.  

Moreover, both Celexa and alcohol misuse can lead to heart issues such as irregular heart rate. Their effects on the central nervous system can cause complications. It will increase the risk of experiencing dizziness, confusion, and impaired judgment. 

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Depression?

Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can depress the central nervous system. Alcohol has been associated with mental disorders. Although the exact cause isn’t clear, mental disorders may be caused by alcohol use disorder or vice versa. Drinking alcohol will initially create euphoric effects or a “buzz”.

However, this is only temporary and can aggravate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It impairs your ability to think and motor coordination and causes extreme drowsiness. These symptoms will prevent you from recovering from depression and only exacerbate it.  

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Citalopram

Citalopram and alcohol both affect the central nervous system. The depressant effects of alcohol may conflict with the effects of citalopram. Some serious side effects are dizziness, disorientation, confusion, blurred vision, and impaired coordination. These symptoms can lead to accidents, leading to injury.

The long-term side effects of alcohol and Celexa will lead to digestive problems, heart problems,  psychiatric disorders, and other health conditions. These effects can be prevented by being aware of signs and symptoms before an addiction develops.

Reduced Effectiveness of Celexa

Both Celexa and alcohol can make you drowsy, amplifying this effect. However, alcohol in itself is a depressant. The antidepressant effects of Celexa will be countered, minimizing its effectiveness.  

Worsening of Depression

Depression symptoms can become severe if you combine alcohol with citalopram. You or a loved one should watch out for suicidal behaviors. Alcohol’s depressant effects will interfere with the antidepressant effects of Celexa.

Alcohol will increase the nervous system side effects of Celexa, which can prevent a person from living a healthy lifestyle. Poor quality of life due to excessive alcohol consumption will only deter a person from recovery. 

Serotonin Syndrome

Alcohol and Celexa can affect the serotonin levels in the brain. This is a rare but serious side effect. However, taking Celexa with alcohol can dangerously increase its risk of occurring.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Increased heart rate

Substance Use Disorder

A person prescribed with Celexa for psychiatric disorders is highly susceptible to developing dependence. Celexa and alcohol can become unhealthy coping mechanisms for stress or trauma. This may quickly progress to addiction if ignored. 

Risk of Overdose When Combining Celexa With Alcohol

People taking Celexa will have an increased effect of euphoria from alcohol. Alcohol will interfere with the metabolism of Celexa. Consequently, this can also worsen the side effects.

When a person forms a dependence on the potent effects of their combination, they will be at a higher risk of overdosing. This can also lead to coma or a fatal outcome.  

Symptoms of overdose will include: 

  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions

Addiction to Celexa and Alcohol

Alcohol use disorder is commonly seen in cases of multiple drug abuse. Developing an addiction to citalopram and alcohol leads to a more difficult process of treatment. Consuming alcohol can put a patient at a higher risk of abuse.

Once tolerance builds up on both substances, a patient will keep increasing their dose to maintain its effects. Withdrawals experienced will make stopping difficult. Signs of addiction will be seen in drug cravings despite the harmful effects that occur.  

Treatment of Antidepressant and Alcohol Addiction

The first step in recovery is drug detox and alcohol detox. These substances may have different withdrawal symptoms.

Proper management with professional medical advice can alleviate the symptoms a patient may be experiencing. Take the next step and talk to your doctor if you suspect that you or a loved one is developing an addiction.

A person struggling with addiction to antidepressants and alcohol may also be suffering from depression. Luxe Recovery creates a treatment plan that tackles all these issues. A comprehensive treatment is personalized to the patient.

It may seem challenging to overcome the complicated combination of these conditions. However, recovery is within reach with the right experts and a caring team that serves your needs. 

If you require additional information or need assistance, contact us, and our friendly staff will gladly assist you in answering any questions or concerns you may have.

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