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Mixing Celexa (Citalopram) And Alcohol—Interactions And Side Effects

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Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are one of the most commonly prescribed types of antidepressants, but they can often include uncomfortable side effects. Mixing Celexa and alcohol can not only increase the severity of these side effects, but can also result in other health complications.

More than 43 million Americans suffer from mental health concerns, including several forms of depression. Treatment and medications such as Celexa (citalopram) are often prescribed to help those struggling with depression.

What Is Celexa (Citalopram)?

Celexa is a brand name for the antidepressant drug, citalopram. Because it is an SSRI, Celexa works to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that promotes a sense of mental balance.

Doctors may prescribe Celexa to treat mild to moderate depression. When an individual starts a new medication like Celexa, it can take up to four weeks to notice a difference in mood.

Be patient while your body adjusts to its new medication, and do not stop taking Celexa without first speaking to your doctor. Even if you don’t think the medication is working, stopping use suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms.

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Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with Celexa include:

  • numbness
  • tingling
  • anxiety
  • shaking
  • confusion
  • irritation
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping

Can You Mix Celexa And Alcohol?

Any time someone is taking a medication, they are subject to a range of potential side effects. Alcohol has certain side effects of its own, and drinking alcohol can further intensify the side effects of citalopram.

Alcohol is a depressant, and taking it in combination with other powerful drugs like Celexa can have adverse effects on your health. The FDA recommends avoiding alcohol while on Celexa.

Some of the hazards of taking Celexa with alcohol include:

  • stupor
  • intoxication
  • impaired judgment
  • feeling dazed, lethargic
  • increased risk of overdose

Long-Term Effects Of Mixing Alcohol And Celexa

Alcohol can have strong effects on one’s physical and mental health. When alcohol is combined with another drug, these negative effects have a higher chance of developing. Mixing Celexa and alcohol increases the chance and severity of the side effects of both substances.

Some of the long-term effects of mixing Celexa with alcohol include:

  • decreased effectiveness of Celexa
  • increased risk of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
  • higher chance of developing an addiction to alcohol
  • increased risk of overdose, coma, and death

Many people may not realize that even small amounts of alcohol mixed with Celexa can cause an adverse reaction. If you are prescribed Celexa, make sure to talk with your doctor about any questions you may have regarding alcohol use.

It’s important to prioritize your mental health. If your doctor has prescribed Celexa, consider taking a break from alcohol in order to treat your depression properly with medication.

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Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Use

Combining alcohol with any medication can result in severe health risks, and mixing alcohol with antidepressants like Celexa can be a warning sign of potential alcohol use. More than 18 percent of the U.S. adult population has experienced mental illness, and 7.9 million of these individuals also struggle with substance use.

Alcohol detox programs, combined with innovative, dual-diagnosis treatment, can be a life-saving option for those suffering from depression and alcohol use. When someone regularly ingests large amounts of alcohol, their body becomes dependent on having that substance in order to properly perform. If an alcohol-dependent individual suddenly quits drinking, it can propel them into life-threatening alcohol withdrawal.

Someone withdrawing from alcohol will likely experience symptoms such as:

  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • clouded thinking
  • compromised judgment
  • shakiness
  • poor appetite
  • hallucinations
  • seizures
  • mood swings
  • trembling hands
  • rapid heartbeat

Medical detox programs exist in order to monitor and safely guide patients through the withdrawal process. These stabilizing environments provide support, education, and medication-assisted treatment to help patients in withdrawal from alcohol successfully detox.

Treatment For Alcohol Use And Addiction

Detox is the first step, but it is not addiction treatment—those who simply detox and do not attend treatment may return to drinking. Fortunately, there are multiple approaches to addiction treatment, allowing individuals to select the best fit.

Some of the different types of alcohol rehab programs include:

  • Inpatient care: With these residential-style programs, patients are given an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the recovery process. In highly supervised inpatient facilities, patients participate in various therapeutic activities, such as individual counseling, wellness groups, and medication-assisted treatment.  Inpatient addiction treatment facilities may also provide life skills education, including parenting classes, faith-based recovery approaches, and financial wellness courses.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs): PHPs can be an excellent fit for those who are unable to make the time commitment to inpatient care. Typically offered five days per week, PHPs are often called “day treatment,” and meet for up to six hours per day.  Individual, couple, and family counseling is often provided, along with an emphasis on group therapy. PHPs may also host Twelve-Step support groups, a series of speakers, and job readiness curriculum for additional support.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment: Outpatient care is the most flexible level of treatment, usually offered several days per week, in half-day sessions. Intensive outpatient treatment is scheduled to accommodate those with families, or full-time professional commitments.  Because the schedule for outpatient care is not as regimented as other forms of treatment, these programs are usually recommended for those who have already been through inpatient treatment, or who have a strong recovery network of support.

Although mental health disorders and alcohol addiction affect millions of American families, there are affordable, personalized treatment alcoholic options available.

To learn more about mixing Celexa and alcohol, or for questions regarding treatment for alcohol addiction, reach out to us today.