Mixing alcohol and citalopram can amplify each substance’s side effects, worsen depression and make the condition harder to treat.

When you take any prescription medicine, it’s important to be aware of all potential interactions and side effects. If you’re taking the antidepressant Celexa (generic name citalopram), you may wonder if you can drink alcohol while on the medication. There is a possible interaction between alcohol and Celexa that can create amplified side effects.

Alcohol & Citalopram (Celexa)

There are a few different reasons not to mix alcohol and Celexa. The first is that taking both substances together can increase the risk of side effects.

In addition, Celexa is mainly used to treat depression, a common condition in those who struggle with alcohol. Drinking alcohol may worsen depression and make the condition harder to treat. For this reason, it is not a good idea to drink if you are undergoing any treatment for depression, including Celexa.

Related: Alcohol and Depression

Alcohol & Citalopram Side Effects

Mixing alcohol and Celexa can amplify each substance’s side effects. You may experience the adverse effects of either alcohol or Celexa but at a more intense level. These include unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Problems concentrating

What Is Celexa?

Celexa, or the generic name citalopram, is a medicine that’s prescribed to treat depression. It’s designed to help increase a person’s sense of well-being and energy levels, and it’s a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). When you take Celexa, it enhances the amount of serotonin in the brain. An imbalance of serotonin in the brain is believed to be a reason people experience depression.

Some common side effects of Celexa include nausea, dry mouth, sweating, sedation and insomnia.

There’s also the potential for something called serotonin syndrome or serotonin toxicity. This can lead to severe symptoms including hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, coordination problems and gastrointestinal problems. It usually occurs if you’re taking multiple medicines or supplements that increase serotonin simultaneously.

If you or a loved one is misusing citalopram or experiencing strong cravings for the drug, you may be experiencing a Celexa addiction. The Recovery Village has locations across the United States that can help treat an unhealthy relationship with Celexa and any co-occurring mental health issues with dual diagnosis treatment. Contact our helpful representatives to discuss your situation, answer your questions and take the next step.

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Drugs.com. “Drug Interaction Report.” Accessed July 31, 2021.

Drugs.com. “Celexa.” August 1, 2019. Accessed July 31, 2021.

Ramsey, Susan E.; Engler, Patricia A.; Stein, Michael D. “Alcohol Use Among Depressed Patients: Th[…]ent and Intervention,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, January 1, 2005. Accessed July 31, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.