Celexa is the brand name of citalopram, a common antidepressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). You may know it by the generic name citalopram. Celexa is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression, but it is sometimes used to treat other mental health conditions.

Celexa and other antidepressants can help people improve their mental well-being. However, they are often prescribed chronically, meaning a person could be taking them for years. Given how frequently people drink alcohol, people who are taking Celexa may wonder whether it’s safe to drink while taking this medication.

Ultimately, it is not typically safe to drink alcohol while taking Celexa, and this combination should be avoided.

Alcohol and Celexa Side Effects

It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Celexa. Alcohol and Celexa can exacerbate or worsen each other’s effects.

Possible side effects of Celexa and alcohol include:

  • Worsened depression
  • Decreased effectiveness of Celexa
  • Extreme drowsiness or fatigue
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired judgment
  • Overdose on Celexa
  • Increased risk of addiction

Using these two substances together may also raise the risk of developing a Celexa use disorder or alcohol addiction. When alcohol is consumed in excess, the side effects of alcohol and Celexa can reach dangerous levels.

Alcohol and Celexa Overdose

When alcohol is consumed in excess or Celexa is taken at a dose higher than prescribed, an overdose can occur. Symptoms of a Celexa and alcohol overdose typically include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Slowed breathing

If an overdose is seen or suspected, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. An overdose of Celexa combined with alcohol is dangerous and potentially fatal.

Key Points: Alcohol and Celexa

There are important points to consider about alcohol and Celexa, including:

  • Most medical professionals do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking Celexa because the combination can lead to extreme drowsiness
  • Alcohol can worsen depression, making Celexa less effective
  • In excessive levels, the combination can lead to overdose
  • Contact medical help if an overdose is suspected

If you struggle with alcohol use, present your challenges to your doctor. He or she can put you in contact with medical facilities and organizations that promote recovery. Through recovery, you can gain control of your depression, grow your self-confidence and develop a support system of people who understand your struggle.

Celexa and alcohol use can be challenging to manage effectively, and addiction issues can develop for people who use these drugs simultaneously. Treatment options are available for anyone who struggles with drug or alcohol addiction.

The Recovery Village offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs at accredited rehab facilities across the country. Call us today to speak with a caring representative who can answer your questions and guide you toward a program that could meet your needs.

  1. Allergan, Inc. “Celexa Package Insert.” Updated January 2019. Accessed March 24, 2019
  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Can I drink alcohol while taking antidepressants?” (n.d.). Accessed March 24, 2019
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Citalopram (Celexa).” Updated December 2018. Accessed March 24, 2019.