Mixing Celexa and Alcohol

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Celexa is the brand name of the drug Citalopram. This is a common antidepressant known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Depression stems from a lack of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (i.e. natural chemical in the nerves and brain) that allows people to feel positive, happy emotions.

Studies have shown that some brains discard serotonin before it can be properly used. This process of getting rid of serotonin is scientifically referred to as reuptake. Citalopram (Celexa) prevents the reuptake of serotonin from happening on an excessive level, which makes the brain retain the necessary amount of the neurotransmitter to prevent depression.

Citalopram (Celexa) can be life-changing for a person who suffers from depression, but it’s important to understand the side effects of the medication before taking it.

Mixing Citalopram (Celexa) and Alcohol
Like many other medicines, Citalopram (Celexa) has a wide range of side effects. Citalopram (Celexa) can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea and diarrhea. It can also cause problems with sleep, like increased drowsiness and insomnia. Citalopram (Celexa) has been known to cause impotence and a reduced libido. Citalopram (Celexa) can also lead to symptoms of the common cold.

Does this mean that Citalopram (Celexa) is a dangerous medication? Certainly not. All medications are made of chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment of the human body, so it stands to reason that some side effects may occur. Most patients do not experience all of the side effects mentioned. Each patient should consult with his or her doctor about possible side effects before beginning any new medications.

Celexa has a synergistic effect with alcohol and other substances that cause sleepiness and impair the body’s natural functions, such as breathing normally and remaining awake. A synergistic effect happens when two substances taken together have a combined impact on the body that is greater than the impact that either substance would have by itself. This means that mixing Citalopram (Celexa) with alcohol can cause intense drowsiness, a loss of consciousness, or even death.

Alone, an excess of Citalopram has the potential to decrease the rate of body functions to the point of death. This is also true of an excess of alcohol. Alcohol causes Citalopram (Celexa) to have a greater impact on the body, so taking the two substances at the same time is a risky, potentially lethal choice. Together, they can also have the dangerous side effects of coma, irregular heartbeat, and hyperventilation.

Citalopram interacts differently with each person’s body, but the FDA has noted that it is relatively easy to overdose on Citalopram (Celexa). Sometimes, an overdose presents itself in a mild manner that can be treated by a physician. In other instances, patients must be treated in an emergency room. In extreme cases, doctors have had to place patients who consume alcohol while taking Citalopram (Celexa) on a ventilation machine to make sure that their body functions do not slow down so much that they stop breathing.

Some patients have expressed that they can drink a minimal amount while taking Citalopram without experiencing any adverse effects. While that may be true for some, the medication has a different impact on each person, and one drink could be enough to cause a lethal overdose.

The safest and healthiest choice is to abstain from alcohol while taking Citalopram (Celexa). This is especially true for patients who have suffered from alcohol-related substance use disorders. Alcohol is a depressant, and patients who take Citalopram (Celexa) are on the medication to treat depression. Therefore, alcohol can worsen the depression that Citalopram (Celexa) is being taken to treat.

Being prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) presents a golden opportunity to take the first step on the road to recovery. 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’ll gain control of your depression, grow your self-confidence, and develop a support system of people who understand your struggle.

While Citalopram (Celexa) does present a challenge for patients who have substance use disorders, it also presents an opportunity for recovery and a new outlook on life.

Mixing Celexa and Alcohol
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