What are the side effects of drinking alcohol while taking Celexa?


Quick Answer

Drinking alcohol with Celexa may decrease the drug’s efficacy and cause increased sedation, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. Most health professionals agree that it is better to avoid alcohol while being treated for depression, because alcohol itself is a depressant.

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Full Answer

Alcohol can temporarily elevate a person’s mood during the period of intoxication, according to Mayo Clinic. However, in the long term it causes increased levels of depression. This is why individuals suffering from depression should avoid alcohol. Most medications prescribed for the treatment of mental disorders have an increased incidence of side effects when taken with alcohol.

Celexa is a brand name selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor used for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Its generic equivalent is citalopram. It is taken once per day in doses ranging between 20 and 40 milligrams, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health.

High-dose Celexa use has been linked to electrical disturbances of the heart in patients with low levels of potassium and magnesium, according to the FDA. Because these disturbances are dose-dependent, the FDA no longer recommends prescribing more than 40 milligrams of Celexa per day. It should also not be taken by patients with congenital long QT syndrome.

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