Can Celexa and birth control pills interact with each other? 

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In this blog post, we are going to talk about the concomitant use of celexa and birth control pills. Celexa is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

The treatment is usually continued for a couple of months to provide satisfactory relief in the symptoms associated with these conditions. This blog will cover the safety and efficacy of using medicinal birth control while being on celexa. 

Can celexa and birth control pills interact with each other? 

There is no known interaction between celexa and birth control pills. Experts have suggested that celexa and other SSRIs do not interfere with either the efficiency of birth control pills or the side effects they produce. 

Similarly, birth control pills do not disturb the beneficial effects of your antidepressant and you can take them together safely. However, it is not recommended to start using birth control pills with celexa without your doctor’s approval. 

It may be safe but it is impossible to predict if the combination can trigger an allergic reaction in you or not. Every human body reacts differently when it is exposed to medications, either one or the combination of them. 

The combination is generally considered safe but if your body responds negatively to it, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 

Experts also believe that some underlying health conditions can also be responsible for your body’s negative response to meds. Make sure you don’t have any undiagnosed condition. 

What are birth control pills and how many of them are available? 

Birth control pills, also known as oral contraceptives, are pills to control an unwanted pregnancy. These pills act as a chemical barrier to prevent the process of fertilisation. There are different kinds of birth control pills available, which are hormonal in nature. 

These hormones hinder the normal process of releasing a healthy egg, which is usually fused together with a sperm to start the process of fertilisation. Let’s look at the types of birth control pills available:

  • Estrogen-Progesterone combination pills
  • Progesterone only pills
  • Continuous/Extended use pills

Estrogen-Progesterone combination pills

As the name indicates, Estrogen-progesterone combination pills contain both of these hormones. If we talk about progesterone, this hormone plays a role in birth control by preventing ovulation. 

Progesterone basically sends a negative feedback to the brain, as a result of which the secretion of Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH) is decreased. 

When FSH is not sufficient, follicles stop developing which results in the deficiency of estradiol, which is produced by the action of healthy follicles. 

This stops the cycle and prevents ovulation, which makes a healthy egg unavailable to be fused with the available sperms and the entire process of fertilisation is prevented. 

Progesterone not only stops ovulation, but it also makes the environment of the cervix inhospitable for the sperms, which decreases their survival rate. 

Estrogen, on the other hand, also acts to prevent the secretion of Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), but not as strongly as progesterone does. 

This combination of progesterone and estrogen make these pills even more effective and they are widely used to control pregnancy. Examples include:

  • Azurette (Desogestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol) 
  • Brevicon (Ethinyl Estradiol + Norethindrone) 
  • Desogen (Desogestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Kelnor (Ethynodiol + Ethinyl Estradiol)
  • Levora (Ethinyl Estradiol + Levonorgestrel)
  • Microgestin (Ethinyl Estradiol + Norethindrone)
  • Ogestrel (Ethinyl Estradiol + Norgestrel)

The side effects associated with these combination birth control pills include:

  • Nause
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain with bloating or Flatulence 
  • Changes in weight 
  • Discoloration of skin 
  • Acne or pimples 
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Vaginal itching
  • Breast heaviness or tenderness 
  • Unusual hair growth 

Serious side effects include:

  • An allergic reaction 
  • Fainting
  • Severe headache 
  • Eye or vision problems 
  • Severe abdominal pain with loss of appetite 
  • Discoloration of urine and stool 
  • Swelling and tenderness in different parts of the body 
  • Unbearable depression 
  • Rashes
  • Abnormal bleeding 

Make sure you look out for the dangerous side effects and inform your doctor immediately or seek immediate medical attention. 

Progesterone-only pills

Progesterone-only pills contain just progesterone which acts in the similar way as described earlier. These pills are a good and effective choice for the prevention of pregnancy. However, it may not suit you or you throw up soon after taking it. 

Make sure you report to your healthcare provider as soon as you can, if you can’t seem to bear this birth control method. There’s a reason why there are different birth control pills. Not just this, we have different birth control methods as well just to meet the needs of different individuals. 

However, physical barriers are much more safer as compared to the chemical or medicinal methods. Make sure you don’t start using any medication if it is not approved by your doctor. 

Self medication does more harm than good and you should never opt for it. Examples of progesterone-only pills include:

  • Heather
  • Camila
  • Jencycla
  • Ovrette
  • Jolivette

Side effects associated with these pills include:

  • Menstrual irregularities 
  • Hormonal disturbance 
  • Breast pain and tenderness 
  • Weight gain
  • Pimples and acne
  • Headache 
  • Excessive hair growth 

Serious side effects include:

  • Dysmenorrhea 
  • Delayed or stopped menstrual cycle 
  • Unbearable Abdominal pain 

Continuous/Extended use pills

Continuous or extended release pills are used for a couple of months. These pills remain in the body for quite a while and slowly release the hormones after intervals. 

This reduces the frequency of dose administration and only one pill can get you covered for a long time, after which you take a break from these hormones. 

This may not be a good option for everyone, so make sure you start taking these only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Examples include:

  • Seasonique (Levonorgestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol) 
  • Seasonale (Levonorgestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol) 
  • Lybrel (Levonorgestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol) 
  • LoSeasonique (Levonorgestrel + Ethinyl Estradiol) 

Side effects include:

  • Nause
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain with bloating or Flatulence 
  • Changes in weight 
  • Discoloration of skin 
  • Acne or pimples 
  • Menstrual irregularities 
  • Hormonal disturbance 
  • Breast pain and tenderness 

The above mentioned birth control pills can be taken with Celexa, but only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. 

However, these pills are metabolised by the liver enzymes, so meds or any chemical that increase the levels or enhance the actions of liver enzymes can increase the metabolism and hence excretion of birth control pills from your body and decreases the effectiveness of such drugs. 

What is Celexa and how does it work?

Celexa, brand name for Citalopram, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin from the synaptic cleft back to the presynaptic neuron, which released this excitatory neurotransmitter in the first place. 

Celexa does that by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT) which are responsible to move serotonin back into the neuron. This results in increased amounts of active serotonin in your body which binds to its respective receptors present throughout the body.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and various other psychological processes. 

Celexa is not just used for the treatment of anxiety and depression, but it is also used to treat several other mental health conditions including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

The most common side effects of celexa include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Excessive tiredness or fatigue 
  • Insomnia or inability to fall asleep 
  • Xerostomia or dry mouth 
  • Dysmenorrhea or heavy periods
  • Flu like symptoms including irritation in eyes and runny nose
  • Loss of libido in both male and females. Males may suffer from inability to ejaculate, while females may suffer from inability to have an orgasm. 

Celexa (Citalopram) is also associated with some serious side effects, which may include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches, tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations 
  • Nose bleeds
  • Severe headache
  • Arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats
  • Impaired memory and concentration 
  • Convulsions 
  • Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the concomitant use of celexa and birth control pills. There is no known interaction between celexa and birth control pills. 

Experts have suggested that celexa and other SSRIs do not interfere with either the efficiency of birth control pills or the side effects they produce. Similarly, birth control pills do not disturb the beneficial effects of your antidepressant and you can take them together safely. 

However, it is not recommended to start using birth control pills with celexa without your doctor’s approval. Experts also believe that some underlying health conditions can also be responsible for your body’s negative response to meds. Make sure you don’t have any undiagnosed condition. 

FAQs: celexa and birth control

Do antidepressants affect birth control? 

There is no known interaction between SSRIs and birth control pills. SNRIs are also safe to use. However, Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) may interact with your birth control. Make sure you ask your doctor or pharmacist before using them together. 

Can you take sertraline and birth control at the same time? 

Yes, you can take sertraline and birth control at the same time. However, it is not recommended to start using birth control pills with sertraline without your doctor’s approval. 

What medications interfere with birth control pills?

  • Topamax (Topiramate) 
  • Antiseizure drugs
  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 
  • Typical and Atypical Antipsychotics 
  • Some antibiotics including rifampin

What should you not take with Celexa? 

  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors 
  • Pimozide 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 
  • Controlled substances 
  • Anticoagulants 
  • Antipsychotics 
  • Alcohol 

Can SSRIs reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills? 

There is no known interaction between SSRIs and birth control pills. Experts have suggested that celexa and other SSRIs do not interfere with either the efficiency of birth control pills or the side effects they produce. Similarly, birth control pills do not disturb the beneficial effects of your antidepressant and you can take them together safely. 

What are the side effects of birth control pills? 

The common side effects of birth control pills include:

  • Nause
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Abdominal pain with bloating or Flatulence 
  • Changes in weight 
  • Discoloration of skin 
  • Acne or pimples 
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Vaginal itching
  • Breast heaviness or tenderness 
  • Unusual hair growth 

Serious side effects include:

  • An allergic reaction 
  • Fainting
  • Severe headache 
  • Eye or vision problems 
  • Severe abdominal pain with loss of appetite 
  • Discoloration of urine and stool 
  • Swelling and tenderness in different parts of the body 
  • Unbearable depression 
  • Rashes
  • Abnormal bleeding 

References 

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