Can you use Ashwagandha and Celexa together?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “Can you use Ashwagandha and Celexa together?”. Celexa is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. 

Ashwagandha is a herb which can also be used to treat the symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and insomnia. This blog is all about the possible interactions between these two agents. 

Can you use Ashwagandha and Celexa together?

Yes, you can use ashwagandha and celexa together, but make sure you don’t take too much of it. There is no known interaction between ashwagandha and celexa. However, experts suggest that the concomitant use of these two agents can cause increased drowsiness. 

It is best to ask for your doctor’s approval before using any medication or any other substance that possess medicinal properties, with your antidepressant. 

What is ashwagandha and how does it work? 

Ashwagandha is a plant that’s used to make medicines. This medicinal plant is native to Africa and Asia, and is most commonly used by the Indian population. This plant is said to be an adaptogen, which can help you respond to daily life struggle, anxiety, stress and fatigue. 

Experts believe that the plant consists of some natural chemicals which can help calm your racing mind. It is most commonly used as a herbal treatment for stress and anxiety. It can also be used to relieve psychological symptoms associated with the process of aging. 

In some Indian practices, it is also used to treat insomnia. In some people it has also shown to reduce stress induced weight gain. One 2019 study suggested that ashwagandha may cause its effects by acting on hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. 

Another study revealed more beneficial effects of ashwagandha. It concluded that this ayurvedic medicine can act as a neuroprotective agent and can help prevent dementia, especially in older adults. 

It also possesses antitumor properties and can help prevent cancers.

It can also be used to reduce pain, including pain associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

One detailed study revealed that ashwagandha can act like GABA to calm down your brain, reduce anxiety, and induce sleep. The same study also indicated that this ayurvedic herb possesses energy boosting properties. 

Despite having so many beneficial effects, it is not suitable to be used by certain kinds of people. Some people with underlying health conditions can not tolerate ashwagandha. These include:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cardiac problems
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Pregnancy
  • Autoimmune diseases 

The reason behind the contraindication of this ayurvedic medicine and autoimmune diseases is its ability to boost immunity. 

People actually add small doses of ashwagandha in their daily life routine in order to enhance their immunity, which could cause serious problems in people with abnormal immune actions. 

It is also not recommended to be used in pregnancy. Its use in breastfeeding women requires further investigations.

What are the side effects of ashwagandha? 

Ashwagandha is normally considered safe, but its safety varies from person to person. Some people experienced no side effects within the course of 3 to 4 months of their treatment. However, some people can develop side effects. Common side effects of this ayurvedic medicine include:

  • Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. 
  • Liver damage
  • Headache

These side effects are usually experienced on higher doses. Usually ashwagandha is taken 1000 mg per day, for the course of 3 to 4 months.

Doses higher than that may interact with celexa, or produce more pronounced effects. One study indicated that toxic effects of this herb were seen in doses equal to or higher than 1750 mg.  

What is celexa and how does it work? 

Celexa is an antidepressant which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These meds are used to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT), which results in increased serotonin activity in your body. 

It is usually okay to use these together, but it can still produce side effects as how your body reacts to the combination of medications also play a huge role in the kind of effects you go through. 

Make sure you ask your healthcare provider before using any medicinal agent with your antidepressant. Do not take other people as an example as every human body is different. If something worked out for someone, it doesn’t mean it will work out for you in the same way.

What are the side effects of celexa? 

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.

What medications should not be used with Celexa? 

Make sure you don’t use celexa with the following medications:

  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The combination use can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The combination use can increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Pimozide. The concomitant use can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Controlled substances, including all narcotic 
  • Analgesics. The concomitant use can cause severe psychological side effects. 
  • Mood stabilisers 
  • Alcohol 

How to ensure the proper use of Celexa? 

  • Make sure celexa is the right choice of antidepressant for you. Stick to your doctor’s recommended dose. Do not take more or less than that. 
  • Ask your doctor before taking celexa if you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or if you’re a breastfeeding mother. 
  • If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 
  • If you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but if a lot of time has passed and your next dose is near, do not take it. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one.
  • Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 
  • Keep the bottle away from children and pets. In case of overdose, immediately take them to the hospital. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have talked about the possible interactions between ashwagandha and celexa. Ashwagandha is a plant that’s used to make medicines. This plant is said to be an adaptogen, which can help you respond to daily life struggle, anxiety, stress and fatigue. 

Celexa, on the other hand, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). These meds are used to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT), which results in increased serotonin activity in your body. 

Both of these drugs have antianxiety and sedative effects, which is considered the only possible interaction between these two, but that too on higher doses. 

Ashwagandha is more likely to cause drug-disease interaction, as it should not be used in people with autoimmune disease because of its immune boosting activity.

Make sure you ask your healthcare provider before using any medication or anything that possesses medicinal property, with your celexa. 

FAQs: Ashwagandha and celexa 

Can I take ashwagandha with antidepressants?

It is usually safe to use ashwagandha with your antidepressant, but it’s still advised to ask your healthcare provider before using any substance that has some medicinal property. The concomitant use of ashwagandha and celexa might increase the chances of sedation. 

What supplements should not be taken with Celexa?

  • Tyramine rich foods 
  • Tryptophan rich foods 
  • St. John’s wort 
  • Cannabis 
  • Green tea 
  • Alcohol 
  • 5-HT supplements 

Make sure you don’t take any supplements or medications with your antidepressant without your doctor’s approval. 

Does ashwagandha affect serotonin?

Few studies have revealed that ashwagandha do possess some serotonergic activity, which leads to the antidepressant and antianxiety property of this ayurvedic medicine. 

How long does it take for ashwagandha to kick in?

Ashwagandha usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to start producing noticeable changes in your system. Make sure you opt for a healthy lifestyle and add wholesome nutritious food in your diet. 

When should you not use ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha should not be used by everyone. Some people with underlying health conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, cardiac problems, thyroid disorder and different autoimmune diseases should not use ashwagandha. It is also not recommended to be used in pregnancy. 

What can you not mix with celexa?

  • Do not mix following medications with celexa:
  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). The combination use can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The combination use can increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Pimozide. The concomitant use can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Controlled substances, including all narcotic 
  • Analgesics. The concomitant use can cause severe psychological side effects. 
  • Mood stabilisers 
  • Alcohol 

References 

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