Citalopram and alcohol

In this brief blog, we will discuss citalopram and alcohol. Many people often wonder if they can take citalopram and still consume alcohol.

In this brief blog, we will discuss if they can be taken together and what the risks are.

What is Citalopram?

Citalopram is an antidepressant drug used to treat depression, anxiety and panic disorder.

Citalopram is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It helps make the neurotransmitter serotonin stay in your brain longer by blocking serotonin’s reuptake.

It should have you feeling much calmer within 4 to 6 weeks of usage.

Side effects of citalopram

Some of the side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • yawning.

Can you take Citalopram and alcohol?

Yes, you can but it is not recommended to take citalopram and alcohol during your treatment.

Once you are used to your citalopram treatment, then taking alcohol in small amounts may be manageable but remember alcohol will make different people act in different ways.

What a little alcohol may do to you could be incredibly different to what to may do to someone else. 

When you are using citalopram your doctor will usually recommend that you should not consume alcohol as it could increase the side effects of the drug such as feeling sleepy.

Taking alcohol with your citalopram treatment could be bad as they are both antidepressants and could worsen your level of drowsiness if they are consumed together.

You could lose your motor skills and end up hurting yourself by consuming them together.

Mixing them can also reduce the effects of citalopram and thereby increase or worsen the mental condition you are facing.

This could be increasing how depressed you feel, increasing your anxiety etc.

You should avoid handling heavy machinery, riding a bike or driving when you take alcohol with your citalopram dosage.

Taking them together could also worsen your depression and anxiety

If you want to take alcohol and citalopram don’t just suddenly stop taking your required dosage as you could then suffer from withdrawal reactions which can be very severe.

The drug would also still be in your system and this means you are still mixing it with alcohol.

Overdose due to mixing citalopram and alcohol

The risk of an overdose is higher when you mix the two mentioned above.

Some of the symptoms you may find when experiencing an overdose due to mixing these two include but are not limited to:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilation
  • Asthma
  • Coma
  • Torsades de pointes is a serious heart issue which can occur when you mix alcohol and citalopram. It is when the heartbeats in an irregular pattern and can lead to death.
  • A racing heart (rare, contact your doctor immediately)
  • A tremor in one of  your limbs (rare, contact your doctor immediately)

These symptoms are also common side effects of using citalopram but if they appear in a more severe form then you might be overdosing from mixing citalopram and alcohol.

If you have taken alcohol with your citalopram treatment and are feeling unwell then contact your doctor and discuss this immediately.

If your doctor feels you have had an overdose due to mixing alcohol with your citalopram treatment then they will treat you for your symptoms.

In some cases, this may mean putting you in a ventilator to increase the amount of oxygen you are receiving.

Severe results of mixing alcohol and citalopram

Mixing citalopram and alcohol can also cause some very severe side effects which may affect your health.

If any of the below side effects occur due to mixing your treatment with alcohol or even without you mixing alcohol with your citalopram treatment then you should contact your doctor immediately.

  • convulsions
  • hyperventilation
  • severe heart issues
  • death
  • irregular heart rate
  • amnesia
  • coma (loss of consciousness)

Can you drink alcohol with antidepressants?

Most doctors will advise you not to drink alcohol with antidepressants as they can make your anxiety, depression or panic disorder condition much worse.

Taking alcohol with depressants can also increase the side effects of the antidepressants as well as the side effects of alcohol.

You may find after taking alcohol with antidepressants you begin to feel much more drowsy, dizzy and lose your coordination.

What happens when you drink on Celexa?

Celexa taken when you drink could potentially lead to an overdose, worsen the side effects of Celexa and even lead to a more serious problem.

How much can I drink on citalopram?

Your doctor will usually advise you on how much you can drink citalopram. In most cases, your doctor will advise you not to drink on citalopram as taking alcohol may increase the side effects of citalopram.

You should at least wait a few weeks from when you start the citalopram treatment before you start taking alcohol.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information.

However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice.

Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.

If you are under 18 then CAMHS, an NHS run programme may just be the answer for your mental health struggles.

You should look to see if you meet the CAMHS referral criteria and then fill in the CAMHS referral form.