What foods should you avoid while taking celexa?

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In this blog post, we are going to answer the question, “What foods should you avoid while taking celexa?”. Celexa is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.

It may interact with certain foods or other medications. This blog will cover all the possible foods and meds which should not be taken along with your celexa.

What foods should you avoid while taking celexa?

Avoid the following foods and drinks while taking celexa:

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Cannabis 
  • St John’s Wort
  • Tyramine and tryptophan rich foods
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Green tea
  • Alcohol 

Grapefruit juice

Grapefruit juice should not be used while you are taking celexa. It increases the level of this antidepressant in your body by inhibiting its metabolism. Be aware of using these two together. 

You might find more pronounced effects of celexa, including adverse effects, as it will not convert into its inactive metabolite. The excess amount of celexa means an excess amount of serotonin, which stays for a long period of time. 

Too much serotonergic activity results in serotonin syndrome, which is associated with disturbing symptoms including:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Fever with chills
  • Confusion and forgetfulness 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain
  • Shivering and goosebumps

Make sure you avoid this combination as much as you can in order to avoid the above mentioned symptoms of serotonin syndrome. 

Cannabis

Do not use cannabis while you’re on celexa. It will cause symptoms like confusion, panic attacks, seizures, anxiety, nervousness etc. cannabis works directly on your brain and can alter your mood and cognition. 

It not only makes your antidepressant ineffective, but the combination can significantly make your mental health condition much worse.

St John’s Wort

St John’s wort is used as a herbal treatment to counteract the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Its mechanism of action is exactly the same as celexa. It works as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and increases the amounts of active serotonin in your body. 

The concomitant use of this herb along with celexa can dangerously increase the serotonergic activity. This results in serotonin syndrome.

Tyramine and tryptophan rich foods

Tyramine is an amino acid. The combination of celexa with tyramine rich foods, like cheese, milk, chicken liver, beef, avocados, bananas, canned figs, soy beans etc, can cause sudden and dangerous increase in your blood pressure. 

Tryptophan rich foods should also be avoided or consumed in a limited amount. It is the precursor of serotonin synthesis in your body. 

Your antidepressant is already inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and is causing more serotonin to stay in your body to produce its effects. If you eat tryptophan rich foods in excess, it could result in serotonin syndrome.

Excessive caffeine

The interaction between celexa and caffeine only exists at higher doses and is associated with the symptoms similar to those of serotonin syndrome, including chills, fever, confusion, muscle twitching, agitation etc. 

Some studies suggest that antidepressants can inhibit the metabolism of caffeine. When the metabolism is affected, the chemical stays longer in your body as it normally should, hence it produces prolonged effects. 

A 2017 study found that low dose caffeine can enhance the efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of major depression. A cup of coffee in the morning will not harm you as much as larger quantities will. 

Studies have shown that celexa can interfere with caffeine metabolism, hence it is not broken down into its inactive metabolites. A chemical needs to be broken down before being eliminated from the body. 

This way more caffeine is available, for a prolonged period of time. It results in caffeine intoxication, which means enhanced and prolonged effects of caffeine. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) recommends no more than 400 milligrams (about four or five cups of coffee) per day. 

Caffeine intoxication is common in coffee addicts and this coupled with celexa can make your depression or anxiety much worse. Make sure you always discuss such matters with your healthcare provider and ask how much coffee is too much for you to take with your antidepressant.

Green tea

Green tea can be used with celexa but too much quantities can cause serious complications. Overuse of green tea with celexa can significantly increase the bleeding time. 

It can also make you anxious, restless and agitated. Drinking just a cup or two is fine, but some people are addicted to more than 3 cups per day. This can lead to disturbing side effects. 

Alcohol

When celexa and alcohol are mixed together, the mixture produces a number of harmful effects. Serotonin syndrome is a big risk. Both of these chemicals have an effect on your brain and the neurotransmitters it releases. 

People who get drunk usually get carried away and end up consuming dangerously high amounts. This could result in life threatening symptoms and may require hospitalisation. 

This combination can also create a number of sensory and motor disturbances, including impaired senses, impaired ability to identify threats, abnormal jerks, tremors, and inability to maintain balance. 

Both alcohol and celexa have tiredness, fatigue, dizziness and drowsiness as common symptoms. When these two are taken excessively together, they cause extreme sedation, which could result in blackouts or unconsciousness. 

When these two chemicals are consumed together, they completely mess up your system. It’s like a fight within your brain. It clouds your judgement and messes up your decision making ability. 

Various studies suggest that celexa and alcohol overdose have resulted in a number of people trying to take their life. This effect is much more pronounced in people younger than 24 years of age, as celexa itself can cause suicidal behavior in younger individuals. 

The overdose of celexa and alcohol can have a drastic effect on your liver, an organ chiefly responsible for performing metabolic activities. It converts harmful active substances into their harmless inactive metabolites.

 Liver damage results in accumulation of these chemicals in your body which causes toxicity.

What medicines should you avoid while taking celexa?

The following meds should not be taken with celexa:

Monoaminoxidase inhibitors 

Do not use celexa with any irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Concomitant treatment is highly contraindicated due to the risk of serotonin syndrome with symptoms like agitation, tremor and hyperthermia. 

Celexa must not be initiated for at least 14 days after discontinuation of treatment with an irreversible MAOI. Celexa must be discontinued for at least 7 days before starting treatment with an irreversible MAOI.

Pimozide

Do not use celexa with pimozide. Combining these medications 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.

Drugs that can increase the risk of bleeding

Celexa, if used concomitantly with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), aspirin, anticoagulants like warfarin etc, can increase the risk of bleeding. 

They can also interact and cause disturbing gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and unbearable acid reflux which may give rise to ulcer formation in your stomach or small intestine. 

Drug interactions should be an important consideration before taking two or more medicines together. Yes, drugs in combination are often used to achieve better therapeutic response but this is not the case with every interaction. 

Some drugs are highly incompatible with one another. They often cancel out each other’s effects or antagonise them. Some drugs are so incompatible that they end up changing the entire chemical composition of one another. 

Some interfere with metabolism or bioavailability (the rate and extent at which the active drug moiety enters systemic circulation/blood). This can lead to drug accumulation in different parts of the body. 

It is always advised to inform your healthcare provider of any medicine you take before getting a new prescription. Your doctor will make sure not to prescribe any such drug which might interfere with those you are already taking. 

How to ensure the proper use of celexa?

  • It is extremely important to make sure that you take your medications as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not change the timing or dose without your doctor’s approval. 
  • The medication comes with a guide, a leaflet. Follow instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any query.
  • It is also mandatory to tell your healthcare provider your medical history or any pre-existing health condition, especially if you suffer from bipolar disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, glaucoma etc. 
  • Always tell your doctor your medication history. Discuss all the medicines you use, even over-the-counter meds before you start using celexa. 
  • Celexa can cause QT prolongation so discuss it with your cardiologist if you have a heart condition. 
  • Do not suggest medications, unless you are a healthcare professional yourself. Do not share medications. You might think your conditions match but oftentimes they don’t. It’s actually pretty dangerous.
  • 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 experience unusual side effects, immediately contact your healthcare provider.
  • The liquid form of celexa usually contains alcohol. Consult your healthcare provider if you have diabetes, alcoholism, or some liver disease. 
  • Elderly people and children are more susceptible to side effects
  • Using celexa in the third trimester can cause rare side effects in babies like breathing difficulties, seizures etc. 
  • It can also pass into the breastmilk. Consult your doctor if you are a nursing mother.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have talked about the foods, drinks and medicines which should be avoided while taking celexa. Some of the things we discussed produce extremely serious side effects when combined with celexa. 

The drink at the top of this list is alcohol. You should, at all costs, avoid alcohol while taking any antidepressant whatsoever. Make sure you reach out to your doctor immediately if you exhibit any sign of an interaction.

FAQs: foods to avoid while taking celexa

What foods interfere with antidepressants?

The following foods and drinks can interact with citalopram:

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Cannabis 
  • St John’s Wort
  • Tyramine and tryptophan rich foods
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Green tea
  • Alcohol 

Can I drink caffeine with Celexa?

Yes, you can take caffeine while being on celexa but not too much. The interaction between celexa and caffeine only exists at higher doses and is associated with the symptoms similar to those of serotonin syndrome, including chills, fever, confusion, muscle twitching, agitation etc. 

Some studies suggest that antidepressants can inhibit the metabolism of caffeine. When the metabolism is affected, the chemical stays longer in your body as it normally should, hence it produces prolonged effects. 

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 

Can I have a glass of wine with Celexa?

Alcohol , of any kind, shouble not be used while taking celexa or any other antidepressant. When celexa and alcohol are mixed together, the mixture produces a number of harmful effects. Serotonin syndrome is a big risk. Both of these chemicals have an effect on your brain and the neurotransmitters it releases.

What to avoid while on antidepressants?

  • Monoaminoxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
  • Pimozide
  • Controlled substances
  • Mood stabilisers
  • Alcohol

References

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