Citalopram and Alcohol

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Started on Citalopram before Christmas and graudally worked up to 20mg per evening. Had been at that level for 3 weeks by the end of last week. It seemed to be working well in combination with Amitriptyline to help with the sleep disturbance. Anxiety and depression were controllable and I felt more possitive about my marriage.

​Had a dry January, so thought it would be OK to have a few drinks at the weekend. Nothing OTT, just a few drinks, not a binge. Since then I have been irritable, agitated and feel very pessimistic about my feelings for my wife.

​Does alcohol counteract the Citalopram, especially this early on. I'm racked with doubts and anxiety.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Alan

    I've been on citalipram too I'm on day 30 and was the same as you worried about drinking.

    For the first time last weekend I shared a bottle of wine with my friend from work. In the morning I felt more anexity than I had been .

    She decided just to go for a simple walk with her little one and I felt a lot better after it.

    I think if I had stayed in all day it would have got worse. Something it's just the simple things that can make you feel better.

    Hope you feel better soon .

    Debi x

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  • Posted


    Did you have the citalapram about the same time as the alcohol? That may have contributed to it. It may sound stupid to some but I take my citalapram in the morning because I don't want to mix it with alcohol in an evening.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alan

    My doctor told me not to drink with Citalipram which I chose to ignore. I certainly felt worse when I had a drink so I decided to not drink for a while and I felt better. I tried a drink again and again I felt worse. I hate my anxiety and depression so much that I have stopped drinking completely and I feel so much better. It's a small price to pay for feeling well. 

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  • Posted

    I've taken these meds for around 15 years.  Started on 20mg and stayed on that for a few years, reduced to 10mg for maintenance and now I'm on these meds for a second time I've already reduced to 5mg.  In all these years I never abstained from alcohol - nooooo not for 15 years 😄  However, you're still in the early days so maybe abstaining for now until you're well and truly settled with the meds - and that can be 6 months?

    Along the recovery road for anxiety and depression, it's not always plain sailing.  You don't often just get better and stay up there, but most people find they start feeling better and a few weeks later they'll drop down again.  This is then repeated time and time again - recovery comes in waves, so though you're feeling irritable and agitated, it could be due to having alcohol and / or it could be just the normal path we all take.

    Recovery often takes many months - 3-4 months, sometimes 6 months or longer, and it'll come in waves.

    Maybe it's best for now not to have alcohol, but in many months to come maybe introduce a teeny amount and see how you go.

    K x


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