Can Celexa cause Tinnitus? (5+ solutions)

In this article, we will discuss whether Celexa (Citalopram) can cause tinnitus. We will also talk about what research suggests, who is more likely to experience tinnitus, how to manage it, and what other side effects may be associated with Celexa. 

Can Celexa cause tinnitus?

Yes, Celexa may cause tinnitus, although it is a rare side effect associated with this commonly prescribed antidepressant. Tinnitus, characterized by a ringing sound in the ears, can be stressful for many patients. 

Tinnitus is not necessarily caused by antidepressants; certain underlying factors may also contribute, such as hearing problems due to age factors, frequent exposure to noise pollution, and ear wax accumulation. 

What does research suggest?

The available research data is limited in supporting tinnitus as a potential side effect of Celexa, and there are low chances of patients using Celexa experiencing tinnitus as a side effect(1). Some research studies also suggest that Celexa has been used to treat tinnitus in a few patients.

Celexa is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of antidepressant drugs commonly used to treat anxiety and depression(2). Celexa works by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain which helps reduce symptoms associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) (2). 

People suffering from tinnitus often experience increased symptoms of anxiety and depression; therefore, commonly used serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa (Citalopram) are used in the treatment of GAD and MDD. 

Hence, although Celexa has a low likelihood of causing tinnitus, it may only be used in a few patients to treat tinnitus due to variations in individual medication responses. Some patients believe that certain antidepressants, such as Elavil, Zoloft, Remeron, and Lexapro, may also cause this ringing sound in the ears. 

Who is more prone to experience tinnitus with Celexa?

Patients who are more sensitive to medications like Celexa or who have a history of hearing problems may be at higher risk of experiencing tinnitus. Certain medical conditions may also increase the risk of tinnitus in some patients, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders(3), Meniere’s disease, and otosclerosis(4). 

Gender does not significantly influence the occurrence of tinnitus in patients, although it is more commonly reported in men in general. 

What if Celexa-induced tinnitus does not resolve?

While tinnitus is a rare side effect of Celexa, if you experience a ringing sound in your ears, you should immediately inform your healthcare provider. They will make sure that Celexa is the underlying cause of tinnitus or if other factors are involved.

If you are diagnosed with Celexa-induced tinnitus, your doctor may reduce the dosage gradually with a proper tapering plan over a few weeks or months, depending upon your current depression and tinnitus symptoms.

If necessary, they may switch you to another medications that are used to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus such as Valium (Alprazolam) or Elavil (Amitriptyline). However, do not use these medicines without consulting your healthcare provider.

Some lifestyle adjustments can help you cope with tinnitus, including using white-noise machines when you are trying to sleep, removing excess ear wax, and practising stress-reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation. 

Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake as excessive consumption can trigger tinnitus in some individuals. A few therapies can also ease your symptoms with tinnitus such as Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) (5).  

What other side effects may be caused by Celexa?

Celexa-induced tinnitus is a rare side effect; however, Celexa may have other common side effects, including (1,6):

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Sex-related issues in men and women
  • Insomnia
  • Gain or loss of appetite
  • Restless legs 
  • Jaw clenching
  • Excessive yawning 
  • Dry mouth
  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Acid reflux

Celexa may also lead to serious side effects in some patients. If you experience any of these side effects, immediately report to your doctor. 

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of concentration
  • Abnormal bleeding 
  • Unusual swelling in any body part
  • Coma 
  • Convulsions

You should not even withdraw Celexa on your own as its withdrawal is associated with a condition called “Discontinuation syndrome” (7). This syndrome includes side effects such as: 

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Uncontrolled movements
  • Sensations like electrical shocks
  • Flu-like symptoms such as headache, tiredness, and sweating


Patients who believe that their tinnitus, a rare side effect, is mainly caused by Celexa and have no other risks or underlying health conditions should seek continuous monitoring and guidance from their doctor. 

Celexa is a widely prescribed antidepressant that is well-tolerated by many patients. However, it can not be suitable for all the patients using Celexa, as some may experience both benefits and adverse reactions. 

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Chu A, Wadhwa R. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. 2023 May 1. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 32119293. Available from: 


Edvall NK, Gunan E, GEnitsaridi E, Lazar A, Mehraei G, Billing M, Tullberg M, Bulla J, Whitton J, Canlon B, Hall DA, Cederroth CR. Impact of Temporomandibular Joint Complaints on Tinnitus-Related Distress. Front Neurosci. 2019 Aug 22;13:879. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00879. PMID: 31548840; PMCID: PMC6736614. Available from:  



Skarzynski PH, Dziendziel B, Gos E, Wlodarczyk E, Miaskiewicz B, Rajcehl JJ, Skarzynski H. Prevalence and Severity of Tinnitus in Otosclerosis: Preliminary Findings from Validated Questionnaires. J Int Adv Otol. 2019 Aug;15(2):277-282. doi: 10.5152/iao.2019.5512. PMID: 31418718; PMCID: PMC6750799. Available form:


Theodoroff SM, McMillan GP, Zaugg TL, Cheslock M, Roberts C, Henry JA. Randomized Controlled Trial of a Novel Device for Tinnitus Sound Therapy During Sleep. Am J Audiol. 2017 Dec 12;26(4):543-554. doi: 10.1044/2017_AJA-17-0022. PMID: 29090311. Available from: 


Citalopram. National Library of Science. Medline Plus [Internet]. Available from:


Gabriel M, Sharma V. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome. CMAJ. 2017 May 29;189(21):E747. doi: 10.1503/cmaj. 160991. PMID: 28554948; PMCID: PMC5449237. Available from:

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