Can you take Xanax with Celexa? (3+ benefits)

In this article, we will answer the query: Can you take Xanax with Celexa? We will share some research findings, discuss potential benefits, and side effects and guide those who may not tolerate this combination. 

Can you take Xanax with Celexa?

Yes, you can take Xanax with Celexa, but only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Your doctor will examine your current condition, symptoms, and physiological response to certain medications before recommending this combination. 

The combination of Xanax with Celexa offers benefits along with the potential for certain side effects. However, individual responses to medications vary, so not everyone will experience the same benefits or side effects.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research data available on the concomitant use of Xanax and Celexa. However, this combination is commonly prescribed in patients with panic disorders, anxiety and depression.

Xanax (Alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine used to treat panic disorders and anxiety, while Celexa (Citalopram) is an antidepressant (SSRI) used for anxiety and depression treatment(1,2). Patients with both anxiety and depression need to struggle a lot to get better and they require more medical attention. 

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa, are the first choice of treatment for both anxiety and depression. However, some patients may not respond well to a single antidepressant. 

Adding benzodiazepines like Xanax to their treatment regime along with Celexa, may improve their depression and anxiety symptoms due to their rapid onset of action(3). 

Patients with panic disorders may experience sudden feelings of nervousness or fear during a panic attack accompanied by symptoms such as chest pains, shivering, and a rapid heart rate.

While some patients may respond well to treatment with antidepressants like Celexa, others may benefit when given benzodiazepines like Xanax alone.

Your doctor will determine if you need a combination treatment of Xanax with Celexa keeping in view the effectiveness and side effects based on your specific needs and physiological response(4). 

What are the benefits of using Xanax with Celexa?

You may experience the following benefits while using Xanax and Celexa for the treatment of panic disorders, anxiety, and depression:

  • The combination of Xanax and Celexa provides quick relief from anxiety.
  • Xanax may reduce early-phase treatment symptoms of Celexa such as anxiety or nervousness.
  • Enhanced compliance with antidepressant treatment.
  • This combination may help reduce anxiety or panic reactions in certain situations(3).

What are the common side effects of using Xanax with Celexa?

Xanax and Celexa, when combined, can cause some overlapping side effects, including: 

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Risk of fall/ injury (especially in the elderly)

The intensity of these side effects can vary from person to person, according to the doses prescribed and the timing of drug administration. Another factor that plays a role here is Celexa-induced tiredness, which is not common in every case.

Some people may not feel tired or drowsy on Celexa, but those who do experience this will find it even more pronounced when Celexa is taken with Xanax.

Furthermore, people may experience side effects specific to either medication. Just make sure you monitor your side effects and report them to your doctor. 

What are the rare side effects of using Xanax with Celexa?

Rare side effects may also occur such as imbalance, chest pain, unconsciousness, irregular heart rate, coma, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, abnormal bleeding, seizures, yellowing of eyes or skin, and severe skin rash, blisters or hives (1,2). 

If you experience any of these rare side effects, immediately seek emergency medical treatment. 

What if you can’t tolerate the combination of Xanax and Celexa?

If you can not tolerate the combination of Xanax with Celexa, and your body does not adjust well to this combination, you should immediately seek medical attention. 

Do not take Xanax and Celexa if you are sensitive to either of these medicines. While some people may benefit from this combination, it may not be suitable for everyone. 

Benzodiazepines like Xanax have a rapid onset of action and may be associated with visible side effects in the initial stages of treatment. In contrast, Celexa, being an SSRI, has a delayed mechanism of action.

Celexa may start showing positive results within 1-2 weeks, but its full effects may take 8-12 weeks of treatment(5). Therefore, side effects may also be delayed in some patients. 

If you experience unbearable side effects while using Xanax with Celexa, you must see your doctor immediately. Do not discontinue any medication on your own.

Your doctor may suggest a proper tapering plan before switching you to another SSRI or benzodiazepine depending on your specific condition and response.


In this article, we have discussed whether you can take Xanax with Celexa, considering research findings and potential benefits. We have also provided a list of side effects linked to this combination treatment. 

It is important to consider that not all drug combinations are suitable for all patients suffering from panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. Your healthcare provider must take all the precautions before prescribing Xanax with Celexa. 

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Alprazolam. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. Available from:


Citalopram. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. Available from:


Dunlop BW, Davis PG. Combination treatment with benzodiazepines and SSRIs for comorbid anxiety and depression: a review. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2008;10(3):222-8. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v10n0307. PMID: 18615162; PMCID: PMC2446479. Available from:


Bighelli I, Trespidi C, Castellazzi M, Cipriani A, Furukawa TA, Girlanda F, Guaiana G, Koesters M, Barbui C. Antidepressants and benzodiazepines for panic disorder in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Sep 12;9(9):CD011567. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011567.pub2. PMID: 27618521; PMCID: PMC6457579. Available from: 


Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. 2021 Dec 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29489221. Available from: 

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