Does Celexa have lithium in it? (5+ side effects)

In this article, we will discuss whether Celexa contains lithium. We will also discuss the key differences between the two medications to help you understand the basic pharmacological uses of these medications.

Does Celexa have Lithium in it?

No, Celexa (Citalopram) does not have lithium in it. Celexa and Lithium are different medications which can be used for different therapeutic reasons. However, they may manage similar symptoms in some cases.

Both Celexa and Lithium are prescription medications which should only be used when prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional.

Make sure you do not take these medications without medical supervision or combine them together.

How is Celexa different from Lithium?

Celexa and Lithium have the following differences:

Mechanism of action

Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is the most commonly prescribed antidepressant which works by blocking the reuptake of serotonin (an excitatory neurotransmitter), by blocking serotonin transporters (SERT) (1).

This increases the availability of serotonin in the brain, which helps improve mood and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety (1).

Lithium, on the other hand, is a mood stabilizer that helps patients with mood problems, but it appears to regulate certain neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing the severity and frequency of mood swings in bipolar disorder (2).

Therapeutic uses

Celexa is used to treat and manage the following conditions (3):

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Lithium, on the other hand, is used to manage the symptoms associated with mania and bipolar disorder. It can also be used to manage major depressive disorder in some cases (4).

What are the common side effects of Celexa and Lithium?

Some common side effects of Celexa and Lithium include (3,4):

Common side effects Celexa Lithium
Dizziness yes yes
Dry mouth yes yes
Fatigue yes yes
Abdominal pain yes yes
Weight changes yes yes
Constipation yes yes
Vivid dreams yes yes

Withdrawal symptoms

Both Celexa and Lithium can cause disturbing withdrawal symptoms if stopped abruptly. If you use either of these medications, make sure you do not make any changes to your dosage without consulting your doctor first (5,6).

Can you take Celexa and Lithium together?

Celexa and Lithium should not be taken together. Both of these meds can affect your brain chemistry and taking them together and taking them together can increase the risk of a rare, but life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. This condition is associated with a number of disturbing symptoms, including (7):

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Incoordination

How to choose between Celexa and Lithium?

The choice between Celexa and Lithium depends on the symptoms one suffers from and the most appropriate medication should only be decided by a qualified healthcare professional.

Lithium is considered a good medication for people struggling with bipolar disorder. Celexa, on the other hand, can aggravate bipolar symptoms and should not be prescribed to such patients.

Diagnosis is the most critical factor here and the medication should be decided on the basis of proper diagnosis of your symptoms. Both these medications require medical supervision. So, make sure you attend follow-up appointments and keep discussing your concerns with your doctor.

What are the precautions while using Celexa or Lithium?

The precautions while using Celexa or Lithium include:

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to Celexa or Lithium.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your doctor and do not alter dosage or timings.
  • Inform your doctor about underlying health conditions, and family history or if you are taking any other medicines or supplements.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or have surgery.
  • Be consistent with your medication and do not skip any doses.
  • If you skip any doses, take them as soon as you remember it; do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed one. 

In my opinion, Celexa and Lithium are two different medications used for different therapeutic indications. These medications should not be used in combination due to the increased risk of life-threatening conditions. 

Always follow your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and treatment plans.


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