Does Celexa help with alcoholism? (5+ tips)

This article will discuss whether Celexa can help treat alcoholism. It will explore Celexa’s ability to reduce alcohol consumption and discuss its benefits for reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Additionally, the article will mention some of the reasons why Celexa may not work in treating alcoholism in everyone. Finally, it will provide suggestions on how to recover from alcoholism.

Does Celexa help with alcoholism?

Yes, Celexa can help with alcoholism. Celexa is a brand of citalopram, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that increases the activity of serotonin. It is effective in treating various mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and panic disorder.

Celexa can also help with anger and control mood swings. Celexa’s effectiveness in treating all these mental health conditions can contribute to its ability to control alcohol cravings in alcoholics.

To illustrate, some people get addicted to alcohol because they use it as a coping strategy. Treating their underlying emotional and psychological problems can reduce their need to consume alcohol.

However, alcoholism is a serious and life-threatening problem, and alcoholics must see a professional who can effectively construct a plan to treat this alcohol addiction. Thus, if you’re considering taking Celexa for alcoholism, you must discuss this with a healthcare professional first.

What does research suggest?

One study investigated the effects of a 40-gram daily dose of citalopram on people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol every day.

Citalopram did not affect people with higher baseline alcohol consumption, but it significantly reduced drinking in people with lower baseline consumption (60–100 grams of alcohol per day) in comparison to placebo.

The same researchers decided to continue studying the effects of citalopram on alcoholism. They consequently investigated its effects on people who drink 300 and 800 g of pure alcohol every week.

However, no significant difference was found between citalopram and placebo in decreasing alcohol intake.

Thus, the researchers investigated whether the drinkers’ genotypes influenced their responses to citalopram in terms of alcohol consumption. It was concluded that people with the genotype DRD2 A2/A2 are more likely to consume less alcohol after citalopram treatment.

Does Celexa reduce alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms?

In an investigation, alcoholics were all required to stop drinking at 6 p.m. on one day and were started on an IV infusion of either citalopram or a placebo the following day. The researchers assessed cue-induced alcohol cravings every day after each infusion. 

Participants who were given citalopram showed significantly fewer alcohol cravings and withdrawal symptoms than those taking a placebo.

It was also found that the level of craving and the severity of withdrawal symptoms were inversely related to the availability of dopamine D2/3 receptors in the thalamus, and citalopram can indirectly regulate this.

What factors impact Celexa’s benefits for alcoholism?

Several factors may affect Celexa’s effectiveness in managing alcoholism. These factors are illustrated in the table below:

Medication-related factors Individual-related factors
Doses lower than 40 gm/day of Celexa may not be effective for certain cases [1]. Peer pressure, alcohol availability, family history of alcoholism, and stressful events can lead to a poor response to Celexa.
Concurrent administration of drugs, foods, or substances that interact with citalopram and reduce its effects. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD can cause alcoholism as a coping mechanism, potentially reducing Celexa’s efficacy in treating alcoholism.
The presence of other mental health diseases that aren’t being treated Long-term drinking results in physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, making it harder to manage alcoholism while using Celexa.
People with high levels of CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 enzymes metabolize Celexa faster and don’t benefit from its regular dose [4]. Some people with certain genes, like ADH1B and ALDH2, are at higher risk of alcoholism and have a poor response to medications like Celexa [5]. 
Non-compliance with the treatment plan  

What to do if Celexa doesn’t help with alcoholism?

If Celexa doesn’t help you reduce your alcohol intake, here are some recommendations that may help:

  • First of all, talk to a specialist or a therapist who is experienced in treating alcoholism.
  • Joining support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), can help you stay motivated and determined to recover from alcoholism.
  • Try to find other activities that can make you feel better, such as hobbies or exercise.
  • Avoid being around people who drink a lot, and don’t go to places where there is a lot of drinking and where many drinks are available.
  • Engaging in cognitive behavioral therapies or psychological therapies can help in treating the psychological and emotional factors that may have led you to drink excessively as a coping strategy.
  • Certain medications, such as naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram, can be prescribed by a professional to help you in your recovery [6]. Trazodone and Benadryl can also be used to manage some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Understanding Celexa’s benefits for alcoholism

From my perspective, Celexa can help reduce alcohol consumption for some people. I believe that its effectiveness in enhancing mood, treating depression and anxiety, reducing anger, and managing stress can reduce the need for heavy drinking.

Based on my research, I concluded that alcoholics who took 40 mg of Celexa drank less alcohol. I also found that this drug is effective in preventing alcohol cravings after quitting drinking.

If you still can’t drink less despite taking Celexa, I recommend consulting with a therapist or a psychiatrist, participating in group therapies, joining a support group, and learning about the risks of alcoholism.

Additionally, other drugs, like naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprostate, may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

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