Does Celexa help with brain fog? (3 factors)

This article will explore whether Celexa can help with brain fog symptoms. The article will also mention the factors that can influence Celexa’s effects on cognition and discuss the findings from research studies on this matter

Additionally, the article will offer suggestions on what to do if brain fog persists while taking Celexa.

Does Celexa help with brain fog?

Celexa may or may not help with brain fog. Celexa is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and this class of antidepressants has been reported to cause brain fog by some people and has also been found to treat symptoms of brain fog in other people.

Some people may experience brain fog as a consequence of their anxiety or depression. Since Celexa is effective in treating both of these conditions, it may help with stress-related brain fog. Moreover, some studies suggest that Celexa can prevent memory loss, especially in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

However, people respond differently to medications, and Celexa won’t help with the symptoms of brain fog in everyone. Thus, it is important to discuss your expectations with your doctor to determine whether Celexa is a suitable drug to treat your brain fog symptoms.

What does research suggest?

One study explored the effects of citalopram on cognitive function in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that after 4 weeks of treatment, citalopram improved short-term memory and social skills in these mice [1].

It was also found that citalopram also reduced β-amyloid plaques, which play a role in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, in these mice’s brains [1].

In another study where researchers investigated the effects of low-dose citalopram on memory deficits and altered consciousness in mice, it restored spatial memory. It also increased acetylcholine levels in the dorsal hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory [2].

A different investigation similarly investigated the protective role of citalopram against memory decline in mice with Alzheimer’s disease and found that the treated mice showed better memory compared to those who didn’t administer the drug [3].

What factors influence Celexa’s effects on cognition?

While Celexa was found to improve cognitive functions in most people, it may not help with brain fog symptoms in everyone. Certain factors may decrease its effectiveness in enhancing memory and learning. Here are some of these factors [4,5]:

Concurrent medications  Diseases Individual and lifestyle factors 
Some antidepressants, like Prozac, Cymbalta, Effexor, or sertraline, may cause brain fog symptoms such as difficulty concentrating or memory problems. Huntington’s disease Old age increases the risk of memory decline and generally a worsening of brain function.
First-generation antihistamines can induce brain fog-like symptoms such as drowsiness and difficulty concentrating while taking Celexa. Hypothyroidism People with high levels of stress, depression, or anxiety can find difficulty concentrating, which can impact the effectiveness of Celexa in alleviating brain fog.
The concurrent administration of benzodiazepines with Celexa can affect cognition and attentiveness. Stroke Dehydration and a low intake of water can lead to brain fog while taking Celexa.
Certain antiseizure drugs can also impact people’s memory. Parkinson’s disease Sleep deprivation can contribute to brain fog and decrease Celexa’s effectiveness in enhancing cognitive function.
Some anticholinergic drugs can directly affect people’s cognitive functions, decreasing Celexa’s effectiveness in reducing brain fog. Multiple Sclerosis Long-term excessive consumption of processed foods or foods high in sugar without sufficient intake of brain-enhancing foods may lead to brain fog.
  Vascular Neurocognitive Disorder Excessive alcohol intake while administering Celexa may lead to brain fog.
  Alzheimer’s disease  

What to do if Celexa doesn’t help with brain fog?

If you suspect that Celexa is not improving your symptoms of brain fog, or if you believe that these symptoms are worsening, you must report this to a doctor.

They will assess your medical and medication history to determine whether there are other factors contributing to your brain fog, and select the appropriate way to address your symptoms.

Treatment plan adjustment

Firstly, if the doctor determines that Celexa is indeed causing your brain fog symptoms, they may consider reducing the dosage. They might also suggest taking it before bedtime to prevent experiencing confusion or decreased concentration during the day. 

On the other hand, if you are experiencing brain fog related to anxiety or depression and Celexa is not effectively treating your anxiety or depression in the first place, then the doctor may gradually increase the dosage. If this doesn’t work, they may consider switching you to a different antidepressant, like Paxil.

However, if Celexa is effectively alleviating your anxiety or depression but not addressing your brain fog symptoms, the doctor may prescribe an additional medication to enhance cognitive function, recommend supplements and lifestyle adjustments, increase the Celexa dosage, or switch you to another antidepressant.

They might also suggest waiting, as Celexa takes time to fully and effectively take effect.

Tips to optimize brain health while taking Celexa

Here are several strategies that can help improve brain function and reduce symptoms of brain fog while taking Celexa:

  • Regular exercise is known to enhance cognitive function.
  • Ensure getting enough quality sleep; aim for 7-9 hours every day.
  • Incorporate stress management strategies into your routine, such as yoga, meditation, reading a book, or engaging in enjoyable hobbies.
  • Make sure to include foods that promote healthy brain function in your diet. Aim for foods that contain antioxidants, like blueberries or spinach; omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and nuts; or healthy fats, like olive oil and nuts.
  • Try to drink around 3 liters of water per day, as hydration is important for optimal brain function.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, vitamin B supplements, and vitamin D supplements may help with symptoms of brain fog.
  • Certain formulations of medicinal plants, like Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Curcumin Extract, or Turmeric Extract, may benefit brain health while taking Celexa.


From my perspective, while some individuals may experience improvements in brain fog symptoms while taking Celexa, others may not see any significant changes. Based on my research, I found that Celexa can improve memory in Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the occurrence of β-amyloid plaques. 

However, it is crucial to note that individual factors, such as concurrent medications, diseases, and lifestyle factors, can influence the effectiveness of Celexa in improving cognition.

If Celexa does not effectively address your brain fog symptoms, I recommend reporting this to your doctor. They will assess your medical history, medication history, and potential contributing factors to determine the appropriate course of action. 

I also recommend optimizing brain health through regular exercise, quality sleep, stress management strategies, a balanced diet rich in brain-enhancing foods, adequate hydration, and limited alcohol consumption.

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Zhang Q, Yang C, Liu T, Liu L, Li F, Cai Y, Lv K, Li X, Gao J, Sun D, Xu H, Yang Q, Fan X. Citalopram restores short-term memory deficit and non-cognitive behaviors in APP/PS1 mice while halting the advance of Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Mar 15;131:475-486. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2017.12.021. Epub 2017 Dec 11. PMID: 29241655.


Egashira N, Matsumoto Y, Mishima K, Iwasaki K, Fujioka M, Matsushita M, Shoyama Y, Nishimura R, Fujiwara M. Low dose citalopram reverses memory impairment and electroconvulsive shock-induced immobilization. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Jan;83(1):161-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2006.01.006. Epub 2006 Feb 21. PMID: 16492387.


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