Does Celexa show up on a drug test? 

Does Celexa show up on a drug test? 

No, Celexa (Citalopram) does not show up on a drug test. It is considered one of the simplest antidepressants and as Celexa is not a drug of abuse, it is not included in the usual panel of drugs to be tested. 

In fact, the entire class of antidepressants is not something that these tests are focused on because antidepressants are not categorized as controlled substances, but some of these meds can cause a false positive. 

However, Celexa is not known for causing a false positive. The chances of getting a false positive also depend on the type of drug testing procedures as urine immunoassays are more prone to showing false positive results. 

However, in common practices, the testing authorities are informed about the prescription medications before the test is conducted and getting a false positive on prescription medication is not usually a problem. 

Just make sure you don’t stop using Celexa prior to the test. Antidepressants can cause dependence and stopping them abruptly can cause a number of disturbing withdrawal symptoms. 

How is Celexa different from drugs that are detected in drug tests?

Celexa is an antidepressant that works by affecting the levels of a chemical messenger called serotonin in the brain (1,2). Serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood, emotions, and thoughts. 

In people with depression or certain anxiety disorders, there may be an imbalance of serotonin in the brain. Celexa helps to restore this balance by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin, which means that more serotonin is available in the brain.

Drug tests usually focus on detecting specific drugs, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, and others. These drugs have their own distinct chemical structures and mechanisms of action that can be identified through drug screening methods (3,4).

It’s important to note that drug tests are designed to detect specific substances and are not intended to detect every medication in a person’s system. If you have any concerns about drug testing or specific medications, talk to a healthcare professional or the testing facility.

Final words

To sum up, Celexa does not show up on a drug test and does not cause a false positive for any drug of abuse. However, it’s still recommended to inform the testing authorities about all the medication you are currently taking prior to the test. This helps avoid any misinterpretation.

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Bezchlibnyk-Butler K, Aleksic I, Kennedy SH. Citalopram–a review of pharmacological and clinical effects. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2000 May;25(3):241-54. PMID: 10863884; PMCID: PMC1407724.


McNeil SE, Chen RJ, Cogburn M. Drug Testing. 2023 Jan 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29083751.


Moeller KE, Lee KC, Kissack JC. Urine drug screening: practical guide for clinicians. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Jan;83(1):66-76. doi: 10.4065/83.1.66. Erratum in: Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Jul;83(7):851. PMID: 18174009.

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