How long does it take for Celexa to leave your system? 

How long does it take for Celexa to leave your system?

Celexa (Citalopram) can take 8-10 days to entirely leave your system. Celexa has a half-life of about 35 hours, which indicates that the concentration of this antidepressant reduces to half in your blood after this time and 50% of the drug is eliminated (1,2).

However, if you take another dose during this time period, the concentration will go up again. It typically takes 5 half-lives for a medication to completely leave your system. 

In the case of Celexa, about 98% of the medication is eliminated from your body after 7 days, but the traces can take a few more days to get removed. 

However, this time duration can vary from person to person. People who are elderly or suffer from liver or kidney disease usually take longer to eliminate the drug, as compared to healthy individuals. 

Even in healthy individuals, the time duration can vary as there are some factors that can make a difference, like your age, weight, underlying health condition, and overall health status etc. 

It is important to note that some individuals may get concerned about Celexa causing a false positive if they have a drug test coming up.

However, Celexa is not known to show up on a standard 12-panel drug test. So, make sure you do not try to flush Celexa out of your system because of that. It can cause withdrawal symptoms, which are not so pleasant to deal with.

What factors can affect the stay time of Celexa in your body?

Several factors can influence the stay time of Celexa (citalopram) in your body. These include: (1,2)

  • Dosage: The higher the dose of Celexa you take, the longer it may stay in your system.
  • Individual metabolism: Each person’s metabolism is unique, and some individuals may metabolize Celexa more quickly or slowly than others. This can affect how long the medication remains in their system.
  • Age: Age can impact the clearance rate of Celexa from the body. Older individuals may eliminate the medication more slowly compared to younger individuals.
  • Liver and kidney function: The liver plays a crucial role in metabolizing medications. If you have impaired liver function, it may affect the breakdown and elimination of Celexa from your body. A high percentage of Celexa is not eliminated via urine and the drug does not affect the kidneys. However, renal insufficiency may affect the removal of this drug.
  • Drug interactions: Certain medications or substances can interact with Celexa and affect its metabolism. It’s important to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, or substances you are taking to avoid potential interactions. Some foods can also interact with Celexa.

It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding Celexa dosage and duration of treatment to ensure its safe and effective use. Celexa is used to manage several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.

This medication should be properly taken for a safe and effective therapeutic response. Celexa may cause more side effects or its effects might be increased when taken with other similar medications, like other antidepressants, Buspirone, benzodiazepines, some cold medications, etc.

Do not stop Celexa abruptly

It is not recommended to stop Celexa and other antidepressants abruptly. Suddenly discontinuing the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms and may not be safe for your well-being. Gradual tapering under medical supervision is typically advised to minimize potential withdrawal effects.

Withdrawal symptoms from Celexa can vary among individuals and may include: (3,4)

  • Flu-like symptoms – fatigue, muscle aches, chills, and sweating.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms – nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and stomach cramps.
  • Mood changes – rebound depression, irritability, anxiety, agitation, or mood swings.
  • Sleep disturbances – insomnia, vivid dreams, or changes in sleep patterns.
  • Sensory disturbances – dizziness, tingling, or “brain zaps” (a sensation of electrical shocks in the head).

It’s important to discuss your intention to stop taking Celexa with your healthcare provider. They will consider your individual circumstances and develop a plan that minimizes the risk of withdrawal symptoms and ensures your well-being.

If you find Celexa ineffective, you need to talk to your doctor before stopping it. Your doctor may increase your Celexa dose. A 10mg dose can be increased to 20mg, or a 20mg dose can be increased to 30 or 40g dose.

Dose escalation does help sometimes. However, you may experience side effects when your dose is increased, even if you’re going from 10 to 20mg. However, these side effects can be temporary and start to get better when your body adjusts to the medication.

Medications like Celexa take time to work, and you should never try and stop it without giving it enough time – unless you’re allergic to the medication.

If Celexa does not work, your doctor may switch you to another antidepressant, like Sertraline, Fluoxetine, etc. However, you should not increase your dose, stop the medication, or switch to another antidepressant on your own.

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