Is Celexa bad for kidneys? (3 +differences)

In this article, we will discuss the effects of Celexa (Citalopram) on kidneys. We will also discuss some research studies and the factors affecting kidney functions while taking Celexa.

Is Celexa bad for kidneys?

Celexa (Citalopram) is not necessarily bad for the kidneys. However, responses to antidepressants can vary from person to person. Unlike some other medications, Celexa is not known to be directly toxic to the kidneys.

Celexa, a brand for Citalopram, is a prescription medication used to treat depression and sometimes other mood disorders like anxiety. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (1).

What does research suggest?

There are limited research studies indicating the use of Celexa in patients having kidney issues.

One study justified the use of Celexa in patients with moderately impaired renal function. In these patients, no reduction of Celexa dosage is required. However, this may not be the case for individuals with severe renal failure (2).

However, it is essential to keep in mind that individual responses to medications can vary and some people may experience side effects that indirectly affect their overall health. Always reach out to your healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Factors affecting kidney function while taking Celexa

Factors affecting kidney function while taking Celexa may include:

Pre-existing kidney conditions: Individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of Celexa on kidney function. Healthcare providers need to consider a patient’s renal health when prescribing Celexa.

Drug interactions: Celexa may interact with other medications that can affect kidney function. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can potentially cause kidney issues, and combining them with Celexa may increase the risk.

Dosage: Higher doses of Celexa may carry a higher risk of kidney-related side effects. Adjusting the dosage of Celexa may help mitigate these risks in some cases.

Individual variability: Individual factors like genetics and overall health can influence the effects of Celexa on kidneys. Some people may be more susceptible to kidney-related side effects than others.

Dehydration: Celexa may cause side effects like dry mouth and sweating  (3). These side effects can lead to dehydration, if not addressed. Dehydration can strain the kidneys and potentially affect their function.

How Celexa is different from nephrotoxic drugs?

Celexa, an antidepressant medication, is generally not known to cause significant kidney issues directly.

Its primary purpose is to treat depression and anxiety disorders by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the brain. It is primarily metabolized in the liver, with its byproducts excreted through the urinary system.

On the other hand, drugs affecting kidney functions are called nephrotoxic drugs. They can damage the kidneys by impairing their filtration and blood flow, leading to reduced kidney function. It results in a condition like acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease (4). Certain antibiotics (e.g. aminoglycosides) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may cause kidney damage.

The key difference lies in the intended purpose and mechanism of action. Celexa does not affect the kidneys because it does not have a mechanism of action that directly affects kidney function.

However, some side effects of antidepressants like dry mouth and sweating may indirectly impact hydration levels which can affect kidney function. Staying adequately hydrated is essential while taking antidepressants.

Discussing risks with a healthcare provider

Celexa and most SSRIs are not typically associated with kidney issues. However, it is crucial to discuss any concerns about kidneys with your healthcare provider before starting Celexa or any other medication.

Your healthcare provider can assess your specific medical history, monitor your kidney functions as needed and make appropriate recommendations to ensure your safety and well-being during the treatment.

If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Celexa, including changes in urination or signs of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

Celexa should be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider and dosages should be tailored to the individual needs. Discontinuing or changing the dosages of Celexa should be done under medical supervision to minimize potential withdrawal symptoms or side effects.


In conclusion, Celexa (Citalopram) is generally considered to have a low risk of directly affecting kidney function. Although it may not be associated with kidney issues, individual responses to medication can vary, and any concerns about kidney health should be discussed with a healthcare provider, who can provide personalized guidance and monitoring as needed.

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