Which Foods Should You Avoid While Taking Celexa? (+5 Foods)

Celexa may interact with certain foods and beverages. This article will cover all possible foods and beverages that should not be taken along with Celexa.

Which foods should you avoid while taking Celexa?

The following foods should be avoided while taking Celexa:

  • Alcohol
  • St John’s wort
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Tyramine rich food
  • Highly processed and sugary food

Although Celexa is generally safe and well tolerated in most individuals, one should be aware of the potential interactions of Celexa with food and beverages that can lead to life-threatening adverse effects.

Now let’s discuss the interactions of food and beverages with Celexa one by one.


Alcohol can cause additive effects on the central nervous system if it is used with Celexa. Alcohol may also exacerbate depressive symptoms, counteracting the benefits of Celexa. It can increase the nervous system side effects of Celexa such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. (1)

You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with Celexa. It is important to consult your healthcare provider regarding its use while on Celexa.

St John’s wort

St John’s wort is an herbal supplement that is often used to treat mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. St John’s wort can interact with Celexa and other SSRIs in a way that can increase the level of serotonin in the brain leading to a life-threatening condition known as Serotonin Syndrome. (2)

Serotonin syndrome is a rare but serious condition that occurs when there is an excessive accumulation of serotonin in the body.

Symptoms of serotonin syndrome are as follows:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Tremors
  • Distress
  • Seizures
  • Muscle twitching or Spasm
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Hallucinations
  • Comma

 It is highly recommended to avoid St John’s wort while using Celexa to prevent serotonin syndrome.

Grapefruit juice

Grapefruit and grapefruit products have many health benefits, however, their intake along with some drugs like SSRI antidepressants can cause serious health issues. This interaction can be because of the presence of some compounds in grapefruit called furanocoumarins, which are responsible for the inhibition of the enzyme CYP3A4 present in the liver (3).

When you consume grapefruit juice while taking Celexa, the inhibition of CYP3A4 can lead to higher drug concentration in the bloodstream which can potentially increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

It is worth mentioning that the interaction between grapefruit and Celexa may vary from person to person. Therefore, it is recommended that you get an expert consultation from a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Excessive caffeine

Caffeine while taking Celexa is generally safe when used responsibly. However, it may interact with Celexa when consumed excessively. Some studies suggest that caffeine can enhance the serotonin level similar to Celexa.

Therefore, it is crucial to use a limited quantity of caffeine when taking Celexa or any other antidepressant, like Sertraline, Wellbutrin, etc.

Tyramine rich foods

Some SSRIs, like Celexa, can interact with foods that are rich in tyramine (amino acid) such as aged cheese, curd, meat, and fermented foods. When tyramine-rich food is used in combination with Celexa, it can pose the risk of serotonin syndrome- a potentially life-threatening condition. So it is recommended to avoid tyramine-rich food while using Celexa.

Which type of diet is recommended for you while taking Celexa?

A balanced diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean proteins as a complementary is recommended for you to manage mental health conditions.

Taking Celexa is an effective step in managing depression and anxiety disorders, but it’s crucial that you consider potential drug-food interactions.

In this article, we addressed topics like which foods should be avoided while taking Celexa, how these foods can increase the side effects of Celexa as well as the dietary recommendations to manage mental health conditions.

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Menkes DB, Herxheimer A. Interaction between antidepressants and alcohol: signal amplification by multiple case reports. The International journal of risk & safety in medicine [Internet]. 2014;26(3):163–70.



Nicolussi S, Drewe J, Butterweck V, Meyer zu Schwabedissen HE. Clinical relevance of St. John’s wort drug interactions revisited. British Journal of Pharmacology [Internet]. 2019 Nov 19 [cited 2023 Sep 11];177(6).



Seden K, Dickinson L, Khoo S, Back D. Grapefruit-Drug Interactions. Drugs [Internet]. 2010 Dec [cited 2023 Sep 11];70(18):2373–407.



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