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Celexa Alternatives

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Carol Gillette

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Samuel Lee MD

Celexa® antidepressant medication is commonly prescribed before giving even cursory consideration to effective Celexa alternatives.

There can be many causes of depression none of which imply a medication deficiency. We look for impaired hormonal states, deficiency of vitamin D and other nutrients, fix a substandard diet, check for and address adrenal fatigue, and a host of other potential trouble spots.

Do Your Symptoms Require Celexa?

getting off celexa
Alternative to Meds Center has been primarily invested in alternatives to prescription medication during and after antidepressant withdrawal. We pull out all the stops which is the reason for our success rate (over 77%). That percentage of our clients feel better off the drugs long-term than they did while on them. They ended their struggle with side effects and lingering symptoms. If you are looking for alternatives to Celexa, we can likely help your situation as well.
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Natural Celexa Alternatives

At Alternative to Meds Center, we use Celexa alternatives to help with better solutions than living life medicated on Celexa.

Celexa is the brand name for citalopram, an SSRI medication. SSRI medication can cause intolerable Celexa side effects, making it an unworkable choice for many.

Common side effects of Celexa include fatigue, sleep disturbances, nausea, and others. Many natural, effective antidepressant alternatives for the treatment of depression or other symptoms are available that do not cause these unwanted side effects.6

Natural alternatives to Celexa include:
  • holistic celexa tapering sedona drug rehabTalk therapy: Some individuals are able to recover from their depression by talking over their problems with a counselor or life coach in structured treatment sessions such as CBT or other forms of therapy.7,25
  • Natural supplements, nutrients, and eating healthy are lifestyle changes that can lift depression brought on by nutrient deficiency.8,31
  • St John’s Wort has shown equal efficacy compared to medication treatment for mild and moderate cases of depression.35
  • Clinical trials have shown Passionflower extract helpful in reducing symptoms of chronic long-term stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.26.44
  • Avoid food additives and processed foods and the excitotoxins they may contain.30
  • An organic, whole foods diet can improve energy, and mood, and may also improve sleep.9,32
  • Microbiome support can produce positive changes in mental well-being. Add fermented foods, probiotics, prebiotics, and yogurt to the daily regimen to rehabilitate microbiome health.32-34
  • Exercise releases “happy chemicals” and makes an effective strategy that is easy to implement. Forest and nature walks reduce stress as shown in clinical trials.10,39
  • Tai Chi and Qigong are helpful both in improving physical strength and balance, but also in improving mood and clinical symptoms, as demonstrated widely in trials showing the reduction of cortisol, inflammation, and reactive proteins.40
  • Bright light therapy has shown promise in alleviating depression in clinical trials.36
  • Cleansing the body of toxic accumulations may relieve symptoms by encouraging natural rehabilitation of neurochemistry.* 29,30
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation is effective in treating depression.25
  • CBD (low-THC cannabidiol) has been shown to produce rapid and sustained antidepressant effects in animal studies and in human trials.27,28,41

*Where mercury, lead, cadmium, or other heavy metals have accumulated in the body, chelation and other methods can help clean these out for many health improvements, including relief of depression, according to Dr. Peter Bongiorno, as reported in the Naturopathic News Journal.1

There are many proven alternatives to medication for the improvement of unwanted symptoms, and we urge anyone to research and find other sources of help that are accessible and affordable. We have highlighted a sampling below with more details of their efficacy.

Talk Therapy as an Alternative to Celexa

SSRIs are not the only therapy for depression, though such medications are thrust on the public as if they are the only way forward.
“There are many ways of getting strong — sometimes talking is the best way.” ~André Agassi, World Tennis Champ.

CBT is a practical approach. A cognitive-behavioral therapist assists clients in understanding the thinking patterns which might underlie their behavior and encourages new and effective ideas and strategies to correct them.

Where toxic or troubled relationships are presently contributing to depressed mood, a counselor may be able to focus on how these could be resolved and improved. Workplace issues are often not able to be directly addressed but with help from the human resources department, these could be discussed privately in order to resolve points of stress in the workplace. In addition to these types of help, there are many genres of counseling that may be found useful in sorting things out with great relief potential in the process.

Lifestyle Changes as an Alternative to Celexa

lifestyle changes for getting off antidepressantsLifestyle changes can provide successful Citalopram antidepressant alternatives. For example, being deprived of sleep is likely to make you feel run down and in a funk. One night of lost sleep is uncomfortable. How much worse would it be when sleep issues persist for weeks or even months? Depression is only one potential result of such a chronically dysfunctional life situation. The quick-fix approach of taking a pill won’t fix the cause of the condition. There could be a need to de-stress one’s lifestyle, improve one’s sleeping quarters, and many other lifestyle changes that could contribute to a real and sustainable solution.

Citalopram alternatives include good nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercise — all of which contribute to good health and can lift mood naturally.11 Effective antidepressant alternatives are usually a whole circle of healing activities and habits, rather than just one. Spend some time sharing your thoughts with your friends and family. Stress, tension, or depression can be lessened by avoiding situations that are nerve-wracking for you. Take time to relax with yoga or practice mindfulness meditation. Outdoor walks, nature hikes, Tai Chi, Qigong, and sunshine are free or very inexpensive in classes that can be found locally and can provide a wealth of positive benefits and stress reduction, especially if practiced with regularity.25-40

At Alternative to Meds, we utilize many of these resources in the program, combined with professional counseling services and other pathways to make lifestyle changes that are sustainable. Our Celexa withdrawal program can help you learn naturally effective ways of relieving stress and overcoming depression with Celexa alternatives help.

Finding and Addressing the Root Causes for Depression

A person is most often put on a drug like Celexa before any investigation of why the person is depressed.12 Should the primary assumption be a low-serotonin level and ignore any other possible reasons? 9 Has low-thyroid been investigated? 13 Has the person been tested for environmental neurotoxins like toxic heavy metals which destroy the metabolism of energy? 14 Or what if there are unknown food allergies causing internal swelling that substantially slows metabolism? There can be many such factors.15

These root causes of depression can and should be investigated through lab testing that can open the door to effective and authentic treatment protocols. These are fundamental principles of the programs at Alternative to Meds Center.

Holistic Celexa Alternatives Therapy

The individual’s diet may be so poor in nutrition that they can’t produce what they need for brain health. We may forget that our brain is a victim to the same abuse of a poor diet that the physical body would suffer from. Or maybe they are surrounded by an unsatisfying life and need an environment that is more supportive to make positive life changes. Most people begin taking Celexa during an emotionally traumatic time, and yet several years later many individuals may be still taking the drug and suffering Celexa side effects. The Alternative to Meds Center Celexa tapering and rehab focuses on discovering any medical reasons why an individual might be depressed. Our holistic Celexa alternatives program includes the use of lab testing, natural substances to stabilize the neurochemistry, unburdening the body from neurotoxins that have accumulated environmentally,14 peer support, IV therapy, targeted nutritional treatments, massage, yoga, exercise, and a variety of other holistic therapies to combat depression.

Can Celexa Cause Long-Term Harmful Effects?

know celexa's harmful effectsSome serious side effects of antidepressants can show up, particularly after long-term use. One is the risk of developing a form of diabetes, “diabetes mellitus.” 2,3,20

There have been many studies done on antidepressants that show a demonstrable link to weight gain. Though the phenomenon is well known, the cause is less clear. Studies over the course of decades have shown a link between weight gain and antidepressant medications, and that there appears to be a bi-directional relationship between obesity and psychiatric disorders in general.4,17

Disrupted sleep is another well-documented effect of long-term use of SSRI medications. In some cases, sleep is improved in the short term if the drug has a sedative effect but over-sedation and other negative impacts on sleep patterns can also emerge with long-term use.19

Some long-term effects emerged post-marketing and not in the short pre-marketing trials done by pharmaceutical drugmakers. One example, sexual dysfunction, was tabulated at a little over 1% in drug trials. However, post-marketing numbers showed this side effect occurred in up to 75% of patients taking SSRIs.20

Other documented long-term negative outcomes include stroke, bleeding risk, acute pancreatitis, and many others.21-24

Alternatives to Celexa During Pregnancy

safe inpatient celexa withdrawal sedona drug rehabA woman who is considering pregnancy or who is pregnant is well-advised to talk to their prescribing physician regarding potential risks if SSRIs are prescribed. There may be risks to the unborn child that you would want to be informed about, and you may want to investigate alternatives to Celexa during pregnancy.

For example, a condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension is more likely to occur in babies born to mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy. The condition causes difficulty for the infant’s lungs to inflate, and while not every baby will develop this, mothers should be aware of the risk potential. Heart damage, as well as autistic offspring, have also been in the spotlight for infants where the mother took antidepressants during pregnancy. Little to no clinical drug trials have ever included candidates who are pregnant, because of possible damage to the fetus or infant. According to research published in Frontiers in Pediatrics Journal, about 1% of drug studies have ever assessed the risks of a drug taken during pregnancy. So it seems prudent that the paucity of information that is available should be heeded well.5,18,20,22,42,43

Integrative Celexa Alternatives Program

We facilitate successes and great victories on a daily basis in our Celexa cessation and Celexa alternatives programs at Alternative to Meds Center. Graduations are held each week in order to celebrate the triumphs of our participants. Their friends and family members are included in the people who attend each of these events. During the graduations, we often hear some unbelievable stories, in which people recount years or even several decades of outrageous struggle; told now with a clarity that is remarkable. It is inspirational to us when we see our participants graduating from the program with the ability to maintain their lives in happy healthy ways, and keep on acting as an inspiration to other people.

We suggest that you call us so we can talk, and so you can gain a better understanding of the Celexa alternatives help available at Alternative to Meds Center for you or a loved one.


1. Bongiorno P, “Effects of Depression.” Naturopathic Doctor News [Internet] 2012 Mar 23 [cited 2022 June 13]

2. Anderson F, Schade R, Suissa S, Garbe E, “Long-term use of antidepressants for depressive disorders and the risk of diabetes mellitus.” American Journal of Psychiatry [Internet] 2009 Apr 1 [cited 2022 June 13]

3. Chen Y, Patel N, “Long-term antidepressant use linked to increased risk of diabetes.” Evidence-Based Mental Health [PubMed] 2012 Feb 13 [cited 2022 June 13]

4. Gafoor R, Booth HP, Gulliford MC. Antidepressant utilisation and incidence of weight gain during 10 years’ follow-up: population based cohort studyBMJ. 2018;361:k1951. Published 2018 May 23. doi:10.1136/bmj.k1951 [cited 2022 June 13]

5. Oberlander TF, Warburton W, Misri S, Riggs W, Aghajanian J, Hertzman C. Major congenital malformations following prenatal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors and benzodiazepines using population-based health data. Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2008 Feb;83(1):68-76. doi: 10.1002/bdrb.20144. PMID: 18293409. [cited 2022 June 13]

6. FDA Label Celexa [2011/08] [cited 2022 June 13]

7. CAMH authors, “Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).” 2020 Information letter [cited 2022 June 13]

8. Bodnar LM, Wisner KL. “Nutrition and depression: implications for improving mental health among childbearing-aged women.” Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Nov 1;58(9):679-85. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.05.009. Epub 2005 Jul 25. PMID: 16040007; PMCID: PMC4288963.[cited 2022 June 13]

9. Lombard CB. “What is the role of food in preventing depression and improving mood, performance and cognitive function?” Med J Aust. 2000 Nov 6;173(S4):S104-5. PMID: 11149371.[cited 2022 June 13]

10. Lin YT, Chen M, Ho CC, Lee TS. “Relationships among Leisure Physical Activity, Sedentary Lifestyle, Physical Fitness, and Happiness in Adults 65 Years or Older in Taiwan.” Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 20;17(14):5235. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145235. PMID: 32698473; PMCID: PMC7400288. [cited 2022 June 13]

11. Rohrer JE, Pierce JR Jr, Blackburn C. “Lifestyle and mental health.” Prev Med. 2005 Apr;40(4):438-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.07.003. PMID: 15530596. [cited 2022 June 13]

12. Smith B, “Inappropriate prescribing” APA publication [online] June 2012 [cited 2022 June 13]

13. Hage M, Azar S, “The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression.” J. Thyroid Res. [online 2011 Dec 14] PMID 22220285 [cited 2022 June 13]

14. Jaga K, Dharmani C. “The interrelation between organophosphate toxicity and the epidemiology of depression and suicide.” Rev Environ Health. 2007 Jan-Mar;22(1):57-73. doi: 10.1515/reveh.2007.22.1.57. PMID: 17508698.[cited 2022 June 13]

15. Feng C, Kim JH. “Beyond Avoidance: the Psychosocial Impact of Food Allergies.” Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2019 Aug;57(1):74-82. doi: 10.1007/s12016-018-8708-x. PMID: 30171460.[cited 2022 June 13]

17. Rajan TM, Menon V. Psychiatric disorders and obesity: A review of association studiesJ Postgrad Med. 2017;63(3):182-190. doi:10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_712_16 [cited 2022 June 13]

18. Anderson KN, Lind JN, Simeone RM, Bobo WV, Mitchell AA, Riehle-Colarusso T, Polen KN, Reefhuis J. Maternal Use of Specific Antidepressant Medications During Early Pregnancy and the Risk of Selected Birth Defects. JAMA Psychiatry. 2020 Dec 1;77(12):1246-1255. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2453. PMID: 32777011; PMCID: PMC7407327. [cited 2022 June 13]

19. Wichniak A, Wierzbicka A, Walęcka M, Jernajczyk W. Effects of Antidepressants on SleepCurr Psychiatry Rep. 2017;19(9):63. Published 2017 Aug 9. doi:10.1007/s11920-017-0816-4 [cited 2022 June 13]

20. Ferguson JM. SSRI Antidepressant Medications: Adverse Effects and TolerabilityPrim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2001;3(1):22-27. doi:10.4088/pcc.v03n0105 [cited 2022 June 13]

21. Laporte S., Chapelle C., Caillet P., Beyens M.N., Bellet F., Delavenne X. et al. (2017) Bleeding risk under selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Pharmacol. Res. 118, 19–32 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.08.017 [cited 2022 June 13]

22. Andalib S, Emamhadi MR, Yousefzadeh-Chabok S, Shakouri SK, Høilund-Carlsen PF, Vafaee MS, Michel TM. Maternal SSRI exposure increases the risk of autistic offspring: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur Psychiatry. 2017 Sep;45:161-166. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.06.001. Epub 2017 Jun 20. PMID: 28917161. [cited 2022 June 13]

23. Yadav D, Lowenfels AB. The epidemiology of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Gastroenterology. 2013 Jun;144(6):1252-61. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.01.068. PMID: 23622135; PMCID: PMC3662544. [cited 2022 June 13]

24. Shin D, Oh YH, Eom CS, Park SM. Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and risk of stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Neurol. 2014 Apr;261(4):686-95. doi: 10.1007/s00415-014-7251-9. Epub 2014 Jan 30. PMID: 24477492. [cited 2022 June 13]

25. Gautam M, Tripathi A, Deshmukh D, Gaur M. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for DepressionIndian J Psychiatry. 2020;62(Suppl 2):S223-S229. doi:10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_772_19 [cited 2022 June 13]

26. Janda K, Wojtkowska K, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Skonieczna-Żydecka K. Passiflora incarnata in Neuropsychiatric Disorders-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(12):3894. Published 2020 Dec 19. doi:10.3390/nu12123894 [cited 2022 June 13]

27. Silote GP, Sartim A, Sales A, Eskelund A, Guimarães FS, Wegener G, Joca S. Emerging evidence for the antidepressant effect of cannabidiol and the underlying molecular mechanisms. J Chem Neuroanat. 2019 Jul;98:104-116. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2019.04.006. Epub 2019 Apr 27. PMID: 31039391. [cited 2022 June 13]

28. Oberbarnscheidt T, Miller NS. The Impact of Cannabidiol on Psychiatric and Medical ConditionsJ Clin Med Res. 2020;12(7):393-403. doi:10.14740/jocmr4159 [cited 2022 June 13]

29. Ceccatelli S, Bose R, Edoff K, Onishchenko N, Spulber S. Long-lasting neurotoxic effects of exposure to methylmercury during development. J Intern Med. 2013 May;273(5):490-7. doi: 10.1111/joim.12045. PMID: 23600401. [cited 2022 June 13]

30. Olney JW. Excitotoxins in foods. Neurotoxicology. 1994 Fall;15(3):535-44. PMID: 7854587. [cited 2022 June 13]

31. Bremner JD, Moazzami K, Wittbrodt MT, Nye JA, Lima BB, Gillespie CF, Rapaport MH, Pearce BD, Shah AJ, Vaccarino V. Diet, Stress and Mental Health. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 13;12(8):2428. doi: 10.3390/nu12082428. PMID: 32823562; PMCID: PMC7468813. [cited 2022 June 13]

32. Taylor AM, Holscher HD. A review of dietary and microbial connections to depression, anxiety, and stress. Nutr Neurosci. 2020 Mar;23(3):237-250. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2018.1493808. Epub 2018 Jul 9. PMID: 29985786. [cited 2022 June 13]

33. Rackers HS, Thomas S, Williamson K, Posey R, Kimmel MC. Emerging literature in the Microbiota-Brain Axis and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Sep;95:86-96. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.05.020. Epub 2018 May 17. PMID: 29807325; PMCID: PMC6348074. [cited 2022 June 13]

34. Ansari F, Pourjafar H, Tabrizi A, Homayouni A. The Effects of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Mental Disorders: A Review on Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(7):555-565. doi: 10.2174/1389201021666200107113812. PMID: 31914909. [cited 2022 June 13]

35. Ng QX, Venkatanarayanan N, Ho CY. Clinical use of Hypericum perforatum (St John’s wort) in depression: A meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2017 Mar 1;210:211-221. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.048. Epub 2017 Jan 3. PMID: 28064110. [cited 2022 June 13]

36. Holvast F, Massoudi B, Oude Voshaar RC, Verhaak PFM. Non-pharmacological treatment for depressed older patients in primary care: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 22;12(9):e0184666. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184666. PMID: 28938015; PMCID: PMC5609744. [cited 2022 June 13]

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40. Abbott R, Lavretsky H. Tai Chi and Qigong for the treatment and prevention of mental disordersPsychiatr Clin North Am. 2013;36(1):109-119. doi:10.1016/j.psc.2013.01.011 [cited 2022 June 13]

41. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019 Sep;94(9):1840-1851. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.01.003. Epub 2019 Aug 22. PMID: 31447137. [cited 2022 June 13]

42. Drapkin-Lyerly A, Should pregnant women be included in clinical trials? AAMC [published online July 24, 2018] [cited 2022 June 13]

43. McCormack SA, Best BM. Obstetric Pharmacokinetic Dosing Studies are Urgently NeededFront Pediatr. 2014;2:9. Published 2014 Feb 11. doi:10.3389/fped.2014.00009 [cited 2022 June 13] 

44. Janda K, Wojtkowska K, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Skonieczna-Żydecka K. Passiflora incarnata in Neuropsychiatric Disorders-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 19;12(12):3894. doi: 10.3390/nu12123894. PMID: 33352740; PMCID: PMC7766837.[cited 2022 July 18]

Originally Published Dec 23, 2018 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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Medical Disclaimer:
Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.

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