Taking Celexa After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Our pharmacist answers the latest question regarding taking Celexa (Citalopram) after gastric bypass surgery.

Sep 29, 2017

Byoo asked

Will taking Celexa hurt a gastric bypass patients stomach?


This a great question and I am glad you asked as there is not a lot of information available to people who have had bypass surgery. Hopefully this answer will help guide you and others who read this question and answer.

​Bypass surgery is also known as bariatric surgery. There are many different kinds of bariatric surgery including the aforementioned bypass surgery and  restrictive surgery. Bypass surgery specifically results in weight loss by decreasing the capacity for absorption of the gastrointestinal tract.

After all bariatric procedures, it is recommend to use liquids, crushable tablets, or capsules a person can open for at least 4 weeks. After healing from the surgery it is prudent to avoid or split larger pills that are likely to get stuck. The general recommendation is using pills smaller than M&M's candy. It is important to avoid sweeteners such as sucrose, corn syrup, maltose, fructose, lactose, honey, mannitol and sorbitol. These can cause serious diarrhea issues immediately after surgery. 

Now it is also important to avoid certain TYPES of medication such as  enteric-coated, delayed-release, or sustained-release products. It is recommend to use immediate-release versions instead. 

​In terms of Celexa specifically, you are probably OK to take that as you were before. It is not a big tablet and you should not have any issues with it getting stuck. It is not delayed release or enteric coated so you have no worries there. It also does not depend on food for optimal absorption. If you just recently had surgery, I would just recommend crushing the tablet (which you can do) for about 4 weeks after surgery.

Since many bypass surgeries reduce stomach size surgically and bypass part of the small intestine, it is important to take note of optimal nutrient absorption. Many bypass patients have trouble getting in many nutritional needs due to the bypassing of part of the small intestine (where the vast majority of absorption takes place). Be sure to follow your doctors instructions on how and when to take things! If you have anymore questions regarding the matter or how to be sure you have optimal vitamin and mineral intake, shoot us another email!

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