View Full Version : alcohol and antidepressants?
04-29-2009, 09:25 PM
Okay, this may seem obvious....I have always heard that if you taken an antideppressant that you cannot/should not drink alcohol?
Is this true? I ask because I have several friends who I know taken something, but also have a drink--as a matter of fact, sometimes several!
My doc recommended I start an SSRI today for general anxiety. I am really hesitant to take it for many reasons, one of which is that I don't want to rely on anything long term. It just dawned on me that if I cannot drink wine from time to time, it is going to raise eyebrows and provoke questions. This is something I want to keep private. If I go on something like Lexapro or Zoloft, can I indulge in a glass of wine every once in a while?
04-29-2009, 09:33 PM
A lot medications have a warning not to mix with alcohol, but I take Lexapro and have had a few glasses of wine and have been fine. It's a personal decision to mix prescription drugs and alcohol but one I'm comfortable with as I drink wine in moderation and do not stop taking the Lexapro if I going out for dinner, you need to take the meds consistently.
I think you should not drink when first starting any medication so that you can see what type of reaction or side effects that you might have or at least get to know how you do on the meds. With stronger meds like Percocet which I was given post c-section, etc I do not mix at all with alcohol.
04-29-2009, 09:41 PM
someone i know- being anon. here- takes lexapro and has a glass or two of wine or a few beers every week and is totally fine.
and i take zoloft and drink socially without any problem.
you just need to be sure that 1) you don't get tipsy much faster, to be sure you are safe and don't drive after one drink because you used to be fine and 2) that it won't make you drowsy and ruin the party for you! ha!
04-29-2009, 09:45 PM
Social drinking is fine with SSRIs. It will not harm your health or make the SSRI less effective. It'll just makes you a "cheap date" - makes the alcohol affect you more than it would without the drugs. I get very calm with 1 glass of wine now, used to take me 2-3 glasses.
04-29-2009, 09:55 PM
Social drinking is fine with SSRIs. It'll just makes you a "cheap date"
Phew! And thank you for making me laugh. One less obstacle to trying these meds, that apparently I need. :)
Last question: do you prefer taking it at night or in the am? My doc said either one. But I am worried about taking it consistently at the same hour...my bedtime and wake up time vary so much depending on whether it is a week day or weekend.
04-29-2009, 10:25 PM
The alcohol interaction is probably related to the MAOI anti-depressants. They inhibit the metabolism of fermented food. Its possible to have to have dangerous increases in blood pressure as a result of the increases in tyramine (an amino acid). Nardil and Marplan are a couple brand name MAOIs.
04-29-2009, 11:12 PM
You esp. don't want to drink with MAOI's.
04-30-2009, 12:12 AM
One evening I really wanted a glass of wine so I called the pharmacy and asked, lol!! He said alcohol is a depressant, thats why the label says not to drink since you're taking anti-depressants, there's an interaction. A glass of wine, etc, once in a while isn't going to hurt me (physically) with the one I'm on, I am too lazy to go to the kitchen and look.
I take a high dosage, dr. uped it when my mom passed away. I drank my glass of wine and felt kind of yucky. Had some when we were on vacation about a month before and felt yucky too. So I just don't drink, don't really have the craving anymore, I guess not after feeling sick aferwards!
Great advice about waiting to see how the meds affect you first, don't know what you're taking but the usual 'full effect' time is around 30 days. AND yes, don't drink if its a MAIO!!
I take mine at night and my bedtime varies too. I just take my meds before I go to sleep because some say the cause drowsiness, but I still have to take something for insomnia, lol!!
Good luck on finding something that helps you, Lexapro is a good one, but only helped me a few months.
Mommy to 3.5 yr old twin boys
Noah my constant firecracker
Jonas, my sweetheart with autism
04-30-2009, 12:13 AM
I always take it in the AM, zoloft makes me restless if I take it too late. I keep a couple in my purse for those days when I run out to work & am too sleepy to remember to take it.
04-30-2009, 06:22 AM
I recently posted regarding a DF who drank 5-6 alcoholic beverages within 3 hours 2 nights in a row while taking 3 anti-anxiety medications. She had previously told me that she was not supposed to drink alcoholic beverages per the label and her doctor. Based upon the number of drinks and the effect on her mood, personality and decision making, I expressed my concern and we are still not even talking. I digress.
My research showed that anti-anxiety meds (which are depressants) should not be taken with central nervous system depressants such as narcotics, sleeping pills, or alcohol. Exaggerated respiratory depression is the biggest danger with the use of alcohol and another depressant. That combination also causes more blackouts. You will experience a synergistic effect of taking 2 depressants (alcohol + anti-anxiety medication), the "cheap date" effect. The synergistic effect causes 4,000 deaths a year.
All this being said, after adjusting to taking the medication, I would be comfortable having a single drink, perhaps 2 spread out, so long as someone else was driving. Your weight and what you have eaten will also be a factor in considering how much alcohol would be "safe".
I am certainly not trying to rain on anyone's parade here, but there are some serious concerns.
04-30-2009, 09:50 AM
SSRI's can be dosed in the am or pm depending on how you personally react to it. For some it tends to cause sleep issues, that's when am dosing is suggested. HTH.
04-30-2009, 11:31 AM
I take 2. One I take in the morning (Wellbutrin) because it tends to be more of a "stimulant" and one I take at bedtime (Lexapro) because it tends to be more "sedating".
I think you have to see how it affects you and be cautious.
I'm thinking of a couple of experiences I've had with friends where:
1. One drank way too much wine and late in the night became manic and a bit suicidal. Afterwards, her counselor told her it was like opening the floodgates on all the depressive emotions that the meds were helping regulate.
2. Another doesn't drink much and casually did so at a wedding after soon starting meds. Let's just say she made a scene she was embarrassed about.
Unfortunately, I don't know which meds were involved here. I think it's just fair to think you might respond to alcohol differently than unmedicated, right?
04-30-2009, 03:55 PM
I also take Zoloft and drink socially. Not a big deal. I agree with the "cheap date" phenomenon.
You didn't mention Xanax (not an antidepressant, but often prescribed along with one), just wanted to say that Xanax and alcohol are a big no-no.
04-30-2009, 03:58 PM
I take Celexa (similar to Lexapro) and drink socially/occasionally. Sometimes I feel a bit worse in the morning than I used to - but I'm not sure if that's b/c I drink rarely now anyways! Definitely a cheap date, lol.
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