How Do Antidepressants And Alcohol Interact?

You are most likely aware that alcohol should not be combined with sedative medications like Xanax or Ambien, but did you know that alcohol can also have interactions with antidepressants? If you have been prescribed antidepressant medication by your doctor, it is important that you are familiar with the interactions of antidepressants and alcohol so you can recognize when this combination may be affecting your mental health. How do antidepressants and alcohol interact? It’s important to learn about this potentially dangerous mix.

Antidepressants play a crucial role in helping people manage depression, but alcohol can hamper their benefits. If you notice adverse effects from alcohol but are struggling to abstain, you need the help of professionals who understand what you are going through. Call Promises Right Step at 17135283709 to learn more about our addiction treatment programs.

What Are Antidepressants?

Antidepressants are prescription medications used to treat depressive disorders. Some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants are:

  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Desyrel (trazodone)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Celexa (citalopram)

Antidepressant medications work in different ways to regulate your brain chemistry and improve your mood. These types of medications are designed to be taken regularly, unlike fast-acting medications like Xanax (alprazolam). 

How Do Antidepressants and Alcohol Interact?

How do antidepressants and alcohol interact? Alcohol is a depressant substance that can impact brain function and amplify your depressive symptoms. When antidepressants and alcohol are used simultaneously, you may experience interactions such as:

Worsened Side Effects

Drinking while on antidepressants can increase the severity of side effects from your medication, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion

And since antidepressants and alcohol both have a sedating effect on the central nervous system, you may also experience impaired coordination and judgment, putting you at greater risk of accidents or injury.

More Intense Depression Symptoms

The classic symptoms of depression—such as low mood, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, and difficulty concentrating—can be made worse when you consume alcohol while taking antidepressants.

Decreased Efficacy of Antidepressants

Alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of the antidepressants, so your medication may not be able to do its job as well.

Higher Risk of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence

People with mental health conditions like depression may be more susceptible to self-medicating with alcohol. However, taking antidepressants with alcohol can increase that risk factor even more. Since alcohol can decrease the efficacy of antidepressants, your depression symptoms will worsen, and you may consume more alcohol to cope. Over time, this can lead to a dependence on the substance that requires medical intervention.

Can You Drink While Taking Antidepressants?

Most people are directed to use their antidepressant medication daily and advised to avoid mixing their medication with other substances, like alcohol. But if you must take your antidepressant each day, do you have to abstain from alcohol altogether?

While each person responds to substances like antidepressants and alcohol differently, it is generally advised to avoid alcohol entirely while on this type of medication. 

However, in some cases, your healthcare provider may give approval for moderate alcohol consumption depending on your health history and whether you have experienced adverse reactions from antidepressants, alcohol, or a combination of the two. Keep in mind that moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

Contact Promises Right Step to Heal from the Side Effects of Antidepressants and Alcohol

The interaction between antidepressants and alcohol can have potentially adverse effects on your mental and physical well-being. While some people may be able to practice modern alcohol consumption without negative consequences, others may notice worsened depression symptoms. If you need help overcoming alcohol dependence, the compassionate team at Promises Right Step is here to help. Call us today at 17135283709 or fill out our online form to get started.

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