Antidepressants and alcohol: What’s the concern?

This may present an additional risk to patients with substance use disorder or other existing mental health disorders. Additionally, Dr. Daidone says that alcohol consumption when you’re taking Lexapro can weaken the effectiveness of the medication and increase symptoms of depression. “Alcohol can reduce the levels of [serotonin], which means that you may experience fewer therapeutic benefits from taking your medication,” Dr. Daidone says. Food and Drug Administration, clinical trials have yet to show with certainty that Lexapro increases alcohol-related cognitive and motor impairments. Instead, it means that more research is needed to understand how Lexapro and alcohol interact with each other in your brain.

  • Because alcohol also causes these same symptoms, combining the two drugs may magnify alcohol’s effects.
  • Others believe that some patients become depressed because of alcohol misuse.
  • Healthcare professionals do not generally recommend that people drink alcohol while taking Lexapro.
  • Certain genetic disorders may affect the body’s ability to produce serotonin.
  • Combining alcohol with antidepressants can cause extreme drowsiness and confusion and can severely impair an individual’s coordination, reflexes, and motor skills.
  • Data sources include Micromedex (updated 5 Nov 2023), Cerner Multum™ (updated 16 Nov 2023), ASHP (updated 12 Nov 2023) and others.

After getting arrested several times I began to feel that something was wrong. I got cravings for alcohol that were so intense I felt I was possessed. I’d continue until I was either arrested or I collapsed into a coma. I felt alone with my problem and couldn’t understand why I was behaving like this. I felt that no one understood what was happening to me or cared.

Mental Health

It is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). While SSRIs generally have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants, that doesn’t make it less dangerous to mix with alcohol or other substances. It may worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression and may lead to addiction or other mental health issues. Consuming alcohol while taking Lexapro may increase the risk of developing a serious condition called serotonin syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition. It is vital to note that excessive alcohol consumption can adversely affect mental health, particularly in people with a medical history of depression or anxiety disorders.

Alcohol is never recommended for individuals with depression, regardless of medication. Contact 911 in the case of a medical emergency, or have a family member take you to the nearest urgent care facility if you need assistance. You also want to avoid taking Lexapro with medications that thin the blood or cause bleeding, such as ibuprofen, warfarin, or aspirin.

Alcohol Use Disorder

If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911. “Over time, if the liver is constantly exposed to excessive alcohol and Lexapro, its ability to function properly will be compromised,” Dr. Daidone says. Additionally, excessive drinking can lead to alcohol-induced psychiatric disorders, such as alcohol-induced mood disorder and psychotic disorder.

  • Therefore, prioritizing mental health and talking to your doctor is always important.
  • If you have serious side effects from Lexapro, call your doctor right away.
  • The medication will be sent straight to your door – quickly and discreetly.

SSRIs don’t help the body produce more serotonin, but they do help it use serotonin more efficiently. Having low serotonin levels is thought to be one of the most common contributors to mood problems such as depression. If you are taking an antidepressant and another prescription medication simultaneously, alcohol can make the side effects of both medications more severe. Combining alcohol with antidepressants can cause extreme drowsiness and confusion and can severely impair an individual’s coordination, reflexes, and motor skills. SSRIs prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed by brain cells so that it continues to be available for use in the brain. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed types of antidepressants.

Side Effects of Hydroxyzine Pamoate

Alcohol consumption can interact negatively with other medications you may be taking. You should always talk to your doctor about possible interactions between alcohol and other drugs you’re currently using. No test can measure serotonin levels in the brain, and it can be difficult to determine whether the symptoms are causing a deficiency, or a deficiency is causing the symptoms. It’s common for people with alcohol use disorder to be depressed or anxious. Alcohol changes the way the brain functions and has a particular effect on the interaction of neurotransmitters.

This an eye condition in which your iris and cornea are closer together than usual. Lexapro may widen your pupils, which could lead to closed-angle glaucoma in people with narrow eye angles. Due to this risk, your doctor may suggest you have an eye exam before starting Lexapro. Medications used to treat depression can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people. Specifically, this risk is higher in people ages 24 years and younger.

Also, because alcohol decreases the effect of Lexapro to ease depression, most people turn to more alcohol to drown their sadness. Moderate alcohol consumption typically refers to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of hard liquor.

lexapro and alcohol craving

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