Antidepressants and alcohol

Combination of antidepressants and alcohol may not only worsen overall health condition, but also lead to an increased severity and duration of the depressive disorder.

How our body responds to the simultaneous intake of antidepressants and alcohol is difficult to assume. It usually depends on many factors, the most often of which are the amount of alcohol taken, the drug dose and individual patient’s peculiarities.

Regardless of the factors, the vast majority of antidepressants are categorically incompatible with alcohol. It is proven that co-administration of antidepressants and ethyl alcohol leads to a decreased mood and amplifies the severity of the depressive state.

Today, people have the opportunity to buy non-prescription antidepressants at any pharmacy. Even these, when combined with alcohol, can create serious discomfort and cause unwanted reactions. It is important to know that the presence of ethyl alcohol in the blood during the treatment of depression can have a negative impact over the treatment efficiency and:

  • cause the strongest CNS depression;
  • increase the likelihood of side effects;
  • reduce and or enhance the therapeutic effect of the antidepressant.

Despite the fact that some patients notice emotional uplift in the first few hours after the administration of antidepressants with alcohol, this effect is short-lived.

The euphoria passes quickly and people start feeling depression and apathy. Alcohol is capable of improving the mood, but only for a short period of time. Its overall effect inhibits the activity of the central nervous system and impairs patient’s mental condition, which is already quite serious.

Combination of antidepressants and alcohol may cause allergic reactions and contributes to increased severity of side effects. The patient may experience irresistible drowsiness, dizziness, as well as impairment of sleep and attention, respiratory depression or seizures.

The significant effect that the antidepressants provide over the body does not manifest immediately. It takes at least 1-1.5 weeks for them to start acting.

Some patients, while not seeing a rapid therapeutic effect, decide to combine antidepressants with alcohol, believing that this will bring a quick relief from depression.

The consequences of such therapy may differ, since, depending on the type of the antidepressant, alcohol can enhance or reduce the effect of the drug.

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, used with alcohol, usually cause no severe discomfort or side effects. And yet, patients are recommended to avoid concurrent consumption of ethyl alcohol with these antidepressants, since it contributes to excessive sleepiness and chronic fatigue.
  • Ethyl alcohol enhances the inhibitory effect of tricyclic antidepressants over the central nervous system and potentiates their sedative effect. Joint administration may affect your coordination. In view of this, high doses of antidepressants should not be consumed with a large doses of alcohol.
  • MAO inhibitors combine with alcohol especially badly. With such combination, the adrenaline levels in the body increase by several times, resulting in a sharp blood pressure jump, heartbeat quickening, respiratory depression or seizures.

Before you buy antidepressants, read the instructions or ask your doctor, whether you can combine the drug with alcohol, and what possible consequences may be caused by such combination.

Mixing the antidepressants with alcohol dramatically increases the negative effects on the liver. It becomes incapable of exerting the alcohol-degradation products and our body begins suffering from intoxication.

Antidepressants consumption apart from the alcohol is completely safe. Therefore, to make the depression treatment as effective as possible, avoid simultaneous administration of antidepressants and alcohol.