Mixing Lexapro and alcohol: Side effects and risks

We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. If you notice side effects from Lexapro that don’t improve on their own, make sure to let your healthcare provider know about them.

However, if the drug works to manage your condition well, your doctor may say that it’s safe to have a drink from time to time. Your doctor may tell you to avoid drinking altogether while you’re on Lexapro. Alcohol Alcohol use disorder affects millions of people in the United States. Learn more about the risks and how to get help.Drugs If you or a loved one is struggling with drug abuse, you’re not alone. Learn more about the most commonly misused drugs.Addiction Treatment Going to a rehabilitation program greatly increases your chance of long-term recovery. Learn more about your options.Addiction Resources If you have more questions about addiction, we’ve gathered resources to help you and your loved ones.

All Addiction Group content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible. Other antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors and Wellbutrin carry serious side effects when combined with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking these types of antidepressants is not recommended. Remember, a self-assessment is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Alcohol Use Disorder is a medical diagnosis, thus, help from a health care professional is needed. If you or a loved one is having a hard time cutting down on alcohol, it could be a sign of an alcohol use disorder.

  • Instead, it means that more research is needed to understand how Lexapro and alcohol interact with each other in your brain.
  • There is some evidence that antidepressants like Lexapro might lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, particularly in children, adolescents, and young adults.
  • If you suspect that you might be dealing with an underlying addiction, it’s important to consider treatment options and what you can do to help manage your addiction and mental health.
  • The side effects of these alcohol and Lexapro interactions, and the side effects of lowered or increased Lexapro dosages reportedly closely mimic each other.
  • Symptoms of this condition include shaking, confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure.

If you are looking for a second opinion as to whether you should drink alcohol while taking antidepressants, talk to your doctor. While it can temporarily relax a person and improve their mood, it can have serious effects on mental health in the longer-term and can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Mental health disorders are extremely common among those who suffer from addiction. According to the NIH, about half of people who experience a mental illness will also experience a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, and vice versa.

Consuming alcohol while taking Lexapro can also cause dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, and diarrhea, among other short-term side effects of Lexapro and alcohol. Snorting Lexapro won’t get you high because SSRIs have no recreational appeal. However, if you take too much dose, you will experience severe anxiety, panic attacks, nausea, and vomiting. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.

Mixing Lexapro (Escitalopram) And Alcohol — Interactions And Side Effects

Delirium tremens can begin as soon as two to three days after the last drink and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of this condition include shaking, confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

lexapro and alchol

Individuals with higher physical dependence are also at risk for more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. These symptoms can include hallucinations or seizures, both of which require immediate medical attention. 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. In addition to reducing the effects of your medication, continued alcohol use can also cause further changes to your brain chemistry, having lasting effects on your mental health. If you are taking an antidepressant and another prescription medication simultaneously, alcohol can make the side effects of both medications more severe.

The Biggest Risks of Mixing SSRIs and Alcohol

Lexapro is the brand name of a prescription medication known as escitalopram, an antidepressant. Lexapro belongs to a group of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex , Cerner Multum™ , ASHP and others. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of escitalopram such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.

Some do allow their patients moderate alcohol consumption based on the lack of conclusive evidence for any adverse effects. Lexapro medications come with an important warning about the possibility of having suicidal thoughts while using this drug. Medically reviewed clinical studies show that many children, teens, and young adults up to age 24 who were using Lexapro for depression experienced suicidal thoughts. Doctors prescribe Lexapro for two main reasons, which are depression and anxiety. Prescribing Lexapro is considered a long-term treatment plan, rather than an occasional or “as needed” treatment. A patient takes their Lexapro dosage regularly, on a set daily schedule, and is advised not to skip days or skip dosages.

lexapro and alchol

When a person uses Lexapro with alcohol, he may have sudden mood swings or become aggressive. In rare cases, cognitive abilities such as response time and coordination may be affected, and breathing issues may appear. Escitalopram is an effective treatment for depressive disorders when taken as prescribed and used with therapy. SSRI medicines like Lexapro prevent serotonin from being quickly reabsorbed, allowing the neurotransmitter to connect with neurons. When neurons fire more frequently, a person feels better, has a better mood, and has more physical energy. Patients can also take it in parallel with other antidepressants to treat bipolar disorder, as per the doctor’s advice.

The Effects of Mixing Lexapro and Alcohol Together

SSRIs prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed by brain cells so that it continues to be available for use in the brain. When it’s used as prescribed, Lexapro is a safe and effective medication for major depression and anxiety. In addition to potentially making the side effects of Lexapro worse, drinking alcohol may make it more difficult for you to recover from depression. Lexapro is an antidepressant that’s used to treat major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder. It’s sold in tablet form and as a liquid solution, with a recommended daily dose of 10mg to 20mg. We’ve also discussed why you shouldn’t mix Lexapro and alcohol and shared a few tips to help you avoid drinking while you’re using antidepressants.

lexapro and alchol

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. Combining alcohol with antidepressants can cause extreme drowsiness and confusion and can severely impair an individual’s coordination, reflexes, and motor skills. Even if your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit, your loss of coordination and impaired motor skills can be severe, and driving a motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous. Some people may also experience suicidal thoughts when first taking an SSRI.

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?

There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time. It slows down parts of the brain and leads to impaired cognitive function, causing effects such as slurred speech, delayed reactions, and unsteadiness. If you have a close, trusted friend that you often spend your time with, let them know that you can’t drink at the moment. They can help you to deal with drink offers and other situations that could otherwise become awkward.

The National Institutes of Health mentions that drinking alcohol while using Lexapro can lead to other harmful interactions as well. These include increased feelings of dizziness, depression, and hopelessness, and an increased risk for drug overdose and/or alcohol poisoning. Does this list of side effects relating to Lexapro look quite similar to side effects you would expect to see relating to alcohol?

People who take Lexapro for depression or anxiety may also be at increased risk for substance use disorders. Therefore, the urge to mix alcohol with Lexapro, especially https://sober-house.net/ if you feel the need to drink regularly, could mean you have a deeper problem. Over time, alcohol use can also make the symptoms of anxiety and depression worse.

However, there are still some substances that are best avoided while using Lexapro, and alcohol is one of them. If you have any increase in your symptoms of depression and anxiety after drinking while taking Lexapro, that may be because of the negative effects of alcohol. Like other SSRIs, Lexapro affects your brain by blocking the reuptake of serotonin. SSRI drugs are among the safest classes of antidepressants, so they’re often doctors’ first choice for treating depression. The medication helps you function in normal, everyday life by blocking severe symptoms of anxiety or depression. But by drinking on Lexapro, you actually decrease the effectiveness of the medication, which can make your anxiety or depression worse.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Lexapro and alcohol interaction, and the side effects that can follow when these two substances are mixed. Developing alcohol use disorder can affect a person’s relationships and cause social problems, such as unemployment, divorce, and homelessness. eco sober house review Doctors recommend that people who wish to drink alcohol while taking antidepressants should drink slowly and have the alcohol with food. Drinking alcohol may also worsen some of the side effects of Lexapro or other antidepressants, including drowsiness and dizziness.

If a patient is actively drinking heavily, a physician may recommend a detox program to address withdrawal symptoms or a rehabilitation program prior to prescribing an SSRI. In some cases, medication-assisted therapy can also be an option. For example, naltrexone as the oral medication Revia or in the long-acting injectable form of Vivitrol might be prescribed to help reduce alcohol cravings. With or without a drug, alcohol may aggravate your symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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