Lexapro and Alcohol Interaction- What You Need to Know

Lexapro and Alcohol Interaction

 

Mixing alcohol and Lexapro may have a more potent impact on the body than just a buzz. Drinking while taking a psychotropic drug is not advised, but it does happen.

Just keep in mind that this interaction is not recommended by doctors and is potentially dangerous to the user.

Lexapro is an antidepressant medication designed to treat depression. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain. Lexapro works by correcting brain imbalances.

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Its primary substance is Escitalopram, an active substance that inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and noradrenaline by neurons to prevent their depletion.

Lexapro was approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 20, 2002, for sale in the United States with indications for:

 

Can I Have a Beer on Lexapro?

Doctors say that drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro can cause an increased risk for drug interactions and impaired alertness or judgment, leading to unsafe alcohol consumption.

If you are taking Lexapro or any other SSRI, it would be wise to learn about the effects of mixing alcohol and Lexapro.

Though this medication has proven very useful for many individuals with depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorders, it is also possible that alcohol consumption can cause side effects like drowsiness or extreme fatigue.

Alcohol can impair judgment and affect moods, so always be aware of the possibility of emotional changes while drinking on Lexapro.

It’s also good to know that mixing alcohol with Lexapro may prevent your body from processing serotonin correctly, which could lead to additional problems like vomiting or diarrhea.

 

Can Lexapro and Alcohol Cause Blackouts?

If you are taking up to 2 mg of Lexapro for anxiety or depression, alcohol can cause you to blackout at higher than recommended doses.

If this happens, it will not only lead you to feel less safe about your personal safety but it could also lead to potential legal problems related to driving while intoxicated or alcohol-related crime.

 

Lexapro and Alcohol Interaction
Lexapro Side Effects

 

Standard Amount of Alcohol While Taking Lexapro

There are two different considerations when it comes to alcohol use while taking Lexapro: how much alcohol is safe, what amount will have a negative effect on your medication.

For the first question, we recommend one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

For example, if you take 20 mg of Lexapro daily and have one drink per day, that could interfere with the effectiveness of your medicine and lead to increased side effects such as sedation or dizziness.

A few types of medications have a list of potentially dangerous interactions with various substances, including alcohol.

One such medication is Lexapro, which can interact with even small amounts of alcohol to increase the drug’s risks.

If you’re taking this or any other type of medication, stick to minimal levels of both meds for your own safety and so as not to interfere with the effects from one another.

 

Implications of Alcohol on Mental Health Issues

Alcohol is a depressant drug that has been associated with a number of negative mental health effects. It can have an important impact on depression, anxiety, and sleep.

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of:

  • Suicide
  • Falls
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Impaired decision-making abilities
  • Driving errors

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), alcohol contributes to more than 3 million disability-adjusted life years (DALY) lost each year globally (i.e., 1 DALY = 1 year of healthy life lost).

Its adverse consequences are especially pronounced in adolescents and young adults who are at increased risk for developing problems like alcoholism or mental health disorders like anxiety or depression due to their developing brains.

 

Side Effects of Lexapro Without Alcohol

Common side effects of Lexapro are:

Less common side effects of Lexapro rare (occurring in 1% to 10% of people) -Heartbeat changes (fast heart rate), high blood pressure, abnormal thoughts like delusions, and hallucinations.

 

Lexapro and Alcohol Interaction
Lexapro and Alcohol Effects

 

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol on Antidepressants?

Drinking alcohol after taking Lexapro can cause withdrawal symptoms known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), which includes agitation, anorexia or weight loss without trying to diet, fever or chills without apparent cause, insomnia or hypersomnia for more than 12 hours a day for more than five days in a row without being tired at all during the day.

In addition, it can lead to side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, bradycardia (slowed heart rate), hypotension (lowered blood pressure), or insomnia that may be more severe than if they were taken separately.

Drinking alcohol worsens some of the side effects of Lexapro or other antidepressants- Click below to overcome these side effects.

 

Bottom line

Alcohol can cause exacerbation of Lexapro withdrawal which includes agitation, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, tension, restlessness, paresthesias (numbness or tingling), tremors (shaking), sweating (diaphoresis), anorexia with weight loss and nausea.

This also includes the worsening of depressive symptoms characteristic of depression.

Remember, always check with your doctor before making any changes to your prescription to ensure that it will not have an adverse effect on your mental health.

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