The Dangers of Mixing Lexapro and Alcohol

Developing alcohol use disorder can affect a person’s relationships and cause social problems, such as unemployment, divorce, and homelessness. This worsening scenario is potentially dangerous as it can lead to some people having an increase in suicidal thoughts. People who drink alcohol while taking Lexapro may feel more depressed or anxious, and these symptoms may then become more challenging to treat.

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Because alcohol also causes these same symptoms, combining the two drugs may magnify alcohol’s effects. It’s crazy that patients have to get together on the internet to compare their side effects and discuss their problems because there is nowhere else to go. It has made me look to other people’s experiences for information now regarding drugs as they seem to be more accurate and honest in their findings than companies, regulators or doctors. But withdrawal wasn’t easy and I went through two months of distress with extreme mood swings, panic attacks, sensitivity to noise, feeling like I had the flu with aches and pains.

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Antidepressants like Lexapro are often the first course of action in treating symptoms related to depression and anxiety. SSRIs don’t help the body produce more serotonin, but they do help it use serotonin more efficiently. Having low serotonin levels is thought Facts About Aging and Alcohol National Institute on Aging to be one of the most common contributors to mood problems such as depression. 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.

  • It’s in your best interest to abstain from or minimize alcohol intake when you take Lexapro, says Figueroa.
  • The first web pages I came across were from the depression forums and similar websites where people where sharing their stories about the same alcohol cravings and looking for answers.
  • SSRIs are a very commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
  • Pathological intoxication is most commonly diagnosed in those with with alcohol abuse and existing mental health conditions.

“At first glance, it seemed slightly disappointing,” Knudsen says. There was no significant difference between synapses in the drug and placebo cohorts. For logistical reasons, each person’s PET scan varied from 24 to 35 days after their first drug dose.

Lexapro and Alcohol: Can You Drink on Lexapro?

But once alcohol enters the equation, things become more dangerous. Generally, medical advice recommends not drinking at all while on SSRIs. In fact, the negative side effects become gradually more severe with each drink you take. Lexapro (Escitalopram) is a common brand of antidepressant used to treat depression and anxiety. Other types of antidepressants include a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor like Azilect or Eldepryl, or Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).

  • Each rehab facility will be different, but most tend to focus on a particular form of treatment and integrate other therapies to provide a comprehensive approach to recovery.
  • Doctors usually do not recommend drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro or any other antidepressant.

They can also leave you more sensitive to alcohol’s effects and raise your risk of withdrawal symptoms. It’s not known whether Lexapro is safe to take during pregnancy. But other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been studied in pregnancy. These studies suggest that SSRIs, such as Lexapro, may cause problems with fetal development (commonly known as birth defects). They can help determine whether there’s a safe amount to consume while you’re taking Lexapro. Medications used to treat depression can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in certain people.

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For people who are taking an SSRI antidepressant, such as Lexapro, and who are at low risk of alcohol use disorder, it may be safe to have a small amount of alcohol occasionally. When it’s used as prescribed, Lexapro is a safe and effective medication for major depression and anxiety. In fact, research suggests that there’s a causal link between alcohol use disorders and major depression, with heavy alcohol consumption linked to a greater depression risk.

Alcohol can also make a person’s anxiety and depression worse, which is why it’s beneficial to avoid drinking alcohol if you have a mental health condition. Lexapro, or escitalopram, is an antidepressant commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and depression. SSRIs work on the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain to boost the mood and minimize feelings of anxiety. With long-term alcohol use, these neurotransmitter imbalances can have serious consequences.

This is especially true when mixing an antidepressant like Lexapro and alcohol. While not everyone will experience side effects, it’s important to be familiar with the potential interactions that may occur. If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, help is available. Contact The Recovery Team today to learn about residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment in South Florida. Our programs will help you learn the tools and skills needed to manage your addiction long-term. 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.

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