Effects of Combining Alcohol with Antidepressants .pdf
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Effects of Combining Alcohol with Antidepressants
Drinking to unwind after a tiresome day at work or simply for the sake of getting into the mood
during a social gathering is thought to relieve stress and impart a positive experience. Just as an
antidepressant, which calms down the nerves and alleviate depressive symptoms, even alcohol
is considered by many as a stress-reducing substance. But when the two substances – which can
make someone drowsy, less alert and uncoordinated – are combined, it could lead to a
potentially negative impact on the user, said a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness
Though alcohol is often
consumed with an
selfmedicate, its effects
wear off within a short
period of time, causing
a higher risk for
influence the level of
serotonin in the brain,
and an undesirable
combination can cause
severe mood swings.
Consequences of combining alcohol and antidepressants
According to the FDA spokesperson Kristofer Baumgartner, “Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal
from alcohol can cause a depressive reaction.” Different alcoholic beverages react in different
ways with various classes of antidepressants to produce detrimental effects on an individual.
Some of the side effects of drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants are:
Increased symptoms of depression: Alcohol produces numbing effects to offer temporary
respite from the overwhelming feelings of depression. But once the effects of alcohol wear off,
the feeling of depression is heightened. Both alcohol and antidepressants act on the same areas
of the central nervous system (CNS), so alcohol can complicate the way the body responds to
antidepressants, making it tougher to deal with the symptoms of depression.
Diminished thinking and alertness: When alcohol combines with antidepressants, it can impair
thinking, decision-making abilities, judgment, reaction time, as well as coordination. Certain
antidepressants, when taken along with alcohol, have the potential to further intensify the
feelings of drowsiness and prevent individuals from performing activities requiring concentration
and longer attention span.
Increased alcohol addiction: People who suffer from depression are more vulnerable to alcohol
and drug abuse. It is always advisable to seek treatment for alcohol addiction prior to using
Spike in blood pressure: Antidepressants, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), when
taken in combination with certain types of alcoholic beverages and eatables, may cause an abrupt
spike in blood pressure, leading to significant dangerous reactions.
Increase in unusual sleep patterns: Generally, inability to fall asleep is a characteristic symptom
of depression, and many depressed people often resort to alcohol in an effort to fall asleep.
Although, consuming alcohol may help them fall asleep quickly, it can distract their sleep several
times during the night.
Combining alcohol with antidepressants is certainly not a good idea. However, the dangers may
increase manifold if any additional substance, such as prescription pain medication or sedatives,
are added to the existing combination.
Leading an alcohol-free life
Failure to educate Americans about the detrimental effects of alcoholism can be attributed
mostly to the predominance of drinking culture among them. The government has been
relentless in its efforts to inform people about possible short-term and long-term impacts of
alcohol addiction considering the increasing mortality rate attributed to alcohol-induced
Alcohol addiction is similar to any other kind of addiction and needs a dedicated treatment. If
you or a loved one is struggling to overcome alcoholism, get in touch with the Alcohol Addiction
Helpline of California to know about various alcohol treatment centers in California. You may
call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 to enquire about the reputed alcohol addiction
treatment facilities in California.
For more information, please visit