Introduction For people with depression and other mental health issues, medication can offer welcome relief. One drug commonly used to treat depression is sertraline ( Zoloft ). Zoloft is a prescription drug that belongs to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),
Like other SSRIs, this medication works by changing how your brain cells reabsorb the neurotransmitter serotonin, If your doctor gives you this medication, you may wonder if it’s safe to drink alcohol during treatment. Read on to learn why mixing alcohol with Zoloft is not recommended. We’ll also explain the impact alcohol can have on your depression with or without medication.
Studies on alcohol and Zoloft have shown little data. But this doesn’t mean that mixing the two substances is safe. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends avoiding alcohol while you take Zoloft. This is because Zoloft and alcohol both affect your brain.
Zoloft works specifically on your neurotransmitters. It enhances your brain’s message exchange system. Alcohol is a neurological suppressant, meaning it inhibits the neurotransmitter exchanges in your brain. This explains why some people have trouble thinking and doing other tasks when they drink. Drinking alcohol can have these effects on your brain whether you take medication or not.
But when you take medications that also affect how the brain works, such as Zoloft, drinking can complicate the effects. These complications are called interactions. Alcohol and Zoloft are both drugs. Taking more than one drug at a time can increase your risk of negative interactions.
dizzinessdepression suicidal thoughts anxiety headachesnauseadiarrheadrowsiness
A case study reported that people who took Zoloft could experience drowsiness and sedation from the drug. The risk of drowsiness is higher if you take larger doses of Zoloft, such as 100 milligrams (mg). However, Zoloft can cause drowsiness at any dosage.
- Alcohol can also cause sedation and may enhance these effects from Zoloft.
- That means if you mix alcohol and Zoloft, you may experience drowsiness more quickly than someone who drinks the same amount of alcohol but doesn’t take Zoloft.
- Avoid alcohol completely while you take Zoloft.
- Even a single drink can interact with your medication and cause unwanted side effects.
The combination of alcohol and Zoloft can cause side effects, and drinking alcohol can make your depression worse. In fact, if you have depression, your doctor will likely tell you not to drink alcohol even if you don’t take Zoloft. You should also never skip doses of your medication to drink alcohol.
Doing this can make your condition worse, and the drug will also likely still be in your body. That means you could still have a dangerous reaction. Drinking alcohol isn’t recommended if you have depression. This is because alcohol suppresses neurological signals that can alter your ability to think and reason, so drinking can make your condition worse.
Heavy drinking can even send you in a downward spiral in terms of your mental health. Remember, depression is more than just sadness. Alcohol can make all of the following symptoms of depression worse:
anxietyfeelings of worthlessnessfatigueirritabilitytiredness or insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)restlessnessweight gain or weight lossloss of appetite
Even if you take Zoloft for a condition other than depression, it still may not be safe for you to drink alcohol. You may still have the risk of increased depression from alcohol. This is because depression is a common symptom of other related health problems, such as OCD and PTSD, that Zoloft treats.
- You should not mix alcohol with Zoloft.
- Combining the two can make you feel very drowsy, which can be dangerous.
- The combination can also raise your risk of other dangerous or unpleasant side effects from Zoloft.
- Even if you don’t take Zoloft, you shouldn’t drink alcohol if you have depression.
- This is because alcohol is a neurological suppressant that changes how your brain functions.
Drinking may make symptoms of depression worse. If you have depression and feel that you can’t control your drinking, ask your doctor for help. You can also find support through SAMHSA’s national helpline at 1-800-662-4357.
- 0.1 What happens if you drink alcohol while taking Zoloft?
- 1 Should you avoid alcohol with Zoloft?
- 2 Can Zoloft work in 2 days?
- 3 Does alcohol increase serotonin?
What happens if you drink alcohol while taking Zoloft?
Frequently Asked Questions – 1. Can you have an occasional drink while taking Zoloft? The prescribing information for Zoloft says explicitly not to consume alcohol while taking the medication, which is also true for other SSRIs. Other medicines in this class of drugs include Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, and Lexapro.
Even without the addition of alcohol, Zoloft has its list of side effects, such as drowsiness and dizziness, and a single drink can significantly worsen these effects. This is precisely why the prescribing information instructs the user not to drink alcoholic beverages while on Zoloft, even if it is just one glass of wine or a single can of beer.
Another reason not to consume alcohol, especially if you just started taking the antidepressant, is you need to clearly understand how Zoloft affects your body, which can be extremely difficult with another substance added to the mix.2. Can you drink any alcohol on Zoloft? The U.S.
Food and Drug Administration advises against consuming alcohol while taking the antidepressant medication Zoloft. This is because the substance can significantly intensify the side effects of Zoloft, such as dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and sedation which can lead to dangerous consequences and health risks.
Healthcare providers recommend that anyone diagnosed with depression on an antidepressant or not should stay away from alcohol altogether since it can worsen symptoms of your depression over time and lead to dangerous side effects. If you have depression and are struggling to quit drinking, consider speaking with your doctor for professional medical advice and treatment options for an alcohol addiction to get the help you need in a safe, comfortable, and effective way.3.
What would happen if I drank while on Zoloft? Health professionals advise against drinking while taking Zoloft since it can make the adverse effects of the antidepressant come on more quickly and intensely, causing dizziness, headaches, excess sedation, suicidal thoughts, stomach aches, slowed breathing, and overall impairment.
If you take a Zoloft after a few drinks out of habit, ask friends or family to monitor your condition. However, if you consume a large amount of alcohol, are beginning to feel suicidal, or are experiencing severe side effects, seek medical attention immediately as you are at a higher risk of unwanted side effects.
Can I have a drink on sertraline?
The bottom line. Mixing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Zoloft (sertraline) with alcohol can be unsafe because it can lead to excessive or dangerous side effects. Alcohol can also worsen symptoms of depression.
Can I have one alcoholic drink while on antidepressants?
Drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants is generally not recommended because both of these substances can make you drowsy, less alert, and uncoordinated.
What happens if you mix alcohol with anxiety meds?
Alcohol on its own can negatively affect your concentration and make you feel sleepy or drowsy. Anxiety medications have these same side effects, and they’re intensified if you add alcohol to the mix. This can increase your risk of harm.
Should you avoid alcohol with Zoloft?
Toxicity – If a person taking antidepressants consumes too much alcohol, their liver may be unable to process the toxins. This can result in toxicity or liver damage, Zoloft can interact with the following drugs:
Monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): This is another class of antidepressants. MAOIs work differently from SSRIs, and a person should not take them together. If a person is switching between types of antidepressants, they should only do so with a doctor’s guidance. Symptoms of an MAOI and SSRI interaction include:
rapid fluctuations in heart rate, respiration, and blood pressureconfusionextreme agitationdeliriumcoma
Warfarin (Coumadin) and digitoxin (Crystodigin): These two drugs are blood thinners. They bind to plasma proteins, and they can cause adverse effects if someone takes them with Zoloft. Pimozide (Orap): Doctors often use this antipsychotic drug to treat Tourette’s syndrome. In combination with Zoloft, it can cause cardiac side effects. Serotoninergic drugs: These increase serotonin levels in the brain, like Zoloft. The combination can lead to serotonin syndrome.
Zoloft can also interact with other drugs and supplements. A person should let their doctor know about any drugs or supplements that they take before starting Zoloft treatment. Caffeine is in coffee, teas, and sodas, and it may enhance the effects of antidepressant medications, though confirming this requires more research.
- A 2017 clinical trial found that caffeine increases the effectiveness of antidepressant medications in rodents.
- To determine if it affects humans in a similar way, the authors tested it on 95 male participants who took antidepressants.
- They divided the participants into three groups and compared the effects of: a placebo, 60-milligram (mg), and 120-mg caffeine pills.
After 4 weeks, the group taking the 60-mg dosage experienced faster antidepressant effects and improved thinking ability. The authors concluded that supplementing antidepressants with caffeine may enhance treatment outcomes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft because the two can cause similar side effects and dangerous interactions.
Can you skip a day of antidepressants to drink?
Is It OK to Skip a Dose of Lexapro to Have a Drink? – Don’t skip medication to drink, says Dr. Fink. “The SSRIs can take two to eight weeks to take full effect, and they work best if taken consistently,” she says. “Some antidepressants have a shorter half-life and can cause serotonin withdrawal even as soon as in a couple of days.” If you don’t take your Lexapro dose, you could feel distressed, she says.
Can you drink at all on SSRI?
Alcohol – You should be wary of drinking alcohol if you’re taking antidepressants, as alcohol is itself a depressant and drinking alcohol can make your symptoms worse. If you drink alcohol while taking types of antidepressants called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), you may become drowsy and dizzy.
How long until you can drink on antidepressants?
Moderate Drinking and Antidepressants – If you like to consume alcohol in moderation and want to continue enjoying the occasional drink while using antidepressants, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider first. Some healthcare providers allow their patients to drink a small amount of alcohol while taking antidepressants if they have a low risk of alcohol abuse.
Can Zoloft work in 2 days?
No. Zoloft won’t make you feel better right away. Some improvements in mood may appear within 1 to 2 weeks, but Zoloft can take about 4 to 8 weeks to fully kick in. It’s important you continue taking the medication even if you don’t see any changes for the first few weeks.
Can you drink on anxiety meds?
Many anxiety drugs have central nervous system depressant activity and interact with alcohol, so it is important to understand your risks. A wide variety of medications from different classes, such as antidepressants or benzodiazepines, are used to treat the various anxiety disorders.
Does alcohol increase serotonin?
Acute Alcohol Effects on the Brain’s Serotonin System – Alcohol interacts with serotonergic synaptic transmission in the brain in several ways. Even single-episode (i.e., acute) alcohol exposure alters various aspects of serotonin’s synaptic functions.
- In humans, for example, the levels of serotonin metabolites in the urine and blood increase after a single drinking session, indicating increased serotonin release in the nervous system ( LeMarquand et al.1994 a ).
- This increase may reflect enhanced signal transmission at serotonergic synapses.
- Animal studies also have found that acute alcohol exposure elevates serotonin levels within the brain ( LeMarquand et al.1994 b ; McBride et al.1993 ), suggesting either that more serotonin is released from the serotonergic axons or that the neurotransmitter is cleared more slowly from the synapses.
For example, increased serotonin release after acute alcohol exposure has been observed in brain regions that control the consumption or use of numerous substances, including many drugs of abuse ( McBride et al.1993 ). Researchers currently are trying to determine the exact mechanisms underlying the alcohol-induced changes.
For example, they are investigating whether the net increase in synaptic serotonin levels results from alcohol’s direct actions on molecules involved in serotonin release and uptake or from more indirect alcohol effects. Alcohol also interferes with the function of serotonin receptors. Several types of these receptors exist, including the 5-HT 1A, 5-HT 1B, 5-HT 2, and 5-HT 3 receptors (see table ).
When activated by serotonin binding, the 5-HT 3 receptor rapidly increases neuron activity by generating electrical signals ( Lovinger and Peoples 1993 ). Acute alcohol exposure enhances the electrical signals generated by the 5-HT 3 receptor. This change in receptor function likely results from alcohol’s direct action on the receptor protein or on molecules closely associated with the receptor in the cell membrane ( Lovinger and Peoples 1993 ; Lovinger and Zhou 1994 ).
Increased 5-HT 3 receptor function probably causes excessive stimulation of neurons in brain regions receiving information from serotonergic neurons. As a result of this stimulation, the release of other neurotransmitters that play key roles in alcohol intoxication may be increased. The contribution of the 5-HT 3 receptor to the effects of acute and chronic alcohol consumption is discussed later in this article.
The effects of acute alcohol consumption on serotonin receptors also have been investigated in so-called knockout mice, in whom certain genes (e.g., those coding for different serotonin receptors) have been experimentally inactivated so that the animals cannot produce the protein encoded by those genes.
By studying knockout mice that lack a particular receptor, researchers can assess that receptor’s role in specific aspects of brain functioning and behavior, including responses to alcohol and alcohol consummatory behavior. For example, scientists have studied a strain of knockout mice lacking the 5-HT 1B receptor with respect to the effects of acute alcohol exposure ( Crabbe et al.1996 ).
These animals exhibited reduced intoxication in response to a single dose of alcohol compared with normal mice, indicating that 5-HT 1B receptor activity produces some of alcohol’s intoxicating effects.
Can you drink coffee on antidepressants?
Can you mix caffeine and antidepressants? – Most people who take antidepressants don’t need to cut out caffeine completely, says Dr. Netherton. But it’s important to pay attention to how much caffeine you’re getting throughout the day and how it’s making you feel.
- You’ll get around 100 milligrams of caffeine from an 8-ounce cup of coffee, for instance, but many mugs and cafe to-go cups are designed to hold much more than that.
- Because caffeine and antidepressants are metabolized more slowly when they’re in your system at the same time, you might find that your usual cup or two of morning coffee hits you harder on antidepressants than it did before you started taking your meds.
It’s possible to feel more restless, jittery, or irritable, for instance, or notice that your heart feels like it’s racing. Falling asleep can become more of a challenge too. (That’s true even if you take your antidepressant at night. We’ll explain why a little later.) You might also feel more nervous or on edge, since caffeine’s stimulant effects can cause or worsen symptoms of anxiety (and in some cases, potentially trigger panic attacks).
- If you’re taking antidepressants to manage an anxiety disorder, caffeine can directly counteract the effect of the antidepressants or make anxiety worse,” Dr.
- Netherton says.
- Also? Caffeine and antidepressants may also make you more prone to your medication’s side effects.
- Depending on the antidepressant, that could include things like agitation, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, nausea, or increased heart rate.
With caffeine slowing the rate at which your antidepressant is metabolized, more of the medication sticks around in your system for longer.