Author: Charles Frank

How to Safely Drink on Zoloft Indiana Center for Recovery

zoloft and alcohol

Alcohol is also a central nervous system depressant, and when taken together, these effects are amplified and can be dangerous. Slowing down the brain and body can lead to issues with concentration and coordination, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Oversedation from drinking and taking Zoloft can lead to vulnerable situations, such as being taken advantage of by strangers. Fortunately, these conditions are treatable, with many patients effectively managing their condition through psychotherapy and/or medication. Since Zoloft works by controlling serotonin levels, mixing it with alcohol can lead to severe and unwanted side effects as alcohol has been shown to increase serotonin levels in the body.

zoloft and alcohol

Alcohol affects the brain in various ways and is considered a depressant. It disrupts the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain that control emotions, which results in psychological changes. While alcohol might make a person feel better for a short while, it can make them feel worse in the long run.

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Together, they can explore alternative coping strategies and treatment options that do not involve alcohol. Zoloft belongs to a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). They work by blocking the brain’s serotonin receptors, causing more serotonin molecules to circulate. Serotonin stabilizes a person’s mood and is known as the “feel-good” hormone. Having more of this hormone in the brain can benefit mood, sleep, and emotions. Additionally, alcohol can temporarily boost the amount of serotonin in the brain.

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. If you have been diagnosed with depression, social anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder and are taking Zoloft, you may wonder if alcohol consumption is okay. Explore the connection between the antidepressant and alcohol, if it is safe to drink while taking Zoloft, and the everyday interactions between the two below. S.S.R.I. medications — which include citalopram (Celexa), sertraline (Zoloft) and escitalopram (Lexapro) — are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. They are typically used to help treat depression, and can also be effective for other conditions like anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, certain phobias and even premenstrual dysphoric disorder. They work by increasing the levels of the brain chemical serotonin — which is thought to influence your mood and emotions, among other things — by blocking its removal after it carries messages in the brain.

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. Zoloft is an SSRI antidepressant used to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Sometimes, Zoloft might cause side effects like feeling sick, dizzy, or tired, which may be enhanced by drinking alcohol. 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.

Officially, the FDA recommends that people who take Zoloft avoid drinking alcohol altogether. However, everyone’s bodies react differently to this combination, and some people find that they can drink in moderation while taking Zoloft without experiencing any negative effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns those who take Zoloft should avoid drinking alcohol. Taking Zoloft can cause drowsiness, slow your reaction time, and put you at an increased risk of accidents. It can also lead to an increase in risky behavior, such as unprotected sex, that can lead to other health complications.

Mental health professionals do not recommend drinking if you struggle with depression, even while not on any prescription medication. This is because alcohol is a depressant drug that affects the central nervous system and interferes with receptors in the brain, suppressing neurological signals that change the way you think and reason. While alcohol can help ease symptoms of depression in the short term, it significantly worsens depressive symptoms over time and leads to a downward spiral. Many people diagnosed with conditions like depression, traumatic stress disorder, or experience panic attacks end up developing an alcohol use disorder due to self-medicating and building an alcohol dependency.

Drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft can increase the risk of side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired coordination. It can also diminish the effectiveness of Zoloft in treating your condition. Consult your healthcare provider before combining Zoloft and alcohol. People with depression may turn to alcohol to try to feel better in the short term; however, alcohol can worsen their condition. If you find it difficult to avoid drinking, you should reach out to your provider for guidance. Consider behavioral therapies to learn about coping with stress without using alcohol, or seek out support groups.

Potential for increased sedation

Even a single drink can interact with your medication and cause unwanted side effects. 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). If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, dial 988 to contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and connect with a trained counselor. For more mental health resources, see the National Helpline Database.

The more alcohol you consume, the higher the likelihood it’ll affect these neurotransmitters in the brain and worsen mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. It’s very important to be careful about mixing alcohol with any medicine. To stay safe and make sure your medicine works the way it should, it’s best to avoid alcohol while you’re taking Zoloft. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider. Similar to other SSRIs, Zoloft works by blocking the brain’s serotonin receptors, preventing the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, and causing more serotonin to circulate in the brain.

  1. If your doctor gives you this medication, you may wonder if it’s safe to drink alcohol during treatment.
  2. Sertraline is sold as an antidepressant medication known as Zoloft that is commonly used to treat mental health conditions such as major depressive disorder.
  3. It is generally recommended to avoid alcohol while taking sertraline (Zoloft).
  4. Drinking alcohol while taking Zoloft can increase the risk of side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired coordination.
  5. Alcohol addiction and depression frequently co-occur, with each condition feeding the other.

Stopping and starting your medications can make your depression worse. Drinking alcohol while on an antidepressant like Zoloft can impair your coordination and cause severe drowsiness, confusion, and impaired judgment. It can also lead to a higher potential for substance use disorders, suicidal thoughts, and overdose. Also, alcohol and antidepressants can each cause drowsiness, reduced alertness, and uncoordinated movements. When a person has both in their system, these effects increase, which may lead to accidents and injuries.

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Due to alcohol having these effects on mood and anxiety, drinking while taking an antidepressant may prevent it from working well at reducing those symptoms. While many people enjoy drinking alcohol for multiple reasons, most medical professionals recommend against drinking while taking an SSRI such as Zoloft. Don’t stop taking an antidepressant or other medication just so that you can drink. Most antidepressants require taking a consistent, daily dose to maintain a constant level in your system and work as intended.

One possible side effect of Zoloft is an increase in suicidal behavior and thinking. This is serious, and it can heighten when a person taking this medication also consumes alcohol. The interaction can cause depression, which may hinder the effectiveness of an antidepressant.

SSRIs like Zoloft also come with a boxed warning due to the increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors when used in adolescents and young adults. If you are struggling to reduce or stop drinking, reach out to an addiction specialist for more support. If you’re at low risk of addiction to alcohol, it may be OK to have an occasional drink, depending on your particular situation, but talk with your doctor.

As stated above, drinking can lead to worsening of mood symptoms and reduced effectiveness of antidepressants. Combined, these factors can increase the likelihood that someone will consider suicide if they drink alcohol while taking an SSRI, particularly if they are under 25. A 2014 study on the risks of combining Zoloft and alcohol showed mental health issues like increased memory impairment, impulsivity, and violence in some people.

The combination of Zoloft and alcohol can increase the risk of developing alcohol dependency, leading to further complications. Alcohol can also temporarily boost the amount of serotonin in the brain. Consuming alcohol while taking antidepressants can lead to very high serotonin levels. However, some people who take Zoloft find that they can drink small amounts of alcohol without negative effects. An older study found that the combination did not cause significant impairment. But a 2014 study showed that it increased memory impairment, impulsivity, and violence in some people.