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40 If I plan to drink alcohol while on medication, what precautions should I take?




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This article is from the Depression FAQ, by Cynthia Frazier with numerous contributions by others.

40 If I plan to drink alcohol while on medication, what precautions should I take?

There is much misinformation about drinking while on anti- depressants. Alcohol can prevent antidepressants from being effective. This is not so much because it interferes with the absorption of antidepressants, it is because of the effects of alcohol upon brain chemistry. Antidepressants can also increase one's susceptibility to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. Also, both alcohol and some anti- depressants (especially Wellbutrin) increase the possibility of seizures.

If you are determined to drink despite taking antidepressants you should discuss the matter with your psychiatrist. If you get permission you might want to determine the extent to which the medication has made you more sensitive to the alcohol. You might start by seeing what are the effects of half a glass of wine. You might then experiment with a full glass. Remember, a 4 oz glass of wine, a 12 oz bottle of beer, and 1 oz of "hard stuff" all contain the same amount of alcohol.

 

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