Prozac and alcohol (A brief Guide)

In this blog post, we will discuss Prozac and alcohol interaction, also what Prozac is, side effects, allergic reactions, overdose, benefits, negative aspects, and recommendations.

Prozac and alcohol

When combining Prozac and alcohol, it can quickly lead to increased sedation.

This is because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Having even just one drink while taking Prozac, can cause extreme drowsiness interfering with your coordination and alertness.

Exposing you to potentially dangerous situations. 

Prozac and alcohol (A brief Guide)

Alcohol can have a similar effect as your antidepressant since it also acts on some of the neurotransmitters responsible for feeling pleasure, increasing their levels in the brain.

Alcohol seems to be used as a form of self-medication since it can temporarily relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Additionally, it can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rate (San Diego Addiction Treatment Center). 

The San Diego Addiction Treatment Center advises “Alcohol should never be mixed with an antidepressant medication like Prozac, as both substances may amplify the effects of the other, increasing the risk for overdose and other potentially dangerous side effects. Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac can also interfere with treatment for depression and/or anxiety”. 

Supporting that statement, Dr. Karen Vieria from The Recovery Village indicates that mixing alcohol and Prozac can negatively impact your treatment and increase side effects. 


Negative effects of mixing Prozac and alcohol

Some of the potential negative effects Dr. Karen Viera from The Recovery Village and the San Diego Addiction Treatment suggest are: 

  • Increased feelings of depression and anxiety: depressive symptoms can be amplified by the effects of alcohol intake. This can increase the risk of attempting or committing suicide.
  • Decreased alertness and reaction time: alcohol can lower your inhibitions, impair your judgment and increase the risk of violent or self-harming behavior.  
  • Developing an alcohol dependence: mixing antidepressants and alcohol may put you at a higher risk of developing alcohol dependence due to the potentiation of the effect when mixing both substances and you may feel as you got rid of the depressive symptoms.
  • You can feel sedated or drowsy: both Prozac and alcohol have a sedative effect so you may feel sleepy and the lethargic effects may be more intense than when used separately. 
  • Induced tendency to stop taking your antidepressant: it has been shown that people who drink alcohol (moderately) have a higher risk of stopping their medication than those who don’t drink alcohol.
  • Decreased effectivity of the treatment with Prozac: the effectiveness of the drug gets reduces significantly when drinking alcohol. 
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with lower tryptophan levels: tryptophan is known to be a precursor to serotonin, so lower levels of tryptophan increase your depressive symptomatology.
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with negative coping skills: abusing alcohol as a way to cope with depression can lead to severe drinking problems and even alcohol addiction. 

Recommendations 

The Mayo Clinic advises not to stop taking Prozac or any other medicine so you can drink alcohol.

The expected benefits when taking antidepressants take time and consistency.

If you stop and again continue with your treatment it can make your depression symptoms even worse. 

It is generally not advised to drink any alcohol while you are feeling depressed since it can increase the risk of abusing alcohol (addiction) or you can have problems to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

If you are worried about your alcohol consumption, talk to your doctor about your concerns.

If you have an alcohol abuse problem we advise you to seek counseling, psychotherapy treatment or joining a group such as AA. 

What is Prozac?

Prozac belongs to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) group of antidepressants and it is considered very effective when treating depression and has fewer unwanted side effects compared to older antidepressants.

Prozac is the brand name for the chemical component Fluoxetine, is also used when treating other disorders such as bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

It is only available on prescription and it comes as tablets and capsules. 

Antidepressants are drugs prescribed to treat mental disorders. Some of the most common are:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • Bulimia
  • Some medical conditions

Prozac Side effects

Some of the most common and known side effects of fluoxetine are according to RxList are:

  • Nausea,
  • Upset stomach,
  • Constipation,
  • Headaches,
  • Anxiety,
  • Sleep problems (insomnia),
  • Drowsiness,
  • Dizziness,
  • Nervousness,
  • Heart palpitations,
  • Loss of appetite or increase in appetite,
  • Weight changes
  • Cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat),
  • Dry mouth,
  • Decreased sex drive,
  • Impotence
  • Difficulty having an orgasm

The NHS indicates that, if you and your doctor decide to stop the treatment then, your doctor will probably recommend reducing your dose gradually to help prevent additional side effects. 

Serious side effects

This is rare but it can happen, the incidence is less than 1 in 100 people, but some people may have serious side effects while taking Prozac. 

According to the NHS, you should go immediately to A&E if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath
  • Severe dizziness or passing out
  • Painful erections that last longer than 4 hours – this may happen even when you are not having sex
  • Any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop, such as cuts or nosebleeds that won’t stop within 10 minutes

Prozac Drug interactions

Prozac may interact with medicines meant for cold or allergies, sedatives, narcotics, pain killers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, medicine for seizures or anti-anxiety medication, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other antidepressants or medicine for migraine. 

Other drugs 

  • Alprazolam
  • Clopidogrel
  • Clozapine
  • Flecainide
  • Haloperidol
  • Nebivolol
  • Vinblastine
  • Seizure medications

Prozac Overdose

If you mix Prozac and alcohol you have a higher risk of having an overdose even with lower quantities or a lower dosage.

If you think you or someone else has taken a fluoxetine overdose you or someone else should get in contact with medical emergency services. 

Some of the most common symptoms of a Fluoxetine overdose are:

  • Feeling confused
  • Being unresponsive
  • Shaking uncontrollably
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Irregular or very fast heartbeat
  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Having fever
  • Fainting
  • Losing consciousness

Possible complications after an overdose

A Prozac overdose can come with medical complications such as seizures, abnormal heart rhythm, kidney failure and respiratory. 

Symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Feeling sleepy or lethargic
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Heart problems
  • Lung problems 
  • Seizures

Benefits of Prozac 

According to Drugs.com some of the benefits of Prozac are described as follows:

  • Prozac may be used in the treatment of depression and it can help maintain the relief of depression in adults and children (8 -18 years).
  • Prozac may be helpful for the relief of the obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adults and children (7-17 yeats).  
  • Prozac may be helpful in the treatment of eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, relieve the symptoms (moderate to severe) such as binge-eating and vomiting.
  • Prozac may be helpful in the treatment of panic disorders in adults (with/without agoraphobia).
  • Prozac may be helpful in treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD. 
  • Prozac is less likely to cause weight gain in comparison to other antidepressants, but it can cause insomnia.

Why is this blog post about Prozac and alcohol important?

This blog about Prozac and alcohol is important because many people are misinformed of what could happen if you decide to mix Prozac and alcohol.

As we discuss, alcohol is an antidepressant of the Central Nervous system and it affects the neurochemistry in your brain has a similar effect as Prozac does. 

This means alcohol can slow down vital functions, leading to slurred speech, impaired memory and slower reaction time.

This is the reason why mixing Prozac and alcohol with even one glass of wine can be detrimental for your health.

Also, Prozac and alcohol can lead to severe medical complications and even increased risk of overdosing. 

Additionally, if you are at a higher risk of developing substance abuse or you are already a moderate to severe alcohol user, then it is advised to talk to your doctor and get immediate support.

Please feel free to comment on Prozac dosage the comments section down below!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Prozac and alcohol

Can Prozac and alcohol kill you?

Prozac can kill you when there is a severe reaction when combining Prozac with other substances such as alcohol.

Additionally, it is possible to die from a Prozac overdose since alcohol can potentiate even smaller doses of your medication. 

What happens when you mix alcohol and antidepressants?

When you mix alcohol and antidepressants it can increase the risk of side effects from those antidepressants, most likely, drowsiness, feeling sleepy, lethargic, dizzy and problems with your coordination. 

What is the best time of day to take Prozac?

Prozac is recommended to be taken in the morning or twice a day in the morning and at noon.

Does alcohol make antidepressants less effective?

Yes, mixing alcohol with your antidepressant reduces the effectiveness of the treatment so it will actually take more time for you to see the expected benefits. 

What Antidepressant Can you take with alcohol?

It is not recommended to take any of the existing antidepressants with alcohol.

This will reduce the effectivity of your treatment and also potentially putting you at risk of an overdose, increased side effects, alcohol dependence or will even compel you to stop your medication.  1589

Recommended books

  1. A Parent’s Guide to Depression and Anxiety (Axis Parent’s Guide)
  2. Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression (Medicine, Culture, and History)
  3. Olanzapine/fluoxetine
  4. Fluoxetine Hydrochloride; Third Edition
  5. Fluoxetine 603 Questions to Ask that Matter to You

References

Mayo Clinic

San Diego Addiction Treatment Center

Healthline

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