Zoloft and alcohol hangover (Reasons why it’s a terrible idea)

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Page last updated: 19/09/2022

Zoloft and alcohol hangover (Reasons why it's a terrible idea)

This blog post will help us understand the symptoms associated with zoloft and alcohol hangover. Depression is a widespread illness and often associated with alcohol consumption. 

In this blog, we will thoroughly study hangover effects and will compare the side effects of these two chemicals side by side

Zoloft and alcohol hangover: How does it affect you?

When zoloft and alcohol are mixed together, the mixture produces a number of harmful effects. These include:

  • Risk of serotonin syndrome 
  • Sensory and motor coordination impairment 
  • Blackouts
  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Alcohol + Zoloft toxicity
  • Excessive vomiting 

Risk of serotonin syndrome

Serotonin syndrome is a big risk when it comes to the use of alcohol and zoloft together. Both of these chemicals have an effect on your brain and the neurotransmitters it releases. 

Serotonin syndrome is a troublesome condition, which usually comes with excessive amounts of zoloft. It causes following sign and symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating 
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Headache, which often feels like your head is pounding
  • Changes in blood pressure and/or temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bradycardia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle twitching and muscle pain

Serious side effects include:

  • High fever with chills
  • Seizures
  • Arrhythmia 
  • Unconsciousness

Now, the intensity of these side effects totally depend on the amount you have taken. People who get drunk usually get carried away and end up consuming dangerously high amounts. This could result in life threatening symptoms and may require hospitalisation. 

Sensory and motor coordination impairment

Alcohol and zoloft work in opposite ways. Alcohol acts as a central nervous system suppressant and dulls down your brain. It clouds your thinking, judgement, decision making ability, speech and a couple of other functions. 

Zoloft, on the other hand, stimulates brain activity by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, an excitatory neurotransmitter, back into the presynaptic neuron. 

This increases the amount of active serotonin which binds to its receptors present throughout the body. When these two are used together, your brain is subjected to a number of effects. 

One slows it down while the other enhances its functions. This creates a number of sensory and motor disturbances, including impaired senses, impaired ability to identify threats, abnormal jerks, tremors, and inability to maintain balance. 

Zoloft and alcohol hangover (Reasons why it's a terrible idea)

Blackouts

Both alcohol and zoloft have tiredness, fatigue, dizziness and drowsiness as common symptoms. When these two are taken excessively together, they cause extreme sedation, which could result in blackouts or unconsciousness. 

The blackout could last for hours and it dangerously slows your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and every other metabolic function in your body. 

Suicidal behavior 

The combination of alcohol and zoloft is dangerous in more ways than you can imagine. Zoloft is usually given for depression, which is a heart-sinking condition. 

Alcohol, on the other hand, tends to accelerate depression induced heart-sinking feelings, along with hopelessness, worthlessness, and a will to give up on everything. 

When these two chemicals are consumed together, they completely mess up your system. It’s like a fight within your brain. It clouds your judgement and messes up your decision making ability. 

Various studies suggest that zoloft and alcohol overdose have resulted in a number of people trying to take their life. This effect is much more pronounced in people younger than 24 years of age, as zoloft itself can cause suicidal behavior in younger individuals. 

Zoloft + Alcohol toxicity

The overdose of zoloft and alcohol can have a drastic effect on your liver, an organ chiefly responsible for performing metabolic activities. It converts harmful active substances into their harmless inactive metabolites. Liver damage results in accumulation of these chemicals in your body which causes toxicity. 

Excessive vomiting

Throwing up uncontrollably is one of the most common hangover effects of alcohol, but it is also a side effect of zoloft. By combining these two together, you’re subjected to excessive gut-wrenching vomiting. 

This condition can take a serious turn as this kind of hangover makes your mind dull and causes sedation. If you throw up under such circumstances, you’re at higher risk of aspiration.

In this condition, your gastric content along with acid, food and bacteria enter into your lungs by accident. This is most common in people who throw up while being unconscious. 

Side by side comparison of side effects 

ZoloftAlcohol 
Loss of appetiteTirednessFeeling angry or agitatedWeight gainInability to digest foodNauseaDiarrhoeaLoss of libidoSweating/Night sweatsTremors or shakingInsomniaDecreased sex driveDrowsiness NauseaVomitingEuphoriaImpaired judgementLoss of appetite Inability to make decisions Inability to speak or walk properly Blackouts Motor impairment DizzinessTremorsSevere headache

Effects of alcohol on depression

Depression is a condition associated with hopelessness, worthlessness, and sadness. This condition impairs your normal brain function and slows it down. Alcohol produces the same kind of effects. 

It suppresses your brain and your thinking capability. In short, alcohol enhances the symptoms associated with depression and gives rise to a life threatening mental health condition. 

How to treat alcoholism?

Excessive use of alcohol is pretty common now-a days. No matter the age, people love to drink all kinds of alcoholic beverages while neglecting terrible side effects that come with it. Here, we are going to discuss a few methods that might help you cut back on alcohol. These include:

Detoxification 

Detoxification is just a technique to completely remove the effects of alcohol from your system. It is not a treatment plan, just a way to detoxify your system. 

Make sure you drink plenty of water during this time and seek help from the hospital as you might suffer from alcohol withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back. 

Medications for alcohol cessation 

There are a few medications which are used to help cut back on alcohol, usually antagonists which help to counteract the effects of alcohol. These include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Topiramate
  • Disulfiram
  • Gabapentin
  • Acamprosate

Counselling 

Counselling helps to mentally prepare you to stop drinking. Psychologists lay down all the side effects and consequences associated with alcoholism.

This can help you understand how it can ruin your life and is capable of taking you to the point of no return. Many people have gained beneficial effects from counselling. 

Support groups

If you suffer from alcoholism, you can try to be a part of a support group. Such groups provide a platform for people to come out in the open. You can listen to other people’s stories and can realise how alcoholism has been ruining lives for decades now. It could become a turning point for you. 

Find a reason not to drink

Look for a reason to be mentally aware. Look where you are needed and what responsibilities you’re leaving behind. You’re needed by your parents, your partner, your friends, your children (if any) and most importantly you, yourself. 

You are a reason enough to stop drinking and opt for a better lifestyle. You need yourself the most. Is it worth wasting your life like that? It is something for you to think about. 

What other drugs are harmful to take with zoloft

Monoaminoxidase inhibitors 

Do not use zoloft with any irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Concomitant treatment is highly contraindicated due to the risk of serotonin syndrome with symptoms like agitation, tremor and hyperthermia. 

Zoloft must not be initiated for at least 14 days after discontinuation of treatment with an irreversible MAOI. Zoloft must be discontinued for at least 7 days before starting treatment with an irreversible MAOI.

Pimozide

Do not use zoloft with pimozide. Combining these medications can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.

Drugs that can increase the risk of bleeding

Zoloft, if used concomitantly with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), aspirin, anticoagulants like warfarin etc, can cause prolonged bleeding

When to call your doctor 

Immediately contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have overdosed on alcohol and zoloft 
  • You experience blurry vision and extreme headache
  • You suffer from sensory and motor impairment 
  • You’re throwing up uncontrollably 
  • Your head is spinning 
  • Your chest hurts
  • You can’t breathe

It is extremely important to go to an emergency room after such a hangover to get a proper checkup. It is not something to mess around with. 

Conclusion 

In this blog, we discussed zoloft and alcohol hangover. We talked about how difficult this situation could become, causing a number of consequences. Alcohol can contribute to depression and suicidal behavior. This effect is more common in younger individuals.

Zoloft and alcohol together can cause extreme sedation which can slow down your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and your several other metabolic functions. Make sure you try to cut back on alcohol and avoid using it with your antidepressant. 

FAQs: zoloft and alcohol hangover 

What will happen if you drink alcohol while taking Zoloft?

When zoloft and alcohol are mixed together, the mixture produces a number of harmful effects. These include:

  • Risk of serotonin syndrome 
  • Sensory and motor coordination impairment 
  • Blackouts
  • Suicidal behavior 
  • Alcohol + Zoloft toxicity
  • Excessive vomiting 

Can you drink alcohol hours after taking Zoloft?

It is not recommended to drink while you’re on treatment with zoloft. The mixture can cause serious side effects. 

Does drinking on antidepressants make you more hungover? 

Drinking with antidepressants makes your hangover much, much worse. These two should not be used together. The side effects could be life-threatening. 

Can I skip a day of Zoloft to drink?

Skipping zoloft to drink is not at all recommended. Alcohol can worsen the symptoms of depression and can cause heart-sinking feeling which is the most common cause of suicide attempts. On the other hand, if you’re on a high dose of zoloft, you’ll suffer from side effects because of missing a dose. This combined can make the situation pretty unfavourable for you. 

What should you not mix with Zoloft?

  • Do not use zoloft with any irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Concomitant treatment is highly contraindicated due to the risk of serotonin syndrome with symptoms like agitation, tremor and hyperthermia.
  • Do not use zoloft with pimozide. Combining these medications can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.
  • Do not use zoloft concomitantly with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), aspirin, anticoagulants like warfarin etc. They can cause prolonged bleeding when used together. 

Can you lose weight while on Zoloft?

If zoloft makes you lose your appetite, you can end up losing weight. 

References