Lexapro and Alcohol

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1080
   Posted 4/16/2012 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on a low dose of Lexapro (5mg).  Have been on Lexapro for about a month -- started with 10mg but did not like the side effects so reduced to 5mg.  At this point, I have no significant side effects.
I typically have one or two drinks per day.  Most of that is red wine, but occassionally something else.
For the first couple of weeks on Lexapro, I did not drink any alcohol. Then, I went on vacation and had one drink some days and two drinks on other days.  Never more than that.  I felt like the alcohol had somewhat  more of an impact on me than it did before I began Lexapro, and on some days I would get a headache after I drank.  But then I would take a tylenol and the headache would go away.
I am leaving for a business trip tomorrow and this will involve some drinking (at receptions and dinners, etc.).  Of course, I do not HAVE to drink alchohol.  But I enjoy it (in moderation), and everyone else will, etc.
Can anyone give me advice about alcohol and 5mg Lexapro?  Am I doing some harm by having a drink or two? 
I know the most risk averse approach would be not to drink.  But there is also a quality of life issue -- I enjoy having a drink or two and would like to be able to continue, if I can.

It's Genetic
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 4/16/2012 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, of course you can do it, Medved, because you are capable of doing it.

However, everyone who has ever had depression will probably tell you that you should eliminate alcohol from your life; it makes depression worse and does have potential to interact adversely with medications. (What does your psychiatrist suggest in this matter?)

You should also stop using anything that has caffeine in it, including coffee, tea, chocolate, and anything else with caffeine in it. It causes depression to ease during the first hours of digestion and then causes a drop in feeling tone below the original level. It's addictive, too, just as alcohol is.

In essence, you're asking people who strongly oppose drinking alcohol to approve drinking at a reception. It isn't at all essential for you to drink to be socially acceptable. In fact, almost all people will applaud your not drinking when you know that it adversely affects your well-being.

Once in a while, try doing without and observing how the folks at the reception who cannot handle their liquor behave. That's enough to make you want to avoid it altogether.

I wish I could give you a thumbs up on this one, because I know many people do enjoy their alcoholic drinks and have it under excellent control.  Depressed people do not manage it well chemically or emotionally.

Have a better time just socializing with friends, drinking ginger ale if possible.  Any considerate host would have that available.

Take care.

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 4/16/2012 2:23:07 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1080
   Posted 4/16/2012 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks IG. I appeciate your advice. I am not looking for any particular answer -- just for people's experiences. I have heard and read many different things, ranging from "I regularly drink in moderation while on Lexapro and am fine" to "I tried it once and felt absoultely terrible and blacked out and will never do it again." My doc says "different people react differently, so if you want to, try a little bit and see how you feel." For me, it is a quality of life issue since I enjoy having a drink. So I need to balance giving up something I enjoy against the incremental health benefit. Obviously, if one does not enjoy drinking then it is a no-brainer. But if it is something you enjoy, then there is a balancing question.

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41830
   Posted 4/17/2012 5:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Wine always did give me a headache. I don't drink it anymore.

I do agree with IG that you probably shouldn't drink. It does cause depression. Even if it isn't a lot. You are kind of undermining your mental health by drinking. But in moderation, I don't know. Have you asked your doc about it? That would be the wise thing to do.

I hope that you can get this sorted out.

Take care, keep posting...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1080
   Posted 4/17/2012 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I did ask my doc. He said I should not drink for the first week on the medication.  Thereafter, I could try a little and see how I feel.  He said some patients are OK drinking in moderation while on Lexapro, while others cannot drink.  (Not sure what "cannot" means, but probably it makes them feel sick so they don't want to).  It might be not as much of a problem for me as for some, since I am on a low dose of Lex (5mg).  Not sure, though.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/7/2014 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Lexapro... At first 10mg then up to 20mg. I had a few drinks at a business function... And apparently the few drinks I had... Hit me HARD. I still don't remember a lot of what happened... But it wasn't like ME... I took crazy to a whole notha level and tried to hit someone. (I have ZERO recollection of this.) Normally I could hold my wine, but not then. I've since switched to something else and am trying to keep my consumption low. (So far so good)

Myself 09
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 6087
   Posted 9/7/2014 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Moderation is key. I have a hard cider every now and again, or a glass of wine. It doesn't seem to do much.

But too much too quickly will mess with your brain chemistry and perception.
Ulcerative Colitis 2003, Fibromyalgia DX 2005, Crohn's 2013, Enteropathic arthritis, 2013. Family History of Fibro--2 out of 3 siblings diagnosed. Started SCD-June 2013. *There are three kinds of people in the world: ones who see the glass as half-full, ones who see the glass as half-empty, and others who see a big crack in the side which is leaking all over their %$#@# foot
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