AD and alcohol

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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1100
   Posted 5/4/2012 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone understand the science behind the recommendation that one not take ADs (in my case, Lexapro) and drink alcohol?   Is it just that alcohol is a depressant and there is no point in taking one drug that depresses you and other that tries to un-depresss you?  Or is there a biochemistry issue, such as a synergistic impact on specific receptors (as there is with benzos)?
Reason I ask?  I am on a low dose of Lexapro.  Despite contrary recommendations, I have been drinking a little.  Usually only one drink a night -- not every night -- and NEVER more than two drinks in a night.  Does not seem to have an adverse impact, as best I can tell.  And I really do very much enjoy my glass of red wine...   But of course I do not want to damage my health.  So I would like to understand the science a bit, so I can make a well informed judgment. 

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 5/4/2012 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
For years, medved, I've been told that people should not use Valium with alcohol because there is a danger of passing out. I have no idea what the latest results are related to Lexapro. I think one member of this form was told by his psychiatrist that the patient might try one drink only and see how it affects him.

My personal view is the drinking should not be done when one is in a depression for the simple reason that alcohol makes depression worse, and it's addictive for those who are sensitive to it.

Please ask your psychiatrist about the chemistry behind the drinking of alcohol and use of anti-depressants. I don't know whether anyone on the Depression Forum is acquainted with the chemical reaction between alcohol and anti-depressants.

It's Genetic

getting by
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   Posted 5/4/2012 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
You said in your other thread that you reduced your dose of lexapro and that you felt you needed more but don't want the side effects. Why don't you try going without any alcohol for a week and see if you feel better even with the reduced dose of lexapro. Otherwise, I would suggest talking to the psychiatrist about it. I do know red wine has antioxidants in it. Which are good for you and a little glass a day isnt that bad, but with depression, it is still a depressant and can make your depression worse. I hope you get it all sorted out. I am sorry that alcohol can make you depressed. But I would try going without for a week, the five mg of lexapro might help you. My husband took it but started out at ten. I think that is the usual starting dose. What kind of side effects do you get from it? Is there something that could counteract them?

I hope that you feel better soon.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1100
   Posted 5/4/2012 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
My Lexapro is more for anxiety than for depression, though I probably have some depression too. I was doing really well with the 5mg lexapro (when drinking in moderation and also when not drinking at all) until a few days ago, and then I regressed a bit -- had some more anxiety, etc. Very frustrating, since I left like I was making good progress. I hope it is a temporary blip. We shall see. Yesterday sucked. Today was a bit better, but not great.

The side effects I had with Lex at 10mgs were insomnia and a very uncomfortable "on edge" feeling every morning (sort of like you would feel if you drank 8 cups of coffee).


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Date Joined Jul 2009
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   Posted 5/4/2012 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
The answer to your question is essentially both.

At the very least alcohol will reduce the effectiveness of your medication....regardless of what you are taking.
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