SSRIs and Alcohol

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Question

Can I drink alcohol while taking an SSRI antidepressant?

Answer

SSRIs are antidepressant drugs also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Manufacturers of most SSRIs recommend avoiding alcohol with these medicines. There are several well-known SSRIs on the market today, including citalopram (Celexa®), paroxetine (Paxil®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), escitalopram (Lexapro®), duloxetine (Cymbalta®) and sertraline (Zoloft®).

SSRI and alcohol potential side effects

The combination of an SSRI and alcohol could possibly increase the chance or severity of side effects such as drowsiness, slow reflexes, or clouded judgment. This can be dangerous when driving a car or operating other machinery. Also, alcohol may make you feel depressed. In this way, alcohol can interfere with the actions of your SSRI to treat depression. Try to avoid or limit your use of alcohol while taking an SSRI.

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