Lexapro And Alcohol- What Happens If You Mix These?
If you take anti-depressants like Lexapro, you might be thinking if it is fine to have Lexapro and alcohol together or not.
Lexapro is a type of antidepressant give in conditions like depression and anxiety. It is the brand-name version of escitalopram oxalate which is a generic drug. Specifically, Lexapro is an SSRI- Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It is usually prescribed for the following conditions:
- Major depression disorder.
- Generalized anxiety disorder.
- Mental health issues.
Like all the other SSRIs, this one also affects your brain by obstructing the reuptake of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter well known for its impacts on mood. SSRI drugs are the safest classes of antidepressants so doctors often recommend them and use them as their first choice against depression disorders.
Although it has so many benefits on uplifting mood, it also has side effects and risks like all the other drugs. Mixing Lexapro and alcohol might make the symptoms or side effects even worse for the condition. It may also cause unpleasant side effects.
If you are using Lexapro for Depression but worried about mixing Lexapro and alcohol, give this article a read to know all the possible changes and side effects that you are at risk of. Let’s find out why Lexapro and alcohol combined are not a good idea.
Can You Take Lexapro And Alcohol Together
According to the U.S FDA (Food and drug administration), clinical trials are needed still to show with certainty and be sure that alcohol can increase the effects of antidepressant Lexapro on brain functioning.
This does not indicate you can take Lexapro and alcohol or both are safe to be taken. Any time you consume alcohol while you are at antidepressant Lexapro, you put yourself at the risk of many side effects. If you consume alcohol at all, it is best to drink it in a moderate amount when you are undergoing any such treatment. If you are required to take Lexapro at any time of the day, consult your doctor about drinking alcohol before that.
Side Effects Without Alcohol
Even though you do not consume them together, here are few side effects of Lexapro alone:
- Sweating a lot.
- Drying of mouth.
- Throwing up.
- Tiredness or sleepiness
- Less interest
- Problems sleeping.
- Belly pain and gassiness
- Pain in shoulders and neck.
- Swelling of the sinus.
In extremely rare cases, taking Lexapro and alcohol together may cause side effects like becoming violent. It makes doing tasks that requires focus and alertness difficult.
Know that not everyone taking Lexapro and alcohol together will have the same effects or side effects. But it is still important to understand the way both these strong substances might have an impact on each there. Using Lexapro and alcohol together can cause the following:
- Liver problems.
- Worsens depressions
- Increases anxiety
- Decreased efficacy of the drug or medications you are taking.
Some dangers of taking alcohol might increase the risk of side effects of Lexapro. These side effects are caused by the medication itself but when consumed with alcohol, they may worsen and become severe. Side effects of Lexapro are:
- Dry mouth
Not only this, Lexapro might even increase the rise of suicides. This side effect or risk of Lexapro is especially high in teens, young adults, and children. More chances of these side effects are during the first few months of treatment. The chances may even become more when dosages are changed all of a sudden by the doctors. Because, alcohol may make the depression conditions worse, it might lead to an increase in suicide risks.
Depending upon the dosages, the doses of alcohol might also be greater. If the maximum dosage suggested by the doctors for depressing is 20 mg of antidepressant Lexapro, the risk that comes with consuming both Lexapro and alcohol may become higher.
What To Do
Lexapro is a drug that is given for the long term. Most people should avoid alcohol completely with the medications like Lexapro and some other antidepressants. However, if this drug can handle and manage the condition well, it is safe to drink from time to time but not regularly.
Remember that everyone’s situation and body are different when it comes to handling drugs with alcohol. Your doctor might suggest you stop drinking while you are on Lexapro altogether. Make sure you check with the doctor before drinking.
Effects Of Alcohol
There are many effects of alcohol on the mental state of a person. If you are suffering from a mental condition, drinking alcohol with it is not a good idea regardless of whether you are taking Lexapro or not. Depression required antidepressants to manage the condition whereas alcohol is a type of depressant.
Alcohol can make the condition worse and it can make the following symptoms of anxiety even worse:
- Restlessness or insomnia
- Frequent irritability
- Intense worries that may get in the way of daily life.
It may even make your depression worse. The symptoms associated with it include:
- Frequent sadness.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Loss of interest in all activities that you used to enjoy earlier.
- Feeling of worthlessness.
Lexapro and alcohol
Studies have shown that Lexapro and alcohol used together do not worsen motor and cognitive effects of drinking in healthy adults. If you see from a chemical perspective, there will be no interaction between both the substances in most people taking them. However, you must always keep the bigger picture in your mind. Namely, as a known depressant, alcohol might counteract Lexapro’s antidepressant effects, which puts the users at a risk of depression worsening. Here are some detailed side effects of taking Lexapro and alcohol:
1. Lexapro and alcohol blackouts
Many experts have raised concerns about these two. Even drinking moderately while you are on Lexapro antidepressants might cause an exaggerated response to alcohol in people. This may include inhibitions and loss of memory, violence in about half the cases. While healthy adults do experience these, experts are still not sure why it occurs in few people or why few people are at greater risk of side effects. Research and studies are required to know more.
2. Risk of serotonin Syndrome
Although it is rare, serotonin syndrome is a complication that may or may or arise when you mix Lexapro and alcohol. Alcgol might even cause an increase in the level of serotonin temporarily. which when mixes with Lexapro become worse than ever.
Possible symptoms that may occur after this include:
- Over-response reflexes
- high blood pressure
- fast heartbeats.
Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms given below must immediately call a doctor and seek emergency help.
3. Worsened Depression
Another negative side effect or risk of mixing Lexapro and alcohol worsens depression possibility. There is a strong link between depression ad alcoholism, with each of this worsening the other condition. Depression is among the most common issues in people who drink a lot. This may even lead to certain fatal consequences. Around 22% of suicides of depression involve people that are intoxicated at the time of death.
Due to the link between depression and alcoholism, experts believe that drinking excessively is a way in which depressed people try to overcome feelings of sadness. Nearly 41% of people having depression have struggled with drinking in past years.
As such, taking Lexapro and alcohol together can have a huge impact on individuals’ mental health and put them at higher risk of substance abuse.
Visit Your Doctor
Both Lexapro and alcohol alter how your brain functions. To avoid any dangerous risks and side effects associated with both these such as liver issues and drowsiness, it is best if you do not take Lexapro and alcohol together.
Alcohol may even reduce the function of Lexapro making its useful effects negligible for depression thus causing no changes in your mood and treatment. With or without Lexapro, alcohol might aggravate the symptoms of depression and any. Each individual’s situation is different when it comes to handling these drugs. Talk to your health care provider before using Lexapro and alcohol together or drinking alcohol when you are on treatment. Know what works best for you and what suits your condition.
This was all you needed to know Lexapro and alcohol when mixed or used one after the other.