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SSRI's and Alcohol

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
This is a bit of a weird one but hopefully it can jog some peoples memories.

I've been on SSRI's for anxiety and panic for a little while now, and have continued to drink throughout the course of taking them.

I seem to remember a little while ago that it had been suggested in research that SSRI's increase the propensity of people to binge drink, but can't put my finger on where i heard it or if I am getting mixed up.

Its becoming of concern to me because i haven't been oe for binge drinking until recently, and when i go out after the first pint, i just want more. The actual desire to keep consuming alcohol is something i havent experienced before, and my personality when i am drunk is.....troubling. Not violent, or obnoxious or anything bad really, yet it does bring out something that i dont like in myself (apart from a headache).

I'm not suggesting this is completely the fault of the pills, just doing some digging really...

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was on SSRIs last year and I didn't find how much I drank changed but the way it affected me changed. The first time I drank whilst on them, I completely lost it. I didn't remember the whole night before and woke up in the morning to find my toilet full of sick :yuck: I also had like a 3 day hangover. I wouldn't recommend mixing the two to be honest.
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    I know alcohol and other depressants can increase the side effects of SSRI's. Logically, if you are more affected by the alcohol in that way, you are less inhibited, less likely to think of the consequences and therefore more likely to drink? I'll see what I can dig up in the way of evidence...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With some of the older SSRI's there is nasty side effects but the more modern ones dont tend to be too troublesome, just saying SSRI doesnt give us much to go on.

    I know a few people who while students were put on SSRI's which allowed them to drink, have you asked your GP about it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    no when i go back to get my next script i shall ask, its not a big problem anyway, was curious more than anything.

    Sertraline is what I am on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've found that SSRI's make me feel the effects of alsohol more quickly - I tend to act like a fool on 4 pints, whereas I've been able to spend stupid amounts of money on alcohol in the past without getting all silly.

    I got very drunk last November and did something extremely silly - and since then, I've hardly drank at all. I find the odd pint now and then is nice, but I can't trust myself to have my usual levels of self control.

    Medication affects us all differently, so it's something you have to figure out for yourself, I guess.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    With SSRI's, generally drinking in moderation is fine. You dont have to AVOID it. But it will affect people in different ways.
    I think most people find the effects of alcohol are enhanced and faster than usual!

    Ive been taking Sertraline for the past 18months and if i go out and drink sensibly its fine. I can still get drunk, but i dont go and hammer a line of shots because half of it would do the job!!! you get the idea.

    As it happens, recentally ive been for a drink, say at lunchtime, and REALLY want more than 1, and thats unusual for me. I dont think its the tablets though, probably just a phase!
  • JadedJaded back for more Posts: 2,682
    Sikorah wrote:
    With SSRI's, generally drinking in moderation is fine.

    I've been speaking to a dual diagnosis specialist, and he said the above simply isn't true.

    Alcohol actually interferes with the way SSRI's work. He has worked with a lot of alcoholics who can't be treated for their depression until the cut the drinking, because the anti-d's have little or no effect. Obviously we aren't talking about drinking to the level of alcoholism here, but the point is still valid - drinking lessens or blocks the effect of SSRI's. It stands to reason that if you overdo it on a depressant, which alcohol is, and your medication doesn't work as it should, it adds up to one hell of a hangover that has potentially serious consequences on your state of mind.

    Oh btw Martin, in answer to your original question, my specialist friend said he hadn't come across any research or opinion that would support that idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ok thanks alot for that.

    Its just me being lazy, there are a hundred pharmacology books lying around the mrs flat that would have told me that, if only I had the time :D

    So I suppose limiting myself to a glass of wine or 1-2 tinnies isnt too bad but drinking 2 bottles of cava and 5 pints is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It was sertraline that my mates were on, moderate and infrequent drinking are alright but dont take more than that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    which is what i said 'Generally, drinking in moderation is fine'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends which SSRI. On Prozac I can drink fine. On Effexor XL drink sent me loopy. Check with the doc.
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