Prozac and Alcohol: The Risks of Drinking Alcohol on Prozac

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The graphic explains the risks of drinking alcohol on Prozac.

Over 16 million Americans experience depression yearly, which is rising in the country. One in six people will experience depression at some point in their lives. Regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender, anyone is prone to developing this mental health condition. Doctors can recommend antidepressant medications if you experience depression and seek treatment to stabilize and improve your mood.

There are several indicators and depressive symptoms, such as but not limited to:

  • Anxiety or emptiness
  • Feeling powerless, miserable, or unworthy
  • Irritability
  • Low energy or weariness
  • Thoughts of or attempts at suicide
  • Panic attacks

Prozac, possibly the most well-known antidepressant medicine from the class of drugs, is also called fluoxetine. A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as fluoxetine, is actually the most commonly prescribed medication to treat depression.

The good news is that Prozac is the most popular antidepressant medication that has many benefits for depression, including improved energy, appetite, and sleep. It also improves moods, making you more productive and able to focus on tasks. While Prozac does have some side effects, these typically go away after a couple of weeks.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) warns that alcohol addiction can interact with several types of medications. Some of these interactions include depression and seizures. If you take Prozac or fluoxetine, you must avoid drinking alcohol while on them. 

Before taking Prozac, you should tell your healthcare provider about other health conditions you suffer. Get effective treatment for depression and alcohol use by the supervised doctors at The Haven Detox-New England. The Haven is one of the top facilities in the United States to treat mental health disorders when addiction co-occurs. 

How Does Prozac Work?

One way to understand the function of Prozac is to know how it works with the human brain. Prozac works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which fools the dopamine receptors and leaves more dopamine in the junction between neurons. 

However, it takes a while for serotonin levels to rise to the level required to be picked up by the receptors. Serotonin is a chemical messenger that travels from neuron to neuron, sending messages and regulating mood. Its deficiency can cause a depressive state, but Prozac helps increase serotonin levels in the brain. It may take six to eight weeks before you start to notice results.

It’s also important to continue taking the medication even after you feel better. The body needs time to get used to the drug, and stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression. The best way to avoid this unpleasant side effect is to decrease your dose slowly but consistently.

Side Effects of Prozac

The typical patient dose of Prozac ranges from 10 mg to 80 mg. Doctors also require a thorough medical history due to possible hazardous reactions. You may still suffer side effects while taking the medication exactly as directed (at the correct dose and by itself).

Higher doses of Prozac can cause common side effects of Prozac that are:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Having trouble staying awake or falling asleep
  • Heartburn
  • Excessive perspiration
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Drinking on Prozac

Drinking alcohol can exacerbate serious side effects for your mental health. Alcohol-dependent people feel a pleasurable and energizing impact; it also acts as a sedative and can cause interactions with other medications. Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac can be a dangerous combination. Both substance abuse can impair judgment and lower inhibitions, increasing the risk of violent or major depressive disorder.

Suicidal Thoughts

It has been shown that alcohol may increase the risk of suicide. Therefore, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before combining Prozac with alcohol. This professional can make a personalized recommendation based on your specific needs. They can also provide medical advice and referrals to support groups.

In addition to the increased risk of suicide, alcohol and Prozac may reduce a person’s inhibitions and impair their judgment. They may also be prone to self-harm and violent behavior. Furthermore, alcohol and Prozac can cause a person to fall and become weaker, making it easier for them to injure themselves or others. Drinking alcohol while taking SSRIs can generally increase the risk of heart failure, coma, and other dangerous outcomes.

Risk of Panic Disorder

While Prozac and alcohol have very few common effects, they have a higher risk of panic disorder if drunk on Prozac. Alcohol interacts with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure. However, SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) do not have this effect. 

Drinking alcohol while on Prozac can, however, increase your risk of depression, suicidal ideation, and other adverse mental health effects. As a result, it’s never a good idea to mix alcohol with your medication. If you’re taking Prozac, you’ll need to discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider.

Risk of Serotonin Syndrome

Alcohol can affect your judgment, motor skills, and thinking. It can cause drowsiness. Drinking alcohol may also lead to nausea, nervousness, and heart palpitations. Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac includes a higher risk of serotonin syndrome, which occurs when the serotonin level in the bloodstream is too high. Alcohol and most medications interact poorly with one another.

Effects on the Central Nervous System

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, slowing down bodily functions. Because alcohol and Prozac affect the same brain parts, and they can interact and enhance each other’s adverse effects. When combined, the two can cause heightened feelings of anxiety and depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Drinking alcohol while on Prozac may exacerbate symptoms of depression. Substance use disorders inhibit the central nervous system’s function and alter how the brain responds to medications. Alcohol can cause sedation and make a person feel tired and less confident. Therefore, alcohol and Prozac should not be taken together.

Decreased Decision-Making Skills

Alcohol and Prozac can cause negative emotions and increase the risk of suicide and self-harm. Alcohol also makes the decision-making process more difficult. Therefore, sudden thoughts of suicide or self-harm are difficult to distinguish from other types of mental illness. It is essential for people taking Prozac to report suicidal thoughts or behavior.

The highest risks associated with mixing Prozac and drinking alcohol are for the elderly. Because they typically take several medications at a time, they are more vulnerable to drug interactions. If you are taking Prozac for an alcohol use disorder, your treatment should be tailored to your unique situation and medical history.

Did you Have a History of Alcohol Abuse?

If you drink alcohol while taking Prozac, you may have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol abuse may be an indication of an alcohol use disorder, which requires special treatment. In addition to treating depression, you should seek treatment for any co-occurring disorder, such as alcohol use disorder. Treatment options at The Haven Detox New England, are not limited to detoxification because we can also provide residential treatment and intensive behavioral therapies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you consume alcohol while on fluoxetine?

Alcohol will significantly reduce the positive effects of fluoxetine. It can also cause dizziness. Because alcohol affects the central nervous system, it will interfere with the drug’s ability to treat depression. Those taking the medication should immediately stop drinking alcohol and begin a medically assisted detox program if necessary.

Some doctors recommend that patients take a low dose of alcohol while on the medication. Others recommend one drink per day for women and two for men. “One drink” is approximately 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one ounce of 80-proof whiskey or 100-proof spirits. However, it is essential to remember that do not consume alcohol or other drugs while on fluoxetine.

Is it a bad idea to get drunk while taking Prozac?

Prozac interacts with alcohol, making it an unacceptable choice for those taking the antidepressant. It can interfere with the drug’s effects and make the symptoms worse. Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac may also increase the risk of developing suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Alcohol and Prozac have similar effects, but the combination is dangerous. Both substances can interfere with the results of each other, throwing the person off balance and impairing coordination. While the FDA has approved Prozac, it can interact negatively with alcohol.

Could an energy drink react badly with Prozac?

If you’re taking Prozac to treat depression, it may be tempting to drink energy drinks or other substances that can increase your energy levels. However, these products may interfere with how your body processes this mood-altering medication. They can also make you feel tired and irritable. The combination of these substances can also lead to various dangerous side effects, including impaired judgment, impaired driving, and even death. For this reason, you should avoid drinking energy drinks high in caffeine while taking Prozac.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that the labels of energy drinks list the amount of caffeine the drink contains. Many energy drinks contain more than one serving of caffeine, which can harm your health. High doses of caffeine can cause dilated blood vessels, elevated blood pressure, and dehydration.

Live Free of Addiction with The Haven 

Consult with our healthcare provider if you want to live better and stop drinking while taking Prozac. Our healthcare provider can prescribe a customized dose for you and assess the underlying causes. If the problem is alcoholism, we also provide support groups and other medical advice. Our detox treatment is very effective and prevents relapse. Our residential treatment gives you a comfort zone where you enjoy a peaceful recovery.

Our professional doctor prescribes a personalized treatment plan based on your specific circumstances and health history and may recommend support groups or medical advice to help you cope with the depressive effects of alcohol. Alcohol detox treatment also includes cognitive behavioral therapy, which is very effective for your recovery. Our counseling services aim to teach you that life is full of goals, and you need to identify yours. 

Admit to our programs by calling us at (844) 933-4145.