Lexapro is a generally safe antidepressant to use. However, some warnings and precautions exist to avoid unwanted complications and interactions. Some people ask, ‘Can you drink on Lexapro?’ Lexapro can present some severe side effects when there is an interaction.
This article discusses using Lexapro and alcohol and provides answers to queries like ‘Can you drink on Lexapro?’ Read on to learn more about this popular antidepressant medication.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication that treats anxiety and depression. This medication works by maintaining the balance of serotonin in the brain.
Lexapro is mainly used as a mental health medication to boost energy levels and good feelings and reduce nervousness and depression.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are also called SSRIs, and their job is to block the reuptake of serotonin by the brain, thereby providing relief to mental health patients with depression and anxiety. Serotonin is partly responsible for regulating emotions in the brain.
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Alcohol and Antidepressant Lexapro: Can you drink on Lexapro?
Sometimes, patients on antidepressants like Lexapro ask if it’s okay to drink alcohol while on the medication. While Lexapro is considered one of the safe treatment options compared to other antidepressants and the side effects they present, drinking on Lexapro is not advised.
There are several reasons why you should stay away from alcohol if you’re using Lexapro (escitalopram).
Like any drug, Lexapro can trigger some adverse effects. However, these side effects may vary from patient to patient. Consuming alcohol on this medication puts you at a heightened risk of severe side effects and reduces the efficacy of the drug in treating your condition.
Drinking alcohol and Lexapro puts you at a heightened risk of potentially dangerous adverse effects of the medication. Even a small controlled amount of alcohol can cause a significant level of unwanted complications and side effects. This combination may exacerbate the patient’s symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
Lexapro is a medication that relieves patients by regulating their mood and making them feel good.
This drug helps millions of people with mental health challenges to function in their daily lives by blocking anxiety and depression symptoms.
Drinking alcohol with this drug may make your anxiety or depression worse due to the effects of the alcohol.
Can you drink on Lexapro?
Without mixing it with alcohol, Lexapro can cause some side effects. Most times, the medication’s side effects are mild and tolerable. However, some patients may experience severe side effects and interactions after using the drug.
Some common side effects of Lexapro include drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, and insomnia.
Using Lexapro with alcohol is not advisable as this combination may trigger a dangerous manifestation of the side effects of the drug. The side effects become more severe the more you drink.
Doctors generally advise patients to stay away from alcohol when they’re on SSRIs and antidepressants.
Some of the side effects that may occur with Lexapro and alcohol include:
- Worsening depression symptoms
- Reduced effectiveness of the medication
- Lack of energy/interest
- High blood pressure
- Suicidal thoughts
- Liver problem
- Worsening anxiety
Alcohol and mental health disorders
People struggling with mental health conditions may sometimes struggle with alcohol use. This is because some people may see alcohol as a way to deal with their feelings of sadness and anxiety. Taking alcohol with Lexapro may increase the risk of alcohol addiction for some people.
Some individuals may resort to substance abuse to get rid of their feelings of anxiety and depression.
Excessive alcohol abuse can lead to liver problems. In addition, the long-term effects of combining Lexapro with an alcohol use disorder can be dangerous and even fatal.
Alcohol can impact the body in several ways. Drinking can temporarily boost a person’s mood. However, it can have severe effects over some time, which can worsen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, alcohol can distort the balance of natural chemicals in the brain, interfering with the central nervous system. Drinking too much alcohol can cause the following:
- Increased risk of injuries and accidents
- Violent tendencies
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Breathing difficulties
Drinking may also increase the risk and frequency of suicide ideation and thoughts of self-harm. If you’re struggling with a drinking addiction, it is vital to visit an addiction treatment (Dual diagnosis treatment center) or speak to a professional who can help you start your addiction recovery journey and navigate through possible withdrawal symptoms.
How to use Lexapro
Lexapro is a prescription drug, meaning you require a prescription from a qualified medical services provider to purchase the medication.
It would help if you were well informed on what using this medication entails to avoid unwanted complications and interactions. It would help if you discussed this with your healthcare provider before you take Lexapro and every time you get a refill.
Lexapro is available in tablet and suspension form and is taken orally with or without food as directed by a qualified doctor.
Usually, your doctor would recommend using this drug once daily in the morning or the evening.
Your doctor would consider your medical condition and other drugs you are on before recommending a dosage. Ensure to follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid complications.
Patients using the oral suspension form of the drug should carefully measure their dosages with a special measuring spoon. Avoid using a household spoon to get the accurate measurement required for your condition.
Lexapro and Drug Interactions
Even though Lexapro is considered a mild and tolerable medication, taking the medication with specific drugs can pose a massive risk to a patient’s general well-being. There are certain drugs you must avoid if you’re taking Lexapro.
For instance, mixing Lexapro and pimozide can cause irregular beating of the heart. Doctors avoid combining both drugs because of this risk. Pimozide is an antipsychotic medication.
Another class of medications to avoid on Lexapro is monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Taking this class of drugs with Lexapro can increase the level of serotonin in the body, leading to serotonin syndrome.
This condition can be fatal if the level of serotonin in the body gets too high. Your doctor advises avoiding MAOIs within 7 days of Lexapro cessation.
In addition, you should also avoid using Lexapro within 14 days of stopping an MAOI. Some MAOIs include;
- selegiline (Emsam)
- phenelzine (Nardil)
- methylene blue (ProvayBlue)
- linezolid (Zyvox)
More on Lexapro interactions
In addition, you should let your doctor know if you’re taking any substance that can cause dizziness or drowsiness, such as marijuana, antihistamines, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and opioid pain medications (codeine).
You should also inform your doctor if you have allergies and any existing health challenges for your safety.
When to see a doctor
Lexapro is a prescription antidepressant. It would help if you spoke to your doctor before using this drug. For the majority of patients, drinking on Lexapro is not advisable as it may lead to unwanted health complications and interactions.
However, sometimes your doctor may recommend a drink from time to time while on antidepressants.
It is vital to constantly check in with your healthcare expert before using or drinking Lexapro.
Lexapro changes the way the brain works. The same applies to alcohol when taken.
The best course of action to avoid the severe repercussions of this combination, such as drowsiness and liver damage, is to stay away from alcohol while on Lexapro completely. This combination may also negatively negatively impact the efficacy of the drug.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is advisable to stay away from alcohol when on Lexapro to avoid the possible side effects that may occur.
Mixing alcohol may also reduce the effects of the medication, making it less effective at treating the symptoms of depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Your doctor would advise that you stay away from alcohol while on Lexapro. Even a minute amount of alcohol can cause a significant level of unpleasant adverse effects.
Do not mix Lexapro with alcohol. It may lead to unwanted complications that may threaten your overall well-being.