What happens if you drink on antidepressants?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mixed antidepressants and alcohol? Well, look no further! This article will take you through what might happen if you decide to do so. But first, let’s start with some background information.

Antidepressants 101

Antidepressants are psychiatric medications prescribed for depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and other mood-related conditions. They work by affecting the levels of chemicals called neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine which regulate mood swings.

Some of the most common types of antidepressants include:
– Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
– Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
– Tricyclics
– Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

Your doctor will prescribe an appropriate type based on your symptoms and medical history.

Now that we know a little bit about antidepressant medication let’s dive into alcohol use while taking them!

How does Alcohol Affect Your Body?

Alcohol is a depressant drug that affects your central nervous system almost immediately after consumption. It can produce feelings of euphoria or relaxation by slowing down communication between neurons in your brain.

High doses can lead to impairments such as:
Impaired motor function/movement
Memory lapses
Poor decision making

Once consumed it takes our liver around one hour per standard drink or unit of alcohol to process it through enzymes where it eventually leaves our body via sweat or urine. Fun Fact: Standard drinks vary depending on the country; in America 14 grams=1unit = approx one beer/glass of wine/shot!

But how does that relate to antidepressants?

The Effects of Alcohol on Antidepressants

Now we’ve established what both alcohol and antidepressant medication do, let’s break down how they can affect each other when combined. Drinking alcohol while taking an antidepressant is never recommended for a variety of reasons:

Reduced effectivness

Antidepressant medications aim to regulate chemicals in the brain which control our moods. Ingesting alcohol whilst take these medicines can lessen the effectiveness as your liver struggles at clearing out both the drug and toxin simultaneously.

Amplified side effects

Each type of antidepresive has different side-effects upon consumption irrespecticeof drinking or not but consuming an alcoholic beverage alongside them can amplify risks such as:
Loss Of Coordination/Dizziness – this only becomes more hazardous if you drive during that time period.
Mood Swings/Emotional oscillations

That said, some drugs are less effected by moderate consumption than others so always speak with your prescriber about whether any given medicine may be more sensitive to combinations with ethanol (alcohol).

Secondary consideration should also be taken into account; will other prescriptions interact? Do I have heart disease issues with respect to stimulants? Are chances increased if I’m asthmatic/allergic/sick?

What does all this mean in practice? Let’s take a look!

Examples: What Happens When You Drink on Antidepressants?

Predictably, mixing depression medication with alcoholic beverages produces many complications ranging from predictable uncomfortability to emergency hospitalization/detention scenarios!

  1. Nausea & Vomiting: Anti-depressives target signals corresponding balance regulation couped alongside acetate compounds and depending on quantity consumed it could result resolute, sudden vomiting after ingestion.
  2. Increased Anxiety / Agitation : These types of symptoms increase one is medicated since additional stress induces further neural firing, rendering the medication ineffective. It doesn’t produce any long-term consequences for your recovery efforts but could cause additional physical harm such as persistence restlessness and insomnia.
  3. Blackouts and Amnesia: As mentioned earlier alcohol suppresses brain activity making it tough to recollect events that happens during times of intoxication but combining with anti-depressants increases this propensity for blackout-induced memory loss.

These three examples are just some of the more typical effects drinking while on antidepressants can have, hence why stressing moderation is equally important to happy consumption (if one so chooses!).

Can I Drink During Recovery?

The ultimate answer rests in individual assessment; however, most medical professionals will recommend abstaining entirely overall until the substance regime decreases for two primary reasons:

Consistent Dosing

Medications used for depression regulation aim toward stabilization via regulating specific chemicals profiles and creating habituations therein which improve your state over time – consuming ethanol interferes with their workload thus discouraging inclined improvement.

Impulsivity Factors

Antidepressive substances often reduce obsessive-compulsion symptoms – a fear or panic arises suddenly based solely off an irrational premise – essentially lending courage behind naturally slowed reasoning processes. Ethanol influences rationalization so a tendency towards reckless behavior development may result!

Even after sobering up post alcohol-consumption it takes our liver approximately five hours per unit of consumed liquor before target blood-alcohol levels reach zero again.Eventually when we increase drunkeness there exists delineated boundaries between being excessively merry/ forgetfulness/blackouts/surnambulant/tiredness-state akin in which completely removing any more contaminants should be considered until mood-modulation subsides.


In conclusion, combining alcohol (a depressant) alongside an antidepressant drug could induce dubious interacting risks^1 where even basic safety becomes a concern depending on quantity consumed/maintainced states past neuro-mental disorders incurred! A loud warning bell so timing is critical…either wait until you’ve completed the prescribed course or moderate any alcohol consumption if you plan on drinking whilst being medicated.

It’s impossible to anticipate everyone’s medical history before giving broad-scope summarizations – consult with a doctor for what specific risks one rates they expose themselves to when consuming ethanol and medication. Moderation is key! Life progresses happier when we exercise self control!

Finally, at this moment let us acknowledge those difficult times faced in the world today relating depression which contributes significantly to understanding why people turn towards alcohol consumption. Mental health receives more spotlight as important beliefs evolve their foundations even further through introspective reflections.^2 Choosing not drink may be a personal choice – that said keep communication open for proactive support resources availing should professional advice receive seeking!

Thank-you for journeying alongside our explorative quest and drink responsibly.

1: Effects caused via one alcoholic beverage upon prescription drugs differ from person-to-person

2: Emerging dialogue around depression and its contributing factors add new perspectives#