News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Blogs  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter   



Doctors Lounge - Psychiatry Answers

"The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician."

Back to Psychiatry Answers List

Forum Name: Antidepressants

Question: Can I Drink Alcohol on My Medication?

 cararyan - Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:18 pm

I'm a 28 year old woman and I have been taking medication for OCD since I was 11 years old. I've taken all kinds of medications, from Tricyclic to SSRI's to SNRI's. I do drink alcohol pretty much every weekend. Are some medications worse to drink with than others? Specifically, I am about to start taking Cymbalta and want to know the dangers of drinking on it. I have already tried Effexor and was on it for over a year. What are the dangers of drinking on Effexor? Thank you so much!
 Dr. E. Seigle - Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:43 pm

Dear Cararyann,

In general, drinking alcohol while you are taking medications that are designed to affect the brain is discouraged. Brain depressants are clearly dangerous when used together with alcohol, and these include the family of drugs known as benzodiazepines (such as Ativan, lorazepa, or Klonopin/clonazepam), antihistamines, atypical neuroleptics and others. The SSRIs and SNRIs are not generally dangerous from a medical standpoint (like Ativan and alcohol causing the possibility of slow or stopped breathing), but mixing them can interfere with obtaining the therapeutic benefits from your medication. Cymbalta and Effexor are generally not dangerous with modest alcohol use (the equivalent of 1-2 beers over 2 hours), but one can't be sure. SSRIs and SNRI's that are sedating, such as Paxil, Luvox, or Remeron, may be more risky, and should be avoided.

To be sure, avoid alcohol use, or keep it to under a beer per night, taken a few hours before the medication is taken.

Good luck -Eliot Seigle MD


Check a doctor's response to similar questions


advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application


 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)



Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us

Copyright © 2001-2016
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME Articles

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.