Oct 10th 2023
Antidepressants can help combat symptoms of numerous mental health conditions and greatly improve your mood. If your medication improves your symptoms, that’s great! But remember that in addition to medication, it’s advisable to continue striving to implement healthy habits into your everyday life.
There are numerous risks that are involved with drinking alcohol whilst on antidepressants that will be explained below.
However, since many patients are reluctant to eschew alcohol, some doctors allow them to moderately drink. Caution ought to be exercised when drinking alcohol, and patients should drink slowly and eat food whilst drinking alcohol to decrease the effects of the alcohol. 
This article will outline 6 other risks to be aware of when drinking alcohol while on antidepressants:
Alcohol can amplify the side effects of antidepressants, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and discoordination.  This can cause disruption to your life and present a greater danger to people around you.
Alcohol is a depressant that can worsen your mood.  Thus, drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants may counter their intended effect and deepen feelings of depression or anxiety.
If you drink alcohol, particularly whilst taking TCAs or MAOIs, you may become drowsy or dizzy.  In addition, alcohol may contribute to an increased spike in blood pressure when taking MAOIs and result in a stroke. 
It is best to discuss eating and drinking patterns with your healthcare provider to identify the alcoholic beverage that could cause a reaction.
You are less likely to experience unpleasant side effects related to alcohol if you take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), but avoiding alcohol is still recommended. 
People with depression are more likely to abuse alcohol. Whilst many psychiatric disorders commonly co-occur with alcohol abuse, major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most heavily associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD). 
While an AUD is treatable, managing two conditions at once is more challenging and can result in more frequent and long-term treatment programs.
Both alcohol and certain antidepressant medications can put stress on the liver. When used together, they may increase the risk of liver damage or interfere with the liver’s ability to process toxins effectively.  This can prove fatal.
Mixing alcohol and antidepressants elevates the potential for suicidal behavior and thoughts.  If you have suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately and seek emergency help.
If you are using alcohol, or thinking about doing so, to mitigate symptoms related to a mental health condition, you need further treatment. Always consult your healthcare provider before consuming alcohol while on antidepressant medication.
Drinking may feel good initially, but long-term use can reduce the effectiveness of your antidepressants and worsen your symptoms.
If you have questions about your treatment plan or the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption, don't hesitate to discuss them openly with your doctor. They will tailor their advice based on your medical history, condition, and their expertise.
Our Medical Affairs Team is a dedicated group of medical professionals with diverse and extensive clinical experience who actively contribute to the development of our content, products, and services. They meticulously evaluate and review all medical content before publication to ensure it is medically accurate and aligned with current discussions and research developments in mental health. For more information, visit our Editorial Policy.
MentalHealth.com is a patient-first health technology company driven by its mission to make optimal mental health attainable for everyone. With a focus on expanding care access, empowering patient choice, and enhancing care quality, the company delivers innovative solutions that support individuals throughout their mental health journey.