The Combined Effects of Lexapro and Alcohol

Lexapro is an antidepressant commonly prescribed by doctors in cases of depression and anxiety. Like most other antidepressants, it is generally advised by healthcare professionals that you avoid or limit alcohol use when using this medicine. The reason for this is that both Lexapro and alcohol act upon the central nervous system, and can be dangerous in combination. This makes education on the interaction between these two chemicals important for anyone who is taking Lexapro and alcohol.

Generally, doctors recommend that if you do wish to consume alcohol while on Lexapro, you should limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of one beverage per day for women, and two for men. Although there is some leniency with Lexapro and alcohol, the two substances should definitely not be taken together at the same time. Doing so will only worsen any unwanted effects caused by the interaction.

Although there have been no conclusive results demonstrating that those taking Lexapro and alcohol experience increased impairment, it is important to be aware that the effects of interaction between the two substances can vary from person to person. Alcohol, on the other hand, has been conclusively shown to exacerbate depression, so for those taking an antidepressant such as Lexapro for depression, this could negate the beneficial effects of the medicine.

Drinking above the advised limit while on an antidepressant can cause many unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shaking and convulsions.  In extreme cases, this may even lead impaired memory, disorientation, and at worst, coma and death. Therefore, always be mindful of your dosage for both substances. Because both of these chemicals act on your central nervous system, taking either over the recommended limit can potentially result in serious harm or death.

It is also strongly advisable that you monitor your mood prior to consuming alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, you may find yourself worse off than before if you begin to drink when experiencing a depressed state. On the other hand, if you feel that your mood is light enough to accommodate a drink, then you will be less likely to experience any worsening of depression. Alcohol cannot be relied upon to put you in a better mood if you are feeling down, because in fact alcohol negatively interferes with production of serotonin, the chemical in your brain that helps regulate your mood.

Unlike a great number of many other antidepressant medications on the market, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol while on Lexapro can be a safe option, provided that you are sufficiently educated on the interactions of the two substances. You should never drink more than the amount suggested by healthcare professionals, because this may have unwanted effects upon your mood and your health. Because drinking can inhibit the effectiveness of Lexapro, it is important that you only ever drink lightly, and that you take steps to monitor your mental and emotional state before drinking alcohol while on this medicine.