Zoloft is an anti-depressant that lessons the symptoms of severe depression and many anxiety disorders.
The medication is used to treat a variety of different mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. The medication is highly effective in most cases and can help people to improve or balance their moods and lessen anxiety and compulsions.
Alcohol can interfere with many psychiatric medications and professionals usually advise patients to abstain from alcohol while taking such prescription medications. The maker of Zoloft advises people against drinking alcohol while taking the medication. Some professionals advise their patients to abstain from alcohol or limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Why People Should Not Drink Alcohol While Taking Zoloft
Zoloft and alcohol have a similar effect on the brain and when the two substances are combined it can intensify someone’s emotions. This can be particularly dangerous for someone who is feeling depressed.
Since the medication can increase the effects of alcohol, it is not wise for people to consume alcoholic beverages while taking Zoloft. People who combine Zoloft with alcohol may experience a greater loss of motor control and become drowsier when drinking. They also have a greater chance of making poor decisions.
Someone who drinks alcohol while on the medication should not drive a vehicle or operate machinery.
A person who is taking the prescription medication may act as if they are very drunk after having just one or two alcoholic drinks, especially if they take the medication while they are drinking. Those who take the medication and drink alcohol without eating will likely notice that the combination of Zoloft and alcohol has an even greater effect. People who decide to drink while taking Zoloft should not have more than one alcoholic beverage. Those who drink a great amount of alcohol while on the medication may develop a headache or experience lowered heart rate or blood pressure.
Zoloft and Alcohol Cravings
Many people who take Zoloft have reported having alcohol cravings. Some people find that they are more likely to engage in binge drinking while taking the medication. This could be because Zoloft reduces inhibitions or because the drug lowers blood sugar levels. One scientific study showed that people who experience an increase in serotonin are more likely to crave alcohol.
College students or social drinkers may not see the harm in having occasional alcoholic drinks, but they may not realize the effect that it is having on their behavior. People who find it difficult to abstain from alcohol should talk to their psychiatrist or doctor about their urge to drink alcohol. A professional doctor can determine whether the medication is causing alcohol cravings or if there are other underlying issues causing the craving for alcohol.