Caution About Mixing Prozac And Alcohol

Mixing Prozac and alcohol is likely to cause adverse effects on the health of a patient, but this is not due to specific effects which are unique to their mixture. With many medicines and prescription drugs, alcohol can do more than  just make you feel sick, it can create entirely new effects through the mixture of ethanol and whatever drug a person is taking. In some cases, these reactions to the mixture of alcohol and another drug can even cause fatal symptoms such as tachycardia. In the case of Prozac and alcohol, the ill effects are more nuanced than that.

Alcohol is a depressant. This should not be confused with the depression that a drug like Prozac is meant to treat. Alcohol literally depresses certain body functions and motor response. People under the influence of alcohol typically have slower reflexes than those who are sober. The functions of organs is retarded by the presence of alcohol in the bloodstream.

However, moderate intake of alcohol has few, if any, long-term effects on bodily health. Some studies even suggest that very moderate intake has certain beneficial effects of a person’s longevity. Overuse of alcohol has demonstrably adverse effects on health but that is not at issue here. It is easy to admonish heavy use of alcohol. The concern in the case of Prozac and alcohol is that people may be at risk even when they use both drugs in a socially accepted and responsible fashion.

Warnings regarding Prozac and alcohol are not as severe as they are with many other drugs prescribed by physicians. Some doctors will admit that drinking in moderation while undergoing treatment with Prozac is generally without risk. However, even these doctors caution their patients to understand what alcohol does and how it might have an impact that is more than physiological when combined with Prozac.

Prozac is intended to treat mental depression, among other things. It is not aimed at a bodily function but rather at a state of mind. This, the adverse effects of alcohol when mixed with Prozac have little to do with nausea or heart rate fluctuations as is the case when alcohol is mixed with other prescription drugs. Rather, alcohol can exacerbate the mental symptoms that Prozac tries to treat. This is why doctors will try to get a patient to understand his or her own reaction to alcohol before they mix this substance with Prozac.

Some people enjoy moderate amounts of alcohol and report feelings of happiness and general well-being. Others drink alcohol and become moody or depressed. If a patient taking Prozac for depression already knows that alcohol will aggravate depression, then he or she is negating the positive effects of Prozac and leaving him or herself open to the debilitating effects of depression.