Can You Drink on Lexapro®?

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include IBM Watson Micromedex (updated 1 Oct 2023), Cerner Multum™ (updated 24 Oct 2023), ASHP (updated 11 Oct 2023) and others. Some side effects of escitalopram may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

A Hole in the Head, by Zachary Siegel – Harper’s Magazine

A Hole in the Head, by Zachary Siegel.

Posted: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 11:41:20 GMT [source]

Lexapro belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin is a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter that affects mood. SSRIs help to restore the natural balance of serotonin in the brain. Lexapro is the brand name of a drug called escitalopram, which doctors prescribe to treat depression and anxiety. Medical practitioners consider Lexapro to be safe and effective for these conditions. It’s important to think about the long-term and the reason you are on Lexapro in the first place.

What Is Lexapro (Escitalopram)?

In the longer-term, alcohol can cause depression and anxiety and increase the risk of self-harm and suicide. If you’re concerned about your alcohol use, you may benefit from substance abuse counseling and treatment programs that can help you overcome your misuse of alcohol. Joining a support group or a 12-step program such Abstinence violation effect Definition of Abstinence violation effect as Alcoholics Anonymous may help. Mixing Lexapro with alcohol could make symptoms of your condition worse. Find out why combining the drug with alcohol is not a good idea. I began to research on the internet to find an answer and I found other people reporting cravings for alcohol on SSRI medication on many websites.

Mixing these two substances can put you at an elevated risk for alcoholism. Many people who are taking Lexapro are experiencing depression. Depression can lead individuals to consume drugs or alcohol in an attempt to deal with the symptoms and negative feelings of this mental health disorder. SSRIs are a very commonly prescribed medication for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Before a physician prescribes a new medication, he or she will first evaluate the patient’s medical history and go over any potential side effects that the new drug may cause. If you are currently taking Lexapro, it’s important to avoid drinking alcohol while on this medication.


Lexapro primarily focuses on depressive disorders, while Xanax is used for treatment against panic attacks. Additionally, if physical dependence is severe enough, individuals may even experience delirium tremens, commonly referred to as DTs. Delirium tremens can begin as soon as two to three days after the last drink and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of this condition include shaking, confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. These side effects, if they occur at all, tend to subside after the first few weeks of taking the drug.

  • And finally I want to tell doctors that your patients can often see that the information you are getting is wrong — we don’t blame you for this, we just want you to listen to us.
  • If you have more questions about this, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • I spent time in prison, was suspended and eventually sacked from the job I loved.
  • Serotonin is thought to play a key role in regulating your feelings of happiness, anxiety and even certain aspects of your sleep cycle.

You should seek help immediately if you notice signs of these side effects occurring and follow up with your healthcare provider. Lexapro and other antidepressants may also worsen depression and increase suicidal thoughts, especially in children and young adults. If you start having more suicidal thoughts after starting Lexapro, you should talk to your healthcare provider immediately.

Effects of Alcohol with Mental Health Disorders

Lexapro and other SSRIs block serotonin from being reabsorbed by the brain after it’s been used. Lexapro is the brand name of a generic medication called escitalopram. The problem is, PET scans and radioactive labels cost researchers thousands of dollars per participant. (About $4,500 per scan in this study, according to Knudsen.) Yet the benefits might pay off if they improve treatment. Alcohol cravings can be difficult to manage alone, and there’s no shame in needing a little extra support. In other words, what works for a friend won’t always work for you.

  • Any time you drink while taking Lexapro, you are taking a risk.
  • They’ll watch most closely for these changes whenever they adjust your dosage and in your first few months of treatment.
  • For example, you may lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Escitalopram, the active ingredient in Lexapro, works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps to regulate your moods and anxiety levels.
  • To avoid dangerous side effects such as drowsiness and liver problems, it’s best not to use alcohol while you take Lexapro.

More serious side effects that are less common include lowered sex drive or diminished interest in sex, muscle stiffness, irregular heartbeat, fainting, fever, and panic attacks. While highly uncommon, if these symptoms arise, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. As a result of increased drinking in an attempt to deal with depression, other risks inevitably arise.

When you drink alcohol—a depressant that affects your body’s central nervous system—brain activity slows and affects coordination, mood, behavior, and inhibition (self-control). In addition, as an antidepressant, Lexapro also affects the central nervous system, balancing serotonin levels in the brain. Mixing Lexapro and alcohol may both increase certain side effects.