Article at a Glance:

There are several important points to remember about alcohol use and Latuda, including:

  • It is common for people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to struggle with alcohol use
  • Alcohol use can make it harder to control the symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
  • Drugs like Latuda can help schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, however, they also have interactions with alcohol
  • The side effects of Latuda and alcohol can amplify each other, which can be dangerous
  • It is best to avoid alcohol if when taking Latuda

Latuda and Alcohol

Latuda is the brand name of the generic lurasidone. It is a prescription drug that is classified as an antipsychotic. Latuda is mainly used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Medical professionals know there are links between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and alcohol use. Some people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder self-medicate their symptoms with alcohol. A significant issue, however, is that a struggle with alcohol can make schizophrenia and bipolar disorder much harder to treat.

Adding to the problem is that there are drugs like Latuda that can help treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, drugs like Latuda have their own side effects and even interactions with alcohol. The combination of Latuda and alcohol can be dangerous, especially for someone who struggles with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another mental health condition.

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Considerations

If you or a loved one has schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another mental health condition, it is very important to be careful when using alcohol, because:

  • Alcohol is the most common substance that is misused by people who have schizophrenia. It is common for people with schizophrenia to struggle with alcohol use. A large study showed that more than 33 percent of people with schizophrenia have struggled with alcohol during their lifetimes.
  • Doctors believe that up to 45 percent of people with bipolar disorder have struggled with alcohol use. Doctors have found that sometimes people who have already been diagnosed with this condition later struggle with alcohol use. However, the opposite also can happen: someone struggling with alcohol use can develop bipolar disorder. Other times, bipolar disorder symptoms can start at the same time that someone starts to struggle with alcohol.

Regardless of the order in which the problems with bipolar disorder and alcohol start, doctors know that there is an important link between the two.

Learn more about these mental health conditions and substance abuse with these pages:

Alcohol and Latuda Side Effects

Alcohol and Latuda have many side effects in common because they are both central nervous system depressants. These side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Risk of falls

One side effect that is unique to drugs like Latuda is drug-induced movement problems. It is sometimes hard for people who are taking drugs like Latuda to control their body movements. Some studies have shown that these movement problems may be worsened by alcohol use or alcohol withdrawal.

The combination of these side effects from Latuda and alcohol can be dangerous, especially if the person drives a car. Because alcohol slows a person’s reaction time and the central nervous system is already being depressed, this can put the person at high risk of having an accident. This is even truer if the person is also having a drug-induced movement problem from Latuda. It is therefore very important for anyone on Latuda to not drive if they are going to drink alcohol.

Alcohol and Latuda Interactions

There are a few possible problems with using alcohol and Latuda together.

  • Alcohol and Latuda can interact because they are both central nervous system depressants: This means that they both have a calming effect on the brain. The problem is, when they are used together, they may have additive effects. Their side effects can increase when taken together.
  • Heavy alcohol use can interfere with a Latuda medication routine: An additional problem is that someone who struggles with alcohol use may be less likely to take their Latuda as prescribed. A person may miss doses, which can also lead to very serious problems.

Many Alcohol and Latuda Interactions Are Unknown

Many interactions between alcohol and Latuda are still unknown or unstudied. Doctors still do not fully understand the combination of alcohol and Latuda, especially in schizophrenia. The problem is that the extent of the interaction between alcohol and Latuda is not well studied.

When Latuda was first created, people who struggled with alcohol use were excluded from many of the studies, especially in patients with schizophrenia. These studies were designed to show how safe the drug was and how well it worked. Therefore, because alcohol use was not studied, it is not certain how safe it is to drink alcohol while on Latuda, especially if someone has schizophrenia.

If you or a loved one struggle with alcohol addiction, or alcoholism and a co-occurring mental health condition, The Recovery Village can help. The Recovery Village offers many different addiction treatment options to help you lead a healthier life. Reach out to us today for more information.

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Editor – Camille Renzoni
Cami Renzoni is a creative writer and editor for The Recovery Village. As an advocate for behavioral health, Cami is certified in mental health first aid and encourages people who face substance use disorders to ask for the help they deserve. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

Alcohol Research and Health. “Co-Occurring Alcohol Use Disorder and Schizophrenia.” Published in 2002. Accessed March 31, 2019.

Current Psychiatry Reports. “Bipolar Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder: A review.” Published December 2012. Accessed March 31, 2019.

ClinicalTrials.Gov. “Lurasidone HCL – A 6-week Phase 3 […] Acute Schizophrenia.” Updated March 2016. Accessed March 31, 2019.

ClinicalTrials.Gov. “Lurasidone HCl – A Long Term Safe[…]Stable Schizophrenia.” Updated June 2015. Accessed March 31, 2019.

Movement Disorders. “Extrapyramidal symptoms in substance[…]s with schizophrenia.” Published October 2010. Accessed March 31, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.