Alcohol and Lexapro: Interactions and Side Effects

Antidepressants are relatively common prescription medicines. Many people interpret “common” as translates to “safe” in the minds of people, but this isn’t always true.

Antidepressants aren’t always safe for every person. They’re not always free from side effects and they have the potential to negatively interact with other medicines, supplements and substances.

So what about the alcohol and Lexapro interactions and side effects? Can you drink alcohol and take Lexapro?

Alcohol and Lexapro Interactions and Side Effects
Lexapro is the brand name of the generic escitalopram, which is used for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Lexapro and other similar drugs work by restoring the level of serotonin in the brain, as it’s part of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). It can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and boost energy levels and mood in some people.

Some of the side effects possible with Lexapro include dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, nausea and sleep disturbances.

When people are prescribed Lexapro, they’re likely warned about the risk of serotonin syndrome, a condition where there is excessive brain activity due to the increase in serotonin levels. With serotonin syndrome, taking another serotonin-increasing substance with Lexapro can potentially lead to serious side effects, and can even be life-threatening Side effects of serotonin syndrome include hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, coordination problems, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and twitching. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience more serious side effects such as seizures and unconsciousness.

People frequently wonder if there are any possible alcohol and Lexapro interactions and side effects, and in many  cases, there can be.  There is a substantial amount of evidence supporting the harmful effects of taking antidepressants with alcohol.


There are side effects of alcohol on its own, even in moderation. These can include impaired coordination, judgment and short-term memory, slurred speech, confusion, and a general tendency to be slower than you would ordinarily. When you combine alcohol and Lexapro, these symptoms are likely to be amplified even more, and you may potentially put yourself in a dangerous situation as a result.

Other considerations regarding alcohol and Lexapro interactions and side effects include:

  • When you combine alcohol and Lexapro you might experience new or worsening symptoms of the initial issue being treated such as depression or anxiety. Alcohol tends to increase symptoms of depression and anxiety in most people, which may make your  medicine less effective.
  • Many of the potential alcohol and Lexapro interactions are related to the fact that you may feel particularly drowsy or sedation when you take these two substances together. Lexapro on its own has the potential to make people feel excessively drowsy, as does alcohol. In addition, you may have problems with coordination, motor skills, judgment and reaction time if you combine alcohol and Lexapro.
  • If you take another medicine as well, the interactions and side effects of alcohol and Lexapro may be even more severe or obvious.

There may be additional negative interactions and side effects of alcohol and Lexapro if you suffer from anxiety or depression. Alcohol can make symptoms of both worse.

Because alcohol can make depression or anxiety worse, people tend to think that combining alcohol and Lexapro makes the medicine ineffective. That’s not necessarily the case, but it can make your symptoms worse, which can make it seem as though the medicine has a reduced level of effectiveness.

People who struggle with depression or anxiety are at a higher risk of developing an alcohol or substance dependence problem. Trouble sleeping is one of the major symptoms of both conditions, meaning some may use alcohol to self-medicate.

Since Lexapro is considered a long-term treatment, you should speak to your doctor about alcohol use.. Many doctors advise limiting Lexapro use in conjunction with alcohol consumption. .

You should never stop taking Lexapro suddenly in order to drink because of the side effects that can occur from suddenly stopping a long-term medication.

You probably shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking Lexapro because it can worsen the side effects of alcohol and potentially worsen symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you do want to drink you should always speak to your doctor first about the possible interactions and side effects.


Alcohol and Lexapro
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