Dangers and Interactions of Mixing Alcohol and Prozac

Antidepressants are a relatively commonly prescribed type of medicine, and one of these is called Prozac, which is the brand name of fluoxetine. Prozac is prescribed to patients to treat not only depression but also panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bulimia and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Prozac is a part of a class of drugs called SSRIs, and they impact serotonin levels in the brain. Because of how commonly Prozac and other SSRIs are prescribed, people don’t often think about possible side effects and interactions, for example, a potential interaction between alcohol and Prozac.

Below is more information about Prozac in general, and the dangers and interactions of mixing alcohol and Prozac.

Dangers and Interactions of Mixing Alcohol and Prozac
As mentioned, Prozac is used to treat depression and other mood and mental disorders. It can help reduce anxiety and fear as well as unwanted thoughts and may also increase overall mood, feelings, appetite and energy levels. Prozac is classified as an SSRI, which means that it prevents the reabsorption of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and these are among the most commonly prescribed types of antidepressants. Other drugs in this class aside from Prozac include Celexa, Lexapro, and Zoloft. When people take Prozac, they’re advised not to stop using it without speaking to their doctor, even if they don’t notice immediate effects, because it can take four to five weeks to get the full benefits of the medicine. While Prozac does have benefits, it also has possible side effects. Some of the more common side effects of Prozac include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, sleep problems, sweating and yawning. Other more severe side effects of possible as well, such as a condition called QT prolongation, which affects the heart rhythm, but your doctor will speak to you about these risks in relation to your medical history. Prozac has a long history among antidepressants, having been approved more than 30 years ago. So, even though a lot is known about Prozac and its benefits and side effects, what about the dangers and interactions of mixing alcohol and Prozac?
If you combine alcohol and Prozac, there are some things you should know about potential side effects and interactions. With alcohol and Prozac, a small amount of occasional drinking may be okay, but any more than that could have side effects. When you drink even when you’re not taking Prozac, it acts as a depressant on the activity of your brain, which can lead to impaired judgment, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. If you already have depression and you drink, whether or not you’re on Prozac, it can cause your depression to get worse. Unfortunately, all too often people with depression will attempt to self-medicate with alcohol, and it ultimately ends up making the problem worse. With alcohol and Prozac combined, the side effects of each substance may be amplified. For example, you may feel more fatigue, dizziness, and weakness if you combine alcohol and Prozac. If you combine alcohol and Prozac, you may feel more intoxicated from a smaller amount of alcohol than you would normally, and alcohol can prevent Prozac from working in the way it’s intended. If you drink alcohol and take Prozac, because of the depressive effects of alcohol it may seem like the medicine isn’t working, or isn’t working as well as it should. A general rundown of the dangers and interactions of mixing alcohol and Prozac can include:
  • You may feel more depressed than you would ordinarily if you combine alcohol and Prozac
  • You may experience more side effects of both alcohol and Prozac when you take them together
  • You may become drowsy or sedated which could put you at a higher risk of being involved in an accident
  • You may have impaired thinking, alertness and judgment
It’s also important to note that the dangers and interactions of mixing alcohol and Prozac shouldn’t keep you from taking your medicine or missing a dose. It’s much more important to continue taking your Prozac as instructed by your doctor than it is to drink. If you’ve been taking Prozac for a longer period of time, you may be able to speak with your doctor about occasionally drinking alcohol, but this should be a conversation directly with your physician.
Drinking an occasional, moderate amount of alcohol may be okay if you’re on Prozac, but you should speak with your doctor first. There are also possible dangers and interactions of mixing alcohol and Prozac including worsening symptoms of depression, a decline in the effectiveness of the medicine and symptoms like drowsiness and sedation. Also important to note about alcohol and Prozac is the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially recommends avoiding alcohol while on this medicine.  
Dangers and Interactions of Mixing Alcohol and Prozac
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