The Dangers of Mixing Silenor with Alcohol
Doxepin should not be taken within 14 days of treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) due to potential health complications. Mixing an MAOI with a tricyclic like Silenor can result in a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome, which can result in psychosis if left untreated.
Side effects of doxepin use can include anticholinergic effects such as dry mouth, difficulty urinating and constipation. Doxepin can also affect the central nervous system, triggering lightheadedness, fatigue, drowsiness, nightmares, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, seizures, agitation and temporary confusion. Other potential side effects include hypotension, nausea, rapid heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms.
Silenor achieves its effects by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Both serotonin and norepinephrine are closely linked to occurrences of anxiety, depression and insomnia. By inhibiting the reuptake of these critical neurotransmitters, their effects become extended symptoms are reduced. Doxepin also inhibits the reuptake of acetylcholine, the primary neurotransmitter involved in problem-solving and critical thinking.
The metabolism of doxepin can vary dramatically depending on the individual. Genetic variations of the enzymes that metabolize doxepin can result in excessively high plasma levels of the drug at certain doses. Other enzymatic variations can yield Silenor ineffective by reducing the bioavailability of the drug.
Mixing Silenor with an MAOI antidepressant can result in a dangerous condition of serotonin overload called serotonin syndrome. The condition is the result of excessively high levels of serotonin in the brain and can lead to irreversible psychosis in severe cases.
Doxepin use can trigger a wide range of side effects, the number and severity of which are largely dependent on dose. Most side effects, such as drowsiness, are the result of doxepin’s depressive effect on the central nervous system. Other symptoms, such as constipation and dry mouth can also occur. Taking Silenor within 14 days of taking an MAOI may put the patient at risk for serotonin syndrome.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a 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 provider.
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