Article at a Glance:

  • Both alcohol and Zoloft affect neurotransmitters in the brain and can cause a blackout when used together.
  • Using both substances simultaneously can result in extreme anxiety, dizziness, nausea, digestive problems, impaired coordination and suicidal thoughts.
  • The interaction between alcohol and Zoloft can be extreme and unpredictable.
  • It is recommended that people taking Zoloft should avoid alcohol altogether.

Side Effects, Interactions & Risks

The interactions and side effects associated with prescription drugs are often not communicated unless you ask your doctor. If you drink regularly, take other medications or have a unique medical history, you should talk with your doctor about these factors when being prescribed any medicine.

Because Zoloft is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines, it can seem needless to delve into its intricacies, interactions and possible side effects with your medical provider. However, despite its frequency in being prescribed, Zoloft (sertraline) is not always safe to use.

If you’ve been prescribed Zoloft and are experiencing side effects, blackouts or possible drug interactions, the following information is extremely useful to you.

Mixing Alcohol And Zoloft (Sertraline)

Because Zoloft is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the world, mixing alcohol with it has been somewhat normalized. Is it actually okay to drink while taking sertraline? Let’s investigate.

The FDA warns against mixing alcohol and Zoloft because they both can affect your brain. Both substances affect the neurotransmitters in your brain and, if an unwanted interaction occurs, you may experience a blackout. Additionally, the likelihood of experiencing side effects from Zoloft when drinking alcohol increases.

People who use Zoloft and alcohol simultaneously may experience suicidal thoughts, nausea, dizziness, extreme anxiety, headaches, digestive problems and impaired coordination. The effects of drinking alcohol (impaired judgment, loss of motor skills, slowed or slurred speech) can become more apparent when using sertraline.

Because the interaction between Zoloft and alcohol can be extreme, unpredictable and dangerous, it is recommended that Zoloft patients restrict alcohol use completely.

What Is Zoloft (Sertraline)?

Sertraline is the generic name for the substance packaged and branded as “Zoloft.” Zoloft is one of the most prevalent antidepressant prescription medications available today.
Sertraline is commonly prescribed to minimize symptoms of depression, panic attacks, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and anxiety.

For individuals experiencing one or more of the above disorders, Zoloft can help to improve mood, increase appetite, restore your outlook, and decrease fear or anxiety. Zoloft can also be effective in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder by reducing the urge to perform rituals and repeated tasks.

Sertraline falls into the SSRI category of antidepressants, which means it is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It works by balancing the serotonin in your brain. Serotonin helps regulate mood, social behavior, appetite, sleep and digestion. For people dealing with depression or another mood disorder, balancing serotonin can be the best solution.

At this time, Zoloft is only available through prescription by a certified medical provider. It is a small tablet that is taken once daily, typically before or after a meal. While taking sertraline, you may notice some improvement in mood or physical symptoms in just one to two weeks. However, it can take up to two months to see the full effects of your prescribed dose.

It’s important to be honest with your medical provider after taking Zoloft about side effects or changes you’ve noticed. Your medical provider may need to increase or decrease your dosage based on your experience.

Side Effects Of Zoloft (Sertraline)

The most common side effects of prescribed sertraline are the following: nausea, drowsiness, dizziness and loss of appetite. Other less common side effects include headaches, increased sweating, trouble sleeping, upset stomach and diarrhea. If at any time your side effects change or worsen, consult your medical provider immediately.

As with all prescriptions, Zoloft should benefit you more than it causes you distress. If your experience with sertraline is primarily negative, talk to your doctor about finding a different medication or dosage that might be better suited for you.

If you experience a change in sex drive or performance, blood in your stool, unexplained weight loss, vomit or eye/vision problems, go to your doctor right away. These could be serious side effects of Zoloft that require medical intervention.

Summing Up Side Effects, Interactions And Blackouts Of Mixing Alcohol And Zoloft (Sertraline)

If you have been prescribed Zoloft to treat depressive symptoms, it is important not to compromise the effectiveness of the prescription with other substances. Zoloft regulates serotonin in the brain, and alcohol affects brain function. Alcohol, which often makes depression and anxiety worse, can be detrimental in allowing the sertraline in your system to work safely and effectively.

Some Zoloft patients who drink alcohol can experience blackouts or periods with complete memory lapses, which can put you and the people around you at tremendous risk.

If you are taking prescribed sertraline, be sure to talk to a medical provider about possible interactions and side effects. Drinking alcohol is not recommended with any antidepressant medication.

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.