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Prozac and Alcohol

Prozac and Alcohol, Dangers, Interactions, Side Effects, & Treatment Options

What is Prozac?

Prozac is a brand name for fluoxetine. It is a prescription drug used for:

Prozac is also used to relieve symptoms of conditions such as pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder, including irritability, mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness.

Fluoxetine (Prozac) comes as a capsule, a tablet, a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine) capsule, and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. Prozac may be taken with or without food. Prozac capsules, tablets, and liquid are usually taken once a day in the morning or twice a day in the morning and at noon. Fluoxetine delayed-release capsules are usually taken once a week.

How Does Prozac Work?

Prozac is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. Experts believe fluoxetine’s effects are due to its ability to block the serotonin reuptake by nerves, leading to an increase in serotonin concentrations in the nerve synapse (space between two nerves). 

Prozac is also used along with olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat depression that did not respond to other medications and episodes of depression in people with bipolar I disorder (“manic-depressive disorder; a disease that causes episodes of depression, episodes of mania, and other abnormal moods.”) 

As an SSRI, Prozac is not generally defined as “addictive,” although a person taking it can become psychologically dependent. Moreover, antidepressant withdrawal symptoms, which are many linked to addiction, may occur when a person stops taking the medication. Depression and substance abuse comorbidity is common. For severe cases, seeking professional treatment rehab for depression and drug use disorder is crucial.

Get the help you deserve to recover from symptoms of dry drunk and alcoholism. Some individuals assume that people showing signs of this syndrome are about to relapse and drink again, but this isn’t always the case.

Can you get addicted to Prozac?

Prozac and alcohol reviews often say Prozac is not considered addictive like other drugs, such as opioids. However, stopping Prozac can cause several withdrawal symptoms. Mixing it with alcohol can also lead to psychological dependency.

Can you drink alcohol with Prozac?

It is NOT safe at all. Mixing alcohol with Prozac can result in heightened feelings of depression and anxiety. It can also lead to fluoxetine and alcohol death.

Can you drink while taking Prozac?

No. Prozac drinking alcohol can be harmful. When you mix “Prozac alcohol,” an increased sedative effect will occur.

Can drinking on Prozac kill you?

No. drinking with Prozac is dangerous to one’s health. Antidepressants mixed with alcohol may increase the risk of suicide as both drugs amplify each other’s side effects.

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Side Effects of Prozac

One distressing side effect of drinking Prozac is it alters the normal sleep cycle, consisting of several stages. Normal sleep includes a necessary stage called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. During this phase, eye muscles move while other muscles do not; because neurons turn on in the brain to prevent sleepwalking and the acting out of dreams. Prozac and other antidepressants suppress the REM sleep, which has serious consequences.

The longer an individual uses Prozac, the greater the likelihood that a dependency on the drug will develop psychologically and physically. Dependence on medication to treat depression may decrease motivation efforts to make positive life changes. Research has shown that Americans treated with antidepressants like Prozac have remained on the medication for more than a year, perhaps demonstrating poor outcomes for treatment with medication alone. [2]

The long-term use of Prozac has been associated with adverse changes to the brain. Some research has shown that using SSRIs, such as Prozac, has been associated with movement disorders like the condition called “Parkinson’s disease.” The chronic use of antidepressants like Prozac could lead to a blunted emotional response, changes in mood, and increased experience of agitation, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and nervousness, with the highest rates among people taking the highest doses.

Side effects from Prozac (fluoxetine) are relatively common, especially when first starting to take the medication or when increasing your dose. The possibility of side effects occurring varies by individual and by the dose you are taking. The side effects are generally mild and self-limiting, however. In most cases, side effects tend to subside in a few weeks. Prozac and alcohol hangover can also be an issue to some, as both drugs amplify each other’s effects.

Common Prozac side effects may include:

  • Sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams
  • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vision changes
  • Tremors or shaking, feeling anxious or nervous
  • Pain, weakness, yawning, tired feeling
  • Upset stomach, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Dry mouth, sweating, hot flashes
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Stuffy nose, sinus pain, sore throat, flu symptoms
  • Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm

Prozac and Alcohol Interaction

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that disturbs the brain’s chemistry and slows bodily functions. Separately, Prozac also changes brain chemistry and body functions. Can you drink alcohol on Prozac? No. Alcohol use while taking Prozac can amplify both (alcohol fluoxetine) drugs’ side effects. Mixing alcohol and fluoxetine can result in heightened feelings of depression and anxiety. These are the same symptoms that Prozac treats. Combining fluoxetine and alcohol can sometimes lead to Prozac and alcohol blackouts, suicidal feelings and tendencies.

Can You Drink Alcohol While on Prozac?

It is not advised to consume alcohol while taking Prozac or other SSRIs. Prozac is a safe drug when taken as prescribed by your doctor. However, drinking while taking it is still risky. Prozac functions like a sedative calming you down and making you feel weary or exhausted.

One of the negative effects of alcohol and Prozac interaction is that alcohol and antidepressants, such as Prozac, can make you drowsy; when taken together, those effects can increase. Discover more about the dangers and effects of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol.

What Happens If You Drink on Prozac?

The ingredients in Prozac are designed to help calm your mood. One of the side effects of the drug is tiredness. Prozac can interfere with coordinated movement, and alertness like alcohol does. Combining “alcohol Prozac” can quickly lead to increased sedation. Having even one drink while you take Prozac can cause extreme drowsiness. This effect can lead to potentially dangerous situations. These include poor decision-making, impaired driving, and an increased risk of injuries.

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Dangers of Mixing Prozac and Alcohol

Can you drink on Prozac? No. Mixing alcohol with fluoxetine can have some serious repercussions. While drinking alcohol during pregnancy is always risky, using the antidepressant Prozac to relieve symptoms of depression does not have any known risk to the unborn child. It gets transferred through breast milk in most cases. The situation is reversed when alcohol is added to the equation.  This ultimately results in several conditions, from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, poor brain function, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to abnormalities. Mothers who develop tolerance to alcohol can accidentally combine Prozac with alcohol, harming the unborn child.

Prozac and Alcohol
It’s important to note that the effects of drinking on fluoxetine can happen even if you don’t drink at the same time you take the drug. 

Some fluoxetine interactions with alcohol dangers are listed below to help you better understand the gravity of this deadly combination:

Insomnia

Persistent lack of sleep negatively affects your body, so you cannot think or function. Although taking Prozac for depression with alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly, you tend to wake up more in the middle of the night, which ultimately results in insomnia. 

Risk of Overdose  

Overdose is always possible when someone abuses the drug independently or mixes it with other substances. Similarly, individuals who fail to understand the gravity of mixing Prozac and alcohol eventually end up overdosing, leading to a life-threatening situation. Contrary to popular belief, the risk of overdose is still at large even if you combine Fluoxetine with even a small amount of alcohol.

Suicidal Thoughts

The extent of mixing Prozac and alcohol reaches the point of suicide when people feel there is no solution to their problem. As mentioned earlier, alcohol does provide some short-term relief. However, in the long run, these feelings gradually shift back to loneliness and, in severe cases, suicide.

Impaired Alertness

One of the biggest misconceptions a drug abuser has is that mixing Alcohol and Prozac will make them capable of performing any task. They don’t understand that although this combination does elevate your energy, it impairs the alertness that renders you incapable of performing even simple tasks.

Unconsciousness

While the exact mechanism between Prozac and alcohol is yet to be discovered, doctors often warn people taking Prozac against consuming this medication with alcohol. Unfortunately, it is easy for people to ignore the warning signs due to the immediate relief they get. Unconsciousness is one of the alarming signs on the Prozac and alcohol dangers list. Since both functions are to change the chemical activity in the brain, that results in improved mood. Unconsciousness is the result of excessive intake of Prozac and alcohol.

Prozac and Alcohol Side Effects

Alcohol should never be combined with an antidepressant medication like Prozac, as both substances may amplify the effects of the other, increasing the risk for a drug overdose, alcohol poisoning, and other potentially dangerous side effects. Drinking alcohol while taking Prozac can also interfere with treating depression and anxiety.

Can you drink alcohol while taking Prozac? No. Mixing fluoxetine with alcohol may cause fatigue and weakness, which may interfere with your ability to finish simple tasks. You may find yourself needing to take a break to rest. Alcohol can also keep Prozac from working as well as it should. Taking antidepressants like Prozac doesn’t mean you’re immune to the depressive effects of alcohol.  Instead, alcohol may keep your medication from working to its full effect. This means you won’t get the full benefits of Prozac. This can make the symptoms of your condition even worse.

Drinking while taking Prozac can also lead to other side effects. These can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sudden fatigue and weakness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
Prozac and Alcohol
Drinking while on Prozac can cause tiredness and interfere with alertness and coordinated motion. 

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Prozac and Alcohol Liver Damage

Two thousand cases of liver failure occur each year in the United States, and half of them are due to medications. Also, the harmful effects of drinking on the liver are well-known. The liver is an organ that cleanses toxins from the blood. Extreme alcohol abuse over long periods can damage the liver and even cause fibrosis or alcoholic cirrhosis. A healthy liver is required for anyone taking Prozac since it is metabolized in the liver. The benefits will be lost if the liver cannot efficiently metabolize Prozac. Even if the liver is not damaged or diseased, introducing alcohol will reduce the dose of Prozac and thereby reduce its effectiveness and benefits.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [2], liver test abnormalities have been reported to occur rarely in patients on fluoxetine (Prozac). Rare acute, clinically apparent episodes of liver injury with marked liver enzyme elevations with or without jaundice have been reported in patients on fluoxetine.

Can Prozac and Alcohol Kill You?

Alcohol drinking and Prozac could be fatal. Doing so can also make your depression symptoms worse. Elderly people are at even greater risk when drinking with fluoxetine. Part of this added risk comes from their recurring need to take more than one drug at a time. More medications mean possible danger or side effects. Also, as you age, alcohol takes longer to be absorbed into the body. It stays in the bloodstream longer. As a result, it raises the potential for toxic chemical interaction. Alcohol and drug overdose can lead to coma and even death.

Alcohol and Depression

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depressive disorders are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders and co-occur more often than expected by chance. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) [3], the symptoms of alcohol and depression in about 80 percent of patients and 30 to 40 percent of alcohol-dependent men and women struggle with an independent major depressive episode during their lifetime. Many individuals who struggle with depression, especially people who have not been properly diagnosed, usually turn to alcohol to escape. Hopeless and desperate to feel better or anesthetize the pain, even for a short time.

Individuals who suffer from depression often use the numbing and pleasurable effects of alcohol for that purpose. Alcohol abuse is prevalent among people who suffer from depression. Drinking alcohol may increase depression, anxiety, and other mental health condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [4]

Several potential developmental pathways have been proposed to explain the high rate of co-occurring alcohol use disorder and depressive disorders, including:

  1. Depressive disorders increase the risk for alcohol use disorder
  2. Alcohol use disorder increases the risk of depressive disorders
  3. Both conditions share pathophysiology or have common risk factors. Although evidence supports all three of these pathways, much research is still needed to understand the development of co-occurrence.

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Treatment for Prozac and Alcohol Addiction

There is a strong link between mental health and substance abuse. Individuals who struggle with mood disorders like depression and anxiety are more susceptible to developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol, often to self-medicate symptoms of their underlying mental health condition. These co-occurring disorders can make each other worse without proper treatment.

To determine the most effective ways to treat Prozac and alcohol addiction, it’s crucial to get an accurate assessment of all the symptoms. When a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of depression is present and needs a particular treatment. Very often, some combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes are effective for coping with functional.

Medically-Assisted Detox

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of Prozac and alcohol treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Can you go to rehab for depression? Yes. Constant medical care for depression and alcoholism during residential rehab helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.

Psychotherapy for Depression

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with alcohol addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – An effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression. Cognitive behavior therapy has been evaluated as particularly effective for treating alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorders of depression and anxiety.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – A comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – A strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Solution-Focused Therapy – An approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Alcoholism and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for alcohol use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today if you or a loved one are struggling with long-term substance abuse and a co-occurring mental health condition such as depression. We Level Up can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

Seek help immediately if you or someone you know suffers from depression and suicidal ideations. Severe depression treatment saves lives and will address the cause of Prozac and alcohol abuse for long-term recovery. Connect with one of our treatment specialists now and reclaim your life! Each call is private and confidential.

Prozac and Alcohol
The feeling obtained after drinking alcohol on Prozac is one a user can get addicted to. Managing addiction to individual substances takes a lot, and managing addiction to both substances takes a lot more, as polysubstance abuse is harder to overcome.

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FAQs

Is fluoxetine addictive?

Prozac is not considered addictive as an SSRI, but you can develop a psychological dependence on it.

Can you drink on Prozac?

You can drink alcohol while taking fluoxetine, but it may make you feel sleepy. It might be best to stop drinking alcohol for the first few days of treatment until you see how the medicine affects you.

Can Prozac and alcohol kill you?

Yes, mixing Prozac and alcohol can lead to overdose and potentially death.

Can drinking on Prozac kill you?

Yes. Taking antidepressants like Prozac doesn’t mean you’re immune to the depressive effects of alcohol. When Prozac and alcohol are taken together, they can have dangerous effects.

Can you drink alcohol on Prozac?

No. When you consume alcohol, you will diminish the positive effects of fluoxetine. Alcohol stops fluoxetine from working properly. 

Can I drink on Prozac?

No. Remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this medication.

Can you drink while on Prozac?

Drinking alcohol is not recommended while taking Prozac (fluoxetine) because this can make drowsiness and coordination worse. 

Can you drink alcohol while taking Prozac?

No.  If you regularly drink alcohol, let your provider know so they can consider alternative medications for you.

Can you drink while taking Prozac?

No. Alcoholism increases the likelihood of developing co-occurring conditions such as a substance use disorder.

Can you drink with Prozac?

No. Mixing alcohol and other drugs, such as Prozac, can lead to serious physical, behavioral and health complications. 

Can you drink alcohol with Prozac?

No. Not only can drinking Prozac increase the effects of each substance, but it can also trigger dangerous interactions.

Can you drink alcohol while on Prozac?

No. Individuals who abuse alcohol are also more likely to abuse other substances, like prescription or illicit drugs.

Can Prozac kill you?

Yes, mixing Prozac and alcohol can lead to overdose and potentially death.

Is fluoxetine addictive?

Yes, it can cause physical dependency. People may experience withdrawal symptoms upon stopping antidepressant use, which many associate with addiction.

What happens if you drink on Prozac?

Combining Prozac with alcohol can quickly lead to increased sedation. Having even one drink while you take Prozac can cause extreme drowsiness. 

Can I drink while taking Prozac?

No. It’s recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol while you’re on this medication.

Can I drink with Prozac?

No.  Prozac can interfere with coordinated movement, and alertness like alcohol does. Combining Prozac with alcohol can quickly lead to increased sedation. 

Can you mix Prozac and alcohol?

Mixing alcohol and Prozac can also lead to other side effects. These can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sudden fatigue and weakness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts
What happens if you drink alcohol while taking Prozac?

Mixing Prozac and alcohol may cause fatigue and weakness, which may interfere with your ability to finish simple tasks. 

What happens when you drink on Prozac?

Taking antidepressants like Prozac doesn’t mean you’re immune to the depressive effects of alcohol. Instead, alcohol may keep your medication from working to its full effect.

Can I drink alcohol with Prozac?

If you take Prozac, do not drink alcohol. Mixing the two can put your health at risk. Talk about these feelings with your doctor if you have strong urges to drink.

Can I drink alcohol while on Prozac?

No. Also, it’s important to note that the effects of combining alcohol with Prozac can happen even if you don’t drink at the same time you take the drug. 

Can I drink alcohol while taking Prozac?

No. Prozac is an antidepressant, and alcohol is a depressant, so drinking it when you have depression can worsen your condition’s symptoms. 

Can I drink alcohol on Prozac?

No. Remember that dangerous interactions can happen with even a small amount of alcohol. If you take Prozac, you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all.

Can I drink while on Prozac?

No. Drinking alcohol while you’re taking Prozac or other SSRIs is not recommended.

Can you take Prozac and suboxone?

Many people do take antidepressants while on Suboxone. As always, it is best to let your provider know what antidepressants you are on while also taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Still, the most common antidepressants (SSRI, mirtazapine, SNRI medications) are safe to take while on Suboxone.

Search for Prozac and Alcohol & Other Resources
Sources:

[1] Drugs, Herbs, and Supplements →  Fluoxetine – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689006.htmlU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
[2] Liver-Tox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. Fluoxetine. [Updated 2018 Feb 2.] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548010/
[3] Alcohol and Health – https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/109-117.htm – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
[4] Alcohol and Substance Use – https://public4.pagefreezer.com/browse/CDC%20Covid%20Pages/11-05-2022T12:30/https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/stress-coping/alcohol-use.html – Available from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official website www.cdc.gov