Like any antidepressant, Lexapro and alcohol do not mix well.
This is because the effects of Lexapro will be exacerbated by alcohol since both substances affect the same chemical-serotonin.
However, if you ask about alcohol or you do your research, you will probably be told, grudgingly, that you can have a bit of alcohol-mild to medium strength drinks and only in moderate amounts.
This is another aspect of Lexapro which makes it very different from other antidepressants where it is heavily advised that you do not drink any amounts; while on Lexapro, you can drink a small amount every so often as long as you do not overdo it.
It is recommended that if you are going to drink while on Lexapro, you should limit your intake to only one drink a day if you are a woman and two if you are a man.
One drink is the equivalent of: twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, one and a half ounces of eighty-proof whisky or one ounce of one hundred proof spirits.
This is the relatively safe amount to drink while on this antidepressant. It is also recommended that you do not take this drug with an alcoholic beverage and that you only drink if you are fully aware of the consequences of mixing alcohol with Lexapro.
Drinking alcohol while on Lexapro has not been definitively shown to increase the effects alcohol has on motor/verbal/mental skills;
however, definitive studies on the effects of Lexapro on someone who is drinking more than the bare minimum have not been done;
thus there is no real way of knowing what the effects will be. Better safe than sorry and so either not drink at all, or drink very small amounts while on this drug.
Alcohol has also been shown to deepen feelings of depression and this could make taking Lexapro useless, so for this reason, most doctors recommend staying away from alcohol altogether.
Drinking while taking Lexapro can also cause feelings that are similar to overdosing.
Some of these feelings include dizziness, vomiting, nausea, tremors and convulsions.
Far more rare, but more serious conditions include amnesia, confusion, and even coma. These side effects can occur if you overdrink or overdose, so be careful of your drinking and dosing habits while on Lexapro.
The main issue with drinking while taking Lexapro boils down to the fact that both of these things have an effect on your central nervous system and these things can have a very adverse effect which can cause damage or even death if you keep drinking and taking Lexapro at the same time.
It’s also important to take into consideration your mood before you start drinking. If you are depressed and start drinking, then you will not only counteract the effects of Lexapro, but override them and be more depressed and taking a drug that isn’t working.
If, on the other hand, you’re in general good spirits before you take a drink, it’s a lot safer to have that beverage because you won’t feel the counteracting effects as acutely.
If you’re depressed, you shouldn’t be drinking in any event as alcohol causes a depressing effect on the psyche (contrary to the belief that it makes you feel better since alcohol inhibits the production of serotonin in the brain.)
Lexapro is a little safer to take while drinking than other antidepressants, but it is still inadvisable to drink in heavy amounts because the alcohol will inhibit the ability of the drug to work.
You also shouldn’t drink while you are depressed because this will make you feel worse.
Finally, if you’re going to drink, only drink in very light amounts so that there is less interference with the drug; you can also help limit the damage by not taking the drug with alcohol. If you really want to be sure, don’t drink at all for the duration of your prescription or only very occasionally.