Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Alcohol and antidepressants

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Just John:
Iíve been prescribed Citalopram (Celexa) for depression and Iím just getting over the weird initial effects.

Iíve heeded the warning so far to avoid alcohol but, to tell the truth Iím a bit of a lush on the quiet and with Christmas looming Iím not exactly looking forward to a sober one. :o

The patient leaflet only says ďavoidĒ rather than ďdonítĒ, so I guess Iím not going to drop dead the moment that the glass touches my lips, but I donít want to run the risk of severe physical or mental effects.

Does anyone have any first hand experience?


Sorry about the other three posts, I kept getting an error message telling me that the post hadn't uploaded.

Andy Velez:
John, even without knowing about your specific medical history I can say that mixing alcohol and anti-depressants is definitely a no-no.

You're playing around in dangerous territory with mixing those two in terms of your heart. 

I also don't know quite how to read "a bit of a lush on the quiet." Is that a code term for alcoholic? Kinda sounds that way to me.

Just John:
No Andy I'm not alcoholic nor a 'problem drinker'. :o

But I do enjoy a regular drink though and Yay - even more than is good for me on occasions but what the hell, both me and the medics are comfortable with my consumption and the liver seems to be escaping unscathed.

If anything changes I'll stop but until then a few (too many perhaps ;)) beers with friends or a relaxing G&T, brandy or glass or two of wine at the end of a long day would continue to be welcome.

I take on board what you say about the pills though and guess I'll just have to do without; for now  :(.

Thanks, John.

Hi John i am also on Citalopram, 20mg, and i use alcohol only at weekends, i limit my alcohol intake to 1 bottle of wine split over Fri/Sat

Generally i would not condone the use of alcohol with A'D's  but at the end of the day, i needed a relaxing release, the only side effect i experienced was increased fatigue.

if wine is your thing then how about mixing wine with soda water/lemonade.

hope this helps and hope i have not violated any forum rules.

Hi John, i am not sure where you live but   on the UK's National Health Service there is a link regarding alcohol and anti-depressants

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Some evidence shows that fluoxetine does not produce side effects (interact) with alcohol. Similarly, sertraline, paroxetine or citalopram seem unlikely to significantly increase any side effect associated with drinking alcohol. However, there may be a slight increase in the effects of alcohol if you are taking fluvoxamine.

Manufacturers of SSRIs recommend that alcohol should be avoided while you are taking these medicines because, like all antidepressants, they can adversely affect your performance of skilled tasks, such as driving, and operating machinery.

So really its up to you the research shows that citalopram does not interact with alcohol but the manufacturers do not recomend it.  its your choice.


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