Although the initiation of an SSRI appeared to be a likely explanation for the escalation in this patient’s alcohol use, other factors may also have played an important role. This case illustrates that although it may be common practice to prescribe SSRIs for people with AUD,2,4 SSRIs may not be effective for depressive symptoms in people with concurrent AUD, and may worsen alcohol use in some. I looked up medications for alcoholism and came across a drug called ondansetron, which works by blocking the S3 receptor and eliminating cravings. I had to learn all about serotonin receptors, transporters and neurons to understand the research papers I was reading. I had to leave it several times and go back to it as my head was hurting trying to understand it.

Pettinati 2010 arm B published data only

In extreme cases, drinking alcohol while taking an SSRI like Lexapro can sometimes lead to side effects such as becoming violent. But usually, doing it can just make it harder to do tasks that require you to be sharp and alert. Drinking alcohol can also lead to more and different side effects — and risks — when combined with the drug. Alcohol is a depressant known to cause or worsen symptoms of depression including mood changes, making antidepressants less effective. You should always discuss with your doctor whether or not it will be safe for you to drink while on Lexapro.

Anthenelli 2014 published data only

  • Because Lexapro is a drug used for long-term treatment of anxiety and depression, it’s important to discuss drinking while on this medication with your doctor.
  • I looked up medications for alcoholism and came across a drug called ondansetron, which works by blocking the S3 receptor and eliminating cravings.

Don’t stop taking an antidepressant or other medication just so that you can drink. Most antidepressants require taking a consistent, daily dose to maintain a constant level in your system and work as intended. Mixing Lexapro with alcohol could make symptoms of your condition worse. Some doctors think it’s OK to drink moderately if you take an SSRI like Lexapro. “Moderate drinking” means 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of hard liquor.

Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol With Lexapro?

According to these results, in people with co‐occurring depression and alcohol dependence, antidepressants may be useful for the treatment of depression, alcohol dependence, or both, although the clinical relevance may be modest. Regarding alcohol consumption, we found moderate‐quality evidence that antidepressants increased with respect to placebo, the number of participants abstaining during the trial and reduced the number of drinks per drinking day. However, we found no differences between antidepressants and placebo for other relevant outcomes such as the rate of abstinent days (low‐quality evidence). However, similarly to what we found for the severity of depression, we also observed that the administration of antidepressants did not affect other relevant outcomes related to alcohol dependence, such as the rate of abstinent days, number of heavy drinkers, and time before first relapse.

lexapro and alcohol craving

Characteristics of studies

lexapro and alcohol craving