Dangers of Mixing Prozac and alcohol
Mental Health & Substance Abuse

The Dangers of Mixing Prozac and Alcohol

More than 16 million people in the United States suffer from depression. Antidepressants like Prozac can help mitigate the symptoms of depression. However, mixing Prozac and alcohol can be dangerous.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment The Joint-Commission
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center NAATP
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center CARF International
Medical Cost Containment Professionals Logo

Understanding Prozac

While some forms of depression don’t need to be treated with medication, many people with severe depression find that antidepressants like Prozac can help balance their moods and prevent major depressive episodes. Prozac is also known as fluoxetine and can be used to treat more than depression alone. 

Prozac is also used to treat panic attacks, OCD, and other mood disorders such as premenstrual syndrome. When it comes to treating depression, Prozac can help relieve many of the symptoms associated with depression. 

People with depression may have trouble getting up out of bed every morning, eating breakfast, or taking a shower. People who suffer from depression tend to experience fatigue and low motivation which makes it difficult for them to complete tasks or even perform hobbies that they used to enjoy. Because people with depression feel a lack of enjoyment, they may feel that there isn’t much of a point in doing anything. 

Prozac can help by restoring a person’s enjoyment in life. It can also help improve sleep problems, appetite, and even energy levels. While Prozac doesn’t always work perfectly for everyone, most people tend to see an improvement in their depression when taking Prozac, especially in the long term. 

For those who suffer from anxiety disorders like OCD, Prozac can help reduce the frequency of intrusive thoughts. It can also reduce repetitive actions such as hand washing. 

Prozac's Effects on the Brain

Prozac is included in a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs. What does this long name mean exactly? It all has to do with the possible cause of depression.

While the exact cause of depression is not yet known, many researchers believe that it has something to do with serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain known as a neurotransmitter. It is responsible for regulating mood as well as memory and is known as one of the several “feel-good” hormones. 

As you can imagine, if your brain can’t produce as much serotonin as it is supposed to, changes in mood and behavior can occur. Some researchers believe that depression is caused because the brain is not producing enough serotonin or reabsorbing it too quickly before it can enact an effect. This is where drugs of the SSRI class come in. 

SSRI drugs like Prozac work by keeping the brain from reabsorbing any serotonin too fast. By reserving this serotonin for a longer time in the brain, more serotonin will have the chance to build up. Ultimately, there will be enough serotonin in the brain to match the brain of a person without depression. 

When this happens, people with depression or anxiety disorders will find that their symptoms will be greatly reduced with Prozac. They will feel less depressed, less anxious, and more like themselves. 

The Dangers of Antidepressants

Unfortunately, no drug is without its dangers, including Prozac. When taking antidepressants for a long period of time, you might also notice adverse changes in your mind and body. 

Using Prozac for a long time can end up disrupting the flow of neurotransmitters in your brain which can further interfere with your mood. Many people can become dependent on antidepressants because of this and experience withdrawals if they suddenly stop. This is because of how the brain starts to rely on the drug and can’t function normally without it. 

There are also many antidepressant side effects. These can include weight gain, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, apathy, and more. If people feel depressed, even when taking Prozac, they might try mixing alcohol and antidepressants which can have dire consequences.

Understanding Alcohol

If you’re wondering, “Can you drink alcohol on Prozac?” the answer is no. This is because the way that Prozac interacts with alcohol can be very dangerous. But what does alcohol do to the brain and how does it differ from Prozac?

Alcohol is absorbed through the lining of your stomach where it then enters your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, it quickly flows throughout your body and into your brain where it can start enacting its effects. Once the effects of alcohol start to kick in, it takes around five hours for the alcohol to leave your system since your liver can only metabolize the drug so fast. 

Alcohol works on the pleasure centers of the brain which makes alcohol intoxication feel euphoric. Alcohol intoxication or drunkenness can make people feel relaxed and in a good mood. As alcohol affects the occipital lobe, temporal lobe, hippocampus, and frontal lobe, various changes in mood and behavior can occur. 

For instance, drunk people tend to have poor motor skills, poor memory, difficulty speaking, and difficulty thinking straight or making rational decisions. These symptoms are especially true as more alcohol is consumed. If a person consumes more alcohol, the risk of blacking out, entering a coma, or even death increases greatly. 

Death from alcohol poisoning can happen more easily than you might think. This is because of how drunk people often lose track of how much they drank and continue to drink until they pass out or worse.

The Potential for Addiction

Even though alcohol can be dangerous, that doesn’t stop many from becoming addicted to alcohol. Alcohol addiction can happen because of how alcohol can often make someone feel better by elevating their mood. This is especially true if the person in question is often depressed. 

Alcohol can make the person feel better for a brief time. Soon, the person may come reliant on alcohol to boost their mood. Over time, this excessive consumption of alcohol, as with Prozac, can make the brain reliant on the presence of the drug to function. 

More than that, even though your brain might rely on alcohol, your internal organs don’t work in the same way. Your organs, especially your liver and kidneys, are very susceptible to alcohol damage since they are the organs that metabolize, filter, and excrete the alcohol in your body. Long-term alcohol abuse is often associated with organ failure. 

Mixing Prozac and Alcohol

The danger of mixing Prozac and alcohol comes from the fact that both of these drugs can relax you and that their side effects include tiredness. When taking both of these drugs together, the fatigue may get more intense, even if you only have one drink.

When you mix these two drinks together, you may have trouble making decisions and moving in a coordinated manner. Your mood may also change and your risk of having suicidal thoughts may increase. Fatigue and weakness are also common side effects of these two drugs. 

These side effects can make it easier for you to fall or sustain an injury. If you drink a lot of alcohol while taking Prozac, you could slip into a coma without realizing it due to the slow beating of your heart. In severe cases, death could occur. 

Even if you have recently stopped taking Prozac, you should not start drinking alcohol immediately. This is because of how long antidepressants can stay in your body even after you stop taking them. 

For those who are reliant both on Prozac and alcohol, it can be difficult to stop an addiction, especially if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are treatment options like New Method Wellness’s Dual Diagnosis Treatment that can help you overcome addiction as well as improve your mental health. 

Why New Method Wellness Is One of the Nation’s Best Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Handpicked by Dr. Phil, New Method Wellness is a premier dual diagnosis addiction treatment center dually accredited by The Joint Commission and CARF International. It has been singled out as one of the best drug and alcohol rehab centers in America, offering a unique 3:1 staff-to-client ratio that pairs every client with two therapists instead of one.

At New Method Wellness, we add another dimension to dual diagnosis treatment, and that is the integration of holistic therapy, such as massage/acupuncture therapy, equine therapy, and art therapy. As addiction therapists and substance abuse counselors work with clients to treat the substance use disorder and the co-occurring illness associated with it, holistic therapy adds meaning to life after treatment and sustains long-term recovery. Our 3:1 staff-to-client ratio ensures client success after treatment, as evidenced by our Extended Aftercare program.

For more information about New Method Wellness’s treatment programs, call (866) 951-1824

It’s Time For A New Method

TAKE THE FIRST STEP

From all of us at New Method Wellness co-occurring treatment center, we wish you peace and serenity in knowing that you or your loved one will get the necessary help.

ACCREDITED BY:

The Joint Commission
CARF_GoldSeal
NAATP Member New Method Wellness Dual Diagnosis Treatment
NOW IN-NETWORK WITH:
prozac and alcohol
  • Contacting for:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

+1 (866) 951-1824