Prozac and Alcohol

by on May 17, 2012

In spite of people becoming more relaxed, talkative and happy when drinking alcoholic beverages, alcohol should not be considered an antidote to depression. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and produces slowed reaction time, drowsiness and decreased inhibitions. Prozac (Fluoxetine) is an antidepressant and serves to alleviate some of the same symptoms that alcohol causes. Consuming alcohol while taking Prozac for depression is not recommended.

Side Effects of Concurrent Use of Prozac & Alcohol

The body’s vital organs need a large supply of blood to function properly, especially the brain. When alcohol is in the blood stream it is transported to the brain where it contributes to depressed emotions, mood changes, sleep disorders, and headaches. Prozac acts on neurotransmitters in the brain. When the blood being supplied to the brain has a high level of alcohol content, the activity of the neurotransmitters is depressed and Prozac cannot do the job it was intended to do.

Another major organ that is impacted by alcohol consumption is the liver, which is an organ that cleanses toxins from the blood. Extreme alcohol abuse over long periods of time can damage the liver, and even cause fibrosis or cirrhosis. A healthy liver is required for anyone taking Prozac since it is metabolized in the liver. If the liver cannot efficiently metabolize the Prozac, the benefits will be lost. Even if the liver is not damaged or diseased, introducing alcohol will in effect reduce the dose of Prozac and thereby reduce it effectiveness and benefits.

Other than these interactions, there are no known harmful effects of combing Prozac and alcohol that can be readily observed.

An Occasional Drink

One or two alcoholic drinks per week, or a glass of champagne to celebrate a special occasion is not going to cause a significant reactiion. If a Prozac user consumes alcohol in a cough relief medicine or communion wine, eats a slice of rum cake, or consumes a liquor-filled chocolate bonbon, there would also be no reaction or visible side effect.

But daily drinking, binge drinking, or drinking to the point of intoxication regularly will definitely remove the benefits that Prozac could be providing as well as possibly harming the liver.