Trazodone and Alcohol

by on May 26, 2012

Patients taking trazodone should avoid alcohol. The manufacturers of trazodone specifically warn patients of the potential interaction between these substances. Both of these substances affect the same chemicals in the brain thereby increasing each other’s potential negative effects. Alcohol increases the risk of trazodone-related drowsiness and dizziness while trazodone enhances the effects of alcohol. The severity of drug interaction depends on a number of factors that includes the trazodone dosage and the amount of alcohol taken.

Using trazodone alone can lead to central nervous system side effects such as decreased alertness, dizziness, impaired thinking and delayed reaction time. At the same time, alcohol can result in the same CNS side effects. Therefore, combining these substances can lead to very dangerous situation.

Mixing alcohol and trazodone can lead to several side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired judgment and thinking
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Decreased psychomotor skills

Although alcohol is contraindicated with trazodone, patients should discuss their alcohol consumption with their healthcare provider. Feel free to ask your healthcare provider about the safe amount of alcohol that you can take while on trazodone treatment.

Depending on your medical condition and dosage, your healthcare provider may allow light to moderate amount of alcohol, and only if you have learned the specific effects of trazodone in your body. Patients who choose to drink should limit their alcohol intake to no more than one to two drinks. Take note, however, that alcohol content in different beverages varies, therefore what one drink means also varies. Ask your healthcare provider about specific amounts of beverages you can safely take, for example 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine.

Managing Side Effects

If a person chooses to drink moderate amounts of alcohol while taking trazodone, it is recommended that they drink alcohol several hours after taking the medication. Also, a person must be accustomed with the effects of trazodone in the body before attempting to consume alcohol. People who have just started taking this medication are advised not to drink alcohol.

Mixing alcohol and trazodone can cause dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid performing certain functions that require coordination such as driving and operating heavy machines, as well as other hazardous activities that require focus and concentration. In case of dizziness, patients are advised to slowly get up from a lying down or sitting position.

If you experience prolonged or excessive CNS side effects that interfere with your daily activities, contact your healthcare provider.