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Mixing Effexor and Alcohol

Picture showing the side effects of mixing Effexor and alcohol

Anxiety disorders and major depression are among the most prevalent mental health problems in the United States.

Prescription medications such as Effexor (venlafaxine) are used to treat anxiety and mood disorders. They can help people dealing with mental health issues.

Effexor works by interacting with certain chemicals in your brain, especially serotonin, which is associated with a positive mood.

However, combining Effexor with other substances, such as alcohol, can lead to serious side effects.

Effexor can increase the CNS effects of alcohol, causing either an increase in symptoms of depression or affecting psychomotor skills.

Key Takeaways

Effexor is one of those prescription drugs that doesn’t react well with alcohol. Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of Effexor. Here is what you need to know about the combination:

  • Effexor (venlafaxine) is a prescription medication commonly used to treat anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
  • Mixing Effexor with alcohol is not a good idea, as the combination can lead to severe health complications.
  • The side effects of mixing both substances are impaired coordination, nausea, internal bleeding, worsening of mental disorders, and more.
  • If you are on Effexor to treat mental illness and can not quit drinking, alcoholism treatment is essential.

If you or anyone in your family or friend circle is mixing substances and need help to quit this addiction, The Recovery Team can help. 

Contact us today at (800) 817-1247!

How Effexor Works

Effexor, the brand name for venlafaxine hydrochloride, is a prescription antidepressant medication. It belongs to a family of drugs known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Effexor works with necessary brain chemicals to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also be used to treat social anxiety disorder, panic disorders, and some types of chronic pain.

Effexor is sometimes prescribed off-label for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and other disorders.

Although Effexor is effective in treating anxiety disorders, it has both common and uncommon side effects.

Common side effects of Effexor include dry mouth, sweating, appetite loss, dizziness, and sexual dysfunction. These side effects are often mild in nature and tolerable.

In many cases, these adverse effects develop when you first start taking the drug but fade as your body gets used to it.

Some less common but severe side effects are serotonin syndrome, mania, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

When you stop taking Effexor, you may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, especially if you stop abruptly. If you abuse Effexor or mix it with other drugs, the adverse effects may be more severe.

Side Effects of Mixing Effexor and Alcohol

It is common for people suffering from mental illnesses to consume alcoholic drinks to ease their depressive symptoms and other emotional issues.

While alcohol use can temporarily alleviate these symptoms, it may eventually worsen long-term mood issues. It is often difficult to tell whether a mental health condition contributed to alcohol abuse or the other way around.

Alcohol consumption while taking Effexor can increase the side effects of both substances. Although moderate, occasional alcohol use may not be harmful, drinking alcohol while taking an antidepressant is never recommended.

Many antidepressant medicines have been linked to side effects similar to those of alcohol, which can be worsened when both substances are mixed.

Mixing Effexor and alcohol induces the following symptoms:

  • Impaired coordination
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Reduced attention span
  • Nausea
  • Blackouts and memory loss
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Delayed reaction times

If you combine alcohol and Effexor, you should never operate heavy machinery, drive a car, or put yourself in other potentially dangerous situations.

Notably, excessive drinking has been linked to various additional health risks, including high blood pressure, pancreatitis, liver disease, and cancer.

Effexor, like other antidepressant drugs, can lead to bleeding problems by increasing the time it takes platelets to form normal clots. 

Because alcohol is a blood thinner, combining the two substances can amplify the risk of the following bleeding conditions:

  • Stomach bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Severe bruising

Effects on Mental Disorders

In addition to the harmful effects of mixing Effexor with alcohol, alcohol use by itself has been shown to aggravate symptoms linked with mental health disorders.

Individuals who combine alcohol and Effexor may experience worsening mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, and moodiness.

Alcohol is a powerful central nervous system depressant that can reduce the efficacy of Effexor. It is unknown how much alcohol any particular individual would have to consume to neutralize the effects of Effexor. However, even one or two drinks may be too much for some.

Alcohol counteracts the effects of Effexor, which means it might aggravate the symptoms of a mental health disorder. Because of this, mixing alcohol and Effexor is a dangerous combination.

In other words, drinking alcohol while taking this prescription drug negates its purpose. Furthermore, avoiding alcohol while taking Effexor is the best way to avoid increasing psychiatric disorders and detrimental effects.

Reasons Someone Will Mix Alcohol with Effexor

For a range of reasons, people mix alcohol with other drugs. In many cases, individuals mix drugs with alcohol accidentally. Many people use alcohol while socializing. People often drink with their friends and consider it a part of their regular routine.

If you’re taking Effexor to treat mental health problems, it may become a regular part of your routine. 

Suppose you start the prescription without considering how it may interact with other substances. In that case, you may consume alcohol without knowing it could interfere with the medication.

Some people may be aware of the risks associated with the combination, but they may be reluctant to give up alcohol after they start an Effexor prescription.

In some cases, alcohol is mixed with prescription medicines to amplify the potential recreational effects of both substances.

However, mixing alcohol and Effexor may not be an effective way to get euphoric and pleasant effects. It could worsen some of the drug’s side effects, such as blackouts and dizziness.

Finally, alcohol may be mixed with Effexor if the person has a history of alcohol abuse. Alcohol is a common substance people use for self-medication. Self-medication is taking drugs or alcohol to address a mental health condition without seeing a doctor.

Self-medication can develop into drug dependency and addiction very fast. If you start Effexor while having an alcohol use disorder (AUD), you may find it difficult to stop taking these substances together.

Treatment for Alcoholism

If you are starting a prescription medication regimen and coping with mental health problems, treating alcohol use disorder (AUD) is essential.

Alcohol addiction can worsen mental issues like depression and anxiety. Alcohol, as a depressant, might temporarily mask certain feelings, but it can eventually lower your mood and aggravate symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, substance use disorders (SUDs) may take control of many aspects of your life, including your work, health, and relationships with loved ones. Substance abuse issues will add burdens to your life, making mental health issues more difficult to manage.

Alcoholism treatment is vital for coping with mental health problems and using prescription drugs safely and effectively. The first step in overcoming a substance use disorder (SUD) is to seek help from healthcare professionals. You can speak with your doctor or therapist to learn your next steps.

In many cases, treatment of alcohol dependence requires a tapering process or medical detox. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms may be dangerous, especially if you quit cold turkey.

An alcohol detox program can assist you in safely getting through the withdrawal phase while addressing or avoiding severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures.

You might also enroll in an addiction treatment program that includes individual therapy and group therapy sessions to learn how to cope with stress without needing alcohol. Alcoholism treatment may also include treatment for mental health issues such as depression.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What will happen if I mix antidepressants with alcohol?

Drinking can neutralize the benefits of your antidepressant medication, making it more difficult to treat your symptoms. While alcohol may seem to enhance your mood in the short term, it actually worsens symptoms of anxiety and depression.Antidepressants with alcohol significantly impact your coordination, judgment, and motor skills more than alcohol alone. Some combinations may induce sleepiness. This might impede your ability to drive or perform other tasks that need concentration.
A few antidepressants, as well as alcohol, cause drowsiness and sedation. When both substances are used together, the combined effect can be intensified.

Can you drink alcohol while on antidepressants?

It is not recommended to consume alcoholic drinks while taking antidepressants. It may aggravate the symptoms, and it can be dangerous.If you drink alcohol while on an antidepressant:
You may feel more anxious and depressed
Your thinking and alertness may be impaired
You may become sedated or feel drowsy
You may be at risk of a dangerous reaction if you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

What happens when one takes alcohol after antidepressants?

When one drinks alcohol after taking antidepressants on a regular basis, they may risk:Worsening the depression symptoms
Worsening the side effects of medications
Impaired coordination, judgment, and reaction time
Increased risk of alcohol misuse
Trouble sleeping

Can I drink alcohol while taking Cymbalta?

Cymbalta, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), improves mood and treats depression by increasing levels of brain neurotransmitters called serotonin and norepinephrine.Cymbalta should not be used with alcohol because of how it affects your central nervous system (CNS) and other organs in your body.
Combining this antidepressant medication with alcohol might lead to major health complications, such as liver damage, increased depression and anxiety, worsening side effects, and many others.

The Recovery Team Helps You Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes

If you’ve been on Effexor and have difficulty quitting drinking, we urge you to seek professional medical attention and care from The Recovery Team. 

The Recovery Team offers medical detox and comprehensive residential, outpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and dual diagnosis programs.

Our customized recovery plans feature evidence-based therapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and more.

Medical professionals at our treatment center have years of expertise and knowledge to effectively treat all types of drug addictions and mental health issues,

Call us at (800) 817-1247 to get more information on our treatment programs or professional medical advice from our healthcare providers.