Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States affecting millions of Americans every single day. For many, treating depression with medication like anti-depressants is necessary. One of these medications is Zoloft, which is a brand name for the drug sertraline.
Sertraline is an SSRI drug (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that works by influencing the levels of serotonin in the brain which could result in improving energy levels, sleep, and mood. Aside from being used as a first-line treatment for depression, Zoloft is also prescribed for anxiety disorders and PTSD.
If you have been prescribed Zoloft due to any of these conditions, you might be wondering whether it is okay for you to drink alcohol. Is it safe to mix these two medications? What could happen if you mix alcohol and Zoloft together?
According to the FDA, you should not drink alcohol while taking Zoloft. The FDA also warns against driving, operating heavy machinery, and doing other dangerous activities while taking the drug. This is because the drug can cause you to become sleepy and could affect your ability to react quickly, think clearly, or make decisions.
Why You Should Not Mix Alcohol And Zoloft Together
Both Zoloft and alcohol are depressants that affect the brain. When taken separately, they can cause various side effects. Taking Zoloft by itself can cause you to experience drowsiness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and sleep problems. Drinking alcohol can also cause similar effects.
Taking Zoloft and alcohol can intensify side effects
If you take both alcohol and Zoloft together, there is a huge chance for these side effects to be experienced more intensely and quickly. This could be dangerous especially if you take the substances while you are outside of your home. You could hurt yourself or you can even pass out due to extreme side effects.
Taking both alcohol and Zoloft together can be counter-productive to your treatment
Some people who are taking antidepressants think that the meds are not working so they turn to alcohol to try to feel better. However, doing this is actually hurting you more instead of helping you. Drinking alcohol can worsen depression symptoms so doing this while being on antidepressant medications such as Zoloft can be counterproductive. Instead of being treated, it could reduce the effectiveness of the antidepressant drug.
Large amounts of alcohol and Zoloft together could cause overdose
You have to take note that Zoloft is not a drug where you can feel immediate effect. It is not like the anti-anxiety drug Xanax where you could feel the effects within an hour of taking it. Zoloft is intended to be taken longer as it could take two weeks or more for you to feel its full effects. If you are not instantly feeling its effects, that does not mean that you should increase the dosage of the drug or mix it with other substances such as alcohol. This could lead to dangerous health consequences such as drug overdose.
The Dangers Of Using Zoloft And Alcohol Recreationally
While there are some people on antidepressant medications who drink alcohol without being aware that it could lead to dangerous consequences, there are also those who intentionally mix alcohol with Zoloft. People who experiment with drugs and alcohol do this with the specific intention of feeling more intoxicated or to achieve a more intense high.
When drugs are mixed together, these are often referred to as drug cocktails. For example, the mixture of heroin and cocaine is called a speedball. When drugs are mixed together, they often become riskier to your health. What many people do not realize is that mixing alcohol with drugs, even prescription drugs like Zoloft, can also be dangerous.
A person who has a Zoloft prescription may find it easier and more accessible to abuse Zoloft instead of sourcing other prescription meds like opioids or benzos. But in order to get high with Zoloft, a person typically has to ingest an abnormally large dose of the drug or mix it with other substances. Alcohol is often a common choice to intensify the effects of prescription meds.
However, mixing large doses of antidepressants and alcohol could lead to overdose. It could even cause fatal effects. You should then avoid mixing the two substances together for whatever reason.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Morningside Recovery by Lighthouse today.