What are the interactions between Prozac and alcohol?

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In this blog, we will discuss how Prozac and alcohol interact.

We will also discuss if it is possible to drink alcohol with prozac, what prozac is, how it works, how it should be used, and the side effects of this drug.

What are the interactions between Prozac and alcohol?

The interaction between the ingredients of prozac and alcohol leads to an increased level of sedation, fatigue, and drowsiness which can be fatal in some contexts such as when driving a car or using machinery.

Prozac the brand name of the drug Fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication under the class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor used to treat depressive symptoms and other mental health conditions like: 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

The ingredients of the drug prozac are designed to help calm your mood and in the case of many drugs, the side effect of this antidepressant is tiredness and fatigue. The drug can also impact one’s ability to focus, be attentive, and coordinate their body movements. 

When you drink alcohol with this drug, with these side effects, these effects are higheted because of the fact that alcohol is a depressant and can lead to a higher level of increased sedation with extreme drowsiness.

This increased drowsiness cna become very dangerous in certain situations like diving, using machinery, taking care of children etc. it can lead to increased risk for falls and injuries, inability to manage one’s movements, impairment movements and driving- all of which can be dangerous and potentially fatal. 

Alcohol can also reduce the impact of the drug and inhibit Prozac from working as well as it should. This means you won’t get the full benefits of Prozac, risking the potential of the depression symptoms of your condition to become worse.

Can I drink alcohol with prozac?

The very direct answer to this question is no. It is absolutely not safe for someone to take prozac and drink alcohol with it. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States recommends that the individual avoids alcohol and any other drugs and substances when taking any form of fluoxetine- this includes prozac which is the brand name of fluoxetine because of the potential drug- alcohol  interactions.

It has been observed that both Fluoxetine and alcohol can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain which can lead to an increase and worsening of the side effects of the drug fluoxetine.

It is also the case that both alcohol and antidepressants can make you drowsy and when taken together, those effects can increase, and this can become a fatal mix- especially when the drug and alcohol is being used when one is driving or using other machinery. 

Consuming alcohol and Prozac may lead to an increase in negative side effects of the drug such as:

  • feeling tired 
  • Fatigued
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • stomach upset
  • trouble thinking and impaired judgement
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trouble hearing and seeing
  • decreased motor skills
  • Attention and focus.

It’s safer to avoid drinking alcohol when taking antidepressants like Prozac to avoid making your depressive symptoms or medication side effects worse.

While it has been strictly said that one should not drink alcohol when on prozac, some individuals do drink alcohol. In such a case, it is advisable that one consults their doctor on what they can do about this situation. 

If you must drink alcohol when taking Prozac, drink only small amounts and pay attention to how you feel. It is absolutely important that you do not skip your daily or weekly (for delayed release form) dose to drink alcohol.

It is very important that you follow the direction of your doctor’s prescription exactly as directed and this most probably includes not skipping doses. 

Missing a dose can become dangerous as it can increase the likelihood that you will experience symptoms again and this time with the side effects as well as the added impact of experiencing withdrawal symptoms with your depression symptoms.

Can I Skip Prozac Dose?

No, it is absolutely important that you do not skip your daily or weekly (for delayed release form) dose for whatever reason unless specified by the doctor to do so. 

It is very important that you follow the direction of your doctor’s prescription exactly as directed and this most probably includes not skipping doses. 

Missing a dose can become dangerous as it can increase the likelihood that you will experience symptoms again and this time with the side effects as well as the added impact of experiencing withdrawal symptoms with your depression symptoms. 

It is also possible that if you skip a dose to drink alcohol, Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and depression may co-occur, while one makes the other condition worse. 

Do not skip or discontinue the use of the medication due to side effects or just because you feel better without consulting your doctor since you might experience withdrawal from the medication. 

Also, in the case that you missed a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it; however, if it is too close to the next dose, skip the missed dose so as to avoid double dosing. 

What is prozac?

Prozac the brand name of the drug Fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication under the class of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor used to treat depressive symptoms and other mental health conditions like: 

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

The drug has been used for nearly 30 years in the United States and it is one of the most prescribed drugs for depression, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults as well as for children ages 7 to 17.

How does prozac work?

Prozac is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, so it works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin by blocking the reuptake transporters.

By doing this, the levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitters, increase and there is an increase of serotonin activity floating around your brain which means that the impact of these neurotransmitters are felt and experienced as a component of mood regulation and behaviour. 

Prozac or Fluoxetine comes in tablets, capsules, delayed-release capsules and liquid and you may start you on a low dose and then slowly increase it to mitigate  side effects. 

It can take a few weeks to feel the benefits of Prozac because of the time it takes for the drug to target the genes on the DNA sequence that code for the serotonin transporter. 

The SSRI’s impact on the DNA makes these genes that influence the action of the serotonin transporter and makes them less active so that there is a decreased number of transporters in the brain and as a result, less serotonin reuptake. 

Thus, it is important for the individual to continue taking prozac even if you start feeling positive effects or side effects of the drug.

The drug is usually prescribe for not only depression but also for other mental health conditions such as:

  • bulimia nervosa
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • panic disorder
  • treatment-resistant depression

This drug is also sometimes combined with other medications, off label, to treat bipolar disorder.

What are the side effects of prozac?

The common side effects of prozac include:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Weight loss
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Excessive sweating

Serious side effects that require immediate medical intervention and care include:

  • Rash, hives or blisters
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heart beat 
  • Abnormal breathing

How should this medicine be used?

Prozac usually comes as a tablet, a capsule, and an extended release form, or as a solution taken orally. 

To take this medication, follow the orders and directions of your doctor exactly as instructed. You can take this medication with or without food.

Susulay doctors prescribe it to be taken in the morning only, and in some cases twice- morning and noon while the delayed or extended release are taken only once a week. 

Make sure to take the medication at the same time everyday and avoid crushing,chewing, the tablets. 

Your doctor will mostly start you out on a low dose and increase the dose gradually. The effects of the medication might take four to five weeks to be felt and observed.

Do not discontinue the use of the medication due to side effects or just because you feel better without consulting your doctor since you might experience withdrawal from the medication. 

Also, in the case that you missed a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it; however, if it is too close to the next dose, skip the missed dose so as to avoid double dosing. 

Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed how Prozac and alcohol interact.

We have also discussed if it is possible to drink alcohol with prozac, what prozac is, how it works, how it should be used, and the side effects of this drug.

What happens if you drink alcohol with Prozac?

Consuming alcohol and Prozac may lead to an increase in negative side effects of the drug such as:

  • feeling tired 
  • Fatigued
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • stomach upset
  • trouble thinking and impaired judgement
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trouble hearing and seeing
  • decreased motor skills
  • Attention and focus.

Can I drink while on fluoxetine?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States recommends that the individual avoid alcohol and any other drugs and substances when taking any form of fluoxetine because of the potential drug- alcohol  interactions.

Can I have a glass of wine on Prozac?

Alcohol, of any kind including wine, should not be consumed when on prozac.  It is absolutely not safe for someone to take prozac and drink alcohol with it. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States recommends that the individual avoids alcohol and any other drugs and substances when taking any form of fluoxetine- this includes prozac which is the brand name of fluoxetine because of the potential drug- alcohol  interactions.


Can I skip a day of Prozac to drink?

No. It is absolutely important that you do not skip your daily or weekly (for delayed release form) dose to drink alcohol.

It is very important that you follow the direction of your doctor’s prescription exactly as directed and this most probably includes not skipping doses. 

Missing a dose can become dangerous as it can increase the likelihood that you will experience symptoms again and this time with the side effects as well as the added impact of experiencing withdrawal symptoms with your depression symptoms.

References

Chernye.K.Interactions Between Prozac and Alcohol. Healthline. Retrieved on 15th Feb 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/prozac-alcohol

Emeh.J. Prozac and Alcohol Interactions. AlcoholRehabHelp. Retrieved on 15th Feb 2022. https://alcoholrehabhelp.org/interactions/prozac/

Prozac & Alcohol: The Risks of Drinking on Prozac. Hims. Retrieved on 15th Feb 2022. https://www.forhims.com/blog/prozac-and-alcohol

Fluoxetine. Medlineplus. Retrieved on 15th Feb 2022. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a689006.html

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