Antidepressant misuse has been an alarmingly high number in recent years. Combining other substances, such as Lexapro and alcohol, worsens the situation that patients have with their mental health. Transcend Recovery Community is here to shed light and help you with everything there is about this condition and what to do to get better.
Is It Safe to Take Lexapro with Alcohol?
As any medical or health expert advises, consuming alcohol while taking Lexapro is never encouraged. Mixing Lexapro and alcohol only worsens side effects which can make an individual less responsive, drowsy, and even feel depressed.
Some peer-reviewed studies endorsed by medical associations also show that if you drink alcohol while taking Lexapro, you may become more prone to alcohol use disorder.
Both alcohol and Lexapro may affect the brain's neurotransmission which can worsen alcohol cravings as well as disrupt the healthy serotonin levels within the body. That's why you'll never encounter a physician to prescribe Lexapro while encouraging that mixing Lexapro with alcohol is a good idea.
Individuals who regularly drink alcohol while taking Lexapro may also experience potential severe side effects that are permanently irreparable. It's better to avoid drinking altogether during a course of medication—regardless if it's just one drink.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is a medication under the generic name called Escitalopram. The drug is categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). What they do is boost the serotonin levels in your brain improving your overall mood that can also regulate sleep, appetite, and control over your emotions.
This particular medication, Lexapro, is used for treating depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Taking Lexapro may trigger some side effects that may vary from person to person. Some of these side effects include:
- Sleep difficulties
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
These side effects may be felt between the first two weeks of taking Lexapro. You must talk to your doctor and healthcare provider should you experience worsening side effects.
What Are the Risks of Drinking on Lexapro?
You are at a bigger risk to succumb to overdose which can be characterized by the following symptoms:
- hypotension (low blood pressure)
Additionally, you are likely to develop "serotonin syndrome." It's a condition where the body has an unhealthy amount or levels of serotonin. The syndrome can manifest the following:
- Irregular heart rate/hypertension
Consuming alcohol and Lexapro results in many health problems and can even aggravate depression and anxiety in people.
Lexapro and Alcohol Side Effects
There are potentially dangerous side effects that may occur if individuals suffering from alcohol addiction are taking antidepressants. In the case of SSRIs, drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro could even bring fatal consequences, if these are not addressed early on.
Some worrisome adverse effects include the development of co-occurring disorders, one of the mental health disorders that may significantly deteriorate a person's health conditions. It also may bring an increased risk of liver damage and a higher risk of developing other illnesses.
Here are the other side effects of excessive alcohol consumption and Lexapro use:
- It may make depression worse
- Worsen symptoms of anxiety
- Develop suicidal thoughts
- Reduced medication efficacy
- Elevated blood pressure
- Serotonin syndrome
Alcohol and Mental Health Disorders
Although moderate drinking or that "occasional drink" is pretty low risk or safe in most instances, drinking alcohol while under prescription medications or when taking antidepressants can make things worse.
Some people drink alcohol as a way to treat depression or just ease its symptoms. However, excessive alcohol use, while mixing alcohol with other medication can lead to further mental health decline.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) may affect many aspects of your life. It can strain your relationships with your friends and family. It may also disrupt your activities at work or school. Alcohol dependence can also ruin your self-esteem longer-term.
Here are some long-term risks associated with alcohol use disorder:
- Liver problems
- Cardiovascular problems
- Increased risk of mental health disorder development
- Worsened depression, leading to suicidal thoughts
- Mood swings
- Respiratory ailments
- Poor cognitive function
- Violent and aggressive behavior
It's also important to note that combining alcohol with other antidepressants and drugs, such as cough syrups, can intensify other health conditions. It may lead to a serious medical emergency if left untreated.
When self-control and discipline are no longer an option, and alcohol urges become worse, there may be a need to have inpatient or outpatient drug rehab in a treatment facility as the final option.
Is There Lexapro Abuse?
While Lexapro isn't necessarily a controlled substance with the FDA reporting that it is physically non-addictive, it is still possible to develop Lexapro addiction or abuse. What can happen is that people may increase their dosage more than usual without consulting professional medical advice to increase the effects on their system.
Consequently, individuals may experience serotonin syndrome resulting from accumulating abnormally high levels of serotonin within the body. If you were to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro, this could become much worse.
Lexapro can be misused in the following situations:
- Faking Lexapro prescriptions
- Continuing Lexapro medication even if anxiety or depression has already subsided
- Buying Lexapro illegally from dealers or friends and family.
- Taking someone else's Lexapro prescription just to get access to the drug.
As with any mental health problem, substance addiction, particularly with Lexapro, needs to be addressed through an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. It may include various methodologies to help someone wean themselves from addiction.
Additionally, they may also benefit from working with sober companions in the latter stages of their rehabilitation to ensure that they will not relapse. It also helps them become consistent with their sobriety.
Can Transcend Recovery Help with Lexapro and Alcohol Abuse?
Transcend Recovery Community works closely with a partner treatment facility in helping people face their mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression. What we do is provide supplemental support that can help improve the rehabilitation process and ease the individuals into rehabilitation.
We employ a holistic approach to our clients and encourage them most positively through a motivational environment. Sober living arrangements are also possible to help them recover in a safe environment.
If you're interested to find out more about what we do, contact us today and let our recovery specialists guide you in every step.