Effexor, which is the brand name for the medication venlafaxine, is an antidepressant typically prescribed to treat depression or anxiety 1. This type of antidepressant is a selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which not only have their own side effects, but also can cause potentially serious negative effects when taken with alcohol. People should talk to a doctor and educate themselves on the potential dangers or consequences of mixing Effexor with alcohol 12.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Drowsiness, dizziness, increased appetite, weight changes, dry mouth, mild nausea, constipation, feeling nervous, sexual dysfunction and blurred vision are some common side effects of Effexor, as listed on the popular medication website Drugs.com 1. However, individual side effects of Effexor will vary depending upon the individual and may only occur temporarily until the body gets used to the medication 1. However, those who experience persistent or particularly bothersome side effects should consult their doctors to determine if a change in dosage or switch to a new antidepressant medication is necessary.
Side Effects of Escitalopram and Alcohol
Although the effects of alcohol will vary depending upon the individual, the amount taken and how quickly the alcohol was consumed, there are some reactions that commonly occur. Reduced inhibitions, euphoria, coordination problems, confusion, short-term memory loss, delayed reactions, short attention span and slower thought processes are all potential effects of alcohol, according to Drugs.com. However, more serious problems, especially when large quantities of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, can also occur. These include stupor, respiratory paralysis and even death.
- Although the effects of alcohol will vary depending upon the individual, the amount taken and how quickly the alcohol was consumed, there are some reactions that commonly occur.
- However, more serious problems, especially when large quantities of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, can also occur.
Effexor and Alcohol Combined
People who choose to drink alcohol while taking Effexor may feel on onslaught of depression or anxiety 12. This is because alcohol essentially counteracts Effexor's ability to stifle the depression or anxiety that caused the person to take Effexor in the first place, according to the popular health website EMedTV.com 12. There is also concern that combining the two may impair motor skills, but this has not been clinically proven. However, perhaps the biggest concern of drinking alcohol while taking Effexor is the fact that it may trigger suicidal thoughts or actions, particularly in teenagers, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 12.
Side Effects of Escitalopram and Alcohol
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- Drugs: Effexor
- eMed TV: Alcohol and Effexor
- Shelton RC. Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2019;250:145-180. doi:10.1007/164_2018_164
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Effexor XR (venlafaxine Extended-Release) Capsules. Updated 2017.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Effexor. Updated 2006.
- Ye C, Ninneman M, Christian JS, Zhang F, Musselman D. Seizure Induced by a Therapeutic Dose of Venlafaxine ER: A Case Report. J Psychiatr Pract. 2018;24(2):117-120. doi:10.1097/PRA.0000000000000298
- Patel R, Reiss P, Shetty H, et al. Do antidepressants increase the risk of mania and bipolar disorder in people with depression? A retrospective electronic case register cohort study. BMJ Open. 2015;5(12):e008341. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008341
- "Venlafaxine." MedLine Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine (2014).
Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.