Side Effects of Lexapro When Used With Alcohol

By Megan Allyce Snider

Lexapro is a medicine commonly prescribed for anxiety or depression. Lexapro does have common central nervous system effects, precisely as alcoholic beverages do. The general consensus seems to be that you may drink alcohol in small to moderate doses with Lexapro. Professionals in the health care field also advise that you should not mix sedatives or painkillers with Lexapro because of the dangers of a chemical reaction between medicines or because of the central nervous system effects.

Drinking Alcohol

It is advised that you do not drink large amounts of alcohol with Lexapro or if you do, you should not take Lexapro at the same time. If you choose to drink alcohol with Lexapro, know that it will increase both the effects of the alcohol and the Lexapro that you consume. It will impair your reaction and action time and increase the effects of Lexapro which may be drowsiness, slowed cognitive function, and may cause death.

Measurement Guidelines

Forest Pharmaceuticals, who makes Lexapro, says that there is no problem with mixing moderate alcohol consumption and Lexapro. advises that the following measurements should apply to alcohol ingestion with Lexapro: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.

CNS Dangers

The central nervous system, sometimes abbreviated as CNS, is extremely complex and controls many important functions of the brain and body such as respiration, sense of orientation, auditory, visual, sensory, and motor signals along with memory helps to identify objects. Most importantly, it controls respiratory function, muscle control, pain sensations, and alertness. If the CNS is impaired by drugs that influence it, the person using these drugs may end up going into a coma, having respiratory failure, and dying.

Important Note

Lexapro is not the only anti-depressant to affect the central nervous system so heavily. Sedatives, tranquillizers, and hypnotics, which all are prescribed frequently in the psychiatric field, can all cause dangerous conditions with movement, perception, coma, and breathing just like Lexapro can if coupled with a bout of heavy drinking. It is not uncommon for convulsions to happen at this rate of overdose. Convulsions may lead to bodily injury. It may also impair a human so badly that he might choke on his own vomit as his body tries to rid itself of the pills and alcohol.


Consider the pros and cons of alcohol consumption with Lexapro. Anti-depressants, along with many other psychiatric medicines, have an effect on the central nervous system. Use alcohol in moderation when taking it in conjunction with Lexapro. If you can, decide to possibly skip your dose of Lexapro if you anticipate drinking over the moderate limit. Do what you feel is right to keep yourself safe.

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