More threads by jen83


I am taking 75 mg effexor and have been for about a month. I was wondering if it is safe to drink about 3 or 4 coolers that have 7% alcohol. New Years is approaching and I was told by a friend that it is safe to drink alcohol while on anti depressants, the meds just make you get drunk faster. Does anyone have any advice?? Thanks
- jen

just mary

Hi Jen,

My advice would be to abstain. I know it's easier said then done (trust me) but imagine how much better you'll feel in the morning.

the meds just make you get drunk faster

I don't like the sound of that. Why would you want to get drunk faster? I don't think it would do your body or mind any good. And I really wonder how it would make you drunk faster?

As for ideas on how to get through new year's eve without alcohol, I'm not sure what to say. You might ask yourself why you want to drink and go from there. I'm sorry I can't offer better suggestions on abstaining but I do wish you all the best.

Take care,

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
The general rule of thumb I give to clients is to assume 2-for-1... that is, after one drink, it will feel like; after 2, it'll feel like 4, etc.

If it's only for one night and you don't go overboard, and you have no other medical issues in the mix, it probably will be okay.

Check with your family doctor if you can.

just mary

So, it's okay to drink while you're on SSRI's? I'm not being argumentative, I'm just looking for a striaght answer.


David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
In moderation and on a social, occasional, not-every-day basis, one or two drinks is not the end of the world and probably won't hurt, providing you are not taking other medications or have an additional medication that would increase the risk of things like liver toxicity... hence the warning to check with your doctor.

On the other hand, if you have any one of a number of medical conditions (I'm not a physician but I expect that would include hypoglycemia or diabetes, liver or bladder or kidney problems, edemia, heart disease, or previous history of chronic alcohol abuse), the added stress of metabolizing and excreting the alcohol might be problematic.

I would say most people who have one or two drinks on an occasional social basis would be okay. But once again, I would absolutely suggest that if you even suspect that you might have a medical condition that could be a contraindication or if you are taking any other medications regularly at all, check with your doctor first. I am not a physician, I do not have a medical degree, and I have no way of knowing your personal or family medical history.

Also, just in case it isn't already clear, please don't attempt to drive home after drinking - remember, the medication will potentiate the effects of the alcohol - depending on things like body mass and alcohol tolerance, you might be significantly impaired after even a single drink.


So, it's okay to drink while you're on SSRI's? I'm not being argumentative, I'm just looking for a straight answer

There is probably no black and white answer to the question, and the most sensible approach is provided in Dr. Baxter's response.

Healthcare decisions are generally made on a benefits vs risks basis.

With that in mind, one can conclude if a person has been prescribed an anti depressant, such as one of the SSRI class, it's because they are being treated for anxiety and/or depression. Both disorders can potentially be made worse by consuming alcohol.

The issue, IMO is not whether one can devise a formula of alcohol plus their medication to achieve a desired effect, but whether the person should be consuming alcohol in the first place.

The manufacturer of Effexor does not appear to publish the product monograph available on the internet. However a third part claims to have available the Canadian monograph of Effexor here

According to this version of the monograph, the manufacturer advises against combining alcohol with Effexor, which would be consistent with interactions between medications in which central nervous depressants such as alcohol, tranquilizers, anti depressant meds and analgesics are involved.

The manufacturer goes on to say that interaction with alcohol has not been fully studied, but in pre marketing test trials, patients who overdosed with Effexor either alone or in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol, recovered.

This should not be interpreted as an endorsement for mixing Effexor with alcohol, but rather that this particular medication has a favorable safety profile.

Common sense would suggest that a person afflicted with a disorder that might be exacerbated with alcohol, should avoid alcohol, even in a social situation,

A glass of ginger ale or tonic water with a couple of ice cubes and a cherry can make anyone blend into a partying crowd.
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