Updated on April 3, 2024
6 min read

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Prozac?

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol with Prozac?

Prozac is a stimulant that elevates bodily functions. On the other hand, alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows bodily functions.

Both substances can change your brain chemistry. Because of this, drinking alcohol with Prozac can amplify both of their side effects, leading to short and long-term side effects (Drug Interactions).

Mixing alcohol with Prozac can worsen depression and alcohol abuse problems. It can also increase anxiety, potentially leading to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

Effects of Alcohol on Depression

Consuming alcohol when you have depression can worsen your condition's symptoms. It can also cause signs of depression in people who don't have clinical depression.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Frequent feelings of worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unusual or consistent tiredness

It's important to avoid drinking alcohol while treating depression with Prozac. Mixing both substances will only worsen your symptoms and interfere with the medication. Talk to your doctor if you're tempted to drink while feeling depressed.

Short-Term Effects of Mixing Prozac and Alcohol 

Mixing Prozac and alcohol can be dangerous, leading to various symptoms of discomfort or damage. Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased risk of Prozac overdose
  • Memory lapses
  • Impaired cognition

Drinking alcohol while taking 10 mg of Prozac can also lead to extreme sedation.

Long-Term Effects of Mixing Prozac and Alcohol 

No long-term effects have been confirmed through research or studies. However, combining alcohol with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac can lead to several health risks.

Common side effects include:

  • Heart damage
  • Liver or kidney issues
  • Blood sugar irregularities 

Mixing Prozac and alcohol can also be fatal. This is because the interaction between these two substances can increase the likelihood of a fatal overdose.

Can Prozac Be Used for Alcoholism?

Prozac is sometimes used in treatment for alcohol dependence. It has been observed to reduce alcohol cravings while tackling depression and other mental health conditions.

Prozac can greatly reduce the severity and impact of depression. Because of this, it can help significantly reduce the likelihood of a relapse.

However, Prozac is typically used after alcohol has left your body. Taking Prozac while drinking alcohol is still dangerous and not recommended.

Sponsored

Online Therapy Can Help

Over 3 million people use BetterHelp. Their services are:

  • Professional and effective
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Personalized and discreet
  • Easy to start
Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Woman drinking coffee on couch

Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Heavy drinking over an extended period can lead to chronic physical and mental health conditions. Conditions caused by excessive alcohol use include:

  • Heart problems (heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke)
  • Liver disease
  • Digestive problems
  • Cancer (breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and rectal)
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Learning and memory problems
  • Poor performance
  • Low energy
  • Mental health problems
  • Social problems
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome

Get Professional Help

BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor.

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Rehab Together

Detoxification & Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms 

If you are addicted to alcohol, you may experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop or reduce how much you drink. This is called alcohol withdrawal.

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. If you only drink occasionally, it is unlikely that you will experience alcohol withdrawal. If you have experienced alcohol withdrawal, you will likely go through it again the next time you try to quit.

Alcohol withdrawal will likely begin 6 to 48 hours after your last alcoholic drink. Common alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Tremors
  • Mood swings
  • Heart palpitations
  • Increased blood pressure, body temperature, and sweating
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Mental confusion
  • Irritability and agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Treatment Options for Addiction

There are various methods of treatment for alcohol addiction. These range from inpatient rehab to therapy and support groups.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, and everyone is different in what works for them. What may be a good fit for one person may not work for another.

Understanding and discussing the various options with a medical professional is an essential first step to recovery. Available treatment options for addiction include:

Phone, Video, or Live-Chat Support

BetterHelp provides therapy in a way that works for YOU. Fill out the questionnaire, get matched, begin therapy.

Get Started

Answer a few questions to get started

Woman drinking coffee on couch

What Is Prozac (Fluoxetine)?

Prozac, also known as the generic drug fluoxetine, is an antidepressant. It's a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) prescribed for various mental health disorders, including:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

For children, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How Does Prozac Work?

SSRIs like Prozac affect the serotonin neurotransmitter in the brain. They also improve mood and prevent feelings of depression and anxiety.

Prozac is suitable for adults and children over the age of 8. It is also available as:

  • Liquid
  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Delayed-release capsule

Throughout 2015-2018, 13.2% of adults aged 18 and over have used antidepressant medications in the past 30 days.

How Long Does Prozac Stay in Your System?

Prozac leaves your body at a very slow rate. If you've been taking the medication for a while, it can take four to six days for your body to remove 50% of it.

It can take about a month for fluoxetine to leave your body completely. However, some of the medication is converted into an active chemical called norfluoxetine.

This chemical can stay in your body for even longer. If you want to start drinking alcohol again after your last dose, consult your doctor first.

What Are The Side Effects of Prozac?

Prozac has many side effects, including the risk of suicidal thoughts. The FDA requires Prozac to be packaged with a black box warning.

This warning states that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in people younger than 25. Suicidal thoughts resulting from Prozac are more common in children, adolescents, and young adults.

The complete list of side effects include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Decreased libido and sexual dysfunction
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Unusual dreams
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Skin rashes
  • Tremors
  • Flu
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Sinusitis 
  • Indigestion 
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vasodilatation 
  • Increased risk for addiction

Summary

Prozac is an antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression and other mental health conditions. It does this by increasing the serotonin in your brain to improve your mood and prevent feelings of depression and anxiety.

Prozac can interact with alcohol and amplify both of their effects. This interaction can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal side effects.

This combination can also worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Talk to a doctor before drinking alcohol while on Prozac.

Get matched with an affordable mental health counselor

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

betterhelp-logo
Updated on April 3, 2024
9 sources cited
Updated on April 3, 2024
  1. "Alcohol’s Effects on the Body." National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2016.

  2. University of North Carolina Health Care. "How do antidepressants trigger fear and anxiety? Researchers map the anxiety circuit in the brain and use a compound to limit fearful behavior -- an acute side effect of commonly prescribed SSRI antidepressants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2016.

  3. "Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines." National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2014.

  4. "Mental Health Conditions: Depression and Anxiety." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017.

  5. "Fluoxetine." MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014.

  6. "Antidepressant Use Among Adults: United States, 2015-2018." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018.

  7. "Mental and Substance Use Disorders." Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2016.

  8. "Outpatient Management of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome." aafp.org, 2013.

  9. "Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help." National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2014.

Related Pages