Doctors prescribe Lexapro for two main reasons, which are depression and anxiety. Prescribing Lexapro is considered a long-term treatment plan, rather than an occasional or “as needed” treatment. A patient takes their Lexapro dosage regularly, on a set daily schedule, and is advised not to skip days or skip dosages.
Drinking alcohol while taking an SSRI-type drug such as Lexapro can “dilute” or weaken the effects of the drug. That means the person drinking alcohol may be putting her/himself at risk for the following:
- worsened depression
- worsened anxiety
- worsened insomnia
- suicidal thoughts
- increased suicide risk especially in young patients
Does this list of side effects relating to Lexapro look quite similar to side effects you would expect to see relating to alcohol? Studies suggest that taking alcohol and Lexapro together have a similar effect to side effects that occur when a Lexapro dosage is skipped or when the strength of the dosage is altered abruptly. The side effects of these alcohol and Lexapro interactions, and the side effects of lowered or increased Lexapro dosages reportedly closely mimic each other. Both sets of side effects to Lexapro or Lexapro and alcohol taken together generate much concern for patients who are undergoing depression treatment with prescription medication. Lexapro, and combining Lexapro and alcohol put younger people especially at risk, as reports show that younger people can become suicidal suddenly, and without warning.
Taking Lexapro and alcohol together poses another set of risks for those suffering from depression. Even when a person is not taking Lexapro for depression, alcohol itself can increase how frequently one feels irritable, or how severe and how long one’s depression lasts, how disrupted one’s sleep habits can become, and can increase a person’s general feelings of malaise. One’s depression might greatly worsen with combined alcohol and Lexapro side effects.
A great many people have not achieved the results they were seeking by medicating their symptoms or by drinking alcohol, or by combining both “strategies.” It may be time to consider another approach altogether for combating depression and anxiety; using holistic means to achieve mental health and wellness. But in the interim, patients who are taking a drug such as Lexapro should always consult with their medical practitioner before introducing something that may significantly impact their ongoing treatment plan, such as combining alcohol and Lexapro.