Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Antidepressants and Alcohol

Mayo Clinic: antidepressants and alcohol, a toxic mix?

It seems innocent enough, a casual drinker who also suffers complications of depression or anxiety issues who continues to drink while on their medication.  Frankly I know several people who I am certain are in this category.   This Mayo Clinic article by Dr. Hall-Flavin points out this could lead to disaster of various proportions though.

For starters, alcohol IS a depressant.  Adding it to a depressed person's psyche along with medications that monkey with your brain chemistry may lead to worse depression, aggravated side-affects of the medication, intensified drowsiness and interrupted sleep patterns, monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI's) combined with certain foods and alcohol can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure, and a higher risk of alcohol dependence (addiction).

Not so innocent, is it?  I caution you to beware if you are on medication AND drinking alcohol.  It is not such a simple equation as taking an aspirin and cough syrup.  Both drugs alter the brain.  Too much brain altering and the list of troubles could be endless, leading to more medications for more symptoms, when the source cause could be simple over-medicating at home, legally, in what seems to be a very safe way to relax at the end of the day or enjoy a meal with friends.   ~jd

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