The Impacts of Combining Lexapro and Alcohol

When we typically think about alcohol, we imagine wine tastings and having a great night with friends—but alcohol is a drug. And there are certain drugs that don’t sit well when combined together. Alcohol can cause some very serious reactions when mixed with your other medications. It’s important to have a talk with your doctor about mixing your prescription drugs with other substances so that you can understand the risks, complications, and warning signs.

Today, we are here to focus on why combining Lexapro and alcohol is not a good idea. If you or a loved one is currently prescribed Lexapro, we’ll get into the basics of what the drug is and if there is a risk for addiction when it comes to both Lexapro and alcohol.

Understanding Lexapro and Why It Is Prescribed

Lexapro falls under the class of SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Serotonin, also known as a 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), is a neurotransmitter that carries messages from the brain and throughout the body. The basic goal of Lexapro is to balance out the amount of serotonin in the brain and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Lexapro is an antidepressant that is typically prescribed in combination with counseling and psychotherapy. If you are taking multiple prescriptions with Lexapro, it is very important to ask your doctor about the risks of combining your medications with recreational drugs like alcohol.

Furthermore, combining Lexapro with street drugs like cocaine or ecstasy increases the amount of serotonin in your body for a short period of time. This can lead to serotonin toxicity, which can cause a myriad of dangerous conditions, including tachycardia, shivering, tremors, and hyperreflexia. 

Why Lexapro and Alcohol Are a Bad Combination

Mixing Lexapro with other drugs is never a good idea. But what if you just want to have a glass of wine with dinner? Let’s get into the specifics of combining Lexapro with alcohol and why patients are typically encouraged to stay away from alcohol.

The problem with combining alcohol and Lexapro is that both drugs have opposite effects on the body. Alcohol is a depressant, while Lexapro aims to improve your overall mood and energy levels. 

Combining the two causes your medication to have to work harder and may cause a heightened resistance to Lexapro. If you still want to be able to consume alcohol in moderation, the key here is to find a balance that works for you and talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. 

The occasional drink at a holiday party or event isn’t likely to cause big problems in the long run. However, it’s important to be aware of your alcohol intake and take notice of any issues you may have when combining substances. 

The Reactions of Lexapro With Alcohol

If you notice any of the following reactions when combining alcohol and Lexapro, it’s important to get help. 

  • Becoming violent
  • Loss of alertness
  • Intense drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination 

Drinking while taking Lexapro doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll feel more intoxicated than average. However, in serious cases, combining the two can become very dangerous. 

Side Effects of Lexapro Without Alcohol 

Taking an SSRI like Lexapro comes with its own side effects apart from combining the drug with alcohol. 

Side effects of Lexapro include:

  • Headaches
  • Sinus and allergy problems
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Issues with bowel movements 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or throwing up
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Disinterest in food 

In some rare cases, Lexapro has been known to cause hostile or aggressive behavior as well as anxiety and panic attacks. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, it’s important to talk with your doctor right away.

Can Lexapro and Alcohol Become Addictive?

Combining both Lexapro and alcohol can and will become addictive. SSRIs and alcohol do not go well together and can turn into a vicious cycle that leads to more serious depression. Alcohol makes it more difficult for Lexapro to do its original job, especially if you are a daily drinker. 

The Signs of Addiction

If you or someone you love are feeling like your life has spiraled out of control due to addiction, then it’s time to seek out help. Alcohol alone is an addictive substance, and if it is a cause for concern, it’s important to speak with your doctor as well as your friends and family so that you can get the help that you need to recover. 

There are many resources available to help, and the first step is admitting that there is a problem. Let’s go over some of the most impactful ways to combat addiction and get your life back on track. 

Treatment Modalities for Lexapro and Alcohol Addiction 

At The Encino Detox Center, we create a serene environment for patients looking to recover from Lexapro and alcohol addiction. Our doctors have 127 years of combined experience in addiction recovery and combine the following modalities to approach Lexapro and alcohol addiction. 

  • CBT – Cognitive behavior therapy
  • ARC – Attachment, Regulation & Competency
  • DBT Skills Group Module (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)
  • SE Somatic Experiencing Therapy 
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Art Therapy 
  • Phototherapy
  • Dance and Movement Therapy 
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy 

It’s important to mention that each patient’s story and journey are unique, and we take that into account when combating the symptoms of addiction. With the help of both evidence-based/informed treatment and experimental and group treatment, we know that your recovery journey can be successful. Are you ready to take the next step?

Contact The Encino Detox Center in Los Angeles, CA

We offer amazing amenities for healing from Lexapro and alcohol addiction in Los Angeles, CA. When you come to The Encino Detox Center, you receive a private place to heal that is fully equipped with massage therapy, neurophysiology, neurofeedback, sound baths, and more. We take a medical and emotional approach to your well-being and can provide you with compassionate care throughout the recovery process. 

Take a holistic approach to healing by contacting The Encino Detox Center today.

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