Before I began, please do not judge me as I know you shouldn't drink while on antidepressants. But I am a 23 year old girl who likes alcohol. My Dr. said it was okay for me to drink no more than 3 drinks when I go out...but by the time I have had 3 I think to myself "another won't kill me". My question is... what is the direct effect on your brain from mixing alcohol and prozac? I am on 40 mg and I have noticed that since I started the prozac I can drink ALOT...i mean I am a tiny girl (5 foot 105 lbs) and I can outdrink guys twice the size of me. This seems odd as I've heard prozac should increase the effect...not decrease. Also...I will be feeling fine...just a little buzzed...and there is a certain point I reach and all of a sudden it just hits me. I will litterally "black out". According to my boyfriend I start shaking ("tremors" I guess...he says it looks like I have Parkinsons desease when this happens), my eyes roll back in my head, and I go to bed. But once I am out...I am OUT. He will shake me, yell in my ear, everything....and I WILL NOT wake up. When I finally wake up the next morning I will not remember the time period right before I went to bed or him trying to wake me. This morning he put my alarm right up to my ear and I didn't hear it at all...causing me to be late for work. Obviously....I am cutting out the alcohol as this really SCARES me....I mean I don't know what its doing to my head. I never blacked out before I started taking Prozac...and I would often get sick when drinking. I never get sick on prozac from drinking. I could drink 10 drinks and won't feel sick at all. I wanted to know if this has happened to anyone else and why it causes the blackouts. I am cutting alcohol out of my diet but I am worried about long-term damage I may have caused?? If anyone can help, please let me know!
... My question is... what is the direct effect on your brain from mixing alcohol and prozac? I am on 40 mg and I have noticed that since I started the prozac I can drink ALOT...i mean I am a tiny girl (5 foot 105 lbs) and I can outdrink guys twice the size of me. This seems odd as I've heard prozac should increase the effect...not decrease. Also...I will be feeling fine...just a little buzzed...and there is a certain point I reach and all of a sudden it just hits me. I will litterally "black out".
Physiologically, the liver must break down substances (food, medicines, horomones, chemicals, etc.) in two stages, and there are several (7) different "pathways" of enzymes that remove specific substances from the body, with some of the pathways being able to to the job of other ones (this is the reason why parts of the human liver can be removed without significantly decreasing the liver function in healthy persons.)
When you drink on an empty stomach, not only is the alcohol quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, but the liver almost immediately begins metabolizing it because it is not busy breaking down food products. When you add any medication to the body, the effects of drinking can be drastically different.
If the liver is still at work metabolizing a medication (Prozac, for example) and alcohol is taken, the alcohol will only be circulated throughout the bloodstream until the liver has completed breaking down the med. This is why you can drink so much and only get a "little buzzed," because your brain doesn't get the effects of alcohol until it is first broken down in the liver. The more you drink in this time period is only adding more alcohol to your bloodstream which is not getting "digested."
Maybe you've had four mixed drinks and taken a few shots over several hours time, and you're still not feeling it. Suddenly, your liver has finished breaking down the Prozac you took earlier in the day and it is ready to take on the job of metabolizing all that alcohol. It may have taken you a few hours to put all of that alcohol into your body, but it will only take the liver about 10 minutes to start breaking it all down. You can probably guess what happens next: WHAM!! That is an awful lot of alcohol for your brain/central nervous system to be dosed with all at once.
This is why you blackout. The "tremors" and your eyes rolling to the back of your head are seizures occurring as the alcohol in your bloodstream is dangerously slowing down your brain and central nervous system. The fact that you don't respond to stimuli such as being shaken or yelled at indicates severe (and in many unfortunate instances, fatal) alcohol poisoning. This is actually your brain's way of protecting you from ingesting more alcohol. By lapsing into an alcohol-induced coma, you are forced to stop drinking and your brain will attempt to repair itself. Most people (i.e. not taking medications) begin vomiting before they reach this point.
Sadly, many people have already drank much more than their brain can handle by the time they lose consciousness. As they are "passed out," their breathing slows, as does the heartbeat. Oftentimes the cause of death is stated as "Cardiac Arrest."
You are very lucky not to be dead. Your boyfriend should have been more responsible for your well-being in getting you IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY MEDICAL ATTENTION when he couldn't wake you up. I am not trying to lecture you, but this seems to be an issue that people don't know enough about or just don't take seriously.
As far as the long term effects, it has been shown that a single binge can impair brain functioning for up to 30 days. Other than that, you are probably all right unless you make drinking a habit. The human body is pretty adept at fixing itself given the proper conditions. I hope this has helped, please be careful from now on.
Last edited by mellowfish; 06-22-2006 at 01:35 AM.
Hey! Thank you so much for the response. That really helped me to understand what the alcohol is actually doing to my body and why all of a sudden I go from being a little tipsy to really drunk. My boyfriend talks to me constantly about it and we have agreed that I don't need to drink anymore until I consult a Dr. I have heard having a few drinks is ok while on prozac....but my problem is not stopping when I know I should. This is the 2nd time in the past month that I have completely blacked out ( don't remember converstations or how I got to bed) so it is obvious there might be a problem there. Plus my dad is an alcoholic so I am at a greater risk. In my eye I am just a young kid having fun...but when I step back and look at the situation it doesn't seem normal and is extremely dangerous. I appreciate your help and understanding. I have tried to find some websites on prozac/alcohol interactions but couldnt find much info. Thanks and take care!
Hey, I've been on Prozac for the past year...and I know what you mean about the "black-outs".
I've had them.
How long have you been taking P?
In the beginning, it was weird until my body got adjusted to it.
I used to feel so groggy and get the "head bobs" while driving home from work.
I only had one bad time where I actually had to call off from work due to me getting chills and tingling all over.
If ya ask me...Prozac has many of the same traits as other drugs.
If you're gonna drink...try alternating your drink with just water. You won't know the difference and it should help.
Hey. I have been on the prozac for about a year and a half. Only recently though have I had the blackouts. I have noticed that they tend to happen as well when I drink vodka and red bull. Maybe it is something about the red bull mixed in there as well? The other night I went out and gave myself a 3 drink limit...when I hit my limit I took a taxi home and seemed to be fine. The only thing was that my bf called me twice and the 1st time I didnt wake up to the phone ringing....but my phone is weird and sometimes it wont ring and goes straight to voicemail- so who knows what happened there but i dont think that was a blackout. When you had your blackouts were you drinking? Other than the interaction with the alcohol Prozac has seemed to treat me fine ( i actually take the generic kind) other than it really numbing my emotions....but i guess thats what these meds do. I am sort of a zombie now as compared to an obsessive, emotional, anxious wreak that I was before. Haha...I mean....which one is better?
When you say that a "single binge can impair brain functioning for up to 30 days" do you mean that if you are on prozac and have a really heavy drinking night that it can interfere with the way the prozac works for that long?
I have been on prozac for 17 years and am up to 60mg a day. During this time I did not drink. Last year I dated a guy who drank alot and drank with him. We broke it off and I began binge drinking and became so depressed that I ended up in the hospital psych ward. They added 20 mg of Geodon to the prozac and I haven't drank in over a week. I am still feeling depressed and wondering if part of it is because the prozac has not taken full effect again yet because of the bout with so much alcohol. I guess I am afraid that I permanently damaged my brain chemistry and will never be my same old very happy "self". Any info you have on the effects of prozac being actually diminished or gone because of alcohol abuse would really help me not to worry so much. I anxiously await your reply and the reply of anyone with any info on this subject.
I'm not on Prozac, but Zoloft, but the same interactions should apply. I seem to be able to drink very little yet get very buzzed. A single shot of any 150 proof alcohol will get me COMPLETELY wrecked (that's a technical term ). I don't drink often, only every now and then, but I haven't suffered any ill effects from combining the two.
Well i've been on prozac for about 2.5 weeks. I use to take it years ago and i drank then and actually remember coming very close to death. Drinking would make me go crazy and totally out of control. Now i have decided not to drink much - thinking an occasional beer or glass of wine would be ok. I have noticed though i dont have a "craving" to drink like i use to. (i use to drink like 4-5 glasses a wine a night) and last night i tried drinking a glass of wine and within 15 - 20 minutes i was throwing up. I dont know if it was the prozac of what but i deffinately have noticed you cant drink much on prozac. Or atleast, i cant. Which i guess is good. Any thoughts? Thanks and goodluck to everyone.
I've just started to take Prozac for depression and I've got a party coming up in 4 weeks where alcohol will be present and since I've always drank alcohol before (always in moderation) people there will expect me to be drinking. I'm not ready to explain that I'm not drinking as I'm taking anti-depressants but after reading some of the comments about alcohol and Prozac can I ask the following:
1) Is the alcohol-Prozac doubling effect (1 drink = 2 drinks) a definate side-effect of Prozac, will I definately be affected this way or does this "doubling" effect happen to some people and not others.
2) In people's experience how does moderate drinking affect them? I'm thinking about 2 beers and a shot for the party (with food), could this be too much?
Just a suggestion here but you may want to get your liver enzymes checked as well.prozac is extensively metabolized in the liver,it also has a very long half life and can actually stay stored in the liver for many many days before it is thoroughly dissapated out of your system(and that is just one dose).and taken with alcohol which is also extensively metabolized by the liver you have given your liver quite the beating.the previous poster was very right,what you experienced WAS indeed siezures,prozac itself can cause siezures in some people and when you combine that with alcohol,you are increasing that risk.
alcohol itself,is actually an anesthetic which puts your brain to sleep.it actually has a direct effect on the cerebellum which governs your co ordination and eye movements and some other body functions.but this is why you become so uncoordinated when you are drunk.
i think you really have been rather lucky so far that you have not actually caused your own death this way.you have come very close whether you know that or not.scarey stuff there hon.considering the family history of alcoholism, not ever actually drinking again would be a wonderful idea since you have already shown the inability to even control your drinking by going over the limit that you had set for yourself.you are on the preverbial 'slippery slope".As a child growing up in an alcoholic family i can relate to what you have had to deal with.this is why i just stopped drinking all together many years ago.i wasn't having any real problems with alcohol but it scared me enough to just 'say no'.the risk was just way to high for me and for what it would do to my family.with my type of personality,i can almost guarentee that i would end up becomming just like my father and my sister.just be careful from now on and consider this one huge wake up call.and do not ever mix any drug with any alcohol,you just never klnow what combo could be the one to cause you some extreme possibly life threatening problems.good luck,marcia