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    Old 12-01-2003, 12:32 AM   #1
    mjqlovey
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    Paxil & Alcohol

    I have a question I hope someone can help me with...
    My boyfriend takes paxil, and he is a pretty heavy drinker. Not an alcoholic, but he will go out every single weekend, and drink until he is throwing up. I'm concerned about what serious medical effect this could have on him...someone told me there were chances of various things that could happen to him. I can't seem to find anything and I need some answers.
    If anyone has any info...please respond. I'd appreciate it so much...
    Thanks..
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    Old 12-01-2003, 08:53 AM   #2
    fudd
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    Re: Paxil & Alcohol

    There are two or three answers here: First, it is never recommended to mix alcohol with any medication, even many OTC medications. Although generally safe, even Tylenol can have an interaction in the right type of person who has the necessary underlying conditions to cause problems. That said, there is no indication that alcohol and Paxil (or any other SSRIs for that matter) have an adverse interaction. The official word is that it is not recommended, but there are no reported or studied effects.

    And all of THAT said, I would consider trying to talk with your boyfriend about his drinking. While he may not be an alcoholic, drinking every weekend until he is vomiting is can lead to some pretty nasty health and social issues down the line and is something that needs to be addressed. I am particularly concerned about potential alcohol abuse in someone who I assume has been diagnosed with depression. Please talk with him about getting some help with this, and feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjqlovey
    I have a question I hope someone can help me with...
    My boyfriend takes paxil, and he is a pretty heavy drinker. Not an alcoholic, but he will go out every single weekend, and drink until he is throwing up. I'm concerned about what serious medical effect this could have on him...someone told me there were chances of various things that could happen to him. I can't seem to find anything and I need some answers.
    If anyone has any info...please respond. I'd appreciate it so much...
    Thanks..
    [COLOR=RoyalBlue]

    Last edited by fudd; 12-01-2003 at 08:59 AM.

     
    Old 12-01-2003, 04:05 PM   #3
    auntjudyg
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    Re: Paxil & Alcohol

    Drinking until you throw up in itself is not healthy. And beyond the general recommendation not to mix alcohol and medication, mentioned above, specifically one is warned not to mix Paxil and alcohol. I don't know the specific possibilities but am sure a search would bring up some good reading.

     
    Old 12-01-2003, 09:00 PM   #4
    normorcrazy
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    Re: Paxil & Alcohol

    I also take Paxil and asked a similar question of my doctor a few weeks ago. I was just interested in an occassional drink, but was afraid of any side effects. He explained it to me that Paxil is an Anti-depressant and alcohol is a depressant. If you are drinking on a regular basis you are reducing the positive effects of the medicine, thus increasing the depression. Remember I asked about an occassional drink. If your boyfriend is drinking that often and too that point the effects could be different. I agree with the other posts that something needs to be done. Even if it just causes the meds to not work in his case that will increase his thoughts for suicide if his depression is to that point. Please get him help! Take care!

     
    Old 12-01-2003, 11:49 PM   #5
    fudd
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    Re: Paxil & Alcohol

    What your doctor told you is not exactly correct, but is 100% right in principle (i.e. she/he is steering you in the right direction). What he means to say is that if you are drinking chronically every day, the psychological and physical ramifications of the alcohol abuse will far outweigh the benefits of antidepressant therapy.

    Alcohol is a depressant in that it causes global inhibition of activity in the brain. Paxil is an antidepressant in that it prevents and reverses clinical depression. Paxil works by increasing serotonin in the brain, whereas alcohol really doesn't have much to do with serotonin. Again, there is no known direct interaction between alcohol and the SSRI's (to which Paxil belongs). In fact, Paxil is one of the few CNS drugs that does not have an interaction with alcohol, as do anti-convulsants, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiate analgesics, and many anti-depressants that belong to other classes (like tricyclics and atypical antidepressants).

    That said, every health care worker you talk to will still tell you NOT to drink alcohol while on Paxil because there may very well be a subtle (and not fully studied or understood) interaction that reduces the efficacy or safety of the drug - why take the risk? I am much more concerned about this person's drinking habits than the possibility of an adverse drug reaction.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by normorcrazy
    I also take Paxil and asked a similar question of my doctor a few weeks ago. I was just interested in an occassional drink, but was afraid of any side effects. He explained it to me that Paxil is an Anti-depressant and alcohol is a depressant. If you are drinking on a regular basis you are reducing the positive effects of the medicine, thus increasing the depression. Remember I asked about an occassional drink. If your boyfriend is drinking that often and too that point the effects could be different. I agree with the other posts that something needs to be done. Even if it just causes the meds to not work in his case that will increase his thoughts for suicide if his depression is to that point. Please get him help! Take care!

    Last edited by fudd; 12-01-2003 at 11:51 PM.

     
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