Zoloft is an antidepressant medication that helps patients to manage different mental health conditions. And while it can help fight mental illnesses like depression, combining Zoloft and alcohol can worsen your symptoms and endanger your mental health. Here are five things you need to know about mixing Zoloft and alcohol.
1. The FDA Does Not Approve Combining Zoloft and Alcohol
The FDA has to issue warnings on certain medications when there could be life-threatening interactions. In this case, the FDA clearly states on the label for Zoloft that you should not combine Zoloft and alcohol. But what else do you need to know about Zoloft to be safe?
As stated above, Zoloft is a prescription medication used to treat various mental health conditions. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), meaning that it affects your body’s serotonin levels to try to improve your mood and ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Mental health professionals prescribe Zoloft to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
It’s important to know that Zoloft comes with its own side effects, which can be physical and emotional. Physically, Zoloft might change your normal sleep patterns or cause you to have a loss of appetite.
Always be sure to speak with your doctor if you feel that your physical or mental health worsens after starting this medication. The mental health side effects of Zoloft might look like:
- Suicidal ideation
- Thoughts of hurting others
- Drastic mood changes
- Worsened anxiety
- Signs of substance abuse
2. Alcohol Is a Depressant
One of the biggest reasons why mixing Zoloft and alcohol is dangerous is because alcohol is a depressant on its own. Zoloft works to improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, but alcohol does the exact opposite.
Because alcohol is a natural depressant, drinking alcohol can negatively impact your mood even if you aren’t taking Zoloft. The amount of alcohol you drink can also play a huge role in your mental and emotional wellness.
Additionally, the side effects of alcohol sometimes look similar to the side effects of Zoloft, such as feeling drowsy. But when combined, the side effects become more potent and dangerous. For example, if
3. Drinking Alcohol on Zoloft Can Affect the Brain
Drinking alcohol can affect the brain with or without the use of Zoloft. But in this situation, combining Zoloft and alcohol can directly impact the way that your mind processes information, feelings, and memories.
The side effects of mixing alcohol and Zoloft also include:
- Upset stomach
- Suicidal ideation
- Increased anxiety
- Memory loss
- Alcohol poisoning
Furthermore, mixing alcohol and Zoloft can cause mood changes and impulsive behaviors that impact the wellness of the people around you.
Though the side effects of alcohol use on Zoloft do not seem pleasant, some people still struggle to abstain from drinking alcohol when they are taking this medication. Because for some people, the problem is not just anxiety or depression. Sometimes, the issue goes deeper than depression or anxiety.
4. People Who Take Zoloft Often Struggle with Alcohol Abuse
Addiction and mental health struggles frequently go together. This is because alcohol abuse and other forms of addiction are also mental illnesses.
Some people find themselves drinking alcohol to mask painful symptoms of mental health conditions. Other people have become dependent on drinking alcohol and simply do not know how to stop, even if drinking alcohol has become incredibly dangerous.
A lot of times, these mental health conditions overlap and make it hard to distinguish one from the next. Is Zoloft helping your depression? Or has combining Zoloft and alcohol made you feel even worse?
Here are some questions you or a loved one might ask to assess the risk for alcohol abuse while on Zoloft:
- Do I use Zoloft and alcohol despite the FDA warnings?
- Do I drink a large amount of alcohol even though it makes me feel ill?
- Do I miss doses of my Zoloft so that I can drink?
- Do I use alcohol to cope with uncomfortable emotions?
- Does alcohol make my mental health symptoms worse?
- Am I unable to stop drinking alcohol because I have withdrawal symptoms?
- Have I ever been in or considered addiction treatment for these issues?
These are challenging questions to ask yourself or a loved one, but finding the answers could lead to a place of recovery from alcohol abuse.
5. Addiction Treatment Could Save Your Life
There is no sugar-coating it: addiction treatment is hard. Millions of people struggle with alcohol abuse in the United States alone. However, finding treatment can help you to find a way to live the life you want to live—free of mental health struggles and painful side effects from the alcohol abuse.
If you are taking Zoloft, be sure to tell your care team at your addiction treatment program so that you can find a path that works best for you. You might require special treatment options to address both your mental health and alcohol addiction issues. If you have been abusing alcohol and Zoloft for a long time, you may need an alcohol detox to help manage severe withdrawal symptoms.
Finding a facility that will make you feel comfortable and confident that you have the strength to recover is incredibly important to start your journey toward good health and happiness.
The Vance Johnson Recovery Center Is Here to Help
We know that you have the strength to find happiness in recovery—all it takes is a little confidence, determination, and a helping hand.
Located in dynamic Las Vegas, Nevada, the Vance Johnson Recovery Center (VJRC) a 44-bed facility is run by a skilled multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral health professionals that includes nurses, counselors, and doctors, along with complementary and alternative medicine specialists to provide our clients with a transformational experience that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Our approach is holistic and grounded in research and evidenced-based best practices that help people develop the awareness and skills required to achieve and sustain recovery.