Mixing Paxil and Alcohol – Is It Dangerous?

by pgh


Photo credit: Justin Ling

There is some degree of confusion surrounding the question of mixing Paxil and alcohol and whether or not there are dangerous physical or psychological effects.

Healthcare providers generally tell people who are using Paxil to only drink in light or moderate quantities, or suggest avoiding alcohol altogether. Paxil patients who drink report a wide variety of symptoms (or lack of symptoms), but this unpredictability is just one more reason to approach alcohol with extreme caution if you are using Paxil. What is okay for one person may not be suitable for another.

While some users say that they are able to drink while using Paxil and not experience much of a difference, many others say that they noticed the effects of the alcohol were increased. This includes physical effects like drowsiness and dizziness, and psychological effects like being able to concentrate or remember things. Anxiety and jitters can be increased by mixing Paxil and alcohol as well. Some users have reported experiencing memory loss with relatively “small” amounts of alcohol, and say that quantities which would normally make them only slightly tipsy would get them completely wasted while on Paxil. In extreme cases, some patients on Paxil may even experience blackouts with “moderate” amounts of alcohol in their systems.

Be Aware Of The Potential Dangers

So it seems that the dangers of mixing Paxil and alcohol are actually more real than many patients realize. You really have to redefine what a “light to moderate” amount of alcohol is after you start taking Paxil. Paxil and alcohol both work on the same area of the brain, so their effects when combined can compound the motor and psychological effects of the alcohol.

Another consideration is the dangers of mixing alcohol with depression/anxiety. Paxil is an antidepressant, so it stands to reason that if you’re taking Paxil, you may struggle with depression, anxiety or some combination thereof. One thing that definitely does not mix is depression and alcohol – which is a depressant itself. Sometimes people with anxiety, particularly in social situations, turn to alcohol to disconnect from the situation and loosen up. But alcohol can definitely increase feelings of depression and disconnectedness, despite the temporary euphoria and loosening of inhibitions.

A lot of people turn to alcohol as self-medication for anxiety or depression, but the truth is that alcohol reduces the control you have over your body, mind and emotions. If you are addicted to alcohol, seeking recovery will probably be far more important in the long run for regaining control of your life than taking Paxil.

If you do decide to mix alcohol and Paxil, try drinking only a small amount to see what its effects are. If you don’t notice anything unusual, then maybe you have lucked out and are one of those people who can mix the two and not experience problems—but remember to keep the amounts small. If you do experience problems, you should avoid the drink completely. And if drinking is feeding into your mental illness or you are an alcoholic, you should not be drinking under any circumstances.

Note: This is a post by a guest contributor to cleanandsoberlive.com who is not a medical doctor. The information above is simply a personal opinion and is NOT medical advice. Please consult a qualified physician who can perform a physical examination and review your medical history before you start mixing drugs, as their can be potentially dangerous interactions.

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