Effexor And Alcohol

An Important Warning For Effexor Users

Mixing Effexor and alcohol is not recommended.

The reason, according to manufacturer Wyeth, is that both substances interact with similar chemicals in the brain and there is concern that Effexor may increase the effects of alcohol.

Effexor is a prescription medication produced a major pharmaceutical company, Pfizer. It is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder. It also has off-label uses in the treatment of other conditions.


For folks who already suffer from depression drinking alcohol, which is a depressant, is never a good idea. Any depressant drug will simply exacerbate the symptoms of depression.

effexor and alcohol

Consuming a drug that is a depressant while you already suffer from depression will simply  worsen your depression symptoms which, in the worse case scenario, can result in suicidal thoughts or behaviors. 

However, if you must drink, and this is not an endorsement, keep your consumption limited to the following: 1 beer (12 ounces), 1 glass of wine (5 ounces), or 1 shot of hard liquor (1.5 ounces of 80 or 100-proof alcohol) per day. Yes, that is only ONE DRINK, and even that is not recommended. 

In addition, if you decide to drink while taking Effexor, it is recommended that you do not drink during your scheduled Effexor dosage time. It is helpful to first become adjusted to having this medication in your system for a while before attempting even light alcohol consumption. This way, you will learn how the medication affects your body without the influence of alcohol.

Warning For Drivers

Since Effexor may hinder ones' ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, consuming alcohol merely additionally hinders these abilities. It can make for a dangerous combination.

Helpful Tips

Consult with your doctor to get their feedback regarding whether you should consume alcohol while taking Effexor. Relay any questions or concerns to your doctor and remember to attend your regularly scheduled medication monitoring appointments.

If you experience any severe or unusual side effects while combining alcohol and Effexor be sure to notify your doctor. If you experience any severe or unusual physical reactions while mixing alcohol and Effexor, contact your prescribing doctor and visit your nearest hospital emergency room right away.

Be on the alert for any increase in suicidal thoughts or behaviors while taking Effexor. If you experience the feeling wanting to harm yourself or others, head straight to the hospital emergency room or contact 911 right away and explain your situation.

The Bottom Line About Mixing Effexor And Alcohol

When patients ask me if they can drink while taking Effexor, my answer is always the same. It's not worth the risk. 

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