Mixing Lexapro and alcohol is not recommended because Lexapro may potentially increase the effects of alcohol and may exacerbate the side effects of Lexapro.
Both act upon similar chemicals in the brain, and a significant concern is that Lexapro will increase the depressant effects of alcohol for those already taking Lexapro for depression.
Obviously, it is not advised that any individual suffering from depression ingest a depressant drug.
In addition, both substances can also increase anxiety.
Also, alcohol can impair motor skills and decrease reaction time. As a result, it is not advised to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery while taking any antidepressant, especially drinking while taking an antidepressant.
Further, some of the side effects of Lexapro include drowsiness and dizziness which also makes it risky to drive or operate heavy machinery.
I always provide my clients with this handy rule of thumb: Since Lexapro is used to treat depression and anxiety, why ingest a substance (alcohol) that will worsen those conditions? The potential risks are not worth it.
If you must drink while taking Lexapro, and it's not recommended, drink very little. If you must drink, women should limit themselves to one drink per day and men two drinks per day.
In this case, one drink does not mean a vat of beer or gallon of hard liquor. Drinking should be limited to one 12 oz. beer, one five ounce glass of wine, or one ounce of 100-proof spirits (one shot). Yes, that is only ONE drink; do not exceed that limit recommendation.
It is also important to ensure that you are not drinking at the exact time you are taking Lexapro.
If you have any questions about drinking while taking antidepressants, or experience any adverse side effects, notify your treating doctor right away.
Remember, only take medications as prescribed by your doctor and follow the directions on the bottle. If it says do not mix with alcohol, then abide by that safety protocol.
Always keep track of your depression symptoms. It you experience an increase in depression symptoms, notify your treating doctors right away. More importantly, if you experience any suicidal thoughts or behaviors please call your doctor, contact 911, or report to the nearest hospital emergency room and explain your situation, what medications you are taking, etc.