Effects of Lexapro and Alcohol

lexapro and alcohol

Have you worried about experiencing a Lexapro overdose with alcohol or know someone who might be at risk? A medication like Lexapro can benefit someone’s mental health a great deal when taken as directed. However, when combined with alcohol use, it can cause dangerous side effects. The use of both can also indicate a person is in need of treatment for two separate conditions: depression or anxiety as well as alcohol addiction. It’s important to address these diseases at the same time in order to heal and make progress as quickly as possible. 

What Is Lexapro?

Lexapro is the brand name for the generic drug called escitalopram. It is available by prescription and comes in tablet and liquid form. It is a commonly prescribed Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drug used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Some mental health providers prescribe Lexapro as an off-label treatment for conditions such as OCD, PTSD, and eating disorders. Off-label means the drug has not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used specifically for these conditions yet, but many users find it helpful. 

Lexapro works for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety by helping to restore the production of a neurotransmitter naturally made by the brain. When a person lacks the right amount of it, it affects their ability to regulate their emotions. While Lexapro is considered relatively safe when taken as directed, users should be aware of possible dangers, including those associated with drinking. This puts a person at risk of a Lexapro overdose with alcohol.

Can You Combine Lexapro With Alcohol?

Medical experts advise anyone using Lexapro to avoid consuming alcohol. This can be difficult for some people because of the symptoms that come with mental health disorders they use the medication to treat. Depression and anxiety can be hard to cope with, driving some people to use or abuse alcohol in order to soothe and cover up their feelings. As a matter of fact, alcohol is a depressant, not a mood elevator. For this reason, drinking alcohol while taking Lexapro is not the answer to elevating a person’s mood. 

In addition, consuming alcohol can decrease how effective Lexapro is, causing the person not to receive the full benefit of the dosage. The bottom line is that even without the risk of an overdose, combining Lexapro with alcohol consumption is not a good idea. 

Lexapro Overdose With Alcohol: What Are the Dangers?

When someone consumes alcohol while taking Lexapro, potentially dangerous results can happen. The more alcoholic beverages the person drinks, the more at risk they put themselves. Both alcohol and Lexapro cause the risk of potential side effects. These include nausea, feeling tired, insomnia, high blood pressure, and diarrhea. 

Additionally, the use of both alcohol and Lexapro can increase a person’s feelings of depression and anxiety. As a result, this combination puts the person at risk of spiraling downward emotionally. When someone experiences increased feelings of depression, it can increase their risk of suicide. This risk proves especially true for young adults, teenagers, and children. So while there isn’t a documented risk of experiencing a Lexapro overdose with alcohol, combining the two can definitely be dangerous. 

The Connection Between Alcohol and Mental Health Disorders

When someone has a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, it’s not uncommon for them to turn to substances. They may drink alcohol or use drugs in order to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. In fact, about half of all people who have a mental health disorder also abuse drugs or alcohol. 

For this reason, someone taking Lexapro should be aware of any tendencies to drink alcohol that either already exists or start developing. Being aware of an alcohol addiction that happens while a person takes Lexapro can help people get into treatment. This can prevent potentially dangerous events from occurring. 

What Is Treatment For Addiction and Mental Illness Like?

When a person has both a mental illness and an addiction to alcohol or drugs, this condition is called a dual diagnosis. Many facilities offer programs that treat dual diagnosis. This allows a person to receive the vital treatment they need for both their physical and mental health at the same time. Doing so can save time and money. 

Treatment can happen in an outpatient setting on a few different levels. These include:

Each person who goes to treatment will be assessed to determine their needs. From there, they will be matched with the right level of outpatient care for them. Those who initially need a higher level of treatment can begin with a residential program and then step down to outpatient care. 

Find Help For Lexapro and Alcohol Abuse Today

If you have had a Lexapro overdose with alcohol, this can signal a real health problem. When this occurs, Tampa Bay Recovery Center has the solution. We offer multiple levels of outpatient care that treat addiction and mental health disorders. We help the individual become healthier in body and mind, saving time and money by combining treatments under one roof at the same time.

Are you concerned about Lexapro and alcohol abuse? We can help. Visit our admissions page now and find out how to begin the treatment that can help turn your life around.