Alcohol and Anti-depressants Don't Mix

Alcohol and anti-depressants produce a dangerous cocktail

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Most doctors prescribing anti-depressants recommend that their patients do not consume alcohol. When patients ignore this advice and decide to drink while taking their medication they may feel increasingly depressed and becoming excessively intoxicated.

According to lead author, Dr. Kathryn Graham, Senior Scientist with CAMH and Agnes Massak, this study's data suggest that gender plays a role in depression treatment and what happens when men and women drink when taking anti-depressants.

"Don't drink alcohol while taking anti-depressants"

The study found that both men and women with depression tend to consume more alcohol then individuals who do not suffer from depression. 

However, men taking anti-depressants drank less, but women taking anti-depressants drank just as much as when not taking anti-depressants. 

14,000 people between the ages of eighteen and seventy-six were assessed for a year for depression and alcohol intake. The participants were surveyed based on on how much and how often they drank. They were also assessed for depression and/or taking anti-depressants.

In depth:

  • On average, depressed men drank 670 drinks a year. Where as non-depressed men drank 436. Depressed men taking anti-depressants drank 414 drinks
  • Non-depressed women drank around 179 drinks per year, but depressed women drank 235 drinks a year and 254 drinks a year when taking anti-depressants
  • Researchers suggest further research on the effects of these drugs and alcohol consumption is needed to better understand how anti-depressants work on the body
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Review Date: 
April 18, 2011
Last Updated:
April 22, 2011