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Q: Zoloft and alcohol ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Zoloft and alcohol
Category: Health
Asked by: rancho06-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 09 Feb 2006 14:50 PST
Expires: 11 Mar 2006 14:50 PST
Question ID: 443834
Can you tell me of the effects of taking Zoloft combined with heavy
alcohol consumption.  I am concerned about someone whose behavior has
become erratic and would like to have some factual data to back up my
concern.  This person has been drinking Tequilla and beer daily and
recently started taking Zoloft for depression.
Subject: Re: Zoloft and alcohol
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 09 Feb 2006 18:37 PST
Hello Rancho66,

     You have reason to be concerned for this person. Both alcohol and
Zoloft are metabolized in the liver, and taking both can stress the
liver. The manufacturer of Zoloft, Pfizer, states that one should not
drink alcohol while using Zoloft. Alcohol alone can induce depression,
and alcohol consumed  with Zoloft can render Zoloft useless. Taking
Zoloft with alcohol can even make some people crave more alcohol!

?Consumption of alcohol can also interact with the Zoloft you are
taking, affecting its metabolism, as well as affecting its ability to
control the depression, or other condition, for which it was

?Possible adverse reactions of Zoloft may be found in Pfizer's own
U.S. Prescribing Information. Clinical trials of Zoloft during
premarketing assessment found "aggressive reaction" to be an
"infrequent" side effect (occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients) and
"suicide ideation" to be a "rare" side effect (occurring in 1/1000
patients). Pfizer's prescribing information also tells physicians to
warn patients that "the concomitant use of Zoloft and alcohol is not

?Avoid alcoholic drinks while taking ZOLOFT.?

Regarding alcohol - ?Even low doses significantly impair judgment and
coordination. In small amounts, it can induce feelings of relaxation
and tranquillity, suppress anxiety, and in some, inspire feelings of
confidence. However, as the dose is increased , normally beyond 6
ounces, the pleasant euphoric feelings begin to give way to feelings
of depression. Intoxication occurs because the liver is unable to
metabolize more than one ounce of alcohol every hour. Therefore, when
a person consumes more alcohol than the body can metabolize,
intoxication occurs. Intoxication can generally last anywhere from one
to 12 hours.?

?Finally, medications may contribute to organic erectile dysfunction.
Prescription medications for treating high blood pressure
(beta-blockers), depression (Prozac®, Zoloft®), insomnia (Ambien®),
heart disease (statins), prostate enlargement (Proscar®) or cancer
(Zoladex®), and other conditions have side effects that may include
inducing ED.5-7,21 Excessive alcohol consumption can likewise
negatively affect sexual function, especially with aging.?

?First, taking zoloft and alcohol together may enhance the effects of
the alcohol. One drink could have the effect of two drinks, for
example. The chance or severity of side effects such as drowsiness,
slow reflexes, or clouded judgment may be increased, perhaps suddenly
and without warning.
If you usually feel tired, or even a bit depressed after drinking,
then you might feel even more so if you're on zoloft.

Zoloft can also produce sedative effects; and since alcohol is a
central nervous system depressant, lowered heart rate and blood
pressure changes are possible. This becomes even more likely as the
quantity of alcohol consumed increases.
Other symptoms, including headaches and sexual dysfunction, are also
sometimes associated both with medications used to treat depression
(such as zoloft) and drinking alcohol.

Besides these very predictable interactions, a much more sinister
future lies in waiting for some users. This involves the tendency
among some patients taking zoloft to develop an almost overwhelming
craving to drink massive amounts of alcohol.
Could it be that zoloft, being a mood altering substance, removes the
self-imposed barriers that individuals place upon themselves to stop
their additions??

There you go! I hop this helps you and your friend out! If you need
further assistance, please request an Answer Clarification, and allow
me to respond, before you rate.

Regards, Crabcakes

Search Terms
sertraline  + alcohol consumption
Zoloft + alcohol consumption
sertraline  + effect + alcohol consumption

Request for Answer Clarification by rancho06-ga on 21 Feb 2006 14:34 PST
Thank you for your thorough response.  I did have one other aspect
that perhaps you could shed some light on which I did not mention in
my initial inquiry.  Besides that erratic behavior that I described my
friend has developed a propensity to bruise easily some of which has
been caused by bumping into things and some from falling down.  The
follow question is does Zoloft lead to increased or prolonged bruising
as some of the bruises seem to be disproportionate to the impact?  Any
information that you can share will be appreciated.  Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 21 Feb 2006 16:44 PST
Hello Rancho,

   Yes, Zoloft can cause bruising: 
"Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious
side effects occur: black stools, "coffee ground" vomit, decreased
interest in sex, decrease in sexual ability (ejaculation delay), easy

The reason is that Zoloft can inactivate platelets, much like aspirin
is known to do.
"?Serotonin drugs may help after heart attack; they inhibit platelet activity? 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins studied a group of patients who underwent
elective coronary artery stenting.  They noticed that those who were
treated for depression with SSRI?s had less platelet activity than
those who did not.

SSRI?s are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.  They ease
depression by keeping more of the body?s serotonin circulating in the
blood stream.   SSRI?s include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, and
Celexa along with sister drug, Serafem.  The mechanisms for the SSRI
and platelet connection are still unidentified although they don?t
appear to inhibit platelet activity in the same way as some other
known compounds."

Hope this helped you out! Please advise your friend to contact her/his doctor ASAP!

Regards, Crabcakes
Subject: Re: Zoloft and alcohol
From: ireneanne-ga on 27 Mar 2006 10:42 PST
My problem with Zoloft and alcohol is different.  I'm curious if
anyone has information about this:  When I drink anything over 2
drinks - I'm only talking 3 drinks - because more than 3 drinks makes
me drunk - if I've eaten well and had water too, I'm still okay
behaviorly - I mean I may be tipsy, but I'm certainly not drunk and am
in control.  Others have verified that I seem fine.  But hours later,
after I've gone to bed, I wake up shaking with the sweats, have to go
to the bathroom often and usually vomit.  This goes on for a while and
then I'm fine.  These symptoms are different from what I recall from
my younger days when I would just drink too much and get sick and then
suffer from a hangover the next day.  This is sudden and violent and
then its over.  Perhaps it has nothing to do with the Zoloft, but its
the only thing I can think of.  Any thoughts?

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