Side Effects of Prozac and Alcohol


Prozac (fluoxetine in generic form) is an antidepressant intended to help sufferers of depression. It comes with many side effects, but most are mild or easily treated. However when combined with alcohol, the side effects can be severely increased. Therefore it is recommended that people who take Prozac only consume light to moderate amounts of alcohol.

Prozac (Image: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images News/Getty Images)


Almost all doctors recommend not combining alcohol with antidepressants like Prozac. This is because Prozac is metabolized in the liver and can compete with the metabolization of alcohol, and Prozac can stay in your system for weeks. At the very least someone taking Prozac should cut their consumption of alcohol to moderate amounts.

Prescription (Image: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Moderate Drinking

Moderate drinking is described as no more than one drink a day. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of hard liquor. More than moderate drinking while taking Prozac can lead to serious side effects.

Drink moderately
Drink moderately (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Increased effects of Alcohol

Prozac can cause the effects of alcohol to be more severe. If a person is already depressed, the combination of alcohol and Prozac can worsen depression, which is the opposite of the desired effect of the drug. The side effects of Prozac may make it difficult to operate machinery or drive a car, which could be worse when combined with alcohol.

Prozac can cause the effects of alcohol to be more severe
Prozac can cause the effects of alcohol to be more severe (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)


Sleepiness is a potential side effect of Prozac that can become much worse when combined with alcohol. A person should not perform any activity where they are required to be particularly awake and alert while under the influence of alcohol and Prozac.

Sleepiness can become worse when combined with alcohol
Sleepiness can become worse when combined with alcohol (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)


Some depressed people may self-medicate their depression with alcohol, but alcohol itself is a depressant and therefore Prozac is a more effective treatment.

Depression (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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