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Sertraline & Alcohol

Hi everyone..been on sertaline for nearly 3 months...i was wondering..i havent drunk for months...and i no it says not to drink..but wat happens if u do drink on the medication?

any help is fantastic thank you

54 Replies

  • Guest Guest

    HELLO JUST READ YOUR E-MAIL. I also enjoy a drink but since starting sertraline 6 months ago not a drop of booze has past my lips. However that dose not mean you can't enjoy alcohol free beers largers and wines. I drink Becks A/Free lager and It tast just like the real thing. A decent wine is harder to fine but there is Iceburg A/Free wine. By the way A/Free is 0/05 per cent anything higher is not. The effect of drinking alcohol while on sertraline is this. Sertraline ups your mood making you feel better Alcohol lower's mood so the combination works against each other. Stick with the alcohol free If I were you at least you know your safe that way. Also It was my G.p. who mentioned it was safe to drink A/Free. Good luck.

  • Guest Guest

    Hi, I've been taking sertraline for 2 months now and had alcohol. It doesn't seem to make much difference....I think i got drunker a little bit quicker than normal and as alcohol is in itself an anti-depressant I think the fear is that it makes u feel depressed again. However, just wanted to let u know that i had no health or extreme side affects.

  • Guest Guest

    My wife has been on sertraline and does drink small amounts (ie; a glass of wine with a meal). She has not exhibited any medical problems as a result. I would say the alcohol goes to her head a bit faster than it used to, but that seems to be all.

    She is now coming off the drug and is feeling much better after approx 6 months on it. Side effects seemed to be quite mild in her case with the dosage at 50-100mg.

  • nickc nickc

    I have be taking sertraline for 4 weeks now and it has dramatically changed my life for the better. I was obsessive and suicidal. Life is now worth living. I have always enjoyed alcohol and have not let taking these stop that. I drink a couple of pints of beer a day and I have had no side effects or problems at all. Also the NHS website says that there is no eveidence that there are any problems mixing alcohol and sertraline. The only reason they say 'don't' is because it can make some people drowsy like all anti-depressants (I don't have this issue).

    So have a beer and enjoy! :D

  • Guest Guest

    have be taking sertraline for 6 weeks now,

    Just dont drink while taking these, i did and eneded up in A&E

    • guest18726 guest18726 Guest

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    • guest18726 guest18726 Guest

      realised i swore on the other one so might not go through. but I just wanted to know why because I got very arrogrant about it after going up to 100g and felt like beyond great and now its day 4 (been on sertinline before but stopped and started again and this is the strongest ive ever been on) and i had a bit to drink and now I feel terrible physically and a bit wierd metally 

    • donna38091 donna38091 guest18726

      Hi, Since you posted 5 months ago, have you had any more trouble?

      I have been on and off sertraline too, In the past few years my worries and stresses have increased, so I've gone up to  a 125mg dose of sertraline. Problem is, drinking was increasing too. I feel just as bad, or worse mentally, as I do physically..after drinking.  There has been a cycle of this for a year or so. I'm just going to have to drop the drinking.  Let me know how you are doing.

  • Stefan Stefan

    Hi, I've been taking Sertraline for 6 months, 50mg to begin with, upped to 100mg by GP after 3 monthly review. It's working wonderfully for me after a few side effects intially and it did take a while to kick in.

    I asked my GP about alcohol and he didn't have an issue with it at normal levels, but told me that it's effect would almost certainly be increased, as I would now agree.

    Only once has it been a problem when I drank quite a lot at a dinner party and the next day had to be reminded about the latter part of the evening as I'd got no recollection of it at all, despite the fact that my wife said that although being quite tipsy, I was completely cohesive until the end of the evening.

    As with everything, I think moderation is the key, and I guess getting overly drunk isn't a good idea anyway for anxious or depressed folk.

  • Guest Guest

    been on this tablet for 6 days , had a few drinks at weekend , and i felt ok after a small alcholpop but it did make me feel sicker, i had few more drinks when i felt better after the first one and i felt fine untill i started gettin hotter easier and felt really sick, however i did be sick, but i wasent feeling that well from the tablets anyway, but i didentget drunk easier, and the next day i felt totally fine.

    Its my 7 th day tomo and at first the tablet made me feel sick n i couldnt sleep i would forget things easy my jaw would vibrate , my appatite has gone but now i am sleeping more and just gone the oppisite way to where im sleeping and feeling lazy and down.

  • Peter Fleming Peter Fleming

    Hello. I had a very bad experience when I drank on this medication. I was a victim of violent crime and am now disabled.

    I bought this when prescribed by a private psychiatrist. As a matter of fact my GP told me not to take it as I was living in an awful place in Birmingham and was not ill to feel unhappy and afraid.

    So if given it by the NHS it may be a different matter.

    Always listen to your GP as they are in the same environment as you are and know if your instincts are correct or not.

    My aunt had died and I needed to socialise. I let my guard down and paid dearly.

    12 years later I have never been assaulted again.

  • lisax lisax

    Hi everyone

    I have been reading about the effects of alcohol whilst taking sertraline and stupidly on Sunday I went to a lovely garden party and drank way too much. Today is tuesday and I am still feeling very sleepy and last night was struggling with my breathing. I am taking this for anxiety and depression. Will I be ok?. Thank you

  • mlg77 mlg77


    I have been on sertraline for under a week -6 days and a first timer on antidepressants

    I was worried about having a drink and like a drink at weekends -

    I tried a little and found it just made me more docile, blocked the emotional side of me, as before i would cry a lot on drink, before i took them. it blocks that feeling. it didn't stop me drinking though i'm careful on the amount

    I get still get anxious paranoid but i thinks it's down to my situation relationship problems.

    any comments ?

    • ange 40083 ange 40083 mlg77

      Hey guys!

      I've been on 50mg for about 3 months now. I'm a student and I drink pretty regularly. I was prescribed by a psychiatrist at my school who actually didn't even warn against drinking while on it.

      I've had some issues with "emotional numbing", which the alcohol seems to exaggerate. I really just dont feel any emotions when I drink anymore. Aside from that I've had no issues although I think my tolerance may have gone down.

    • sammyjo2014 sammyjo2014 ange 40083

      I've been on 200mg for 7 months and am also a student. I've had a few different alcohols and different percentages and they all seem to make me feel emotionally numb too, even from a small amount, before these tablets I was able to drink a fair bit before I got tipsy. When I was put on it, I was in a psychiatric impatient unit and never got warned about alcohol because alcohol wasn't available or allowed on site. I've been discharged now for a few months tho so I am able to own alcohol. How have you managed to cope?

  • sophieelizz sophieelizz

    i'm 19 years old and have been on sertraline, 200mg for about 6 months. this is the second time i have been on this medication and was on it for roughly a year at the age of 16. there doesn't seem to be any major effects when i drink alcohol, apart from the fact i get drunk rather quickly (could be that i'm just a light weight!)

    it seems as though some people are affected by it in different ways, so i guess the only way to know how you yourself will react is by trying it yourself. if you have a bad experience then you know not to drink whilst on the medication in future!

    don't put yourself in any danger though.. :- )

  • martin46 martin46

    Hey, I've been on them a week and it never occurred to me alcahol would affect it. But the other day, I drank an amount I'm normally comfortable with, and ended up basically paraletic. Is this the cause?

  • Bill Bloggs Bill Bloggs

    I started on 50mg for two weeks and have been on 100mg for 10 days. Since going up to 100mg I have noticed that a get hang overs very easily even when drinking less than normal. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • lydia27 lydia27

    Hi alll, does no body know that Alcohol a depressant and makes you feel worse frown I would not advise anybody to drink if you suffer from depression let alone mix it with sertraline and others. It does affect you, confesion> I know it as I have done it mysel redface . You have to try to have a healthy life, so you will recover better and leave sertrile do its job.. You can have alcohol free beer, it taste great, and if you can not go whithout it, then you have another problem my friend. My advice> Just leave it for a while or take one drink in a special moment only. Make an effort for a while and you will recover quicker. cheesygrin

  • moanalot moanalot

    Re: Hilary, Patient Admin Team,

    After reading your post re alcohol, I read your leaflet.

    Under 'Getting the Most From Your Treatment', you will see the following third point:

    "You are advised not to drink alcohol while you are being treated with sertraline. Taking sertraline and alcohol may increase the chance that you experience side-effects."

    Perhaps the information has changed since you made the post, but I thought it needed correcting for those of us who might read your post and think it was carte blanche to drink as much alcohol as we liked!

  • Emis Moderator Emis Moderator

    Hi moanalot,

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I have simply deleted the post. If you want to highlight anything in the forums you can just click the "Report" link on the specific post and leave a reason for reporting. This will ensure I do see any queries as I don't read every single post.



    EMIS Moderator

  • AliceUnderground AliceUnderground

    I won't lie- I enjoy a good buzz. I was on a steady dose of 150 milligrams of Sertraline when I turned 21...and, you know, it takes a couple of tries to figure out what your tolerance levels are when you start drinking. I find that when I get past the buzzed/tipsy stages and enter the drunk stages, in addition to waking up with a headache I feel down the next day. The more drunk, the more down. But so long as I don't actually get drunk, I'm fine. This is likely something that varies from person to person, though.

    Basically, if you want to have a few drinks, it won't hurt you. But if you feel down in the dumps the next day, realize what it is and back off in future.

    Happy Octoberfest!

  • 777 777

    Hi all, very interesting reading some of your info Re: drinking while taking Sertraline.

    I have been taken film coated Sertraline for about 5 years!!!!!, I started taken a 200 mg tablet once a day due to my climbing the walls etc with depression following a major breakdown.

    I have a drink now and then nothing heavy as hangovers are still the same!!!!, I personally have not experienced any side affects or differences after having a drink.

    We are all different in how our body's/brains react to all types of medication!!!.

    Yes Sertraline does have a warning of many side effects, one being Alcohol!!!, I would like to know who does there testing of these drugs!!!!!.


  • craig92025 craig92025 Guest

    Hi, I've been suffering with panic attacks on and off for a few years, I'm going through a patch of them at present and my doctor prescribed Sertraline, thus far the side effects are worse than I was without medication. To the point that I have not taken my dose today and plan to push on without the medication. 

    I am a functioning alcoholic and I feel it's the mix of Sertraline and alcohol making me worse, my doctor knows of my history with alcohol dependency so why did she prescribe Sertraline if it is known to react badly with alcohol? 


    • briaryhead182 briaryhead182 craig92025

      Hi, I don't know if you will see this but I just wanted to let you know my experiences. I have a history of alcohol dependency and have been through spells of panic attacks. In Feb the attacks started getting so bad I quit smoking and drinking. From there I just got worse and was prescribed sertraline. Within 24 hours of taking my first one I was sitting in A&E convinced I was dying. I had collapsed, couldn't breathe, couldn't swallow, couldn't pee, couldn't see, couldn't stand...about as bad as it could be. The dr told me it could take up to 6 weeks to work. It then kicked off asthma and I was off work for a month to get myself back on my feet. It's settled down now and I'm pretty much back to normal. I miss drinking but the thought of it makes me feel sick. If you are reading this please speak to your dr and consider sticking with it...there's more to life than this. Take care.

    • craig92025 craig92025 briaryhead182

      Thanks for your message, I'm not sure what the long term answer is for myself but I can't take this drug anymore. I'm going to AA which is helping both my consumption and anxiety. There's a light at the end of the tunnel at least. 

    • briaryhead182 briaryhead182 kellog82


      I'm delighted to hear that but you stopped yourself drinking tonight. If you hadn't have been looking for a reason not to you wouldn't have come across my post or, if you had, you wouldn't have cared. You stopped yourself tonight. That takes incredible strength and YOU did it. Give yourself the credit and take confidence from that! ❤️ X

    • sue73 sue73 briaryhead182

      I've been on 50 mg of sertraline for 6 weeks and the dose has just been upped to 100 mg... and suddenly I feel better! Thank godness. I asked my GP about alcohol (I drink a couple of very small glasses of wine a night, every night) and she said it's absolutely fine and the only reason it's mentioned in the patient information leaflet is that if you have stomach issues with sertraline (and I know it makes some people feel nauseous) alcohol could make that worse. So I'm carrying on as usual and hoping for more happy days like today! No voice saying "wish I was dead, wish I was dead"...

    • john 35050 john 35050 sue73

      Hi Sue,

      This is my third day on 50mg of Sert. I am wired today. The only thing that calms me down is a bottle of wine at night.

      Driving me crazy!! The depersonalisation i feel during the day is bonkers!! I dont want to become dependable on alcohol as ive seen it ruin some family members.

      Have you any advice?

      Many thanks in advance.

    • kellog82 kellog82 craig92025

      Hi I too was a functioning alcoholic. I am now in recovery after 8 months of struggle with psychosis. I went back and forth with the mental health services and got no where. I signed myself up to a service that help with drug and alcohol addiction and they have been my saviour. I attend SMART groups which include a little of CBT. I can go daily if I like to talk. I have a key worker keeping an eye and helping me. They will help me get back into work when I'm ready too. Have a look and see what services are on offer for you. Get yourself signed up. They can help you with detox. It will be a struggle at first, but it gets easier. I can now say that sertraline is doing what it should be. Take care xxx

    • drinking 16533 drinking 16533 kellog82

      Hello Kellog,

      Im 32 years old..for the past 2 years I ve been drinking 3 bottels of whiskey or brandy a day..full blown alcoholic..It went to even 4 bottels a day..went to a doctor..he gave me meds and I got through my withdrawals..The reason why I drank was because I have social anxiety etc...and I have alot of stress because I have my own business...and the alcohol helped to calm me downn..I dont get drunk..I just drink to feel relaxed..I have started taken Sertralinne now and I m on day also a fucntioning alcoholic...but the main reason why I got this Setraline meds is because it takes away my aniety and stress, which caused me to drink..I still drink now and I take my benzodiazepime for anxiety and also withdrawals..and Im waiting for the sertraline to kick in...hopefully then I will be able to kick my drinking habit...Drinking and taking setraline doesnt do anything to me...they say its a week or so then ur serotonin levels will pick Im hoping for the best...Rather than going to alcohol for an answer to my anxiety and stress I should have seenn a doc...

  • DavidUSA DavidUSA Guest

    Hello Guest!

    I've been taking Sertraline for 12 months. I have paid no special attention to my alcohol consumption - drinking per usual. I have noticed no difference or problem. Try it and see...just make sure you can stay on the couch if you have to. 


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