Venlafaxine and alcohol

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I've been on Venlafaxine now for about 8 - 9 weeks - nearly two weeks ago it started to be effective, my mood has been getting better very gradually, anxiety decreasing, all going well - until today when I have crashed again, really down and anxious.

I've always been a heavy drinker, not alcoholic, but it's very much part of my social life. Several pints at the snooker club, the same out for a meal every week, very often a bottle of wine or more most other nights. At the start of this episode of anxiety and depression I stopped drinking almost altogether, but in the past few days I have had the occasional drink without it apparently having any ill effects (I know I should avoid the demon drink, but I have been on Venlafaxine before and drank then with no problems) Yesterday I had three unplanned pints on the afternoon with friends I hadn't seen for a while, and was feeling so good I had best part of a bottle of wine last night - I'm assuming this was the reason for my feeling so bad today, but it would be nice if someone could confirm from a similar experience?

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  • Posted

    Well...put simply: alcohol is a CNS depressant which is close to the opposite of what venlafaxine is. So going by that alone, you would think that the potential for side-effects would be great when the two are mixed.

    In my personal experience alcohol derails venlafaxine for about 3-7 days after mixing. In some cases it may actually set you back in therapy quite notably as it re-sparks brain's exaggarated or unhealthy responses that sent you into therapy to begin with. Then you essentially must up the dose and take a few steps back in therapy.

    One or two drinks every now and again are usually manageable. Forget your prior alcohol tolerance level. It is about to be obliterated. Consider it a blessing though and always look on the bright side :D

    All the best.

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    • Posted

      and yes alcohol is the likely reason why you felt worse. I would not re-test that though. smile 
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Many thanks for your thoughtful and considered reply - you've confirmed what I was thinking. The point you make about my tolerance level being "obliterated" is very valid, after three pints on Saturday I felt quite squiffy, in the past that would have been nothing! I used to quite regularly play snooker (quite well, in my heyday!) on 6 pints or more. I'll stick to a couple of pints OR a couple of glasses of wine maybe twice a week and see how it goes - probably better to give it up altogether I know but not quite ready to take that step. Feel OK today as it happens, further confirmation it was the booze that caused my relapse - fortunately short lived.

      Good luck and take care,

      Mike

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  • Posted

    Hey Mike. I think maybe cutting back on the booze for a bit mite be a good plan. I'm no expert but it is a depressant and mite be interfering with your recovery. U have nothing to lose by trying that. Like ppl used to give coffee to those who were drunk in hopes of sobering them up. Its sn upper therefore didnt work. Just a thought. Good luck!!!!

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  • Posted

    On more than one occasion I've been out drinking heavily, and the following morning have had depression that has lasted for a few days. Indeed I think there are similarities between depression symptoms and those of hangovers.

    The last time this happened was around 13 months ago. I got quite drunk one evening, and my depression relapsed the following morning. But then I took a decision - I would stop drinking alcohol. And to this day I am 100% sober.

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    • Posted

      Hi Rick,

      Firstly thanks for your reply - and well done on your abstinence! I doubt I could do that, but if further experience shows that I can't drink at all then so be it - far better the pain of giving up booze than what I went through yesterday, particularly upsetting as I was doing so well. Feel pretty fine today as it happens, so thankfully a short lived episode - not to be repeated!

      Take care, and again thanks,

      Mike

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