Effexor and alcohol
Effexor, which is also known as Venlafaxine, comes under the category "Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors" (SSRIs). It is also categorized under "Serotonin norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor" (SNRI). Effexor is very useful in treating mental depression, anxiety and similar moods of mind. Effexor is therefore useful in the medical field extensively, whereas, alcohol is useful as a temporary tranquilizer. Both alcohol and Effexor affect the status of mind. Effexor increases the levels of the chemicals in the brain, called serotonin and norepinephrine. Alcohol has an immediate effect on the brain when consumed. However, Effexor slowly enhances the stability of mind in the course of treatment.
Studies reveal that alcohol and Effexor do not interact with each other. In other words, Effexor does not augment the impairment of the brain nerves caused by consumption of alcohol. Even though this fact holds good for everyone, doctors always advise patients not to take alcohol while they are on the antidepressants such as Effexor. There is also a belief that high level of consumption of alcohol may have significant impact on the health of the patients undergoing medication with Effexor. Ironically, some antidepressants also generate an urge for alcohol in some patients and create aversion to alcohol in some patients.
Considering teenagers, most of them always possess zeal and enthusiasm in consuming alcohol for one cause or other. This is the reason why the teenagers are more in the population affected by alcohol and antidepressants. Many times they even go to the extreme end of committing suicide as they develop severe mental depression in these conditions.
Do not take Effexor while you are drinking alcohol. It will result in overdose and can prove to be fatal. This is applicable to any other antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. These drugs have many side effects and they become dangerous when taken along with alcohol. It is advised by doctors that antidepressants should be taken only with food. When you are under the influence of alcohol, there are chances for you to take overdose of Effexor. Therefore, avoid taking Effexor while you are drinking alcohol. Overdose of Effexor can cause even death.
However, it can normally lead to coma; it can cause liver damage; it can result in quick heartbeats known as 'tachycardia'. For some persons it may cause vomiting or seizure. The person who has taken overdose of Effexor should be brought to the medical attention as soon as possible, so that physicians can monitor their important signs and take remedial actions immediately. As this much danger is involved in taking Effexor together with alcohol you should never combine it with alcohol.
However, the study on the combined effect of Effexor and alcohol in patients suffering with depression is not yet complete. Notwithstanding this, the manufacturer of Effexor advises the users of Effexor not to drink alcohol while they are taking this drug. If drinking becomes inevitable while taking Effexor, light to moderate quantities of alcohol only should be consumed, that too, under the close monitoring of the associates. Avoiding alcohol while on Effexor is always recommended. The main reason for this is that both Effexor and alcohol influence the same chemicals at the same time in the brain.
Most probably Effexor increases the effects caused by alcohol over the depressive mood and also the motor skills of the nerves. As an alternative to abstinence, the patient can first assess the effects of Effexor and understand the same thoroughly. The patient can defer consumption of alcohol till that time. If the patient is already on a combined medication with Effexor, the situation has to be assessed further carefully. Here we should also know as to what 'moderate drinking' means. The content of alcohol varies with the drink. Therefore, different quantities are recommended for different drinks. In general, a moderate drinking could be 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine or 1 " ounces of 80-proof whisky or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
Conclusively, effects of Effexor and alcohol in depressed persons have not been studied thoroughly. Therefore, proper caution has to be taken to decide on drinking alcohol, when one is already on Effexor.