Depression Home > Alcohol and Prozac
Since alcohol and Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride) act upon similar chemicals in the brain, the antidepressant may intensify the effects of alcohol. However, many healthcare providers say that, in general, it is okay to drink alcohol while on Prozac, as long as it's in moderation -- and only after you are aware of the effects that the medication may have on your body.
Sometimes people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking Prozac® (fluoxetine hydrochloride). This is because alcohol and medicines like Prozac act upon similar chemicals in the brain. The concern is that Prozac will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this means increasing symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
When many healthcare providers are asked whether or not it is okay to drink alcohol while on Prozac, they recommend that people choosing to drink should only drink light to moderate amounts -- and should also wait until they understand the effects that Prozac and other medicines they are taking may have on their body.
When healthcare providers recommend moderate alcohol drinking, they mean one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Because the alcohol content in drinks varies, what counts as one drink also varies. When healthcare providers talk about one alcoholic drink, they are referring to one of the following examples:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1 ounces of 80-proof whiskey, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while on Prozac, it is recommended that they do not drink alcohol at the same time that they take their medication. Also, people should learn the effects of Prozac on their body before they begin drinking. Prozac may affect some people's ability to perform certain functions, such as driving a car or operating machinery.