Depression Home > Alcohol and Trazodone

People are typically advised to avoid mixing alcohol and trazodone. However, healthcare providers generally agree that moderate drinking is acceptable. If you choose to drink while taking the antidepressant, you should drink moderate amounts and only after you know how the medication affects you. In addition, you should not take alcohol and trazodone at the same time.

Alcohol and Trazodone: An Overview

Sometimes, people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel®). This is because alcohol and medicines like trazodone act upon similar chemicals in the brain. The concern is that trazodone will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this is increasing symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
Practically, when many healthcare providers are asked whether it is okay to combine alcohol and trazodone, they recommend that if a person chooses to drink that they only drink light to moderate amounts, and only after fully understanding the effects that trazodone (and other medicines they are taking) have on their body.

Alcohol and Trazodone: What Is Moderate Drinking?

When healthcare providers recommend moderate drinking, they mean one drink a day for women; 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 alcohol drink, they are referring to one of the following examples:
  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1 ounces of 80-proof whiskey
  • 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Using Caution With Alcohol and Trazodone

If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while on trazodone, it is recommended that they do not drink alcohol at the same time that they take their medication. Also, as mentioned, a person should learn the effects that trazodone will have on their body before they begin drinking. The medication can cause drowsiness and may affect the ability to perform certain functions, such as driving a car or operating machinery.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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