IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

23 November 2021
Medically reviewed by
Sumayya Salam
Pharm D
What are the Dangers of Paxil And Alcohol
Table of Contents

Suppose you are reading this blog and similar content. You may be on antidepressants and might have a taste for c and, have doubts about whether you should combine both, or you are here to acquire knowledge about the topic. 

Paxil is a brand name for the generic drug paroxetine and is commonly prescribed for depression or anxiety. In 2019, Paroxetine was the 78th most prescribed medication in the United States.
Many people are uncertain about whether they can drink alcohol while using medications.

This is especially tricky when managing a mental health condition as these medications affect the nervous system, which is impacted by alcohol intake. This article will explain more about how Paxil works, what happens when you take alcohol with Paxil, the potential risks and whether it’s a good idea.

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What Is Paxil (Paroxetine)?

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and is highly effective in increasing serotonin levels, a chemical messenger that affects mood. Mixing alcohol with it can lead to unwanted side effects. Paxil may also affect alcohol cravings. Paxil is Food and drug administration (FDA) approved medication; Paxil is also used for social anxiety (social phobia). 

People assume that all SSRIs help you out with the disorders; however, the most extensive research is on Paxil. It is used to treat the following conditions-

  • Depression
  • Social anxiety disorder 
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Paxil is not available over the counter, you always need prescription to Buy Paxil online from a certified online pharmacy or your local drug store.

What Happens when Paxil Is Mixed With Alcohol?

There has not been a clear result given as to what happens when Paxil and alcohol are taken together; some say they help to cure the reliance on alcohol in some people, while some sites suggest that it has an opposite effect and, in some way, it is terrible to take them both together.

A study related to social anxiety and alcohol use suggested that people who use alcohol to make them feel more comfortable in social situations were advised to take Paxil as a substitute for better engagement with people. This resulted in less dependence on alcohol and gave people their much-needed confidence. 

On the other side, it was seen that the use of Paxil has led to an uphill graph of the misuse of alcohol and the abuse of similar substances. It looks like there is no clear conclusion as to what will happen if Paxil and alcohol are taken together.

Paxil can cause an increase in weight as it has a sedating effect, which tends to reduce physical activity.
Paxil can be taken with caffeine due to no interactions were observed.
Improvement in sleep, appetite or energy can be observed within the first 1-2 weeks. Symptoms like depressive mood may take up to 6-8 weeks to fully improve.

Side Effects Of Paxil

Paxil is associated with a lengthy list of side effects. The side effects associated with both medications are known to cause the users to discontinue the medications. We will discuss the side effects of both Paxil and Zoloft below.

Paxil is known to consist of both common side effects and severe side effects.

Side effects that are commonly associated with Paxil areas are listed below:

Common Side Effects  Severe Side Effects 
Weakness New or worsened depression
Sleepiness Suicidal thoughts
Delayed ejaculation Sleeplessness
Dizziness Acting on dangerous impulses
Constipation Agitation, anger, or irritability
Anxiousness New or worsened anxiety or panic attacks

Paxil can also cause some serious life-threatening side effects. If you experience any of these side effects, seek medical attention immediately:

These were some of the side effects of Paxil, but it suggested consuming Paxil only with the guidance of a doctor as an individual can experience many more side effects.

Also, these side effects of Paxil can increase with alcohol use, such as agitation, hallucination, mood swings, joint pain, etc.  

Other Interactions

Paxil can interact with several drugs other than alcohol. While taking Paxil, you should avoid taking antipsychotic thioridazine (Mellaril), antipsychotic drug pimozide (Orap) and MAO inhibitors. All these medications can cause severe adverse effects when you take them in combination with Paxil.

Other drug interactions with Paxil include:

  • Fentanyl, an opioid pain reliever
  • Cimetadine (Tagamet), used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Drugs used to treat irregular heartbeats, schizophrenia, and HIV infection
  • Medicines that thin the blood such as warfarin, rivaroxaban, and apixaban
  • Epilepsy medications
  • Other antidepressants such as tricyclics, lithium, SNRIs, or SSRIs
  • Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), a blood pressure lowering drug
  • Triptans, used to treat migraine headaches
  • Tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug
  • Procyclidine (Kemadrin)- a drug for Parkinson’s disease

You should consult your doctor about all drugs you take, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal remedies, vitamins, and supplements.

Safety measures to avoid mixing Alcohol and Paxil

Health and wellness is the most significant factor for a happy life. Everyone must be cautious and vigilant and read all instructions and warnings before taking any medication. People should take Paxil as prescribed by the doctor for the recommended period. If the problem persists after this dose, seek medical help from a healthcare provider for better treatment.

Occasional drinking can prevent unwanted side effects, but same time excess drinking worsens the side effects. Some types of wine, liquors and beer have higher alcohol content than others. Wine and beer are not safe to drink as liquor when it comes to taking them in combination with Paxil.

If a person wants to take alcohol while on medication or is highly addicted to drinking and fails to stop alcohol on his own, he should also consult a doctor to help reduce the alcohol intake.

When To Call a Doctor?

If your doctor has prescribed you Paxil for your depression, then you need to ask about all the side effects and risks, and possible interactions it can cause. Doctors usually advise not to combine any drugs and alcohol as it might cause unwanted side effects.

When one experiences any of the side effects mentioned above, it is essential to talk to a doctor.
If it comes to your notice that due to Paxil, your desire or use of alcohol is increasing, contact your doctor and seek medical attention. They may be able to recommend a drug that is more suitable for you.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution

If you are on Paxil, having an occasional drink might be okay. This includes not more than one drink a day for woman and two drinks a day for a man. Although it is also essential to know before taking Paxil with alcohol that both work on the same areas of the brain.

Thus, the dangers of alcohol or Paxil alone can worsen when taken in combination. So as an overall answer, we would suggest not taking Paxil with alcohol to avoid all of these altogether.

Still, again it depends on person to person as these side effects also depend on different people's different genes. The side effects have been laid out, and we have explained what conditions these could occur. The final decision then relies on the person prescribinged the medicine.

  • Williams, Megan, and Eric Wooltorton. "Paroxetine (Paxil) and congenital malformations." Cmaj 173.11 (2005): 1320-1321. From  https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.051421  obtain on 08/11/2022
  • McCloskey, Michael S., et al. "Effects of acute alcohol intoxication and paroxetine on aggression in men." Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 33.4 (2009): 581-590. From https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00872.x obtain on 08/11/2022
  • Hwang, Sohee, Jungrim Kim, and Sanghyun Park. "Recommend alternative drugs to minimize side-effect using generic name of drug." Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Emerging Databases: Technologies, Applications, and Theory. 2016. From https://doi.org/10.1145/3007818.3007846 Obtain on 08/11/2022
  • Becker, Daniel E. "Adverse drug interactions." Anesthesia progress 58.1 (2011): 31-41. From https://doi.org/10.2344/0003-3006-58.1.31 Obtain on 08/11/2022
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