Woman in table with Zoloft and Beear

Zoloft and Alcohol: What to Know

For people with depression and other mental health issues, medication can offer welcome relief. One drug commonly used to treat depression is Zoloft. If you are experiencing depression and anxiety, your doctor may prescribe you Zoloft, an antidepressant medication, to help regulate your mood. If your doctor prescribes you Zoloft or another antidepressant, drinking alcohol while you are taking the medication may make your antidepressant or anxiety medication less effective or cause increased side effects. Our rehabilitation center is here to educate you on the effects of mixing Zoloft and alcohol. 

What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft belongs to a group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They work by blocking the brain’s serotonin receptors, causing more serotonin molecules to circulate. If you have been dealing with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or social anxiety disorder, your doctor or mental health provider may prescribe Zoloft to treat your symptoms. 

This antidepressant is a brand name for sertraline hydrochloride. It also helps stabilize moods, balance emotions, regulate appetite, and improve sleep, among other things. Healthcare clinicians are not sure whether low levels of serotonin cause major depression and other mental illnesses or vice versa.

Can You Mix Zoloft and Alcohol?

Though there might not be an abundance of published evidence describing this specific combination of antidepressants and alcohol, as with many prescription medications, there may be some contraindications to mixing the two. Zoloft interacts with the brain in a way that can alter certain cognitive processes, potentially impacting decision-making, thinking clearly, and reaction time. As such, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends not drinking alcohol while you take Zoloft. 

Zoloft and Alcohol Interactions

Zoloft works specifically on your neurotransmitters and enhances your brain’s message system. Alcohol is a neurological suppressant, meaning it inhibits the neurotransmitter exchanges in your brain. This explains why some people have trouble thinking and doing other tasks when they drink. Drinking alcohol can have these effects on your brain whether you take medication or not. But when you take medications that also affect how the brain works, such as Zoloft, drinking can complicate the effects. These complications are called interactions. 

Symptoms of Interactions Between Alcohol and Zoloft

Alcohol and Zoloft are both drugs. Taking more than one drug at a time can increase your risk of negative interactions. In this case, alcohol can make the side effects of Zoloft worse.

The increased effects of mixing alcohol and Zoloft can include:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness and dizziness

Legacy Healing Center Is Here to Help

If you feel that you or a loved one can not control their drinking, we urge you to reach out to our team of medical professionals, who are here to help. Avoid any dangers of mixing Zoloft and alcohol.

We offer various levels of care and therapy programs for alcohol addiction, including detox programs, behavioral and group therapy sessions, and effective medication plans to help manage your condition. We are here to help you or a loved one achieve the journey to sobriety. 

To learn more about our treatment center, contact us today and speak with one of our trained intake specialists.

What Is the Difference Between Addiction and Dependence?
What Happens if You Drink Alcohol Everyday?