Antidepressants and Alcohol

Antidepressants' Interactions and Side Effects

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During the treatment with Venlafaxine, the use of alcohol and alcohol-containing medicines should be completely ruled out. Alcohol enhances the impairment of psychomotor functions, which can cause Venlafaxine.

Postmarketing experience of application indicates that most often an overdose of Venlafaxine occurred with simultaneous intake of alcohol and / or with other psychotropic drugs. There are repeated reports of deaths. Published literature sources on retrospective studies of Venlafaxine overdoses report that such an increased risk of fatal outcomes may be inherent in Venlafaxine.


So, one should pay attention to alcohol craving during Venlafaxine taking.

Pharmacological Properties

Venlafaxine is an antidepressant with a new chemical structure that can not be attributed to tricyclic, tetracyclic or other known antidepressants.

Venlafaxine does not inhibit MAO activity.

With repeated use of the drug, the equilibrium concentrations of venlafaxine and its only active metabolite in blood plasma are achieved within 3 days.

Venlafaxine does not accumulate in the body.

Venlafaxine Indications

  • Depression (with or without symptoms of anxiety), outpatient or inpatient treatment;
  • Prevention of relapse after the first episode of depression or prevention of new relapses;
  • Generalized anxiety disorders;
  • Social anxiety disorders (social phobia).

Venlafaxine Application

Capsules should be taken whole during meals, washed down with liquid. Capsules can not be divided, grinded, chewed or dissolved. The daily dose should be taken in one session (morning or evening) at the same time.


The recommended dose is 75 mg / day at one time.

If a higher dose is required taking into account the course of the disease, for example, with severe depression or hospital treatment of the patient, the recommended initial dose may be 150 mg / day at a time. After that, the daily dose can be increased by 37.5-75 mg with an interval of ≥2 weeks, but not less than 4 days until the required therapeutic effect is achieved. The recommended maximum dose of venlafaxine is 225 mg / day with moderate depression and 350 mg with severe depression. After achieving the necessary therapeutic effect, the dose should be gradually reduced to the minimum effective taking into account the individual response and tolerability of each patient. When used in high doses, the risk of side effects of the drug increases.

Generalized Anxiety Disorders And Social Anxiety Disorders (Social Phobia)

The recommended dose of venlafaxine is 75 mg / day in a single dose.

If after 2 weeks of treatment there is no noticeable improvement in the condition, the daily dose can be increased to 150 mg / day in one session. When applied in a daily dose of 75 mg, the anxiolytic effect is noted after 1 week.

Prevention of Relapse or New Episodes

Venlafaxine has been shown to be effective in long-term therapy (up to 12 months with depression and social phobia, up to 6 months in generalized anxiety disorders). Treatment of acute episodes of depression should be continued for at least 6 months.

Side Effects when taking Venlafaxine and alcohol

  • Constipation, nausea, asthenia, headache;
  • Violation of breathing, yawning
  • Tachycardia, hypertension, dilatation of blood vessels;
  • Anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation and orgasm;
  • Impaired vision and accommodation, mydriasis, noise and ringing in the ears, increased cholesterol levels in the blood plasma, increased or decreased body weight;
  • Arthralgia, myalgia.

Special Instructions

In patients with a depressed condition, before starting any therapy, the likelihood of suicidal attempts should be considered. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk of overdose, the initial dose of the drug should be as low as possible, and the patient - under medical supervision. Reported aggressive behavior of the patient during the use of venlafaxine (especially at the beginning of treatment and after drug withdrawal).

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