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Dangers of Mixing Zoloft and Alcohol

dangers of mixing zoloft and alcohol

Zoloft and alcohol are two drugs that directly impact the brain. As a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, alcohol can reduce activity in the brain, creating relaxing and drowsy side effects.

When Zoloft and alcohol use are combined, the two interact to create severe symptoms that can produce immediate and long-term consequences. However, many people still engage in polysubstance abuse and mix alcohol with other drugs to create strong interactions. Below are some common dangers of mixing Zoloft and alcohol that everyone should know.


What Is Zoloft?

Zoloft is the brand name for a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) called sertraline. Zoloft is a type of antidepressant used to treat conditions like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Zoloft works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger used by neurons to communicate and control functions like mood, behavior, and motivation. Zoloft works by preventing serotonin reuptake by nerves, increasing serotonin concentration between nerve synapses (space between two nerves). This reaction is what produces a Zoloft high.

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Excessive sweating
  • Changes in sex drive or performance
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

Because Zoloft increases serotonin levels in the brain, many people are attracted to its abuse for the euphoric high it produces when taken in large doses. Even though Zoloft is a prescription drug, it doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe. Those who abuse antidepressants run the risk of developing an addiction and may find themselves in need of prescription drug addiction treatment.


Effects of Zoloft and Alcohol Interaction

If you’re wondering, “can you mix Zoloft and alcohol?” the answer is no. A Zoloft and alcohol reaction can be highly dangerous because of the latter's effect on the former. Drinking while on Zoloft causes the latter’s side effects to happen more quickly and more intensely because both substances are CNS depressants and, therefore, similarly affect the brain. Zoloft alone can produce intense sedative effects, which is why it’s a monitored and controlled drug that’s only available through a prescription. Together, Zoloft and alcohol effects can create a severe high marked by intense physical and psychological issues.

Some common side effects of drinking alcohol with Zoloft include:

  • Euphoria
  • Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Impaired judgment
  • Sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulties thinking clearly
  • Reduced perception of pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Reduced heart rate
  • Sleep problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Decreased libido or sexual performance
  • Dry mouth

When a combination of alcohol and Zoloft gets ingested, blackouts are also common. Zoloft and alcohol are individually addictive, meaning a person who makes combining them a habit may find themselves in need of help from our drug or alcohol rehab in Philadelphia.


Can You Overdose on Zoloft And Alcohol?

Yes, you can overdose on Zoloft and alcohol. Zoloft and alcohol death can occur when they’re taken in high doses, as when a person takes an intoxicating amount of any substance, to the point where their body shuts down or reacts, would be considered as a drug overdose. Common drug overdose symptoms include increased or decreased body temperature, loss of consciousness or unresponsiveness, changes in skin color (pale or bluish tint to the skin), abnormal breathing, and irregular heart rate.

Alcohol can also cause depressive symptoms, which can make Zoloft less effective in people who are taking it for depression or other mental disorders. Alcohol is also known for its effects on the liver, and heavy drinking mixed with drug use can exacerbate these problems. People who are taking prescription drugs are often advised to avoid alcohol to avoid repercussions like the ones mentioned above.


If you or someone you know is suffering from the side effects of mixing Zoloft and alcohol or any other form of substance abuse, our drug rehab in Philadelphia can help. Call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our drug rehab programs in Pennsylvania.


Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.