Alcohol can complicate the treatment for various disorders and conditions. Depending on the medication used for treatment, alcohol consumption can be detrimental not only to the individual’s recovery but can also lead to immediate repercussions. With that in mind, today, we’re diving into what happens when you mix nortriptyline and alcohol.
Like Anafranil and Sinequan, Pamelor is the brand name for nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) that comes in capsule, tablet, and solution formulations. TCAs increase the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain by blocking the reuptake or reabsorption of these two chemicals in the synapse (space between two neurons.)
As a result, serotonin and norepinephrine accumulate in between neurons, producing signals that lead to improved mood, focus, and more. People who have depression tend to have low serotonin and norepinephrine levels, making nortriptyline an effective form of treatment.
In addition to treating depression and anxiety, nortriptyline may also be used for the treatment of nerve pain like burning, shooting, or stabbing sensations. Although Pamelor does produce more side effects than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), they’re usually flu-like and generally go away quickly.
Some side effects of Pamelor include:
TCAs are continuously put under the microscope due to their risk of physical dependence. For this reason, it’s important to take Pamelor as prescribed and follow the regimen created by your doctor. This is the best way to prevent adverse reactions, keep your condition under control, and avoid the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
Although some doctors might allow you to drink some alcohol while taking Pamelor, it’s best to avoid nortriptyline and alcohol consumption altogether, as alcohol can compromise the efficacy of the medication. One’s initial reaction to antidepressant medication can set the tone for how their treatment will go, so it’s best to allow the body time to adjust to the new medication and allow the medication to do its thing.
Pamelor doesn’t immediately start working when you first take it, and patients usually start noticing changes in their depression symptoms or nerve pain after a week or two. During this time, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol as the body acclimates itself to the medication. Once the individual reaches the point of regularity, controlled alcohol consumption might be permitted by a doctor, but only in moderation.
Even so, it’s important to keep in mind that a negative nortriptyline-alcohol interaction can occur. As a depressant, alcohol works on certain neurotransmitters to produce sedation and drowsiness. This could intensify any of Pamelor’s sedative effects, making patients feel more heavily drugged than usual if the two were not mixed.
This can make operating heavy machinery and driving dangerous and nearly impossible. The combination of Pamelor and alcohol can also worsen feelings of depression due to alcohol’s additional effects on the brain. As a result, the medication may not be as effective as if it were taken alone.
Although a doctor might allow you to drink on Pamelor under their strict supervision, understanding what happens when you mix nortriptyline and alcohol in a worst-case scenario is important. At the end of the day, both alcohol and nortriptyline produce their own adverse effects that may only be worsened when the two are combined.
Some common side effects of Pamelor and alcohol include:
In addition to the risks, another possible consequence is a nortriptyline and alcohol overdose. Although this type of overdose isn’t believed to be fatal, it can be dangerous and highly uncomfortable.
Unless you’ve spoken to your doctor and they’ve given you the okay to drink while taking Pamelor, do not do it. Drinking while taking medication can also contribute to alcohol abuse over time. Alcohol also impacts mental health and drinking while taking antidepressants can prevent the medications from working properly.
If you’ve noticed that a loved one is struggling with alcohol use or is misusing their medication, don’t wait to reach out to a professional. Our Texas rehabilitation center offers alcoholism treatment on an inpatient scale that incorporates physical care and therapy to help clients heal from the inside out.
Starting with medically monitored alcohol detox, patients can recover from withdrawals without relapsing under the guidance of our medical team. Once detox is completed, clients then work with our counselors and sponsors to develop sober skills they can use after rehab.