Doctors usually advise against alcohol use while taking most medications, as severe interactions can occur. Alcohol consumption while taking prescription drugs can also interfere with the medication’s ability to treat the person’s symptoms, which can be problematic. When it comes to antipsychotics like Seroquel, the same seems to be true. Below is a guide of what happens when you mix Seroquel and alcohol that you should read if you’re taking this medication or planning to.
Seroquel is the brand name for quetiapine, which is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. Seroquel is referred to as an atypical type of antipsychotic because it helps to restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain by blocking receptors that act on dopamine.
This prevents excessive activity of dopamine, which improves concentration, focus, anxiety, nervousness, sleep, mood, and energy levels. Seroquel also blocks serotonin receptors, a chemical that plays a key role in disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. Quetiapine can also help to prevent severe mood swings or decrease how often they occur.
On its own, Seroquel may cause side effects like:
Although Seroquel is not a controlled substance, it’s important to avoid taking it in higher doses than prescribed. Doctors are careful to prescribe a dose that’s appropriate for the patient’s condition, symptoms, and health, and compromising the way it’s taken can make it ineffective or lead to adverse reactions.
What Happens If You Drink Alcohol with Quetiapine?
The burning question of the day is: can you drink alcohol with Seroquel? The answer is no. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises against Seroquel and alcohol use not only because alcohol can interfere with the efficacy of the medication but also because the combination can lead to various dangerous reactions.
Common side effects of Seroquel and alcohol include:
Some rarer Seroquel and alcohol side effects you should also be aware of include seizures, changes in heart rhythm, diabetes, new or worsening depression, and delusions or hallucinations. As we mentioned before, quetiapine is used to treat a variety of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Each of these conditions affects the brain differently and is characterized by different symptoms. Mixing quetiapine and alcohol is not advised because alcohol can impair the medication’s ability to treat the individual’s symptoms. Otherwise, mental health symptoms like extreme sadness, mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and hallucinations may re-occur and resurface more intensely.
What’s more, alcohol can impact mental health, as well. It changes neurotransmitter levels in the brain, which can lead to or worsen symptoms like mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. In many cases where this occurs, the individual may increase their doses of quetiapine without consulting their doctor because they believe the medication isn’t working as well.
A Seroquel and alcohol interaction is not usually deadly, which is a fact made clear by the off-label use of Seroquel for alcohol withdrawal treatment. However, you can die from Seroquel and alcohol together, just as any concoction of substances can be fatal. For this reason, as well as the ones mentioned earlier, it’s important to speak to your doctor about the possible side effects of drinking on quetiapine and whether it’s safe.
Many people combine their medications with alcohol to feel extremely sedated. However, if the use of alcohol with a certain prescription drug is not FDA approved nor advised by your doctor, then combining them is considered a form of polysubstance abuse. In this case, not only can physical and psychological problems occur, but dependence and addiction also become a risk.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, reach out to one of the Banyan rehab locations to discuss which of our levels of care for substance abuse treatment is right for you. We treat alcohol, illicit drug, and prescription drug use disorders of all kinds via evidence-based treatments led by high-level specialists.
No matter what substance use disorder you’re going through, our drug addiction treatment centers are here for you. Connect with Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our substance abuse services.
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