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Trazodone and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol with Trazodone?

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Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 4/18/2022

Trazodone is an antidepressant that helps with depression and other mental health disorders. The medication functions as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor. Trazodone is a prescription medication and can only be taken with a prescription from a doctor. However, trazodone can also be used as a sedative because of how it interacts with the mind and body. It’s a medication with several uses depending on the needs of the patient.

What are the Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Trazodone?

Mixing trazodone and alcohol leads to several effects that vary in intensity. Trazodone and alcohol can lead to serious side effects like extreme drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and rapid intoxication. Alcohol can also amplify the side effects of trazodone and make the medication less effective, especially when alcohol is consumed in large quantities. Several of the dangerous interactions are listed below.

1. Angle Closure Glaucoma

Mixing alcohol and trazodone is dangerous for individuals who have narrow eyes. Trazodone can cause mydriatic activity, which leads to higher levels of intraocular pressure behind the eyes. For people with narrow eyes, the result is angle Closure glaucoma. When mixed with alcohol, the risk for this side effect occurring is increased and can become more pronounced. In fact, alcohol consumption when using trazodone can make this effect more likely and severe.

2. Mania

Trazodone is used to treat various mental health conditions. When an antidepressant is used it changes brain chemistry to help people produce more chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals make people happy and can help treat depression. That said, alcohol also has interactions with dopamine and serotonin. When mixing the substances it can cause side effects to become worse and lead to mania, which is an elevated mood. While manic episodes can make people feel happy, it’s associated with bipolar disorder because an individual’s mood can rapidly deteriorate when the manic episode is over. Combining alcohol and trazodone can make these episodes more frequent and dangerous.

3. Seizures

Trazodone has been associated with seizures because some patients have experienced seizures when taking the medication. Recent research has suggested that trazodone does not raise the risk of seizures by a lot. Still, mixing trazodone with alcohol can increase the risk of seizures. This is especially true if someone consumes a large quantity of alcohol with trazodone. Therefore, a traditionally low seizure risk becomes amplified when the substance is combined with alcohol.

4. Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a side effect of many medications. Trazodone does not greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease but alcohol does. When mixing the medication with alcohol it can lead to changes in blood pressure and heart rate. These changes increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. When mixed in large quantities alcohol and trazodone can rapidly damage the body and heart.

5. Suicidality

Trazodone is used to treat depression. One of the side effects of depression is suicidal thoughts and depressed people are more likely to commit suicide. While trazodone is used to treat depression, it can also increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or induce suicidal thoughts. If trazodone is combined with alcohol these suicidal thoughts can become worse and lead to an elevated risk of suicide in some individuals.

Does Trazodone Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

Trazodone does not directly affect the taste of alcohol. Consuming alcohol with trazodone doesn’t typically make alcohol taste better or worse. That said, trazodone has a side effect that results in a bad taste in the mouth. Someone experiencing this side effect will taste alcohol differently. In many cases, alcohol will taste worse if this side effect takes place.

Does Trazodone Affect the Effect of Alcohol?

Trazodone can make alcohol feel more intoxicating. Trazodone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, so it slows down the mind and body. Alcohol is also a CNS depressant, so mixing the substances can amplify their effects. Some common interactions include feeling more drunk, difficulty focusing, drowsiness, loss of consciousness, and other amplified effects.

Can Mixture of Alcohol and Trazodone Lead to Death?

The mixture of alcohol and trazodone does not typically lead to death. However, mixing alcohol and trazodone in large quantities can increase symptoms of depression that lead to death and suicide. Moreover, mixing trazodone and alcohol can increase alcohol’s intoxicating effects and cause a coma or loss of consciousness. In both situations, death can occur. Keep in mind, that the risk increases with the more alcohol and trazodone that’s taken.

Who should not Take Alcohol and Trazodone?

Nobody should take alcohol and trazodone at the same time. While it’s not dangerous in small quantities, it can result in serious side effects when taken in high amounts. Therefore, avoiding mixing the substances is a good idea. Still, people who were prescribed trazodone should take the medication because it helps with symptoms of depression. In these cases, it should not be consumed with alcohol without speaking with a doctor.

Can I Take Trazodone with Alcohol While Pregnant?

Trazodone and alcohol should not be taken during pregnancy. Alcohol can lead to health issues for developing babies like fetal alcohol syndrome, which causes irreversible deformities and cognitive impairments. On the other hand, trazodone can be taken during pregnancy if you consult with your doctor. As a prescription medication, your healthcare provider will know what’s best for you. Alcohol should also be avoided during infancy because it can interact with breastmilk and lead to health problems for the baby.

Can You Use Trazodone for Alcohol Withdrawal?

Trazodone can be used for alcohol withdrawal. New research suggests that alcohol withdrawal can be successfully treated with trazodone because it acts as an adrenergic antagonist. Studies cited in the National Library of Medicine also show that trazodone can be used to treat pain, sleep loss, and general discomfort that occurs during alcohol withdrawal. However, data reflects that trazodone is more effective for severe cases of acute alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, less severe cases of alcohol withdrawal shouldn’t require trazodone unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor.

Are all Types of Alcohol Harmful with Trazodone?

All types of alcohol can be harmful with trazodone. Every type of alcohol has intoxicating effects that can lead to severe side effects and even death. That said, liquor is often the most dangerous type of alcohol to combine with trazodone. Liquor is the most dangerous because it has the highest amount of alcohol per volume and rapidly produces intoxicating effects. Compared to beer and wine, liquor is easier for many people to get drunk on, which is what makes it the most harmful alcohol to use with trazodone.

How Much Trazodone can be Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?

Trazodone is available in several doses. Some doses are 50 milligrams, while others can be as high as 150 milligrams. The higher the dosage of trazodone the more likely it is to cause side effects when mixed with alcohol. Due to this fact, even a dosage of 50 milligrams of trazodone can be dangerous to take with alcohol. While a few standard drinks should not cause too much harm, always consult with a professional before mixing alcohol and trazodone.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Trazodone will Work?

Alcohol can affect how well trazodone will work. If alcohol is consumed in large quantities it can increase the side effects of trazodone and lead to serious health consequences. Alcohol and trazodone also interact with similar areas of the brain, so alcohol can make trazodone less effective at treating depression. Small amounts of alcohol shouldn’t cause problems but large quantities of alcohol are problematic to combine with trazodone.

How Long After Taking Trazodone can You Drink Alcohol?

You can safely consume alcohol after 1 to 3 days of taking trazodone. Trazodone is removed from the body within this period, so we recommend waiting for around 3 days to be safe. You can drink sooner but the best way to determine when you can drink after taking trazodone is to speak with your doctor. Furthermore, consuming trazodone daily over long periods can make it harder for the body to clear it. In these cases, you should wait for at least 5-7 days before consuming alcohol.

What Are Other Drugs That Are Dangerous To Use with Alcohol?

Many drugs are dangerous to use with alcohol. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, so mixing it with other depressants can lead to serious side effects. That said, some drugs are more dangerous to mix with alcohol than others. Below are the drugs that are dangerous to use with alcohol.

  • Xanax
  • Opioids
  • Antidepressants
  • Depressants
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Stimulants
  • Amphetamines
  • Antibiotics (some)
  • Allergy medication (Zyrtec, Claritin)

These are only a handful of medications you shouldn’t take with alcohol. If you’re taking any type of medication, make sure you consult with your doctor before combining it with alcohol.