Is it safe to combine amitriptyline and alcohol?

Combining amitriptyline with alcohol is not recommended.

Amitriptyline is an antidepressant medication that belongs to the family of drugs known as tricyclics. It works by increasing levels of a hormonal substance known as serotonin in the brain. Serotonin plays an important role in mood regulation, and inadequate levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and other mood disorders.

Unfortunately, many people believe that drinking while taking psychotropic medication is safe, as both substances are legally available. Alcohol can be dangerous when taken with various medications, and amitriptyline is no exception. Unlike some other medications that help regulate mood, there is not a high chance of life-threatening complications from taking this medication. However, safety issues can arise with this mixture, which is why the patient literature included with the drug recommends patients not to drink anything while taking it.

Combining amitriptyline with alcohol will intensify the drug’s side effects.

Several reasons make the prospect of this combination dangerous, particularly with regard to adverse effects that can occur quite unpredictably. Mixing amitriptyline and alcohol can increase the chances of negative side effects from the medication. Adverse side effects seen in people taking this medication include nausea, stomach discomfort, and drowsiness. These same effects can also result from drinking alcohol, and the combination of alcohol and amitriptyline causes these effects to occur much more frequently.

Amitriptyline works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Other effects that result from drinking alcohol can become much more pronounced when amitriptyline and alcohol are taken together. Slow reactions to external stimuli, problems with judgment and higher-order thinking, and poor motor control can all be products of excessive alcohol consumption. These effects may become even more apparent when combining amitriptyline and alcohol. Due to the additive effect of these two drugs, these types of side effects can arise from the consumption of relatively small amounts of alcohol.

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An antidepressant, amitriptyline, is also sold under the trade name Elavil.

It is possible for people to operate heavy machinery and drive while taking this antidepressant once the individual knows how they react to it and gets used to the side effects. The unpredictability of side effects that can come from drinking alcohol with this medication means that these activities may not be performed safely, even after a single drink. Although many laws allow a low blood alcohol level while driving, mixing amitriptyline and alcohol in any amount can still be dangerous. Even activities that do not involve machines but that require intense concentration may not be completed properly after drinking and taking this medication.

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