Antidepressants and alcohol: What’s the concern?

amitriptyline and alcohol

Yes, amitriptyline, an oral tricyclic antidepressant, has been reported to cause high blood pressure (hypertension), but how often this occurs was not reported. Other heart side effects, like fast heart beat, orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure upon standing), fainting, heart rhythm changes and heart attack have also been reported. Some side effects, like orthostatic hypotension and heart rhythm changes, are common to the tricyclic antidepressant class. Amitriptyline comes in tablet form and is available in doses of 10 milligrams (mg), 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, and 150 mg. For treatment of depression, the medication is usually started at a dose between 50 mg and 100 mg per day. Amitriptyline drug interactions, as well as certain medical conditions, need to be taken into account when considering treatment with this drug.

amitriptyline and alcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking amitriptyline. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. By Anne Asher, CPTAnne Asher, ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, and orthopedic exercise specialist, is a back and neck pain expert. Some side effects are dose-related and might improve if your healthcare provider reduces your dose. If necessary, your dose may be increased by 25 mg every three to seven days to a total of 150 mg per day.

What if I miss a dose?

Side effects from rapid withdrawal can include headache, nausea, trouble sleeping, abnormal dreams, irritability, and restlessness. Talk to your doctor about the best way to stop treatment. Amitriptyline victory programs will stay in your system for about 2 to 6 days after your last dose, but its clinical effect may wear off before this time. Amitriptyline has a half-life ranging from 10 to 28 hours.

  1. May enhance the effects of alcohol and the effects of other CNS depressants.
  2. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
  3. Amitriptyline comes in tablet form and is available in doses of 10 milligrams (mg), 25 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg, 100 mg, and 150 mg.
  4. Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your care team for advice.

You should refer to the prescribing information for amitriptyline for a complete list of interactions. Amitriptyline can cause drug interactions and side effects, some of them severe. Make sure you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking and keep them informed if you experience side effects like suicidal thoughts, seizures, or sleep disturbances. Sometimes amitriptyline is used when you have depression and pain.

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Don’t stop taking an antidepressant or other medication just so that you can drink. Most antidepressants require taking a consistent, daily dose to maintain a constant level in your system and work as intended. Stopping and starting your medications can make your depression worse. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use amitriptyline only for the indication prescribed.

amitriptyline and alcohol

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Do not use amitriptyline if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.

Does amitriptyline cause high blood pressure?

Amitriptyline can cause side effects when it is used for the treatment of depression or for an off-label indication. Sometimes the side effects are temporary and may resolve after a fentanyl laced weed few weeks, but you might continue to have side effects even after months of using it. Rarely, side effects emerge after months or even years of using this drug without side effects.

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Amitriptyline is taken by mouth, initially in divided doses, but can be taken once per day when the target dose is established. If you are taking your entire dose of amitriptyline at once, it should be at bedtime, and if you are taking it in divided doses, one of the doses should be taken at bedtime. Amitriptyline isn’t usually a first-line treatment for anxiety. Your healthcare provider will probably want to try other medications before prescribing amitriptyline. Amitriptyline is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating symptoms of depression.

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse. Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Because it may take several weeks to see the full effects of this medication, it is important to continue your treatment as prescribed by your care team. Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with amitriptyline.


Amitriptyline may work by increasing chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) serotonin and norepinephrine that communicate between brain cells and help regulate mood. This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Amitriptyline can interact with a number of prescription medications.

As with the treatment of depression, amitriptyline is not expected to alleviate any of these conditions immediately when it is used off label. Medicines that interact with amitriptyline may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with amitriptyline. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.

Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or allergies without asking your care team for advice. Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. If you’re at low risk of addiction to alcohol, it may be OK to have an occasional drink, depending on your particular situation, but talk with your doctor. If you’re concerned about your alcohol poisoning alcohol use, you may benefit from substance abuse counseling and treatment programs that can help you overcome your misuse of alcohol. Joining a support group or a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous may help. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Patients and their families should watch out for new or worsening thoughts of suicide or depression. If this happens, especially at the beginning of treatment or after a change in dose, call your care team. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly except upon the advice of your care team. Stopping this medication too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition may worsen.


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