May 23 2022

Active ingredient: fluoxetine

Few data are available from clinical trials and other studies regarding the concomitant use of fluoxetine and alcohol. However, although fluoxetine has not shown to alter the metabolism of alcohol and does not seem to potentiate the cognitive and psychomotor effects of this substance in healthy volunteers, it is not recommended to drink alcohol while under treatment with fluoxetine.

Only has been documented an interaction of alcohol and fluoxetine consistent in a reduction of the anxiolytic effects of ethanol in laboratory animals that could not to be related to their antidepressant properties, since other inhibitors of serotonin reuptake not show this effect at usual doses[1].

It have been published some isolated cases of alcohol intolerance in patients receiving fluoxetine.

It appears that administration of fluoxetine and ethanol neither produces increased levels of ethanol in the blood nor produces significant changes in physiological , psychometric or psychomotor performance or activities [2].

Some experiments have shown that inhibitors of serotonin reuptake produces a decrease in ethanol consumption in laboratory animals and also shows comparable effects in humans, with an average reduction of consumption by 20-30%. The effects on ethanol intake are different of antidepressant properties of these drugs, that may be due to the facilitation of satiety signals[3][4].

Twelve healthy volunteers received amitriptyline, fluoxetine and placebo at clinically relevant doses during a period of 7 days, with an interval between each change of medicines of 4 weeks. Day 8 were given a measured dose of alcohol. Significant differences were found for many of the tests after alcohol, but not was found significant differences between drugs [5].

Fluoxetine (30 or 60 mg) administered with ethanol (45 ml of absolute alcohol per 70 kg body weight) did not alter the blood or plasmatic concentrations of fluoxetine or ethanol, respectively, compared with the levels reached after the administration of either substance alone. Single or multiple doses of fluoxetine had no effect on psychomotor activity, motor performance, or manual coordination or subjective effects of alcohol. Data indicate that fluoxetine does not inhibit the metabolism of ethanol and has no effect on psychomotor activity[6]


1: Durcan MJ, Lister RG, Eckardt MJ, Linnoila M. Interactions of 5HT reuptake inhibitors and ethanol in tests of exploration and anxiety. Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse. 1988, 7 (3-4) :113-7.
2: Lemberger L, Bergstrom RF, Wolen RL, Farid NA, Enas GG, GR Aronoff. Fluoxetine: clinical pharmacology and physiologic disposition. J Clin Psychiatry. 1985 Mar, 46 (3 Pt 2) :14-9.
3: Naranjo CA, Sellers EM. Serotonin uptake inhibitors attenuate ethanol intake in problem drinkers. Recent Dev Alcohol. 1989, 7:255-66.
4: Naranjo CA, Poulos CX, Bremner KE, Lanctot KL. Fluoxetine attenuates alcoholintake and desire to drink. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 1994 Sep, 9 (3) :163-72.
5: Allen D, Lader M, Curran HV. A comparative study of the interactions of Alcohol with amitriptyline, fluoxetine and placebo in Normal subjects. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1988, 12 (1) :63-80.
6: Lemberger L, Rowe H, Bergstrom RF, Farid KZ, Enas GG. Effect of fluoxetine on psychomotor performance, physiologic response, and kinetics of ethanol. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1985 Jun; 37 (6) :658-64.