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Friday, April 17, 2009 Ginger, Community Member, asks

Q: Drinking alcohol while taking Pristiq...

The medication guide tells you to avoid alcohol while taking Pristiq - would this mean "totally" or is the occasional glass of wine with dinner acceptable?

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Answers (21)
Merely Me, Health Guide
4/17/09 5:13pm

Hi Ginger


Of course this question would be best answered by your doctor or pharmacist.


In the meantime I will give you some links of things I found in the literature about what other patients say as to how even a glass of wine affects them when taking Pristiq.


Here is one forum where a woman talks about her experience drinking a glass of wine while taking Pristiq.


And here is yet another forum where patients talk candidly about mixing Pristiq and alcohol.


On this question and answer forum, it is strongly suggested that you don't drink any alcohol while taking Pristiq.


Everyone will react differently I am sure.  Your best bet is to ask your doctor.


Thank you for your question!

Mousie Cat, Community Member
8/13/09 1:58pm

Some scary conditions were mentioned on the Q&A forum. The main worry I read somewhere in the Pristiq literature is about damage to the liver. I imagine this and other health problems would occur with excessive alcohol consumption, but not on one glass of wine a day before dinner. I hope I'm right, because that's my habit.

wondering, Community Member
1/ 7/10 5:56pm

Is there any difference between drinking alcohol and prozac or zoloft or stratera and alcohol with Pristiq?  Would alcohol interact any differently with Pristiq?

wondering, Community Member
1/ 7/10 5:56pm

Is there any difference between drinking alcohol and prozac or zoloft or stratera and alcohol with Pristiq?  Would alcohol interact any differently with Pristiq?

Ryan, Community Member
6/ 9/12 7:29pm
I have been on Pristiq for 4 months and have had no I'll effects from alcohol like many people I've read about. I started 3weeks before a trip to New Orleans where I drank more than usual and had no problems. I have read about people becoming mean to their spouses or blacking out, but not in my case. I still drink occasionally without incident. This may make it more difficult for liver function or something else internally, but I haven't noticed any differences externally. I hope I'm not the norm, but just wanted to put out a less scary result of drinking while on this drug. Reply
123, Community Member
8/28/09 9:47pm

I have been  on pristiq for around six months I drink around a 12 pack of beer a night and I have hade no problems while on pristq with large amounts of alcohol granted I drank alcohol prior to taking pristiq If you take alcohol you should tell your doctor but i have not do to the fear of loosing him I do not recomend drink on drugs but I have had no problems

John, Community Member
9/28/09 2:33pm

I have been drinking a large bottle of wine every night for about 6 years now. I started taking Pristique about 6 months ago for what I would describe as mind anxiety and depression. My Dr. said it would be ok for me to continue drinking on Pristique. I have found that I am increasingly having nightly situations where I shut down mentally but I am continuing to interact with my partner as if I am still alert. Almost like sleep walking...and I become very confrontational and rude. I have no memory of the incident in the morning or remember how I got to bed. My partner has had it with me and doesn't believe I shut down or have no memory of the incident. Therefore, I am going sober as of today and hope I can mend my relationship. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this drug interaction.

LauraMae666, Community Member
11/13/09 9:39am

I have been taking Pristiq for about a month and a half and lately when I drink i have no memory of it and my husband tells me that I also get mean towards him. When I wake up I have no idea why he is mad at me most of the time. Before Pristiq I could usually remember a night of drinking the next day. It's like I black out while still functioning. It is pretty scary!

Healed, Community Member
12/18/09 9:13pm

I am planning on starting my Pristiq tomorrow.  I do worry because I drink several drinks every night.  I do not feel that I will quit drinking.  I just hope that the Pristiq will get me up & going again.  I have always been little but I have gain about 12 pounds since I have bee on pain medication. I feel miserable & I need help.  I am very emotional.  I hope that Pristiq will help & I can quit drinking so much.

Vanessa, Community Member
5/13/12 9:19pm

Good luck & I hope the Pristiq works for you. I have been on it for I think a little over a couple weeks now & I am noticing that I have lost a little weight & am feeling a lot more stable. I feel like I have more courage to talk to people and just be a little more confident it seems. I was addicted to pain meds for 5 years. I quit on New years 2012, however when I tried Pristiq during my 1st 5 days of my detox off of the pain meds & benzos during the holidays, I about went crazy after day 5 & almost had to go to the hospital. My boyfriend broke down & gave me a piece of a Klnopin. However, this past month I find I have been drinking more & smoking weed since I no longer over medicate. I haven't been liking my mood swings & so decided to give the pristiq another try.(since I never threw way my stash) I started by breaking it into 3 pieces, & taking a piece a day, then a half, & now a whole. I have had my nights when I have drank alcohol while being on this Pristiq, & it doesn't seem to be a big deal. However, I do believe that avoiding anything with a depressive effect will heighten the work of the Pristiq. Alcohol is ok, but it kindof seems to kill the serotonin/norepinephrine thing that the pristiq is doing.(as well as weed, though I would never mess with smoking weed while on an antidepressant...that is just my rule)... Just in moderation really with the alcohol. & quite honestly, sometimes the Pristiq can make me a little jumpy, so I need a glass of wine to calm down. I also started taking ambien at night as well as switching it with Trazedone every other night so not to get addicted to one particular thing. Those 2 help with sleep. Anyways, I hope my insight helped.

Michele, Community Member
1/ 1/10 11:26pm

This is exactly what has been happening to me, and that is why I started looking for answers today since last night was the worst.  Its some strange reaction that never happened before when I drank.  Lately I feel like its not really me.  I become a different person.

Charly, Community Member
4/26/11 9:01am

That is exactly what happens to me. It is like i become a totally different person and I remember nothing of what I did. I went to a party recently and even had the were-with-all to take some videos of the party...came across them looking for another pic to show a friend of something else...came across them and i was mortified...i was totally functional...having a good time with friends...and i dont remember ANY OF IT. And i had only a small amount to drink, 2 or 3 beers...and this happens ALL OF THE TIME. Total black outs

xmitsowl, Community Member
7/20/12 3:03am

I am so glad I found this forum. I've just started on Pristiq (3 weeks ago). It was also the start of uni break and the start of full time work - a lot of excuses to have a drink. I was so down when I started taking the pills that I couln't even read the info booklet. I found myself totally over the moon with life one moment and then crying/screaming and hurting the next. Each time I drank, I ended up in a foggy mess, lying in a heap and hurling insults at my boyfriend. I still have problems trying to sleep, and I get the occasional panic attack, but things are smoothing themselves out now that I have stopped drinking. I never had more than 3 drinks on any occasion, but 1 is enough to do it. If you are new to this meication and thinking about drinking, please take it slow and easy. A month of soft drink could change everything for the better.

jamiemarie, Community Member
7/13/10 1:07pm

last week i started taking pristiq..since then i have not drank anything. This is because i was on Prozac before and had a horriable time while drinking on that med. I too had similiar symptons. One night i blacked out from 11 pm till the next morning. My friends told me i was acting pretty drunk but still funcational. It is probably the scariest thing i went through. I also ruined a great relationship and now to do that, he got fed up and left. Now i am changing my life and staying sober. Drinking on any anti depressant , i believe is not a good idea at all. It lowers your tolerance and makes you black out.. or at least for me it did.

K, Community Member
11/10/10 1:10am

Ha ha! That's so funny you should mention that John. Just the other night I "awoke" from the couch in one of these said comas and started pouring maple syrup in all the cups in the sink! Luckily I have a very understanding partner as this kind of thing is common, and I barely ever remember the point at which I passed out, what happened afterwards, and how I got to bed. Sad isn't it! Not drinking excessively is the ONLY answer, which is even more sad :-(

Pearl, Community Member
11/30/10 6:11pm

yes i have .. i was on zoloft, i became very violent towards my partner.

and i see you have said you have quit alcohol to save your relationship! its great , i advise asking your doctor anout AA alcoholics Anonamous... It is an excellent group of people .. Smile

L70, Community Member
8/12/11 11:51am

I just had an incident this past Monday night. My Mom is sick and I have to take care of her..............I got home after drinking and called her a Bitch. She slapped me and I did her back, I don't remember it at ALL...............I am not drinking any MORE!

JoshL., Community Member
12/ 9/09 12:01pm

I used to drink about a 12 pack a night and could have heavy nights and be just fine. When I started Pristiq I found that I was getting drunk faster on less. Soon afterwards I found I was becoming an emotional rude drunk. I have had 3 episodes now where I have completely blacked out, mind you I did not drink enough to get black out drunk, and woke up on the couch with my wife extremely mad at me for my behaviour the night before. I have no recollection what so ever of any of it. Needless to say I have chosen to sober up and continue taking Pristiq because other than that, I have had no ill effects other than some nasuea.

Jimmy, Community Member
11/21/10 1:06am

I have also had an occasion where I have blacked out with no recollection.  I have been taking Prestiq since July.  I rarely drink, but when I do, I have a GREAT time.  Unfortunately, I had not drank at a social function since July. In September, I was pulled over for a DWI and speeding.  I was arrested and taken to jail.  I woke up early in the morning and had absolutely no idea how I got there.  I am not trying to use this as an excuse to get out of trouble, I am trying to figure out why I ended up in jail with no memory of how I got there.  The only reason I even made it to this website is because a family member asked if maybe my meds had something to do with it.  I googled it and the rest is history.  I have never been in trouble in my life.  This is completely out of character for me, and I hope by sharing this incident I can warn anyone that may be taking/prescribed Presiq to DEFINITELY NOT DRINK WHILE YOU ARE ON THE DRUG.

Kristine Peer, Community Member
10/28/09 11:29pm

I do not take pristiq yet, but I do drink a large bottle of wine often, plenty of times I sleep with my husband , have no idea, but at the time feel fully aware. I am assuming this is blackout??

Okumari143, Community Member
1/ 6/10 5:51pm

Just wondering about drinking while taking pristique.  Please  send any information.

green bastard, Community Member
1/12/10 1:13am

i am a serious drinker... i drink very often and in high 24 beer at a time.... a 26 oz is a good buzz but i drink more than that even... pristiq i found to be magic happy drug at first...but i i grew more tollerent it was less spectactual... i found the blackout factor to increase more and more... i would drink from say 9 4am... but i wouldnt remember shit from around 3-4 pm...apparently i was still just my usall drinking personality...but would have no my doc has given me wellbutrin @ 300 i dwindled myself off the pristiq...(sexual side effects)...but i have them saved for special family gatherings...everything is so...ahhhh... So in finale on pristiq...and alchomahol... im gunna give it a 3 outta ten...but i bet i drink alot more than least compared to what ive read here...but then again maybe drinkin 30 beer a night is a bit much...maybe...

oh and on another note...since ive stopped the pristiq which i did slowly cause there r repocutions... like almost the same high you get when you first start it...but not as good...wellbutrion isnt much better...yet for me the whole sexual thang isnt a problem...  final note... love pristiq...u shouldnt drink tooo much... and im drunk right now lets see if i remember this...


Mandy42392, Community Member
2/20/10 3:27pm

Don't do it. I had one glass and started having trouble breathing, I literally couldn't get any air. If my dad hadn't been here, honestly I don't think I would have made it. He was talking to me the whole time, telling me I would be okay and not to give up. Every time I heard his voice, I tried harder. I started passing out every minute or so, as well. An ambulance got called and by the time they got here, I was having seizures. The paramedic, hooked me up to oxygen and gave me an IV. As I started coming to, he explained how alcohol mixed with Pristiq causes a reaction in your brain, which causes seizures. It was unbelievably scary. And the funny thing is, I remember every bit of it. I couldn't move and could barely breath, but I was still there, fighting. And I heard everything that was said, and remember everything that was done. Other than the times that I passed out, of course. Although, I was there, I couldn't move or react to anything that was said or done. It was truly scary and I am going to the doctor Monday to get off of this horrible medication.

Unit, Community Member
3/24/10 9:53pm

I have been on pristiq for a couple of weeks now.  I know that these depression\anxiety style drugs take a while to actually work within your system but this seemed to work quite well early.  Lately though, i forgot to take one the other night and since last night to today i have mopped around feeling anxious.  I have suffered depression for 10 years.  Sometimes i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I don't drink every day but when i do i usually go overboard.  After a night on it I sleep most of the day and when i get up i go for a huge walk which generally makes me feel better. However at night i can feel like i am going to die and on occassions feel very detached from my body like i am not even in it.  Quite a scary feeling.  During the walk though you feel normal. At night when i get these scary feelings i don't want to be around anyone. Even my family. I don't sleep well that night either but the next day i am a lot better although still a bit ify. Managable would best explain it.


I have explained these situations to my Psych and he is going to put me on a drug called luvox (Fluvoxamine) which i have been told will stop me worrying about things all the time, help depression and anxiety and also has a sedative which can help sleep patterns as long as it is taken at night. I'm willing to give anything a go personally but my Psych seemed to pin point my problem over any Psych i've seen so hopefully things will look up.  Will let everyone know =)

bj890, Community Member
4/17/10 10:36am

do you have to give beer up all together

bill brown, Community Member
4/17/10 4:57pm


Steve in Australia, Community Member
10/ 9/10 2:14pm

I had twelve stubbies of beer over two days and am on 50mg of Pristiq/day but am not a regular drinker... was just celebrating catching up with an old mate, sitting in the sun - not hot day. Anyway that night I had a seizure, so alcohol does enhance the effect of pristiq and should be avoided in my opinion. BTW my weight is over 150kg and am 175cm tall, so my dose is not severe and I am managing nocturnal epilepsy with tegretol 100mg/day. (dumb move mixing alcohol with chemicals)

helpplz, Community Member
2/ 9/12 3:35pm

did you hve epilepsy before you started taking pristiq?

vasbiel, Community Member
10/16/10 5:35am


vasbiel, Community Member
10/16/10 5:35am


AlexQ, Community Member
1/19/11 1:22pm

For me the awnser is NO! I useally drink a few glasses of wine at night and have had to stop due to this medication. As others have reported, it makes me go into a state of mind where I am extreamly angry and rude to those around me. Also, like others, I have very little memory of any of it and and the things I am told that I said and did while in this state down right scare me. It is as if I were a different person and out of control. This has caused me to loose some people very close to me as they don't believe that it was the reaction to the medication and not my "real" feelings coming out. I am a very easy going person but the reaction I have when drinking while taking this is not something I ever want to repeat again. I was down right crazy. Lucally my wife is a forgiving and understanding person or this might have ended my marrage. Do NOT drink while on this.

Charly, Community Member
4/26/11 8:54am

I have been taking this for awhile and I do drink on the weekends. Not a large amount at all..and i get drunk way faster...and I black out. Completely. I dont remember anything. This past Easter we went to a party. I had a wine cooler prior to going. I remember pulling up to the house...and then nothing. But still totally functional. I even have videos i took on my phone of the party...watching myself, family and friends have a good time..and i remember nothing of it. I came across the videos looking for another pic on my phone that I took yesterday...and i was shocked. Fully functional, but it was like i was watching someone else. I completely black out when i have a very small amount to drink, about 3 or 4 beers. And also, my husband says we fight crazy and he is mad at me in the morning...and i dont know why. It is totally crazy. Total black outs when I drink now that I have been on this medication

dlveronica, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:05pm

Oh wow, I black out all the time too and hate not remembering anything. I just thought it was beause I drank too much, but now think it has to do with taking pristiq. Have you asked your psychiatrist if this is common? Blacking out is horrible

silvermoon, Community Member
1/18/12 3:27pm

I know this is a really old question, but I wanted to add my experience so far. I've been on Pristiq for 5 days and have already noticed a lot of positive changes.  I've had plans to hang out and drink with my friends tonight, so last night I had one beer to check for any negative interactions. I felt great after the one beer, like it had been maybe 2 beers. Then oddly, the feeling was gone very quickly and I felt sober. I developed a headache and went to sleep a couple hours later. I woke up this morning and I still have the headache 12 hours later. I also completely nullified the effects of the Pristiq. Today I feel exactly like I did before I started taking it. I've decided not to drink tonight because even though I have a lot of fun when I drink with these friends, it's not worth feeling this depressed the next day.

PS-I am also taking Vyvanse and Wellbutrin and am usually able to drink a considerable amount on them with no ill effects.

silvermoon, Community Member
1/18/12 3:30pm

I meant to say "I also feel like it completely nullified the effects of the Pristiq."

CrashHiro, Community Member
1/29/12 3:06pm
Well after reading everyone's reactions to Prestiq and alcohol, it's eery b/c that's exactly what happens to me. I woke up this morning, remembering only a portion of the night. My husband tells me that I got wasted after maybe 2 glasses of wine and was aggressive and loud and cocky. Then he took me home bc I couldn't walk smoothly and he didn't want me to embarrass myself further. I yelled him him all the way home, ate some gross chips and salsa, then demanded we have sex. Which of course, wasn't appealing and he was mad at me,so we didn't. I DO NOT remember any of this. I woke up happy and cuddly with my husband and then I get the "don't you remember last night ??" I'm in the dog house. But seriously, I've been on Wellbutrin, lexapro, and a bunch of others in my 20's when I drank more and def. had some reactions like this but not after a couple glasses of wine. Since prestiq hasn't been tested over a lifetime, I wonder if I should not take it if I'm young and going to be going out on the weekends??? Or should I attempt to stop drinking all together?? This would be hard at 30. I need the Prestiq bc I get major panic attacks and anxiety that is dehabilitating. I'm in therapy working on the cause of this. I have family members with similar disposition. My husband won't forgive me for acting out until I have the discipline to stop drinking while on the meds. This isn't worth making my marriage rocky. I have to decide to stop drinking or take another SRS for anxiety. Reply
Miles Finch, Community Member
2/18/12 8:38am

After this Whitney Houston thing I got worried about my wife being on Pristiq and drinking.  This site has been valuable, informative, and I hate to say it, incredibly entertaining.  My wife suffers from MS, takes Avonex, and has had episodes where she appears much drunker on less alcohol.  We though it's from switching from beer to wine, but there appears to be ample evidence that its the Pristiq which must be amplifying the alcohol.  For those of you pounding 30 beers a day, you might want to reconsider what the bigger problem is.  There's a fine line between questioning is it the pill or if you are a balls out alcoholic? 

Maxi, Community Member
3/ 1/12 8:04am

i have been on pristiq for almost 2 years, I think i stopped drinking for the first three weeks but then continued as per normal (normal is a couple of glasses of wine most week nights and then drinking on the weekend) I have to agree with everyone, it makes me black out. completely black out. I remember the start of the night but never the end and everyone always says im the drunkest but i dont remember drinking loads. Im also starting to get hair loss....had anyone else experinced that?

Damian, Community Member
9/13/12 8:01am
My wife has been on Pristiq for 10 months, her Doctor has her on 200mg a day,pretty heavy! Our son committed suicide just over 12 months ago. Alcohol effects her like I would never have imagined, she can have 4 glasses of wine and appear totally pissed. The more she drinks the worse it gets. I would advise anyone on this drug to avoid alcohol TOTALLY! Reply
Anonymously, Community Member
1/28/13 8:48am
Hi there, I had this EXACT same thing happen even where you wrote you demanded sex which is totally not like me to be demanding. I've drank twice now on this medication and let's just say on both occasions have extremely embarrassed my partner to the point where we were going to go our separate ways after years of being together. Your 100% right about it not being worth drinking if its going to effect your relationship. It is nice to know someone else is having the same side effects as me though and I'm not turning into this horrible person. I recently tried to come off pristiq by weening it down and having half the 50mg and the effects were horrible. I'm a very active person and hate sitting still but when I was trying to ween off it I couldn't get out of bed without having head spins and feeling like I was going to throw up. I couldn't drive a car or anything. Any suggestions on what to do when I try coming off it again? Reply
Amy1990, Community Member
2/ 8/14 10:43am

Although this question is quite old I find it interesting reading through the comments. I have been on 50mg of pristiq for 5 months for panic attacks and anxiety and I have had no problem with the occasional drink, I rarely drink and do not condone drinking while taking drugs but 2-4 beers isn't a problem for me. I suggest before anyone drinks on this drug, advise your doctor and go easy to see what you can handle. Personally, I have not had any problems with blacking out or becoming aggressive. I have read a lot of bad things about pristiq but for me it's a miracle drug, haven't had a panic attack in a long time and I can enjoy the occasional beer while I'm seeing my favorite band play. Everyone is dfferent though, and if you do have bad effects from alcohol and this drug simply don't drink! 

Pristiq100mg, Community Member
4/ 3/14 12:33pm

I love the temporary good feeling I get after some whiskey but on pristiq it is no fun. I am trying to quit drinking so I stop damaging myself and others! On pristiq I am okay-but as soon as I mix it with drinking I get irritable, unmotivated, confused, absent minded-not myself at all! 


So if your going through hard times and are on Pristiq, don't drink. Volunteer somewhere, take a walk, something-anything but a drink!

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By Ginger, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/03/14, First Published: 04/17/09