February 9, 2023 Addiction

How Pristiq and Alcohol Interact
Combining Pristiq and alcohol can result in addiction and deadly effects. If accidental mixing should occur, contact a medical professional.

Nowadays, many people are suffering from anxiety disorders and depression. So, antidepressant drugs, like Pristiq, are commonly prescribed to help treat anxiety and depression.

Many people in the US are binge drinkers. Therefore, mixing Pristiq and alcohol is common, especially in young adults. However, the combination is unhealthy and life-threatening.

Keep reading to learn more about how Pristiq abuse with alcohol affects the human body and its side effects.

Key Takeaways

It must be emphasized that potentially deadly drug interactions between alcohol and Pristiq can occur when the two drugs are consumed concurrently.

However, difficulties can also develop when alcohol is consumed when Pristiq is still present in the body.

If you are suffering from Pristiq and alcohol addiction, get in touch with Indiana Center for Recovery. We have multiple treatment options to treat any addiction. Call us at (844)650-0064 and get started toward addiction treatment.

Pristiq: Explained

Pristiq is also known as desvenlafaxine. Pristiq is a brand-name prescription medicine used to treat individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is a significant mental health problem. It’s also known as clinical depression or, simply, depression.

Pristiq belongs to the antidepressant family known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). A drug class is a set of drugs that function similarly. SNRIs raise the levels of two substances in your brain (serotonin and norepinephrine).

Moreover, the active element in Pristiq is desvenlafaxine. There are generic versions of Pristiq available. These versions are available with the same strengths as Pristiq.

Pristiq is available as once-daily extended-release pills. It has three strengths:

Several clinical studies have shown Pristiq to be beneficial in treating depression. The trials employed a scale to assess the severity of people’s depressive signs before and after therapy.

The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is the scale utilized (HAM-D). This scale has a minimum point value of 0 and a maximum point value of 52. Higher scores imply that the depressive signs are more severe.

Pristiq was more successful than a placebo in improving people’s depression ratings in four clinical studies (treatment with no active drug).

Before therapy, the average depression score for all four studies was between 23.0 to 25.3. People using Pristiq (50 mg to 400 mg per day) had their depression score reduced by up to 3.3 points after eight weeks of therapy.

Two longer-term studies lasting up to 26 weeks were also conducted. As per these trials, persons who took Pristiq also had fewer chances of having their depression relapse than those who took a placebo.

How Pristiq Works

Desvenlafaxine belongs to the antidepressant medication class. A serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is a name given to this class of medication (SNRI). A drug class is a set of drugs that work similarly. These medications are frequently used to treat comparable signs.

Serotonin and norepinephrine are natural brain chemicals that aid in mental equilibrium. Pristiq may work by preventing the breakdown of these substances. This is known as reuptake.

Blocking reuptake increases the quantity of these substances in your brain, which may help to alleviate depression signs.

Pristiq Prescription

Pristiq is available as an extended-release tablet that is taken orally. Extended-release medications slowly release their substances into your body over time. You’ll take the medication once a day, with or without meals.

It is crucial to take Pristiq at the same time each day. So, pick a time that is convenient for you.

Furthermore, Pristiq pills must not be crushed, chewed, or split. This may alter how the medicine works. Your doctor or pharmacist may also be able to recommend ways to make taking Pristiq easier.

Side Effects of Pristiq Abuse

Pristiq can cause multiple mild and severe effects on physical and mental health. The following are some of the most common side effects of using Pristiq. These are not all of the possible side effects.

Consult your doctor for further information on the potential adverse effects of Pristiq. They can advise you on how to deal with any negative side effects.

Mild side effects of Pristiq:

Most of these side effects must be reduced within a few days or weeks. Consult your doctor if they become more severe or do not go away.

Serious Pristiq side effects are uncommon, although they can occur. If you experience severe side effects, or the effects are life-threatening, or you feel you are in a medical emergency, seek medical help immediately.

Following are some of the severe side effects:

Pristiq Overdose Symptoms

Pristiq overdose is uncommon, although it can occur if the medicine is used in large quantities. Over six years, one study discovered 182 cases of Pristiq overdose, 75 of which included only this medicine and 107 combining this drug plus at least one other.

Pristiq overdose physical signs included moderate hypertension (high blood pressure) and tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute). None of the overdoses evaluated required acute care therapy or mortality, and seizure or serotonin poisoning risks were negligible.

Common signs caused by Pristiq overdose can include:

Withdrawal from Pristiq

When you stop taking Pristiq, your doctor will likely gradually lower your dosage to reduce any side effects.

If Pristiq is abruptly discontinued, withdrawal symptoms such as the following may occur:

The withdrawal signs vary from person to person. The symptoms also depend on how long the person used Pristiq and at what dose.

All of the above signs can also occur in those who have been consuming Pristiq for a long time.

Alcohol: Explained

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It is a psychoactive drug that has been ingested in beverage form.

In chemistry, alcohol refers to a class of organic molecules that have a hydroxyl group (an oxygen atom and a hydrogen atom bound to a carbon atom).

However, in common language, alcohol typically refers to a particular molecule having the formula C2H5OH, which chemists refer to as ethanol.

Alcohol is naturally formed when yeasts digest carbohydrates for energy, and some animals that consume a lot of fruit or nectar have adapted to metabolize it.

Chemical evidence from ceramic pieces in China shows that people began producing alcoholic beverages at least 9000 years ago.

How Alcohol Works

When you drink alcohol, it enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain. At low concentrations, alcohol often causes people to feel comfortable and lively. It can also impair coordination and judgment, which is why driving after drinking is considered dangerous.

The effects of alcohol grow more severe in larger quantities, and people have difficulty thinking coherently.

They are more likely to lose control of their emotions and become angry, which is why alcohol is occasionally a component of crime and antisocial conduct. People with extremely high blood alcohol levels may faint and may stop breathing.

Alcohol also interferes with the control of bodily fluids, leading to increased urination and dehydration.

When someone drinks excessively, they often feel ill the next day. So this condition is known as a hangover. Hangovers can cause various signs, including headache, dry mouth, nausea, and depression.

Because alcohol inhibits memory, people may have difficulty remembering what happened when they were drunk.

Long-term alcohol usage can cause health problems and raise the greater risk of several diseases. The diseases include cancer, dementia, heart and liver disease, and mental illnesses.

Alcohol is responsible for 3 million fatalities globally each year, as per the World Health Organization. Some users develop an alcohol addiction, often known as alcoholism.

Side Effects of Alcohol Abuse

There are various side effects of alcohol use disorder. We have broken down the side effects into short-term and long-term effects of alcohol consumption.

Short-term effects of alcohol consumption:

Lastly, these impacts may be short-lasting, but they are not unimportant. Impulsiveness, loss of coordination, and mood fluctuations can all impair your judgment and behavior, potentially leading to accidents, injuries, and judgments you later regret.

Alcohol usage can also cause long-term problems beyond your mood and health.

Long-term effects of alcohol consumption:

Alcohol Overdose Symptoms

There is a long list of signs of alcohol overdose. However, the following symptoms are most common:

Not everyone shows all of the above signs of an alcohol overdose. Get medical attention if someone’s respiration has slowed to less than eight breaths per minute or if they can’t be awoken. Do not leave an unconscious person alone if you suspect an alcohol overdose.

Moreover, ensure they are lying down on their side in case they vomit because an alcohol overdose can block a person’s gag reflex.

Consequently, they could choke and may die if they vomit while asleep and lying on their back. If vomit enters the lungs, it can cause a person to stop breathing.

Withdrawal from Alcohol

Alcohol withdrawal, in extreme cases, can be fatal. If you wish to stop drinking, you may need the help of a healthcare provider based on how often and how much you drink.

Before stopping alcohol, you must consult with a doctor. The “cold turkey” method is not always safe.

Alcohol withdrawal signs include:

Medical detox can help you in quitting drinking safely. Based on your risk of withdrawal, your doctor may suggest a suitable treatment.

Pristiq and Alcohol

clinical study found that Pristiq did not worsen the effects of ethanol on cognition and motor functions. Patients must be encouraged to avoid alcohol use while using Pristiq, as with any CNS-active medications.

Pristiq does not worsen any mental or motor impairment caused by alcohol, but alcohol use is generally discouraged.

Furthermore, combining alcohol with CNS (central nervous system) medicines like Pristiq may have random effects. Alcohol intake, for example, is linked to alterations in numerous neurotransmitters in the brain.

Because Pristiq affects serotonin and norepinephrine, there may be contradicting effects. However, this has not been shown in any study about Pristiq specifically.

Some of the signs of Pristiq and alcohol interaction are as follows:

Lastly, it is best to avoid or restrict alcohol use when starting Pristiq, so you can analyze how well you handle the medicine. Also, remember that “alcohol” refers to all alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and liquor.

Do Not Drink Alcohol While On Pristiq

Alcohol is normally not advised for anybody on Pristiq. Sometimes, a doctor may let a patient moderately drink if there is no pre-existing medical condition that the connection may worsen.

For example, if someone has asthma, doctors may recommend they abstain from drinking while taking Pristiq. Because alcohol and Pristiq both promote difficulty breathing or shallow breathing, drinking may cause and worsen an asthma attack.

As a result, full abstinence from alcohol is desirable, but if the person must drink, they should practice moderation.

There are many alternative variations of how much alcohol is deemed moderate, but when it comes to avoiding Pristiq problems, you must trust only the doctor’s word.

The medical community defines moderate alcohol use as no more than two drinks per day and no more than 14 drinks per week.

However, drinking once or twice a week on the same day each week is called alcohol dependence and is not medically permitted. Binge drinking without restrictions on any day of the week is equivalent to alcoholism. It offers substantial risks to someone using Pristiq.

Consulting an Addiction Specialist

Speaking with your doctor is vital in receiving help and support. It may not be easy to start discussing your substance use. However, an open and honest conversation is crucial to receiving the best medical advice and treatment.

Withholding information about what substances you take, how much you use, and how often you use them can be harmful to your therapy. Keep in mind that your talks with your doctor are private and confidential.

Your doctor can advise you on the finest alcohol choices or drug treatment services for your specific scenario. They will also give appropriate advice.

Treatment for Substance Addiction

Substance addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug or alcohol use. People addicted to substances may continue to use drugs despite the negative effects.

Addiction may negatively influence every aspect of a person’s life. It includes physical and mental health, family and relationships, career, and income. Substance abuse is a complicated and chronic condition, yet it is also curable.

Addiction treatment programs often mix treatments based on the patient’s needs. It is usual for therapy to begin with medically supervised detox to assist the person in overcoming withdrawal signs from specific drugs safely.

The most common treatments are as follows:


Detox is a supervised withdrawal management course. It helps the doctors to stabilize a person in early recovery by making them as comfortable and secure as possible while their body detoxifies.

Many detox programs play a vital role in easing a person’s transition into ongoing therapy.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is a therapy in which a person lives in the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive treatments, generally with medical monitoring on-site.

Depending on a person’s needs while entering treatment, inpatient rehabs can range from hospital settings to organized residential institutions.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab is a program in which a person continues to live at home while attending regularly scheduled sessions or receiving services at a treatment center.

Outpatient therapy frequently focuses on education, counseling, and helping individuals manage without using substances. Its treatment offers are often comparable to its inpatient or residential equivalents.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a sort of talk therapy that is widely used (psychotherapy). You work in an organized manner with a mental health counselor, attending a restricted number of sessions.

CBT assists you in being aware of incorrect or negative thinking so that you may perceive difficult cases more clearly and respond to them more effectively.

CBT may be a highly useful technique in treating mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or an eating disorder, either alone or in conjunction with other therapies.

However, not everyone who benefits from CBT has mental issues. CBT may be a useful method for teaching people how to deal with stressful events in their lives.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Marsha Linehan, an American psychologist, created dialectical behavior therapy in the 1970s. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a kind of cognitive behavioral therapy (psychotherapy).

However, it has been specifically tailored for those who have extreme emotional experiences. The term “dialectic” refers to the combination of opposing concepts.

DBT focuses on assisting people in accepting the truth of their lives and behaviors, as well as learning to alter their lives, including unhelpful habits

Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)

Motivational Enhancement Therapy is a counseling method that helps clients in overcoming their fear about entering treatment and discontinuing drug usage. Rather than guiding the patient through the rehab process step by step.

This technique tries to produce quick and inwardly motivated transformation. The aim of MET is to get the patient motivated to change. Once they have reached this point, the therapist and client can unite to develop a strategy.

MET, unlike other kinds of therapy, does not aim to achieve abstinence. It is highlighted as a clear choice only if the customer shows a willingness to change.

The therapist may give facts showing the benefits of abstinence and even dispute the objective of moderation if the client so wishes. However, MET enables the client to select their own recovery goals.

Body Psychotherapy

Body Psychotherapy is an evidence-based therapeutic strategy. It is founded on the idea that people perceive the world not only through their ideas and emotions but also through their bodies simultaneously.

It is a flexible treatment that may be used in individual and group sessions. It emphasizes the interactions between the body and the mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happens if you drink alcohol while on Pristiq?

Alcohol can boost the nervous system side effects of Pristiq, such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty focusing. Some people may share impairment in thinking and decision. It would help if you avoid and limit alcohol use while being dined with Pristiq.You will have to face common side effects like sweating, reduced appetite, nausea, constipation, and dizziness. It is advised to avoid alcohol while taking an antidepressant.
It can be harmful, and it might make your signs worse. You can have increased psychiatric disorders or depression if you combine drugs with alcohol.

What can happen if you drink alcohol while on antidepressants?

Alcohol alone won’t have as much of an impact on your decision-making, coordination, motor skills, and response speed as alcohol combined with antidepressants will. You can feel tired with some mixtures. You may be unable to drive or perform other tasks that need attention and focus. You can experience sedation or maybe fatigue.
Alcohol and antidepressants both have the potential risk of making you tired, clumsy, and less alert. It is typically not advisable to use them together. Those results are boosted when mixed. Alcohol and antidepressants are both responsible for making depression more harmful.

What should you not mix with Pristiq?

When using the Pristiq drug, do not take MAO inhibitors. MAO inhibitors are isocarboxazid, methylene blue, phenelzine, procarbazine, linezolid, rasagiline, safinamide, moclobemide, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.If you take antidepressants, you must be alert about drinking because alcohol is a depressant in and of itself and can worsen your signs.
Your body will react to an antidepressant. It may be affected by several affairs like drug or alcohol usage. Alcohol and illegal drug usage can seriously alter mood, making antidepressants useless.