Mirtazapine and Alcohol
It is generally not recommended to take mirtazapine and alcohol together, as the medication can increase the effects of alcohol. As a result, symptoms of depression may become worse or motor skills may be affected. However, if people choose to combine alcohol and mirtazapine, healthcare providers recommend that they drink moderate amounts and only drink once they have learned how the drug will affect them.
People are usually warned to avoid alcohol while taking mirtazapine (Remeron®). This is because alcohol and medicines like mirtazapine affect similar chemicals in the brain. The concern is that mirtazapine will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this is increasing symptoms of depression or affecting motor skills.
Generally, people who take mirtazapine should avoid alcohol, especially when first starting treatment. Most people experience drowsiness while taking mirtazapine, and alcohol makes this symptom worse. Only once you have learned how the drug will affect you (and only with your healthcare provider's approval) should you drink while taking mirtazapine. If you do drink, make sure to limit your alcohol intake to a moderate amount.
When healthcare providers recommend moderate alcohol drinking, they mean one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Because the alcohol content in drinks varies, what counts as one drink also varies. When healthcare providers talk about one alcoholic drink, they are referring to one of the following examples:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey
- 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
If a person decides to drink alcohol in moderation while on mirtazapine, it is recommended that they do not drink alcohol at the same time that they take the drug. Also, as mentioned, a person should learn the effects of mirtazapine on their body before they begin drinking. The medication can cause drowsiness and may affect a person's ability to perform certain functions, such as driving a car or operating machinery.