Alcohol and Effexor XR
If you choose to drink alcohol while taking Effexor XR, you should drink only light-to-moderate amounts. Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Some examples of drinks that count as one alcohol drink include 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, and 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits. The decision you make about alcohol and Effexor XR should be a shared decision between you and your healthcare provider.
According to the manufacturer of Effexor XR® (venlafaxine XR), drinking alcohol on Effexor XR is not recommended. This is because drugs like Effexor XR and alcohol act upon similar chemicals in the brain. The concern is that Effexor XR will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this is increasing depression symptoms or affecting motor skills.
When many healthcare providers are asked whether it is okay to drink alcohol on Effexor XR, they recommend that if a person chooses to drink, he or she should drink light-to-moderate amounts. They also recommend that a person not drink until he or she knows the effects of Effexor XR (and other medicines he or she may be taking) on his or her body.
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 often varies from one drink to another, what counts as one drink also varies. A few examples of drinks that count as one alcohol drink include:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
1½ ounces of 80-proof whiskey or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.
In normal subjects taking Effexor XR, combining alcohol and Effexor XR does not seem to increase the mental and motor skills impairments that alcohol alone causes. However, the effects of alcohol and Effexor in those with depression, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have not been studied. This is one reason to be cautious with regard to alcohol and Effexor XR.