Alcohol and Sarafem

There is some concern that if a person combines alcohol and Sarafem together, the Sarafem may increase the effects of the alcohol. This is because alcohol and Sarafem affect similar chemicals in the brain. Many healthcare providers advise their patients that if they choose to drink while on Sarafem, it should be only in light-to-moderate amounts.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Sarafem?

Sometimes people are warned to avoid alcohol while taking Sarafem® (fluoxetine hydrochloride). This is because alcohol and medicines like Sarafem affect similar chemicals in the brain. So the concern is that Sarafem will increase the effects of alcohol -- whether this means increasing symptoms (such as depression) or affecting motor skills.
Practically, when many healthcare providers are asked whether it is okay to drink alcohol while taking Sarafem, they recommend that if people choose to drink while taking Sarafem, they should only drink light-to-moderate amounts. They also recommend that people should only drink after they understand the effects that Sarafem and other medicines will have on their body.

Alcohol and Sarafem: What Is Moderate Drinking?

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, or 1 ounce of 100-proof spirits.

Using Caution With Alcohol and Sarafem

If people decide to drink alcohol in moderation while taking Sarafem, it is recommended that they do not drink alcohol at the same time that they take their Sarafem dosage. Also, people should learn the effects that Sarafem will have on their body before they begin drinking. Sarafem may affect some individual's ability to perform certain functions, such as driving a car or operating machinery.
Drink Less Alcohol

Sarafem for PMDD

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