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Drug reaction between alcohol and xanax.

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Hello, I have had some real bad anxiety this week. My doctor prescribed Xanax, and today I went into a psychiatrist for first time and was told to take Citalopram 10mg and Clonazepam .5mg (as needed). I am not a big drinker anymore but I do smoke weed regularly. Is the Citalopram something I could take daily even if I have a beverage or two once per week or while I am smoking? I normally do not like taking prescription drugs so I want to ask a professional. When I asked my psychiatrist about it he said I would be fine, but I felt like I was being rushed out the door.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

It is better (and recommended) to avoid alcohol with Citalopram and Xanax. There are three major reasons for this -

1. Minor possible drug interaction - Alcohol and Citalopram can act together to increase the drug levels in circulation. But unless you are a heavy drinker this is NOT a concern as the drug level changes will be negligible.

2. Impairment of consciousness / drowsiness - When Citalopram and alcohol are added together the alcohol effects like motor incoordination manifest more. Or in other words you might feel more drunk than you should be.

3. Alcohol might affect your recovery process from anxiety.

Many patients on Citalopram take alcohol regularly without any adverse effect. If you are only having couple of drinks once or twice a week you can continue it with caution (No driving / No operating machinery / No drinking alone) . But if its acceptable to you it is better to stay off alcohol till you recover completely from anxiety.

-- Regarding smoking weed and the medications - No interactions, but the psychological effects of Marijuana mostly affects anxiety disorder in a negative way . IT should be avoided at any cost (atleast till you recover)

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups
Thank you

Patient replied :

Thank you so much. Since the psychiatrist prescribed Clonazepam I should not take Xanax right?

I will be attempting to cut out the marijuana, just wanted to make sure I got an answer from a professional as I know there will likely be opportunities this weekend where I may have a beer and may partake in a bit of smoking and wanted to make sure there were no interactions with the Clonazepam and more especially (since I would be taking it everyday), the Citalopram.

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.

As I said there are no major, life threatening or serious adverse effects reported with Citalopram and alcohol . So it should be safe, however be cautious as I explained in the previous reply. Regarding taking Xanax , please follow your Doctor's recommendations only.

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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