Paxil and Alcohol: What Are the Risks? 

Paxil and Alcohol cannot be mixed together. Alcohol can reduce Paxil’s effectiveness and expose you to more side effects of the medication. 

What is Paxil?

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. When Paxil and Alcohol are mixed, they can cause extreme drowsiness, which might be the reason why people drink in the first place.

Paxil works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This can help improve mood and decrease anxiety. Paxil is not a sedative or tranquilizer and does not have any significant effect on the central nervous system. It does not cause any change in heart rate or blood pressure.

Paxil may be prescribed for alcohol withdrawal symptoms but should never be taken with alcohol because it increases the risk of developing a severe reaction to alcohol including death.

Paxil (paroxetine) is an antidepressant drug prescribed for the treatment of a major depressive disorder. It is also used for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder.

The drug can be taken in tablet form, or it can be given as a time-released capsule. Paxil is usually taken once a day, but it may be taken twice a day if necessary. Paxil should not be given to children under the age of 18 years old.

Can you drink Alcohol while taking Paxil?

We should not drink alcohol while taking Paxil. Alcohol is a depressant, Paxil is an antidepressant. Alcohol can make depression worse and vice versa.

The combination of alcohol and Paxil can be dangerous. Alcohol can worsen the symptoms of depression and vice versa. Alcohol can cause severe reactions with Paxil, for example, sedation or increased anxiety.

It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking Paxil, but it is important to understand the side effects of both substances separately. If the drug doesn’t work as well, your signs may come back. Because of these aspects, people should avoid drinking alcohol while they take Paxil.

If you think that Paxil is growing your alcohol usage, talk about it with your doctor. They may be able to suggest a drug that is better suitable for you.

Get Help. Get Better. Get Your Life Back.

Searching for Accredited Drug & Alcohol Rehab Centers Near You? Or Mental Health Support?

Even if you have failed previously, relapsed, or are in a difficult crisis, we stand ready to support you. Our trusted behavioral health specialists will not give up on you. Call us when you feel ready or want someone to speak to about therapy alternatives to change your life. Even if we cannot assist you, we will lead you wherever you can get support. There is no obligation. Call our hotline today.

FREE Addiction Hotline – Call 24/7

Why should you not drink Alcohol with Paxil?

It’s not uncommon to take antidepressants like Paxil, and it’s also not uncommon to drink alcohol, but is it a problem?

First of all, people are extremely urged against combining Paxil with alcohol. There are some known causes people are advised not to mix alcohol and antidepressants including the fact that this can decrease the efficacy of the medicine. Also, the side effects and dangers of Paxil may be amplified if the medicine is combined with alcohol.

When you are taking Paxil, you should not drink alcohol. Alcohol can increase the sedating effects of Paxil. If you drink alcohol while taking Paxil, it will make your symptoms worse and increase the risk of an overdose.

Mixing Paxil and Alcohol

Some of the side effects of combining alcohol and Paxil include abnormalities in thinking, differences in vision, hallucinations, drops or spikes in blood pressure, and reduced sex drive. Mixing alcohol and Paxil can grow quite a few other signs of the prescription such as mood swings, loss of emotional feeling, nausea, vomiting, paranoia, mania, poor muscle control, and suicidal thoughts or tendencies.

Mixing Paxil and alcohol is a bad idea because it can cause:

  • decreased coordination,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • difficulty concentrating,
  • slurred speech,
  • impaired judgment,
  • slowed reflexes. This can lead to accidents and injuries.

The danger of mixing these two drugs is that they both affect the central nervous system. That means they will work together to slow down your heart rate and breathing rate which can be deadly if you are taking other medications or have other medical conditions.

Paxil and Alcohol Interaction

It’s uncertain whether Paxil and alcohol abuse are related. Using Paxil may help persons with anxiety problems reduce their dependency on alcohol, according to some research, although the contrary has also been suggested.

Research published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research looked at the connection between alcohol use disorders and social anxiety. The findings imply that taking Paxil made it easier for those with social anxiety disorders who abused alcohol to feel more at ease in social situations to interact with others. In other words, Paxil lessened their urge to drink to numb social pain. These people’s alcohol dependency and abuse may have decreased as a result of this impact.

The use of SSRIs like Paxil, however, has been associated in certain studies to increased alcohol cravings and abuse. Researchers discovered that SSRIs actually caused an increase in alcohol use in some groups after reviewing data on the relationship between SSRIs and alcohol dependency. People who have certain genes the at predispose them to alcohol abuse may be at increased risk.

10 mg Paxil and Alcohol

Is Paxil 10mg effective for anxiety?

Paxil 10 mg is a type of prescription that works by increasing the amount of a chemical called serotonin that’s available to your brain. By doing so, Paxil helps to improve mood and reduces symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Paxil CR and Alcohol

Paxil cr is a brand name for paroxetine, an SSRI. Alcohol is a depressant.

Paxil cr and alcohol are two different drugs that have different effects on the body. Paxil cr is a drug that can cause withdrawal symptoms when taken in high doses or for long periods of time, whereas alcohol depresses the central nervous system and can lead to liver damage and an increased risk of cancer.

Paxil cr is the extended-release version of Paxil. Alcohol is a type of drug that can cause depression and anxiety.

There are no known interactions between Paxil cr and alcohol.

Meth Detox
The connection between Paxil and alcohol misuse is unclear. Some data seems to indicate that Paxil use helps curb the reliance on alcohol in people with anxiety disorders, while other information has shown just the contrary.

Effects of Paxil and Alcohol

Alcohol also can raise some of Paxil’s side effects, especially dizziness, sleepiness, and trouble concentrating. Other side effects of Paxil that alcohol can increase include:

  • agitation
  • changes in vision
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • high or low blood pressure
  • decreased sex drive
  • mood swings
  • irregular heart rhythm
  • joint pain
  • loss of emotional feeling
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • paranoia
  • mania (racing thoughts or excess energy)
  • rigid muscles, poor muscle control, or uncontrolled muscle movements
  • suicidal thoughts or actions

Paxil and Alcohol Blackout

Alcohol is a depressant and Paxil is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. When alcohol interacts with Paxil, the brain cannot distinguish between the two drugs. Alcohol will have a stronger effect on the brain, which can lead to alcohol blackouts.

The effects of alcohol on the body are well documented. Alcohol depresses your central nervous system and slows down your reflexes. It also increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease or stroke. Unfortunately, there’s not much research on how Paxil interacts with alcohol because it’s an old drug that’s been around for 20 years or so.

Paxil is an antidepressant that blocks serotonin from being reabsorbed in the synapse between neurons (a process called “reuptake”). When someone drinks alcohol while taking Paxil, it may cause an “alcohol blackout” because Paxil prevents the brain from recognizing how much alcohol has been consumed.

Paxil and Alcohol liver damage

All antidepressants can have harmful results when combined with alcohol. In mild cases, alcohol may induce antidepressants to work less effectively. In extreme cases, serious health problems, including liver damage, can occur while taking medications like Cymbalta.

Paxil and Alcohol Cravings

Some people who have taken Paxil have reported experiencing alcohol cravings while they are on the medication. This is because Paxil can change serotonin levels in the brain which can lead to cravings for alcohol or other substances that cause a high.

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

Get Your Life Back

Find Hope & Recovery. Get Safe Comfortable Detox, Addiction Rehab & Mental Health Dual Diagnosis High-Quality Care at the We Level Up Treatment Centers Network.

Hotline (877) 378-4154

Paxil and Alcohol Abuse

Some research has linked SSRIs (such as Paxil) to increased alcohol cravings and abuse. This risk might be higher in people who carry certain genes that already make them more susceptible to alcohol abuse.

First-class Facilities & Amenities

World-class High-Quality Addiction & Mental Health Rehabilitation Treatment

Rehab Centers Tour

Renowned Addiction Centers. Serene Private Facilities. Inpatient rehab programs vary.

Addiction Helpline (877) 378-4154

Proven recovery success experience, backed by a Team w/ History of:


Years of Unified Experience


5-Star Reviews Across Our Centers


Recovery Success Stories Across Our Network

  • Low Patient to Therapist Ratio
  • Onsite Medical Detox Center
  • Comprehensive Dual-Diagnosis Treatment
  • Complimentary Family & Alumni Programs
  • Coaching, Recovery & Personal Development Events

Paxil for Alcohol Withdrawal

Upon stopping alcohol consumption, alcoholic patients experience acute withdrawal symptoms followed by a protracted abstinence syndrome resulting in the risk of relapse to heavy drinking. For the past few decades, several drugs have been available for the treatment of AUDs. These drugs include medications to reduce or stop severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms during alcohol detoxification as well as recovery medications to reduce alcohol craving and support abstinence. However, there is no drug that completely antagonizes the adverse effects of excessive amounts of alcohol.

World-class, Accredited, 5-Star Reviewed, Effective Addiction & Mental Health Programs. Complete Behavioral Health Inpatient Rehab, Detox plus Co-occuring Disorders Therapy.

CALL (877) 378-4154

End the Addiction Pain. End the Emotional Rollercoaster. Get Your Life Back. Start Drug, Alcohol & Dual Diagnosis Mental Health Treatment Now. Get Free No-obligation Guidance by Substance Abuse Specialists Who Understand Addiction & Mental Health Recovery & Know How to Help.

Ambien and AlcoholRecovery from Ambien and Alcohol addiction, Our team at We Level Up NJ specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies.
Recovery from Effexor and Alcohol addiction, Our team at We Level Up NJ specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies.

Finding the Next Level of Treatment At We Level Up NJ

Recognizing the signs of drug abuse is not only for trained professionals. Family and friends are the first lines of attack against an advancing drug problem. One of the best responses to witnessing the signs is to talk to a qualified counselor about how to get help.

If you’ve tried to quit in the past but ended up drinking or using, that’s a clear sign you need professional help. Get them the safest service they need and deserve. Our team at We Level Up NJ specializes in creating an ideal environment and providing effective therapies.

Experience Transformative Recovery at the We Level Up Treatment Center.

See our authentic success stories. Get inspired. Get the help you deserve.

We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy
We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy
We Level Up Treatment Centers for Drug Alcohol Rehab Detox Behavioral Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Therapy
Voluntarily testimonials from the We Level Up Treatment Center network vary. Not intended as a guaranteed treatment or outcome as each person's journey is unique.

Start a New Life

Begin with a free call to an addiction & behavioral health treatment advisor. Learn more about our dual-diagnosis programs. The We Level Up treatment center network delivers various recovery programs at each treatment facility. Call to learn more.

  • Personalized Care
  • Caring Accountable Staff
  • World-class Amenities
  • Licensed & Accredited
  • Renowned w/ 5-Star Reviews

We’ll Call You

Search Drug & Alcohol Rehab / Detox & Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1]  Sandoz Pty Ltd (18 January 2012). “Product Information Paroxetine Sandoz 20Mg Film-Coated Tablets” (PDF). TGA eBusiness Services. Therapeutic Goods Administration. [2] Daily Med  Mylan Institutional Inc. (January 2012). “Paroxetine (paroxetine hydrochloride hemihydrate) tablet, film coated”DailyMed. U.S. National Library of Medicine. [3] NCBI Hosenbocus S, Chahal R (February 2011). “SSRIs and SNRIs: A review of the Discontinuation Syndrome in Children and Adolescents”Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry20 (1): 60–67. PMC 3024727PMID 21286371.