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Can I drink alcohol while taking lithium?

Responses (2)

Lithium is pretty dangerous ive heard... my mom took it as an experiment for A.L.S. aka Lou Gherigs Disease, and my sister took it for BiPolar. My mom wouldnt drink and neither would my sister. I got the feeling they were both almost scared about it... but my sister was an EVERY weekend drinker, until she began taking that. Im not 100% why, but she wouldnt even have one drink with me, EVER bc she said she couldnt drink at ALL with her medicine

fepo1966 6 Sep 2016

I started taking Lithium in 2012 and believed it 'caused' mu hypo-thyroidism. Or least least that's what I choose to believe,, I struggled for several years with insomnia and tried different hypothyroidism medications until I found one that 'agreed' with me (Nature Thyroid) I am back on Lithium as of a couple weeks ago since it's the ONLY medication that helped with depression/anxiety/insomnia issues. BUT CAN I STILL DRINK WINE??
I have VERY HARD time stopping drinking wine in the evenings. This MAY be a problem on its own BUT I want to know what the consequences of taking Lithium and drinking alcohol really are.

LaurieShay 4 Apr 2011

Hey koolkat,

The following is the interaction between alcohol and lithium:

lithium ↔ ethanol
Applies to: lithium, Alcohol (contained in alcoholic beverages) (ethanol)

GENERALLY AVOID: Alcohol may potentiate some of the pharmacologic effects of CNS-active agents. Use in combination may result in additive central nervous system depression and impairment of judgment, thinking, and psychomotor skills.

MANAGEMENT: Patients receiving CNS-active agents should be warned of this interaction and advised to avoid or limit consumption of alcohol. Ambulatory patients should be counseled to avoid hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness and motor coordination until they know how these agents affect them, and to notify their physician if they experience excessive or prolonged CNS effects that interfere with their normal activities.

So while you can drink on the lithium keeping the alcohol to a minimum is highly recommended. If your tendency is to drink until you get feeling good, then I would avoid the alcohol altogether to be on the safe side.

Best wishes,


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