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What happens when you drink alcohol with amitriptyline?

Responses (2)

LaurieShay 21 May 2011

Hey CarterCR,

The following is the warning for drinking alcohol with amitriptyline, a TCA:

amitriptyline ↔ ethanol

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

GENERALLY AVOID: Concomitant use of ethanol and a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) may result altered TCA plasma levels and efficacy, and additive impairment of motor skills, especially driving skills. Acute ethanol ingestion may inhibit TCA metabolism, while chronic ingestion of large amounts of ethanol may induce hepatic TCA metabolism.

MANAGEMENT: Patients should be advised to avoid alcohol during TCA therapy. Alcoholics who have undergone detoxification should be monitored for decreased TCA efficacy. Dosage adjustments may be required.

Therefore, drinking alcohol while on amitriptyline will affect the blood levels of the amitriptyline and keep it from working as good. It may also cause increase in the side effects of the alcohol.

Best wishes,


Delila 21 May 2011

Hi, I just want to add that i take amitriptyline at night (50mg) and sometimes will have drank alcohol before taking it. As Laurie says, it impairs the effectiveness of the drug. I take it for a few reason but mainly to help me sleep, so it is very frustrating if/when this happens. Also i find it harder to get up in the morning if i take the 2 together free discount card

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