Bipolar Medications and Alcohol Interactions
Bipolar Disorder Medications and Alcohol
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that involves extreme mood swings from emotional highs and excitement (called mania or hypomania) to emotional lows and hopelessness (such as depression). Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depression or bipolar affective disorder. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very sudden, and patients are at high risk for suicide. In bipolar disorder, patients are also at a higher risk for alcoholism, so drug interactions can be significant.
A variety of different medications can be used to treat bipolar disorder; these are best used along with psychological counseling (psychotherapy). Which medications are selected are based upon specific symptoms and previous treatments. Drug treatment may be selected from these classes:
- Mood stabilizers or anti-seizure medications such as lithium (Lithobid), valproic acid (Depakene), divalproex sodium (Depakote), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro) and lamotrigine (Lamictal).
- Atypical antipsychotics such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal), quetiapine (Seroquel XR), aripiprazole (Abilify), ziprasidone (Geodon), lurasidone (Latuda) or asenapine (Saphris) may help. These may be used alone or with a mood stabilizer.
- Antidepressants are usually prescribed along with a mood stabilizer or antipsychotic. The medication Symbyax combines the SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine and the antipsychotic olanzapine into one capsule.
- Anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines may be used, typically in the short-term only, to help with anxiety, agitation and improve sleep.
Alcohol drug interactions with bipolar disorder medications often result in an additive drowsy effect, which can be dangerous when driving or operating machinery. Alcohol and bipolar medication like certain anti-anxiety medications can result in depressed breathing and should never be mixed.
Because medications for bipolar disorder work in the central nervous system and affect chemicals in the brain, the addition of alcohol can worsen side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, memory impairment, confusion, poor judgement, and may also increase the risk for falls and injury. In general, it is best to avoid combined use of bipolar medication and alcohol. If you drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your doctor. Be sure to review each medication for you are prescribed for alcohol interactions and discuss any concerns with your doctor and pharmacist.
Common Bipolar Disorder Medications*
|Generic Name||Common Brand Names|
|olanzapine||Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis, Zyprexa Relprevv|
|quetiapine||Seroquel, Seroquel XR|
*Note: This is not a complete list; always check with your pharmacist for possible drug-alcohol interactions.
Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol
- Acne Medicines and Alcohol
- ADHD Medications and Alcohol
- Allergies, Cough/Cold Medications and Alcohol
- Antibiotic Medications and Alcohol
- Antidepressant Medications and Alcohol
- Antipsychotic Medications and Alcohol
- Anxiety Medications and Alcohol
- Birth Control Medications and Alcohol
- Blood Thinners and Alcohol
- Caffeine, Energy Drinks and Alcohol
- Cholesterol Medications and Alcohol
- Diabetes Medications and Alcohol
- Enlarged Prostate (BPH) medications and Alcohol
- Erectile Dysfunction Medications and Alcohol
- Heart Medications and Alcohol
- Herbal Supplements and Alcohol
- Illicit Drugs and Alcohol
- Motion Sickness Medications and Alcohol
- Muscle Relaxants and Alcohol
- Pain / Fever Medications and Alcohol
- Seizure Medications and Alcohol
- Sleep (Insomnia) Medications and Alcohol
- Stomach / Heartburn Medications and Alcohol
- Weight Loss Drugs and Alcohol
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.