Q. Is it okay to drink alcohol or use marijuana when taking an antidepressant?
A. If you’re on antidepressants, you should be careful with regard to both alcohol and marijuana. Most antidepressants enhance the effects of alcohol, which means you may have a stronger reaction than you used to before starting the drug. What’s more, as we’ve noted, alcohol can worsen depressive symptoms.
Marijuana can have a range of mental effects, but there isn’t good research on interactions with antidepressants. Marijuana affects THC receptors, but also seems to affect others (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin).
Moreover, it’s difficult to assess mental states and medications’ relative effectiveness if marijuana is in the mix. Talk with your doctor about the use of alcohol or marijuana when taking antidepressants.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Antidepressants Pros and Cons.