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Alcohol & Seroquel

author image Leah DiPlacido, Ph.D.
Leah DiPlacido, a medical writer with more than nine years of biomedical writing experience, received her doctorate in immunology from Yale University. Her work is published in "Journal of Immunology," "Arthritis and Rheumatism" and "Journal of Experimental Medicine." She writes about disease for doctors, scientists and the general public.
Alcohol & Seroquel
Mixing alcohol and Seroquel may have dangerous effects. Photo Credit: Filosoff/iStock/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 51.6 percent of Americans describe themselves as current drinkers of alcohol. However, alcohol and certain medications can interact when ingested together. In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimates that the interaction between alcohol and medication may contribute to at least 25 percent of emergency room visits. Seroquel is a medication prescribed by doctors to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Taking Seroquel and alcohol together may have serious consequences.

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Alcohol and Medication

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) advises against using Seroquel and alcohol together. The FDA clearly directs people to "not drink alcohol while taking Seroquel" because it may make some of the side effects worse. Furthermore, the NIAAA advises that drinking even a little alcohol is too much when a person is taking medications that interact with alcohol.

Alcohol Intolerance

AstraZeneca, which makes Seroquel, explains that ingesting alcohol with Seroquel may cause alcohol intolerance. This means a person drinking alcohol and taking Seroquel at the same time may feel the effects of alcohol more acutely than usual.

Cognitive Effects

Data from a clinical trial conducted with AstraZeneca indicate that Seroquel affects the central nervous system. Seroquel caused people to have diminished motor control, and they were not as coordinated at operating machinery when under the influence of the medication. The clinical trial showed that mixing alcohol and Seroquel together made coordination worse.

Blood Pressure

AstraZeneca also reports that Seroquel has the potential for causing hypotension, or low blood pressure. According to the NIAAA, alcohol affects a person's blood pressure as well, providing another reason to avoid ingesting alcohol and Seroquel together.

Other Side Effects

The FDA and AstraZeneca report that alcohol may make the side effects of Seroquel worse. These side effects frequently include flu-like symptoms, reduced appetite and cough; infrequently, people experienced abnormal thinking and dreams, dizziness, hallucinations, migraine, irregular pulse, neck pain and thirst. To minimize these affects, both the FDA and AstraZeneca advise users of Seroquel to refrain from alcohol use.

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