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Dec
15

WHAT ABOUT COMBINING ST JOHN’S WORT WITH ALCOHOL?

Posted by admin

Alcohol itself often complicates the treatment of depression. Although depressed people often report a pleasant buzz after using alcohol, in my experience they often pay for this buzz heavily in the days that follow. This delayed effect is often difficult to discern. If your mood is bad to start with and it feels worse on certain days, there are any number of good reasons to explain the mood worsening. The two or three drinks you had last night or the night before are by now a distant memory and hardly seem to be likely culprits. But careful observation in many patients has shown that once the alcohol is stopped, mood control is often much smoother and better. Now, if you enjoy having several drinks of an evening I hardly expect these mild observations of mine to persuade you to stop doing so, but it’s worth thinking about it. If you’re keeping the mood log I mentioned above, you might note when you drink (including the number and type of drinks you have) and see whether you can detect an impact of the drinks on your mood over the ensuing days.

Quite apart from the potential problem of drinking alcohol if you happen to suffer from depression is the question of whether you can safely drink alcohol if you are on St John’s Wort. The answer is that there is no known negative interaction between St John’s Wort and alcohol. Even so, I always suggest that my patients go easy on the alcohol if they are on any anti-depressant (no more than one or two lagers or glasses of wine or one glass of spirits is what I usually recommend). After all, if these drugs are all working on the brain, it would be strange if they did not affect each other’s actions in one way or another.

*91/75/2*

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