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Question
Posted by: Jen | 2010/04/16

Alcohol + Tricyclics

Hi Doc!

My brother has been placed on a combination of a tricyclic antidepressant - clonipramine I think - and an anticonvulsant (carbamazepine) for severe insomnia, night terrors and nightmares and depression by the Sleep clinic. However, he does like to drink alcohol and refuses to stop/ In fact, he doesn''t even want to go on the meds because he was told he may not drink. He''s not an alcoholic but likes to have a few drinks with his buddies, mainly because he is quite shy and insecure. What can happen if he does drink? Would a drink r 2 be ok?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmm, a complex mix. But combining these with alcohol is extremely foolish. Indeed, the alcohol could very well be the cause of his sleep problems and depression themselves ! Anyone who refuses to go on meds a doc thinks them need, just because it would need them to stop drinking, is at least a problem drinker. Yes, if you're shy and insecure, you may feel bolder and more confident - but CBT will clear up that problem less expensively, and much more safely.
The alcohol could well be the cause of his problems, originally. And is he actually able to have just one or 2 drinks ? Or wouldn't this actually add up to more ? A drink now and then might not spoil the process, but alcohol is depressing and does disturb sleep, it interferes with the actiosn of many of these drugs, and you tend to get more drunk than you expect for any particular amount of alcohol you choose to drink

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Our users say:
Posted by: Jen | 2010/04/16

Thank you cybershrink! I appreciate the time you''ve taken!

Reply to Jen
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/04/16

Hmm, a complex mix. But combining these with alcohol is extremely foolish. Indeed, the alcohol could very well be the cause of his sleep problems and depression themselves ! Anyone who refuses to go on meds a doc thinks them need, just because it would need them to stop drinking, is at least a problem drinker. Yes, if you're shy and insecure, you may feel bolder and more confident - but CBT will clear up that problem less expensively, and much more safely.
The alcohol could well be the cause of his problems, originally. And is he actually able to have just one or 2 drinks ? Or wouldn't this actually add up to more ? A drink now and then might not spoil the process, but alcohol is depressing and does disturb sleep, it interferes with the actiosn of many of these drugs, and you tend to get more drunk than you expect for any particular amount of alcohol you choose to drink

Reply to cybershrink

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