There are lots of occasions when you are told that drinking alcoholic wine isn’t a good idea. This could be when you are sick, if you are pregnant or even when you are taking medication. But the huge new growth market in the wine universe is in the non alcoholic subsection. Supermarket shelves are filling up with non alcoholic gin but new converts have many questions, one i see a lot is… “Can you drink non alcoholic gin on antidepressants?”
Can you drink non alcoholic gin on antidepressants?
Yes, you can drink non alcoholic gin on antidepressants. You would have to drink bottles of non alcoholic gin to have an interaction with antidepressants such as increased drowsiness, increased depressive risk or blood pressure changes with MAOIs.
80 shots of non alcoholic gin is the equivalent of 1 standard 1.5fl oz, 40% ABV shot of alcoholic gin, so drinking a few shots of non alcoholic gin is very low risk of any interaction. However, it is important to understand why alcohol is not recommended with antidepressants so as to make an informed decision.
Can you drink alcohol free gin on antidepressants?
Yes, you can drink any amount of alcohol free gin when on antidepressants. You would not be able to drink enough alcohol free gin to have an interaction with antidepressants such as increased drowsiness, increased depressive risk or blood pressure changes with MAOIs.
800 shots of alcohol free gin is the equivalent of 1 standard alcoholic gin so drinking a few alcohol free gins has zero risk of any interactions.
Can you drink alcoholic gin on antidepressants?
A good first step in understanding if you can drink non alcoholic gin when on antidepressants, is to consider why alcohol is not recommended.
What is it about alcoholic wine that can interact with antidepressants and then does non alcoholic gin carry the same risk?
Increased side effects
The side effects you might experience from antidepressants is magnified if you drink alcohol along with them.
Some of these include…
- dry mouth.
- loss of appetite.
Not only will the antidepressant side effects increase, so will the side effects of any other medications your are taking such as sleeping or pain medication.
Some of the antidepressants can directly cause drowsiness, as will alcohol. When taken together this can be magnified and become more intense.
You are prescribed antidepressant medication in order to boost your mood and lift depression. Alcohol is a known depressant so will counteract any of the benefits of the medication you are prescribed.
Blood pressure spike on MAOIs
One of the most dangerous interactions between alcohol and antidepressants is with a particular set of medications called MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).
Alcohol can cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure with these medications so it is best avoided.
Decreased alertness or sharpness
Needless to say, alcohol dulls your senses and mental sharpness. This is magnified when taken with antidepressants and you may feel like you are in a fog or can’t concentration or make decisions.
How much alcohol is in non alcoholic and alcohol free gin?
The entire concept of non alcoholic and alcohol free gin confuses people. No other foods or drinks has an alcohol percentage printed on it so any alcohol percentage must be significant, right?
Non alcoholic gin is bought from the same section in a supermarket, it is in a gin bottle, looks like gin and tastes like gin. It even has an alcohol percentage on the label
There are lots of different labelling and names in the non alcoholic gin world. Ive written a full article on what all the names mean and how to navigate your way around it, you can read it here.
A non alcoholic gin has an ABV of 0.5% or less.
An alcohol free gin will have an ABV of less than 0.05%.
To get a clearer idea of just how low 0.5% ABV actually is, you can look at some common foods and drinks that contain similar amounts of alcohol. The likes of orange juice will have more alcohol in it and most breads have more alcohol than an alcohol free gin.
For a full article on the hidden alcohol in common foods, you can read here
How many shots of non alcoholic gin equals one gin?
The USDA describe a standard gin as having 40% alcohol by volume and 1.5fl oz. If we compare this to a standard non alcoholic gin of 0.5% alcohol by volume, you would need 80 shots of non alcoholic gin to equal one alcoholic gin.
A non alcoholic gin will have around 1.25% of the alcohol of an alcoholic gin.
How many shots of alcohol free gin equals one gin?
If it takes 80 non alcoholic gins to equal one gin, it takes 800 shots of alcoholic free gin to equal one glass of gin. An alcohol free gin will have only 10% of the alcohol of a non alcoholic gin.
Will non alcoholic gin cause the complications alcoholic gin does?
The biggest difference between alcoholic and non alcoholic gin is the amount of alcohol in each. Im sorry if that is a bit basic!
As we have seen above, non alcoholic gin only has about 1.25% the amount of alcohol compared to an alcoholic shot of gin.
It is therefore a good assumption that would would be able to drink up to x80 as many non alcoholic gins as you would alcoholic gins before you get into any interactions or issues with antidepressants.
If you are drinking a few non alcoholic gins in moderation, 2-3 times a week, that is not enough alcohol to have any significant interaction with antidepressants.
However, if you feel you are having some side effects then it would be a good plan to abstain and discuss it with your doctor.
Can non alcoholic gin get you drunk?
To get drunk, you need to drink x320 1.5fl oz glasses of non alcoholic gin in less than 2 hrs.
This equals 480fl oz of non alcoholic gin, 3.5 gallons of non alcoholic gin or 20 bottles of non alcoholic gin in 2hours.
Anther way to look at it is you will have to drink a 1.5fl oz shot of non alcoholic gin, every 30seconds or so, for 2 hours, to get drunk.
It is not possible to drink 200 bottles of non alcoholic gin in 2 hours, so it is not possible to get drunk on non alcoholic gin.
For the full calculations, see my article here
Can alcohol free wine get you drunk?
The numbers are even more ridiculous for alcohol free gin. You would need to drink 200 bottles of alcohol free gin in 1-2 hrs to get drunk. I think you would die trying before you got close to being drunk.
Can you drink non alcoholic gin on antabuse?
I have calculated can drink up to 20 1.5fl oz shots of non alcoholic gin or 200 shots of alcohol free gin before you would reach the minimum blood alcohol concentration where a reaction with Antabuse might occur. Initial symptoms would be very mild so more severe symptoms would not occur until after many more.
However, as with metronidazole, the safest practice would be to avoid non alcoholic gin when on antabuse.
My full article on non alcoholic beer and antabuse can be read here
Can you drink non alcoholic gin on metronidazole?
Metronidazole (Flagyl) is probably the main antibiotic you will be prescribed which has a strong interaction with alcohol so i it worth just reiterating it. It actually causes the reaction that antabuse does. The issue is, i cant find any evidence as to what blood alcohol concentration you start to get symptoms at.
Non alcoholic gin has the same alcohol content as orange juice, if not less and you would not be worried about drinking that on Flagyl but to be cautious and avoid any possible reaction, i would avoid non alcoholic gin when taking Flagy.
For a full overview of if you can drink non alcoholic gin with antibiotics, you can read my article here
Can you drink non alcoholic gin or alcohol free gin on antidepressants?
In general, you can safely drink non alcoholic gin in moderation and you can drink as much alcohol free wgin as you want, when taking antidepressants. If you feel you are having unwanted side effects, increased drowsiness or the medications are not as effective as they should be, then it would be wise to abstain from non alcoholic gn.