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 wine but new converts have many questions, one i see a lot is… “Can you drink non alcoholic wine on antidepressants?”
Can you drink non alcoholic wine on antidepressants?
Yes, you can drink non alcoholic beer on antidepressants. You would have to drink a few dozen glasses of non alcoholic wine to have an interaction with antidepressants such as increased drowsiness, increased depressive risk or blood pressure changes with MAOIs.
24 glasses of non alcoholic wine is the equivalent of 1 standard 5fl oz, 12% ABV glass of alcoholic wine, so drinking one or two glasses of non alcoholic wine 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 wine on antidepressants?
Yes, you can drink any amount of alcohol free wine when on antidepressants. You would not be able to drink enough alcohol free wine to have an interaction with antidepressants such as increased drowsiness, increased depressive risk or blood pressure changes with MAOIs.
240 glasses of alcohol free wine is the equivalent of 1 standard alcoholic wine so drinking one or two alcohol free wines has zero risk of any interactions.
Can you drink alcoholic wine on antidepressants?
A good first step in understanding if you can drink non alcoholic wine 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 wine 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 wine?
The entire concept of non alcoholic and alcohol free wine confuses people. No other foods or drinks has an alcohol percentage printed on it so any alcohol percentage must be significant, right?
Non alcoholic wine is bought from the same section in a supermarket, it is in a wine bottle, looks like wine and tastes like wine. It even has an alcohol percentage on the label
There are lots of different labelling and names in the non alcoholic wine 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 wine has an ABV of 0.5% or less.
An alcohol free wine 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 wine.
For a full article on the hidden alcohol in common foods, you can read here
How many glasses of non alcoholic wine equals one wine?
The USDA describe a standard wine as having 12% alcohol by volume and 5fl oz. If we compare this to a standard non alcoholic wine of 0.5% alcohol by volume, you would need 24 glasses of non alcoholic wine to equal one alcoholic wine.
A non alcoholic wine will have around 4% of the alcohol of an alcoholic wine.
How many glasses of alcohol free wine equals one wine?
If it takes 24 non alcoholic wines to equal one wine, it takes 240 glasses of alcoholic free wine to equal one glass of wine. An alcohol free wine will have only 10% of the alcohol of a non alcoholic wine.
Will non alcoholic wine cause the complications alcoholic wine does?
The biggest difference between alcoholic and non alcoholic wine is the amount of alcohol in each. Im sorry if that is a bit basic!
As we have seen above, non alcoholic wine has about 4% the amount of alcohol compared to an alcoholic glass of wine.
It is therefore a good assumption that would would be able to drink up to x24 as many non alcoholic wines as you would alcoholic wines before you get into any interactions or issues with antidepressants.
If you are drinking a few non alcoholic wines 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 wine get you drunk?
To get drunk, you need to drink x96 5fl oz glasses of non alcoholic wine in less than 2 hrs.
This equals 480fl oz of non alcoholic wine, 3.5 gallons of non alcoholic wine or 19 bottles of non alcoholic wine in 2hours.
Anther way to look at it is you will have to drink a 5fl oz glass of non alcoholic wine, every 1.8mins, for 2 hours, to get drunk.
It is not possible to drink 19 bottles of non alcoholic wine in 2 hours, so it is not possible to get drunk on non alcoholic wine.
For the full calculations, see my article here
Can alcohol free wine get you drunk?
The numbers are even more silly for alcohol free wine. You would need to drink 190 bottles of alcohol free wine 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 wine on antabuse?
I have calculated can drink up to 6 5fl oz glasses of non alcoholic wine or 60 glasses of alcohol free wine 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 wine when on antabuse.
My full article on non alcoholic beer and antabuse can be read here
Can you drink non alcoholic wine 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 wine 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 wine when taking Flagy.
For a full overview of if you can drink non alcoholic wine with antibiotics, you can read my article here
Can you drink non alcoholic wine or alcohol free wine on antidepressants?
In general, you can safely drink non alcoholic wine in moderation and you can drink as much alcohol free wine 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 wine.