Generally speaking, because alcohol is a depressant, it is not advisable to drink alcohol of any kind when one is suffering from depression. With that being said, not everyone is on antidepressant medication for depression, and therefore this advice may not pertain to you. However, many psychiatric illnesses have overlapping symptoms, particularly anxiety and depression. Just because your doctor may have prescribed the medication for anxiety rather than depression, the risk for depression is still higher than the general population, and thus the need to abstain from alcohol remains good advice. Alcohol can also worsen anxiety and can lead to dependence in people suffering from anxiety because of its inherent antianxiety effects, causing some people to self-medicate with it.
Is there any interaction between alcohol and antidepressants that could be dangerous if you still choose to drink alcohol? With some antidepressant medications such as MAOIs, the risk is serious, because the interaction with some forms of alcohol, particularly red wines, can lead to malignant hypertension , which is potentially life threatening. With TCAs the risks are due to their sedative effects, which are additive to alcohol, and thus causing intoxication and its incumbent risks more read-ily. Finally, with the newer SSRIs the additive effects are much less noticeable, because these medications are not found to be sedating or affecting cognition and motor coordination adversely. It is best to be cautious if having wine or other alcohol in monitoring its effect on your mental status while on an antidepressant.