Alcohol and Clozapine
In most cases, people being treated for schizophrenia are advised to not combine alcohol and clozapine. Taking these two substances together can increase your risk of side effects, especially drowsiness or low blood pressure. You may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol if you are taking clozapine, and alcohol can often make mental illnesses worse.
According to the clozapine (Clozaril®, FazaClo®) prescribing information, drinking alcohol while taking the drug is not recommended. Combining alcohol and clozapine can increase the chance and severity of several clozapine side effects. In addition, many people with a mental illness are usually advised to avoid alcohol.
Drinking alcohol may increase your risk of certain side effects of clozapine, such as drowsiness or low blood pressure when sitting or standing up (orthostatic hypertension). You may also be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol if you are taking clozapine. You may not be able to safely drink as much alcohol as you are used to drinking in the past.
Clozapine is approved to treat schizophrenia. Generally, it is best for people with this type of mental illness to avoid alcohol, as it may make symptoms worse and is often a form of "self-medication."
Although it is not recommended that you drink alcohol while taking clozapine, you should not be afraid to discuss your alcohol consumption with your healthcare provider. Together, the two of you can make a shared decision about clozapine and alcohol that is right for your particular situation. If you do drink and want to stop, your healthcare provider can also suggest ways to help you with this.