Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication, and alcohol can have dangerous and potentially severe risks and consequences when combined. While Seroquel is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not recommended to be consumed with other substances such as alcohol.

The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Medication

A range of factors influences the risks and consequences of mixing certain medications and alcohol. These factors include the type of medication, the amount of alcohol being consumed, and a person’s overall health (BMI, age, and metabolism). Most prescription medications, when combined with alcohol, can intensify each other’s side effects. Whether it’s increased drowsiness, dizziness, or impaired coordination, this can potentially cause accidents or injuries. Certain medications and alcohol are metabolized in the liver, and consuming them together can overwhelm it, leading to liver damage or worsened liver problems.

Alcohol’s effects commonly impair judgment and cognition, and when mixed with medications like Seroquel that affect central nervous system (CNS) receptors, it is significantly worse. Medications affecting blood pressure and heart rate can cause significant changes in blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, or other cardiovascular issues when combined with alcohol.

When alcohol is mixed with medications like NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), it increases the risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Alcohol consumption while on medication can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and metabolize certain drugs, reducing the efficacy of the medication for treating conditions. For those taking medications like antidepressants or psychiatric medications for mental health disorders, alcohol can exacerbate these symptoms. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, which counteracts the purpose of SSRIs and antipsychotic medications used for those with mental health issues. Regular consumption of alcohol while on Seroquel medication can reduce its effectiveness, requiring a higher dosage for Seroquel.

Mixing alcohol with certain medications regularly can cause some individuals to develop a tolerance or even a dependency on either or both substances. This dependency can quickly exacerbate into an addiction, leading to a substance use disorder (SUD) requiring medical detox and drug rehab.

What is Seroquel?

Seroquel (quetiapine) is an antipsychotic medication primarily used to treat mood and mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and, in some cases, major depressive disorder (clinical depression). It falls under a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics or second-generation antipsychotics. Seroquel alters chemicals in the brain, particularly neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Those with certain mental health disorders like depression or anxiety often have chemical imbalances in the brain. Seroquel is a prescription drug that balances serotonin and dopamine levels to regulate mood, thoughts, and behaviors.

For schizophrenia, Seroquel can help reduce hallucinations, improve focus, and lessen disturbed thinking. Taking Seroquel for schizophrenia helps patients feel less nervous and more clear-headed. Seroquel for bipolar disorder can stabilize mood swings, treat manic episodes, and assist with depressive episodes. In some cases, Seroquel extended-release is combined with other antidepressant medications to treat depression and major depressive disorder.

Side Effects of Seroquel

Seroquel’s side effects can range from mild to severe, most commonly including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain

More severe side effects of quetiapine can include heart rhythm changes, seizures, stroke, low blood pressure, low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism), or neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Due to Seroquel’s sedative properties and potential side effects, it must be taken under the guidance and as prescribed by a healthcare provider. When taking Seroquel, it’s also crucial to avoid consuming substances like alcohol that can exacerbate its side effects or interact negatively with the medication.

The Dangers of Mixing Seroquel and Alcohol

Mixing Seroquel (an atypical antipsychotic medication) and alcohol can heighten side effects and cause potentially severe outcomes. Seroquel’s side effects, including dizziness and constipation, can be significantly heightened when combined with alcohol. Alcohol interferes with how the body metabolizes Seroquel, which can lead to unpredictable and harmful effects. This can include worsened side effects or decreased effectiveness of the medication. Here are some of the risks and consequences of mixing these two substances:

Increased Sedation and Drowsiness

Both Seroquel and alcohol are central nervous system (CNS) depressants with sedative effects. Taken together, they can significantly increase sedation and drowsiness, leading to impaired judgment, coordination, and reaction time. Impaired motor coordination and judgment can be especially dangerous when driving or operating machinery, increasing the risk of car accidents or injuries. One of the more severe side effects of Seroquel, low blood pressure (hypotension), can be amplified when combined with alcohol, potentially leading to fainting or falling over when standing up.

Worsening of Psychiatric Symptoms and Mental Health Issues

Seroquel is primarily prescribed to manage mental health conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Drinking alcohol while on Seroquel can exacerbate these psychiatric symptoms, leading to heightened anxiety, paranoia, or depression. This can have life-threatening psychological effects, increasing the risk of depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, or behaviors, especially for those with a history of depression or suicidal ideation.

Higher Risk of Respiratory Depression

Both alcohol and Seroquel can affect the respiratory system and suppress respiratory function. When combined, this can be potentially life-threatening, slowing down breathing or respiratory failure in severe cases.

Adverse Effects on Liver and Other Organs

Long-term use of alcohol combined with Seroquel can strain the liver, which metabolizes both substances. Taking them together increases the strain on the liver, potentially leading to liver damage and impacting other organs.

Risks of Dependency and Addiction

The sedative effects of Seroquel are amplified when taken with alcohol, which can raise the risk of an accidental overdose. Mixing alcohol and Seroquel over time can increase your tolerance for both substances and reduce the efficacy of the medication. This can cause individuals to require a higher dosage of Seroquel and consume more alcohol, increasing the risk of developing a dependence on either or both substances. Seroquel and alcohol dependency can provoke long-term health problems, mental health disorders, and addiction, requiring medical treatment or drug rehabilitation.

While most psychiatric medications like Seroquel should not be mixed with other substances, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before combining any medication with alcohol.


For drug and alcohol detox in Stuart, FL, reach out to Coastal Detox today. We’re here to help you take your life back!






  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2003. Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol With Medicines.
  • National Library of Medicine, 2023. Quetiapine.
  • Healthline, 2023. Chemical Imbalance in the Brain: What You Should Know.
  •, 2023. Seroquel.
  • Cleveland Clinic. Quetiapine Tablets.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2022. Low Blood Pressure.
  • GoodRx Health, 2021. Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Antipsychotics Like Abilify and Seroquel?