Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic evaluation of the potential drug interaction between venlafaxine and ethanol. Academic Article uri icon


  • Venlafaxine is a new antidepressant with a unique mode of action. Because many patients taking antidepressant therapy may self-medicate with ethanol, this study was undertaken to assess the possible pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between venlafaxine and ethanol. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-period crossover study was conducted with 16 healthy men. Multiple doses of venlafaxine (50 mg every 8 hours) or placebo were administered for 7 days. On days 5 and 7 a single dose of 0.5 g/kg of ethanol or a placebo solution was administered in a randomized fashion. Pharmacokinetic data indicated that ethanol administration did not affect the disposition of venlafaxine or O-desmethylvenlafaxine. Similarly, venlafaxine administration did not affect the pharmacokinetic disposition of ethanol. Ethanol produced its expected effects on the eight psychometric tests administered. Venlafaxine produced small effects on the results of the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, the Divided Attention Reaction Time, and the Profile of Mood States. No pharmacodynamic interaction was detected between venlafaxine and ethanol.

publication date

  • November 1997