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Fair Lawn, NJ
A 22-year-old female asked:

Can i eat fermented foods like kefir which have alcohol content while on an ssri antidepressant?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Lanier
Pharmacology 11 years experience
Yes: Fermented foods contain an amine called tyramine which can cause your blood pressure to elevate significantly. However this usually occurs when you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (anotherclass of antidepressants) and ingest tyramine. If you plan to consume fermented foods on a regular basis it would be wise to monitor your BP and to consult your physician.
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine 39 years experience
Kefir + SSRI: The degree of interaction depends on which ssri you're taking: some like Paxil (paroxetine) r associated with sedation; others like prozac, with stimulation; & others r neutral. Kefir does contain some alcohol, but kefir made commercially has less than 1% alcohol; so u would have to drink a fair amount on an empty stomach for there to b a major concern. Check with prescribing doc for more info.
Dr. Kenneth Lanier
Pharmacology 11 years experience
Yes: Fermented foods contain an amine called tyramine which can cause your blood pressure to elevate significantly. However this usually occurs when you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors (anotherclass of antidepressants) and ingest tyramine. If you plan to consume fermented foods on a regular basis it would be wise to monitor your BP and to consult your physician.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Kefir: The alcohol content in one cup of low-fat milk kefir is about 0.48%. That should be ok.

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Fair Lawn, NJ
A 22-year-old female asked:

Can i eat fermented foods like kefir th have alcohol content while on an ssri antidepressant?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Reidbord
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Usually ok: Most commercially available kefir in the us contains little or no alcohol. If it's homemade or imported, it may have significant alcohol content. Taking alcohol with ssris is not recommended — you certainly should not become intoxicated while on an ssri. But small quantities of alcohol in fermented foods is generally not a problem.

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Last updated Nov 28, 2018

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