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The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Antibiotics

This article describes why it is unsafe to mix alcohol with antibiotics, and whether we can put the label “dangerous” on all the drugs.  

Nowadays we live in a progressive society where everyone can buy a variety of drugs online no prescription. It sounds good to a person who cannot afford to visit a doctor or is simply too lazy. However, such an action may lead to a consumer’s irresponsible attitude toward the consequences of taking a single pharmacological agent (particularly, antibiotics) in combination with various substances, including alcohol. 

Let’s examine why it is unsafe to mix alcohol with antibiotics, and whether we can put the label “dangerous” on all the drugs.  

Why wouldn’t it work?                      

Not every antibiotic causes the same negative effects when you combine it with alcohol. It can vary according to the following factors: 

  • incompatible components in the beverages and drugs

For example, while taking linezolid, you have to avoid large quantities of tyramine-containing alcoholic beverages, such as tap beer or red wine. This interaction can raise your blood pressure. 

  • not waiting a specific period after antibiotic discontinuation

Some drugs (tinidazole, cefotetan) require a total rejection of alcoholic beverages not only during the treatment but for another 72 hours after their discontinuation.

  • excessive amount of consumed alcohol

Some antibiotics (voriconazole) may still work despite the consumption of one can of beer. However, if you multiply this amount of alcohol by n-quantity, you may prevent the drug metabolism because alcohol will compete for the same processing sites within the liver.

As you can see, there are certain antibiotics that can interact with alcohol. However, you should be cautious and keep in mind that alcohol beverages don’t stimulate fast recovery in any case.  

How bad is it? 

Along with a zero therapeutic effect, alcohol intervention when taking the following drugs may lead to the list of lamentable outcomes: 

  • cycloserine – may become the main reason for the toxicity of central nervous system along with possible seizures;
  • rifampin – may increase the risk of liver toxicity;
  • didanosine – may develop pancreatitis;
  • thalidomide – may cause drowsiness, confusion, additive sedation, and worsening of motor skills;
  • ethionamide – may develop psychosis;
  • tinidazole – may lead to abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushing. 

What about side effects?

Almost every drug has unwanted side effects, which are divided into “more common,” “less common,” “rare,” and “incidence not known.” No one is actually insured from suffering from any of the mentioned adverse effects. However, you can increase the chances of experiencing side effects by drinking alcohol. So it’s up to you to decide whether you want to decrease the potential risk of being harmed by, say, double vision that may occur from taking thalidomide. For further information and adviceHealth Fitness Articles, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional.

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Jason Mitchell is a freelance content writer who specializes on health issues and writes articles for the Ok-Pharmacy Health Blog.

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