10 alcohol-drug interactions: What medications interact with alcohol?


It’s important that you’re open and honest with them about how much and how often you drink to avoid any dangerous interactions. Always read the label and package insert of any medication you are taking, whether it has been prescribed by your doctor or purchased over-the-counter. If you are not sure if it is safe to drink alcohol while you are taking medication, call a local pharmacy or talk to your doctor about the potential interactions. In general, alcohol use has the potential to make symptoms of a mental health condition worse. In addition, there are hundreds of mental health medications that interact with alcohol. Combining alcohol with a mental health medication can make the medication less effective or even more dangerous.

What pills should not be mixed with alcohol?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and aspirin, are associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding on their own. Combining them with alcohol significantly increases the risk.

Alcohol can make some medications less effective by interfering with how they are absorbed in the digestive tract. In some cases, alcohol increases the bioavailability of a drug, which can raise the concentration of the medication in your blood to toxic levels. If you take any medication—even over-the-counter (OTC) products—you should know that drinking alcohol might affect how your meds work.

A Champagne-fueled New Year’s can be dangerous if you’re taking certain drugs

The INIA mechanism is an example of collaborative science, and has been essential for identifying immune targeting drugs and for advancing basic science research to improve human health. What’s more, most of these medications are covered by health insurance plans; generic options are also available. If you cannot imagine your life without a sip of alcohol in it, you could be dealing with an addiction issue. “If we attack the medical problem right away and early on, you cannot only treat the problem but prevent the development of the more severe forms of the disease,” Dr. Leggio said.

Add excessive use of alcohol to the regular use of a medication that is hard on the liver, and the potential for harm can soar. Same goes for those who take one of these medications for chronic GI issues, such as GERD or eosinophilic esophagitis. Furthermore, alcohol will increase stomach acid production, which is one of the root causes of heartburn, indigestion, and stomach ulcers. Proton pump inhibitors and heartburn (prescription and OTC) meds are used to treat stomach acid production, so in a sense you are rendering your medication pointless when you mix it with alcohol. Turning down a festive drink might seem bah humbug—but, depending on the medications you take, it might be your only option. “Whenever you are on a medication, it’s important to understand the different interactions it may have with other substances,” says Ramzi Yacoub, Pharm.D., chief pharmacy officer for SingleCare.

Taking Alcohol with Prescription Stimulants

If you take your medicine in the morning and you were drinking the night before, you could also sleep through the time you normally take it. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. The list of possible drug and alcohol interactions goes on, so being proactive in checking for interactions and discussing with your doctor or pharmacist is the best way to prevent harm.

sober living blog

When mixed with alcohol, Excedrin and Tylenol can also cause liver damage. Using alcohol with medications used to treat heartburn, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and sudden changes in blood pressure. These drugs can also make the effects of alcohol more intense, leading to impaired judgment and sedation. Medications prescribed to lower cholesterol levels (known as statins) can cause flushing, itching, stomach bleeding, and liver damage.

Combining Alcohol with Allergy Medications

Assistance needs to be sought for any known or suspected accidental ingestion. Users who abuse ecstasy and alcohol simultaneously, however, may actually be causing their own mental depression by exhaustively depleting serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. Drinking alcohol is tricky for anyone who has diabetes, since most types of alcohol contain sugar and carbohydrates. On top of that, alcohol has been shown to have a wide range of interactions with insulin, potentially causing hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia depending on the person.

What pills can you take while drinking?

  • Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol, which is also the most popular OTC pain med.
  • Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is the main ingredient in Advil.
  • Naproxen. Naproxen is the main ingredient in Aleve, which is also an NSAID.
  • Aspirin.

Drowsiness, dizziness, and slowed or labored breathing can all be side effects of mixing certain anxiety and epilepsy drugs with alcohol. A person may also have problems with motor functions, behavior, and memory. If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug and/or alcohol addiction, it’s important to reach out for assistance. Facilities like The Recovery Village provide treatment options for a variety of substance use disorders, including those involving alcohol and prescription drugs. Polydrug addiction can occur when any multiple substances (whether illicit or prescribed by a doctor), including alcohol, are mixed and abused on a regular basis.

Most antidepressants require taking a consistent, daily dose to maintain a constant level in your system and work as intended. Stopping and starting your medications can make your depression worse. A similar warning appears in documentation from the manufacturer of the sedative-hypnotic drug Sonata. Here, manufacturers report that the drug should not be provided to those with a history of drug dependence and that it should be stored safely to prevent abuse.

If you mix alcohol with pain relievers on a regular basis, it is likely that you will do irreparable damage to your liver and kidneys. Be mindful when you drink, and always take note when you take even the mildest of pain relievers. Although this does not technically count as mixing substances, it is something to consider when you head out for a night out on the town. The truth is, mixing alcohols does not actually make you sick or worsen the hangover. It’s all about the total amount of alcohol you consume and the rate at which you consume it.

Struggling With Alcohol? Medication May be Able to Help

In this article, we discuss the risks of drinking alcohol while taking birth control pills. Cocaine in particular presents additional risks when it is mixed with alcohol, since this combination creates a rare chemical called cocaethylene in the liver. Cocaethylene https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/alcohol-and-pills-what-are-the-effects-of-mixing/ is a byproduct of metabolizing cocaine and alcohol together; once produced; it leaks from the liver into the bloodstream and moves throughout the body. This toxic chemical can do great damage to the cardiovascular system and affects brain health as well.

teenage alcoholism

They may also be able suggest an alternative medication that’s less risky to take with alcohol. Keep in mind that some medications, like painkillers and cold and allergy medications, have more than one ingredient that can interact with alcohol. Other medications, like cough syrups, may actually contain alcohol as an ingredient, which can magnify the effects above even further.

Drugs That Are Dangerous With a Drink

Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and institutions across the country have identified a pill used to treat a common skin disease as an “incredibly promising” treatment for alcohol use disorder. Other people might only need to take the medication at times when they know they’ll feel triggered to drink. For example, if someone usually relapses at the holidays or the anniversary of the death of a loved one, they might decide with their doctor to take it just around that time, Schmidt says. Some of these medications have been around for decades, but fewer than 10% of the people who could benefit from them use them. “You don’t have commercials talking about [these drugs],” says Stephen Holt, MD, who co-directs the Addiction Recovery Clinic at Yale-New Haven Hospital St. Raphael Campus in Connecticut. “And primary care doctors tend to shy away from these meds because they weren’t trained to use them in med school.”

  • Contact SAMHSA’s regional OTP Compliance Officers to determine if an OTP is qualified to provide treatment for substance use disorders.
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) and alcohol use can also cause stomach problems like ulcers.
  • Combining medications (prescribed or not prescribed) with alcohol can have unpredictable and unwanted consequences.
  • However, when misused, they can often become addictive and dangerous, especially when combined with other substances like alcohol.
  • Not everyone will respond to medication, the NIAAA says, but for those who do, Beste finds it gives them the boost they need to meet their goals.