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Alcohol and Pills: What Are the Effects of Mixing

Often a situation arises when we ask if it is possible to drink alcohol when taking medications and how it will affect one’s well-being. In this article, you will learn about the compatibility of medicine and alcohol.

Alcohol and Pills

Instructions for use do not always contain information about drinking alcohol when using a specific drug. However, this does not mean at all that combining alcohol and pills will pass without any negative consequences.

Their interaction can lead to the following:

  • This is a complete incompatibility between the active substance and alcohol.
  • The body produces substances that have a strong toxic effect.
  • A decrease in the therapeutic functions of the drug.In the case of the simultaneous use of medicine and alcohol, there is a disruption of the metabolism and absorption of the drug.
  • Influence on side effects.Almost every drug has some side effects, and alcoholic beverages can significantly increase them, thereby leading to the development of new diseases and serious negative consequences.

Alcohol and pills combination can negate the entire treatment or cause serious health problems. Moreover, each drug affects the body in its own way. Remember that even a very small dose of alcohol might not be safe for the body because you never know how alcohol and pills will interact. Only a doctor can give the green light.

Not worth the risk

Although some medications can be used with alcohol, you shouldn’t experiment with your health. After all, the effect of drinking alcohol while taking medication can be completely different, including life-threatening. For example:

  • Alcohol enhances the effect of anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents (e.g. aspirin). This is fraught with profuse internal bleeding, which can occur in both the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, which can lead to stroke or paralysis.
  • Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of contraception.
  • Drinking alcohol neutralizes the effect of antidepressants. Moreover, when interacting with some of them, the result can be an increased heartbeat, a significant increase in blood pressure, up to a hypertensive crisis, and cerebral hemorrhage.
  • Alcohol is very dangerous for people with diabetes, as it causes sharp jumps in blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can provoke loss of consciousness and accumulation of toxic acetaldehyde in the blood.
  • Alcohol enhances the toxic properties of antibiotics, causing symptoms of intoxication – headache, nausea – and completely eliminates the therapeutic effect, that is, taking drugs becomes useless.
  • The risk of side effects increases with the use of alcohol and pills for pain relief. Headache, ringing in the ears, drowsiness, and lethargy may occur.
  • In combination with antihistamines, it is possible to increase allergic reactions and cause a sharp drop in pressure up to a loss of consciousness.
  • One cannot use alcohol in combination with psychotropic drugs (antidepressants, neuroleptics, etc.), since alcohol increases their effect on the central nervous system and can lead to a condition accompanied by hallucinations, nausea, convulsions, damage to the respiratory center up to a respiratory arrest.
  • Alcohol enhances the toxic effect of acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) on the liver.
  • Drugs for normalizing blood pressure are incompatible with alcohol since this is fraught with sharp surges in blood pressure. Besides, the effect of antihypertensive therapy is reduced to zero.
  • The interaction of alcohol with sleeping pills is fraught with intoxication and cerebral coma.

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