Author: James Anderson

Can you drink on antibiotics? No, and it could be dangerous

can you drink on antibiotics

Some antibiotics do not interact with alcohol intake, but others do. Antibiotics and alcohol consumption may both cause digestive symptoms for some people. If you choose to drink alcohol while taking an antibiotic, check on the safety with your doctor or pharmacist first.

can you drink on antibiotics

Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if your antibiotic has an interaction with any liver enzymes. It’s important to know if there are concerns about how effective the antibiotic might be for your infection based on any drug interactions, including alcohol. Both alcohol and antibiotics can cause side effects in your body, and drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can raise your risk of these harmful effects.

There are several antibiotics that people should not mix alcohol with. Not only can they interfere with the way the antibiotics work, but they can also cause a number of harmful side effects. Metronidazole affects the function of a key enzyme that helps the body digest alcohol. When metronidazole inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, the levels of acetaldehyde accumulate in the blood. Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antibiotic that doctors prescribe to treat abdominal infections, sexually transmitted infections, and other anaerobic bacteria-related infections. In rare cases, people may experience seizures with fluoroquinolone treatment.

Drinking on antibiotics is a no-no. But do you know why? A doctor explains the science

While there are no studies proving that it is safe to consume alcohol while taking these antibiotics, the potential for serious interactions seems low. In the 1940s, doctors explored whether disulfiram was useful as a treatment for alcohol abuse. The safest thing is to avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking antibiotics. Some people can experience side effects from combining the two—at least for certain antibiotics—and in some cases, it might slow down the healing process.

Scientists have linked heavy and binge drinking with an impaired immune system. People with an impaired immune system have a higher risk of infection. Mixing alcohol with fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin may increase these mental health side effects.

  1. Although some antibiotics can interact with alcohol, the risks are not the same for all types.
  2. Also, the antibiotic linezolid (Zyvox) interacts with certain alcoholic beverages, including red wine and tap beer.
  3. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole can affect the metabolism of folic acid in bacteria.

Although nausea is a common side effect of both antibiotics and alcohol, not all people will experience this when using both at the same time. Nausea is a common side effect of antibiotics, and drinking alcohol may worsen this symptom in some people. In 2020, pharmacists at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in New York published a study examining the data regarding alcohol use with certain classes of antibiotics. Some types were deemed safe to use with alcohol, while others were not. Antibiotics are medications prescribed to help treat certain bacterial infections.

Combining Antibiotics and Alcohol: Is It Safe?

We’ll also explain what effects alcohol can have on your body’s ability to fight infection. Another concern is that using alcohol with an antibiotic might increase side effects. For example, many antibiotics have potential side effects like stomach irritation or nausea. Obviously, these effects might be heightened if you have too much to drink. Other potential side effects, like headache or dizziness, might also be worse if you drink alcohol.

To be on the safe side, you may need to avoid alcohol for a few days after stopping such medications. A type of antibiotic called doxycycline may be less effective in people with a history of heavy drinking. An occasional drink with fluoroquinolone can be safe, but regularly drinking alcohol may cause central nervous system side effects.

Alcohol’s effect on the immune system

Drinking these beverages with this medication can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure. Drinking any amount of alcohol with these medications can result in side effects such as flushing, headache, nausea and vomiting, and rapid heart rate. Mixing moderate amounts of alcohol with an antibiotic will not usually lower your antibiotic’s effectiveness. It is safe and effective, with the caveat that one must avoid alcohol while taking it. If you’d like to still drink while taking an antibiotic, talk with the healthcare provider treating you. You might be able to switch to a different antibiotic with a better safety record.

If you’ve been prescribed an antibiotic for an infection, you may wonder if it’s safe to have a drink or two. A healthcare provider may prescribe one of several types of antibiotics, depending on the infection and your health history. When prescribing antibiotics, a healthcare provider often will discuss whether it’s OK to consume alcohol while taking them. A person may be able to drink alcohol in moderation and with caution while they are taking some types of antibiotics.