Is Drinking Alcohol With Antibiotics Dangerous?


Alcohol word cloud

It goes without saying that drinking alcohol while taking medications isn’t the safest option. Without knowing how the medication you’ve taken will react with alcohol, you play your health at risk. Healthline states that in some cases, alcohol can worsen the side effects of the medication you’re taking, yielding a risky outcome. The combination of side effects from medication and alcohol can cause a host of problems, including:

  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Digestive problems

Reactions from combining medication with alcohol could include flushing, severe headaches, racing heart rate, severe nausea, and more. Shape Magazine, an online source that provides information on lifestyle, weight loss, healthy eating and more, states that drinking alcohol while you have an infection can actually slow your immune system’s recovery response, giving you more time with unwanted symptoms.

Sonia Patel, chief pharmacist at Capsule, a digital pharmacy in New York City, stated,

Will drinking alcohol on antibiotics kill you? Nope. Will it make you feel like it did? Quite possibly.”

When obtaining antibiotics, there is often a warning label that provides information on alcohol use. Always consult medical attention immediately if you’ve consumed alcohol while on antibiotics and you’re experiencing symptoms of concern. Alcohol use can increase your blood sugar levels and decrease your energy levels – both of which you likely won’t want to experience if you are sick.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that alongside increasing the side effects of the antibiotics you are taking, alcohol can also compete with the enzymes in the liver for digestion, possibly voiding the effects of the antibiotics altogether. If this occurs, the medication you’ve just taken will provide no benefit.

There are a number of different outcomes that can occur between alcohol and medications, but the safest route is to avoiding drinking with medication altogether. If you experience any symptoms of concern, seek medical attention right away. If you struggle with substance abuse, make the decision to seek help. There are many resources available and many people who want to help you – take that first step towards taking back control over your life.

Located in Orange County, CA, Simple Recovery is a world-renowned drug and alcohol treatment center that believes that recovery is a process, not a destination. Our Simple Recovery programs include a variety of resources such as relapse prevention and support, group and individual therapy, vocational and educational programming, and more. If you’re in search of freedom from addiction, call us today at 888-743-0490. Recovery is possible.