Medical professionals discourage combining alcohol with most substances. The same is true for antibiotics. Mixing antibiotics and alcohol can have potentially harmful effects on the body. If nothing else, it will change the way the medication works in your body.
Consuming alcohol can make any unsafe side effects of the medication worse. You can also wind up taking a full course of the antibiotics and not feel any better. The antibiotics are working to fight off the infection while the alcohol you consume is hurting your immune system.
In the article below you’ll learn how combining antibiotics and alcohol actually affects the body.
Antibiotics and Alcohol
Alcohol doesn’t make antibiotics any less effective. The dangers of combining antibiotics and alcohol come from the side effects.
You shouldn’t be consuming alcohol if your doctor prescribes you any of the following antibiotics:
Again, if you’re prescribed any of these medications, do not consume alcohol. It can be very dangerous. Each has its own way of interacting with alcohol but none of them are harmless.
Ketoconazole, metronidazole, tinidazole, cefoperazone, and cefotetan all have similar interactions with alcohol. These drugs can cause a person to experience nausea and vomiting. They can also cause headaches, stomach cramps, flushing, and a fast heartbeat.
Those particular antibiotics can be more potent. You shouldn’t drink alcohol before, during, or up to three days after taking any of the medications mentioned above.
Alcohol and Griseofulvin
Griseofulvin has a slightly different interaction with alcohol than some of the other antibiotics. If you combine griseofulvin antibiotics and alcohol, the side effects are slightly different. Users who do this will experience flushing, excessive sweating, and an elevated heartbeat.
Alcohol and Isoniazid or Linezolid
These two antibiotics are more dangerous than the previous ones. The reason being that their side effects can result in more serious conditions. If you combine either of these antibiotics with alcohol you may experience liver damage and high blood pressure. Both conditions, if left untreated, could be potentially fatal.
General Side Effects
The specific antibiotics mentioned above have their own side effects. But, in general, antibiotics can cause several different side effects. Sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and lightheadedness are the most common.
In addition to antibiotics, alcohol has its own individual side effects. When you consume alcohol you can experience stomach problems, digestive problems, and tiredness. But, when antibiotics and alcohol combine, the side effects are different.
It may be difficult to tell if you’re having a negative interaction between alcohol and the antibiotics you’re taking. Some signs to look for are flushing, an increased heart rate, and severe headaches.
While these side effects can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, they aren’t life-threatening. Most of them will go away with time. But, if you feel you’re having a medical emergency, don’t hesitate to call 911.
Can I Consume Alcohol?
If you’re taking any antibiotic medication, the best thing you can do is avoid alcohol consumption altogether. But, if you’re unsure about whether or not you can drink alcohol, you can consult your doctor. The label on your medication bottle should tell you what the possible side effects of the medication are. If you’re still unsure, contact your medical professional.
Chances are, with most antibiotics, they’ll recommend staying away from drinking. If that’s the case, and you have a party or celebration coming up, you can always ask them how long you should wait before consuming alcohol again.
Some antibiotics require waiting up to 72 hours after finishing them. Following the advice of your medical professional will help to avoid a negative interaction of the antibiotics and alcohol.
It’s important that you take all of the antibiotics recommended to you. Most antibiotics come in a dose that you take over 5 to 7 days. These need to be taken in succession until all of the medication has been taken.
You should never skip a dose of antibiotics just to consume alcohol.
A lot of people think they can avoid the side effects by skipping their antibiotics to drink. Unfortunately, the antibiotics and alcohol can still combine to have negative effects on your body. It also doesn’t help to skip because your body won’t completely clear the antibiotics until several days after finishing them.
Once you start taking antibiotics, you can feel better within 2 days. But, that doesn’t mean the infection isn’t still present. If you stop your antibiotics early to consume alcohol, you’re giving that virus or bacterial infection a chance to return.
Antibiotics and Alcohol for Healing
Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed in the case of a virus. Other times, they’re given out to help fight off infection. This could be after a major surgery, cut, or another injury.
Alcohol may not affect the antibiotic’s effect on healing your wound. But it may affect the healing process in other ways.
One of the properties of alcohol is that it can decrease the platelet count in your blood. When your platelet count is low, it takes a long time for your blood to clot. Blood clotting is essential in the formation of scabs and the healing of wounds. If you continue to consume alcohol while you’re recovering from a wound, you may make the process much longer than necessary.
Alcohol can also affect your healing process in other ways. Consuming alcohol can affect your sleep patterns. Getting enough rest is essential to the healing process. It can also stop your body from absorbing nutrients that are essential for healing.
One of the nutrients your body needs to heal is Vitamin K. This is a vitamin that is essential to blood clotting. Which is important in the healing process.
All of these factors from alcohol, coupled with the side effects of antibiotics, can slow down and even stop the healing process.
Understanding Antibiotics and Alcohol
People should think twice before mixing antibiotics and alcohol. All antibiotics have side effects that may seem harmless on their own. But, they can develop more serious, uncomfortable conditions when combined with alcohol.
If you’re having trouble not drinking while taking antibiotics, you could be suffering from alcohol use disorder. Reach out to Just Believe Detox today if you feel you or a loved one needs help.