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Antibiotics And Alcohol

Combining antibiotics and alcohol can cause real problems.

Side Effects

There are two significant types of side effects that may arise. The first, and most common, derives from potentiation. The impact of both increases. In this case, each drug produces typical side effects at increased potency. Here are some other possible side effects;

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Decreased motor functions
  • Decreased cognitive reasoning skills
  • Ulcers
  • Permanent liver damage

The second way mixing these two drugs incurs side effects is potential interactions. The side effects may include:

  • Severe nausea resulting in uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea
  • Potentially deadly dehydration
  • Fever-like symptoms and flushing of the skin
  • A rapid increase in heart rate
  • Severe headaches

While uncommon, individuals that mix both are putting themselves at risk for health problems. 

  • According to hospital statistics, some forms of antibiotic interactions are pervasive. 
  • Millions of Americans take antibiotics, causing 25% of all emergency room visits.

Alcohol is a well-understood drug. It slows down cognitive function and is mildly toxic. When taken in moderation, it can create a mellow feeling in the user. However, when these two drugs combine in the body, the impact of both drugs increases, a process known as potentiation.


In part, it’s because the same function in the liver removes both drugs. It slows down the rate at which both drugs leave the body.

  • It increases the effective dosage and toxicity of both drugs.

Antibiotics are complex, primarily prescribed to combat infection. They are mildly toxic and can cause digestive problems. Infections, when properly treated, only last a few weeks at most, which is not a particularly long time to refrain from drinking alcohol.

  • Avoiding the risks of interactions is simply by not drinking any alcohol while on this prescription.

However, some patients, particularly older individuals, are prescribed antibiotics as a daily medication. For those individuals, the best way to take alcohol is to discuss the situation with the prescribing doctor first.

amoxicillin and alcohol…

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