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Alcohol and Flagyl

This article outlines the possible outcomes if someone drinks alcohol while taking the prescription medication Flagyl. Although it is one of the lesser-known drugs, it is a solid antibiotic prescribed to treat various bacterial and parasitic infections.

  • Since both are break down by the body, combination primarily impacts the gastrointestinal system, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and constipation.
  • Between two and eight percent of one drink is excreted through sweat and urine. The liver metabolizes the remaining percentage.

Initially, it is a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, a form of formaldehyde converted to acetyl radicals. When someone drinks too much, digestion and processing cannot keep up with converting acetaldehyde into acetyl radicals.

  • Accumulating acetaldehyde in the bloodstream can lead to vomiting, hangovers, or, worst of all, poisoning.

Possible Side Effects

Although it is not advisable, even drinking a single beer or a small glass of wine while taking this prescription can cause;

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Patients taking disulfiram to suppress cravings should not take this medication.

Depending on how much is drank, a disulfiram reaction resulting from mixing it and could last up to two hours. Emergency medical treatment may be necessary if symptoms are severe to prevent dehydration and fainting due to hyperventilation.

Occasionally, combining liquor with this medicine may trigger a response resembling signs of a disulfiram reaction. It is due to it interfering with the ability to metabolize it.

Disulfiram reaction can include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision

Psychotic reactions such as hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and extreme agitation could occur in abusers with small amounts of disulfiram in their bloodstream.

Some people are susceptible to this medicine blocking the metabolization of propylene glycol. It is a commonly used ingredient found in injectable, oral, and topical medications to facilitate the dispersion of the medicine.

Excess amounts of propylene glycol in the body could cause:

  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures
  • Acute kidney failure

According to, “Patients treated with metronidazole should continue to avoid using any products containing it or propylene glycol for at least three days until after completion of therapy.”

If prescribed, always tell your physician if you are currently taking or plan on taking any one of the following:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Benadryl
  • Antidepressants
  • Mucinex
  • Lyrica
  • Hydrocodone
  • Acetaminophen
  • Probiotics
  • Prednisone
  • Vitamins B12, C or D3
  • Warfarin
  • Xanax

Read all about prednisone and alcohol here.