Side Effects of Drinking Alcohol with Antibiotics

Drinking alcohol while on antibiotics is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal. The side effects of mixing the two has a wide range, and most of them are awful. Not to mention, alcohol weakens the immune system, therefore also weakening the effects of antibiotic drugs.

If you’re to the point of needing an antibiotic and you still can’t stop drinking, you need help. Call us or click today to find out more about your options. We care and we don’t want to see you worsen your situation by mixing alcohol and antibiotics.

The labels don’t lie. Alcoholic beverages should never be consumed while on an antibiotic medicine. Here’s why.

Combining Alcohol and Antibiotics

It’s a rather unfortunate misconception that it’s safe to consume alcohol while taking an antibiotic. For reference purposes, common antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Cephalexin and Clindamycin. Most patients with a prescription for an antibiotic will be aware of what they’re taking. However, if you’re at all unsure whether your script is an antibiotic, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

The body breaks alcohol down into acetaldehyde, which can cause feelings of nausea. Perhaps the most common side effect of antibiotics is stomach issues, and so adding alcohol can and likely will make any gastrointestinal symptom even worse. Both alcohol and antibiotics can also negatively affect cognitive function, concentration, and overall coordination. Once again, a combo of the two will make these effects even worse.

Another factor to consider is that alcohol use interferes with several bodily functions, particularly with sleep and hydration level. Good rest and good hydration are key factors to overcoming a bacterial illness, and so being tired and dehydrated from alcohol will hinder the healing process.

Hopefully your prescribing doctor went over all possible side effects of your antibiotic(s). Hopefully this included avoiding alcoholic beverages. If you find yourself ignoring the doctor’s advice and drinking while on an antibiotic, please reach out today for help. We’re standing by.

What are Antibiotics?

Let’s spend a little time on what antibiotics are, and what they’re used for. Antibiotics are anti-bacterial agents in the form of medications that slow down and/or destroy the growth of bacteria. The common cold and the flu are both viral infections that antibiotics cannot help. Conditions that antibiotics are used to treat include but are not limited to strep throat, pneumonia, UTIs (urinary tract infections), STDs, ear infections, skin infections, and even sepsis.

Just about every antibiotic is considered extremely safe, when used as directed. Common side effects of antibiotics include but are not limited to upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, vomiting, dizziness, headache and in rare cases seizures. As it turns out, alcohol use can also cause every single one of these symptoms. Therefore, when combined, alcohol and antibiotics can create one nasty pallet of symptoms.

The Dangers of Drinking on Antibiotics

Even ASIDE from any symptoms listed above, both alcohol and antibiotics have potential side effects that can be particular to the individual. These side effects can be either mental or physical, sometimes both. Some antibiotics can cause violent physical reaction, such as Metronidazole and Linezolid. These are sometimes prescribed to treat intestinal tract and/or skin infections.

Both Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim when mixed with alcohol can have nasty effects as well. These two antibiotics are used even more commonly, to treat anything from ear infections to pneumonia to a UTI. Combining alcohol with either can cause vicious headache, dizziness, extreme anxiety, chest pain, and even heart palpitations.

Although these four classes of antibiotic have severe side effects when mixed with alcohol, just about every single one on the market can present awful effects when combined with booze. Antibiotics are taxing on the kidneys, and yet again this is something they share with alcohol.

Possible side effects of mixing alcohol with antibiotics, not previously mentioned, include but are not limited to:

  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Intense stomach cramps
  • High fever
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Severe dizziness and/or nausea
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage

On top of this, as mentioned, alcohol weakens the immune system. That not only has a negative effect on the body’s healing process, but also can make someone more vulnerable to infectious diseases. We can’t stress this enough: If you’re on an antibiotic, reading this, and either want to drink alcohol or already are, please stop what you’re doing and get a hold of us. We’re here to help you.

In Conclusion

If by this point you’re still considering drinking while on an antibiotic, you honestly need to reconsider. It’s social hoopla to think alcohol is safe on these medications. It’s simply not. Blood or mucus in the stool could lead to an infection. Severe diarrhea could lead to colon damage. Intense stomach cramps could worsen into gastrointestinal damage. You see the picture, right?

Call us today if you find yourself among the many who believe the myth of alcohol being safe while taking an antibiotic. The dangers are real, and preventable.

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