It is dangerous to combine medicine and alcohol – and can lead to side effects. The interactions between alcohol and certain medications can result in drowsiness, confusion, and increased fall and injury risk. The interaction between alcohol and certain medicines is also related to enzyme interactions, which can change the level of each drug and decrease the intended effect. While a few medicines don’t interact with alcohol, many do. So, it’s important to discuss the possible side effects with your doctor before mixing them.
If you’re taking any type of medication, you should consult your physician before mixing alcohol and your medication. Some medicines interact poorly with alcohol, resulting in heightened risk of overdose. Other types of interactions may be less severe, but they’re still unpleasant. If you’re taking a medication, it’s especially important to discuss potential interactions with your doctor and pharmacist. Several types of medicines may have negative interactions with alcohol, from OTC products to prescription medications.
While alcohol doesn’t interact with most medicines, it can make certain medicines less effective or even cause unwanted side effects. Alcohol increases the effects of some medicines by slowing their metabolism and activating other enzymes. Those enzymes may break down the medicine and produce dangerous levels of intoxication. When alcohol is mixed with medicines, the liver produces more enzymes to break down alcohol, which may inhibit the effectiveness of the medicine. In addition, alcohol can damage the functioning of the brain, heart, and stomach. Some people are more susceptible to alcohol-related cancers.
Medical education and treatment for alcohol problems is an important part of internal medicine. Many physicians are tackling alcohol-related problems with patients in their primary care practice. In fact, the prevalence of alcohol use disorders is increasing in patients undergoing primary care. Increasingly, the general internist is now required to be proactive in learning about alcohol use and referring the patient to specialized treatment for addiction. Drugs for alcoholism are becoming more effective and safer to take, and primary care physicians are likely to be the ones to administer them.
While the interaction between medicine and alcohol is relatively minor, it can have detrimental effects. Both alcohol and drugs affect the availability of each other and alter their metabolism. Both types of drug interactions may lead to side effects, which vary depending on how much alcohol a person drinks and the interval between medication consumption. In extreme cases, people can experience internal bleeding, breathing, and heart problems. The risk of alcohol-induced death is higher in women than in men.
Mixing alcohol and medicine can make a person drowsy. Many cough and allergy medicines contain alcohol and should not be used together. These drugs should be used separately, as mixing them can make driving unsafe. However, many people are taking both drugs and alcohol. To make sure they are safe, talk to a pharmacist. These professionals will be able to tell you if they contain alcohol and provide advice on their safe usage. They can also help you identify if there’s a risk when mixing the two.