10 Medications You Shouldn’t Take With Alcohol

When you take medication, it becomes a routine that you don’t even think about. This is true for a lot of Americans—55% of Americans take prescription medication regularly. One thing you might not think about if you take medication, though, are the other things you’re consuming throughout the day. Consuming alcohol while taking certain medications can be dangerous for your health. 

Alcohol can interact with certain medications and make them less effective. It can also make medication toxic or make side effects worse. Mixing the two can make you feel extremely ill. You may also feel drunker if you take medication with alcohol. 

Additionally, women and older people are often affected worse when mixing substances. This is because it takes longer for women and older people’s bodies to break down alcohol. Because seniors are more likely to take medication, they have a higher chance of a bad interaction. 

These medications shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol.

1. Painkillers

Whether you’re taking over-the-counter or opioid painkillers, mixing them with alcohol can cause serious side effects, such as liver damage, drowsiness, slowed breathing, or death.

2. Anti-anxiety medications or sleeping pills

This can cause drowsiness or unconsciousness.

3. Antidepressants/mood stabilizers

The effect will vary, but this can cause drowsiness, dizziness, liver damage, or worsening feelings of depression.

4. ADHD medication

This can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and loss of focus/concentration.

5. Antibiotics

Mixing alcohol and antibiotics can cause nausea and vomiting and make medication less effective.

6. Nitrates and blood pressure medication

Like other medications, this can cause dizziness and drowsiness, but it can also cause arrhythmias. 

7. Diabetes medication

Drinking alcohol can cause low blood sugar levels, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and sudden changes in blood pressure. 

8. Coumadin

Be careful about drinking alcohol if you take blood thinners. It may cause your blood to become too thin.

9. Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies

Because these often contain a mix of medications, mixing with alcohol can have an unpredictable effect.

10 .Erectile dysfunction medications

This can lower your blood pressure significantly and cause a headache.

Always talk to your doctor about any medications you are on so you understand possible side effects. Sometimes, other substances can affect you, too. For example, grapefruit juice mixes poorly with things like blood pressure and cholesterol medication. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and celebrate safely!

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