Medicines that should NOT be mixed with alcoholic beverages
The combination can cause a variety of side effects, such as increased blood pressure; check out some of the risks.
Patients taking prescription drugs should consider the risks of mixing alcohol with medication. The damage caused can be serious and permanenteven for drugs used without a prescription, such as simple analgesics.
Because it is soluble, alcohol is absorbed by the stomach and travels through various organs through the bloodstream — especially affecting the liver, where it is metabolized. As some drugs suffer the action of enzymes in the organ and depend on it to work, the presence of alcohol can result in adverse reactionsinterfering with its effectiveness and may overload the liver.
“Broadly speaking, such an interaction can occur with many remedies, both prescription and natural. However, as each medication has a particular profile of side effects and metabolism, it is necessary to analyze how each one of them specifically interacts with alcohol”, explained Arthur Guerra, psychiatrist and executive president of CISA (Center for Information on Health and Alcohol), in prior interview.
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Which medicines should not be mixed with alcohol?
Numerous medications, when mixed with alcohol, can cause side effects and damage the body. What can indicate the severity of the reaction is the dosage of the medicine and how it interacts with alcohol. According to general practitioner Roberto Debski, the drink can either to decrease or to potentiate the effect of the drugs.
It is noteworthy that some interactions may be more pronounced in elderly people, since aging can reduce the body’s intolerance to alcohol due to physiological changes, as explained by Arthur. However, the administration of some specific drugs can cause severe reactions and even lead to death. Check out the main ones in each category below:
Many medications indicated for pain conditions can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause reactions when mixed with alcohol. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, medicines containing ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen can cause stomach pain, liver problems and tachycardia.
“In the case of muscle relaxants, the consequences range from drowsiness and dizziness to more dangerous problems, such as an increased risk of seizures, memory impairment, decreased respiratory rate and difficulty breathing,” added Arthur.
The use of some types of antibiotics with alcohol, such as metronidazole, trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole — in addition to antifungals, such as tinidazole and ketoconazole, can also cause serious interactions, according to Roberto. The main signs include:
It is recommended to remain without consuming alcoholic beverages 48h to 72h after the end of treatment with the aforementioned medications, due to the metabolization time of the medications.
Both alcohol and psychotropics act on the central nervous system. This implies that if a patient undergoing psychiatric treatment, such as depression or anxiety, continues to drink alcohol, the effect of the medicine may be affected.
In the case of patients using antidepressants, the interaction with alcohol potentiates the symptoms of depression — that is, worsening the condition. This happens because alcohol disrupts the brain’s electrical activity, disrupting impulse control and judgment. In addition to this effect, the patient may also have physical reactions, such as fainting, drop in blood pressure, mental confusion and vertigo.
The administration of these drugs can present synergistic interactions with alcohol, accentuating symptoms such as sedation, decreased motor coordination, memory impairment and even the risk of more serious problems in the central nervous system.
According to Roberto, the interaction of alcohol with anticonvulsants can also increase the risk of intoxicationin addition to decreasing the effectiveness of drugs that fight seizures and epilepsy.
5. Blood Pressure Medicines
alcohol can temporarily raise blood pressure, especially if consumed above the recommended amount. With the passage of time and regular intake, the increase can become permanent, making it more difficult for the blood pressure medication to work. The combination can also cause harmful side effects, such as fainting, drowsiness, arrhythmia, and dizziness.
What to do in case of reaction to alcohol?
According to Roberto, the patient who presents symptoms of nausea, malaise and vomiting after ingestion of alcohol should go to the emergency room, where he will receive specific medications for the condition — such as gastric protectors It is vomiting medicine. They are also used in cases of alcoholic intoxication.
“If there is no medical indication for the use of medication, avoid it! And if so, remember that mixing alcohol and medicine can put people at risk for dangerous reactions. Talk to your doctor and see if the medication can interact with alcohol. When in doubt, prefer to abstain from drinking”, concluded Arthur.
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The translator user relied on the following source:
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