Drinking alcohol while on medication is extremely dangerous and can be deadly. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and recreational drugs. Drinking alcohol with medication increases the risks of health complications and directly affects the liver, heart, and breathing.
This toxic combination can also impair emotional stability and mental health. Taking prescription or over-the-counter medication with alcohol can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication and make the drug’s effects stronger or weaker.
Alcohol acts as a depressant and can heighten a person’s level of depression. According to Dr. Stephen Ferrara, RN, family nurse practitioner and associate dean of clinical affairs and assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing, “Alcohol, a central nervous system depressant, has the potential to negatively interact with virtually all classes and types of medications, from OTC supplements or herbs to prescriptions.” (Holland, 2017).
Some medications cause dizziness, fainting, or drowsiness and alcohol only exasperates the side effects. Many people take medication for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or cholesterol.
Recreational drug use increases the risk of developing physical, mental, and emotional health problems. When alcohol is used with recreational drugs, these dangers are amplified. Mixing any two drugs together will increase your chances of hurting yourself or others and can cause fatal accidents.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications usually have a warning label indicating the harmful effects they have when mixed with alcohol. Most medications are safe and effective when taken appropriately or as prescribed. If you are taking medication that can interact with alcohol, it must be avoided.
Serious liver complications develop when consuming alcohol while taking an over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen. Pain medicine, cough syrup, and allergy medications have ingredients that can cause adverse effects. Prescription medicine mixed with alcohol causes serious drug interactions and increases the risks of stomach bleeding, heart attack, stroke, or impaired breathing.
Do not drink alcohol with medication. If you have an alcohol dependency or addiction, get help right away. Read warning labels, know the side effects, and ask a doctor or pharmacist about adverse interactions.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction and is an exclusive experience for individuals who truly want to change. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started:888-855-6877