Here's why mixing alcohol and medication is a bad idea!

To drink or not to drink alcohol when you are on medications? Dr Mundhra answers your question.

If you are someone who does not pay attention to avoid drinking alcohol when taking any medication, you must well be aware of the stomach cramps that follows. Not only that, having alcohol with a drug lowers the overall effect of the drug, leading to limited or null results. Dr S K Mundhra, HOD, Internal Medicine, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi says, Taking alcohol with medications has different unfavourable effects, depending on the type of the drug, how it works and the quantity taken. So if the drug and alcohol act on the body in a similar way, it can increase the effect of the drug or medication and if they have opposite effects, it might reduce or counteract the impact of a drug.'

Here are few examples of drugs you should never take with alcohol.

  1. Certain medicines, especially, cough syrup and laxatives, contain up to 10 percent alcohol. So if you take these medications with alcohol, it increases the overall load of alcohol in the body, thereby lowering the medicinal effect.
  2. Alcohol, when taken with painkillers, might put you at high risk of gastrointestinal damage. The symptoms, like stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, are commonly experienced.
  3. If you take antibiotics or drugs used to treat diabetes and HIV/AIDS along with alcohol, it might reduce the effect of the medication. Also, it might lead to various health complications such as drowsiness, dizziness, impaired motor control, memory problems, nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting. These symptoms can appear after as little as one drink. Here are 10 things you should keep in mind when you are on antibiotics.

However, there are few things you need to keep in mind while taking medications if you drink alcohol regularly.

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  • Avoid alcohol, especially if you are on medication for long, as mixing alcohol with medication increases your risk of stomach and neurological complications.
  • Consult your doctor before popping a pill with alcohol to know more about how it might interact with alcohol.
  • If you are pregnant or are above 60 years of age, avoid taking alcohol with any medication as you are at a higher risk of harmful alcohol-medication reactions. Read more about the side effects of alcohol.
  • Not many people are aware of the fact that alcohol and medicines can interact negatively, even if not taken at the same time. So avoid drinking alcohol, if you are on medications.
  • The more the medications or drugs you take in combination with alcohol, the greater is the risk of suffering from various health complications.

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