Dangerous things can happen to you when you mix alcohol with medication. So when you’re not sure if you can drink with that prescription, it’s best to say no to the drink, rather than ending up in a serious situation. There are “more than 100 medications [that] can cause issues when mixed with alcohol,” so why would you want to risk this?
If you think this doesn’t happen often, think again. A study by the National Institute of Health “found that 42 percent of people who drink alcohol were taking medication that could negatively react with the drink.” So why would you risk it?
Knowing which medication brings more risks of harm when mixed with alcohol is one way of avoiding damage. The risks will always vary, depending on the person. But here is a list of the medication which brings higher risk of damage when mixed with alcohol.
An anti-anxiety pill is one such medication. These include Valium, anti-depression meds, and Xanax. Mixing these with alcohol can lead to high blood pressure or a heart attack. Problems with breathing, memory problems drowsiness and even risk of overdose. Also, why would you want to use alcohol with anti-anxiety medication? Alcohol in itself can increase anxiety.
Antihistamines also bring risks when mixed with alcohol. These can include drowsiness and dizziness but also more dangerous risks like an overdose. When mixed with antibiotics, it can lead to stomach pain, headaches, and vomiting.
But with antibiotics and alcohol together, there’s also a risk of liver damage and “reduced effectiveness.” Attention medications such as Ritalin and Adderall mixed with alcohol can lead to dizziness and impaired concentration. It can also lead to “possible heart or liver damage.”
With cholesterol pills, the risks include liver damage, “increased flushing and itching, increased stomach bleeding.” Cough medicine brings serious risks when mixed with alcohol too. Besides drowsiness and dizziness, it can lead to an overdose.
With pain relievers like Percocet and Vicodin, there’s also a chance of an overdose. You’re risking “impaired motor control, unusual behavior, and memory problems.” Basically, you’re making that muscle pain even worse.
Over the counter medication of this kind brings risks too when mixed with alcohol. These include bleeding and ulcers in the stomach. You may cause your heart to beat faster and even cause liver damage.
Now, everyone should be wary of mixing these kinds of medications with alcohol. However, the National Institute of Health does point out that “women and the elderly are at an even greater risk for some of the negative side effects of mixing alcohol with certain medications.” This is because “women’s bodies have less water than men’s do, so the rate at which women process alcohol is slower.” (Side note: Then why the hell are we always so bloated?)
This is the same reason why the elderly have a higher risk of damage when mixing alcohol with medication. When we get older, “our bodies are slower to process alcohol as we age.” Plus, the elderly often take more than just one type of medication.
I don’t know about you but I’m sticking to being alcohol-free whenever I’m on medication. I get drowsy from a Panadol. I can’t even imagine what would happen with a stronger medication and a drink in me.