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What are Alcohol Interactions?

Alcohol is a potent drug on its own, and when combined with other chemicals, the side effects can range from mild to severe. It can cause death on its own, and when mixed with other substances, it can be especially dangerous. There are roughly 6,398 substances that should not be mixed with alcohol. Yes, you read that right; there are literally thousands of drugs that are potentially harmful and/or deadly when mixed with alcohol. Illicit substances are only a small percentage of drugs that interact with ethanol, because of the multitude of prescription medications that can pose serious health risks.

The following are some of the more common drugs that should NOT be combined with alcohol, and the reactions that take place when they are:

  • Benzodiazepines – Anti-anxiety medications and alcohol can cause memory loss, dizziness, respiratory failure, and death.
  • Allergy Medications – Drugs such as Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec increase drowsiness and the risk of overdose.
  • Antibiotics – Vomiting, dizziness, and drowsiness are common, and in some antibiotics such as Bactrim, Flagyl, and Septra, more severe reactions could occur.
  • Blood Pressure Medications – When mixed with alcohol, instances of fainting and heart arrhythmia may occur.
  • Blood Thinners – Alcohol and blood thinners such as Warfarin can lead to internal bleeding and stroke.
  • Cholesterol Medications – These medications, such as Lipitor can cause and exacerbate liver damage.
  • Muscle Relaxants – Alcohol increases the risk of seizures and overdose when combined with drugs such as Flexeril and Soma.
  • Opiates – When alcohol is mixed with prescription pain medication or heroin, the risk of respiratory failure and overdose is greatly increased.
  • OTC Cold and Flu Medications – Many of these already contain alcohol, and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and liver damage.
  • OTC Pain Relievers – Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can cause internal bleeding and liver damage when taken with alcohol.

For alcoholics, taking any one of these drugs is especially dangerous because more than likely, they will be unable to stop drinking. Additionally, alcoholics may already be experiencing adverse health issues, such as liver disease, that could potentially be exacerbated by other medications.

If you are struggling with addiction, call the Serenity Recovery Center. If it’s drugs, alcohol, or a combination, we will safely taper you down, while keeping you as comfortable as possible. You are not alone in this. Give us a call, we are available 24/7 at 844-339-6964. Your life can change, and you can recover. Call today.