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The relationship between alcohol and medication can be dangerous, as the consumption of alcoholic beverages can increase or decrease the effect of the medication, alter your metabolism, activate the production of toxic substances that damage organs, in addition to may contribute to the exacerbation of the medication's side effects, such as drowsiness, headache, or vomiting, for example.
Also, drinking alcohol together with medication can cause reactions similar to disulfiram, which is a drug used to treat chronic alcoholism, which works by inhibiting an enzyme that helps eliminate acetaldehyde, which is a metabolite of alcohol, responsible for hangover symptoms. In this way, there is an accumulation of acetaldehyde, which causes symptoms such as vasodilation, decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting and headache.
Almost all drugs interact negatively with excessive alcohol, however, antibiotics, antidepressants, insulin and anticoagulant drugs are the ones that, taken together with alcohol, become more dangerous.
Drugs that interact with alcohol
Some examples of drugs that can have their effect altered or cause side effects when drinking alcohol are:
|Examples of Remedies||Effects|
|Antibiotics such as metronidazole, griseofulvin, sulfonamides, cefoperazone, cefotetan, ceftriaxone, furazolidone, tolbutamide||Reaction similar to disulfiram|
|Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs||Increase risk of stomach bleeding|
|Glipizide, glyburide, tolbutamide||Unpredictable changes in blood sugar levels|
|Diazepam, alprazolam, chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, lorazepam, oxazepam, phenobarbital, pentobarbital, temazepam||Central nervous system depression|
|Paracetamol and Morphine||Increases risk of liver toxicity and causes stomach pain|
|Antihistamines and antipsychotics||Increased sedation, psychomotor impairment|
|Monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants||Hypertension that can be fatal|
|Anticoagulants such as warfarin||Decreased metabolism and increased anticoagulant effect|
However, it is not forbidden to drink alcohol when taking medication, as it depends on the medication and the amount of alcohol ingested. The more alcohol you drink, the worse the effect of the resulting interaction will be.