Do You Really Need To Stop Drinking On Antibiotics? Read this Article


Antibiotics are some of the widely used drugs in the world. They are the first line of defense which most people make use to treat infections. They help the body fight off nasty infections. But, useful as they may be, they can also turn into a deadly foe once taken together with alcohol. And it’s not unerringly ideal when attending a friend’s party and a slap of or diarrhea hits you right in the face.

Antibiotics and alcohol

While taking antibiotic drugs, you should always avoid taking alcohol for one simple reason; Side effects. It’s important to note that alcohol doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the drugs but it escalates the side effects some of which can be detrimental to your health.

These side effects are solely pegged on the specific antibiotic taken although most of them are common. They include:

  • Nausea
  • diarrhea
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness

Alcohol itself comes with its own fair share of side effects. They include:

  • stomach upsets
  • tiredness
  • digestive problem
  • diarrhea

Combining alcohol with certain antibiotics can especially make these symptoms worse. Antibiotics such as sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and metronidazole can lead to severe side effects when mixed with alcohol. These side effects include:

  • severe nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

Signs that you have a negative alcohol and antibiotic reaction

  • flushing
  • severe headache
  • racing heart rate

Does alcohol affect healing from an infection?

As earlier indicated, alcohol may not necessarily inhibit the antibiotics from treating your infection. However, in one way or the other, it can interfere with your healing in other multiple ways.

Eating nutritious food and getting enough rest helps your body recover from infections. Drinking alcohol on the other side greatly interfere on with these two fronts. Take for example excessively indulging in alcohol greatly disrupts the sleeping pattern. As a result, vital nutrients absorption is significantly slowed down. Alcohol has also been shown to increase blood sugar levels injecting your body with a strong dose of lethargy. All of these factors can significantly reduce the body’s healing ability.

When many people hear the word alcohol, the first thing that comes into their mind is liquor, wine, beer, and mixed drinks. However, alcohol can also be found in cold medications and mouthwashes. Always check product labels to determine whether they can trigger alcohol-antibiotic reaction.

There’s more to mixing alcohol and antibiotics. Simultaneous consumption of alcohol and antibiotic drugs can be detrimental to the liver which is the primary organ for detoxifying your body. Some antibiotic drugs “stress” the liver which can result into damaged liver cells. The damaged liver cells can have a negative impact on the overall function of the liver by not working in the manner it’s supposed to.

The take home

So do you really need to stop drinking while on antibiotics? Sure you do. As you have seen, alcohol may not necessarily slow down the effectiveness of the antibiotics but it definitely has some lethal side effects. It would be counterproductive to treat one infection to nosedive straight to treating the next. Abstaining from your favorite drink for some few day won’t kill you as you treat that nasty infection.


Aboout the Author:

Jane GratesJane Grates – Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Jane is an entrepreneur, and a full-time housewife. She spends most of her time on doing kitchen stuff reviews and owns several health and home sites such as Jane’s Kitchen Miracles, That Sweet Gift, Runnerclick, My Kids Need That and Nicershoes.

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