How Alcohol And Medication Interact

If you like a drink of alcohol, and you take medication it would be a wise move to make yourself aware of which medicine’s interact with alcohol.

Whether you are a beer, wine or spirit drinker, unfortunately, alcohol interacts with a wide range of drugs and it doesn’t stop at spirits. Liqueurs, ciders and the fruit juice based drinks known as alcopops also need to be avoided.

How Alcohol Affects Medicines

Glasses full of liquid

Freshly Pulled 4 Pints Of beer

Alcohol works as a depressant on the central nervous system. It helps to relax the shyest individual putting social anxiety on the back burner so to speak. In moderate amounts, it helps to put us at ease in situations that first appear alien.

However, While some medicines may cause you to be rather drowsy when mixed with alcohol there is some that could put you on a stretcher to be transported to the nearest hospital.

If you take medication and still drink do you know mixing some drugs with alcohol can be extremely dangerous. This is because some drugs do not mix well with alcohol and can interact badly.

A person I hold in high regard mentioned to me that she considers the drinking of too much alcohol, at any time, a foolish past-time. It reminded her of a saying she used to hear in her home quite a lot as she grew up. It went along the lines of “When the drink is in wit (common sense) is out”.

I guess there is one extreme example of this saying and shows what alcohol is capable of turning some of us into. That would be to insist we can still drink and drive safely.

When push comes to shove to-be sure you stay safe, avoid alcohol while receiving treatment. The golden rule of thumb would be to read the Patient Information leaflet (supplied with your medicine) which would clearly state if the manufacturer advises against drinking alcohol while receiving treatment.

My own personal thinking would be to play safe and avoid drinking alcohol (I would play it safe. My own philosophy is He who abstains lives to drink another day).

I have put together a table below that covers the more widely used drugs, and how they interact when you add alcohol to the equation. This also includes liqueurs, ciders and the fruit juice based drinks known as alcopops. Surprisingly these particular drinks contain as much alcohol (approx. 5%) as beer or cider.

Medication and alcohol

Table showing how Alcohol reacts with medication

Depression: An Overview

In its mildest form depression makes everything harder to do and less worthwhile. At its worst, it can be life-threatening making you feel like giving up. Occasional moods of sadness, discouragement are a normal part of day to day living and should not be confused with depression.

Woman Depressed

Woman Depressed

Depression of a more severe nature is usually accompanied by despair, lethargy, a feeling of not caring about yourself, or anyone else maybe both, loss of appetite, sleeplessness. There are many symptoms which effects some more than others ask any sufferer. The loss of the sex drive is a very common complaint and a good example of one such symptom.

These days loss of the sex drive may well be helped by using Viagra. However, the drug itself does come with side effects. There is also a herbal Viagra which does not contain Sildenafil Citrate which is an ingredient of Viagra. Both herbal version and Viagra are used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Herbal Viagra often carries a number of dangerous side effects, primarily they often cause abnormally low blood pressure and can restrict blood flow to vital organs. There is also evidence to suggest some preparations may be toxic if taken in large doses.

Three main types of drug are used to treat depression, tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s).

Sadly, however, great pressure is brought to bear on those that suffer from depression and mental health problems in general. Many people today look upon mental health problems as something that should be brushed under the carpet, and in my book this means that before a sufferer can be helped they first have to overcome the stigma that society, in general, has attached to mental health.

If you would like to help in the drive to help others it is important to understand a mental health problem does not mean that individuals suffering from this debilitating illness are to be shunned. There should be no shame attached to having a mental health problem, and perhaps the time is now right to change the minds of those who still think suffers from this problem should be kept out of sight.

Image 1: Cohdra /