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What medications can have dangerous interactions with alcohol?

Your doctor recently prescribed you a medication and so far, it’s worked well. You’re planning to meet your friends tonight for drinks, and you’re not sure if mixing the two is a good idea.

Mixing drugs and alcohol can have dangerous effects. Not only can the two make you feel even more intoxicated and perhaps cause serious health issues like a heart attack, but it can lower the effectiveness of the medication.

When Alcohol and Medication Don’t Mix

Even seemingly benign medications can interact dangerously with alcohol, which can become a serious problem if you decide to drive. Here, we take a look at some of the medications you should never mix with alcohol:

  • Antidepressants. Both alcohol and antidepressants can alter the central nervous system, which can affect the brain and impair your thinking skills and alertness. Combining antidepressants and alcohol can cause sleepiness, and can also decrease a person’s judgment, reaction time, and coordination. Additionally, certain antidepressants can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure when taken along with alcohol.
  • Diabetes medications. Those patients with diabetes who take medication to treat their condition can feel sick when drinking alcohol. Along with having extremely low blood sugar, diabetes patients may feel dizzy and nauseous, and experience flushing of the face.
  • Blood pressure and heart medications. People taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can experience blood pressure that becomes too low when drinking alcohol. As a result, they can feel dizzy, light-headed, and even faint. Additionally, alcohol is thought to decrease the effect of beta-blockers, which people often take for the treatment of chest pain, heart failure, and abnormal heart rhythm.

Drinking alcohol can make getting behind the wheel or operating any kind of machinery even more dangerous. When you mix alcohol with certain medications it can put you at an even greater risk of becoming seriously injured or injuring somebody else. We encourage you to share this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Google+ to help others better understand the risks associated with taking medication and drinking alcohol.


Darwyn L. Easley
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Attorney and Counsellor at Law

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Easley Law Firm

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    Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: 703-865-6610
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