It’s a bad thing if you’re prescribed antibiotics when you’ve got a big night out on the cards.
Many people have been warned by doctors that drinking alcohol alcohol while taking the drug can be risky.
But is it really true that you shouldn’t drink alcohol while on your usual medication?
Around two-thirds of adults in the UK say they drink alcohol regularly.
So, if you’re one of those people, it’s helpful to know the details of when you can and can’t take antibiotics:
Can you drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?
The NHS reassures that “it is not likely that drinking alcohol in moderation will cause problems if you are taking the most common antibiotics” – with some exceptions.
But overall, it’s “a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol while on medication or feeling unwell”.
Some experts say alcohol can prevent antibiotics from working properly.
The Mayo Clinic says that alcohol can decrease your energy and delay the time it takes for you to recover from illness.
Alcohol is also a diuretic, causing dehydration, which is never ideal when you’re unwell.
Alcohol can also add to medical symptoms you already have, such as dizziness or drowsiness.
Some antibiotics like linezolid (Zyvox) interact with certain beverages, including red wine and tap beer, causing dangerously high blood pressure.
Therefore, it is important to read the information leaflet about any antibiotic you have been prescribed if you plan to take it.
Are there any exceptions?
There are some circumstances under which people should avoid alcohol altogether, including those who are taking metronidazole or tinidazole.
Both can be used to clear up oral and vaginal infections, or infected foot sores and pressure sores, while this medication is sometimes used to help clear up sores. remove bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) from the intestines.
Alcohol can cause serious reactions when combined with these drugs. Symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Red skin
- Increased or irregular heart rate
- Feeling lightheaded
- Nausea and vomiting
The NHS says because of the risk you should avoid alcohol for 48 hours after stopping metronidazole and 72 hours after stopping tinidazole.
There are a number of antibiotics that can sometimes interact with alcohol, so you should also use caution when taking them if you are taking:
- Co-trimoxazole – Drinking alcohol while taking co-trimoxazole can sometimes cause a reaction similar to that of metronidazole or tinidazole, although this is very rare.
- Linezolid – linezolid (mentioned above) may interact with undistilled (fermented) alcoholic beverages, such as wine, beer, sherry and ale.
- Doxycycline – this is known to interact with alcohol, and the effectiveness of doxycycline may be reduced in people with a history of chronic alcohol consumption.
- Erythromycin – there is some evidence of minor interactions with alcohol, which may slightly reduce or delay the effects of erythromycin.
How long does it take to take antibiotics?
Some antibiotic packs specify a time frame in which you should avoid taking them.
For example, you should avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours after finishing a prescribed course of metronidazole and for at least 72 hours after finishing a prescribed course of tinidazole.
With other antibiotics, there aren’t usually any side effects if you take them, but you should avoid alcohol until you’ve recovered.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent certain bacterial infections by killing certain bacteria.
Certain antibiotics are also given if the infection carries a risk of more serious complications – such as after surgery.
Different antibiotics target different strains of bacteria.
Some are highly specific and only effective against specific bacteria while others, known as “broad spectrum” antibiotics, attack a wider range of bacteria.
Dosages are oral, topical — such as creams and lotions used to treat skin infections — or intravenous, which means they are given by injection or by drip.
The latter tends to be used when the infection is more severe.
What is antibiotic resistance?
The NHS and health organizations worldwide are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics because overuse has made them less effective – and led to the emergence of ‘superbugs’. .
Superbugs can be serious and difficult to treat, and are becoming a growing cause of death worldwide.
Previously it appeared that The doctor’s warning that a course of antibiotics must be completed is false – and can put patients at risk and promote the proliferation of deadly superbugs.
Current NHS advice states “it is essential to finish a course of prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better”.
https://www.thesun.ie/health/1319485/can-you-drink-alcohol-on-antibiotics/ Can I drink alcohol while taking penicillin and other antibiotics, are there any risks and after how long is it safe to take them?