Alcohol is one of those substances that seems to clash with everything and anything. Alcohol contraindications refer to drugs that trigger a negative reaction when consumed with alcohol.
These symptoms can range from sickness, nausea and allergic reactions, to drowsiness, sedation and loss of control (essentially an amplification of the alcohol effects). Perhaps most worryingly, there are also drugs that stop working or are less potent when consumed with alcohol.
So, it’s important to understand what those contraindications are and that’s why we created this alcohol contraindications page to help you out.
As mentioned above, there are alcohol contraindications that you really should be aware of. You should typically refrain from getting drunk when you are on medication, but you are usually okay to have a drink or two with some medications. It’s not just tablets either, as we will also look at alcohol contraindications with regards to diseases, disorders and more.
Prednisone and Alcohol
There is an increased risk of digestive upset and irritation when you take prednisone and alcohol together. It has been known to cause peptic ulcers and other digestive issues, so you should be very careful when taking prednisone and alcohol together, and the same applies to other drugs in this class.
Diabetes and Alcohol
It can be very risky to consume alcohol when you have diabetes. This obviously gets worse the more you drink and the worse your condition is. You should be safe to consume small amounts though if you monitor your blood sugar levels throughout, as a rapid change of your blood sugar is why diabetes and alcohol can be a dangerous mix.
Why Does Alcohol Cause Interactions?
The main reason there are so many dangerous alcohol contraindications is that it has a very sedative effect on the body and the nervous system in particular. This can exaggerate any sedative and depressive effects.
Most drugs have some kind of contraindication like this, the reason there seem to be so many requests for info with regards to alcohol contraindications is purely because this is the world’s most popular recreational drug.
Antibiotics and Alcohol: Can you Drink on Anti-Biotics?
There is an old wive’s tale that says you can not drink alcohol when you take antibiotics. The reasons range from sickness to lessened effects and more. However, there are only a few antibiotics that you should avoid consuming alcohol with. Most of them are okay, but you will want to limit the amount that you drink just incase.
Valium and Alcohol
As a sedative drug that can suppress your central nervous system, Valium is very dangerous when consumed with alcohol. Valium and alcohol can leave you very sedate, drowsy and weak. It can leave you exposed and even with very small quantities of alcohol it can make it dangerous for you to drive.
Be very cautious when using Valium and alcohol if you can’t avoid it altogether. Bear in mind that the more experience you have with either of these substances, the less of an effect they will have on you. If you have just started taking Valium and you take it with a few drinks, then you could be putting yourself in harm’s way.
Xanax and Alcohol
As with Valium and alcohol, Xanax and alcohol is not a good idea and can leave you exposed. It can suppress your breathing, make you weak and fatigued and may even lead to you forgetting where you are. Essentially, drugs like Xanax and Valium, as well as drugs like codeine, potentiate the effects of the alcohol and can make 1 unit feel like several.
Acetaminophen and Alcohol (Paracetamol)
There are no major warnings about consuming acetaminophen and alcohol (or paracetamol and alcohol if you’re in the UK). There are no major risks here and some drinkers actually take acetaminophen prior to drinking or after a night of drinking in order to lessen the effects of a hangover the following morning.
The truth is that this is unlikely to have an real effect (although it can be help when you have a hangover) and because of the damage that acetaminophen can do to the liver, it’s not recommended to consume these together regularly.
Advil and Alcohol
Advil and alcohol isn’t as much of an issue as other alcohol contraindications on this page. To learn more about this, skip to the Ibuprofen and Alcohol section below as that’s what Advil contains. If you’re in Europe, you may know this better as Nurofen.
Zoloft and Alcohol
It is generally safe to consume Zoloft and alcohol together. This is not one of the serious alcohol contraindications. However there are some things that you will want to look out for and you should also avoid drinking too much.
Some of the things to look out for when consuming Zoloft and alcohol together (and indeed any antidepressants) is that the alcohol may feel stronger and have more of an effect. 1 drink can feel like 2 etc., Your mood may also be susceptible to drastic changes, especially if there is some kind of serious underlying mental health issue present.
Many users of this drug and drugs like it safely consume small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis. But they also note that they can turn into a completely different person when they drink while using drugs like this.
Meloxicam and Alcohol
The risk of stomach bleeding when taking Meloxicam and alcohol is said to be very high. As a result, this is not recommended. If you do consume alcohol with Meloxicam and you experience any discomfort, stomach pains, or you pass any hard, thick, black liquid, then you should get in touch with your doctor straight away.
Benadryl and Alcohol
Benadryl is an over the counter drug, which has led to many people assuming that it is safe for them to consume with alcohol. But this is just not the case. If you take Benadryl and alcohol then you will likely feel very sleepy and drowsy, which means you could be putting yourself in danger if you operate a vehicle or machinery, even with small amounts of alcohol.
Just because Benadryl can be given to dogs and kids, just because it’s OTC, and just because you typically feel okay when you take it, doesn’t mean it’s safe to take with a lot of alcohol.
Seroquel and Alcohol
Seroquel is a popular drug that can be prescribed for anxiety disorders, major depression and may other mental health disorders. It doesn’t have an immediate and strong effect like many sedative drugs do, but it can trigger a long list of side effects and it can be dangerous when consumed along with alcohol.
Typically, there should be no issue with consuming Seroquel and alcohol. Many users of anti depressants like this can be social drinkers without any issue. However you my run a risk of increased side effects with larger quantities of alcohol. You may also run a greater risk if you have experienced any troubling side effects from the use of Seroquel.
Lexapro and Alcohol
There are a few side effects to worry about when using Lexparo and alcohol together. Like all alcohol contraindications, it can worsen the side effects and make the user more sedate and at risk. However, one of the main things to worry about is the fact that alcohol may lessen the effects of Lexapro, which can put your treatment in jeopardy.
Ambien and Alcohol
Ambien and alcohol are frequently used in combination when the user is seeking a strong, recreational high or feeling of complete sedation. However, this is not recommend as it is extremely dangerous. Any sedative can be dangerous when consumed with alcohol but the potency of Ambien along with the depressive effects of the alcohol make it more of an issue.
There have been many reported cases of accidental death from the consumption of ambien and alcohol. These can occur as a result of central nervous system depression and the risks that go along with it (choking on vomit, struggling to breath, coma, etc.,) and as a result of the user having little to no control of their actions.
Diflucan and Alcohol
While there are no serious side effects noted when combined Diflucan and alcohol, it has been known to increase the chance of headaches, stomach bleeding and digestive discomfort, so it is not recommended. You may be safe to consume a very small quantity of alcohol if using this medication, but this is something you will need to take up with your doctor.
Adderall and Alcohol
Adderall and alcohol is used as a combination in order to make the night last longer. It is a popular party mix, but as with all alcohol contraindications, there are a number of risks to bear in mind. It will likely lessen the sedative effects of the Adderall and may alter the mood.
If you are using the Adderall for mental health conditions or other medical reason then it is advised that you avoid drinking too much just in case. It is also important to monitor your alcohol intake. When taking Adderall and alcohol together, you may not feel as affected by the booze as you usually do, which may lead to you consuming more and eventually taking a dangerous amount.
Ibuprofen and Alcohol
This common painkiller does not trigger any kind of sedation or euphoria, which means that there are no worries with regards to increased sedation. However, there are some other issues to bear in mind when taking ibuprofen and alcohol.
For instance, this drug is known to irritate the stomach and this may be worse if consumed with alcohol. You should exercise caution here if you have any stomach issues and/or are prone or at risk of stomach bleeds.
Also, it’s worth noting that if you have GERD then both ibuprofen and alcohol can worsen the condition and trigger cases of excess acid. Together they will likely exaggerate this condition further.