Does Alcohol Interfere With Your Medications?

Home / Addiction / Does Alcohol Interfere With Your Medications?


Does Alcohol Interfere With Your Medications?

Scientists from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recently completed a very important study on the interactions of medications with alcohol. This study is very important because 70 percent of Americans consume alcohol. Furthermore, 42 percent of Americans consume alcohol while taking a prescription medication.

Researchers looked at data from surveys through the National Health and Nutrition Examination that were done between 1999 and 2010. These surveys were completed by over 26,000 adults ages 20-65. The older the participant, the more medications he or she was taking. This was only due to the fact that the older the body gets, the higher the risk of developing a disease. The most popular medications throughout all ages were for high blood pressure or cholesterol, painkillers, diabetes medication, or sleeping medication.

These medications, especially painkillers and sleeping medications, have bad interactions with alcohol. When taken together, they can cause numerous side effects, like seizures, severe drowsiness, and blurred vision. People of older age will have extreme side effects because the alcohol does not metabolize as easily in an older body.

Physicians and pharmacists urge patients to check their medications for interactions with any type of substance. Better yet, avoid drinking and taking unneeded medications altogether. 



  • December 2, 2015, 3:43 am

    it depends on where her dibeates is. If it is a mild case of type 2, then nothing more than a modest rise in blood glucose levels might be in the cards. If she’s a type 1 and stops taking insulin, she will die and may go into diabetic ketoacidsosis befoe she does. In the longer term, her chances of an acute problem increase a good bit. High blood glucose levels can produce diabetic coma, shaky behavior and changed attitude, etc. And she’ll increase her chances of getting some or several o fthe diabetic side effects (amputation from poor circulation and unhealing ulcers, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, stroke, nerve damage, ). these ususally take a while to develop, but the first warning might be an infection of a foot ulcer which gets to the bone and forces an amputation. Not something to take a gamble on. As for the smoking and drinking Smoking affects wuite a few body systmes unfavorable. Some of these are the same one’s that dibeates attacks. For instance, circulation. It’s often said to be the single most damaging thing a diabeteic can tdo to make chances of a bad diabetic outcome better. Drinking, on the other hand, is more complex. Alsohol itself can change blood glucose levels, and if it does in her, she will have more difficulty managing her glucose levels. On the other hand, it is now clear that small amounts of alcohol (one beer a day, or the equivalent in wine, or spirits) is beneficial in that it reduces chances of heart attack. Amounts even a little more than that are, on balance, damaging. More damaging than beneficial without much doubt. So it depends on how (and how much, and when) she drinks. She should consult her doctor about these possibilties, and help to find out why she’s neglecting her medication, and change it as necessary (or possible) to make it more likely that she’ll actual take her meds properly in future.