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Why Does Alcohol Affect Antibiotics

5 min read

Why Does Alcohol Affect Antibiotics – Most people will end up using antibiotics at some point during their adult lives, which is why we think it’s important to understand them. One of the most common questions we hear about antibiotics is whether it is safe to drink alcohol while taking them. We generally encourage people to talk to their doctor about the specific medications they are taking, but there are some general rules that everyone should try to understand.

Alcohol can interact with some antibiotics, causing unpleasant or dangerous side effects. These symptoms can vary because many different antibiotics are used and each has its own interactions.

Why Does Alcohol Affect Antibiotics

The two most important examples are metronidazole and tinidazole. Both antibiotics can cause pain, dizziness, drowsiness, a general feeling of sickness and other symptoms when exposed to alcohol. They will take several days to pass through the body after treatment, and it is best to avoid alcohol during this time.

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Other antibiotics may have specific interactions with alcohol, but generally they are less serious. They remain unpleasant and dangerous, so it is better not to drink antibiotics unless a doctor says it is safe.

Drinking is not the only source of alcohol. One of the most common ingredients in medicine and mouthwash. The concentration is usually low, but still sufficient for treatment in some cases. It is too easy to expose yourself to alcohol by taking these drugs without looking at the connection. That’s why it’s important to make sure your doctor knows all the medications you’re taking while prescribing the treatment, and you don’t add new medications without consulting a professional.

The human body relies on a special set of enzymes to break down alcohol. These enzymes also metabolize some antibiotics. Drinking alcohol can inhibit these enzymes, preventing them from metabolizing the antibiotics properly so they can do their job. This may increase the risk of side effects.

Side effects can also be a problem. This happens when alcohol and antibiotics have side effects. This often happens with antibiotics such as metronidazole, which has an irritating effect on alcohol, or with antibiotics that cause stomach discomfort. Combining the two is even more powerful. It can cause serious harm when it interferes with coordination, and even simple nausea is uncomfortable.

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We encourage people to avoid alcohol when they feel generally unwell, but it is especially important to check for potential problems when taking antibiotics or other medications. The best way to stay safe is to ask your doctor for directions and follow their advice. Imma Perfetto Imma Perfetto is a science reporter at Cosmos. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in science communication from the University of Adelaide.

We were all advised not to mix alcohol and antibiotics, but what followed was a different story.

But why is that so? In addition to being really drunk and forgetting to take medicine. Can drinking while taking antibiotics make you sicker than you already are? Does it change the effectiveness of the medicine we take for better or worse? Is it really that important?

In general, alcohols are a class of organic compounds that have one or more hydroxyl groups attached to a hydrocarbon chain. It’s weird chemical jargon, but a hydrocarbon chain is made up of only carbon and hydrogen atoms – think of the carbon atoms as the metal links on a bracelet, with the hydrogen atoms branching off like charms.

Amoxicillin And Alcohol

The hydroxyl group is a hydrogen atom bonded to an oxygen atom, which is attached to a carbon atom in the hydrocarbon chain.

Alcohol is used in solvents, hand sanitizers and cosmetics, but the specific alcohol found in the beverages we drink is called ethanol – or ethyl alcohol – which means that the hydrocarbon chain contains only carbon atoms. two. Ethanol is produced when sugar, which is usually obtained from seeds, fruits and vegetables, is fermented by a single-celled organism called yeast.

After the alcohol is consumed, a small amount of it is immediately broken down or converted to acetaldehyde in your stomach. But most of the remaining alcohol enters the bloodstream, through the stomach and upper small intestine, and into the liver first.

When it first comes, only a small part of the alcohol is converted, but the rest leaves the liver, enters the general circulation, and spreads throughout the body. This is called “primary metabolism”.

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Then the rest of the alcohol goes back to your liver to be broken down a second and final time by a series of enzymes, which are proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions, the most important ones here being alcohol dehydrogenase and Cytochrome P450. .

These enzymes and others below break down the alcohol until carbon dioxide and water are removed from your body.

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections by killing bacteria or inhibiting their growth. In the body, antibiotics are removed from their active form by the kidneys or metabolized by the liver.

A 2020 review of all available scientific evidence behind alcohol-antibiotic interactions drew on 87 studies to determine the evidence behind alcohol warnings issued for common antibiotics. However, they found that drinking alcohol should not cause problems when taking regular antibiotics.

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The available data support that specific antibiotics, and most of a few selected types of antibiotics, do not have adverse effects when taken with alcohol.

Examples: oral penicillin, the antibiotics cefdinir and cefpodoxime (from a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins), the broad-spectrum antibiotics called fluoroquinolones and the antibiotics azithromycin and tetracycline.

Alcohol can interact with drugs in two different ways. Pharmacokinetic interactions occur when alcohol interferes with drug metabolism or alcohol interferes with drug metabolism.

In general, it occurs in the liver, where alcohol and some antibiotics – sometimes with the same enzyme.

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An example of this is the anti-tuberculosis antibiotic isoniazid. Isoniazid alone can cause liver damage, and alcohol can make it worse.

In occasional drinkers, a component of Cytochrome P450 metabolizes only a small portion of the alcohol used, but its activity can increase tenfold in chronic drinkers who consume 3 regular drinks a day. up to 4 per day.

When sober, this increased activity can increase the rate of antibiotic degradation, and when intoxicated alcohol competes with antibiotics for metabolism, and antibiotic degradation is reduced.

The antibiotic erythromycin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. However, it also increases gastric emptying and accelerates gastric emptying, which means it may decrease the first-pass metabolism of alcohol and lead to faster absorption of alcohol in the small intestine.

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In fact, the concentration of alcohol was found to be higher after taking erythromycin, the average increased by 40%. Unfortunately, alcohol reduces the effectiveness of erythromycin.

Disulfiram is a treatment for excessive alcohol use. It inhibits an important enzyme in alcohol metabolism, which causes a rapid accumulation of the harmful effects of alcohol metabolism in the blood. This causes unpleasant side effects such as bloating, nausea, headache, vomiting, chest pain, dizziness, sweating, thirst, blurred vision and low blood pressure.

Unfortunately, the reaction occurs with uncertain frequency and severity of the variety of many antibiotics-so it is not as easy as removing one or more types of antibiotics.

At the end of the day, as with any medication, it’s important to talk directly with your doctor about how mixing alcohol with antibiotics might affect you. Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics is very dangerous and can even be fatal. The consequences of combining the two are vast and mostly dire. Not to mention, alcohol weakens the immune system and therefore reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics.

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If you can’t stop drinking, you need help. Call us or click today to learn more about your options. We care, and we don’t want to see you make your condition worse by mixing alcohol and antibiotics.

It is an unfortunate misconception that it is safe to drink alcohol while taking antibiotics. For reference purposes, common antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, Cephalexin and Clindamycin. Most patients with a prescription for antibiotics will know what they are taking. But if you’re not sure if your prescription is an antibiotic, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

The body breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which can cause nausea. Perhaps the most common side effect of antibiotics is stomach upset, so adding alcohol can worsen gastrointestinal symptoms. Alcohol and antibiotics can adversely affect cognitive function, concentration and overall coordination. Again, combining the two is even worse.


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