The combination of alcohol and antibiotics can be harmful to your health. Although drinking alcohol while receiving medication for an infection will not directly affect the effectiveness of the medication, abstaining from alcohol is recommended to avoid possible side effects and to facilitate the body’s response to the infection.
Risks of mixing alcohol with antibiotics
Excessive alcohol consumption can alter the metabolism of certain antibiotics, according to an article published in Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine. Some medications use the same liver enzymes that metabolize alcohol, which can slow down the breakdown of antibiotics and lead to higher antibiotic concentrations in the blood, increasing the risk of toxicity and side effects without increasing the antibacterial effect.
In the case of erythromycin and doxycycline, their effectiveness may be reduced when alcohol is consumed at the same time, according to a review published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
In addition, long-term alcohol consumption can speed up the metabolism and elimination of antibiotics in the body, which may make the drugs insufficient to fight the infection.
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Side effects of taking antibiotics with alcoholic beverages
Another factor to consider is the occurrence of side effects. Antibiotics themselves can cause symptoms such as gastritis, nausea, vomiting, headache, or dizziness. These symptoms may worsen when you drink alcohol during treatment. In addition, some antibiotics, such as rifampicin, may cause liver damage, especially if the patient already has liver problems. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid alcohol during treatment to protect liver health.
It’s important to note that different people may respond differently to the combined use of alcohol and antibiotics due to factors such as genetics, liver health, and use of other medications.
In summary, while a glass of alcohol will not directly interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics, it is recommended to abstain from alcohol during treatment to avoid possible side effects and promote the body’s recovery from the infection. Every case is different, so it is always important to follow the instructions of the treating doctor and ask any questions or concerns.