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The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Drugs


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Medications are safe and effective when used appropriately and under the guidance of a medical doctor. Remember, your doctor will take a full medical history prior to prescribing medication in order to best meet your medical needs and for safety precautions as well. Many medications including those that are prescribed, over the counter medication and herbal remedies can interact negatively with alcohol. Alcohol can be dangerous when mixed with other recreational drugs and or medications. It is essential that you talk with your doctor and or your pharmacist to learn about any possible drug interactions when considering mixing with alcohol. See http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm for further information.


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1. What is the medication and what exactly is it supposed to do? 2. When and how should I be taking this medication and at what frequency? 3. What if I miss a recommended dosage? 4. Should I avoid alcohol, any other medicines, food, and/or activities while I am taking this medication?


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5. Are there any side effects that may come from taking this drug? 6. There is a religious holiday coming up where I am planning to fast which would include not taking my medication, what can the possible impact be? (You may also wish to communicate with your religious leader and or spiritual advisor as well about your concerns. Most faiths will state that your health is most important) 7. How should this medication be stored?


Common myths about consuming alcohol while taking other drugs:


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This is a myth. There are many prescription medications that can harmfully interact with alcohol. If there is any chance you will be consuming alcohol while taking any prescription medication make sure to talk with your doctor and or pharmacist to discuss possible interactions and effects.


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This is a myth. Combining any of these drugs with alcohol can increase your risk of GI bleeding and ulcers. Combining alcohol with Tylenol is dangerous and can lead to liver toxicity and or damage.


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Combining alcohol with any narcotic drug (Oxycotin, Codeine, etc.) can be extremely dangerous. Because both are depressants (sedatives) when taken together the sedative effect of both increases significantly. This can lead to respiratory depression (you stop breathing), coma and or death. Also, many narcotics are pre-mixed with Tylenol (acetaminophen) which when combined with alcohol can lead to liver damage.


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Alcohol can interfere with the effects of various diabetes medications including insulin. Depending on the amount consumed, alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerous levels. Also, alcohol can cause dizziness and disorientation which are similar to symptoms of hypoglycemia. Confusing alcohol related issues with hypoglycemia can be extremely dangerous because the treatment for each is very different.


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This is a myth. Alcohol has been shown to interfere with sleep cycles and when consumed on a regular basis may be contributing factor to a sleep disorder. Alcohol can also contribute negatively to sleep apnea and may cause sleep apnea for some people. Alcohol should never be mixed with drugs used to treat sleep disorders. Possible interactions include dizziness, slowed breathing, impaired motor control and memory loss.


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This is a myth. Mixing alcohol with any seizure medication can actually increase your risk of having a seizure.


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This is a dangerous myth. Mixing alcohol with any stimulant can be extremely dangerous. Our brain has natural mechanisms that serve as personal life saving tools. An example of this would be passing out after alcohol consumption. Your brain is trying to prevent any more toxins from being ingested into the body. When mixing a stimulant with alcohol (energy drinks included) a person is at greater risk for alcohol poisoning and other dangerous effects from combining the two drugs.


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Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. When mixing alcohol with other mood altering drugs (antidepressants) the individual may experience a synergistic effect. What that means is that the different drugs can intensify the effects of each other. Because alcohol is a depressant it impacts the higher center of our brain (which controls breathing, balance and judgment) and its effects can be intensified when mixed with other medications. Alcohol may also increase anxiety levels and may also trigger panic attacks.


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This is a myth. Combining alcohol with marijuana decreases your motor control and can significantly impact mental concentration. Marijuana can also suppress your gag reflex, preventing your body from ridding itself (vomiting) of toxins when necessary. If taking medication to correct chemical imbalance in brain chemistry (eg: depression, ADD/ADHD) smoking marijuana is counterintuitive. Marijuana affects brain dopamine and will only cause havoc with an already imbalanced system.


Symptom/Disorders Allergies/Colds/Flu

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Alavert®

Loratadine

• Allegra®, Allegra-D®

Fexofenadin

Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of alcohol poisoning, overdose.

• Benadryl®

Diphenhydramine

Impaired psychomotor performance and sedation

• Clarinex®

Desloratadine

• Claritin®, Claritin-D®

Loratadine

• Dimetapp® Cold & Allergy

Brompheniramine

• Sudafed® Sinus & Allergy

Chlorpheniramine

• Triaminic® Cold & Allergy

Chlorpheniramine

• Tylenol® Allergy Sinus

Chlorpheniramine

• Tylenol® Cold & Flu

Chlorpheniramine

• Zyrtec®

Cetirizine


Symptom/Disorders Anxiety and epilepsy

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Ativan®

Lorazepam

• Klonopin®

Clonazepam

• Librium®

Chlordiazepoxide

• Paxil®

Paroxetine

• Valium®

Diazepam

• Xanax®

Alprazolam

• Herbal preparations (Kava Kava)

Some possible reactions with alcohol Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; and memory problems

Liver damage, drowsiness


Symptom/Disorders Psychosis, delusions and hallucinations

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Thorazine®

Chlorpromazine

Impaired coordination, intensified sedation and breathing difficulties.

• Haldol®

Haloperidol

•Seroquel®

Aripiprazole

•Abilify®

Olanzapine

Impaired psychomotor performance and CNS depression.


Symptom/Disorders Arthritis

Blood clots

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Celebrex®

Celecoxib

• Naprosyn®

Naproxen

• Voltaren®

Diclofenac

• Coumadin®

Warfarin

•Plavix®

Clopidogrel

•Aspirin

Some possible reactions with alcohol Ulcers, stomach bleeding, liver problems

Occasional drinking may lead to internal bleeding; heavier drinking also may cause bleeding or may have the opposite effect, resulting in possible blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks


Symptom/Disorders Depression

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Anafranil®

Clomipramine

• Celexa®

Citalopram

• Desyrel®

Trazodone

Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; increased feelings of depression or hopelessness

• Effexor®

Venlafaxine

• Elavil®

Amitriptyline

• Lexapro®

Escitalopram

• Luvox®

Fluvoxamine

• Norpramin®

Desipramine

• Paxil®

Paroxetine

• Prozac®

Fluoxetine

• Serzone®

Nefazodone

• Wellbutrin®

Bupropion

• Zoloft®

Sertraline

• Herbal preparations (St. John’s Wort)


Symptom/Disorders Diabetes

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Glucophage®

Metformin

• Micronase®

Glyburide

Increased risk for lactic acidosis

Glipizide Glimeperide

•Lantus® •Humalog ® (Humulin)

Abnormally low blood sugar levels, flushing reaction (nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure), diabetic coma, increased risk of alcohol poisoning

•Novolog ® (Novolin) •Byetta®

Alcohol may prolong glipzide’s effect on blood glucose by delaying glipzide absorption and elimination.


Symptom/Disorders

Heartburn, indigestion, sour stomach

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Axid®

Nizatidine

Rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure (metoclopramide); increased alcohol effect

• Reglan®

Metoclopramide

• Tagamet®

Cimetidine

• Zantac®

Ranitidine


Symptom/Disorders High blood pressure

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Accupril®

Quinapril

• Capozide®

Hydrochlorothiazide

• Cardura®

Doxazosin

• Catapres®

Clonidine

• Cozaar®

Losartan

• Hytrin®

Terazosin

• Lopressor® HCT

Hydrochlorothiazide

• Lotensin®

Benzapril

• Minipress®

Prazosin

• Vaseretic®

Enalapril

Some possible reactions with alcohol Dizziness, fainting, drowsiness; heart problems such as changes in the heart’s regular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

Hypotension, especially in those of Asian descent (tend to have deficiencies in aldehyde dehydrogenase).


Symptom/Disorders High cholesterol

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Advicor®

Lovastatin + Niacin

• Altocor®

Lovastatin

• Crestor®

Rosuvastatin

Liver damage (all medications); increased flushing and itching (niacin), increased stomach bleeding (pravastatin + aspirin)

• Lipitor®

Atorvastatin

• Mevacor®

Lovastatin

• Niaspan®

Niacin

• Pravachol®

Pravastatin

• Pravigard™

Pravastatin + Aspirin

• Vytorin™

Ezetimibe + Simvastatin

• Zocor®

Simvastatin


Medication (Brand name)

Symptom/Disorders

nfections

Medication (Generic name)

• Amoxil®

Amoxicillin

• Augmentin®

Co-amoxiclav

• Penicillin V®

Phenoxymethylpenicill in

• Erymax®

Erythromycin

• Keflex®

cefalexin

• Tetracycline®

• Flagyl®

Metronidazole

• Vancocin®

Vancomycin

Some possible reactions with alcohol Upset stomach, dizziness, drowsiness, flushing, headache, nausea, vomiting, liver damage


Symptom/Disorders Muscle pain

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

• Flexeril®

Cyclobenzaprine

• Soma®

Carisoprodol

Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of seizures; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems


Symptom/Disorders

Nausea, motion sickness

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Antivert®

Meclizine

• Atarax®

Hydroxyzine

• Dramamine®

Dimenhydrinate

• Phenergan®

Promethazine

Some possible reactions with alcohol Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose


Symptom/Disorders Pain (such as headache, muscle ache, minor arthritis pain), fever, inflammation

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Advil®

Ibuprofen

• Aleve®

Naproxen

• Excedrin®

Aspirin, Acetaminophen

• Motrin®

Ibuprofen

• Tylenol®

Acetaminophen

Some possible reactions with alcohol Stomach upset, bleeding and ulcers; liver damage (acetaminophen); rapid heartbeat


Symptom/Disorders

Medication (Brand name)

Severe pain from injury, • Darvocet–N® postsurgical care, oral surgery, migraines (narcotic pain relievers) • Demerol®

Medication (Generic name)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

Propoxyphene

Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems

Merepidine

• Fiorinal® with codeine

Butalbital + codeine

• Percocet®

Oxycodone

• Vicodin®

Hydrocodone


Symptom/Disorders

Seizures

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Dilantin®

Phenytoin

• Klonopin®

Clonazepam Phenobarbital

Some possible reactions with alcohol

Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of seizures


Symptom/Disorders

Sleep problems

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Ambien®

Zolpidem

• Lunesta™

Eszopiclone

• Prosom™

Estazolam

• Restoril®

Temazepam

• Sominex®

Diphenhydramine

• Unisom®

Doxylamine

• Herbal preparations (chamomile, valerian, lavender)

Some possible reactions with alcohol

Drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems. Alcohol actually interferes with the sleep cycle

Increased drowsiness


Symptom/Disorders

Substance Abuse

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Dolphine®

Methadone

• Suboxone®

Buprenorphine/Nalo xone

Some possible reactions with alcohol

Respiratory depression, increased risk of drug toxicity, accidental overdose and significant drug interactions


Symptom/Disorders Ulcers and other Gastrointestinal problems

Medication (Brand name)

Medication (Generic name)

• Axid ®

nitzatidine

•Carafate ®

sucralfate

•Cytotec ®

misoprostol

• Pepcid®

famotidine

•Prilosec ®

Omeprazole

•Tagament®

Cimetidine

•Zantac®

Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Some possible reactions with alcohol Increased presence of drug, may also trigger gastrointestinal problems and symptoms


Alavert ® : ◦

Allegra ® : ◦

http://www.alavert.com/ http://www.allegra.com/

Benedryl ®: ◦

http://www.benadryl.com/?s_kwcid=benadryl|1568482296&gclid=CISq8eTxn6ACFVl35QodBE70bg

http://www.benadryl.com/?s_kwcid=benadryl|1568482296&gclid=CISq8eTxn6ACFVl35QodBE70bg

Claritin ® : ◦

http://www.claritin.com/claritin/home/index.jspa? utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=claritin&utm_content=generalbranded&utm_campaign=branded&buf=99999999

Sudafed ®: ◦

http://sudafed.com/?utm_campaign=Sudafed%20Branded%20-%20General

%202009&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=Sudafed%20PE&utm_ 

Triaminic ®: ◦

Tylenol ®: ◦

http://www.tylenol.com/page.jhtml?id=tylenol/sinus/main.inc&_requestid=1253080

http://www.tylenol.com/page.jhtml?id=tylenol/cold/main.inc&_requestid=1253098

Zyrtec ®: ◦

http://www.triaminic.com/

http://www.zyrtec.com/econsumer/zyrtec/product.view?body=/zyrtec/pages/prod_all.jsp


Ativan®

◦ http://www.biovail.com/english/products/default.asp? s=1&product=403&viewer=doctor&state=displayProduct&country =USA

Klonopin®

◦ http://www.gene.com/gene/products/information/klonopin/

Librium®

◦ http://www.gsk.com/products/prescription-medicines/paxil.htm ◦ http://www.roche.com/products/product-list.htm? type=diseases&id=5

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Xanax® Thorazine®

◦ http://www.drugs.com/pdr/chlorpromazine.html

Haldol®

◦ http://www.drugs.com/pro/haloperidol-tablets.html


Naprosyn® ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

http://www.novartis.com/products/pharmaceuticals-v.shtml http://www.coumadin.com/ http://www.tevausa.com/default.aspx?pageid=76 http://www.celexa.com/ http://www.tevausa.com/default.aspx?pageid=76 http://www.effexorxr.com/

Elavil® ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦

http://www.lexapro.com/ http://www.tevausa.com/default.aspx?pageid=76 http://www.luvoxcr.com/LUVOX-CR-PI.pdf http://www.sanofi-aventis.us/live/us/en/layout.jsp?scat=BD0DB 73532D7-41C4-898F-74F67D343145   http://www.gsk.com/products/prescription-medicines/paxil.htm   http://www.prozac.com/Pages/index.aspx   http://www.tevausa.com/default.aspx?pageid=76   http://www.wellbutrin.com/   http://www.zoloft.com/  


Glucophage®

◦ http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/prescription.jsp ◦ http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/prescription.jsp ◦ http://www.axidos.com/

Reglan®

◦ http://www.essentialsforlivingwell.com/products/tagamethb/default.aspx? redirectfrom=www.tagamethb.com ◦ http://www.zantacotc.com/ ◦ http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/rx_product_accupril.jsp ◦ http://www.tevausa.com/default.aspx?pageid=76 ◦ http://carduraxl.com/

Catapres®

◦ http://www.cozaar.com/losartan_potassium/cozaar/curtain.jsp

Hytrin®

◦ http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/products/name/lopressorhct.jsp? usertrack.filter_applied=true&NovaId=2935376848933120249

Lotensin®

◦ http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/products/name/lotensin.jsp? usertrack.filter_applied=true&NovaId=2935376848933200938

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Minipress® Vaseretic® ◦

http://www.advicor.com/


Altocor®

◦ http://www.crestor.com/c/home.aspx ◦ http://www.lipitor.com/content/index.aspx

Mevacor®

◦ http://www.niaspan.com/ ◦ http://www.pravachol.com/pages/default.aspx

Pravigard™

◦ http://www.vytorin.com ◦ http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zocor.html

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Amoxil® Augmentin® Penicillin V® Erymax®

◦ http://www.keflex.com/

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Tetracycline® Flagyl®

◦ http://www.viropharma.com/patients/vancocin.aspx


Flexeril®

◦ http://www.soma250.com/? utm_campaign=Branded&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=cp c&utm_content=Soma%20250%20Co %20Pay&utm_term=carisoprodol%20co%20pay

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Antivert® Atarax®

◦ http://dramamine.com/

Phenergan®

◦ http://www.advil.com/ ◦ http://www.aleve.com/index.html

◦ http://www.excedrin.com/index.shtml ◦ http://www.motrin.com/ ◦ http://www.tylenol.com/


Darvocet–N®

Demerol®

Fiorinal® with codeine

Percocet®

Vicodin®

Dilantin®

Klonopin®

◦ http://www.ambiencr.com/ ◦ http://www.lunesta.com/

Prosom™ ◦ http://pharmaceuticals.mallinckrodt.com/products/product.as p?productID=5392

◦ http://www.essentialsforlivingwell.com/products/sominex/def ault.aspx?redirectfrom=www.sominex.com ◦ http://www.unisom.com/


Dolphine® ◦ http://suboxone.com/ ◦ http://www.axidos.com/

Carafate ®

Cytotec ® ◦ http://pepcid.com/ ◦ http://prilosecotc.com/en_US/consumer/ ◦ http://www.essentialsforlivingwell.com/products/taga methb/default.aspx? redirectfrom=www.tagamethb.com

◦ http://www.zantacotc.com/

Medication Safety  

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with Drugs. A presentation created by UConn's Alcohol and Other Drug Services department.

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