Why Alcohol and Medications Must Never Be Taken Together

Alcohol and Medications

When it comes to medication, it is important to watch what you consume and your medicine; the substances in your food may interact with the chemicals. Unfortunately, some people also take their medication with alcoholic drinks. This is a big mistake. The combination of alcohol and medications can lead to severe consequences, even death in severe cases.

This article will help you understand exactly why you must never take alcohol and medications together.

1) Can Intensify the Effects of Alcohol

Interactions between medicines and alcohol will generally depend on who is taking it and what the medicine is. Sometimes, the mix can intensify the effects of alcohol. For example, what would have taken you three glasses to start feeling the effects of alcohol may take you only one. Other symptoms can also occur as a result, such as drastic mood changes, painful headaches, intense vomiting, and more.

2) Hurts the Medication’s Effectiveness

Medicine only works properly if the digestive tract properly absorbs it. Alcohol can interfere with this absorption, meaning that it can cause medicines to lose their effectiveness partially or even totally. In fact, alcohol can even affect the rate at which the drug enters the bloodstream. In this case, it can cause the medication to reach dangerous and toxic levels in the blood.

3) Worsens the Medication’s Side Effects

Some medicines will have side effects. For example, some medications can cause drowsiness. When you pair such medicine with alcohol, it can intensify the medicine’s effects. What was supposed to be mild drowsiness can cause you to faint. Other more dangerous combinations also exist, such as with opiates. Mixing them with alcohol can cause breathing to stop entirely, which can lead to death.

Such effects are also highly dependent on age and sex. Some people are more susceptible to severe effects than others. For instance, because of differences in metabolism, women tend to experience such effects much more severely. Older individuals also can experience worse side effects because the body takes longer to clear the substances.

4) Can Lead to Overdose or Alcohol Poisoning

While it does not happen all the time, mixing medicine with alcohol can lead to either medicine overdose or alcohol poisoning, or even both. Regardless, both are dangerous outcomes of the situation and can easily lead to life-threatening emergencies that can end with death.


In summary, you would do your best to avoid taking medicine with alcohol, as this combination is a deadly one and can lead to severe emergencies. From issues such as worsened medication side effects to intensified alcohol effects, you do not want to face these problems when improving your health.

That said, always consult your doctor about the matter if you want to drink alcohol. If the doctor gives you the green light to drink alcohol, chances are you will have to follow certain rules. For instance, the doctor may ask you to wait a few hours after taking medication before drinking any alcohol.

When conversing with your doctor, be fully honest with your drinking habits. This will allow the doctor to make the correct recommendations to ensure that the medicine works effectively and safely.

Pharmasave Summerside offers community-based retail outlets offering medication advice, patient-centred healthcare, drug store products, and more. If you are looking for a pharmacy consultant in Edmonton, reach out to us!