Dr. Tariq Jagnarine
Family Medicine, Endocrinology/Diabetes

Combining alcohol and antibiotics can increase the chance of developing side effects. It’s best to wait until finishing the antibiotics’ course before having an alcoholic drink.
Alcohol and medication can be a dangerous mix. Doctors recommend avoiding alcohol while taking several drugs. The biggest concern is that consuming alcohol with medications might increase the risk of unsafe side effects.

Alcohol doesn’t make most antibiotics less effective, but consuming alcohol — especially if someone is drinking too much — might increase the chance of experiencing certain side effects.
Persons should never consume alcohol while taking any of the following antibiotics:
* Cefoperazone- Cefobid- Third Generation Cephalosporins antibiotics
* Cefotetan- Cephalosporins antibiotics
* Metronidazole- Flagyl
* Tinidazole- For vaginal infections
* Ketoconazole- Antifungal
* Isoniazid- Tuberculosis Meds
* Linezolid-
* Griseofulvin- Antifungal
Combining these antibiotics and alcohol can cause a potentially dangerous reaction.
Metronidazole, tinidazole, cefoperazone, cefotetan, and ketoconazole.
Drinking alcohol while taking these drugs can cause:
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Flushing
* Headache
* Fast heartbeat
* Stomach cramps
Don’t drink alcohol before, during, or up to three days after taking these drugs.
Drinking alcohol while taking the medication Griseofulvin can cause:
* Flushing
* Excessive sweating
* Fast heartbeat
Drinking alcohol while taking Isoniazid and linezolid medications can cause side effects such as:
* Liver damage
* High blood pressure
Drinking alcohol while taking Doxycycline and erythromycin antibiotics may make them less effective.

The specific side effects that an antibiotic can cause depend on the drug. However, some common side effects of antibiotics include:
* Nausea
* Sleepiness
* Dizziness
* Lightheadedness
* Diarrhoea
Alcohol can also cause side effects that include:
* An upset stomach
* Digestive problems, such as stomach pain, diarrhoea, and ulcers
* Tiredness
Signs of a negative alcohol-antibiotic reaction include:
* Flushing (reddening and warming of the skin)
* Severe headache
* Racing heart rate
In most cases, these side effects go away on their own. If people think they are having a medical emergency, they should see a healthcare facility immediately.
The warning label on the antibiotic should include information about alcohol use.
Talk to the doctor or pharmacist if unsure about the details of the medications. They may indicate that an occasional drink is okay. But that likely depends on the age, overall health, and the type of drug taken.
Listening to the doctor or pharmacist’s advice can help to avoid the effects of an alcohol-drug interaction.

Usually, drinking alcohol won’t keep the antibiotic from working to treat the infection. Still, it can interfere with the infection’s healing in other ways. Getting enough rest and eating a nutritious diet both help to recover from sickness or infection. Drinking alcohol can interfere with these factors.
For instance, drinking alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns. It can keep people from getting a good night’s sleep.
Alcohol can also stop the body from absorbing vital nutrients. It can increase blood sugar levels and zap energy levels.
All these factors can reduce the body’s ability to heal from an infection. Acute alcohol use, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol use can all be harmful, whether on medication or not.
Keep in mind that alcohol isn’t just limited to beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks. It can be found in some mouthwashes and cold medications, too.
Check the ingredient labels on these and other products if there was an alcohol-antibiotic reaction in the past. Ask the doctor if it’s safe to use these products while taking an antibiotic.
Doctors often prescribe antibiotics for a short time. In many cases, people may only need to take antibiotics for a week or two to fully recover from an infection.
Mixing alcohol with antibiotics is rarely a good idea. Both alcohol and antibiotics can cause side effects in the body, and drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can raise the risk of these harmful effects.
Talk with the doctor and pharmacist if taking an antibiotic. They can talk to you about alcohol use and the medications.