Alcohol And Medicine Interaction – List Of Medicine And Their Side Effects

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If we say alcohol is one of the highly consumed beverages all over the world. So, it won’t be wrong. But it is also life-threatening as well. Despite knowing this, people drink alcohol due to their many own reasons. But you know alcohol may be life-threatening if they take it with medications. But people do this intentionally or accidentally. And this interaction between alcohol and medicatio may cause severe side effects and even lead to death.

Taking the medication with moderate to high alcohol caused many harmful effects. This undesired interaction reduces desired effect of medication. And increases the adverse effect.

There are lots of prescription-based medicines, OTC medicines, and herbal medicines which is not recommended to taking with alcohol. However, the risk is increased when we take medicine along with alcohol.

This lethal combination can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Drossiness
  • loss of coordination

and sometimes, it can cause Sevier adverse effect like:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hepatotoxicity

We provided some frequently used OTC (over-the-counter drug) and prescription-based medicines list in this article. Which is not recommended to talking with alcohol.

Things you have to know  

People have lots of confusion on the matter of interaction between alcohol and drug interaction. But their knowledge is limited about that. So, here we mentioned some points about medicine and alcohol that you have to know.

Medicines may have many ingredients

some medications are made up of more than 2-3 combinations of API (active pharmaceutical ingredients). So, it may be the chances, that one of the API may interact with alcohol. So, always seen the ingredients which is mention on the label of the medicine. Or frequently ask to your chemist.

Alcohol containing medicines

Some medications like cough syrups and laxatives, already containing high concentrations of alcohol. So, in that type of cases, we take alcohol in form of medicines knowingly or unknowingly. And further, if you take alcohol over these medicines then the concentration of alcohol is high in the blood . And it can cause loss of coordination, vomiting, nausea, and drowsiness.

Don’t mess with the time

Some people think that. “Taking alcohol and medicine simultaneously is harmful. But, if we will take alcohol after some hour.Then It will not cause any harmful effects”. Actually, this is absolutely a wrong idea. This combination can interact even after some hour and cause harmful side effects.

Alcohol hits differently to different genders

Females are more susceptible than men in case of alcohol consumption. Because females have low water concentration than males. So, when a female drink alcohol. Then the concentration of alcohol is higher in her bloodstream even after she takes the same amount of alcohol as a male. That’s why females are more at a higher risk than males.

Breakdown of alcohol in the body

Even the same amount of alcohol could ipact people differently. And it just because of alcohol metabolism. When we take alcohol in a form of ethanol (8-42%). It converted into acetaldehyde in the presence of enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. And further converted into acetate in the presence of enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase. And finally eliminated through the body.

Alcohol metabolism depends on various things. Like, genetic factors, such as variation in the enzyme, and nutrition. The difference in alcohol metabolism may affect people differently.

Age is not just a number in case of alcohol

Older people are at high risk when they take alcohol. Even a low amount of alcohol may affect them. This is because of the slow rate of metabolism. In older age breakdown of alcohol is slower. So, it doesn’t easily eliminate from the body. And remains in the bloodstream for the longer time period.

Older people take medication very frequently. So, the chances of alcohol drug interaction are more. And the chances of harmful effects are also high.

List of medicines which interact with alcohol



Possible side effect after alcohol interaction

Pain, inflammation, fever
  • NSAIDs
  • Asprin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • (Paracetamol)
  • Opioids
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Ulcer
  • Internal bleeding
  • Increase heart rate
  • Leaver damage (Acetaminophen)


Cold, Flu, allergies
  • Cetirizine
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Brompheniramine
  • Loratadine
  • Desloratadine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Drowsiness & dizziness
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Guaifenesin
  • Codeine
  • Drowsiness & dizziness
  • Metformin
  • Glipizide
  • Chlorpropamide
  • Tolazamide
  • Glyburide
  • Tolbutamide
  • Insulin


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Change in blood pressure
  • Headache and abnormally low blood sugar level (insulin)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Lisinopril
  • Quinapril
  • Enalapril
  • Clonidine
  • Losartan
  • Hydrochlorothiazide
  • Terazosin
  • Benzapril
  • Amlodipine mesylate
  • Prazosin
  • Verapamil
  • Doxazosin
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
Coronary heart disease, Angina (chest pain)
  • Isosorbide
  • Nitro-glycerine
  • Sudden change in blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Intense heartbeat
  • Dizziness
Blood clot
  • Warfarin
  • May cause internal bleeding
  • Regular or heavy drinking cause opposite effects like blood clotting, heart attack, and stroke
Heartburn, Acid reflux, indigestion, and sour stomach
  • Ranitidine
  • Cimetidine
  • Nizatidine
  • Metoclopramide
  • An unexpected change in blood pressure, intense heartbeat.
  • Naproxen
  • Celecoxib
  • Diclofenac
  • Internal bleeding
  • Ulcer
  • Liver damage
  • Clomipramine
  • Quetiapine
  • Olanzapine
  • Duloxetine
  • Trazodone
  •  Venlafaxine
  • Clozapine
  • Nefazodone
  • Risperidone
  • Desipramine
  • Amitriptyline
  • Ziprasidone
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine/Olanzapine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Aripriprazone
  • Phenelzine
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Paroxetine
  • Citalopram
  • Paliperidone
  • Desevenlafaxine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Mirtazapine
  • Bupropion Sertraline

All most all the drug under this category may interact with alcohol.

  • Cause serious heart-related disease (tranylcypromine and phenelzine)
  • Feeling depressed and hopeless
  • Impaired locomotion (quetiapine & mirtazapine)
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Liver damage (duloxetine)
Anxiety & epilepsy
  • Buspirone
  • Lorazepam
  • Alprazolam
  • Diazepam
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clonazepam
  • Paroxetine
  • Liver damage
  • Impaired locomotion
  • Loss of memory
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Drowsiness, and dizziness.
High cholesterol
  • Lovastatin
  • Niacin
  • Asprin
  • Ezetimibe
  • Simvastatin
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Atorvastatin
  • Pravastatin


  • Internal bleeding (pravastatin + aspirin)
  • Liver damage (all medicine can cause)
  • Excessive flushing & itching (niacin)



Nausea and motion sickness
  • Meclizine
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Promethazine
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
  • Estazolam
  • Doxylamine
  • Temazepam
  • Zolpidem
  • Eszopiclone
  • Diphenhydramine


  • Irregular breathing
  • Impaired locomotion
  • Loss of memory
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness.
  • Barbiturates
  • Phenytoin
  • Gabapentin
  • Clonazepam
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Phenobarbital
  • Pregabalin
  • Lamotrigine
  • Topiramate
  • Increase risk of seizure (Levetiracetam & phenytoin)
  • Drowsiness, dizziness.
  • Comes unusual thoughts like suicide.
  • Unusual behaviour



  • Erythromycin
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Isoniazid
  • Cefoperazone
  • cefotetan
  • moxalactam
  • cefamandole
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Nitrofurantoin
  • Metronidazole
  • Tinidazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Griseofulvin
  • Cycloserine
  • Azithromycin
  • Liver damage (Ketoconazole),
  • Rapid heartbeat, Headache, vomiting, upset stomach.
  • Sudden change in blood pressure, &
  • Radness on face



Muscle pain
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Increase risk of seizure.
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulties in breathing
  • Loss of memory
  • Unusual behaviour
  • Impaired locomotion

List of the medicine which is shown here is not complete. Apart from this list many other medicine could also interact with alcohol . So, talk to your pharmacist/chemist while getting medicines.

Factors affecting absorption of alcohol

Gastric Emptying When the gastric emptying is prolonged. ThenBlood alcohol concentration is decrease.
Alcohol concentration If the concentration of alcohol between 20-30% then the rate of absorption of alcohol is high.
Age The rate of gastric emptying is decreased along with age.
Blood flow A good blood flow also increases alcohol absorption in the portal system.





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