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273 Dangerous Pills Not To Mix With Alcohol

Posted on August 9, 2008

Alcohol and prescription drugs don’;t mix.  

Public Citizen has issued its annual “Worst Pills, Best Pills” report and the nonprofit consumer group warns against mixing alcohol with certain medications, even if you are a light drinker.  Most patients don’;t read the product inserts where this information is sometimes included. 

Worst Pills, Best Pills” lists 273 drugs that shouldn’;t be mixed with alcohol including antibiotics, antidepressants, narcotics and anti-ulcer drugs.

“While the more important alcohol-medication interactions are listed in the table, it is not an exhaustive list,” writes Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Health Research Group. Patients should also check with a health care professional before taking alcohol with any drug. 

There are a few problems patients should know about:

First — mixing alcohol and certain medications can produce an additive effect. Alcohol is a depressant, and, when it is taken in conjunction with sedative medications, excessive sedation or depression of respiration can result. This additive effect can be lethal.

Second — drinking can make medication ineffective.  

Third — alcohol can slow down the rate a drug leaves your body, possibly leading to a toxic buildup of drugs.   

And fourth — some drugs can impair the clearance of alcohol, resulting in high blood alcohol levels.

Patients should always check the labels inside medication and consult with a doctor or pharmacist about alcohol consumption, whether their prescription is long-term or short-term.

Farah & Farah handles pharmaceutical litigation, and even if the FDA approves a drug, do not assume it is safe. The Pharmaceutical litigation section of our web site has information on specific dangerous drugs our attorneys have litigated, drugs that are dangerous even without the added complication of alcohol.

Combining a drug with alcohol may make the effects even more pronounced, and may make your case for a defective drug harder to prove if you have added alcohol to the mix.

Permanent damage or death can result and a few beers just aren’;t worth the risk.