What Painkillers Can You Take With Alcohol?

What Painkillers Can You Take With Alcohol

Painkillers are helpful sometimes. They help prevent damaged cells or injured spots from producing and releasing prostaglandin. When this chemical isn’t released, the brain won’t get the message that there is an injury somewhere. It prevents you from feeling any form of pain. But here is one pressing question.

What painkillers can you take with alcohol?

Well, allow me to say that not all painkillers are safe with alcohol. But you can take alcohol together with common over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers. Examples are ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. When you combine any of these drugs with alcohol, you might not experience any side effects. But most people may have slight side effects in some cases. However, the best way to avoid problems is to use according to the manufacturer’s advice. 

So, that’s what you need to know about combining painkillers and some alcohol. Read to get more critical information on the subject.

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Alcohol And Painkillers: Is Mixing Both Healthy?

While taking certain painkillers and alcohol may look ideal, there might be inherent risks, although the risk or side effects might be minimal if one uses the drug the right way.

But here is something you need to understand. Alcohol virtually affects your entire body once consumed. And there could be a severe reaction when you take it.

However, you can take alcohol and certain painkillers safely. By this, I mean nothing would happen to you. So, it depends on the nature of the pain killer you intend to combine with the alcohol.

As earlier said, you can combine painkillers and a moderate amount of alcohol. You can take both without having any problem. You should also know that taking excess alcohol is not advisable. So that is entirely out of the equation.

That said, painkillers obtained over the counter, which includes ibuprofen or paracetamol mixes well with alcohol. But you shouldn’t use this as a reference point to perform this act. Seek relevant advice on what to do.

Now let’s let the cat out of the bag. But there will be more on this topic in the article.

I explained that there might be no harmful effect when one consumes alcohol and over-the-counter painkillers.

On the other hand, it is advisable not to use prescription-only medication with alcohol. In short, do not consume alcohol when using codeine and tramadol.

The problem with mixing the above medication and alcohol is not a pleasant one. One can develop serious side effects, which includes drowsiness.

Mix Medications And Alcohol: General Information Everyone Needs To Know

Do you enjoy drinking alcohol after taking your medication? If yes, then you must read this. You might be making some mistakes that aren’t good for your health. Your health comes first. So, when that urge to take alcohol after a couple of hours of taking some medication comes, don’t fall for it.

Alright, below are general information on using drugs and alcohol. They are things you need to know to be on the safer side.

Alcohol and drug interaction is the first thing I would like you to know. It happens. And I want you to understand that alcohol and drugs tend to interact in diverse ways.

Now here is something you need to know. Alcohol can make drugs less effective. You might not have any result, no matter how powerful the medication is.

Another thing is alcohol turns drugs into toxic substances for the body. And as a consequence, one can develop serious health problems.

However, most drugs have side effects. It ranges from mild to severe. Now alcohol combined with certain medications can cause the side effects to become even more severe.

Consuming alcohol, together with drugs, can make you feel ill. This combination can cause you to develop new symptoms.

Again, bear in mind that some drugs have the power to make you feel drunker when combined with alcohol. And this can create other health problems for you.

Now this one is for women. Be extremely careful when using alcohol and medications at the same time. In short, don’t encourage this. Finish taking your medicine and be sure there is no trace of the drug in your system. Then you can continue drinking but moderately.

However, the reason for the above caution is this. Blood alcohol levels in females are higher than in men. What I mean is when both sexes consume an equal amount of alcoholic drink.

So, the bottom line is women’s chances of being harmed when they combine alcohol and drug is higher than men’s. The reason is that alcohol dehydrogenase; the enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol in one’s body is lower in female’s body than males.’

Older people also need to be extremely careful. They need to know that alcohol can interact badly with most of the drugs they use. The thing is as one gets older, it takes a longer period for the body to completely breakdown alcohol. The alcohol sits right there in your blood for an extended period.

So please be careful with your use of alcohol as you age. Don’t complicate things by consuming alcohol when you are on serious medication. As I said, it is common for older people to be on medication. And as a result, the chance of a possible interaction is high.

Drugs You Should Never Combine With Alcohol

You may want to know why this topic about alcohol and medication is essential. Here is why.

Studies show that 55 per cent of Americans take prescription drugs often, which is a massive population if you ask me. There is also a report that 30 per cent of Americans take at least one alcoholic drink daily.

I know many people will like to defend themselves by saying alcohol is good for heart health. But that’s when it’s consumed in moderate amount. Bear in mind that there could be problems when alcohol is combined with specific medications. Even if it’s in moderate amount, you might face serious health problems when you take them together.

Alright, let’s take a look at drugs you can’t mix with alcohol. And bear in mind that doing so can create more problems for you.

1. Painkillers

I said before that certain drugs don’t go well with alcohol. Examples are codeine and tramadol. They can cause slowed breathing, including death when combined.

Furthermore, if you are using Aleve and Motrin, then avoid drinking alcohol. Doing so can make you develop stomach bleeding issue and upset stomach.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is another drug that doesn’t combine well with alcohol. The reason is that the liver is responsible for the breaking down of alcohol and the said drug.

However, when the liver is trying to break down the drug, it won’t have the power to accommodate alcohol, I mean break down both the same time. So taking Tylenol and alcohol at the same time can result in severe liver damage.

2. Antibiotics


Another set of drugs you should never combine alcohol with is antibiotics. An example is Flagyl (metronidazole), a popular antibiotic. Mixing alcohol with this drug can result in violent nausea. It also causes vomiting too. Other antibiotics you should avoid when taking alcohol are azithromycin, isoniazid, and nitrofurantoin.

3. Drugs for diabetes

Are you on medication for diabetes? If yes, then hear this. Whether pills or injections, mixing alcohol and diabetes drugs is dangerous. One’s blood sugar levels can become very low as a result.

Other conditions that can develop are vomiting, nausea, and headache, changes in one’s blood pressure, flushing and rapid heartbeat. So make sure you don’t make the mistake of combining alcohol and diabetes medications.

Examples of diabetes pills include glipizide, glyburide, and metformin. Even if new drugs are released in the future, don’t use them together with alcohol.

4. Erectile dysfunction drugs

Are you using erectile dysfunction drugs like Levitra, Viagra or Cialis? If yes, then you need to avoid alcohol for a while. In short, don’t make the mistake of mixing alcohol with these drugs.

When you take alcohol together with these drugs, you can experience flushing, dizziness, headache and may develop low blood pressure.

5. ADHD drugs

If you are on ADHD treatments, please avoid alcohol. Examples of drugs you shouldn’t combine with alcohol are Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse. These drugs may interact when combined with alcohol to cause severe health problems such as poor concentration, dizziness, liver damage, or heart problems.


Now you know the answer to the question “what painkillers can you take with alcohol?” I will also like to add that taking drugs together with alcohol isn’t a good idea. The alcohol can reduce the effect of the drug, or there could be possible interaction. So the best advice is to abstain for a while. A few days, and you will have the entire drugs cleared off your system. Then you can start drinking. And keep in mind that excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to your health too.

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