From Our 2010 Archives
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Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines

Mixing alcohol and medicines puts you at risk for dangerous reactions. Protect yourself by avoiding alcohol if you are taking a medication and don't know its effect. To learn more about a medicine and whether it will interact with alcohol, talk to your pharmacist or other health care provider.

Symptom/Disorders Medication Possible reactions
Allergies/Colds/Flu Alavert (loratadine) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose
Allegra, Allegra-D (fexofenadin)
Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
Clarinex (desloratadine)
Claritin, Claritin-D (loratadine)
Dimetapp Cold & Allergy (brompheniramine)
Sudafed Sinus & Allergy (chlorpheniramine)
Triaminic® Cold & Allergy (chlorpheniramine)
Tylenol Allergy Sinus (chlorpheniramine)
Zyrtec (cetirizine)
Angina (chest pain), coronary heart disease Isordil (isosorbide) Rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure, dizziness, fainting
Nitroglycerin
Anxiety and epilepsy Ativan (lorazepam) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; and memory problems
Klonopin (clonazepam)
Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
Paxil (paroxetine)
Valium (diazepam)
Xanax (alprazolam)
Arthritis Celebrex (celecoxib) Ulcers, stomach bleeding, liver problems
Naprosyn (naproxen)
Voltaren (diclofenac)
Blood clots Coumadin (warfarin) Occasional drinking may lead to internal bleeding; heavier drinking also may cause bleeding or may have the opposite effect, resulting in possible blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks
Cough Delsym, Robitussin Cough (dextromethorpan) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose
Depression Anafranil (clomipramine) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; increased feelings of depression or hopelessness in adolescents (suicide)
Celexa (citalopram)
Desyrel (trazodone)
Effexor (venlafaxine)
Elavil (amitriptyline)
Lexapro (escitalopram)
Luvox (fluvoxamine)
Norpramin (desipramine)
Paxil (paroxetine)
Prozac (fluoxetine)
Serzone (nefazodone)
Wellbutrin (bupropion)
Zoloft (sertraline)
St. John's Wort
Diabetes Glucophage (metformin) Abnormally low blood sugar levels, flushing reaction (nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure)
Micronase (glyburide)
Orinase (tolbutamide)
Enlarged prostate Cardura (doxazosin) Dizziness, light headedness, fainting
Flomax (tamsulosin)
Hytrin (terazosin)
Minipress (prazosin)
Heartburn, indigestion, sour stomach Axid (nizatidine) Rapid heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure (metoclopramide); increased alcohol effect
Reglan (metoclopramide)
Tagamet (cimetidine)
Zantac (ranitidine)
High blood pressure Accupril (quinapril) Dizziness, fainting, drowsiness; heart problems such as changes in the heart's regular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
Capozide (hydrochlorothiazide)
Cardura (doxasozin)
Catapres (clonidine)
Cozaar (losartan)
Hytrin (terazosin)
Lopressor HCT (hydrochlorothiazide)
Lotensin (benzapril)
Minipress (prazosin)
Vaseretic (enalapril)
High cholesterol Advicor (lovastatin/niacin) Liver damage (all medications); increased flushing and itching (niacin), increased stomach bleeding (pravastatin + aspirin)
Altocor (lovastatin)
Crestor (rosuvastatin)
Lipitor (atorvastatin)
Mevacor (lovastatin)
Niaspan (niacin)
Pravachol (pravastatin)
Pravigard (pravatatin/aspirin)
Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin)
Zocor (simvastatin)
Infections Acrodantin (nitrofurantoin) Fast heartbeat, sudden changes in blood pressure; stomach pain, upset stomach, vomiting, headache, or flushing or redness of the face; liver damage (isoniazid, ketokonazole)
Flagyl (metronidazole)
Grisactin (griseofulvin)
Nizoral (ketokonazole)
Nydrazid (isoniazid)
Seromycin (cycloserine)
Tindamax (tinidazole)
Muscle pain Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of seizures; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems
Soma (carisoprodol)
Nausea, motion sickness Antivert (meclizine) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose
Atarax (hydroxyzine)
Dramamine (dimenhyrinate)
Phenergan (promenthazine)
Pain (such as headache, muscle ache, minor arthritis pain), fever, inflammation Advil (ibruoprofen) Stomach upset, bleeding and ulcers; liver damage (acetaminophen); rapid heartbeat
Aleve (naproxen)
Excedrin (aspirin/acetaminophen)
Motrin (ibuprofen)
Tylenol (acetaminophen)
Seizures Dilantin (phenytoin) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk of seizures
Klonopin (clonazepam/phenobarbital)
Severe pain from injury, postsurgical care, oral surgery, migraines Darvocet–N (propoxyphene) Drowsiness, dizziness; increased risk for overdose; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems
Demerol (merepidine)
Fiorinal with codeine (butalbital/codeine)
Percocet (oxycodone)
Vicodin (hydrocodone)
Sleep problems Ambien (zolpidem) Drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness; slowed or difficulty breathing; impaired motor control; unusual behavior; memory problems
Lunesta (eszopiclone)
Prosom (estazolam)
Restoril (temazepam)
Sominex (diphenhydramine)
Unisom (doxylamine)

SOURCES:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

of the National Institutes of Health



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