An astonishing 42% of Americans admitted to drinking alcohol and taking prescription medications that can negatively interact with alcohol in a recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. As the holiday season approaches, many people will unthinkingly mix a drug that doesn't mix well with alcohol with a glass of wine or a few mixed drinks. Many people mix these prescription medications and alcohol unaware that this intensifies the effects of either the drug or the alcohol. If you have a problem with addiction, call our Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center - Legacy Freedom. We can help you beat addiction this holiday season.
Negative interactions don't occur every time prescription medications and alcohol are mixed. The risk of an adverse interaction is impacted by several different factors including your liver function, overall health, and other variables. Another variable to consider is how long the medication lasts in your system. Some medicines that require you to take them only once a day can remain in your system for quite some time. Not knowing their precise longevity makes it even more difficult to judge when it is safe to drink after taking your medication. Knowing the half-life of your drug can help. The half-life tells you how long a pill stays in your system. Experts agree that it takes at least five half-lives before a medication is out of your system. To know how long your medication's half-life is you can consult the manufacturer's website for the drug information. If a drug has a half-life of 24 hours, after 24 hours it will be half out of your system, after 48 hours another half of the remaining amount will be eliminated from your system and then after 72 hours, the other half will be gone. This leaves about 1/8th of the original dose left. For the best Wilmington rehab for alcohol or drugs, call Legacy.
The more often you take medication, the more likely you are to have a reaction with alcohol and vice-versa. The number of medications you regularly take as well as your age also impact your ability to metabolize both the alcohol and the medicine at the same time. Both the regular ingestion of prescription medication and alcohol impede your liver function thereby increasing the risk for interaction between the two.
Here are some of the most common drugs that have interactions with alcohol:
Cough Medications: This time of year everyone seems to be battling some sort of a cough. When you combine medicines like Robitussin or Mucinex with alcohol you may experience extreme drowsiness or dizziness. Particular caution should be taken to avoid mixing cough syrup that contains codeine with alcohol. The mixture of these two could be potentially life-threatening.
Cold, Flu or Allergy Medications: Claritin, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Sudafed and other cold and allergy medications are commonly used during the late fall and into early winter. Combining these medications with alcohol can result in more drowsiness than usual and can pose an increasing threat to overall liver health.
Over the Counter Fever Reducers and Pain Medications: Mixing medicines like Aleve, Tylenol, Advil, Exedrine or Motrin with alcohol can cause severe liver damage. Other more immediate side effects of mixing the two include stomach bleeds, ulcers, nausea, and heart palpitations.
Prescription Pain Medications: Mixing these drugs with alcohol is a serious no-no. Difficulty breathing, memory problems, loss of motor control and dizziness are all possible side effects. Medications in this category include Percocet, Demerol, and Vicodin.
Anti-Anxiety Medications: Difficulty breathing, dizziness, and increased risk of overdose and drowsiness are all excellent reasons not to mix alcohol with these medications. If you take Xanax, Paxil, Klonopin or Ativan regularly, skip the booze this holiday.
Anti-Depressant Medications: Mixing these drugs with alcohol opens you up to a vast number of unpleasant side effects including loss of motor control, liver damage, dangerously elevated blood pressure, and cardiovascular risks. You might also experience increased feelings of hopelessness or depression, drowsiness, and an increased risk of overdose. Drugs in this category include Lexapro, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Celexa, Zoloft, Seroquel, Pamate, and Nardil.
Blood Pressure Medications: Heart arrhythmias, loss of consciousness, dizziness, and drowsiness are all side effects of mixing alcohol with drugs designed to control high blood pressure. Drugs commonly prescribed for this use include Losartan, Norvasc, Lopressor HCT, and Lotensin.
Blood Thinner Medications: When combined with alcohol Coumadin and Lovenox can create a perilous situation very quickly. Mixing alcohol with these drugs could lead to internal bleeding, blood clots, heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol Medications: Mild irritations like flushing or itching are common when you combine drugs like Lipitor, Niaspan, Vytorin, Pravigard, Crestor, and Zocor with alcohol. However, more severe side effects like stomach bleeding or liver damage can also occur.
Concentration and Attention Medications: Losing the ability to concentrate, increased risk of liver or cardiovascular damage, and drowsiness are just some of the side effects that occur when you mix drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta or Dexedrine Strattera with alcohol. Don't let addiction ruin your life, call Legacy Freedom. Our Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center can help you.
Heartburn Medications: Increased heart rate as well as a reduced tolerance for alcohol can be expected when you combine alcohol with drugs like Nexium and Zantac.
Sleep Medication: Drowsiness, sleepiness, difficulty remembering, loss of motor control, and erratic behavior can all be expected when you combine alcohol with sleep medications like Lunesta, Ambien, and Sominex.
Diabetes Medications: Dangerous blood sugar fluctuations can occur while you are taking diabetes medications and using alcohol. These changes can cause vomiting, nausea, blood pressure issues, heart palpitations, and headaches. Users of drugs like Glynase, Micronase, and Diabinese should avoid using alcohol while taking medication.
Wilmington NC Alcohol Rehab For The Holidays
Be sure to consult with your primary doctor before drinking alcohol this holiday season. If someone you love struggles with a drinking problem and is dependent on prescription medications to maintain their health, Legacy Freedom can help. Let our Wilmington NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center help your loved one overcome their dependence on alcohol before it has catastrophic consequences for their health.
Call or click to connect with Legacy Freedom and take back control of your life today!