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Antibiotics and alcohol: risks and side effects

  1. It is a common claim that you should refrain from drinking alcohol while on antibiotic treatment. But what is true about that claim? After all, not all antibiotics are the same and the package insert for some species does not even mention the consumption of alcohol during the treatment. So what should you pay attention to when taking antibiotics and simultaneously using alcohol?

Antibiotics usually only available on prescription

  1. Antibiotics are prescribed by doctors for bacterial infections. They are high-dose medicines and are therefore rightly subject to prescription. The body weakened by the infection is further burdened by the use of alcohol, because the administration of antibiotics, which must contribute to the cure, are already a burden in itself. Anyone who is so sick should in any case refrain from all kinds of stimulants of any kind in order not to adversely affect the healing process.

Don't overdo it with alcohol

  1. If you take antibiotics, however, it is usually the case that you are allowed to drink a glass of wine or a beer, without fear of wrong side effects. Normally, however, patients refrain from alcohol consumption in that case. Because it is of course better if you do not overdo it with alcohol, do not go on a pub crawl, for example, and rather wait to drink until you have fully recovered.

What happens when antibiotics are used in combination with alcohol?

  1. Antibiotics, like alcohol, are broken down in the liver. However, the simultaneous breakdown of both substances can lead to problems: either the effect of the antibiotics is reduced or the alcohol effect is enhanced. Anyone who is not sure about any side effects from taking an antibiotic and alcohol and cannot find anything about this in the package insert, should either consult a doctor or pharmacist or refrain from alcoholic beverages completely during treatment. Incidentally, the use of antibiotics is not only questionable in conjunction with alcohol, but also during vigorous physical exertion and sports.

Caution is advised with some cephalosporins

  1. With some active ingredients, patients really need to explicitly refrain from alcohol while on antibiotic treatment. This applies, for example, to some cephalosporins, a group of antibiotics with a broad effect:

Possible side effects

  1. All these substances, in combination with alcohol, can actually lead to:

Antibiotics and alcohol: conclusions

  1. Finally, we would like to recapitulate the most important conclusions about the concomitant use of antibiotics and alcohol:

  2. Finally, we would like to recapitulate the main conclusions about the concomitant use of antibiotics and alcohol:

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