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Effects of Combining Alcohol With Prescriptions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of Americans on at least one prescription in the past 30 days was 48.5% (2007-2010).

With approximately half of the population on at least one medication, it’s no wonder why the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism warns the public about mixing alcohol with medicine.

If you have taken medication, you have probably read the familiar warnings on drug labels. The danger is not imagined, it is real. When you mix alcohol with certain medications, it can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • A loss of coordination

Mixing certain prescriptions with alcohol can put you at an increased risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulty breathing. Further, mixing medication and alcohol can make the medicine ineffective and useless, causing it to be toxic for your body.

Even some herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl® can be harmful when they are combined with alcohol. What’s more, certain medicines can contain up to 10% alcohol, and those with some of the highest concentrations include cough syrups and laxatives.

Medications that Intensify Alcohol’s Effects

While there are dozens of medications that intensify alcohol’s effects, here is a list of some of the common medications that don’t mix with alcohol:

  • Ambien
  • Lunesta
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Zyrtec
  • Paxil, Valium, Xanax
  • Celebrex
  • Adderall, Coumadin
  • Delsym
  • Abilify, Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac, Risperdal etc.

These drugs are only the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous medications for heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, seizures, and pain that when combined with alcohol, cause harmful interactions.

How the Interaction Can Impair Driving

Alcohol can make you groggy, so when you drink alcohol while taking medicine, these effects can be amplified. You could have trouble concentrating, and difficulty driving a motor vehicle.

Even if you have just one or two drinks, if you are on a drug that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol, you could be risking your health and safety, and significantly increasing the risk of a crash and a DUI, as compared to having no medication in your system.

Were you arrested for DUI in Orange County because you mixed alcohol with your prescription? If so, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for the high caliber DUI defense representation you need!