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WHY can't you drink on antibiotics? watch

    • Thread Starter

    I'm not saying I want to before I get any patronising statements that it's a bad idea!

    But what I want to know is precisely why it's a bad idea. What would happen if you did?

    A drug has to travel through the bloodstream to the site in the body where it is to have its desired effect. The drug's effects then diminish over time, as it is processed [metabolised] and eliminated from the body. Alcohol behaves in a similar fashion, travelling through the bloodstream, before being metabolised and eliminated, primarily by the liver.

    The extent to which each dose of any drug reaches its site of action may be termed its availability. Alcohol can influence the effectiveness of a drug by altering its availability. A single drink of alcohol or several drinks over some hours may prevent a drug's metabolism by competing with the drug for the same processing sites within the liver. This type of interaction prolongs the drug's availability, and may increase the risk of side effects from the drug. On the other hand, chronic alcohol abuse may cause an increase in the liver's ability to process the drug, thus decreasing availability and reducing its effects. This effect may persist for several weeks after stopping drinking. To complicate matters further, a drug may affect the way in which alcohol is broken down, increasing the risk of becoming intoxicated.

    I see from your details that you are taking Floxapen, and this medicine is excreted from the body primarily through the kidneys in the urine and only a small amount is dealt with by the liver. Generally speaking therefore, it is unlikely that drinking alcohol in moderation while on Floxapen would adversely effect its therapeutic action.

    However, before embarking on such a course of action, do check with your own doctor, in case there are any complicating personal factors that neither of us are aware of. The effects of certain antibiotics will be reduced when taken in combination with alcohol and as a rule, one should avoid combining alcohol with any medication.

    There's also the fact that many antibiotics can cause sleepiness / drowsiness etc which is obviously made worse by alcohol, and generally have the effect of making you seem to get drunker faster. So you could really overpace yourself. But mainly it's the drug thing. That's just why they blanket ban all antibiotics, even ones with no known interaction.
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