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Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Azithromycin

Introduction

Metronidazole is a common antibiotic often sold under the brand name Flagyl. It’s also available as a generic drug. It’s most commonly prescribed as an oral tablet, and it also comes as a vaginal suppository and a topical cream. It is widely used for a variety of bacterial infections.

It’s also no myth that you shouldn’t combine it with alcohol.

Effects from alcohol and azithromycin

Azithromycin starts to work quickly, often within the first couple of days after you start taking it. You’ll probably feel well enough to resume your normal activities soon after you start the drug. Still, you may want to hold off from enjoying your favorite cocktails until you finish treatment.

Alcohol doesn’t appear to reduce the effectiveness of azithromycin. A study done on rats published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that alcohol doesn’t prevent azithromycin from treating the bacterial infection.

That said, drinking alcohol can cause temporary liver damage in some people. This may increase the severity of some of the unpleasant side effects of this drug. Alcohol is also dehydrating. Dehydration can increase the risk of side effects or make them worse if you already have them. These side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • headache

How to take it

If your doctor has prescribed azithromycin capsules, you should take them at least 1 hour before food or 2 hours after.

If you have tablets or liquid, you can take them with or without food.

Swallow tablets and capsules whole with a glass of water. Azithromycin liquid is available for children and people who find it difficult to swallow tablets.

If you or your child are taking azithromycin as a liquid, it'll usually be made up for you by your pharmacist.

The medicine will come with a syringe or spoon to help you measure the right amount. If you don't have one, ask your pharmacist for one.

What are drug interactions?

Anytime you take more than one medication, or even mix it with certain foods, beverages, or over-the-counter medicines, you are at risk of a drug interaction. Most drug interactions are not serious, but because a few are, it is important to understand the possible outcome before you take your medications.

Drug-drug interactions -

These are the most common type of drug interaction. The more medications you take, the greater the chance for your drug interacting with another medicine. Drug-drug interactions can decrease how well your medications work, may increase minor or serious unexpected side effects, or even increase the blood level and possible toxicity of a certain drug. For example, if you take a pain medication, like Vicodin, and a sedating antihistamine, such as Benadryl, at the same time you will have an additive amount of drowsiness as both medications cause this side effect.

Drug-food/beverage interactions -

You have probably seen the stickers on your prescription bottle to “avoid grapefruit juice” at one time or another. This may seem odd, but certain medications can interact with foods or beverages. For example, grapefruit juice can lower the levels of enzymes in your liver responsible for breaking down medications. Blood levels of an interacting drug may rise, leading to toxicity. This interaction can occur with the commonly used statins to lower cholesterol, like atorvastatin, lovastatin, or simvastatin. The result can be muscle pain, or even severe muscle injury known as rhabdomyolysis.

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