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Alcohol-Medication Interactions: Potentially Dangerous Mixes National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism NIAAA

The CDC found that alcohol abuse is common among those who abuse prescription drugs as their primary substance of addiction. One analysis found that alcohol was involved in 18.5 percent of opioid-caused emergency room admissions and 22.1 percent of opioid overdose deaths. Fortunately, educating patients about the risks of combining medications with alcohol may help them avoid negative outcomes. Here, we describe briefly how alcohol and medications can interact, and we provide a few examples of common medications that could interact negatively with alcohol. We provide links to resources to help you mitigate these risks, including a consensus-developed list of potentially serious alcohol-medication interactions in older adults. If a person takes opioids and alcohol together, they may experience severe and dangerous consequences.

  1. In some cases, drinking while using the medication can lead to death.
  2. Because the body’s ability to break down alcohol worsens with age, alcohol stays in the body longer.
  3. They found that many individuals who combined opioids and alcohol felt like they were in a dreamlike trance or not in control of their thoughts.
  4. This can depend on a person’s age, weight, gender, and other factors.
  5. Do not stop using any medication without first talking to your doctor.

The list presented here does not include all the medicines that may interact harmfully with alcohol. Most important, the list does not include all the ingredients in every medication. If your loved one experiences breathing problems after combining hydrocodone and alcohol, call 911 immediately. Emergency workers may be able to prevent an overdose from resulting in long-term health complications.

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This effect may last for a few days after you stop using this medicine. Check with your doctor before taking any of these medicines while you are using this medicine. This article looks at how opioids affect the body, how alcohol affects the body, the lethal potential of combining the two, and other harmful side effects of mixing alcohol and opioids.

Harmful Interactions

Using too much of this medicine may cause infertility (unable to have children). Talk with your doctor before using this medicine if you plan to have children. Using this medicine while you are pregnant may cause neonatal withdrawal syndrome in your newborn babies. Tell your doctor right away if your baby has an abnormal sleep pattern, diarrhea, a high-pitched cry, irritability, shakiness or tremors, weight loss, vomiting, or fails to gain weight. Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm.

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Different types of medications interact with alcohol differently and can have harmful effects, even herbal remedies. Whatever kind of medication you’re harbor house sober living taking, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, you need to know the risks. Medications typically are safe and effective when used appropriately.

If this happens, organs may begin to shut down, and the person may eventually experience brain complications, coma, or death. Opioid pain relievers are generally safe when a doctor prescribes them, and a person takes them for a short amount of time. However, opioids can become addictive, as they produce a euphoric “high” feeling.

Hydrocodone drug interactions

Your caregiver must still get emergency medical help and may need to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on you while waiting for help to arrive. Medicines that interact with hydrocodone may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with hydrocodone. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed. Older people are at particularly high risk for harmful alcohol–medication interactions.

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