Which Medications Shouldn’t be Mixed with Alcohol?


While opioid medications are most talked about in America at the moment, it doesn’t mean we should forget about the potential side-effects of other drugs. For example, certain medications are known to cause serious side effects when mixed with alcohol, and some of these side effects can be life-threatening and pose other long-term health risks. The following medications should never be consumed with alcohol.


Also known as hydrocodone-acetaminophen, this popular painkiller is known to cause serious harm to the body when consumed with alcohol. Breathing difficulties and other life-threatening conditions can develop if the two are combined. Vicodin and alcohol may also result in a loss of bodily control and cause memory, mood and behavioral problems.


Adderall is often prescribed to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When alcoholic beverages are consumed while taking this medication, liver damage and heart problems can occur. Dizziness, fatigue, and concentration difficulties are other side effects that may be experienced.


This blood pressure medication is classified as an ACE inhibitor and sometimes prescribed under the non-generic names Prinivil and Zestril. Drinking alcoholic beverages should be done at an absolute minimum if this drug has been prescribed to prevent complications such as lightheadedness and fainting. Disturbances in the heart’s rhythm (arrhythmia) may also occur if alcohol is regularly consumed while taking Lisinopril.


People who suffer from anxiety, insomnia and muscle spasms are often prescribed Xanax to relieve symptoms. Even though it’s generally safe to take Xanax alone, central nervous system problems can develop when combined with alcohol. Since Xanax is classified as a sedative, alcohol can further slow the respiratory system and inhibit the coughing reflex, which may lead to death. When alcohol and Xanax are combined, they take longer to clear the body and further increase mortality risk. Taking Xanax with prescription drugs like Norco and Oxycodone can also be deadly.


Mental health professionals often prescribe lithium to treat bipolar disorder. When combined with alcohol, Lithium is known to lead to restlessness, muscle tremors and muscle and joint pain. Upset stomach, irregular bowel movements and loss of appetite may also be experienced by some people who mix alcohol and lithium. Liver damage is another serious side effect.


Ibuprofen drugs include over-the-counter medicines such as Advil and Motrin. They are often taken to relieve headaches and other pain but can cause internal bleeding and stomach ulcers when taken with alcohol. The combination of Ibuprofen and alcohol is also known to result in liver damage and a rapid heartbeat.


According to Prevail Intervention, Percocet is one of the most abused pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. Taking Percocet with alcohol makes it easier to become addicted to the drug and prolonged use of this combination can lead to severe liver damage, eventual liver failure, overdose and death.

If a doctor prescribes any of these medications, it is best to refrain from drinking alcohol so that major health problems can be avoided. The combination of alcohol with these medications may have devastating effects. It’s also important to point out that drugs can also mix badly with other medications. According to Craig Swapp, if a physician prescribes a medication to a patient, who has also been taking another documented medication, and it leads to death, it could be considered wrongful. Overall, remember that medication may help us immensely, but that they are dangerous when used incorrectly. Always get a physician’s advice, research yourself, and be cautious.


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