If you’ve spent a night out with friends and notice you feel more intoxicated than usual, one thing to ask yourself is if you’ve had a medication today that you don’t normally take. Perhaps you are using an antihistamine or you’re taking a new pain medication. Whatever the medication is, if it interacts with alcohol, you could face more significant side effects and be unsafe to drive.
Most people realize that drinking too much is dangerous, but did you know that mixing alcohol with your medications could be, too? Depending on what you take, some drugs will interact and make the side effects of alcohol and the medication more pronounced. Other interactions could be dangerous or even deadly, depending on what they are.
Don’t mix medications and alcohol if they interact
It is a bad idea to mix medications with alcohol if there is a risk of an interaction. For example, if you’re taking a central nervous system depressant, you should not drink alcohol with it. This is because alcohol is also a depressant, so the two together could have serious, if not fatal, effects by causing you to stop breathing.
When people combine alcohol and medications, they are more likely to have side effects like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, sleepiness and others. If they’re behind the wheel when those symptoms hit, then they’re more likely to have serious complications with the law.
What should you do if you mix medications with alcohol accidentally?
If you mixed your medications with alcohol and aren’t sure about the side effects, you can usually look them up and search for interactions using a smart device or contact poison control. Many medications can be used alongside alcohol with minimal effects, but that doesn’t mean that all medications interact in people’s bodies the same way.
It’s better to avoid mixing medications with alcohol whenever possible. If you do mix them, wait and see how you’re affected. If you feel any side effects, it’s better to avoid driving and to have someone else drive you to your destination for the night (or to a hospital, if they’re bad enough). If you don’t, then you could end up facing a drunk driving charge.