Antibiotics and alcohol are seen to be a dangerous combination. Specialists suggest avoiding alcohol while taking several drugs.

- Advertisement -

The greatest interest is that consuming alcohol with medications might improve the risk of risky side effects.

Here, we’ll review the safety of combining alcohol and antibiotics. We’ll also describe what effects alcohol can have on your body’s capacity to fight infection.

Can You Take Antibiotics and Alcohol Together?


Alcohol doesn’t make antibiotics less powerful, but consuming alcohol mainly if you drink too much might boost your chance of feeling certain side effects.

- Advertisement -

It would help if you consumed alcohol while taking any of the following antibiotics:

  • cefotetan
  • doxycycline
  • cefoperazone
  • erythromycin
  • metronidazole
  • tinidazole
  • griseofulvin
  • ketoconazole
  • isoniazid
  • linezolid

Joining these antibiotics and alcohol can cause a likely dangerous reaction.

Metronidazole, Tinidazole, Cefoperazone, Cefotetan, and Ketoconazole

Drinking alcohol while taking these drugs can cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • flushing
  • headache
  • fast heartbeat
  • stomach cramps

Don’t drink alcohol before, during, or up to three days after taking these drugs.


Drinking alcohol while taking this medication can cause:

Isoniazid and linezolid

Drinking alcohol with these medications can cause side effects such as:

Doxycycline and erythromycin

Drinking alcohol while taking these antibiotics may make them less effective.

General Side Effects

The specific side effects that an antibiotic can cause depends on the drug. However, some common side effects of antibiotics include:

  • nausea
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • diarrhea

Alcohol can also cause side effects. These include:

  • digestive problems, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and ulcers
  • tiredness
  • an upset stomach

Signs of a negative alcohol-antibiotic reaction include:

  • flushing (reddening and warming of your skin)
  • racing heart rate
  • severe headache

In most situations, these side effects go away on their own. If you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency services number immediately.

What Can You Do

The information label on your antibiotic should include information about alcohol use.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure about the details of your medications.

They may tell you that an occasional drink is OK. But that likely depends on your age, overall health, and the type of drug you’re taking.

If your doctor tells you that you shouldn’t drink alcohol, ask how long you should wait before drinking again. You may need to wait at least 72 hours after finishing your course of antibiotics before having any alcohol.

Effects of alcohol on healing from an infection

Normally, drinking alcohol won’t keep your antibiotic from working to treat your infection. However, it can interfere with your infection’s healing in other ways.

Getting adequate rest and eating a nutritious diet both help you heal from sickness or infection. Taking alcohol can interfere with these factors.

For instance, drinking alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns. It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Alcohol can also prevent your body from absorbing essential nutrients. It can improve your blood sugar levels and zap your energy levels.

All of these circumstances can decrease your body’s ability to heal from an infection. Acute alcohol use, binge drinking, and chronic alcohol use can all be harmful, whether you take medication or not.

Keep in mind that alcohol isn’t just limited to beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks. It can be seen in some mouthwashes and cold medications, too.

Check the ingredient labels on these and other products if you’ve had an alcohol-antibiotic reaction in the past. Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to use these products while you take an antibiotic.

Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics for a short time. You only need to take antibiotics for a week or two to recover from an infection in many instances fully.

Talk with your doctor.

Combining alcohol with antibiotics is unusually a good idea. Both alcohol and antibiotics can cause side results in your body, and drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can increase your risk of these harmful outcomes.

Keep in mind that antibiotics are usually prescribed on a short-term basis. Consider waiting until you’re off the medications to have your next drink. It may reduce the chance of complications or side effects brought on by antibiotics.

Avoiding alcohol will reasonably help you get over your infection more quickly.