Alcohol and Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US, and alcohol is the most commonly abused substance.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Amoxicillin?
While it is less dangerous to drink alcohol while taking Amoxicillin than it is to drink with many other drugs, it is still highly recommended that potential drinkers abstain.
Amoxicillin, sometimes called Amoxil, is an antibiotic similar to penicillin that treats bacterial infections, including ones plaguing the ears, nose, skin, urinary tract, lungs, and throat.
Patients needing relief for bacterial infections can take Amoxicillin orally via extended-release tablets or immediate-release tablets. Both types of oral tablets can either be chewed or swallowed. The typical strength of Amoxicillin dosage is 500mg or 875mg, and doses are taken anywhere between 8 to 12 hours with food.
Common and Short-Term Effects of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin has both short and long-term effects that varying in severity. The effects of Amoxicillin are generally mild to moderate depending on the individual’s sensitivity to the drug. If someone is hypersensitive to Amoxicillin, he or she may endure the following symptoms:
- Black, swollen hairy tongue
- Stomach pain
- Yeast infections
The effects of Amoxicillin can vary based on whether or not the individuals have surpassed their recommended dosage. Side effects like diarrhea can lead to other symptoms like dehydration. Dehydration is a special concern when Amoxicillin is combined with alcohol, which also causes dehydration. Headaches can increase irritability and distract patients from completing every day activities, which can also be made worse with alcohol. Usually, short-term of non-life-threatening side effects disappear within days or weeks.
Less Common and Long-Term Effects of Amoxicillin
Individuals can experience breathing problems, problems urinating, or have seizures as a result of Amoxicillin. Allergic reactions can produce rashes on the skin and discomfort to the individual. There are other symptoms that are problematic, including:
- Dark urine/problems urinating
- Bruising and abnormal bleeding
- Menstrual problems
- Liver damage
- Flu-like symptoms
- Open sores from exposed blisters
The long-term effects from Amoxicillin can worsen depending on how often someone uses the medication. If someone combines Amoxicillin with another prescription medication or substance like alcohol, symptoms can become more complex due to both chemicals reacting.
Additionally, individuals suffering diabetes or kidney disease can increase their likelihood of effects such as dark urine (diabetes) or worsening kidney disease. Other long-term effects of Amoxicillin include brain fog, depression, hallucinations, and psychotic disorders. The latter effects are more common in Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin combinations.
Alcohol and Amoxicillin
Although it is comparatively less dangerous to drink while taking Amoxicillin, patients taking an antibiotic with alcohol should always be careful. Alcohol can weaken your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria. Doctors typically discourage patients to use alcohol while drinking, as individuals can increase the time it takes to recover and endure increased side effects. If someone binge drinks and takes Amoxicillin, he or she is exposing him or herself to challenging side effects ranging from blacking out, aggressive behavior, and alcohol dependence. At worse, alcohol dependences can encourage a tolerance, and possibly an alcohol use disorder.
Be Proactive, and Get Help Today
Fighting off a substance use disorder, or combining medications with other chemicals can be dangerous. If you or a loved one cannot taper use, or seek to mix medications, this can be harmful. You may risk having a substance use disorder and may not realize it. Contact a dedicated treatment provider who can guide you to the best rebab facility for your needs. Facilities offer a safe space for individuals to heal with counseling, peer groups, and medications.
Clinical Reviewer — Last Reveiwed: October 2, 2019
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Drugs.com. (2019). Amoxicillin/ Clarithromycin/Lansoprazole Side Effects. Retrieved on August 2, 2019 at https://www.drugs.com/sfx/amoxicillin-clarithromycin-lansoprazole-side-effects.html
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