Unless specifically given the go signal by a physician, medications and alcohol should never be taken together. This is a mistake that often leads to disastrous results for those who do so. The interaction between the two substances could cause a reaction in the body that could range from slight discomfort to death.
Some would justify this with the belief that some medications are not as dangerous as others when taken with alcohol. One example is when people take amoxicillin and alcohol together.
Amoxicillin is a popular antibiotic widely used in the treatment of bacterial infections. It is commonly used to treat skin and pulmonary infections, with some doctors prescribing it for urinary tract infections as well.
Some actually believe that since alcohol is also used in eliminating bacteria, taking amoxicillin with alcohol will double the efficacy. This, however, is not the case.
Despite what some believe, the truth of the matter is that alcohol actually slows the healing process of the body. A medical study done on the issue showed that alcohol reduced the levels of the protein cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide, an essential component of the body’s immune system.
This protein naturally helps the body eliminate bacteria, and a reduction of it will seriously compromise the healing process.
Apart from the reduction of the protein, alcohol usually leaves people dehydrated, which accounts for the terrible feeling of a hangover. This is because the body identifies alcohol as a toxin that must be flushed out, and when it does, most other substances in the body, including antibiotics, also get flushed out as well.
If the antibiotics were promptly flushed out, they would not have done their antibacterial task on the infection, allowing the infection to stay longer.
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The most common reaction when someone takes alcohol with antibiotics is that the chances of side effects happening is increased and prolonged.
Although intended to eliminate bacteria in the body, antibiotics also tend to affect other bodily systems as well. On its own, antibiotics often cause:
These side effects are often compounded when alcohol is added into the mix, with some side effects becoming more severe than they usually are. In other cases, the side effects last longer than they should when alcohol is present in the body.
Strictly speaking, there have been no serious and immediate health concerns reported from an amoxicillin and alcohol interaction. While there are antibiotics that should never be taken with alcohol because they tend to result in complications, amoxicillin is not one of them.
The concern, however, is that people who tend to binge on alcohol could develop a separate condition that could hamper the effects of amoxicillin as an antibacterial or aggravate the side effects that people experience from the antibiotic.