Portneuf Health Partners

May 9th, 2019

“Prescription painkillers, sedatives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics are the most commonly used drugs mixed with alcohol,” claims the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Mixing these two substances may increase your risk of overdose and damage to the body. In 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found around 16 million US citizens reported prescription drug abuse.

Combining alcohol with prescription drugs may cause a counter effect and reduce the purpose and effectiveness of a prescription medication. In addition, combining alcohol with prescription medication may also induce the drug to create an even more harmful effect on the body.

Unfortunately, prescriptions mixed with alcohol consumption occur more frequently than expected. The dangerous combination may not always be intentional; failure to read the labels accurately can put individuals at an increased risk for harmful side effects. People may also have the impression that the effect of the drug is completely out of your body’s system before it has been fully depleted from your system.

Chronic health issues may develop if an individual mixes alcohol and prescription drugs frequently. Issues can vary from heart problems; stroke or heart attack; liver damage; internal bleeding; brain damage; depression; anxiety or other mental health problems.

Side effects of may include:

  • Upset stomach, nausea
  • Fatigue, drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Coordination loss
  • Emotional change

If the label on a prescription drug does not list a warning, this does not indicate it can be mixed with other substances. Always contact your physician or pharmacist and ask if alcohol should be avoided with prescribed medication. If you or someone you know mixes these substances together and experience life-threatening consequences such as breathing issues, blue-colored lips and fingernails, uncontrollable vomiting, seizures and coma call 911 immediately.

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