4. Opioid Pain Medications
Prescription painkillers containing opiates can prove dangerous when combined with alcohol. Alcohol increases the sedative effects of opioid analgesics and can result in excessive drowsiness, decreased mental cognition, and a slowed respiratory rate. Studies show that combining even one oxycodone pill with a small amount of alcohol can result in respiratory depression. This condition occurs when an individual’s breathing rate slows, becomes dangerously shallow, or even stops. The elderly are particularly at risk for this side effect.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is another pain medication that can form a dangerous combination with alcohol. This medication has long been used to treat headaches, muscle aches, pain from trauma, and to reduce fever. However, acetaminophen can cause liver damage when taken in excess. The combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can increase the risk of liver damage and liver failure. To protect your liver, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages when using acetaminophen.
2. Seizure Medications
Antiepileptic medications work by decreasing overactive electrical signals in the brain. As with any medications that affect the brain and central nervous system, antiepileptic medications can interact with alcohol. Drinking alcohol while using anticonvulsants can lead to increased dizziness, drowsiness, and mental impairment. In addition, alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of antiepileptic medications, resulting in an increased risk of seizures.
1. Sleeping Pills
Many of the medications used for anxiety are also used to treat sleep disorders and aid in achieving a good night’s sleep. Benzodiazepines not only provide a soothing effect on frazzled nerves, but they can also help relax a person and aid in sleep. Combining them with alcohol can increase their side effects, leading to memory issues, decreased motor control, and dangerously slowed breathing. Some sleeping medications utilize antihistamines, which may also lead to excessive grogginess and mental impairment when individuals use them and consume alcohol.Related: 10 Pain Medication Secrets Your Doctor May Not Tell You