View Full Version : Does Penicillin and alcohol mix?

05-15-2003, 12:01 PM
I'm taking penicillin to treat a throat infection, and I'm supposed to go camping this weekend. First camping trip of the year!

Is it okay to mix alcohol and penicillin?

I want to know if I can drink my face-off, or if I can just have a glass of wine or two with my dinner, or if it will be a dry weekend?


One And Only Wanderers
05-15-2003, 12:04 PM
This link claims it to be a myth and has a reason as to how it started.


Charlie Tan
05-15-2003, 12:42 PM
If you ask a MD, you'll prolly get an answer saying "no, it's not OK." I don't have a cite for this, but I was at a party, not drinking because I was on antibiotics. It happens, that at the same party was the head of the medicine clinic at the largest hispital in towen. He said: "Don't worry, go ahead and drink."

The he elaborated.
1. MD's in general are not supposed to encourage use of alcohol.
2. If you drink too much and throw up, and at the same time throw up one of the pills, you're not taking the pills for the proscribed ten days.
3. It might be that a certain brand of anitbiotics and alcohol interacts for you. In that case, it might be harmful.

Of course, IANAMD. What I've written here is not to be taken as professional medical advise.

05-15-2003, 01:13 PM
Well I like the URL Carl gave.

So bottoms up!


Qadgop the Mercotan
05-15-2003, 01:27 PM
If you're on the antibiotic metronidazole (AKA Flagyl) you should avoid ethanol as the combination can make you quite ill. For most other antibiotics, drinking in moderation while on them should not produce deleterious effects in the average patient.


Wyld Stallyn
05-15-2003, 03:52 PM
My buddy was taking penicillin last year and then got drunk. He got wyld that night, resulting in a broken necklace, broken computer chair, and SHATTERED DREAMS!!!!!

But he didn't die. The End.

05-15-2003, 04:35 PM
I've found WebMD to be a good source for this stuff. You can look up the exact medication your on and get all sorts of info on drug interactions and such. I was on Penicillin V recently and the site says the following :

What should I avoid while taking penicillin V?
Alcohol may irritate your stomach if taken with penicillin V, so use it with moderation. Which, of course, corresponds exactly to QtM's post, but why should that stop me?

05-15-2003, 06:21 PM

Drinking while taking antibiotics is never recommended. Pritchard said alcohol can change the availability of the drug and the way the antibiotic is absorbed into the body.


[quote]In combination with acute alcohol consumption, some antibiotics may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, and possibly convulsions[quote]

05-15-2003, 06:50 PM
Does grammar and alcohol mix? I think they doesn't

05-16-2003, 01:03 AM
As Quadgop said in earlier post, there are some drugs and antibiotics that have a "true" interaction with alcohol, and should not be mixed during the entire course of antibiotic therapy.
Penicillin is not one of them.

Alcohol does change the pH of the stomach, and is a drug in itself, so the presence of both, together, in the stomach IMO would probably not present the greatest therapeutic outcome (most possible drug absorbed and circulating in your body).

Another thing to keep in mind is that alcohol is a diuretic. Fluid loss is not usually something to shoot for if you have an infection.

Would I slug my tablet down with a gin& tonic? No. Would it kill me? No. Would I drink a couple of glasses of wine 2 hours after taking the tablet? Shouldn't be a problem.....

05-16-2003, 01:30 AM
Well, one thing, penicillin can bind the GABA(A) receptor. This neuroreceptor in the brain, when activated has an inhibitory function. Penicillin is an antagonist to the receptor function, meaning it blocks the inhibitory function of the activated receptor. Ethanol is of course a depressant, but most likely does not have a specific binding site, but instead acts through bulk effect mechanisms. This sounds a bite like absinthe (where thujone and ethanol have contrasting effects, and the physiological results are quite weird). I don't know about the other specific effects of penicillin, but I wouldn't recommend taking it with ethanol. You're not trying to come up with a new mixed drink are you?

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