Drinking with Antibiotics?

I’m currently taking Biaxin for a sore throat. Will it hurt me to drink alcohol while I’m on this medicine? My mother says it will, but she’s something of an amature physician and rarely has any reason for her medical theories.

Obviously I’m not talking about drinking myself into oblivion, but will a few beers really make me sick?

pls advise, I’m going bowling in a few hours and would very much like to know whether or not to put in on a pitcher of sweet, sweet beer.

I don’t think the alcohol will affect the antibiotics, but the antibiotics are supposed to work with your body’s own immune system, and alcohol can’t be good for that.

Alcohol also dehydrates you, which is something I woudn’t recommend for someone with a sore throat under any circumstances.

Alcohol will generally render the antibiotics useless. It won’t ‘hurt’ you (no side-effects, that I know of) but if you’re on antibiotics for a reason, don’t drink alcohol.

I’m not a doctor, but my dad is, and I’ve asked him the same question when I was on antibiotics. I don’t know anything about Biaxin in particular, but I’m guessing you still should refrain from drinking for the time being.

Well, I suspected as much, but was hoping to hear something different…

thanks anyway.

I’ve taken at least one antibiotic that caused me to become violently ill (i.e. puking my guts out) after drinking just one bottle of beer.

I’ve been prescribed various antibiotics for various conditions over the years, and none of the doctors, nor any of the druggists recommended forgoing alcohol while taking the drug.

I make a practice of getting the full documentation for any new drug I’m prescribed. The “fear sheets” for all those different antibiotics were also silent on the issue of alcohol. I believe we are discussing either an outmoded belief or an Urban Legend.

(My doctorate is not in medicine, and this post was performed by trained professional software on a closed course.)

I never drink with antibiotics – they never buy a round.


Alcohol should not be taken with metronidazole (Flagyl) as the combination can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Grisactin, Atabrine, and Furoxone should likewise not be mixed with alcohol

While there is some theoretical risk that alcohol may lower the antibiotic’s absorption from the GI tract, consumption of in moderation (and there’s the dirty word. This does mean less than 2 glasses of wine/shots of whisky/bottles of beer a day) is not absolutely contra-indicated with other antibiotics. Higher doses of alcohol with antibiotics may lower seizure thresholds.

Alcohol should not be taken with the anti-fungal Ketoconazole.


IANA Mod, nor am I a doctor, but bear in mind that the usual disclaimers will apply to any advice, medical or otherwise, given in this thread. We don’t know about any other medications or medical conditions you may have, so don’t expect anything more than generic info which may or may not apply in your situation.

And no, that’s not a slap at QtM; it just reminded me to mention this.

You could always phone a pharmacy and ask them, or your doctor if s/he’s available.

The name Flagyl rings a bell. If it’s normally prescribed for [sub]cough[/sub] girlie things, that’s probably the one that drinking made me ill on.

Metronidazole is a very useful antibiotic, helpful in a wide variety of conditions. However, it is most commonly prescribed for trichomonas and bacterial vaginitis. Also for clostridium difficile infections.

Just thought you’d want to know.

And I’ll second jr8’s precautions. I try to remember to talk about general cases here. For individual health concerns, speak to your own health provider.