Pain Relievers vs Alcohol?

Why are we cautioned not to drink alcohlic beverages when taking some pain relivers, such as ibuprofen? What will happen if one does? And is there a time frame, such as do not drink for X hours after taking the medication, or do not take for X hours after ones last drink?


I am not a doctor- repeat- I am not a doctor
But I worked in a retail then a hospital pharmacy for 7 years and I’ve taken large doses of Ibuprophin for years for chronic back pain. A few reasons not to drink while taking pain meds (the reasons vary depending on the drug- ask your doc or pharmacist for detailed info)

  1. some pain killers mix very bad with alcohol- can cause serious respiration depression, dizziness, all kinds of bad things.
    2- alcohol and Ibu in particular are a bad combo for your stomach. And also your liver. In fact, if you take a lot of Ibu or Tyl. you should get blood tests to make sure your liver is OK. Your stomach is a different story- mixing can cause gasteritis, nausa, and vomiting.

So, in short- don’t do both. If you are in doubt, your local pharmacist can be very helpful. They are the best people to tell you how long to wait before drinking after taking Ibu. (I usually wait around 3 hours, but that’s just me)

It was dark all around.
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free-

I ususally take alcohol INSTEAD of the pain reliever depending on what’s bothering me. Headaches and such, an asprin or something. But I find nothing relaxes a sore back like a nice gin and tonic. :wink:

I take three drugs and they must be spaced out minimum 2 hours apart. (from each other as well as other food).

Also when I was on an antibotic they told me to space that out another 2 hours.

2 hours seems to be the standard. Before and after.

The reason Karen Ann Quinlan was in a coma was because she drank while she was on some kind of prescription med. I think she had been told not to drink, but I’m not sure how strenuously she’d been warned. At any rate, that case is more than likely the reason there are now such strenuous warnings on prescription bottles. (This was before everything had a warning on it.)

Remember, I’m pulling for you; we’re all in this together.
—Red Green