Why Can’t I Take Metronidazole and Alcohol?

Sometime we cannot avoid alcohol or liquors especially when you are socializing with friends or some interesting people you have just met. We also drink when we feel lonely, happy, or there is a special event that needs to be celebrated. Some people might also drink because they just want to relax after a stressful work. Whatever the reasons why you are drinking, remember to drink only moderately. But if you are taking a drug for treating some ailments, then you need to reconsider whether it is okay to drink or not. Often times alcohol is a dangerous combination of drugs or medicines due to its possible interactions, like magnifying the possible side effects, or interacting with the drug’s functions, making it either less effective or dangerous. Among these drugs is metronidazole. So why is it that you are not allowed to take metronidazole and alcohol at the same time? This article might give you some answers so read on!

Metronidazole is a type of antibiotic used for the treatment of various infections in the stomach, joints, central nervous system, vagina, skin, and respiratory tract. Your doctor might also recommend you with metronidazole for other purposes not mentioned here. Although it is a very effective antibiotic drug, metronidazole cannot be used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Moreover, every precaution must be taken seriously while the treatment is on to avoid potential side effects. This includes substances that might magnify the side effects, like alcohol.

Doctors believe that metronidazole and alcohol cannot be mixed together since the drug has the capability to disable the body from breaking down alcohol. This results to high levels of acetaldehyde in the blood, described by excess accumulation of alcohol in the system. The effects are activated after 10 minutes of taking the liquor and it lasts for a number of hours. The side effects of the metronidazole and alcohol mixture are flushing, headaches, hypotension or low blood pressure, vomiting, difficulties in breathing, irregular heart rates, and nausea. The reactions may become severe and are often times not predictable, making it even more dangerous.

Recently, there has been little studies devoted to the possible dangerous of mixing metronidazole and alcohol, but previous records have shown some patients who had taken metronidazole and alcohol together and suffered serious symptoms. One death was also reported between 1969 and 1982 as a result of the metronidazole and alcohol combo.

As a summary, although there has been little amount of journals and cases that could support the fact that metronidazole and alcohol is a dangerous mix, you should take every precaution when you are on your process of treatment. Remember that it is still better to prevent than cure, and it is never a good idea to compromise your health or your life just because you have chosen leisure over serious instructions given to you by your health care professional. Try to finish first the whole period of treatment first. And once you have recovered from your ailment, you will see that the sacrifice is worth it.