Is it safe to take doxycycline and alcohol together, or are you supposed to wait for some time? Many people believe that drinking alcohol after or before taking doxycycline is not good for their health. If it is not good for your health, you must know the risks of doxycycline and alcohol. Here’s all you need to know.
Antibiotics are drugs that destroy bacteria and help treat or prevent bacterial infections. You might have come across numerous antibiotics such as doxycycline, azithromycin, tetracycline, etc. They are available to consume orally. However, not all antibiotics will interact with alcohol. Let’s find out if doxycycline does or not.
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What is doxycycline?
Doxycycline is an antibiotic used for treating different bacterial infections. It is used to treat skin infections and respiratory issues. It is also used for preventing malaria, a disease caused by parasites from mosquitoes. There are several types of antibiotics with different classes.
Doxycycline falls under the tetracycline class, which functions by interfering with the bacteria’s ability to produce proteins. This will inhibit the bacterias from thriving and growing inside the body and prevent the infection caused due to them.
Doxycycline and alcohol may interact with each other similar to other antibiotics.
Can you take doxycycline and alcohol?
Doxycycline may interact with alcohol in some people who have a prior history of healthy alcohol use or chronic drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, this occurs when men consume more than 4 drinks, and women consume more than 3 drinks.
Doxycycline may also interact with people who already have liver problems. In these groups of people, using doxycycline and alcohol can be unsafe. It is considered unsafe because it can make the effect of antibiotics less effective on your body, and consuming antibiotics will not be fruitful.
But, if you take doxycycline and alcohol but have not noticed any risks, it is fine to have one or two drinks without decreasing the effectiveness of doxycycline.
What exactly happens after taking alcohol?
There are few antibiotics, such as tinidazole and Metronidazole, which can have serious side effects due to interaction with alcohol. This includes a range of complications or side effects, including the following:
- Heart rate becomes rapid.
- Stomach problems
Having one or two alcohol drinks while you are on doxycycline antibiotics should not have any of these side effects mentioned above. But if you have a long way to get over any infection, it is most suitable to avoid alcohol completely for your condition. Drinking alcohol, particularly for those who cannot resist the urge or drink heavily, is associated with decreased functioning of your immune system.
Researchers have shown that using doxycycline and alcohol may result in decreased blood levels of doxycycline antibiotics which may further affect the efficacy of this antibiotic. The effects may last for a few days even after you discontinue drinking alcohol.
The manufacture of such antibiotics suggests drug substitution among people who are more likely to intake alcohol or stop the urges.
What if you have taken some drinks already?
If you are on doxycycline to treat any infection in your body and you have also been drinking regularly, you must avoid drinking more if you see the symptoms given here:
- An upset stomach
Mixing doxycycline and alcohol would not lead to severe side effects or health concerns, But drinking plenty of alcohol to a point where you feel drunk and cannot remember things may affect your recovery rate.
As per reports and articles published by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much alcohol may slow the body’s immune response for as much as 24 hours.
It’s also vital to note now that drinking alcohol increases fall risks, which might lead to bleeding, particularly in people who are already prescribed blood thinners by their doctors or older people.
What to avoid when you are on doxycycline antibiotics?
You must always inform your doctor about other medications or supplements you are using before taking any other medication. This includes all the herbal products and over-the-counter medicines.
While consuming doxycycline, make sure to talk to your doctor before there’s a need to take the following drugs or medicines:
- bismuth Subsalicylate- This is an active ingredient in many medicines such as Pepto-Bismol.
- Anticonvulsants like phenytoin or carbamazepine.
- Vitamin A supplements
- proton pump inhibitors
All other medications of tetracycline-class, such as doxycycline, can also make you slightly more sensitive to sunlight exposure. Ensure you always wear protective clothing to protect from sunlight and apply enough sunscreen when you visit anywhere to prevent getting sunburned.
Pregnant women, children under the age of 8 years, and nursing women should not take this antibiotic with or without alcohol.
When to drink alcohol?
It is entirely safe to consume alcohol 48 hours after you have stopped taking doxycycline. In fact, for many people, it is safe to drink alcohol even when they are taking doxycycline because the alcohol does not stop the antibiotic from working, and they do not experience any side effects.
Some health professionals will recommend you avoid alcohol while taking antibiotics for an infection to give your body the best chance possible to fight the infection.
There are few antibiotics in which using alcohol must be dodged, such as Metronidazole and Bactrim, as the combination of these can result in a chronic reaction.
Consuming alcohol with such medicines may result in side effects like flushing, nausea, headache, vomiting, and rapid heart rate.
There are no such adverse reactions or issues when alcohol and doxycycline and taken together.
The Bottom Line
Doxycycline is a tetracycline class of antibiotics used to treat various infections occurring from bacteria within our body. While taking doxycycline and antibiotics, there are risks like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc.
While taking any antibiotic, drinking alcohol is generally safe, given that alcohol is consumed occasionally and not frequently. However, if someone is a severe drinker, takes a lot of other medications, or has any liver infection, they must avoid taking alcohol when they are on doxycycline.
Keep in mind that drinking alcohol is going to slow down the immune response of your body. If you still choose to consume alcohol while you are on doxycycline, you are only adding one more day in the days required for the infection to heal or for you to recover completely.