What happens to your body when you drink alcohol?
When we drink alcohol the ethanol compound in it is readily absorbe in our body. Almost 80 to 90 percent of the ethanol is metabolize in the liver which means the liver is the major organ that washes out the alcohol from the body. The enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver transforms alcohol or ethanol into acetaldehyde. It is an intermediate toxic compound and harmful for the body. However, acetaldehyde is generally short-lived and it is quickly break down to a less toxic compound called acetate by another enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase.
What happens if I take medicine after drinking?:
If any medicine blocks the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme then the aldehyde would not be convert to acetate. So the amount of aldehyde would keep on increasing in the body. The reaction starts immediately after taking the medicine 10 to 30 minutes after drinking alcohol. A person may have:
- Headache in the beginning which increases gradually
- Feeling of dizziness
- Start vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- The face and upper chest part starts turning red
- Difficulty in breathing
- Have blurred vision
- Chest pain
If the level of the toxic compounds increases too much in a body then there can be dangerous situations like heart failure which can also lead to death. This reaction is called disulfiram.
Which medicines should not be taken with alcohol?
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Anti-anxiety or anti-epileptic medicines
- Diabetic medications
The most important medicine that must remember is metronidazole. Normally it knows by the name of metrogyl or flagyl. This medicine is prescribe normally for vaginal infections, dental issues, and stomach problems. Also, this medicine is also prescribe after tooth extraction. Many people tend to take this medicine to treat diarrhea. If someone is taking metronidazole then he should not drink alcohol for two days after taking the last tablet.
If someone had alcohol today and he wants to start the course of this medicine then he can start that medicine after 12 hours. So basically there should be a minimum gap of 12 hours in which the toxic compounds of alcohol can get flush out of the body.
Next medicine is Tinidazole it also belongs to the same group and it is even prescribe for the same reasons. If some have taken Tinidazole then they should not drink alcohol for 72 hours.
There is one more important drug ketoconazole which is use for fungal infection. It is prescribe for the treatment of dandruff. So that’s why it is also available in the form of a shampoo. As this is apply topically on the scalp it will not interact with alcohol but if someone is taking this medicine in the form of a tablet then he should not take it with alcohol because it can cause the same problem.
The next medicine is Propranolol and this medicine is use in the treatment of blood pressure and sometimes in migraine. This drug helps in reducing blood pressure and alcohol also reduces the blood pressure in the body so if both of them are taken together then there is a chance of a sudden drop in blood pressure. That’s why alcohol and this medicine should not be taken together. So, don't drink alcohol at all for one week after starting this medicine.
5.Paracetamol or ibuprofen:
One of the most commonly used medicine is paracetamol. So, drinking a small amount of alcohol while taking paracetamol or ibuprofen is usually safe. But it should be use with caution if someone has certain health conditions such as liver problems. if someone is a chronic drinker then both alcohol and paracetamol are process by the liver so the combination of these two can be dangerous and harmful.
6.Anti-anxiety or anti-epileptic medicines:
If someone taking anti-anxiety or anti-epileptic medicines like diazepam, clonazepam, lorazepam, or buspirone then he must avoid alcohol intake. Because taking alcohol with these medicines can cause unusual behavior changes, difficulty in breathing drowsiness, and dizziness.
If someone is on warfarin therapy then alcohol should avoid as it can cause internal bleeding in some people. Also, it may have positive effects like blood clots stroke, and even heart attacks.
Take good care if someone has diabetes because drinking alcohol with diabetic medicines like metformin may lead to abnormal and low blood sugar levels. So there are thousands of such medicines that can interact with alcohol and can be harmful to the body also many medicines will not be absorbed in the body when taken with alcohol.