Can You Drink on Antibiotics?By Michaela

If you have been prescribed antibiotics for any number of reasons, you might be wondering if it is safe to have alcohol while taking your medication. Millions of people get prescribed antibiotics each year, so the question is not an uncommon one.

Though it is a complicated question that does require some context to be answered properly, the short answer is that most of the time, you should not be drinking alcohol when taking antibiotics.

There are some antibiotics that are safer than others, but alcohol tends to lower the effectiveness of antibiotics altogether, which puts your health at risk.

In this post, we are going to do a complete breakdown of whether you should drink on antibiotics, what the dangers are, and what to do if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t resist the temptation of alcohol, even though you know that you are on antibiotics.

Explained: Science of Antibiotics & Alcohol

The science behind why antibiotics and alcohol should not be mixed begins with the fact that both of these substances interact with the liver in different ways.

Alcohol has a reputation for being processed by the body quickly, but when taken at the same time as certain medications, it can lead to an increase in toxicity levels. This means that drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can make the medication less effective and increase the risk of side effects.

Additionally, some antibiotics have been known to interact with alcohol in such a way that it increases the production of certain hormones, which can lead to dizziness, nausea, headaches, and vomiting.

When taken together, antibiotics and alcohol can also interfere with the digestion and absorption of some medications, resulting in decreased effectiveness.

Finally, alcohol can increase the risk of certain antibiotic-associated side effects such as stomach upset and diarrhea.

Overall, the combination of antibiotics and alcohol is not recommended due to the potential for increased toxicity levels, reduced medication efficacy, and a greater risk of side effects.

Potential Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Medication Interactions

Now that we know the science behind whether alcohol and antibiotics can be mixed, let’s take a look at some of the consequences of drinking alcohol, especially in excess, while on antibiotics. Anyone that is wondering whether they can consume alcohol while taking medication for a bacterial infection should be aware of the potential risks.


When consuming alcohol while taking antibiotics, dizziness is a common side effect that can occur, and it should not be taken lightly. This sensation is caused when the antibiotic for bacterial or skin infections impedes the body’s ability to break down the alcohol, which then accumulates in the bloodstream.

As more of this accumulated alcohol enters the bloodstream, it can cause feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness as well as blurred vision, confusion, and nausea. This heightened feeling can last from minutes to hours, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed and the types of antibiotics taken.

Additionally, those taking antibiotics should be aware that drinking alcoholic beverages may reduce their effectiveness in treating an infection. In some cases, overdosing on alcohol while on antibiotics may lead to serious consequences such as liver damage or even seizures.

Thus, it is important to remember that you should avoid alcohol and the temptation to mix alcohol when on antibiotics in order to prevent further health risks and maintain the optimal effectiveness of medications.


Another common side effect for people drinking alcohol while on antibiotics is nausea.

It can occur for two main reasons: the effects of alcohol on the digestive system and the influence of antibiotics on how quickly alcohol is metabolized. Alcohol’s impact on digestion usually causes nausea by disrupting the absorption of nutrients, causing pain in the stomach lining, and possibly leading to vomiting.

Additionally, as antibiotics slow down the body’s ability to break down alcohol, it can take longer for its effects to be felt and cause higher levels of intoxication within shorter periods of time, resulting in nausea. Those experiencing nausea may also experience other symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, sweating, or fatigue.

It is important to take caution when drinking while taking antibiotics, as these levels can reach dangerous or toxic heights quickly. Taking extra measures such as reducing alcohol intake and eating something before drinking will help minimize nausea and other risks associated with consuming too much alcohol.


If you drink alcohol while on antibiotics, you may notice that you develop headaches.

Not only can the combination be dangerous, it can also lead to uncomfortable physical symptoms. When alcohol and antibiotics are mixed, not only does the presence of the drug in your system create further dehydration than normal, but your body also has to work harder to metabolize both substances at once.

This builds up toxins in your brain that lead to more frequent headaches. The severity of these headaches is generally mild but can range from mild throbbing sensations to full-blown migraines. In addition, consuming too much alcohol while taking antibiotics can also weaken the effectiveness of this medication, reducing its overall potency and making it more difficult for your body to heal itself.

To avoid this headache-related side effect, it is best to limit your consumption of alcohol while on antibiotics or completely avoid it altogether.

Reduced Effectiveness

A huge potential danger of drinking alcohol while on antibiotics is the reduced effectiveness of your antibiotic medication.

The alcohol can interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics, meaning that it won’t be as effective in treating your infection. This reduced potency will ultimately lead to a longer recovery time or even a relapse of the same infection due to its lowered efficacy.

Additionally, drinking large amounts of alcohol while taking antibiotics can also increase the risk of side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics in order to ensure the medication’s effectiveness and avoid further health risks.

What if I Can’t Resist Drinking Alcohol?

If you are having trouble keeping away from alcohol while you are on antibiotics, it may be a sign of a larger problem. If you have formed an alcohol dependency that you are having a hard time shaking, you may be a good fit for The Alcohol Coach.

The Alcohol Coach provides a comprehensive and effective program to help individuals that need guidance in finding their self-empowerment and ability to overcome alcohol dependence.

Let’s Recap

In conclusion, it is best to completely avoid drinking alcohol while on antibiotics. Doing so can lead to numerous side effects and reduce the effectiveness of your medication. Taking extra measures such as reducing alcohol intake and eating something before drinking can help minimize any potential risks associated with consuming too much alcohol.

It is important to take care of yourself while taking antibiotics and ensure you are following the instructions provided by your doctor or healthcare provider in order to maintain proper health and avoid any serious risks.


Hi, I'm Michela

I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!

Keep me in the loop!

Want more inspiration, knowledge and ideas about alcohol and how to make the changes you want stick? Sign up here to receive more articles and news like this.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.