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Is Combining Medications and Alcohol Putting Your Health at Risk?

By HERWriter
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Combining Medications and Alcohol: Is Your Health at Risk? Benis Arapovic/PhotoSpin

Do you take any medications that interact with alcohol? If you automatically answered “no” you might be surprised by the results of a new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

The study revealed that almost 42 percent of people in the United States who drink have also used at least one prescription medication that interacts with alcohol.

Alcohol-interactive drugs include many used to treat allergies, anxiety, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections, seizures, sleep problems, and numerous other conditions.

You can find an extensive list of medications that potentially interact with alcohol on the National Institutes of Health website.

The potential results of mixing medications with alcohol can vary widely from nausea, headaches and loss of coordination to internal bleeding, heart problems, difficulty breathing and even death.

Aaron White, a neuroscientist in the division of epidemiology and prevention research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offered several examples:

Blood pressure – Because alcohol can increase blood pressure, it can counteract the work of a medication intended to lower blood pressure.

Dehydration – Alcohol also acts as a diuretic. So combining alcohol with a diuretic medication can result in dehydration.

Neurological issues – Mixing alcohol with a sedative such as sleeping pills or narcotic pain medications may affect how the brain controls reflexes like breathing and heart rate.

Rosalind A. Breslow, an epidemiologist in the division of epidemiology and prevention at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explained that the risks of a dangerous interaction become greater as we age.

Older people are more likely to have serious health problems and therefore tend to take more medications. This increases the odds that a senior may take at least one medication that will interact with alcohol.

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Addiction to drugs or alcohol degrades human body rapidly causing diabetes ,blood pressure nausea ,lose appetite.dehydration and other fatal disease.I got used to drinking and It was on the wane to break up my mutual life.My wife was fed up to me and threatened to divorce.At last I was relieved from it by the suggestion of my colleague. I also practice yoga but in vain.My friend requested me to follow some practices and I got relieved.

January 28, 2015 - 2:20am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.