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What happens if you combine cough syrup and alcohol? What about Allegra and alcohol? There is a reason why the majority of medication has a warning label instructing people not to mix them with alcohol. Here, we will go through a list of medications that you should avoid combining with beverages, as well as dangers that come with it. 

Don’t Do It Like in the Movies

We often see characters in movies grabbing a bunch of pills and chugging them with whiskey or beer. The idea behind it is to look cool and badass. But, it is definitely something you shouldn’t try on your own. 

We all know that scenes appearing in movies usually aren’t realistic, and the same thing applies to prescription drugs. Now, the primary problem with alcohol is that it might affect the medication. In some cases, it will diminish the effect of the pill, and in others, it will lead to side-effects and health problems. 

Naturally, the smartest thing to do is to completely avoid drinking alcohol if you are on some sort of therapy. 

What Happens When You Do It

One of the things that may happen if you drink alcohol with drugs is that there will be a reaction. Alcohol will react with the medication, and it will change the way it works. There are so many things you might notice happening to your body if you experiment with this dangerous combination. 

For example, one might experience changes in blood pressure, mood swings, dizziness, headaches, lack of coordination, vomiting, nausea, and many others. Of course, it mostly depends on what type of medications you’re on, as well as the reason for taking medications. 

In some cases, the consequences can be quite severe, and a person might experience alcohol poisoning or overdose.

Allergy, Cold, and Flu Medications

Let’s start from the beginning. The first group of medication you should not mix with alcohol is anything designed to battle allergies and multi-symptom flu, as well as cold-treating drugs. You might be aware that dizziness and drowsiness are common side-effects of drugs used to treat these illnesses.

Interestingly, a similar effect is achieved by drinking alcohol. If you mix the two together, the feeling will intensify even more. There is a list of prescription medications you should avoid mixing with alcohol, but the safest way to go is to completely avoid alcohol while on the therapy. 

Angina Medications

Angina is a type of chest pain caused by a lack of blood in the heart. For some people, it might seem similar to a heart attack, and there is pressure and/or squeezing on the chest area. The common name for angina is ischemic chest pain. 

For anyone diagnosed with angina, avoiding alcohol during treatment is the best possible option. One of the most common drugs for treating angina is nitroglycerin, and mixing it with alcohol can cause tachycardia or increased heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, fainting, and dizziness. 

Nitroglycerin comes in different shapes and under different brands. That means you should avoid having alcohol if you are using any brand. It is rather obvious how having a few drinks can worsen the condition and lead to even more serious problems.  

Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Seizure, and Epilepsy Medications

People who have problems with anxiety, seizures, or epilepsy should avoid mixing their medications with alcohol at all costs. Mixing the two can cause serious side-effects like slowed breathing, abnormal behavior, memory loss, impaired motor control, and others. 

The most obvious reason why you should avoid mixing alcohol with medicines is that they can delay recovery. Furthermore, it can worsen the entire situation and lead to seizures, among other health problems. 

Needless to say, the smartest thing to do is to talk to the doctor since they will be able to tell you whether the medicine will be affected by a couple of drinks. 


On the other end of the spectrum are antibiotics. Drinking alcohol with antibiotics will cause the medicine to be less effective. The problem here is that they might not cause a severe reaction, but they will diminish the effect of antibiotics, leaving you exposed to the infection. 

Since the primary goal of antibiotics is to treat an infection, your body might be at risk based on the situation and illness you’re dealing with. All of this is based on the type of medication you’re taking, and the effects of alcohol are still unclear.

Among the things a patient might experience are tachycardia, rapid changes in blood pressure, headache, gastrointestinal upset, and many others. Moreover, some types of drugs will have a severe reaction when combined with even the smallest amounts of alcohol. People might think that one drink won’t do them any harm. But, when combined with an antibiotic, it might make them even sicker.  


Another perfect example of drugs that shouldn’t mix with alcohol is antidepressants. Antidepressants can have serious side-effects on their own. The medication is rather strong, and when you add alcohol to the equation, the side-effects can be even worse. 

In addition, the combination can also increase symptoms of depression and make everything even worse. The medication is used for treating anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, obsessive disorder, depression, etc., and alcohol can make them even more severe.

The person may experience even worse depression, anxiety, or other conditions. Some types of antidepressants will cause a rather dangerous blood pressure spike when combined with alcohol, and the safest way to avoid potential problems is to completely avoid alcohol. 

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

Now, the majority of medications we mentioned here can be quite strong, and it is more than obvious why you shouldn’t mix them with booze. Each of them will have a warning label, explaining how to use them and what to avoid.

What many fail to understand is that the same thing applies to over-the-counter medication. Yes, you don’t need a prescription to get your hands on some types of painkillers, but this doesn’t mean that you can use them however you please. When combined with alcohol, some over-the-counter drugs can cause serious health problems. 

The list of potential problems includes liver damage, tachycardia, stomach bleeding, ulcers, drowsiness, dizziness, and many others. Not only that a person mixing the two will put their own life and health at risk, but they will also do it to people around them. There is a reason why everyone says you shouldn’t consume alcohol with drugs and why you might want to avoid driving a car, for example. 

Naturally, there are different types of medications, and each might react differently. It’s always the smartest option to ask your doctor whether you are allowed to have a few drinks during the treatment.

…And a Lot More

All these types we mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many questions that need to be answered before one can know for sure whether drinking is safe. For example, what type of medications are they using? What is their condition? Is there another underlying condition? Or do they have a history of alcohol abuse and alcoholism?

Other types of medication you should avoid mixing with alcohol are anti-nausea meds, drugs for treating arthritis, cholesterol, diabetes, blood thinners, cough suppressants, and countless others. 

As we mentioned before, if you really want to have a few drinks, talk to your doctor. They will be able to tell you how it might affect your body and whether it will put you in danger. There is no reason to play with these things, and it’s always better to be safe and healthy. While it might not seem like a serious problem, mixing alcohol and drugs can have devastating consequences.