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Is it Safe to Combine Flucloxacillin with Alcohol?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 July 2014
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There are no known interactions caused by taking flucloxacillin with alcohol. It is a common myth that taking an antibiotic with alcohol causes severe negative side effects. The truth is that while it is not safe to combine some medications with alcohol, most medications do not effect an intoxicated user. It is important to read a medication bottle before taking the medication, in addition to reading any pamphlets the medication comes with. Whether a person is taking flucloxacillin with alcohol, he or she should look out for symptoms of an allergic reaction, which can be severe and life threatening.

Combining alcohol with most antibiotics is usually not a problem. Some antibiotics pose a threat to the user’s kidneys, however, to which alcohol can also do damage. Therefore, these antibiotics are often not prescribed to people with drinking problems. Drinking in moderation is key, in addition to stopping if the medication’s side effects are exacerbated by the affects of the alcohol.

Prescription medication bottles and packages typically contain clear warning signs of things to avoid. Alcohol, exposure to sun, and driving large machinery are common things to warn against. As there is no known adverse side effect of combining flucloxacillin with alcohol, these medication packages usually do not warn against such. Instead, they may warn against using heavy machinery until the user knows exactly how the medicine will affect him or her.

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On the other hand, there are some reasons flucloxacillion should not be taken. This antibiotic's class is penicillin, so anyone who is allergic to penicillin should inform his or her doctor to avoid being prescribed this drug. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding must also inform their doctor to determine whether the medication is safe to take. It is also generally discouraged to drink alcohol when pregnant because the substance could negatively affect the unborn child.

Some symptoms of an allergy to flucloxacillion are swelling of the face, tongue, or other body part; yellowing of the eyes or skin, which is known as jaundice; or an itchy rash. These issues are severe and deserve immediate medical attention. Taking flucloxacillin with alcohol should not increase the likelihood of having an allergic reaction, but it could increase the severity of certain ones, such as dizziness. Drinking large amounts of alcohol may also impair a person’s ability to get help as soon as possible.

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Discuss this Article

turquoise
Post 3

I wouldn't drink while on flucloxacillin simply because flucloxacillin is very hard on the stomach. I remember I was nauseated and had a stomach ache during my flucloxacillin treatment. Alcohol would only make it worse.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@fBoyle-- I've heard this as well. I think the theory behind this is that if the patient takes alcohol while on antibiotics, the antibiotics may not be metabolized as well by the liver because it is too busy metabolizing alcohol. I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure. But if it's true that the liver gives priority to metabolizing alcohol, then there may be a delay or reduction in the metabolism of the antibiotics because both antibiotics and alcohol are metabolized in the liver. But I'm sure that there are many factors involved in this. Not taking the two at the same exact time might prevent this. Or it might only be an issue for those with reduced liver function. It's probably best to go by the doctor's orders. If your doctor says you can drink in moderation, then you definitely can.

fBoyle
Post 1

I know that combining antibiotics and alcohol doesn't cause severe side effects. But I heard that drinking while taking antibiotics will reduce the antibiotic's effectiveness and cause the infection to continue. Is there any truth to this?

Even if there is no connection between flucloxacillin and alcohol, I think I prefer to be on the safe side and avoid taking them together.

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