Is It Safe to Combine Cefuroxime and Alcohol?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 21 May 2019
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There are no specific warnings against the use of cefuroxime and alcohol, but in some patients the combination may be ill-advised. Patients with a history of high alcohol consumption may want to discuss this when a care provider recommends cefuroxime therapy. The combination can also be a concern in cases where a patient has underlying liver or kidney problems, which may necessitate a dosage adjustment and some lifestyle changes to reduce risks.

This drug is an antibiotic in the cephalosporin family, used to treat bacterial infections. People with existing liver and kidney disease can be at risk of complications, especially if they combine cefuroxime with alcohol. The alcohol can overload their livers in combination with the medication and may interfere with metabolism, which could lead to abnormal levels of the drug in the bloodstream. It might become less effective, or could rise in concentration and increase the risk of side effects.

Some patients experience extreme nausea, vomiting, and intestinal cramping when they combine cefuroxime and alcohol. This tends to be more common when people have a history of alcoholism or heavy drinking. They may need to temporarily stop drinking or cut down on consumption while taking the antibiotic to decrease the chance of experiencing these unpleasant side effects. People with concerns about alcohol consumption may want to bring them up to discuss treatment options.


In people who are healthy, with no history of heavy alcohol consumption, there are usually no specific risks with cefuroxime and alcohol. Patients who notice symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or disorientation after combining the two can discuss this with a medical professional. They may be advised to avoid alcohol for the duration of therapy to limit the chance of future interactions. It’s also possible that these side effects could be caused by the medication alone, in which case they may continue after the patient stops drinking, indicating that it may be necessary to change to a different antibiotic.

Medical professionals may recommend against combining cefuroxime and alcohol from the very start with the goal of preventing complications. This may be based on experience with prior patients or issues in a patient’s history that might increase the chance of a bad reaction. People who are not sure about whether the combination is safe can ask for advice, and may receive specific information on how many drinks are safe and whether they should avoid hard alcohol while taking the antibiotic.


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Post 3

@fify-- It is a good idea to leave plenty of time between taking antibiotics and alcohol. But remember, the antibiotics is always in your bloodstream, so that won't prevent a contradiction with alcohol if it's going to happen.

Post 2

I wouldn't mix antibiotics with hard liquor, just because it's too hard on the liver. But it's okay to have a beer or two right?

I'm on cefuroxime for tonsilitis and I'm invited for a birthday party tomorrow night. I forgot to ask my doctor if I can drink while I'm on cefuroxime.

What should I do? Should I just try having half of a beer, wait for a while and if there is no side effects, have the rest? Would it help if I took the antibiotics early in the morning so that there would be a lot of time between the drug and the alcohol?

Post 1

I know that it is safer to combine some antibiotics with alcohol than others and I guess cefuroxime is one of the safer ones. But I never take alcohol when I'm on cefuroxime simply because the antibiotic always gives me nausea.

It's just a side effect that I get from it. I talked to my doctor about it and he said that he could give me a different antibiotic, but for the type of infection I'm dealing with, cefuroxime is best. So I just have to deal with the nausea during my treatment.

I can't even imagine drinking alcohol when I'm nauseated. My stomach just wouldn't handle it, I think I would throw up.

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