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It can be dangerous to drink if you take other drugs at the same time or close together. This includes prescription medications, medications you can buy at the pharmacy without a prescription, and illegal drugs.
The effects of combining alcohol with medications can depend on various factors, including:
Always check with your pharmacist or doctor first. Find out how safe it is to drink when you take any other drugs. Do not stop your medication suddenly, even just for the weekend, because:
When you start a new medication or change the dose, it is usually best not to drink. If you do, the results can be unpredictable, and the alcohol may make your symptoms and/or side-effects worse. Once you have been on the medication for a while, check with your doctor to see if a glass or two of alcohol is OK.
All psychiatric medications and some pain medications work in the brain. Many of these medications sedate (slow down) your mind and body. This is also something that alcohol does. For this reason, combining alcohol with these sedative medications will likely increase side-effects. In some cases, the combination can be very dangerous. It can:
Even if the combination seems only to make you slightly drowsy, do not drive or operate heavy machinery, because you may be impaired.
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