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Mixing Alcohol with Other Drugs

​Mixing Alcohol with Other Substances

​Using alcohol and other substances such as opioids, sleep aids, marijuana, or benzodiazepines together or​ within a couple hours of drinking can increa​se risk of poisoning, even with moderate amounts of alcohol.Alcohol can increase overdose risk

​Using alcohol and other substances together can make their individual effects stronger and more unpredictable than using one substance alone.

Using alcohol with other substances can also increase the risk of:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​Injury

  • ​​​​​​​Violence

  • ​​Sexual risk behaviors

  • ​​​​​​​Chronic disease

  • Alcohol or other substance use disorders

​Mixing Alcohol & Over the Counter or Prescription Medication

Mixing alcohol with certain over the counter or prescription medications, even when they are not taken at the same time, may: Alcohol and other drugs don't mix

  • Create dangerous reactions

  • Make the effects of the alcohol or medications stronger

  • Make the medications harmful, less effective, or useless

  • Put the individual at risk for harmful, unintended outcomes (e.g., falls and serious injuries)

  • Impact the ability to drive, operate machinery, or conduct other activities

  • Lead to a variety of negative effects, including nausea, vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, and loss of coordination

  • Increase the risk of internal bleeding, heart problems, or difficulty breathing

Using alcohol with medications in a way other than prescribed or using alcohol while taking someone else's prescription can increase the risk of poisoning. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about your medication(s) and the potential consequences of mixing the medication(s) with alcohol.

Commonly used medications that interact with alcohol include:​

Medication (Brand Name)
Allergy, Cold, Flu

Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine), Clarinex® (Desloratadine), Claritin® and Claritin-D® (Loratadine), Sudafed® Sinus & Allergy (Chlorpheniramine), Tylenol® Cold & Flu (Chlorpheniramine), and Zyrtec® (Cetirizine)
Anxiety, EpilepsyValium® (Diazepam) and Xanax® (Alprazolam)
Prozac® (Fluoxetine), Wellbutrin® (Bupropion), and Zoloft® (Sertraline)
Pain, Fever, InflammationAdvil® (Ibuprofen), Aleve® (Naproxen), Excedrin® (Aspirin, Acetaminophen), Motrin® (Ibuprofen), and Tylenol® (Acetaminophen)
Severe Pa​inPercocet® (Oxycodone) and Vicodin® (Hydrocodone)
Sleep ProblemsProsom™ (Estazolam) and Restoril® (Temazepam)​

Visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and ​Alcoholism website for more information about commonly used medications that interact with alcohol.​​

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