Can you drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?
Although it is sensible to avoid drinking alcohol when taking any medication; it is unlikely that drinking alcohol, in moderation, will cause problems if you are taking most common antibiotics. However, alcohol in a quantity that will make you drunk depresses the immune system, and may inhibit recovery from the infection.
It is however, necessary to completely AVOID drinking when
taking the following antibiotics: * metronidazole - the
side-effects include flushing, breathlessness, headache, increased
or irregular heart rate, low blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. *
tinidazole - which is chemically similar to metronidazole and so
may cause the same reaction. When taking co-trimoxazole and
alcohol, there is a very slight possibility of side effects that
are similar to metronidazole. However these effects are very rare
and drinking alcohol in moderation does not normally cause a
problem. It should be noted that antibiotics may have a variety of
side effects that might be made worse by alcohol, for example,
sleepiness and dizziness. To be safe, you should really check with
your doctor or pharmacist. In fact, the antibiotic will work even
if alcohol is taken with it. Drinking alcohol with some antibiotics
might cause very huge side effects (called "antabuse effect") and
should be avoided. However, Ampicillin is quite a big antibiotic
and given in big infections. I don't think you'll have "antabuse
effect" if you drink alcohol, but you'll have some exacerbated side
effects because of your infection and because of your antibiotics.
You shouldn't but it's unlikely to kill you.
Alcohol is a depressant. I do not recommend drinking to excess when you are sick because it lowers your body's responses. A very small amount of alcohol in a "toddy" to help you get a bit of sleep is OK, but by "small amount" I mean less than the normal "shot" measurement.