You should never ignore warnings on medication that caution against using alcohol while taking them as prescribed. In the short term, mixing even small amounts of alcohol with medications can lead to impaired coordination and drowsiness.

There are also significant physical and mental side effects from combining substances that can lead to dangerous long-term problems down the road. By knowing the side effects of mixing medication with alcohol, you will think twice before engaging in this toxic combination.

The Problem of Addiction

If you are already suffering from addiction, your symptoms can worsen if you take a medication with addictive properties. According to The Scientific American article “Deadly Duo: Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Drugs Can Result in Addiction or Accidental Death,” three to five percent of people who are prescribed pain medication end up developing an addiction to it.

If you add alcohol into the mix, this can lead to a bigger obstacle to overcome. Even in small amounts, combining alcohol with other substances can cause your body to become dependent on the chemicals that heighten the effects of each substance, leading you to crave more.

Depression or Anxiety

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that can cause anxiety or depression. If you keep drinking alcohol while taking antidepressants, you run the risk of decreasing their potency. Your symptoms of anxiety and depression will be more challenging to manage if alcohol gets in the way of treatment. Some antidepressants can even be toxic to the body when mixed with alcohol.


Some medications, like sedatives, have side effects that can lead to memory problems. Mixing these medications with alcohol can increase that side effect. The consequences of memory impairment can be more dangerous than simply forgetting your car keys. Dangerous things can happen as a result of memory loss, like forgetting you already took your medication, leading to an overdose.

Internal Bleeding

Some medications can cause internal bleeding when they are mixed with alcohol. If you are on medications that are prescribed to stop or prevent blood clots or heart problems, alcohol can increase these drugs’ effects by thinning the blood even further. Drinking while on blood-thinning medications can cause blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes.

If you suffer from alcoholism, you face additional challenges when taking medications for other health issues. Alcohol can prevent the medication from working the way it is supposed to. By seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, you will learn to live a sober life and let your medication help you.

Medications come with warning labels that tell you not to mix them with alcohol. This can lead to terrible consequences that can negatively impact your health. Struggling with an alcohol addiction can make it hard to follow this rule. Treatment will teach you how to fight those urges to avoid making mistakes that can lead to dangerous consequences. At Alta Loma, we understand how challenging alcoholism can be. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can provide you with individualized treatment. Call (866) 457-3843 for more.