How Long After Alcohol Can I Take Paracetamol (And Why)?

Exact Answer – Minimum 6 hours

Drinking alcohol is common nowadays. As we know that exceeding amount of alcohol may lead to headache. And at that people often think to take paracetamol.  Too much consumption of alcohol can cause cancer of the mouth, breast, throat, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, etc.

 There are many reports which show that alcoholic patient had damaged liver after taking paracetamol. But this is a wrong assumption. We shouldn’t take paracetamol and alcohol together and chemically known as (acetaminophen). There are many peoples who aren’t aware of side effects of paracetamol and alcohol together.

How Long After Alcohol Should I Take Paracetamol?

There should be gap in 6 hours between consuming alcohol and taking paracetamol. You should wait until most of the alcohol has been eliminated. Not only paracetamol there are also some of the herbal medicines and many supplements that can cause side effects if you will take with alcohol.  

Actually, it depends on how much alcohol you consumed, if you had consumed a small amount of alcohol then it is safe. And according to National Health Service (NHS) it is safe have paracetamol when you take small amount of alcohol. Both the paracetamol and alcohol are dangerous for liver.  Paracetamol is safe when it is taken in order but overdose of paracetamol can cause to liver damage.

Side effects if you will consume paracetamol and alcohol together are stomach upset , bleeding, liver failure, rapid heartbeat.

Drinking HabitWaiting Time Before Taking Paracetamol
Occasional drinker6 hours
Heavy drinkerAfter 1 day

One should ignore to take the paracetamol who consume alcohol daily basis. They should consult to the doctor and take advice whether they can take paracetamol or not.

If you are a heavy drinker you should avoid taking paracetamol when you are hangover. And if you are occasional drinker then drinking may cause you headache then you may take recommended dose of paracetamol.

Why Should You Wait To Take Paracetamol After Alcohol?

Paracetamol is a medicine that is consumed for reducing fever and pain reliever. It is available in many forms like Tablets, Capsules, Suppositories, Soluble powders (which you should take in any specific condition). Acetaminophen overdose is actually a common and disturbing problem.

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Acetaminophen is also known as Paracetamol and it is readily available over the medicine stores. Paracetamols works is the liver metabolizes Acetaminophen into a compound called NAPQI which is highly toxic. Now in normal of acetaminophen your NAPQI is combined with your body that produces non metabolites.

The main effect of acetaminophen is liver injury and in overdoses it may leads to liver failure. The antidote of this is N – acetyl- cysteine (NAC). It detoxifies NAPQI and decreases the production of NAPQI. But it should be given early which means within the eight hours of ingestion. When you consume the paracetamol, it goes to the liver and in between it is absorbed in bloodstream. It causes hepatoxicity.

The people who drink at daily basis should be careful while taking paracetamol. When you consume paracetamol and if you drink rarely and start having headache, then you may take the normal dose of paracetamol. Then you don’t have to worry about your liver. 

Conclusion

There should be minimum 6 hours gap between consuming and alcohol. Never take them together. You may take paracetamol if you had consumed small amount of alcohol. Never consume excessive amount of alcohol if you have to take paracetamol. And if you drink alcohol daily then don’t take paracetamol. Consult to the doctor take their advice. Don’t take paracetamol more than the recommended dose.  There are also few popular antidotes which are alternatives to paracetamol for example – Aspirin, ibuprofen.

Taking along with alcohol is fine , but sometimes may lead to stomach upset. And there are few symptoms of liver damage which is jaundice, vomiting, you may have excess sweating, tiredness.

Adults can consume usually one or two tablets of five hundred mg. As the amount of acetaminophen and alcohol increases it may cause to liver damage.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014937/
  2. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.00167.x
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