How Long After Medication Can I Drink Alcohol (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 72 hours

Generally, doctors recommend not to take alcohol while taking any kind of medicine. This is generally because alcohol reacts negatively with the essential medicines, thereby leading to side effects. Hence, it is advised to cut down the consumption of alcohol while following a daily routine of medicines. While you are taking antibiotics, you need to remember that alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic, but excess alcohol during the period of medication may lead to other side effects.

There are various types of medications related to the antibiotic. While consuming them after the consumption of alcohol may lead to perilous effects, one should be mindful about the medication being prescribed. Any side effect, if noticed, should be talked of to the doctor at the earliest.

How Long After Medication Can I Drink Alcohol

How Long After Medication Can I Drink Alcohol?

Minimum Time60 hrs.
Maximum Time72 hrs.

While being under the prescription of metronidazole, cefotetan, tinidazole, and ketoconazole, one should strictly avoid alcohol or at least maintain the prescribed time gap of 72-96 hours between consumption of alcohol and the medicine. If you don’t follow the time gap, some side effects like cramps in muscles, increased rate of heartbeat, vomiting, headache, and nausea may be noticed. If the side effects persist for a longer time, then are chances of death and coma.

Intake of alcohol along with griseofulvin may lead to side effects like excess perspiration leading to breathlessness, increased rate of heartbeat, and flushing. If the side effects persist for a longer time, there are chances of heart attack and other heart diseases. Intake of alcohol along with linezolid may lead to side effects like a sudden increase in blood pressure and damage of other vital organs like the liver and kidney. The same side-effects are even noticed in cases of combined consumption of alcohol and isoniazid.


Intake of alcohol during consumption of erythromycin may act as a negative catalyst towards its effectiveness, thereby reducing it. The same side effects are even noticed in cases of combined consumption of alcohol and doxycycline. However, the common side effects which one may notice are diarrhea, drowsiness, problems in digestion, and breathlessness. Besides these, one may even notice some side effects like headache, body pain, increased heartbeat, redness, and itching of the skin.

Intake of alcohol along with NSAIDs can lead to internal bleeding in the stomach thereby leading to ulcers. They even have the potential to damage the liver significantly. Intake of alcohol along with medications related to sleeping and preventing anxiety may lead to toxicity leading to death. These may cause serious problems if ignored.

Why Should I Wait So Long To Drink Alcohol After Medication?

Intake of alcohol along with medications related to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol may prove to be harmful to the liver and may lead to a significant decrease in blood pressure, thereby leading to bleeding in the liver and liver damage. One should try to avoid alcohol irrespective of whether one is under medication or not. Alcohol leads to serious health issues which lead to death.

Intake of alcohol along with antidepressants may lead to further depression by significant depressing of the mind. Intake of alcohol along with infertility pills may lead to no serious problems. But still, the drink should be under control. Intake of alcohol along with medications related to common cold and allergy may lead to accidents due to excessive drowsiness. A mild drink may be permitted but excessive drinking should be avoided.

On noticing such negative reactions to alcohol and antibiotics, one should rush to the doctor as soon as possible. Besides these, consumption of alcohol and other such narcotic substances should be completely stopped at least till the completion of the course of antibiotics. One should even drink lots of water to reduce the negative signs.


The instructions mentioned on the label states the food items and drinks not to take during the course of medication. You should always follow that without any deviation. In addition to that, you should even talk to your doctor at the time of prescription of medicine. The doctor would suggest you some solutions based on your age, your medication, and your health condition. If your doctor forbids you from drinking alcohol, then you should follow his/her advice. Drinking alcohol during a medication can disrupt the body’s sleep hours thereby not providing the body enough rest.


It even interferes in the process of absorption thereby not allowing the body to absorb some essential nutrients for growth and development. Well, alcohol specifically doesn’t refer to various brands of wine, it even includes the small portion of alcohol found on mouthwash and other substances. Hence, one should try to avoid alcohol while recovering from an infection.

There are various ways in which alcohol may react negatively with medications. They may either reduce their effectiveness or make them toxic and fatal for the body. Women should be more cautious as they have comparatively low amounts of an enzyme needed to break down alcohol in the body. As age increases, the body’s capability to break down toxic substances also decreases, and hence, proper care should be taken.


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