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Amoxicillin and Alcohol

Amoxicillin and Alcohol

Drop alcohol by the wayside while on antibiotics. Alcohol may not reduce the efficacy of amoxicillin, yet it retards your body's recovery system. How does this happen? We elucidate in this article.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
Amoxicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed drugs, is used to treat bacterial infections, like Helicobacter pylori infection, small intestinal infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, etc. Amoxicillin belongs to the family of penicillin and has similar bactericidal effects, like ampicillin.

One should take amoxicillin after eight to twelve hours of taking the initial dose. It is important to maintain the interval as it helps maintain the medication levels within the body. In case the drug and medication levels are not maintained, the medicine loses its ability to have fatal effects on the bacteria. There is a myth surrounding amoxicillin and alcohol that these two may react negatively when taken together.
Working of Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin belongs to a group of drugs called the aminopenicillin that are a part of beta-lactam antibiotic. These antibiotics work by stopping the bacteria from making cell walls. This, eventually leads to cell lysis and bacteria to die.

If a person takes an overdose of amoxicillin, one may suffer from decreased production of urine, lowered kidney functions, and kidney failure. Amoxicillin capsules, tablets, and chewable tablets can be stored at room temperature. Keep the medication away from moisture and heat. Amoxicillin suspension and pediatric drops need to be refrigerated after mixing. One should discard the suspension within 14 days after being mixed. To date, there is no scientific evidence to prove side effects of these medicines with alcohol. But, to be on the safe side, it is always advisable to take amoxicillin in advance before drinking alcohol.
Why Do You Need to Avoid Alcohol While Taking Amoxicillin?
In case of a serious bacterial infection, alcohol should be avoided as it contains sugar compounds that help in growth of bacteria. One should take plenty of fluids and rest, instead of indulging in sipping alcohol. Sometimes, the side effects of amoxicillin may exaggerate due to alcohol intake. Alcohol may even increase the symptoms of dizziness experienced by people taking amoxicillin.
Amoxicillin Side Effects
There are a few side effects of amoxicillin, just as it maybe seen with other antibiotics. It is not necessary that everyone who takes amoxicillin may experience these side effects. The possible side effects of amoxicillin include:
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Thrush
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
Who Should Avoid Taking Amoxicillin
Anyone who is allergic to any ingredient in amoxicillin or penicillin antibiotic must avoid its administration. You should also avoid amoxicillin if you have received or will receive an oral typhoid vaccine. If someone suffers from infections mononucleosis, one should avoid taking amoxicillin.
What You Should Tell Your Doctor Before Taking Amoxicillin
You need to inform the health care provider regarding health issues you maybe suffering from, such as:
  • Kidney diseases like renal failure
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Allergies to foods, dyes, and preservatives
If you are pregnant, are planning to conceive or are breastfeeding, you must avoid amoxicillin. You should also inform your healthcare provider regarding all the other medications that you are taking currently like prescription and non-prescription medications.
A Few Important Pointers
  1. If you have been a veteran holding the glass up and close each day, there are reasons to be vindictive toward antibiotics, in this case being amoxicillin. Know that the liver suffers a malfunction due to which antibiotics drain out of the system before they are supposed to. Antibiotics, thus, tend to lose their drive to treat. Save the alcohol for another day; abstinence is the answer to feeling better soon.
  2. Rinsing the mouth with an oral rinsing solution is a paragon habit, but not when you haven't read the contents on the label. The label might read a liability ingredient, which we know as alcohol, and the dental-industry connoisseurs, as ethanol. If you are on antibiotics and using a mouthwash which contains alcohol, even a trickle down your throat may cause the condition to exacerbate.
  3. Reading what lies below the "bottle['s] neck" is a point you must take home. The consumer information leaflet, too, must be read to acquaint yourself with the probable side effects amoxicillin may have. Sensitivity to alcohol when administering amoxicillin varies from one individual to another. Be sensitive toward your system as maintaining composure is far better than acting cavalier.
Amoxicillin is a prescription drug and any prescription drug should not be taken without a doctor's advice. Alcohol tends to increase the sugar level in the body that is used as an energy source by the infectious bacteria to grow further. Thus, it reduces the capacity of the drug to fight off an infection. Remember, amoxicillin is an antibiotic that is taken only to treat bacterial infection, and there is no point in drinking alcohol when the whole point of fighting the infection is hampered.
The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the medical practitioner.