Everyone knows it’s best not to mix prescription drugs and alcohol.
So, as New Year’s Eve approaches, here are some risks that are known to result from mixing drugs and alcohol, as well as some precautions.
You can’t be sure how it will affect you: It affects everybody differently, A host of factors including height, weight, alcohol tolerance and general health come into play.
Watch out for drowsiness– Probably the biggest side effect that we see is the potentiation for drowsiness. Antidepressants are an example of a drug that, when mixed with alcohol, can cause extreme drowsiness.
Alcohol can trigger a drug’s side effects: In some cases, the same enzymes are required to metabolize alcohol and certain types of drugs. If enzymes are busy metabolizing alcohol, the drug may stay in the body longer and cause side effects. Drowsiness with antidepressants is a typical example of this.
Conversely, alcohol may make drugs metabolize too quickly: If drug-metabolizing enzymes are activated, they can stay “on” long term even in the absence of alcohol. This can decrease a drug’s availability and diminish its effects.
Alcohol can make a drug toxic: In the case of chronic alcohol consumption, some chemicals in drugs can turn toxic and damage the liver or other organs. Tylenol is the most widely known example.
Ask a pharmacist; read instructions: Contact the pharmacy where you get your medication if you have concerns about drinking alcohol with the drugs you take.
Don’t drink on an empty stomach: People absorb alcohol faster from an empty stomach and slower from having stomach full of food; it doesn’t matter what the food is.
Tobacco smoke-filled air is bad for cardiovascular health, and drinking alcohol at the same time only makes it worse.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham team study the effects of smoking and breathing second-hand smoke along with drinking, and test the theory that moderate alcohol consumption provides some heart-protection benefits.
The conclusion was that mice exposed to smoky air in a laboratory enclosure and fed a liquid diet containing ethanol, had a 4.7-fold increase in artery lesions. That compares to mice who breathed filtered air and ate a normal solid diet.
Artery lesions are a common problem in heavy smokers andat the same time are a key sign of advancing cardiovascular disease.
The studies reported mice solely exposed to the smoky air had a 2.3-fold increase in artery lesions and mice solely fed a liquid diet containing ethanol had a 3.5-fold increase in artery lesions when compared to mice who breathed filtered air and mice fed a normal diet.
This study shows that exposure to cigarette (tobacco) smoke when combined with alcohol caused the greatest degree of cardiovascular disease development compared to either action or exposure alone.
Moderate alcohol consumption is commonly thought to be cardioprotective.Â These findings are important for smokers and non-smokers alike in terms of what you should and should not do to protect their good health.
This experiments were performed over a 5 week period. Blood-alcohol concentrations reached the equivalent of a 150-pound adult consuming 2 drinks per hour. Cigarette smoke exposure was similar to being in an automobile with a chain smoker with the windows closed.
To measuring artery lesions in the study mice, the University of Alabama at Birmingham team looked at other signs of advancing cardiovascular disease.
These measurements showed that taking in both smoky air and ethanol had the effect of basically nullifying any potential heart benefit from drinking alcohol by itself.
Some experts recommend that pregnant women limit of one unit of alcohol, once or twice per week, but the only way to be one hundred percent sure is to abstain from drinking alcohol at all during pregnancy.
The effects of alcohol are greater in women who smoke, drink large amounts of drinks containing caffeine, and have a poor diet.
The highest risk from alcohol to developing baby is during the earliest stages of pregnancy, when baby’s critical organs are forming and cells are dividing very rapidly.
When women drink alcohol, it rapidly reaches baby through bloodstream and across the placenta.
Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy are at risk of having babies with fetal alcohol syndrome . In the world today, FAS (fetal alcohol syndrome) is the leading known cause of mental retardation. FAS also cause physical problems.
Here some consequences fetal alcohol syndrome:
- Undersized head
- Poor coordination
- Learning problems
- Short memories
- Growth deficiency
- Deformed facial features
- Abnormal joints, hands, feet, fingers and toes
- Heart defects
All the damage that results from FAS is irreversible and cannot be cured.
The majority of children born with FAS were born to mothers who are drank everyday, but cases of a birth of sick children are known for mothers who consume as a little as two drinks a day .
FAS disease can be easily prevented – Pregnant women should not be drinking at all.