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Is It Safe to Mix Doxycycline and Alcohol?

Mixing doxycycline and alcohol may not be a direct threat, but it can reduce the antibiotic's effectiveness and amplify side effects. While moderate consumption might be tolerable, it's wise to err on the side of caution for your health's sake. How might alcohol alter your medication's impact? Continue reading to uncover the intricate balance between treatment and lifestyle choices.
Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

When determining the safety of using doxycycline and alcohol, there are several factors which must be considered. The first is what any given person considers “safe.” While combining these substances may not cause an instantaneous reaction, alcohol has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of doxycycline. This can lead to recurrent or prolonged infections which may cause severe damage to the body. Using doxycycline with alcohol may also amplify the effects of both substances.

It is generally recommended to avoid alcohol consumption when using most antibiotics. Doxycycline and alcohol can both be damaging to the liver when taken in large amounts. Having one or two drinks while taking this drug is generally considered safe, but chronic alcohol users may not receive the same effects from taking this medication. More doxycycline may be needed, thus putting a greater strain on the liver when it is used for a long period of time.

A mug of mulled wine. It's best not to mix doxycycline with alcoholic drinks.
A mug of mulled wine. It's best not to mix doxycycline with alcoholic drinks.

Doxycycline is a broad range antibiotic. This means that it’s used in the treatment of various illnesses caused by different types of bacteria. Some infections can be serious, so using both doxycycline and alcohol together is not recommended until the infection is gone. This is because alcohol can reduce the impact of the medication, thus allowing bacteria to continue growing. Depending on the type of bacteria and the area of the infection, this could lead to serious health complications.

Mixing alcohol and doxycycline can decrease the body's ability to fight bacterial infections.
Mixing alcohol and doxycycline can decrease the body's ability to fight bacterial infections.

Anyone who drinks alcohol regularly should notify his or her doctor before being given any antibiotic. This allows the proper dosage to be prescribed. The doctor may recommend avoiding alcohol for several days after the drug is finished, but if this is not possible it should be consumed in moderation. If any unusual or troubling symptoms occur while taking any medication a doctor should be notified immediately.

The effects of alcohol and doxycyline may be amplified when they are taken together.
The effects of alcohol and doxycyline may be amplified when they are taken together.

Since both doxycycline and alcohol cause side effects, the effects of both may be amplified if they are used together. Nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue may occur. If severe vomiting, migraine, or symptoms of an allergic reaction occur, a doctor or pharmacist should be contacted right away. Taking additional medications while taking doxycycline may make symptoms worse and more prolonged. Those who have an alcohol problem are advised to seek medical intervention to avoid serious health complications.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

I agree Heavanet. If you are taking this medication, you probably already have a problem that makes you not feel your best. In addition, Doxycycline side effects are likely to occur. I'm sure that drinking alcohol would only make you feel worse.

Heavanet

I think to be on the safe side, it is best to wait until you complete your course of Doxycycline treatment before drinking alcohol. It would be worth the wait to get the most out of your treatment.

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    • A mug of mulled wine. It's best not to mix doxycycline with alcoholic drinks.
      By: ExQuisine
      A mug of mulled wine. It's best not to mix doxycycline with alcoholic drinks.
    • Mixing alcohol and doxycycline can decrease the body's ability to fight bacterial infections.
      By: Sergey Nivens
      Mixing alcohol and doxycycline can decrease the body's ability to fight bacterial infections.
    • The effects of alcohol and doxycyline may be amplified when they are taken together.
      By: Photographee.eu
      The effects of alcohol and doxycyline may be amplified when they are taken together.
    • Mixing doxycycline with alcohol can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
      By: Focus Pocus LTD
      Mixing doxycycline with alcohol can cause nausea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue.
    • Doxycycline and alcohol can be damaging to the liver when taken in large amounts.
      By: orcea david
      Doxycycline and alcohol can be damaging to the liver when taken in large amounts.
    • A regular drinker should notify his or her doctor before being given any antibiotic.
      By: Kzenon
      A regular drinker should notify his or her doctor before being given any antibiotic.