Information on Taking Antibiotics and Alcohol

Being on antibiotics can take the fun out of partying, particularly if alcohol is involved. According to ABC Health and Wellbeing, there is an unpleasant connection between antibiotics and alcohol; however, this only occurs with a handful of antibiotics.

Overall Prognosis

Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness for the majority of antibiotics, according to Mayo Clinic. However, antibiotics and alcohol can result in similar side effects including drowsiness, upset stomach and dizziness. When combined, these side effects can increase.

Specific Antibiotics

Antibiotics such astinidazole (Tindamax), metronidazole (Flagyl) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) should not be blended with alcohol.

Side Effects

Combining specific medications with any quantity of alcohol can lead to more extreme reactions such as headache, nausea, flushing, rapid heart rate, vomiting and labored breathing. Cold medicines and mouthwashes also have alcohol—check the label and steer clear of these products when taking specific antibiotics.

Reduced Effectiveness

Occasionally, alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics such as doxycycline (Vibramycin and Doryx) resulting in the user needing more of the drug to attain the initial treatment effect.


Alcohol can lower your energy level and delay your illness recovery time. Consequently, it is best to refrain from drinking alcohol until you have finished taking your antibiotics and are feeling better.

Being on antibiotics can take the fun out of partying