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If you're on azithromycin (an antibiotic commonly prescribed for bacterial infections), it's best to steer clear of alcohol. Why? Combining the two can increase the chance of side effects on your liver and gut. Plus, azithromycin may affect your heart rhythm and alcohol can make this even worse, potentially leading to dangerous arrhythmias. So, to stay safe and make the most of your treatment, it's best to avoid drinking while taking azithromycin.

It is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol while taking azithromycin.
To be safe, you should avoid consuming alcohol for at least a few hours before taking azithromycin.

It is not recommended to consume alcohol the night before taking azithromycin, as it can increase the risk of side effects such as stomach upset and dizziness. It is best to avoid alcohol for the duration of the treatment course.

It is recommended to avoid alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours after taking azithromycin to prevent any potential adverse effects. Alcohol can potentially decrease the effectiveness of the medication and may also contribute to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions and to read the medication label carefully for any specific warnings or precautions.

The elimination rate of azithromycin from the body is approximately 50 hours.

Azithromycin and alcohol – the risk is not justified

The treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases often involves the long-term use of antibiotics. Doctors always warn against drinking alcohol during antibiotic therapy. One of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics is azithromycin. Read more about how the antibiotic azithromycin and alcohol interact.

There is no mention of alcohol in the medication information. The manufacturers clearly do not suggest that anyone would think of taking azithromycin with alcohol. However, people with a pathological craving for hot drinks may find it difficult to resist. There are very few studies on the interaction between azithromycin and alcohol. However, it is clear to any doctor what the effects of such a “cocktail” are.

Compatibility of this medicine with any alcohol, including beer, can have negative health effects. Especially as the body is already weakened by the effects of the infection.

What are the possible effects of combining azithromycin and alcohol:

  • Alcohol and the drug are eliminated through the liver and kidneys. This is why the organs are under double strain, which is very difficult to withstand. As a consequence, the interaction of azithromycin and alcohol increases the risk of renal failure and liver cell death.
  • After drinking alcohol, symptoms of poisoning occur, which resemble the side effects of medications. If these substances are combined, there is a risk of misdiagnosis. Life-threatening conditions can result from untreated infection or alcohol intoxication.
  • The period of complete excretion of the drug and alcohol changes if compatibility of their use is observed. It is important to keep in mind that both the slow and the fast version are equally harmful. In the first case, this interaction leads to additional alcohol intoxication. In addition, the insufficient action of the antibiotic creates the need to increase the dosage of the drug. This puts an enormous strain on the liver and kidneys.
  • Compatibility of azithromycin with alcohol, including beer, may cause chronic infection. As a result, it becomes much more difficult to treat the disease. This leads to an increase in the dosage of the drug, which puts a strain on the excretory organs.

Harm to the body

There are internal organs, systems and processes that are most affected by both alcohol and antibiotics:

Antibiotics are contraindicated or require at least caution and medical supervision if the patient is diagnosed with liver failure. The reason is that all antibiotics are metabolized by the liver. And it also produces a special enzyme called «acetaldehyde dehydrogenase», without which it is impossible for the body to absorb ethanol-containing products.

If azithromycin is drunk with alcohol at the same time, the burden on the liver can be overwhelming, even fatal. Severe intoxication with ethanol is not ruled out, including from small amounts of alcohol.

The next problem – the kidneys, which would inevitably be overwhelmed by the effects of the mixture of antibiotic and alcohol. Add to this the irritating effect of ethanol and the drug on the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines.

Now let’s remember the effects of beverages «With degrees» on the metabolism. Specialists know that the decay products of ethanol significantly disrupt metabolism. It is not safe at a time when the body has to assimilate the antibiotic. The active ingredient of the drug simply will not be absorbed to its full extent, and the effect on the infectious agents in the body will be very weak. At best, it can slow down your overall recovery. In the worst case – Will allow pathogenic bacteria to drive the body to various complications of the existing disease.

When can

How many days after the full course of prescribed treatment you can drink alcoholic beverages depends on when the drug is completely cleared from your body.

Azithromycin leaves the body three days after it is taken, which means that a small dose of low-alcohol drink can be drunk 3 full days after the end of treatment. How long it is recommended not to drink alcohol depends on the general condition of the organism.

Doctors’ opinions and the compatibility of antibiotics with alcohol are extremely categorical – if a person has seriously decided to undergo treatment, he should forget about alcohol at least until full recovery. First of all, everyone must take care of their health, but ethanol can only worsen the condition of the body, especially in the case of serious infections.

Final conclusion

To summarise. We now know whether alcoholic drinks are compatible with azithromycin. The answer is clearly no. Drinking such a cocktail can have many negative consequences.

There are tips on the internet that you can drink alcohol and take azithromycin at the same time. This is supported by the experience of American soldiers in the Second World War who were forced to take penicillin while drinking beer. It was given to all soldiers every day. Because of the shortage of drugs at the time, doctors were forced to extract penicillin from the soldiers’ urine.

At first glance, it would seem that a light alcoholic drink would not reduce the concentration of the drug in the body. But as it turned out, the penicillin was much harder to extract from the urine of these soldiers than from the urine of a non-drinker because of its lower concentration. In other words, there was less of the drug in the urine of someone who had taken azithromycin and alcohol together, showing the dangers of sharing.