What are the Risks of Taking Amoxicillin and Alcohol?

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What Are The Risks Of Taking Amoxicillin And Alcohol?

There are many risks to taking amoxicillin and alcohol. (1)You've probably been told by your doctor that alcohol does no mix well with antibiotics such as Amoxicillin. This is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics.

It is important to understand alcohol and medication interactions as drinking alcohol and taking antibiotics can lead to some serious consequences.

In fact, mixing alcohol with medication is always a dangerous mix. Professional treatment advice states that you should not drink alcohol with certain antibiotics.

Alcohol abuse on the other hand, will cause one to desire alcohol while taking antibiotics. According to trustworthy health information, this will prohibit the efficacy of the Amoxicillin antibiotic.

Looking for a doctor that can provide medical advice when you drink alcohol while taking drugs can help save your life, or avoid a severe reaction.

Skin Infections

The doctor will treat infections such as skin infections that can result from mixing alcohol and specific drugs.

Taking amoxicillin safely and the doses regularly will help your body's ability to fight infection. But, mixing antibiotics while you drink alcohol you will do the opposite, that is; cause your body's ability to fight infection diminish. It will also affect your immune system. Already alcohol abuse will have done that, but when you add antibiotics and consuming alcohol, then you will be in big trouble.

There are many contraindications to drinking alcohol on top of the prescribe antibiotic. Drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics is prohibited and you should avoid drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics at all times.

Using Alcohol In Excess

In case you are using alcohol in excess should inform their medical practitioner before the antibiotic prescription begins even if it is a moderate alcohol consumption.

Now, any drug abuse, or alcohol consumption requires one to first complete the dosage for most antibiotics and alcohol, but the best solution would be to quit alcohol dependency completely.

This combination could lead to chest pain, a low blood cells count, heart palpitations and in the end, you will feel worse than before. The effects of drinking alcohol against the doctors instructions are quite severe.

If you have a rapid heart rate, after taking your last dose, call the doctor immediately. Find a healthcare professional, so you can be medically reviewed.

If you consume alcohol more than the recommended dosage, which means that you are addicted, then you need to reach us - Abbeycare treatment center on 01603 513 091 in order to begin treatment options that will help you avoid alcohol completely.

Academic research institutions show that alcohol rehab is the best solution to addiction, and our healthcare professionals are used to treat such cases all the time.

Our site complies to all the requirements and we have strict sourcing guidelines to ensure that you are medically reviewed when you contact us.

What are the Risks of Taking Amoxicillin and Alcohol_

Combining Alcohol and Amoxicillin Together

There are no medical instructions to say that amoxicillin will stop working if alcohol is consumed. This is simply a common misconception. (3)

Amoxicillin will still work with alcohol.

But, caution is recommended, especially if you have underlying conditions, and you drink and take alcohol at the same time.

There are two main side effects common with both alcohol and amoxicillin such as:

  • Nausea
  • Elevated heart rate

Even though taking both together does not cause contraindications these symptoms amongst others may be present with alcohol on its own or amoxicillin on its own. However, if you start feeling unwell when you drink red wine or any other antibiotics and medication, then you have to receive treatment immediately. (1)

So, it may be hard to differentiate why these side effects are occurring. Could it be the antibiotics medication, drink, or other medications you may be mixing?

If using alcohol, it is recommended to drink in moderation and seek treatment whenever the side effects appear.

It is important not to skip doses due to alcohol use and still use even if drinking. If possibly take the dose before beginning drinking to give the tablet time to start working properly.

What Effects Can Amoxicillin Have On The Body?

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic from the penicillin family and is used on a large scale world-wide for the treatment of bacterial infections.

They treat bacterial infections such as urinary tract infections, infections of the skin, lung infections such as pneumonia, middle ear infections and strep throat.

On the sign of adverse conditions such as confusion, change in presentation, anxiety, sensitivity to light etc. the patient is encouraged to seek medical intervention immediately.

As antibiotics includes penicillin it is important to check that the patient is not allergic to this. As in severe reactions anaphylaxis may occur.

It is important to finish the course prescribed by the medical practitioner and follow the directions for use.

Not finishing the course may allow the infection the antibiotics used to treat to return or not clear completely.

Fluids are encouraged to avoid dehydration the most effective fluid when using antibiotics is water.

One of the most common side effects is a rash although nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may also occur.

If you suffer any of these side effects, after antibiotics medications, then, you should be medically reviewed.

What Are Antibiotics/Amoxicillin Side Effects?

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of tongue, face and lips
  • Blistering
  • Peeling of skin (external and internal in the mouth)
  • Darkness in urine
  • Diarrhoea
  • Upset stomachs

Antibiotics/Amoxicillin Forms:

  • Tablets
  • Liquid
  • Injection

Antibiotics/Amoxicillin more Information:

  • Start to feel better within days
  • Can stain the teeth – removed by brushing
  • Nausea or diarrhoea can occur
  • Safe to use alcohol
  • Can be prescribed for children
  • Pregnant and breast-feeding woman may be prescribed this antibiotic

What Side Effects Can Alcohol Have On The Body?

Alcohol works as a sedative slowing down the body's response rates. In the short term the inhibitions are lowered, concentration levels reduce, vision may become impaired, the mood may be altered, blood pressure can rise, core body temperature may rise, and nausea may occur.

The main side effects are; stroke, loss of memory, irregular heart rate, alcoholic hepatitis and cardiomyopathy may also occur due to long term use.

As alcohol is mood- and mind-altering drug mental health conditions can occur over time such as anxiety, depression and stress to name a few. Or can exacerbate conditions that already exist.

Damage To The Immune System:

Drinking alcohol excessively can damage the immune system as it reduces the amount of white blood cells the body produces. White blood cells are the bodies defense system. They defend against infection, cancers and cellular debris.

A reduction in these cells due to alcohol intake increases the chance of infection. You need to be medically reviewed when the side effects of substance abuse cause you to have a damaged immunity for treatment.

If the chance of infection increases the need for treatment antibiotics may also increase.

Long Term Alcohol Use Can Cause:


Those consuming alcohol over the long term may be prescribed Thiamine to counteract the effects of confusion and/or memory loss a contraindication of excessive drinking. This happens at the alcohol rehab.

The side effects of drinking causes mood and mind altering hence no machinery should be driven whilst intoxicated at any level, alcohol can cause confusion.

It is important that treatment medications are taken as prescribed and forgetfulness due to alcohol may interfere with correct usage and cause severe side effects.

Low mood:

Over time the use of alcohol can cause low mood. This may appear conflicting as alcohol can create feelings of well-being and happiness. Which is true. But over the long-term these feelings may be fleeting as the overuse of alcohol creates feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and sadness.

Many have described a melancholy feeling as memories of the past are never far away.

Weight loss or weight gain:

If dependent on alcohol many may choose it before food and nutrition. This is harmful and may cause digestion problems. When you take medications such as antibiotics without food, you will really mess up your body.

It is not recommended to take medications like Amoxicillin taken on an empty stomach and before alcohol is consumed.

If the patient feels unwell they should seek medical attention for treatment.

About the author

Laura Morris

Laura Morris is an experienced clinical practitioner and CQC Registered Manager with over twenty years experience, over ten of which have been as an Independent Nurse Prescriber.

She has held a number of senior leadership roles in the substance use and mental health sector in the NHS, the prison service and in leading social enterprises in the field.

Last Updated: November 3, 2023