Mixing Alcohol With Medicines – You’ve probably seen this warning on medicines you’ve taken. The danger is real. Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause nausea and vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of coordination. It also can put you at risk for internal bleeding, heart problems, and difficulties in breathing.
In addition to these dangers, alcohol can make a medication less effective or even useless, or it may make the medication harmful or toxic to your body. Some medicines that you might never have suspected can react with alcohol, including many medications which can be purchased “over-the-counter”—that is, without a prescription.
Even some herbal remedies can have harmful effects when combined with alcohol. This pamphlet lists medications that can cause harm when taken with alcohol and describes the effects that can result. The list gives the brand name by which each medicine is commonly known (for example, Benadryl®) and its generic name or active ingredient (in Benadryl®, this is diphenhydramine).
- 1 What is it called when drugs are combined with alcohol?
- 2 What is it called when you combine two or more drugs?
- 2.1 Why should you say no to drugs and alcohol?
- 2.2 What happens if you drink alcohol after taking paracetamol?
- 2.3 How does alcohol affect antidepressants?
- 3 How does drug interaction affect absorption?
- 4 Is it safe to take drugs and alcohol together or two or more drugs together?
- 5 What are combination drug effects?
- 6 What drugs Cannot be used together?
- 7 Can you drink if you’ve taken ibuprofen?
What is it called when drugs are combined with alcohol?
The Synergistic Effect of Combining Drugs and Alcohol (Drug DUI) When you are prescribed medicine, there may be a notice on the label- “do not combine with alcohol.” Many kinds of drugs, both illegal and prescription, can have adverse effects when combined with alcohol.
- The “synergistic effect” happens when you drink alcohol and ingest some kind of drug.
- The combination of drugs and alcohol will increase the effects of alcohol on your body.
- Even if you have only had one glass of wine, ingesting any kind of drug can sharply increase your impairment.
- One glass may feel more like three.
Even if you think you are okay to drive, you may not be. If you are arrested for DUI after combining drugs and alcohol, it is important that you seek out an experienced Tampa drug DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. Breath Test Results Did you know that even if you blow below the legal limit, you can still be arrested for DUI? Any kind of intoxication can result in your arrest for DUI, despite not having a high breath alcohol concentration.
- If you are unable to pass a field sobriety test or gain control of your normal driving faculties, you can be arrested for DUI.
- Even if you only had one glass of wine with an over-the-counter medication, you may still be too impaired to drive.
- When you are prescribed any kind of medication, make sure you are well aware of the potential side effects and results of mixing with alcohol.
Marijuana, Cocaine, Opioids, and Other Drugs The most common illegal drugs that are mixed with alcohol are marijuana, cocaine, and opioids. Mixing two depressants (such as alcohol and heroin) greatly increases the effect of both intoxicants. In fact, alcohol can even be lethal when mixed with certain amounts of opioids.
The synergism of mixing illegal drugs and alcohol results in more than just the individual effects of both. When mixing drugs and alcohol, the results of each are greatly amplified. You may experience unexpected side effects and greater impairment. Your coordination, reaction time, attention span, perception, and judgment will all be affected.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI after mixing drugs and alcohol, contact an aggressive Tampa drug DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today. Energy Drinks and Alcohol Mixing energy drinks with alcohol may have a similar synergistic effect on your body.
Energy drinks are high in caffeine, ginseng, and taurine, among other herbal ingredients. Reduced fatigue mixed with the behavioral impairment of alcohol may lead you to make poor decisions or take risks that you would not normally take. The high caffeine content in energy drinks may make you believe that you are less intoxicated than you actually are.
Although you may think mixing a depressant (alcohol) with a stimulant (caffeine) would be a positive combination, the caffeine does not offset any of the effects of alcohol. Call Pallegar Law, P.A. Today If you have been arrested for DUI as a result of mixing alcohol and drugs, contact a skilled Tampa drug DUI attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A.
Why do drugs react with alcohol?
Types of Drug Interactions With Alcohol – There are basically two types of drug interactions with alcohol.
- Pharmacodynamic Interactions
- When a medication side effect like drowsiness is magnified by the use of alcohol it is called an “additive” effect. These types of interactions are called pharmacodynamic interactions.
- They occur frequently when alcohol and pills that cause drowsiness are combined. For example, when alcohol is combined with some antihistamines, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) that normally causes drowsiness as a side effect, the drowsiness may be magnified.
- This added drowsiness can interfere with the ability to concentrate, make reasonable judgements and can make driving or operating machinery hazardous.
- Pharmacokinetic Interactions
- These interactions occur when processes such as drug absorption, metabolism or excretion are changed.
- Alcohol is primarily broken down (metabolized) in the liver for excretion by various enzymes. Many medications are broken down by enzymes, too, so there can be competition in the body for these liver enzymes.
- These alcohol interactions can cause some medications to be less effective (by enzyme induction), or to build up causing toxic effects (by enzyme inhibition).
What happens when you combine alcohol?
However, drinking mixed drinks and shots means consuming greater amounts of alcohol at a faster rate, and you may become intoxicated before you know it. If you drink beer and then liquor, you will most likely get more drunk than you would have if you had started with liquor and felt the effects of alcohol earlier.
Does alcohol affect absorption of drugs?
Abstract – Ethanol and drugs can affect each other’s absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. When ingested together, ethanol can increase drug absorption by enhancing the gastric solubility of drugs and by increasing gastrointestinal blood flow.
However, high concentrations of ethanol induce gastric irritation causing a pyloric spasm which in turn may delay drug absorption and/or reduce bioavailability. The ‘quality’ of the alcoholic beverage, independent of its ethanol content, can contribute to altered absorption of a drug. Ethanol is not bound to plasma proteins extensively enough to modify drug distribution.
However, serum albumin levels in chronic alcoholics may be abnormally low so that some drugs, e.g. diazepam, have an increased volume of distribution. In addition to the amount ingested, the duration of regular intake determines the effect of ethanol on drug metabolism.
Acute intake of ethanol inhibits the metabolism of many drugs but long term intake of ethanol at a high level (greater than 200g of pure ethanol per day) can induce liver enzymes to metabolise drugs more efficiently. At the present time there are no accurate means, with the possible exception of liver biopsy, to clinically predict the capacity of an alcoholic to metabolise drugs.
Several drugs can inhibit the metabolism of ethanol at the level of alcohol dehydrogenase. Individual predisposition determines the severity of this drug-ethanol interaction. During its absorption phase, ethanol inhibits the secretion of antidiuretic hormone and is also able to induce increased excretion of a drug through the kidneys.
- However, chronic alcoholics with water retention may show reduced excretion of drugs via this route.
- At the pharmacodynamic level, ethanol can enhance the deleterious effects of sedatives, certain anxiolytics, sedative antidepressants and antipsychotics and anticholinergic agents, on performance.
- Mechanisms of lethal interactions between moderate overdoses of ethanol and anxiolytics/opiates/sedatives are poorly understood.
On the other hand, certain peptides, ‘nonspecific’ stimulants, dopaminergic agents and opiate antagonists can antagonise alcohol-induced inebriation to a significant degree.
What is it called when you combine two or more drugs?
Listen to pronunciation. (SIH-ner-JIS-tik) In medicine, describes the interaction of two or more drugs when their combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects seen when each drug is given alone.
What drug blocks the effect of alcohol?
Disulfiram is an alcohol blocker. It prevents alcohol from being broken down (metabolized) by the liver. If you drink alcohol while taking disulfiram, it causes a ‘disulfiram-alcohol reaction.’ This is an unpleasant reaction to alcohol that helps discourage drinking.
Why should you say no to drugs and alcohol?
by Scott Grabel When a person uses any potentially dangerous and/or mood-altering substance in a frequent and often overindulgent pattern, it is called substance abuse. These substances include prescription and non-prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Teen substance abuse is an ongoing problem that can have long-term, negative effects on the present and future of the person using the drug, and on his or her family.
- At some point most teens will come into contact with drugs, alcohol, or both.
- While some may never try them, others may find themselves trying and eventually abusing drugs as a result of peer pressure, stress, or other reasons.
- When faced with the decision of using drugs or steering clear of them, knowing how to avoid the temptation and pressure to do so is key.
This is easier said than done, however. The teen years are often difficult, even before drugs or alcohol enter the picture. Often this difficulty comes from one’s peers as there is stress to behave a certain way, look a certain way and to fit in. Confidence and self-esteem will play a huge role in drug and alcohol prevention.
- A number of factors influence one’s decision to use drugs.
- One of the leading factors for people in their teen years is peer pressure.
- The influences of a person’s friends, whether good or bad, often plays a large part in decisions that are made.
- In some instances, even the influence of people who are not friends will affect a teen’s actions.
For example, a teen may want to be a part of a popular group of students in school; however, the group has not accepted him or her as a friend. In efforts to fit in or be accepted, the student may do something that is wrong because the people in the popular group are doing it.
- Often that “something” involves taking drugs or drinking alcohol.
- Confidence, self-esteem and feelings of self-worth will go a long way toward helping a teen make the right decision and not just follow the crowd.
- When people are confident in themselves and in what they believe in, they are less likely to look toward outside sources to make them feel special.
Teens should discover what things they enjoy, from music to clothing and recreational activities. These things can help them to express who they are. By exploring the things that make them feel good, they may no longer feel the need to “fit in” with people who drink, take drugs and behave in a way that invites trouble.
- Hanging out with friends who share the same beliefs and enjoy the same activities will also diminish the influence of peer pressure and the risk of doing things that are wrong and potentially harmful.
- Saying “No” to peers can be difficult, especially if no one else does, or if the peers are friends.
- Nowing how to say no can help make it easier.
In some cases, simply saying “No thanks,” is enough. If dealing with a single person who is a friend, it may be helpful to say no in addition to offering an alternative activity, such as going to a mall, watching a movie, or playing video games. Depending on the situation, attaching humor to a refusal to take drugs may also make the situation less tense.
In some instances it is best to simply avoid situations where peer pressure is likely to be applied. For example, if a party is being held and it is known in advance that there will be alcohol or drugs present, avoiding the party in favor of other activities will solve the issue of having to say “no” in the first place.
Teens who are on the fence on whether or not to take drugs or alcohol should consider the consequences of doing so. Substance abuse can negatively affect a person’s relationship with their family and alienate friends. Drugs can cause grades to decline to the point that it affects one’s ability to graduate and attend the college that they want.
In some cases, drug abuse may even cause a person to drop out of school entirely, which threatens their future ability to get a job and earn a living. Alcohol and drug use and abuse increases the risk of suicide and the risk of injury or death due to accidents or car crashes. Substance abuse may even result in death due to drug related interactions.
Minor and major illnesses and diseases may be contracted through dirty needles or from sexual contact while under the influence. Mental illness in the form of depression or withdrawal are also associated with substance abuse. Incarceration is yet another consequence of substance abuse.
Not only is the act of taking drugs illegal, but teens may also become involved in gangs, commit robbery, resort to selling drugs, or assault others as a result of taking them. Juvenile offenders can by marked for life by an arrest and possibly tried as adults. For arrested teens, a criminal defense attorney is necessary to navigate the justice system.
For teens who are already taking drugs or drinking alcohol, it is never too late to get help. The first step is to get the necessary support by telling one’s parents or family about their problems and desire to get help. The next step is to see a professional such as a doctor or depending on the extent of the problem, a treatment center may be necessary.
For some people counseling and support groups are helpful and can help address the real reasons for the substance abuse. Despite the hardships and adjustments that come with being a teen, it isn’t necessary to turn to drugs. Although the desire to fit in can be a strong motivator, it is important to consider all of the negative consequences that are associated with drug use.
To help avoid drugs, teens should discover the things that they enjoy and what makes them a unique individual. A strong sense of self-worth and confidence will go a long way in helping teens say no to drugs and alcohol. For more information about teen substance abuse and how to say no, please read the following links.
Dealing With Addiction Where Can a Person Get Help for Teen Drug Abuse? Above the Influence: Peer Pressure – Above the Crowd – Be Your Own Person Refusal Skills – Nine Ways to Say “No” to Drugs Healthy Children: Helping Teens Resist to Try Drugs Consequences of Youth Substance Abuse Social Consequences of Drug Use and Drug Abuse Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse – Finding the Right Treatment for Your Teen Peer Pressure for Teens
What happens if you drink alcohol after taking paracetamol?
Paracetamol – Do not drink alcohol when you take paracetamol. This is because paracetamol can have a potentially lethal interaction with alcohol and increase the risk of liver damage. The exact amounts and timing of alcohol and paracetamol intake that could lead to liver damage are unknown.
How does alcohol affect antidepressants?
The combination of antidepressants and alcohol will affect your judgment, coordination, motor skills and reaction time more than alcohol alone. Some combinations may make you sleepy. This can impair your ability to drive or do other tasks that require focus and attention. You may become sedated or feel drowsy.
What happens when you drink alcohol and caffeine together?
Alcohol and Caffeine
- The 2015–2020 cautions against mixing alcohol with caffeine.1
- When alcohol is mixed with caffeine, the caffeine can mask the depressant effects of alcohol, making drinkers feel more alert than they would otherwise. As a result, they may drink more alcohol and become more impaired than they realize, increasing the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.1–5
- Caffeine has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath or blood alcohol concentrations (it does not “sober you up”) or reduce impairment due to alcohol consumption.1
- Energy drinks typically contain caffeine, plant-based stimulants, simple sugars, and other additives.3
- Mixing alcohol with energy drinks is a popular practice, especially among young people in the United States.6–8 In 2017, 10.6% of students in grades 8, 10, and 12 and 31.8% of young adults aged 19 to 28 reported consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks at least once in the past year.7,8
- In a study among Michigan high school students, those who binge drank were more than twice as likely to mix alcohol with energy drinks as non-binge drinkers (49.0% vs.18.2%). Liquor was the usual type of alcohol consumed by students who reported mixing alcohol and energy drinks (52.7%).9
- Drinkers aged 15 to 23 who mix alcohol with energy drinks are 4 times more likely to binge drink at high intensity (i.e., consume 6 or more drinks per binge episode) than drinkers who do not mix alcohol with energy drinks.10
- Drinkers who mix alcohol with energy drinks are more likely than drinkers who do not mix alcohol with energy drinks to report unwanted or unprotected sex, driving drunk or riding with a driver who was intoxicated, or sustaining alcohol-related injuries.11
- Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages (CABs) were premixed beverages popular in the 2000s 12 that combined alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants. They were malt or distilled spirits-based beverages and they usually had a higher alcohol content than beer (e.g., 12% alcohol by volume compared to 4% to 5% for beer).2,12
- CABs were heavily marketed in youth-friendly media (e.g., social media) and with youth-oriented graphics and messaging that connected the consumption of these beverages with extreme sports or their risk-taking behaviors.13
- In November 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told the manufacturers of seven CABs that their drinks could no longer stay on the market in their current form, stating that “FDA does not find support for the claim that the addition of caffeine to these alcoholic beverages is ‘generally recognized as safe,’ which is the legal standard.” 2,14 Producers of CABs responded by removing caffeine and other stimulants from their products.3
- Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 140,000 deaths in the United States each year 15 and $249 billion in economic costs in 2010.16
- Binge drinking (consuming 4 or more drinks per occasion for women or 5 or more drinks per occasion for men) is responsible for more than 40% of these deaths and three quarters of economic costs.15,16
- Binge drinking is also associated with many health and social problems, including alcohol-impaired driving, interpersonal violence, risky sexual activity, and unintended pregnancy.17
- Most people younger than age 21 who drink report binge drinking, usually on multiple occasions.18
- The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends effective population-based strategies for preventing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms, including increasing alcohol excise taxes, limiting alcohol outlet density, and commercial host (dram shop) liability for service to underage or intoxicated customers.19
- States and communities have also developed educational strategies to alert consumers to the risks of mixing alcohol with energy drinks. At least one community enacted an ordinance requiring retailers to post warning signs informing consumers of the risks of mixing alcohol and energy drinks.20
- Monitoring and reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising through “no-buy” lists could also help reduce underage drinking. No-buy lists identify television programming that advertisers can avoid to improve compliance with the alcohol industry’s self-regulated alcohol marketing guidelines.21
- US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture.8th ed. Washington, DC US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture; 2015.
- Federal Trade Commission. FTC sends warning letters to marketers of caffeinated alcohol drinks website:, Accessed February 4, 2020.
- Marczinski CA, Fillmore MT. Nutr Rev,2014;72(suppl 1):98–107.
- McKetin R, Coen A, Kaye S., Drug Alcohol Depend.2015;151:15–30.
- Seifert SM, Schaechter JL, Hershorin ER, Lipshultz SE., Pediatrics.2011;127(3):511–528.
- Kponee KZ, Siegel M, Jernigan DH. Addict Behav.2014;39(1):253–258.
- Johnson LD, Miech RA, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE, Patrick ME., Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan; 2018.
- Schulenberg JE, Johnson LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Miech RA, Patrick ME., Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan; 2018.
- Gonzales KR, Largo TW, Miller C, Kanny D, Brewer RD., Prev Chronic Dis.2015;12:150290. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd12.150290s.
- Emond JA, Gilbert-Diamond D, Tanski SE, Sargent JD., J Pediatr.2014;165(6):1194–200.
- Roemer A, Stockwell T., J Stud Alcohol Drugs.2017;78(2):175–183.
- M. Shanken Communications, Inc. The U.S. Beer Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast, New York, NY: M. Shanken Communications, Inc.; 2009:533.
- Simon M, Mosher J., San Rafael, CA: Marin Institute; 2007.
- US Food and Drug Administration. Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Website., Accessed February 4, 2020.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed April 19, 2022.
- Sacks JJ, Gonzales KR, Bouchery EE, Tomedi LE, Brewer RD., Am J Prev Med,2015;49(5):e73–e79.
- World Health Organization., Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2018.
- Esser MB, Clayton H, Demissie Z, Kanny D, Brewer RD., MMWR.2017;66:474-478.
- Community Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Community Preventive Services., Accessed February 4, 2020.
- City of Thousand Oaks, CA., Title 5. Chapter 27. Sec.5-27.01–5-27.03.
- Ross CS, Brewer RD, Jernigan DH., J Stud Alcohol Drugs.2016;77:7–16.
What most affects drug absorption?
Drug absorption is a pharmacokinetic parameter that refers to the way a drug is absorbed from a pharmaceutical formulation into the bloodstream. Image Credit: By NOOMEANG / Shutterstock Several factors can affect the absorption of a drug into the body. These include:
physicochemical properties (e.g. solubility) drug formulation (e.g. tablets, capsules, solutions) the route of administration (e.g. oral, buccal, sublingual, rectal, parenteral, topical, or inhaled) the rate of gastric emptying
The main pharmacokinetic parameters for absorption include:
Absorption rate constant: absorption rate / amount of drug remaining to be absorbed Bioavailability: amount of drug absorbed / drug dose
A drug must be solubilized in order to cross the semipermeable cell membranes to reach the systemic circulation. These biological barriers exist to selectively allow or inhibit the passage of native and foreign particles through them.
What can affect drug absorption?
Issues of Concern – Regardless of the absorption site, the drug must cross the cell membrane to reach the systemic circulation. This can occur primarily in one of two ways, either through passive (simple) diffusion or carrier-mediated membrane transporters.
- The most common mechanism of absorption for drugs is passive diffusion.
- This process can be explained through the Fick law of diffusion, in which the drug molecule moves according to the concentration gradient from a higher drug concentration to a lower concentration until equilibrium is reached.
- Passive diffusion can occur in an aqueous or lipid environment.
Aqueous diffusion occurs in the aqueous compartment of the body, such as interstitial space or through aqueous pores in the endothelium of blood vessels. Drugs that are bound to albumin or other large plasma proteins cannot permeate most aqueous pores.
On the other hand, lipid diffusion occurs through the lipid compartment of the body. Therefore it is considered the most important factor for drug permeability due to the greater number of lipid barriers that separate the compartments of the body. The lipid-aqueous partition coefficient of the drug can be used to determine how rapidly the drug moves between lipid and aqueous mediums.
Another mechanism of absorption is via carrier-mediated membrane transporters. Numerous specialized carrier-mediated membrane transport systems are present in the body to transport ions and nutrients, particularly in the intestine. Such systems include active and facilitated diffusion.
- Active diffusion is an energy-consuming system essential for GI absorption; and renal and biliary excretion of many drugs.
- This process facilitates the absorption of some lipid insoluble drugs, which mimics natural physiological metabolites such as 5-fluorouracil from the GI tract.
- In contrast to passive diffusion, active diffusion enables the movement of drugs from regions with low drug concentrations to regions with higher drug concentrations.
With active diffusion, the carrier binds to form a complex with the drug. This complex facilitates the transportation of the drug across the membrane and then disassociates on the other side. The carrier molecule may be highly specific to the drug molecule.
Drugs sharing similar structures can compete with each other for the carrier in absorption sites. Since there are only a small number of carrier molecules available, the binding sites on the carrier may become saturated if the drug concentration is very high, after which the dose increases do not affect the concentration of the drug.
While some transporters facilitate absorption, other transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) can effectively impede drug absorption. P-gp (also known as MDR1) is an energy-dependent efflux transporter that facilitates the secretion of molecules back into the intestinal lumen, thereby restricting overall absorption.
- Facilitated diffusion is another transporter system that appears to play a minor role in terms of drug absorption.
- It is similar to the active diffusion system in that both are saturable and exhibit drug selectivity and competition kinetics.
- However, the main differences are that facilitated diffusion does not require energy, and unlike active transport, does not enable the movement against a concentration gradient.
An example of a facilitated diffusion system is the organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1), which facilitates the movement of some drugs such as metformin, an antidiabetic agent. Drug-specific factors that affect drug absorption include the physicochemical and pharmaceutical variables of drugs.
- One example of the physicochemical variables is the drug solubility and the effect of pH and pKa, where most drugs act as weak acids or bases in solutions in both ionized and non-ionized forms.
- The ionized drugs are hydrophilic and cannot cross the membrane of the cell.
- Whereas the non-ionized drugs appear to be lipophilic and can penetrate the cell membrane easily by simple diffusion.
The distribution of weak electrolytes across membranes would result from the pH gradient across the membrane and the drug’s pKa. Weakly acidic drugs are easily absorbed in a low pH medium such as in the stomach. Whereas weakly basic drugs are not absorbed until they reach the higher pH medium in the small intestine.
- Other physicochemical variables such as particle size and surface area, dissolution rate, amorphism, polymorphism characteristics, and nature of the dosage form will also affect systemic drug absorption.
- The rate of dissolution is the amount of the solid substance that turns into a solution per time at standard conditions of pH, solvent composition, and temperature, with a constant surface area.
For example, cisapride, a gastroprokinetic agent, has a low aqueous solubility. However, it has good oral bioavailability due to its rapid rate of dissolution in GI fluids. The particle size is inversely related to the dissolution rate. Thus, reducing particle size increases surface area and, consequently, a higher dissolution rate.
- Micronizing the drug particles increases the dissolution rate and solubility.
- For example, digoxin is found to have 100% bioavailability in the micronized tablet.
- Furthermore, the internal structure of the drug can be either in a crystalline or amorphous form.
- Polymorph is a term in which the solid substance has more than one crystalline form.
The polymorphs can vary in their physical properties, such as solubility, hardness, and melting point. For example, chloramphenicol palmitate has three polymorphic forms A, B, & C. Among all these, form B is found to have the highest absorption and bioavailability.
Pharmaceutical variables include the presence of different excipients (inactive ingredients), which may increase or decrease the absorption rate depending on the added ingredient. There are several dosage forms in which the drug can be administered. Each dosage form has a different absorption rate depending on many factors, including the nature of the dosage form and the site of administration.
Generally, for orally administered dosage forms, solutions have a higher rate of absorption. Other pharmaceutical variables include drug expiration and storage condition. Patient-specific factors affecting the drug absorption (physiological variables) include age, gastric emptying time, intestinal transit time, disease status, blood flow at the absorption site, pre-systemic metabolism, and GI content.
With increased age, many physiological changes occur, which may lead to decreased drug absorption. Critically ill patients may have reduced blood flow to the GI tract, which will result in reduced drug absorption. Generally, intestinal absorption is more critical for most drugs than any other site in the GI tract due to the increased surface area of the intestinal mucosa.
The duodenal mucosa has the quickest drug absorption because of such anatomical characteristics as villi and microvilli, which provide a large surface area. However, these villi are much less abundant in other parts of the GI tract. Drugs may be absorbed from the GI tract at a different rate.
Before orally administered drugs reach the circulation, they can be metabolized within the gut wall or the liver. This is known as first-pass metabolism, which will result in a decreased amount of active drug absorbed. Food content appears to affect the absorption rate of many orally administered drugs.
For example, the absorption rate of levodopa, an antiparkinsonian drug, is decreased when administered with protein-containing food. While the absorption of albendazole, an antiprotozoal agent, is enhanced with lipid-containing food.
How does drug interaction affect absorption?
Publisher Summary – Multiple drug therapy is popular because it has been found to be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions, including infections, neurological disorders, and gastrointestinal diseases. Various nutritional and disease states can affect the magnitude of these interactions.
Drug interactions affecting pharmacokinetics can have pharmacodynamic consequences, such as diminished or exaggerated efficacy or increased toxicity. Drug interactions can also be influenced by genetics and disease states. Drug interactions can affect drug absorption by affecting the dissolution of the drug in the stomach, by influencing gastric emptying or intestinal blood flow, or by inhibition of active transport processes.
Several drug interactions affecting the absorption of acetaminophen can serve as illustrations of drug interactions because of effects on gastric emptying. The ulcer drug propantheline decreases the rate of acetaminophen absorption but has no effect on the extent of absorption.
The heartburn drug metoclopramide increases the rate of absorption of acetaminophen. Two drugs can compete with each other for the same protein- binding site, leading to displacement of the drug with the lower affinity from the binding site. There can also be a noncompetitive or allosteric drug interaction because of a drug-induced conformational change in the binding site that leads to the displacement of the bound drug.
Drug interactions affecting metabolism are of two types: inhibition or induction. Inhibition decreases metabolism, whereas enzyme induction can increase metabolism. Not all drug interactions result in adverse effects. Some of the enzymes with their inducing and inhibiting effects of drugs can be used to therapeutic advantage.
Is it safe to take drugs and alcohol together or two or more drugs together?
Polysubstance Use Facts The use of more than one drug, also known as polysubstance use, is common. This includes when two or more are taken together or within a short time period, either intentionally or unintentionally.
- Intentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes a drug to increase or decrease the effects of a different drug or wants to experience the effects of the combination.
- Unintentional polysubstance use occurs when a person takes drugs that have been mixed or cut with other substances, like fentanyl, without their knowledge.
- Whether intentional or not, mixing drugs is never safe because the effects from combining drugs may be stronger and more unpredictable than one drug alone, and even deadly.
The dangers of polysubstance use also apply to prescription drugs. Always let your doctor know what drugs you are taking to prevent any adverse reactions with newly prescribed medications. Never take pills that did not come from a pharmacy and weren’t prescribed to you.250+ —The number of American lives lost to drugs every day.1 50% — In 2019, nearly half of drug overdose deaths involved multiple drugs.2 Examples of stimulants: ecstasy (MDMA), cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines (speed) Stimulants (also known as uppers) can increase your heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels and increase your risk of several serious health problems. Combining stimulants may even directly or indirectly increase your risk of:
- Brain injury
- Liver damage
- Heart attack
Signs of use/overdose 3,4 that may occur when mixing stimulants:
- Fast/troubled breathing
- Increased body temperature
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chest pain
- Seizures or tremors
Examples of depressants: opioids (heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl), benzodiazepines Depressants (also known as downers) can slow down your breathing and increase your risk of several adverse health outcomes. Combining depressants can also directly or indirectly increase your risk of:
- Damage to the brain and other organs
Signs of use/overdose 5,6 when mixing depressants:
- Slow breathing
- Weak pulse
- Altered mental status or confusion
- Passing out
Mixing stimulants and depressants Mixing stimulants and depressants doesn’t balance or cancel them out. In fact, the results of combining drugs are unpredictable, often modifying or even masking the effects of one or both drugs. This may trick you into thinking that the drugs are not affecting you, making it easier to overdose. Drinking alcohol while using other drugs Drinking alcohol while using other drugs isn’t safe. Alcohol is a depressant with similar effects to other downers. Mixing alcohol with other drugs can increase your risk of overdose and serious damage to the brain, heart, and other organs.
- Call 911 Immediately.*
- Administer, if available. **
- Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
- Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
- Stay with the person until emergency assistance arrives.
*Most states have laws that may protect a person who is overdosing or the person who called for help from legal trouble. **Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose and save lives. It is available in all 50 states and can be purchased from a local pharmacy without a prescription in most states.
- NCHS, National Vital Statistics System. Estimates for 2020 are based on provisional data. Estimates for 2015-2019 are based on final data (available from: ).
- O’Donnell J, Gladden RM, Mattson CL, Hunter CT, Davis NL. Vital Signs: Characteristics of Drug Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids and Stimulants — 24 States and the District of Columbia, January–June 2019. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020; 69:1189–1197. DOI:
- NIDA.2020, October 7. Cocaine. Retrieved from on 2021, March 11
- NIDA.2019, May 16. Methamphetamine DrugFacts. Retrieved from on 2021, March 11
- SAMHSA.2020, August 19. Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Heroin (smack, junk) facts. Easy-to-Read Drug Facts. Retrieved from
What are combination drug effects?
Introduction – Drugs that produce overtly similar effects are often given in combination. These include drugs for treating many conditions such as hypertension, pain relief, and cough suppression. Certainly almost all cancer chemotherapy and many antimicrobial regimens use multiple drugs given simultaneously.
There is also a growing interest in drug combinations that might prevent cancer, as summarized in a recent Nature article by Gravitz, 1 and an increasing awareness that the use of synergistic drug combinations in treating cancer allows lower doses of each constituent drug and consequently lower adverse effects.
When 2 or more drugs are given in combination the effect may be superadditive (synergistic); that is, they may demonstrate action that is above what is expected from their individual potencies and efficacies. In contrast to synergism, some drug combination may show subadditivity or simple additivity.
- When the combination effect is consistent with the individual drug potencies, we say that the interaction is simply additive.
- The term additivity does not mean the simple addition of effect magnitudes; instead, this term, which provides the basis for assessing synergism and antagonism, is derived from the more basic concept of dose equivalence and the quantitative modeling that follows from it.
That concept and its application to the quantitative evaluation of drug combinations are the aim of this brief review. Additivity and departures from it require a precise quantitative analysis that is described here. This kind of analysis has a long history, and the methods used continue to be expanded.
It should first be noted that a drug effect, whether due to a single drug or to a combination, is understood to be a change in some measurable attribute of the system under study, such as a reduction in systolic blood pressure, a change in heart rate, a reduction in tumor size, measured cell antiproliferation, induction of apoptosis, a reduction in DNA replication, a measurable change in pain perception, and so on.
Thus, a well-defined metric for defining the effect magnitude is necessary in determining departures from simple additivity. Some drug effects are desirable whereas others are undesirable. The adverse effects of chemotherapeutic drugs are well documented, and some of these such as neuropathic pain present a real challenge that has been somewhat addressed in some of the author’s collaborative preclinical studies.2 The ideal situation is one in which the drug combination synergizes the desired effect but exhibits subadditivity for the undesirable effects.
- A quantitative approach to that ideal situation is discussed in a later section of this communication.
- Much experience has shown that synergism (or subadditivity) is not merely a property of the 2 drugs.
- It also depends on the doses of each in the combination.3 – 7 In this discussion we present the most common quantitative methods that guide the experimental design and the data analysis that are used in quantitative drug combination studies.
These constitute a generalization and expansion of the method of isoboles. This method is a nonmechanistic approach, that is, a procedure that uses the dose-effect data of the individual drugs. The potency and efficacy information derived from the individual dose-effect curves allow a determination of the expected combination effect or dose combination that produces a specified effect.
- This expected effect (termed additive ) is then statistically compared with the observed drug combination data, thereby indicating whether a departure from additivity such as synergism or subadditivity has occurred.
- Although this well-known approach is not based on explorations of intimate mechanisms, the detection of a nonadditive interaction is an important first step in the further exploration of mechanism.
The needed mathematical/statistical aspects have been kept to a minimum in the text; instead, that detail is given as a supplement for the reader who desires this information (see supplement and Suppl. Fig. S1).
What drugs Cannot be used together?
Is it safe to use prescription drugs in combination with other medications? | National Institute on Drug Abuse The safety of using prescription drugs in combination with other substances depends on a number of factors including the types of medications, dosages, other substance use (e.g., alcohol), and individual patient health factors.
- Patients should talk with their health care provider about whether they can safely use their prescription drugs with other substances, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
- Specifically, drugs that slow down breathing rate, such as opioids, alcohol, antihistamines, CNS depressants, or general anesthetics, should not be taken together because these combinations increase the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression.
Stimulants should also not be used with other medications unless recommended by a physician. Patients should be aware of the dangers associated with mixing stimulants and OTC cold medicines that contain decongestants, as combining these substances may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.
- NIDA.2021, April 13.
- Is it safe to use prescription drugs in combination with other medications?,
- Retrieved from https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/it-safe-to-use-prescription-drugs-in-combination-other-medications NIDA.
- Is it safe to use prescription drugs in combination with other medications?,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13 Apr.2021, https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/it-safe-to-use-prescription-drugs-in-combination-other-medications NIDA.
Is it safe to use prescription drugs in combination with other medications?, National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/it-safe-to-use-prescription-drugs-in-combination-other-medications.
Can you drink if you’ve taken ibuprofen?
Can you drink alcohol with ibuprofen? One glass of wine, beer, or spirits, while you are taking, is usually okay for most people, but moderate to excessive quantities of alcohol can increase the side effects of ibuprofen, such as stomach and digestive tract irritation and kidney disease.
People with underlying medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure or heart failure, are most at risk. This is because both alcohol and ibuprofen irritate the stomach and digestive tract, so combining them further increases the risk of ulcers and bleeding from the digestive tract.
In addition, ibuprofen can affect the kidneys in some people with additional health issues, and alcohol, which can cause dehydration and make it hard for the kidneys to filter toxins, can potentiate this risk.
What is synergism in addiction?
Synergism Between Alcohol and Other Drugs | Valiant Living Men’s Treatment Center in Colorado Synergism is the term for when two drugs are taken together and produce a multiplying effect. This concept is widely associated with mixing alcohol and another substance. The synergistic interaction between alcohol and other drugs contributes to the lethal potential of drug-taking behavior.
What does it mean to say that alcohol is a biphasic drug?
The Biphasic Effects of Alcohol Consumption Stuck on Opioids? Learn About Telemedicine Suboxone – Insurance Accepted. The biphasic effect of alcohol refers to the initial pleasant feelings you experience after drinking followed by its depressant effect. When you drink alcohol, you may initially feel happy and stimulated. When you keep drinking, these effects do not multiply, however.
- Instead, you will often feel the depressant and sedative effects.
- This is the biphasic effect.
- It feels counterintuitive as it seems that the more you drink, the better you should feel.
- Once you pass the point of “diminished returns,” often (but not always) around a BAC (blood alcohol content) above 0.05%, you will start to feel the depressant effects.
After all, alcohol is a depressant substance.
What is alcohol ataxia called?
Table 1 – Neurological deficits associated with ethanol consumption.
|More Prevalent Neurological Deficits|
|Ataxic stance, titubation|
|Acute confusional state|
|Alcohol withdrawal syndrome|
|Seizures, myoclonus, asterixis|
|Less Prevalent Neurological Deficits|
|3 Hz postural leg tremor|
|Increased risk of stroke|
Cerebellum is one of the most susceptible targets. The acute and transient effects of alcohol are characterized by impaired posture, ataxic gait, and scanning speech collectively termed alcoholic cerebellar ataxia or ethanol-induced cerebellar ataxia,
Most patients complain of a lack of coordination in the lower extremities, contrasting with the relative sparing of upper limbs, suggesting a preferential dysfunction of the vermis. Chronic alcoholism is associated with cerebellar atrophy, especially the anterior superior vermis above the primary fissure.
Two mechanisms have been depicted that potentially underly this etiology, One possibility underscored the role of nutritional deficits as a cause of cerebellar atrophy, hence the term “nutritional cerebellar degeneration”, The second mechanism emphasized the direct effects of ethanol on neurons and glia through multiple pathways that converge on oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress on the cellular components of the cortex,
In addition, the developing cerebellum is highly vulnerable to the toxic effects of ethanol, Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) show various symptoms, including deficits in general intelligence, attention, executive function, language, learning, visual perception, and social skills,
Some of these symptoms can be attributed to differentiation deficits in the cerebellar cortex and subsequent impairment in cerebellar coordinative controls on cognitive functions through the cerebello–cerebral loops. Ethanol is metabolized to acetaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase and cytochrome p450 2E1 and subsequently to acetic acid by aldehyde dehydrogenases,
- Intracellular generation of free radicals and depletion of the antioxidant glutathione are vital steps in the cellular pathogenic events caused by ethanol,
- In addition to such a classic view, recent studies using various animal models have shown diverse pathophysiological mechanisms.
- For example, Zebrafish models clarified that ethanol exposure impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics, leading to a production of reactive oxygen species,
Furthermore, since ethanol metabolism is multifaceted, mouse models with genetic deficiencies in ethanol-metabolizing enzymes led to a deeper understanding of the multi-layered molecular pathways, Similarly, studies using various methodologies have facilitated the elucidation of the mechanisms by which ethanol exposure impairs the adult and fetal cerebellum.
Interestingly, ethanol interferes with the differentiation in the fetal cerebellum through oxidative and ER stresses, as found in the adult cerebellum, Here, we will summarize the clinical profiles of cerebellar ataxias (CAs) that are observed after alcohol consumption and in those with FASD. We will discuss recent progress in physiological and molecular biological mechanisms underlying cerebellar ataxia.
We focus on the mechanisms leading to neuronal death. The review algorithm is shown in Supplement to show our search for this review.