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What to Never Mix with Alcohol

You may be familiar with certain medicine labels that tell you not to mix this medication with alcohol. The American Addiction Center says that more than 55% of people mix over the counter medication with alcohol. By learning about the different substances that should never be mixed with alcohol, you will not have to deal with negative health consequences that may occur as well as masking the effects of the medication.

Energy Drinks

Mixing caffeine with liquor may give you a lot of energy and lessen the effects of alcohol, but this will only make you continually drink more alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control says that mixing energy drinks with alcohol will make you binge drink more and commit reckless acts such as driving under the influence, engaging in unprotected sex, and getting into violent fights.


Drinking alcohol while under the influence of marijuana can enhance THC which is the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. Liver metabolizes one substance at a time with alcohol being metabolized first. This will not give your body enough time to metabolize the marijuana and will continue to stay in your system for hours. This unhealthy combination can also lead to a higher risk of dehydration since alcohol and marijuana are both diuretics. Other risks can include increased anxiety, hallucinations, and liver and kidney disease.

Pain Relief Medication

Over the counter pain relief medication like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Aleve can lead to serious consequences over time with symptoms like nausea, ulcers, stomach bleeding, rapid heartbeat, and liver damage. Once alcohol and these medications are mixed, your liver will use all of its energy to process everything going into your body at once. This will give you a better chance of having liver damage over time compared to those who do not mix medications with alcohol.


Painkillers like Demerol, Vicodin, Percocet, and Fentanyl have the power to kill people all by itself. Once these painkillers are mixed with alcohol, the results can be lethal. The American Addictions Centers say that this deadly combination can lead to having trouble breathing, severe drowsiness, dizziness, impacted motor functions, liver damage, and an increased chance of an overdose.

Sleeping Pills

While it is important not to drive or operate heavy machinery when you are on sleep medication like Ambien, but you should also not be mixing this medication with alcohol. The short-term effects may include dizziness, drowsiness, impaired motor skills, and having trouble with breathing and memory. Long-term effects can include liver damage as well as developing an addiction to the sleeping pills itself.


The combination of cocaine and alcohol can create the chemical Cocaethylene which can pose great problems to your long-term health. While this chemical enhances the high that alcohol and cocaine can give you, this high also leads to high blood pressure, irritable thoughts, and bad judgment. Toxic levels in your liver will increase as well as the chances of having a sudden death.


LSD, Ketamine, and mushrooms are hallucinogens that can cause negative effects to the body like vomiting, diarrhea, aggression, cardiac arrhythmia, and brain damage. Alcohol has a tendency to elevate these risks. This can lead to immediate dehydration as well as cancer and a weakened immune system in the long-term.


Mixing alcohol with antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, and Marplan will result in dangerous symptoms. This can mean that the results your antidepressants are supposed to show will not work. This will make your symptoms even harder to treat. This might cause you to take more pills to achieve a desired effect. While alcohol may make you feel good, it will only be temporarily and the effects of your anxiety and depression will increase. If you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors like Marplan or Nardil, be sure not to take them with red wine or beer or your blood pressure will spike.

Mood Stabilizers

Mood stabilizers like Lithium are powerful drugs on their own as they are able to treat bipolar disorders and manic depression. Your mental state will be in danger if you mix these mood stabilizers with alcohol. Alcohol tends to clash with lithium in order to regulate the production of neurotransmitters to feel stable. The problem is that alcohol causes the brain to make even more dopamine and those on mood stabilizers do not need any more of it. It is also possible to experience drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, muscle pain, and liver damage.

ADHD Medication

If you are on medication to treat ADHD like Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, Strattera, or Vyvanse, the mixture of it with alcohol can cause insomnia, increase your blood pressure, and cause seizures and heart problems. ADHD medications alone can give you heart problems as your heart rate and breathing problems can be the effects of the medications which lead to irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations. Bringing alcohol into the mix will cause arrhythmias, increased blood pressure, and an accelerated heart. This can increase your risk of suffering from a stroke or heart attack.


Antibiotics like Flagyl will cause severe nausea and vomiting when mixed with alcohol. The University of Michigan says these two substances should not be mixed up to three days after a full round of antibiotics have been consumed. By not mixing medication with alcohol, the effects of your pills will work to treat physical and mental symptoms that the medication is meant for without dangerous side effects.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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