Why Aspirin and Alcohol Should Never Mix

Aspirin and alcohol should not be mixed under any circumstances. Although both are used to reduce the chances of heart disease, taking them together increases the likelihood of internal bleeding. Studies have also concluded that taking aspirin immediately before or after drinking liquor can increase alcohol levels in the blood. Read on to learn more about the adverse effects of drinking both substances together.

Patients take aspirin to treat minor pains and aches and reduce inflammation.  The drug contains salicylates or acetylsalicylic acid. It is known to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. On the other hand, alcohol is known as a blood thinner. When taken in moderation, it helps keep the blood vessels and arteries free of blockages. Some studies also indicate that moderate drinking also reduces the risk of developing diabetes.  Separately, both substances are considered safe to consume. However, taking both aspirin and alcohol together can result in a number of side effects.

There is a common misconception that taking aspirin before drinking any liquor will prevent any hangovers. Taking an aspirin prior to drinking is not only ineffective, it is dangerous. Studies conducted by the American Medical Association discovered that consuming aspirin can actually increase the toxicity of alcohol by 30%. This is the same as drinking another glass and a half of wine. Ingesting aspirin retards the body’s ability to break down the alcohol. This means the individual will feel the effects of the alcohol for a longer period of time.

Regular consumption of alcohol or aspirin over a long period of time has been known to cause a thinning of the stomach lining. This can result in inflammation and bleeding around the gastrointestinal area. Consuming both substances together increases the chances of internal bleeding exponentially. The chances are increased even further when consuming both on an empty stomach. Individuals are advised to eat first before taking aspirin or drinking alcohol to reduce the chances of stomach bleeding.

Although consumption of aspirin and alcohol increases the risk of ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding, a different study concluded that aspirin can actually prevent liver damage. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, taking aspirin on a daily basis can actually prevent and even treat liver damage caused by alcohol abuse, consumption of other drugs or obesity. This particular experiment was initially conducted on mice. Human trials still need to be conducted in order to confirm the results.

As with any other type of drug, there are benefits and side effects with consuming aspirin or alcohol. The health risks and side effects become greater when taking both substances together. Unless medically approved by a physician, individuals are discouraged from taking aspirin and alcohol at the same time.