While many people grasp how important it is to refrain from driving or engaging in similar pursuits after they have consumed appreciable quantities of alcohol, the effects of mixing alcohol and various medications are often less clear. This may be due to a number of reasons, from assuming that the effects of any consumed alcoholic beverages are negligible or because the medication of choice was selected hastily and used without forethought. Whether done on purpose or inadvertently, mixing Benadryl and alcohol may illustrate just how risky it may be to disregard certain precautions when it comes to alcohol and medicinal drug interactions.
Drinking often leads to loosened inhibitions, impaired judgment, emotional volatility, and drowsiness, and many prescribed products come with specific warnings that are typically stressed by the prescribing physician or pharmacist. Nonprescription drugs such as Benadryl also have contraindications, but these may be overlooked by consumers looking for quick relief from allergy, cold, or flu symptoms. As the antihistamine ingredient often relieves insomnia, some people may purposely mix Benadryl and alcohol as a way to further induce needed sleep. While it is highly likely that alcohol will lead to sleepiness when combined with an antihistamine excessive drowsiness and dizziness often results in serious accidents and illnesses, and the chance for overdosing is increased in many demographics as well.
A big problem with mixing alcohol with medications is that many medicinal drugs contain alcohol, thus amplifying the potential exposure to what may cause hazardous physical, mental, or emotional effects. People often assume that if they have stopped drinking prior to becoming intoxicated they are beyond being affected, and so are free to take whatever medication they choose. Alternatively, many medications are designed to remain active and in the system for many hours, thus drinking even several hours afterwards can have significant harmful effects.
While it is more likely that people who drink daily will mix medication with alcohol as opposed to those who drink occasionally, potentially harmful reactions should never be overlooked. Approximately twice as many men as women experience adverse reactions from combining medicinal drugs and alcohol, but older individuals are often more at risk to being injured from such combinations overall. As opposed to taking unnecessary chances, carefully assessing any potential interactions should be part of any decision regarding prescription or nonprescription medication. Accordingly, you should use caution even if you think your alcohol consumption is no longer a factor.
There are thousands of nonprescription medications that offer relief from symptoms and disorders that may otherwise significantly impair daily functioning. Alcohol often produces feelings of reduced pain, stress, or anxiety, but these transient effects may ultimately lead to unfortunate consequences. Combining alcohol and otherwise beneficial medicines, therefore, should be done with considerable caution.