Advil is a popular over-the-counter painkiller, and is non-prescription strength, name brand form of the prescription drug ibuprofen. While the pain medication is effective, one of the most common side effects is stomach irritation, and excessive doses can lead to more serious conditions, such as stomach bleeding or ulcers. For this reason, dosage instructions should be followed, as should all other warnings that appear on the package. This includes the avoidance of alcohol, as combining Advil and alcohol can increase the risk of more serious side effects.
Alcohol is an old folk remedy painkiller, as consumption will depress the central nervous system, allowing for a certain amount of pain relief. However, also increases the production of stomach acid, leading to irritation and inflammation. This makes combining alcohol with ibuprofen products such as Advil especially dangerous, and the combination can increase the inflammation to the point that stomach bleeding and ulcers occur.
Liver damage is another concern when it comes to combining Advil and alcohol. Advil itself raises the level of alanine aminotransferase in the liver, an enzyme necessary for circulation and tissue production. If levels of this enzyme in the liver become too high, the circulatory system can go into shock. Alcohol, on the other hand, can lead to the build up of excessive fat in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease, which can then progress to alcohol hepatitis. Combining Advil and alcohol can be especially dangerous simply because the liver will be subjected to two forms of damaging substances, thus increasing the chance of incurring liver damage.
An added danger of mixing Advil and alcohol concerns the fact that Advil may cause dizziness, drowsiness, and blurred vision, and these effects may be increased with the addition of alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant, slowing the central nervous systems and acting a block to some of the messages that are sent to the brain. Combining this with the side effect of drowsiness from Advil can result in slower reaction times, which can often lead to accidental injury when performing even simple tasks.
Age and gender can affect the risks associated with taking Advil and alcohol. Ulcers are more prone to occur in people over the age of 60, which makes both Advil and alcohol particularly risky for those who have reached those years. Alcohol adds an additional factor as that by nature; it tends to affect women more often than men. This is because women tend to have less water in their body than men, making the affects of alcohol more intense. What this means is that while the side effects of Advil are increased with the addition of alcohol, they may be even more so in women.
Advil is a common and effective pain reliever, although following the recommended dosages and instructions is critical for safe usage. Combining Advil and alcohol can be especially dangerous, as the substances alone can cause stomach irritation, and combining them only increases the risks. Alcohol also increases the intensity of the side effects associated with Advil, including drowsiness and dizziness, which can make accidental injury more likely. Liver damage is another risk that alcohol and Advil pose, as the combination of substances may increase the pressure of the liver in performing normal functions. Age and gender can make the side effects of combining Advil and alcohol more dangerous for certain people, as the risk of ulcers increase with age, and the effects of alcohol can be more intense in women. The packaging of Advil advises against taking the drug with alcohol, which is a warning that should be followed.