Display Mode:

    Main content

    Health Information

    Medicines That Interact With Alcohol

    Medicines That Interact With Alcohol

    Skip to the navigation

    Topic Overview

    Many medicines interact with alcohol. This includes both prescription medicines and ones you buy over the counter. For example, if you drink while you take a diabetes medicine such as insulin or sulfonylureas, such as glipizide and glyburide, it could cause very low blood sugar levels. If you drink while you take medicine for heartburn , such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac), it could cause a fast heartbeat.

    Common medicines that interact with alcohol include:

    • Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol).
    • Antibiotics.
    • Antihistamines.
    • Tranquilizers.
    • Aspirin and other medicines to prevent clotting of blood. (These are called anticoagulants.)
    • Some medicines to treat depression.
    • Medicines to treat diabetes.

    If you are taking any medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can safely drink alcohol.

    Related Information


    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Monti, PhD - Alcohol and Addiction
    Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health

    Current as ofNovember 3, 2016

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

    © 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.