When to avoid drinking alcohol completely
It is necessary to completely avoid drinking alcohol when taking the antibiotics described below.
Metronidazole is sometimes used to clear dental, or vaginal, infections, or to clear infected leg ulcers, or pressure sores.
Tinidazole is sometimes used to treat many of the same infections as metronidazole, as well as to help clear bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) from the gut.
Drinking alcohol when you are taking either metronidazole, or tinidazole, can cause a serious reaction. The symptoms of this reaction include:
Other antibiotics that may interact with alcohol
- chest pain,
- skin flushing,
- increased, or irregular, heartbeat,
- low blood pressure (hypotension), and
- nausea and vomiting.
Occasionally, co-trimoxazole can cause a similar reaction to that of metronidazole, or tinidazole, if you drink alcohol while you are taking it. However, with co-trimoxazole, the side effects above are very rare, and drinking alcohol in moderation does not normally cause a problem.
If you are taking linezolid, you should avoid drinking alcoholic drinks that contain a substance called tyramine, such as wine, beer, sherry, and lager.
Drinking alcohol while you are taking erythromycin may make you drowsy. Alcohol can also make erythromycin less effective.
It is also important to note that some antibiotics may have a variety of side effects, such as sleepiness and dizziness, that might be made worse by drinking alcohol. Alcohol is likely to worsen these effects.