Amoxicillin and Alcohol

by on April 26, 2012

Alcohol is one of the few food products that are notorious for causing drug interactions. Usually, healthcare providers recommend avoiding alcohol while on medication. However, alcohol is not actually contraindicated for all drugs.

There is a widespread misconception that antibiotics, including amoxicillin, cause an interaction when taken along with alcohol. But the truth is that there are no known drug interactions between these two substances.

Studies conducted on the effects of alcohol in the action of amoxicillin reveal that alcohol may influence the rate of metabolism but not the absorption. In a specific study, eight healthy volunteers were put on clinical test. Each participant received a dose of amoxicillin along with alcohol. Blood samples were then taken and amoxicillin levels were measured and evaluated. The clinical trial revealed that alcohol did not directly affect the pharmacokinetic of amoxicillin. Although there is a significant effect on the absorption rate of amoxicillin, it is not enough to hamper its action. This means that alcohol is relatively safe for patients taking amoxicillin.


Although alcohol does not decrease the effectiveness of amoxicillin or cause adverse interactions, there may be other reasons why avoiding alcohol is necessary. For one, alcohol can reduce your energy and delay your recovery from the illness. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid alcohol until you are fully recovered or have completed the antibiotic treatment.

In addition, alcohol and amoxicillin share the same side effects that include stomach upset, dizziness and drowsiness. Hence, taking them concurrently may trigger these side effects. Furthermore, the effects of alcohol can mask the possible side effects caused by amoxicillin which can lead to potential health risks. Your healthcare provider may limit your alcohol intake to avoid such a problem.

Other Reasons Why Alcohol Should be Avoided

  • In patients with severe bacterial infections, consuming large quantities of alcohol may be unwise.
  • In patients taking other medications aside from amoxicillin, alcohol may have unwanted interactions with the other medicines.
  • Some patients may have other underlying medical conditions that prohibit them from consuming alcohol.

While alcohol and amoxicillin do not increase the health risks of a person, be sure to talk about it with your healthcare provider. Ask your healthcare provider whether alcohol is not contraindicated for your present condition. Do not just take alcohol without first consulting your physician to avoid any potential risks.

It is recommended that patients focus on getting better by getting enough rest and fluids. Save your thirst for alcohol when you get better.