6 doctors weighed in:

Why can't you drink alcohol while taking antibiotics? What is the main reason?

6 doctors weighed in
Aaron Stupple
General Practice
5 doctors agree

In brief: Possible reaction

Some common antibiotics, like metronidazol (flagyl), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol (bactrim), and tinidazol (tindamax) can cause severe flushing, headache, nausea and vomiting, and elevated heart rate when combined with even a little alcohol.
In general, the side effects of other antibiotics are similar to those of drinking, and might therefore be worsened by consuming alcohol.

In brief: Possible reaction

Some common antibiotics, like metronidazol (flagyl), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol (bactrim), and tinidazol (tindamax) can cause severe flushing, headache, nausea and vomiting, and elevated heart rate when combined with even a little alcohol.
In general, the side effects of other antibiotics are similar to those of drinking, and might therefore be worsened by consuming alcohol.
Aaron Stupple
Aaron Stupple
Answer assisted by Aaron Stupple, Medical Student
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Dr. Joseph Hermann
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Antabuse (disulfiram) reaction

There's only one antibiotic that causes a potentially serious reaction when mixed with alcohol and that is Flagyl (metronidazole), which only happens to some people.
Its most common use in the out-patient arena is for bacterial vaginosis so women watch out! essentially, you can get very sick when you mix the two; although i've never seen it, fatalities have been reported, so please be careful.

In brief: Antabuse (disulfiram) reaction

There's only one antibiotic that causes a potentially serious reaction when mixed with alcohol and that is Flagyl (metronidazole), which only happens to some people.
Its most common use in the out-patient arena is for bacterial vaginosis so women watch out! essentially, you can get very sick when you mix the two; although i've never seen it, fatalities have been reported, so please be careful.
Dr. Joseph Hermann
Dr. Joseph Hermann
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