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You and Your Health

Health Tip: Don’t Combine Medication and Alcohol

Health Tip: Don’t Combine Medication and Alcohol

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The interaction can be deadly

If you’re on any medication—even over-the-counter cold medicine—you should avoid drinking alcohol. The combination of alcohol and medication can be deadly, the National Institute on Aging warns.

The agency cites these potential complications of combining alcohol and medication:

  - You may have an increased risk of stomach bleeding if you drink alcohol while taking aspirin.
  - Mixing alcohol with cough or cold medication can make you very drowsy.
  - It can be very dangerous to drink alcohol while taking medications to treat depression, anxiety, pain or insomnia.
  - Combining alcohol with medications that contain acetaminophen can cause liver damage.