Myth or Fact: Antibiotics cannot be taken with beer because it damages the effect of the drug with the interaction in your body of the alcohol.

I take antihistamines with beer and they work, so not sure if anyone knew about this one?

  • It is just a generally bad idea to mix alcohol and drugs.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


As everything in life, it depends.... From the Mayo Clinic:

Antibiotics and alcohol can cause similar side effects, such as stomach upset, dizziness and drowsiness. Combining antibiotics and alcohol can increase these side effects.

A few antibiotics — such as metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) — should not be mixed with alcohol because this may result in a more severe reaction. Drinking any amount of alcohol with these medications can result in side effects such as flushing, headache, nausea and vomiting, and rapid heart rate.

So some antibiotics may not cause issues while others might. Best thing to do is follow the medications warning label


Assuming no side effects, the alcohol can actually inhibit the effect of the antibiotic i.e. negating the effect. It would be as if you hadn't taken any, so it would affect your medication course. As it is, some medication does cause side effects and since most people don't read the leaflet insert in their medicine box, it's safer to generally avoid the booze.
Antifungal treatments can be fine, but no one right in the head would drink a load of vodka with paracetamol unless they were trying to end it all. Each drug is different.

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