Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Antibiotics?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness that has placed you on an antibiotic regimen, you might find yourself wondering if you have to follow medical advice to avoid alcohol.

While most doctors will tell you that drinking alcohol while on antibiotics may overload your immune system, there isn’t much evidence that it affects the performance of your antibiotic. Professor Andrew McLachlan, who works in the pharmacy department at the University of Sydney, said your antibiotics will work fine, regardless your drinking habits.

However, if you find yourself in a position to drink, you’ll likely want to avoid alcohol anyway, especially if you’re annoyed with the possible side effects. Scientific research has proven that medication, when mixed with alcohol, can produce side effects like dizziness, inability to make wise choices, and more. Alcohol can certainly do this on its own, but decision-making skills are even more heavily impacted when these things are mixed.

In addition to worsening common symptoms associated with alcohol use, some medications, when combined with alcohol, can damage your liver and lead to further issues with your liver down the line.


If you can’t resist the urge to drink when taking antibiotics, try to simply limit the number of drinks you have. Maybe have only two or three drinks when you’re taking on your medication. Similarly, be sure to take your medicine a few hours before you start drinking.

If you’re drinking and taking your medication, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, even if you’ve only had one drink. You may face additional charges if you’re convicted of a DUI. Instead, have a designated driver or take a car service back to your home. Avoid operating heavy machinery after drinking on your medication.