95% of the people I know who drink alcohol, Pillsand who are on medication, are not supposed to be drinking alcohol. Is there a medication out there you can take where it is acceptable to drink while on meds?

I understand that since alcohol is a depressant, it can really mess up the good effects of some anti-depressant medicines and such, but do ALL medications require one not to drink? If so, that seems like an untenable medical position positioned to protect the medical and drug industries from any sort of legal action against them.

It must also be a difficult mixed message to comprehend when your doctor tells you not to drink while on meds, but all the recent scientific research points to the great advantages for your heart if you drink two glasses of red wine a day! People are then forced to make an impossible Gordian Knot decision: Do I prefer my sanity over a good heart? 

Most folks I know split the baby to kill the difference: They drink one glass of red wine, thus negating both the right effects of the medication and the benefits of the alcohol.2007!

If you drink or not or if you drink and take meds or if you just drink or if you just take meds — please be wary tonight and tomorrow and forever.

As the year turns to 2007, please turn a kind eye to your fellow human beings around you and watch out for them just a little bit more tonight that you might any other night in the year.

That way we can all stay a little safer and a bit more alive and together we can remain cautiously optimistic about the New Year to come.

Don’t drink and drive.

Don’t take meds and drink and drive. Let’s all work to support each other so we can enjoy the promise of the future — and I’ll be waiting right here hoping to see your smiling face tomorrow!

39 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    I remember thinking about this question in college after having cold medication or taking a Tylenol. I hope I didn’t do any damage, because I remember getting home and taking over-the-counter meds after being out drinking.
    Now, I try to avoid doing anything like that. I also don’t really drink much either. Just on special occasions.
    A nice glass of red wine always sounds good. Every so often, I’ll have a glass of beer with friends if we are out someplace.
    Happy New Year to everyone!

  2. Hi Chris!
    Yes, Tylenol in large doses and alcohol are really not good together and can cause liver damage:
    http://www.envtox.ucdavis.edu/cehs/TOXINS/acetalc.htm
    It’s sad that we’re trained to take aspirin to fight a headache yet Tylenol is not aspirin! That’s the danger of large-scale advertising: Everything popular becomes generic and subsequently inherently dangerous.
    Ask your doctor if you can have EVEN ONE BEER with friends if you’re out. You will be 100% denied by your MD. That’s the problem. 100% of anything is really untenable. Even Abstinence is broken because the second the will of abstinence fails you are not longer at 100%!
    Happy New Year back at-cha!
    😀

  3. Dave!
    Lisinopril warning and alchohol:

    What should I avoid while taking Lisinopril?
    Lisinopril can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can further lower your blood pressure and may increase some of the side effects of lisinopril. Do not use salt substitutes or potassium supplements while taking lisinopril, unless your doctor has told you to.

    http://www.drugs.com/lisinopril.html
    I think these warnings are generally overdone, but I understand the medical community and the drug companies need to protect their pockets and their bottom lines.
    Happy New Year, too!

  4. I know so many people with a sound heart those who don’t drink red wine regularly! 😀
    I don’t drink either!
    Mixing alcohol with medicine is lethal.
    A very happy 2007 to everybody – one day ahead!

  5. Hi David,
    Have you been to the pharmacy lately? All of the OTC medications have been reformulated to remove any components that can be abused.
    I wonder if there are any unknown side effects that will start seeing from the reformulated medications?

  6. Hi Chris!
    I know! It’s such a hassle! I loved Claritin-D but I won’t stand in a long pharmacy line to buy it. I’ll just take the regular Claritin and be on my way, thank you.
    I have a good MD friend who swears that generic medications are much more dangerous than the original they are copying. He claims the generics are not as clean or as tested or as chemically “perfected” as the name brand and he refuses to subscribe any generic medications for his patients.

  7. Heh! 😀
    That “Charlie Chaplin” effect was history…some one played prank.
    I never liked the taste of alcohol, I don’t know why. I don’t drink because I don’t like the concept of addiction. I do want a hardier heart but without wine!

  8. Heh! 😀
    That “Charlie Chaplin” effect was history…some one played prank.
    I never liked the taste of alcohol, I don’t know why. I don’t drink because I don’t like the concept of addiction. I do want a hardier heart but without wine!

  9. We will miss you, Katha!

    When the data from 51 epidemiological studies were combined, they showed that the risk of coronary heart disease decreased by approximately 20% when 0 to 2 alcoholic drinks were consumed per day. Apparently healthy adults, patients with a history of heart attack, and patients with diabetes all appeared to benefit. Results from the large Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a study in which 38,077 male health professionals who were free of cardiovascular disease were observed for 12 years, suggested that drinking 1 to 2 drinks per day, 3 to 4 days per week decreased the risk of having a heart attack by as much as 32%. The formation of an occluding blood clot in an artery that supplies part of the brain can lead to stroke. Light to moderate alcohol consumption was found to be associated with an approximately 20% reduction in the risk for ischemic stroke and may even be beneficial in preventing subsequent strokes.
    Alcohol intake from any type of alcoholic beverage appears to be beneficial, but some studies suggest that red wine confers additional health benefits. The regular drinking of red wine has been suggested as the explanation for the “French paradox,” the relatively low incidence of coronary atherosclerosis in France as compared with other Western countries, despite the generally high intake of saturated fat in the French diet. Support for a more pronounced cardioprotective effect for red wine as compared with other alcoholic beverages first emerged from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, in which 13,285 men and women were observed for 12 years.
    The results from this study suggested that patients who drank wine had half the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or stroke as those who never drank wine. Those who drank beer and spirits did not experience this advantage. The additional benefit of red wine is supported further by an analysis of 13 studies involving 209,418 participants. This analysis showed a 32% risk reduction of atherosclerotic disease with red wine intake, which was greater than the 22% risk reduction for beer consumption.

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/111/2/e10

  10. We will miss you, Katha!

    When the data from 51 epidemiological studies were combined, they showed that the risk of coronary heart disease decreased by approximately 20% when 0 to 2 alcoholic drinks were consumed per day. Apparently healthy adults, patients with a history of heart attack, and patients with diabetes all appeared to benefit. Results from the large Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a study in which 38,077 male health professionals who were free of cardiovascular disease were observed for 12 years, suggested that drinking 1 to 2 drinks per day, 3 to 4 days per week decreased the risk of having a heart attack by as much as 32%. The formation of an occluding blood clot in an artery that supplies part of the brain can lead to stroke. Light to moderate alcohol consumption was found to be associated with an approximately 20% reduction in the risk for ischemic stroke and may even be beneficial in preventing subsequent strokes.
    Alcohol intake from any type of alcoholic beverage appears to be beneficial, but some studies suggest that red wine confers additional health benefits. The regular drinking of red wine has been suggested as the explanation for the “French paradox,” the relatively low incidence of coronary atherosclerosis in France as compared with other Western countries, despite the generally high intake of saturated fat in the French diet. Support for a more pronounced cardioprotective effect for red wine as compared with other alcoholic beverages first emerged from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, in which 13,285 men and women were observed for 12 years.
    The results from this study suggested that patients who drank wine had half the risk of dying from coronary heart disease or stroke as those who never drank wine. Those who drank beer and spirits did not experience this advantage. The additional benefit of red wine is supported further by an analysis of 13 studies involving 209,418 participants. This analysis showed a 32% risk reduction of atherosclerotic disease with red wine intake, which was greater than the 22% risk reduction for beer consumption.

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/111/2/e10

  11. David- According to Andrew Weil, all disease is caused by stress and/or toxin. Perhaps alcohol reduces stress in some people and this helps their hearts. This could also be achieved through meditation, excercise, or reduction in toxic foods rather than alcohol consumption. As far as i know, no comparative study has been done comparing the hearts of alcohol drinkers vs. meditative, excercising organic health food conscious individuals, but i would bet on the latter group as being more healthy.

  12. David- According to Andrew Weil, all disease is caused by stress and/or toxin. Perhaps alcohol reduces stress in some people and this helps their hearts. This could also be achieved through meditation, excercise, or reduction in toxic foods rather than alcohol consumption. As far as i know, no comparative study has been done comparing the hearts of alcohol drinkers vs. meditative, excercising organic health food conscious individuals, but i would bet on the latter group as being more healthy.

  13. Hi fred!
    Weil and Ornish and McDougall are the entire same mind: Diet triumphs will…
    http://drmcdougall.com/
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/index.html
    The red wine/heart studies seem to confirm, however, that the flavonoids in red wine are so powerful that they are useful in fighting genetic heart disease. It seem the red wine sort of “cleans out” the plaque and other baddies in the bloodstream that tend to get clogged up and I say that in the most basic layman’s terms possible.
    😀

  14. Hi fred!
    Weil and Ornish and McDougall are the entire same mind: Diet triumphs will…
    http://drmcdougall.com/
    http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/index.html
    The red wine/heart studies seem to confirm, however, that the flavonoids in red wine are so powerful that they are useful in fighting genetic heart disease. It seem the red wine sort of “cleans out” the plaque and other baddies in the bloodstream that tend to get clogged up and I say that in the most basic layman’s terms possible.
    😀

  15. Hi David,
    I thought generics were the same as their first generation drugs. The only difference was the expiration of the patent that prevented others from copying the medication.
    From the FDA:

    Generic drugs are less expensive because generic manufacturers don’t have the investment costs of the developer of a new drug. New drugs are developed under patent protection. The patent protects the investment—including research, development, marketing, and promotion—by giving the company the sole right to sell the drug while it is in effect. As patents near expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA to sell generic versions. Because those manufacturers don’t have the same development costs, they can sell their product at substantial discounts. Also, once generic drugs are approved, there is greater competition, which keeps the price down. Today, almost half of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.

    Here’s an article about an Indian company that produces generic drugs for the poor because it doesn’t follow a free-trade agreement:
    http://blog.wired.com/biotech/hivaids/index.html

  16. Hi David,
    I thought generics were the same as their first generation drugs. The only difference was the expiration of the patent that prevented others from copying the medication.
    From the FDA:

    Generic drugs are less expensive because generic manufacturers don’t have the investment costs of the developer of a new drug. New drugs are developed under patent protection. The patent protects the investment—including research, development, marketing, and promotion—by giving the company the sole right to sell the drug while it is in effect. As patents near expiration, manufacturers can apply to the FDA to sell generic versions. Because those manufacturers don’t have the same development costs, they can sell their product at substantial discounts. Also, once generic drugs are approved, there is greater competition, which keeps the price down. Today, almost half of all prescriptions are filled with generic drugs.

    Here’s an article about an Indian company that produces generic drugs for the poor because it doesn’t follow a free-trade agreement:
    http://blog.wired.com/biotech/hivaids/index.html

  17. Hi David- 29/10/2004 Newly published research shows that Concord purple grape juice scores higher in a key, natural plant antioxidant than any of the other juices or beverages tested including red wine, tea, cranberry juice cocktail and apple juice on a per serving basis. The antioxidants, called proanthocyanidins, are part of a larger family of plant compounds known as flavanoids that have been linked to good health in a variety of ways including two of Britain`s biggest killers – heart disease and cancer.
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=15553

  18. Drinking with medication in many cases (like with antibiotics) has nothing to do with the fact that mixing the two will cause you harm – it has to do with the fact that drinking renders the drugs ineffective. Not that you should drink, take medications, and operate heavy machinery (including automobiles), but I think that the case in many cases is overstated. (Still, please take Aleve instead of Tylenol when alcohol is in your system – it is bad for your liver to partake of both.)

  19. David asked ………
    Nicola!
    Have you always never been a drinker?
    Does anyone around you drink?
    Are you concerned you are doing your heart damage by not drinking two glasses of red wine a day?
    Drink and I have never really got on very well – it has nearly always had a negative effect on me.
    It had a very negative effect on my first husband and was one of the causes for the breakdown of the marriage.
    After my illness it has become a virtual no-no. I did however greeet the new year with a glass of champagne.
    My partner does not drink a lot – neither do my children.
    Hopefully I look after my heart in other ways.