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Alcohol and drugs

There are two main situations: alcohol changes the effect of a drug, or medicine changes the effect of alcohol. We will not consider the cases when the passion for alcohol is already on a chronic basis: completely different mechanisms start working here. For people who are friends with Bacchus, for example, painkillers, dental local anesthesia or even surgical anesthesia cease to act.


How can alcohol affect the behavior of a drug in our body? Yes, whatever. Strengthen, reduce the action or even distort it beyond recognition. Sometimes it is impossible to predict what troubles the use of alcohol will turn into as a zapivka. Very much depends on the individual characteristics of the organism, the specific medicine and the specific alcoholic beverage.

A classic example of the summation of effects was demonstrated in Sergey Ashkenazi's sensational film "Crime Talent" (1988). The heroine Alexandra Zakharova met the men in the restaurant, they drank, and in the morning they woke up with empty pockets and a severe headache.

The sedative effect of alcohol was superimposed on the hypotensive and sedative effects of clonidine, which the fraudster added to her victims.

The following example, which is used, however, mainly by suicides, is the reception of barbiturates and their drinking with vodka. This can lead to deadly respiratory depression. Antidepressants are also not combined with alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, that is, an antagonist of antidepressants, and reduces their effect to nothing.

There is another caveat: alcohol intake stimulates the release of additional adrenaline, which means (along with antidepressants) the heart begins to beat like crazy, blood pressure rises, small vessels spasm. In addition, some beers and wines contain tyramine, which has a similar effect to adrenaline.

Under normal conditions, tyramine is destroyed in the intestines, but while taking the drugs, it can enter the blood and drive arterial pressure to the beyond. Almost the same effect can be obtained if during a cold to drip into the nose any vasoconstrictor drops and add "inside for warming", say, vodka with pepper. Ethanol, among other things, also increases the sensitivity of the heart to the effects of adrenaline. And even a meager dose of adrenaline-like substances can have a tangible effect on one's well-being.

Another dirty trick on the part of alcohol is the powerful activation of liver enzymes from the cyochrome group. In our country, they are responsible for detoxification in general, but cytochromes are also utilized by very many drugs, such as oral contraceptives. In fairness it should be noted that 1-2 glasses of wine at dinner will not play a special role, but the desire to destroy all alcohol reserves while taking contraceptives may turn into a "kinder surprise."

Care should be taken with anti-inflammatory drugs. So, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (the same aspirin) in combination with alcohol increases the risk of developing stomach ulcers.


Ethyl alcohol is decomposed in our body by the action of enzymes. In the first stage, alcohol dehydrogenase converts ethanol into acetaldehyde. At the second stage, acetic aldehyde is converted into acetic acid, which is already without any problems scatters into carbon dioxide and water. The most toxic product is acetaldehyde. That it should be thanked for the symptoms of a hangover. On this feature is built one of the methods of treatment of alcoholism, popularly known as "hemming". It is possible to be "hemmed", as it were, when taking certain antibacterial drugs.

Another classic case where a drug changes the behavior of alcohol in the body is caffeine intake. They probably noticed that the coffee liqueur is approximately equal in power to vodka, although it is almost two times less degrees. This is due to the interaction of caffeine and ethanol. Being a psychostimulant, caffeine can actually give a temporary sobering effect, which is sometimes used in bars or restaurants, but after a while drunkenness returns, and more pronounced. The fact is that caffeine enhances the penetration of ethyl alcohol through the blood-brain barrier, that is, alcohol rushes into the brain with a vengeance, and we have a kind of "bonus" to drunkenness.

There is no one useful combination of alcohol and drugs. Even a relatively safe bit. It is best to drink medicine with room temperature water.

Алкоголь и лекарства

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