Over the course of your life, you may be prescribed various antibiotics to fight different infections. Because of the common antibiotic use, you may not initially think about the possibility of a drug interaction or the effects of mixing your antibiotic with alcohol. However, many medications have a special warning label advising against mixing these substances. Now that you have been prescribed Bactrim, you understandably need to learn more about what taking Bactrim with alcohol may do.
What Is Bactrim?
Bactrim is a synthetic antibacterial medication that is a combination of two drugs. These are sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. Whether you are prescribed a single-dose or double-dose tablet, it may be used to treat everything from pneumonia and shigellosis to traveler’s diarrhea, bronchitis, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and more. This medication explicitly stops bacteria from forming proteins and nucleic acids. This is done by preventing bacteria from making tetrahydrofolic acid and dihydrofolic acid. Ultimately, this results in the death of bacterial cells.
What Is Bactrim Used For?
Sometimes, the human body will eventually fight off a bacterial infection. However, in the process, the individual may feel a wide range of unpleasant symptoms that can interfere with daily life dramatically. Doctors prescribe Bactrim to help the body eradicate the infection more quickly. This can prevent unnecessary suffering and complications resulting from a prolonged infection. In addition, the patient may be able to resume daily activities far sooner than otherwise would be possible.
Can You Mix Bactrim with Alcohol?
Alcohol impacts the body in a variety of ways. For example, it can cause metabolizing enzyme activities to increase or decrease. It can also increase your liver’s toxicity. As a natural diuretic, alcohol consumption is associated with dehydration, leading to increased liver toxicity. Many medications are metabolized in the liver, which can stress liver function. Because alcohol also increases liver toxicity, the combined effect can lead to significant health concerns.
In addition, alcohol has been proven to disrupt sleep patterns and quality. Even subtle disruptions in sleep can hurt the body’s normal immune function. When you consume alcohol, your body may not be as efficient in fighting the infection naturally. This can lead to a longer recovery and may increase the chance of a re-infection.
Many of the side effects common with Bactrim treatment may become more pronounced or severe if you consume alcohol while being treated with Bactrim. These side effects could include a cough, hoarseness, stool changes, fatigue, chest pain and tightness, and changes to the skin. These skin issues may include discoloration, sagging, peeling, and blistering. Remember that these side effects and the other potential outcomes of mixing Bactrim with alcohol may be magnified by consuming heavy amounts of alcohol or by frequent consumption. There is no safe amount of alcohol that you can consume during your treatment period. Because of this, abstinence from alcohol consumption should be your goal.
What Are the Side Effects of Mixing Bactrim with Alcohol?
Depending on the type and severity of your infection, you may be instructed to take Bactrim for five to 14 days. The effects of the medication remain for approximately 10 hours, so you may be told to take a dose twice a day. However, remember that it may take longer for the medication to leave your system altogether. If you consume alcoholic beverages while on your Bactrim treatment, you may notice an increase in the severity of the medication’s side effects, such as chest pain, fatigue, coughing, skin problems, and more. This combination of substances can also decrease how well your immune system functions, increase liver toxicity, and impact drug metabolism. Nausea and other stomach issues may also be problematic.
There is also a chance of having a disulfiram reaction. In the body, alcohol is metabolized by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. When you use Bactrim and alcohol together, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase can be inhibited. The result may be increased alcohol toxicity in the body. Symptoms of a disulfiram reaction include low blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, and flushing. The effects of this reaction may be experienced as soon as five minutes after you drink alcohol, and the symptoms can become more severe as you drink more alcohol.
Do You Have an Alcohol Disorder?
If you have trouble abstaining from alcohol consumption during the full course of your Bactrim treatment despite knowing its significant risks to your health, you may have an alcohol disorder. Keep in mind that the impact of alcohol abuse on the immune system can have long-term effects. For example, the effectiveness of your vaccines may be impaired, and you may be at an increased risk of various diseases, bacterial infections, and viral infections. Some diseases in question include gastrointestinal tract inflammation, brain inflammation, lung infections, cancer, hepatitis B and C, and numerous others.
What Can You Expect from Alcohol Abuse Treatment?
If you are suffering from alcohol abuse, you may be unable to avoid the urge to drink despite your best intentions. You may feel compelled to drink regularly between triggers, cravings, habits, and more. While it can be difficult to stop drinking and get sober on your own, help is available. An effective alcohol treatment program can give you the support and resources you need to succeed in your effort to get sober.
Alcohol abuse treatment will be customized to meet your unique circumstances. It may include a detox process. After this step, your body will be free of alcohol. You may be prescribed medication to ease the withdrawal symptoms and manage the cravings. After detox, you may enroll in a residential or outpatient treatment program.
With residential treatment, you will reside in a treatment facility for around-the-clock support and services. In addition to having 24-hour care, you will benefit from a series of treatments. These may include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and more. If you enroll in an outpatient program, you will spend a few hours each day at the treatment center. You may be able to continue working and taking care of your personal responsibilities, and you will spend the nights in your own home. While you are at the treatment center during the day, you may receive group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and other services included with residential treatment.
In addition to detoxing from alcohol, professional treatment provides you with the tools and resources you need to achieve and maintain sobriety. For example, you could identify the triggers in your life contributing to alcohol abuse. An underlying and undiagnosed mental health condition could be identified and treated. You may learn coping mechanisms for a healthier lifestyle. Your family may also be asked to participate in some therapy sessions. In addition, you could be connected with programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or others so that you can receive ongoing support.
Learn More Today
Are you concerned that you may have an alcohol disorder? The effects of alcohol abuse on the body extend beyond the negative health consequences. Alcohol abuse can also affect family and social relationships, work life, ability to achieve goals, finances, and more. At Long Island Interventions, we are committed to helping you break your unhealthy relationship with alcohol and move toward sober living. Through alcohol detox and rehabilitation, you will have the full support of our experienced, compassionate team as you make this journey. To get started, contact Long Island Interventions today for a no-obligation consultation.