Medicines alcohol I just stared at the pharmacist
After the first time out of hospital with a serious lover and stomach condition, I knew in order not to harm my liver any more alcohol was a no go area. The drink was not and had not been an issue but my body had reacted badly. So drinking any alcohol was out of the question.
However, this story was inspired by one of the comments on the website about medicines and alcohol and how it can be difficult to find ones without. I had forgotten this experience till then but in the pharmacy waiting for my prescription the person in front ironically wanted some cough medicine but had liver issues.
The pharmacist quoted the volume of alcohol while saying it was not appropriate for this customer and my jaw dropped just listening to it. It had never ever occurred to be that this might be an issue for me. So like with the rest of 00abv.com I began to really look at what was in food and now medicines!
Medicines Alcohol since the beginning of time
So if you watch any time traveler type series on Netflix or other streaming service like Outlander where she is a medical expert and travels back in time people ( I’m serious! ) are astonished that alcohol is a key co
mponent of her wizard medical skills. So not only are they drinking this stuff they are disinfecting with it too. It’s probably true as it has been used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and antidote for years. So there she is in “Outlander” the lovely Claire applying to the skin alcohol as disinfectant before sticking a needle in and before she makes surgery happen!
This may be a programme based on fiction but in reality it has been used since the concept was invented. In reality, we could go as far back as the Romans as history digs have found beer jugs near where I was born in a place called Chester in the UK or Deva as the Romans called it.
There is also a fair bit of documentation of the gods of Egypt using it for medicinal purposes as well as science and it’s amazing what you find out on an archaeologist’s dig during your holidays. Do a search for the health benefits of vodka and you would think it could change your life for good!
Anyway I don’t worry about that stuff anymore but it is amazing what stories people come up with for the benefits of alcohol and I am sure I have believed some of them in the past! If they are true by the way I apologize.
Is there alcohol in cough syrup?
Yes in some and what’s more it can be up to 25 per cent in volume making it a bit of a no-no for drivers let alone for people allergic to or with liver issues. So be aware of some flu or cold preparations that are sold especially from behind the counters.
Now in my experience there is one question pharmacists ask and one they don’t often. This is not a definitive list but medicines alcohol list include things’ like Benadryl, Cheracol Plus, Dimetane, Donnatal, Geritol, Novahistine, Robitussin, Sominex, Triaminic, Tylenol and Vicks.
The key question is :
- Are you taking any medication at the moment? Good question
- I have never been asked : Is there any reason you cannot take alcohol in your medicine?
Now to be fair I have always raised it as a question off my own back but please make sure you do or talk to your medical practitioner for advice. This is not having a go at pharmacists by the way who are brilliant and very knowledgeable but you do need to ask the questions. It’s a bit like going to see your doctor if you give the wrong symptoms you might get treated for something you don’t have! Some alcohol and it’s true of food is a preservative measure so we are hardly talking any trace but if you are concerned as always check the label.
Why it matters – alcohol medicine
For many people this is not an issue as someone emailed me to say and of course as with drinking alcohol, alcohol in medicine matters in different ways and in different things’ to different kinds of people
- You can’t drink or use alcohol for health issue
- You choose not to for various reasons including lifestyle and religious beliefs.
- You don’t consume or use alcohol because you don’t want to. It’s your call.
Sadly people get curious if they could get drunk by drinking cough mixture and or mouthwash. It’s dangerous, and like anything taken in high volume quickly, it can cause your death. The harsh reality is of course some people do take these products to get drunk, if that is you please get help your worth it honestly.
If you are also recovering from a drinking problem it can also spike your desire to drink according to research. There are products can help even if you read up about it.
Ask your pharmacist
In my experience pharmacists are really helpful and knowledgeable so please do ask them it is what they are there for. In terms of special medical cases they may not know the answer just as I have a consultant who specializes in liver and stomach they will be generalist in nature but that is understandable.
Secondly if you have a chance to check the label the alcohol content should be clearly marked or look at it online, some medical directories are very useful. So for example there is a website educational called drugs.com that lists side effects and content. I have just searched for cold remedies for alcohol for example. It should give you a good steer.
Most pharmacists have done at least 4 years of study so their wealth of information is immense and well worth tapping into. I have overall found them very helpful and non judgmental as well.
We are not talking about mixing drinks with alcohol
Just to be clear that there are many drugs you should never take with alcohol but we are not talking about that here. Alcoholchange.org.UK is a good place to read about it. We are talking here about choice or medical conditions where it would be advisable not to take alcohol with your medicine. So key points :
- Know what products have alcohol in them
- Ask your pharmacist
- Always seek medical advice
- You’re fantastic! Your entitled to options.
- Get help if you want to quit alcohol
Please comment and join the conversation below after all it’s how this article came about!