Levofloxacin and Alcohol
Levofloxacin is a quinolone antibiotic, and it is prescribed to kill bacteria and prevent it from continuing to grow. It treats a variety of medical conditions, including skin infections, infections of the prostate, infections of the kidneys and pneumonia.
Is it Safe to Drink While Taking Levofloxacin?
In most cases, physicians will tell their patients not to mix levofloxacin and alcohol. The levofloxacin will not necessarily cause any harm, but if you drink alcohol while you are taking levofloxacin, the interaction could cause the bacterial infection to take longer to be resolved.
At the same time, it is possible that levofloxacin and alcohol can cause very serious consequences for you. In the beginning, this combination will not cause life-threatening symptoms, but it can cause life-threatening complications to develop in the future. If you take levofloxacin and alcohol before you operate heavy machinery, this combination could lead to agitation, confusion and disorientation that could be very dangerous at that moment. If you do inadvertently combine levofloxacin and alcohol, you are advised to refrain from operating heavy machinery or driving.
Alcohol reacts negatively when the body is fighting an infection. Recently, studies have shown that, when the body is metabolizing alcohol, this causes the immune system to weaken. Therefore, if you are experiencing an infection, your body’s immune system will not be able to effectively fight the infection if you are consuming large amounts of alcohol.
According to the CDC, a woman is known to be binge drinking when she consumes at least four alcoholic drinks in one sitting. When a man consumes at least five alcoholic drinks in one sitting, this is called “binge drinking.” Heavy drinking is something else entirely. For example, when a woman consumes at least eight drinks and a man consumes at least 15 drinks in one week, this is known as “heavy drinking.”
Scientists have also stated that heavy drinking and binge drinking are what lead to an impaired immune system. When people have impaired immune systems, they are more likely to experience infections.
Moderate consumption of alcohol reduces a person’s risk of contracting an infection. Moderate consumption means that women are drinking one alcoholic beverage per day, and men are drinking two alcoholic beverages per day.
The Reaction between Heavy Alcohol Consumption and Levofloxacin.
If you or a loved one are drinking an excessive amount of alcohol on a regular basis, the liver can become overwhelmed. In this case, issues that antibiotics cause will present themselves immediately. The liver is the organ that metabolizes medications, but if it is too busy metabolizing alcohol, it will not be able to metabolize the medication as effectively. Your liver may even be in danger of being damaged, but this will depend on how much alcohol you are drinking and the type of antibiotic you are taking.
The side effects that alcohol causes and the side effects that levofloxacin causes may be very similar. For example, both substances may cause drowsiness, dizziness or upset stomach. When taken at the same time, these symptoms may be exacerbated.
If you drink alcohol moderately, it will not necessarily prevent the levofloxacin from healing your infection, but it will cause the antibiotic to take a longer amount of time to resolve the infection, and it will definitely reduce your energy levels.
Negative Interactions between Levofloxacin and Alcohol.
You will not necessarily experience any negative side effects from combining levofloxacin and alcohol, but alcohol may increase the side effects that levofloxacin causes. Because of the possibility of serious side effects, your physician will advise you not to mix levofloxacin and alcohol.
What Are the Side Effects of Levofloxacin?
You do not need to consume alcohol to experience the side effects of levofloxacin because some people experience these side effects without drinking alcohol. For example, some people have trouble sleeping. When they add alcohol to the mix, they may also experience diarrhea, headaches, nausea and dizziness. As the body breaks down the alcohol you consume with levofloxacin, it releases acetaldehyde, and acetaldehyde is the reason that you experience nausea at this time. You must inform your physician if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.
Some side effects are extremely severe. These include liver issues that cause yellow skin, dark urine, loss of appetite, stomach pains and continuous vomiting. If you experience bruising or changes in your urine production, this may mean that you are developing kidney problems. You would also be in danger of experiencing many other serious side effects, such as shortness of breath, severe chest pain, irregular heartbeats and fainting. These symptoms require that you obtain immediate medical attention.
Levofloxacin is a member of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics class, so it has the potential to cause mental health side effects as well. According to the Food and Drug Administration, mixing levofloxacin and alcohol will increase these side effects.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have also been known to cause some people to experience seizures. Generally, this tends to occur if the person has experienced seizures in the past. If you have had seizures in the past and are going through alcohol withdrawal or are consuming levofloxacin and alcohol, the risk of experiencing seizures increases. Therefore, if you have a history of seizures, you must never mix levofloxacin and alcohol.
Interactions between Levofloxacin and Food.
It is also not a good idea to take levofloxacin with multivitamins and minerals if you are taking them orally. If you take a tablet that contains iron, calcium, aluminum, magnesium or other minerals, they may prevent levofloxacin from being absorbed into the bloodstream, and this will reduce its effectiveness. To prevent this from happening, it is best to take levofloxacin two to four hours before you take your multivitamin. You may also take your multivitamin four to six hours after you take levofloxacin.
Is It Safe to Consume Levofloxacin and Alcohol?
In some of the circumstances that have been listed in this article, it has been determined that consuming levofloxacin and alcohol is not dangerous. This, however, is not the case for everyone. You or your loved one may be among the population of people for whom it would be dangerous to combine levofloxacin and alcohol, but you are having difficulties stopping your alcohol use. At Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery, we can help you overcome your addiction to alcohol.
The first place that you or your loved one will enter is the “detoxification center.” As withdrawal from alcohol can be deadly, our medical staff will administer medications that will help you tolerate the withdrawal process as comfortably as possible. After the detoxification process is over, you or your loved one will remain at the facility in an inpatient rehab treatment program. You will receive intensive treatment for a period or 30 days, 60 days or 90 days.
At Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery, we do not leave you to fend for yourself after you complete your program. We also help you maintain your long-term sobriety with continued counseling and support groups. For example, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy in individual counseling, and we even offer virtual therapy.
The problems that you or your loved one are having with your alcohol use disorder may be exacerbated by a mental health disorder. For example, 20.3 million adults have been diagnosed with substance use disorders, and 37.9% of this population have also been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. In contrast, of the 42.1 million adults diagnosed with a mental health disorder, 18.2% were also diagnosed with substance use disorders. For this reason, Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery has a program for co-occurring disorders.
If you or your loved one are experiencing infections that are not healing because of your use of alcohol, contact us at Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery. Our staff will make sure that you recover from your addiction and become healthy again. Contact us today.