Can You Drink Alcohol With Doxycycline? 

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Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 1/15/2022

Doxycycline belongs to the drug class tetracycline and functions as an antibiotic that fights off infections, rosacea, malaria, and even acne. It's one of the stronger antibiotics available and requires a prescription from a doctor. Doxycycline has many interactions with other drugs and substances, especially alcohol.

Why do Individuals Mix Doxycycline With Alcohol? 

Individuals mix doxycycline with alcohol for many reasons but the most common reason is people not understanding the risks or the dangers. Combining alcohol with any type of antibiotic is dangerous, especially if you're treating a serious condition. Many individuals don't understand the risk, so they combine alcohol and doxycycline despite the risks and potential side effects.

Can I Take Doxycycline With Alcohol While Pregnant? 

No, you can't take doxycycline with alcohol while you're pregnant. In fact, you shouldn't consume alcohol with anything during your pregnancy. While you can check with your doctor to determine if some medications are safe for you and your baby, alcohol is never safe to consume when pregnant.

If you drink alcohol with doxycycline during pregnancy you increase the risk of many health issues. These include elevated blood pressure, a higher risk of miscarriage, and even fetal alcohol syndrome occurring in your infant. Fetal alcohol syndrome is responsible for several deformities during childbirth and the condition is not reversible.

Can I Take Doxycycline With Every Kind of Alcohol? 

There are a handful of different doxycycline-based antibiotics. The drug belongs to the tetracycline class of antibiotics and some of the popular brands include Doxy-100, Monodox, and Monodoxyne. You can take doxycycline with every kind of alcohol but some health risks occur if you're a chronic drinker or someone who suffers from liver issues. 

These conditions can reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic and make your infection worse.

Does Doxycycline Affect the Taste of Alcohol? 

Doxycycline does not affect the taste of alcohol. Whether taken orally or in pill form, doxycycline doesn't change the way alcohol will taste. The only time the drug impacts the taste of alcohol is if you drink alcohol seconds after taking the pill or drinking the liquid. Doxycycline can have a bitter aftertaste that can make alcohol taste worse. 

That said, doxycycline affecting the taste of alcohol is not something you need to be worried about.

Does Doxycycline Affect the Effect of Alcohol? 

No, doxycycline won't affect the effects of alcohol. The two substances can have interactions within the body but they only occur in rare cases. Moreover, interactions typically occur in people who suffer from alcoholism or alcoholism-related health conditions. These conditions include fatty liver disease, liver failure, and people who have had liver transplants in the past.

If you or a loved one falls into the above categories doxycycline will affect the effects of alcohol in a negative way. Individuals can expect to experience several side effects that vary based on how much of each substance was consumed.

How Much Doxycycline Can Be Dangerous To Take With Alcohol? 

Doxycycline becomes dangerous when taken with alcohol if someone takes more than their prescribed dosage. The average dosage for doxycycline is between 100-200 mg (milligrams) and an individual's daily intake shouldn't exceed 600 mg. If someone takes over 600 mg of doxycycline it can become dangerous with alcohol.

Doxycycline is typically safe to take with alcohol as long as it's a safe amount of alcohol or only a few standard drinks. A standard drink is equivalent to a 12-ounce, 4.5% beer. If men drink no more than 4 standard drinks and women drink no more than 2 standard drinks then doxycycline is safe to take with alcohol in most dosages.

Is Using Liquid Doxycycline With Alcohol Different Than Using Doxycycline Pills?

No, using liquid doxycycline with alcohol is not different from using the pill form of doxycycline. Doxycycline interacts with alcohol and the body in the same way, regardless of the form it's in. The only difference is that the liquid form of doxycycline can leave an aftertaste in your mouth longer, which can affect the taste of alcohol.

What Side Effects Occur When You Combine Alcohol With Doxycycline?

Side effects can occur when drinking alcohol and doxycycline. While side effects are rare, the chances of experiencing side effects increase if you have a high dosage of doxycycline and many alcoholic beverages. Some of these side effects can cause discomfort and can even be fatal.

Some of the common side effects include:

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness 

  • Stomach cramps 

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea 

  • Headache

  • Vomiting 

  • Elevated heart rate

Many of these side effects subside on their own once the alcohol is cleared by the body.

1. Rapid Heart Rate 

Consuming alcohol and doxycycline can increase your heart rate, sometimes rapidly. Your body increases heart rate when consuming alcohol because it speeds up the metabolism and helps the liver process the alcohol faster. When combined with doxycycline, alcohol can cause your heart rate to increase further because there is another substance in your body. This rapid heartbeat can make the medication less effective because your body will clear it faster.

2. Stomach Issues 

Drinking alcohol and taking doxycycline can cause stomach discomfort. Alcohol causes stomach discomfort if consumed in large quantities whereas stomach discomfort is one of the most common side effects of doxycycline. Because doxycycline causes an immune response within the body, sometimes the response can cause discomfort. When you combine doxycycline and alcohol the stomach issues progressively get worse.

3. Nausea 

Alcohol and doxycycline cause nausea as a side effect. Doxycycline does so because of the immune response within the body, while alcohol causes nausea because your body wants to clear it from your stomach and blood. Combining alcohol and doxycycline can make these symptoms much worse.

4. Drowsiness 

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that can make some individuals tired. Fighting infections is hard on the body, even with help from doxycycline antibiotics. The medication prevents the spread of bacteria in the body by preventing it from making proteins. While effective, this takes a toll on the body and causes drowsiness. Alcohol is a depressant, so adding alcohol into the mixture can increase drowsiness.

5. Hot Flushes 

Doxycycline can create hot flushes as a side effect and alcohol can create flushes based on how much is consumed. When you combine alcohol and doxycycline the increased heart rate and sweating can lead to hot flushes. These are uncomfortable waves of feeling hot and uncomfortable. The more alcohol you consume with doxycycline the higher the risk of developing this side effect.

6). Headaches 

Consuming doxycycline and alcohol can cause headaches. Alcohol and doxycycline cause headaches because both substances cause dehydration. When mixing both substances your chances of becoming dehydrated increase. This causes headaches and other uncomfortable side effects. Doxycycline can also cause headaches in some individuals because of the immune response it generates.

Doxycycline and alcohol have many interactions, so it's always best to consult with your doctor if you're unsure about mixing doxycycline and alcohol.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Doxycycline Will Work? 

Alcohol doesn't typically interact with doxycycline. For most individuals, no, doxycycline does not affect how well doxycycline will work. While some people may experience side effects while taking doxycycline and drinking alcohol, the drug won't lose effectiveness. The only time doxycycline becomes less effective is when people are severely drunk.

For individuals who suffer from liver issues and alcoholism, though, alcohol does affect how well doxycycline works. Alcohol can cause the immune system to decline, which can make an infection harder to treat. Even with the help of antibiotics, enough alcohol can reverse the progress of doxycycline's treatment.

How Long After Taking Doxycycline Can You Drink Alcohol? 

If you're taking doxycycline several times per day for more than a few days you shouldn't consume alcohol on any of those days. Instead, make sure you wait at least 48 hours after your round of treatment to drink alcohol. Doxycycline takes time to work in the body and can remain in your system the day after you finish taking it.

If you combine alcohol with doxycycline during this time it can lower your body's immune response. When your body's immune response is lower, doxycycline becomes less effective and the infection has a chance to take hold again within the body. The combination of alcohol and doxycycline can cause you to need another treatment cycle for your condition.

What Other Drugs are Dangerous to Use With Alcohol? 

Many drugs are dangerous to use with alcohol. These include prescription drugs like antibiotics and antidepressants, as well as controlled substances like amphetamines and opioids.

These drugs are dangerous to use with alcohol:

  • Antidepressants 

  • Amphetamines 

  • Percocet 

  • Melatonin 

  • Zoloft 

  • Opioids 

  • Methamphetamine 

  • Stimulants 

  • Marijuana 

Combining any substance with alcohol is a dangerous idea. If you're unsure about what's safe, make sure you consult with your doctor before drinking and taking medications.

What Should Be Done to Reduce Alcohol Addiction?

Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and alcohol-related health problems. Alcohol addiction occurs when someone becomes dependent on alcohol. Alcohol addiction is referred to as alcohol abuse disorder (AUD). The condition develops when people begin experiencing withdrawal from alcohol and uncontrollable urges to consume alcohol. AUD is a challenging condition to treat and gets worse the longer someone is addicted to alcohol.

Finding alcoholism treatment is important. If you or a loved one is suffering from AUD getting help is the first step. There are several options to choose from, like outpatient care or group Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, so treatment is attainable. Outpatient programs can help people with one-on-one therapy and accountability, while inpatient options provide someone with 24/7 care and an isolated location to avoid potential triggers.

Author
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Thomas Roth
Lead Editor

Thomas has been working in the substance abuse industry for over 3 years and he's made it his mission to help those in need. Tom started out by writing content to help people find addiction treatment centers near their location. Once he understood the value in the words he wrote Tom shifted to outreach, editing, and content creation. If nothing else, Tom wants to see those who struggle with Alcohol abuse disorder recover.