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Phentermine and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol with Phentermine?

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Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 4/19/2022

Phentermine is a medication that’s used to help with weight loss. For this reason, it shares similarities with amphetamines and can function as an appetite suppressant. Phentermine can be found under the brand names Lomaria and Adipex-P. It helps with weight loss because it’s anorectic and promotes weight loss for short periods. Phentermine requires a prescription from a doctor and should not be mixed with other substances like alcohol.

What are the Side Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Phentermine?

Many side effects occur when mixing alcohol and phentermine. Because alcohol and phentermine affect the central nervous system (CNS), mixing the substances can lead to brain problems, issues with coordination, memory impairment, and more. Mixing alcohol and phentermine can also lead to severe side effects like cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal complications, and uncontrolled weight loss. While these side effects can occur without alcohol, they’re made worse when phentermine is mixed with alcohol.

1. Cardiovascular Side Effects

Phentermine is prescribed to people who want to lose weight, so it makes changes to the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. When it comes to cardiovascular effects, phentermine increases the risk of elevated heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and other heart problems. Furthermore, phentermine can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke because the heart beats faster when taking phentermine. When phentermine is mixed with alcohol, these problems become worse. Mixing phentermine can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.

2. Inhibit Weight Loss

Phentermine is designed to help people lose weight through appetite suppression. While alcohol doesn’t interact with the weight loss effects of phentermine, it can lead to more calories entering the body. Alcohol leads to increased caloric intake because people are more likely to make unhealthy food choices when under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, alcohol also contains calories. If someone consumes a few standard drinks each day this can create a caloric surplus, which makes it challenging to lose weight.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

Phentermine makes people less likely to consume food, which means there’s less food in the stomach. When someone consumes alcohol on an empty stomach it leads to gastrointestinal complications because alcohol causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. While this impact can be reduced with proper food intake, phentermine is designed to help people eat less food. Therefore, gastrointestinal problems caused by alcohol become worse due to less food being in the stomach and intestines. This appears as stomach discomfort, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

4. Central Nervous System (CNS) Effects

Alcohol and phentermine both interact with the central nervous system. Phentermine is a stimulant, which means it makes neurons in the brain communicate faster. On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant, which slows the central nervous system. For this reason, mixing alcohol with phentermine can make the medication less effective. Alcohol can also increase CNS side effects like insomnia, delirium, and panic attacks.

Does Phentermine Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

Phentermine does not affect the taste of alcohol. Taking phentermine can leave an aftertaste in the mouth if it’s not swallowed fast enough. In these cases, phentermine can leave an aftertaste that changes the way alcohol tastes. That said, phentermine does not impact the taste of alcohol once the aftertaste leaves the mouth. If the taste of alcohol is affected by phentermine this can be a sign of a more serious side effect and you should consult with a doctor immediately.

Does Phentermine Affect the Effect of Alcohol?

Phentermine does affect the effect of alcohol. Because phentermine is a stimulant, it can make alcohol feel less intoxicating. That said, alcohol still raises blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This means that people can feel less intoxicated than they are, which increases the risk of alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, and other problems. Ultimately, phentermine can affect alcohol tolerance.

Can Mixture of Alcohol and Phentermine Lead to Death?

Yes, a mixture of alcohol phentermine can lead to death. When alcohol and phentermine are combined it can cause changes in heart rate and elevated the risk of heart attacks and strokes. While the risk is negligible with low doses of phentermine, higher doses compound the risk of side effects occurring. In rare cases, even a few alcoholic beverages can lead to death when consumed with phentermine.

Who should not Take Alcohol and Phentermine?

Alcohol and phentermine should not be mixed. Mixing the substances leads to adverse effects and increases the risk of many side effects. That said, people who have heart problems have the most risk when mixing alcohol and phentermine. People over the age of 65 also have an increased risk of experiencing side effects when mixing alcohol and phentermine. Still, nobody should mix the substances before consulting with a doctor.

Can I Take Phentermine with Alcohol While Pregnant?

No, you can’t take phentermine with alcohol during pregnancy. Both substances have a risk of harming the child when used during pregnancy. Alcohol can also cause irreversible damage through conditions like fetal alcohol syndrome; alcohol also increases the risk of a miscarriage occurring. Moreover, phentermine can cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure, which can impact pregnancy and lead to complications for the mother and child.

How Much Phentermine Can be Dangerous to Take with Alcohol?

Typically, low doses of phentermine are safe to take with alcohol if not too much alcohol is consumed. That said, even small doses of 15 milligrams can be dangerous to take with alcohol if a moderate amount of alcohol is consumed. On the other hand, high doses of phentermine (greater than 30 milligrams) can be dangerous to take with alcohol regardless of the amount of alcohol. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the dosage of phentermine when mixing it with alcohol and other substances.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Phentermine Will Work?

Yes, alcohol affects how well phentermine will work. While alcohol doesn’t directly impact the medication, it can make a person more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods. Furthermore, alcohol has calories and can cause someone to enter a caloric surplus, even if they haven’t eaten that much. Because phentermine is an appetite suppressant designed to help people lose weight, alcohol can make it harder for the drug to help with weight loss.

How Long After Taking Phentermine Can You Drink Alcohol?

Phentermine has a longer half-life than many drugs. For example, high doses of phentermine can last for 40 hours in the body. While the effects of the medication become negligible after 20 hours, people should not consume alcohol for 48 hours after taking phentermine. Doing so gives the body ample time to remove the substance from the body. Consuming alcohol when phentermine is in the body is dangerous because it can lead to side effects and elevate the risk of cardiovascular issues.

What Are Other Drugs That Are Dangerous To Use with Alcohol?

Many drugs are dangerous to use with alcohol. Before consuming alcohol, you should always consult with a doctor if you’re taking medication. Even over-the-counter medications like Sudafed can be dangerous to use with alcohol when taken in high doses. Below are other drugs that are dangerous to use with alcohol.

  • Amphetamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Xanax
  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Opioids
  • Marijuana
  • Hallucinogens

These are only a handful of the drugs that are dangerous to use with alcohol. There are hundreds of drugs that can react when combined with alcohol, so always consult with a doctor if you’re unsure about how alcohol interacts with the medication you’re taking.