Can I drink alcohol with this medicine?

Kelley-Ross Pharmacy GroupAsk The PharmacistCan I drink alcohol with this medicine?

Can I drink alcohol with this medication?

This is one of the most common questions pharmacists get asked when patients are picking up prescription and over the counter medications. This question is one that pharmacists welcome as we consider patient safety and drug-alcohol interactions. Alcohol can affect how a medicine is absorbed, used within, broken down, and eliminated by your body. This means that alcohol can enhance the effects of other medications, and vice versa. It also means that alcohol use can lead to outcomes like treatment failure, organ damage, and increased side effects overall. Knowing what to expect with specific medications and alcohol use allows patients to make more informed decisions on whether to drink alcohol while taking certain medications.

The most common drug-alcohol interactions are drowsiness and dizziness. Basically, if a medicine can make you drowsy, then alcohol can worsen it. Avoid combining them (i.e. don’t use alcohol with NyQuil, or sleep aids like Ambien), and if you are unsure, ask your pharmacist or physician! Other possible side effects that can occur are highlighted here. It may not mean you cannot use medicines with alcohol, but you should ask your pharmacist or physician about what you should do/how to use alcohol safely.  This may not be an all-encompassing list, so always ask your pharmacist or physician.

Prepared by Ramon Garza PharmD Candidate 2022


Kelley-Ross is an independently owned corporation operating 4 pharmacies in Seattle. Kelley-Ross provides a wide range of pharmacy services, including prescription dispensing, compounding, medi-set packaging, compliance packaging, long-term care facility services, consultant pharmacist services, immunizations and a variety of health screenings.

We provide Clinical Community Care. This means that our staff combines expert medication therapy management and clinical skills, with caring, patient centered pharmacy services. By using the triad approach – patient, provider and pharmacist – we can help patients maximize their healthcare resources while achieving optimal health outcomes.

Our high service level and commitment to problem solving has made Kelley-Ross the pharmacy of choice for patients and providers across the Northwest.