The effects of amoxicillin & alcohol consumption

Updated July 19, 2017

Although the myth that alcohol interacts negatively with certain antibiotics is prevalent, no evidence exists to support this notion. Nonetheless, alcohol should be limited or avoided when on antibiotics to avoid additional side effects.

What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin, a penicillin-based medication, is a commonly prescribed antibiotic that works to effectively control bacterial infections by prohibiting the growth of bacteria in the body. Generally, physicians prescribe amoxicillin for 10 days, though long-term use of amoxicillin may be necessary if a patient suffers from a more severe condition.


There's a common belief that mixing alcohol and amoxicillin is dangerous, but it's a myth. Alcohol has not been proven to cause any additional side effects in patients taking amoxicillin. However, certain side effects are associated with any antibiotic treatment. These include nausea, diarrhoea and drowsiness, and alcohol can exacerbate these side effects in some people.


Alcohol may increase the severity of any side effects of the drug. Some patients experience dizziness or drowsiness while they are taking amoxicillin, and alcohol can make those symptoms worse. Limit your alcohol consumption if you experience these side effects.


Patients who would like to have an alcoholic drink while on a course of treatment with amoxicillin should do so an hour or more after taking the medication. This will ensure that the body absorbs the antibiotic before alcohol is introduced into the system. In addition, patients taking amoxicillin should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


Ask your doctor or pharmacist about alcohol consumption during any treatment regimen to ensure that no dangerous drug interactions will occur. Carefully read the patient leaflet that comes with your prescription. If you experience severe side effects while taking amoxicillin, contact a physician immediately.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Baker holds a Masters of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and has been working with Demand Media Studios since 2002, specializing in health, education, food and travel topics.