Ethyl Alcohol/Selected Cephalosporins
This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.
Serious. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.
How the interaction occurs:
The structure of some cephalosporins resemble disulfiram, a medicine used to make alcoholics intolerant to alcohol. Your body may not be able to properly break down alcohol. Many medicines (prescription and nonprescription), mouthwashes, and aftershaves contain alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol (e.g. 15 ml or one tablespoon) can trigger the effects.
What might happen:
Ingesting alcohol during or for a few days after taking your antibiotic may result in throbbing in the head and neck, irregular heart beat, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. This reaction may last from 30 to 60 minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of alcohol consumed.
What you should do about this interaction:
If possible, avoid the use of medicines that contain alcohol when using your antibiotic and for several days after finishing it. Use of topical products such as creams or lotions that contain alcohol may also cause this reaction. The amount of alcohol required to cause this interaction varies with individuals.If you are using your antibiotic with a product that contains alcohol or if you notice signs or symptoms of this interaction, contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist). Your doctor may want to make changes to your medicines.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
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