Alcohol and Prednisone Interaction, Dangers and Side Effects

With most prescription and over-the-counter medicines, there are some interactions, dangers and side effects possible, including if you mix them with alcohol. One area that’s frequently asked about and also misunderstood are the possible alcohol and prednisone interactions, danger and side effects risks.

The following provides general information about prednisone, as well as possible alcohol and prednisone interactions, dangers and side effects to be aware of.


Alcohol and Prednisone Interaction, Danger, and Side Effects
Prednisone is the generic name for the brand name drug Deltasone, and it’s prescribed to treat a range of conditions including severe allergies, arthritis, blood disorders, breathing problems, eye problems and immune system issues. It’s a corticosteroid, and it impacts how your immune system responds to certain diseases and then reduces the symptoms, including allergic reactions and swelling.

Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory which is why it can be used to treat the symptoms of such a wide range of diseases and disorders.

Some of the side effects possible with prednisone include nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, sweating or acne. Some of the rarer but more severe possible side effects include muscle pain and cramps, irregular heartbeat, swelling of the hands and feet, weight gain, vision problems, and severe abdominal or stomach pain.

There can be psychiatric side effects of prednisone as well such as changes in personality and mood, depression, euphoria, insomnia and mood swings. Along with alcohol and prednisone interactions, dangers and side effects which will be reviewed below, there are other possible interactions as well.

For example, prednisone may interact with estrogen, and there is a risk of hypokalemia or high blood potassium levels when someone takes this medicine combined with a drug that reduces potassium levels. If someone takes prednisone with warfarin, it can decrease its effectiveness, and it shouldn’t be taken with some diabetes drugs either.

So, moving on, what should you know about alcohol and prednisone interactions and side effects?

It’s a bit of a challenge to outline what the possible alcohol and prednisone interactions and side effects are or could be because doctors and researchers disagree for the most part. First and foremost, you are generally advised to avoid drinking alcohol with pretty much any medicine, and this is because you simply don’t know how your body will respond.

However, specifically with alcohol and prednisone interactions and side effects, are there any?

The answer is that doctors are unsure, but there is a potential risk for gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers to occur when someone combines alcohol and prednisone. Both alcohol and prednisone on their own can increase your risk of intestinal bleeding and ulcers, so when combined, particularly in large amounts, this risk is likely to be greater.

Along with direct possible alcohol and prednisone interactions, dangers and side effects, there are other reasons doctors recommend people not combine the two.

First, prednisone is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, and with most of the conditions, it’s used to treat, drinking alcohol isn’t recommended. Drinking when you have many medical conditions can make them worse.

Both alcohol and prednisone are both also processed and eliminated via the liver, so it can be difficult on the liver.

Other possible things to consider when researching alcohol and prednisone interactions, dangers and side effects include:

  • Both alcohol and prednisone can suppress your immune system and make it more difficult for you to fight infections. When you combine the two, this is even more challenging.
  • Prednisone is known to potentially increase blood sugar levels, and if you are mixing alcohol and prednisone, you may be increasing your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The use of prednisone has been linked to early onset osteoporosis, and if you drink excessively, it can increase your chances of developing the condition.

When people are prescribed prednisone, they’re also given lifestyle tips such as making sure they eat small, healthy meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable and to limit their consumption of salt to avoid water retention. Cutting out or reducing alcohol intake may also be advisable.

While drinking very moderately when you’re on prednisone may be okay, you should always speak to your doctor first. Some of the possible alcohol and prednisone interactions, dangers and side effects can include blood sugar problems, early onset osteoporosis, and a compromised immune system.
Alcohol and Prednisone Interaction, Dangers and Side Effects
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