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If you have a cold or sinus problems, you may rely on Sudafed to help relieve your nasal symptoms. However, you may also wonder if it is safe to drink alcohol while taking the medication. Although there are no drug interactions between Sudafed and alcohol, taking them together can still lead to certain health consequences.
Sudafed is a decongestant that is sometimes sold under the generic name pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine can be used to help with a variety of common symptoms related to colds, the flu or allergies. As a decongestant, it narrows blood vessels to help alleviate swelling and congestion.
|Brand Names||Sudafed, SudoGest, Zephrex-D|
|Approved Uses||Nasal congestion|
|Controlled substance status / FDA warnings||Not a controlled substance, but the federal government limits sales to behind the pharmacy counter|
|Side effects||Fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, sweating, feeling wide awake, tremor, blurry vision|
|Dosage||Sudafed Immediate release: 60 mg every four to six hours
Sudafed 12 Hour: 120 mg every 12 hours
Sudafed 24 Hour: 240 mg every 24 hours
|Potential for misuse||Used as an ingredient in methamphetamine production|
No drug interactions exist between Sudafed and alcohol. Although each substance has its own individual side effects, taking both together should not impact or worsen the side effects of either substance.
Although Sudafed and alcohol do not have drug interactions, taking them together can be harmful for two key reasons:
Sudafed 12 Hour can last for about 12 hours in your body before another dose is needed. This means the effects of mixing it with alcohol, such as nasal congestion, may also last a long time.
Sudafed 24 Hour lasts a full day in your body, meaning that any negative consequences of mixing it with alcohol may also last an extended period of time.
To avoid worsening your stuffy nose and harming your immune system, it’s best to avoid combining nasal decongestants like Sudafed with alcohol.
It can be hard to quit drinking, especially if you struggle with an alcohol use disorder. Fortunately, help is available at The Recovery Village. Our caring team of multidisciplinary experts provides detox, rehab and aftercare options for those who are having a difficult time ending alcohol use. If you’re ready to take the next step in your recovery journey, contact us today to learn more about treatment programs that can work well for your needs.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.