Mixing Alcohol and Keflex
Keflex is a commonly prescribed drug that has the generic name cephalexin. Keflex is prescribed as an antibiotic that can be used to treat urinary tract infections, upper respiratory infections and ear infections primarily.
The most common side effect of Keflex is diarrhea.
Rarer but possible side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Skin blisters
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Joint or muscle pain
You shouldn’t take Keflex if you’re allergic to other similar antibiotics, and it’s not used to treat viral infections. You’re also instructed to avoid it if you have a liver or kidney disease, or a stomach or intestinal problem.
So, what about alcohol and Keflex? Does alcohol affect Keflex?
There are a lot of myths floating around about the combination of alcohol and Keflex as well as other antibiotics, but there are some real warnings you should be aware of if you’re prescribed this medicine.
The following provides an overview of what you should know about alcohol and Keflex and answers “does alcohol affect Keflex.”
One of the first things to know about alcohol and Keflex is that they don’t interact at with one another, at least not in terms of alcohol causing Keflex to be ineffective.
There is a myth that people tend to believe about antibiotics, and that’s the fact that using alcohol while on them makes them ineffective. There are some antibiotics that people are absolutely warned against drinking on, including metronidazole and tinidazole. With these antibiotics when they’re combined with alcohol they can lead to breathing problems and heart issues. Keflex is not one of these antibiotics.
Does alcohol affect Keflex? Not in the sense that it won’t work to treat your infection if you drink while on it.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean that mixing alcohol and Keflex is a great idea.
First, some of the side effects of Keflex are similar to side effects from drinking, such as flushing, nausea, and vomiting, as well as headaches. While you can suffer these symptoms when taking this antibiotic on its own, if you mix alcohol and Keflex you’re more likely to have negative side effects.
You’re increasing not only the risk of negative side effects when you combine alcohol and Keflex, but you’re also increasing the chances of these side effects being more intense.
There’s just really no reason to mix alcohol and Keflex because there is the risk of heightened side effects.
It’s also important to understand when talking about alcohol and Keflex that while the alcohol itself won’t impact the effectiveness of the drug, it may take you longer to get better. Alcohol has a harmful impact on your nervous and immune systems, and if you’re drinking while you have an infection, it may be more difficult for your body to fight it.
If you’re an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser, you may have changes in the functionality of your liver as well. This would change how you metabolize drugs like Keflex, and you may require higher doses of the antibiotic for it to be effective as compared to the treatment for someone who doesn’t abuse alcohol.
UTIs are one of the most common conditions Keflex is used to treat, and alcohol can be particularly detrimental as your body tries to fight these infections. There are so many ways that alcohol can play a role in how well or poorly your body is able to recover from an infection. For example, drinking, particularly excessively, may interfere with your sleep patterns, and alcohol can also prevent you from absorbing essential nutrients. Alcohol can cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels that can lower your energy levels as well.
First, with alcohol and Keflex you may experience worse side effects of the medicine or the alcohol than you would if you had either alone, such as nausea or headache.
Also relevant with alcohol and Keflex is the fact that you should think about how drinking will impact your body’s ability to heal.
While combining alcohol and Keflex might not make the drug ineffective, it can cause your body to have a diminished ability to fight the bacterial infection being treated.
With alcohol and Keflex, the best thing you can do is speak to your doctor and get their recommendations.
Medical Disclaimer: 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.
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