What Are The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol With Prednisone?
Mixing prednisone with alcohol can lead to toxicity, a weakened immune system, liver damage, heart damage, and increased risk for various conditions, including those that impact bone health. Some of the side effects of combining alcohol and prednisone are irreversible and can develop without warning.
Are you looking for a confidential treatment program that can help you overcome steroid use or get your alcohol consumption in check? Zinnia Health can help. Call our team today at (855) 430-9439 to learn more about our treatment options.
Can You Drink on Prednisone?
The NIH warns that mixing corticosteroids like prednisone with alcohol intake is dangerous and can lead to severe side effects. This is because of how prednisone and alcohol impact central nervous system activity.
Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid. It works to increase the level of steroids that usually occur naturally in the body, helping people who aren’t producing enough of them achieve balance. While not a stimulant, corticosteroids can have stimulant-like effects, which means they increase activity in the central nervous system.
Meanwhile, alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which means it slows down activity in the body. While some people mistakenly believe that steroids and alcohol counteract each other, they can actually intensify the negative effects of both. Combining them can lead to dangerous and unpredictable side effects.
How Long After Taking Prednisone Can You Drink Alcohol?
You should not drink alcohol while taking prednisone. If you’re taking prednisone with a prescription, ask your doctor if any amount of alcohol is safe to consume, like an occasional drink after work.
Unless you have clearance from your doctor, avoid mixing alcohol with any dose of prednisone.
If you’re having trouble abstaining from alcohol while taking prednisone, you may be dealing with the effects of alcohol addiction. Any healthcare professional can help you recognize the signs of addiction and connect you with resources in your area to help.
Why Do People Mix Alcohol With Prednisone?
There are several reasons why people mix alcohol and prednisone:
- They may not be aware of the risks associated with doing so
- They may think drinking alcohol will help them cope with the side effects of prednisone, such as weight gain or mood swings
- They may drink alcohol while taking prednisone because they are struggling with an addiction to alcohol
- They may intentionally mix prednisone and alcohol in an attempt to intensify the sedative effects of alcohol
No matter why you’re using alcohol with prednisone, mixing these two substances is a form of drug misuse. Habitually misusing drugs like this might mean you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, more commonly known as addiction.
Why Is It Dangerous to Mix Prednisone with Alcohol?
The immediate risk of combining prednisone with alcohol is the increased chance of toxicity, also known as poisoning or overdose. The short-term risks also include increased risk of injuries and violence.
The combination can make you more likely to engage in risky behavior, including unprotected sex.
A key long-term effect of mixing steroid medication and alcohol is liver damage. Long-term use of both prednisone and alcohol can cause liver damage, and the two substances can interact to cause even more damage.
Liver damage from prednisone and alcohol can lead to many problems, including jaundice, ascites, and encephalopathy. In severe cases, liver damage can be fatal.
Mixing alcohol and prednisone can also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis and osteonecrosis, which result in the loss of bone tissue. Osteonecrosis can lead to pain, stiffness, and deformity, and it can eventually lead to fractures.
What Can Happen if You Drink on Prednisone?
Over time, alcohol and steroid abuse can lead to health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease. It can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, weaken the immune system, and cause learning and memory problems. Routinely combining these substances can also cause:
- Gastrointestinal problems: Prednisone use can cause indigestion, heartburn, peptic ulcers, and nausea. Drinking alcohol can also irritate the stomach lining and intestines, and when the two are combined, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other problems increases.
- Liver damage: Prednisone can cause liver damage, and alcohol consumption can also strain the liver. When the two are mixed, the risk of liver problems increases.
- Impaired healing: Mixing alcohol and prednisone can interfere with the body’s ability to heal itself. If you have a wound or are recovering from surgery, it’s essential to avoid drinking alcohol while taking prednisone.
- Weakened immune system: Prednisone can weaken the immune system, and alcohol consumption can also suppress the immune system. When the two are mixed, the risk of infection increases.
Some of the side effects of drinking on prednisone are reversible. For instance, liver damage in its early stages can be healed by abstaining from drug and alcohol use.
The longer you misuse substances, you are at a higher risk for irreversible consequences. Seeking medical advice sooner than later can help you understand your risk factors and limit potential side effects.
What Are the Symptoms From Drinking Alcohol with Prednisone?
Alcohol and drug abuse can have a devastating impact on your life. It can ruin your health, your relationships, and your career. If you’re worried that a love one is suffering from drug or heavy alcohol use, look for signs such as:
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Anxiety, depression, and mood changes
- Blurred vision
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Problems with the adrenal glands
Excessive drug use can lead to mental health problems as well as social problems like family strife and unemployment. If you think someone is losing motivation, giving up their hobbies, or withdrawing from their social circles, they could be dealing with drug or alcohol abuse.
How to Get Help For a Prednisone Addiction
Alcohol and substance abuse can be difficult to defeat on your own for a number of reasons. These substances can cause changes in the brain that make it difficult to break the habit. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms can be excruciating and may lead to relapse — especially if you’re trying to quit on your own.
Whether you’re dealing with heavy drinking, steroid use, or some other form of substance misuse, help is available. You can overcome addiction and get back to living a healthy, drug-free life in a matter of months as long as you have the right team on your side. If you’re ready to seek help, consider these options:
- Talk to your doctor: Ask your doctor about addiction resources available in your area or ask them for a referral to a mental health counselor
- Find a support group: Join a confidential support group that consists of peers who are dealing with similar challenges as you
- Call a helpline: Reach out to the 24/7 helpline at (866) 503-0778 that can connect you with resources and answer your questions
- Go to a local hospital: If you want urgent help, go to any hospital in your area for immediate assistance. They will never turn you down for any reason
Are you ready to take the next step and get help? At Zinnia Health, we offer a variety of addiction treatment options that can help you recover from your addiction and live a healthier, happier life. Contact us today or call (855) 430-9439.