Dayquil & Alcohol - Is it Safe?

Alcohol Addiction

Acetaminophen toxicity is the main culprit for 56,000 ER visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths per year in the United States. This is even worsened with continuous DayQuil and alcohol usage. Transcend Recovery Community provides you with all the information you need regarding alcohol and DayQuil and what you should know if you or your loved one encounters this medication problem.

Is It Safe to Take Dayquil and Alcohol?

As the effect of DayQuil only occurs between 4 to 6 hours, it is safe to drink alcohol only after the medicine's effect wears off. Mixing alcohol with any other substance, regardless if it's just a cough suppressant or even diabetes medications, is not advised.

The risks of mixing alcohol and acetaminophen further magnify the known side effects that alcohol and DayQuil both have. Additionally, if you take maintenance medication on top of your OTC drugs, you must know the possible counter interactions your prescription meds may have when taking DayQuil and alcohol together.

Some notable examples would be abdominal pain or decreased mental alertness that would automatically prohibit you from operating hazardous machinery.

What is Dayquil?

DayQuil is better known to have acetaminophen as one of its active ingredients. It is used as a non-drowsy cough suppressant to treat symptoms of the cold and flu, and nasal congestion, and can be an effective pain reliever for minor aches and pains.

Taking DayQuil every four hours is usually safe but should not be taken more than four doses within 24 hours. You need at least half an hour for the cough medicine to take effect.

Dayquil and alcohol have the same risks as with any other combination of drugs, such as opioid pain medications or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

What Are the Risks of Drinking on Dayquil?

a man who is depressed is on a bed with a glass of alcohol in his table and is deeply thinking

Similarly with the combination of melatonin & alcohol, combining alcohol and DayQuil may raise various health concerns for an individual. Here are the following risks that DayQuil and alcohol may induce in a person's overall health and wellbeing:

  • In high quantities, DayQuil and alcohol may severely damage your liver;
  • Mental health/central nervous system risks:
  • anxiety
  • delusions
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations
  • Physical manifestations:
  • rapid heartbeat
  • unusual blooding
  • high blood pressure
  • sore throat
  • difficulty sleeping
  • respiratory depression
  • unusual bleeding
  • gastrointestinal issues:
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If one of the main issues involves people who drink heavily while taking DayQuil, know that the risk of having an overdose may also be a concern, regardless if someone is drinking alcohol together with over-the-counter medication or not.

Acetaminophen and Dextromethorphan (DXM) and Severe Liver Damage

As our body breaks down chemicals, repeated usage and large dosage may weaken our body and expose our organs to prolonged damage, including the harmful effects that high doses have on our liver.

Acetaminophen or Dextromethorphan (DXM) use causes severe liver damage compared to taking medication for other health conditions. It may occur after one very large amount/dosage or after a few days when a person takes higher-than-recommended amounts of over-the-counter medications.

It's always important to take the recommended dose, whether you're taking a simple cough suppressant or cough medicine, to ensure that things like fatal overdose and even liver failure may not be a problem.

How Does Acute Liver Failure Occur?

As defined by The Mayo Clinic, acute liver failure occurs when liver function loss happens quickly within days or weeks. This type of liver damage happens even when there is no pre-existing liver disease.

However, acute liver failure is caused by the Hepatitis virus or drug and alcohol abuse, particularly with acetaminophen. The thing to note meanwhile is that acute liver disease and damage are less common than chronic liver damage.

The effects of acute liver damage can be treated, with a liver transplant to prevent further damage to the liver cells. As always, to ensure whether you get liver damage - acetaminophen, you have to consult first with your attending physician.

Symptoms of Acetaminophen Overdose

Acetaminophen overdose occurs when a person has taken excessive amounts of the medication. It can either be intentional or unintentional acetaminophen overdose, depending on an individual's general state of mental health.

The common symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose may include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/motion sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal or stomach pain

If these symptoms persist regardless if you're taking the proper dose of the drug, it's about time to seek immediate medical attention—most especially if there are dangerous levels of acetaminophen in your system.

A fatal overdose is not just worrisome. It can also lead to further liver failure or damaging liver cells in the long run. There are also risks of mixing alcohol and Dayquil as it may worsen the side effects or impair the judgment of an individual due to their alcohol addiction.

Is There Dayquil Abuse?

We seldom see Dayquil abuse occurring most of the time. However, cough and cold medicine abuse become more and more apparent nowadays. What individuals may encounter are psychoactive effects or "out-of-body" feelings. More than four doses of Dayquil may already classify as abuse.

Whether or not DayQuil has a non-drowsy side effect, some individuals may find themselves suffering from newly-developed substance use disorders—mostly alcohol use disorder—on top of their pre-existing substance abuse disorder issues.

Even if there isn't any presence of cold and flu symptoms, people who are chronic drinkers and form physical and psychological dependence on drugs (acetaminophen) can immediately fall victim to substance abuse.

What you can do as a precaution from a certain substance use disorder is to actively adhere to the recovery program prescribed to you. You may also be required to attend after-care programs to avoid relapse from happening.

In the end, medically-supervised detox (alcohol rehab/alcohol detox), behavioral therapies, and transitional housing (such as luxury sober living that offers quality amenities and facilities during residential treatment), can help an individual truly become better.

Can Transcend Recovery Help with Acetaminophen and Dextromethorphan Abuse?

Instead of giving alcohol detox/alcohol rehab and treating alcohol withdrawal symptoms courtesy of partner treatment programs to patients, Transcend Recovery Community does its part by providing ample support needed in any way they can as individuals recover.

One of the main highlights that it offers is its sober living program. People can focus better on their recovery through their fellow residents and supportive residential staff. They also have a safe space, especially with gender-based living arrangements, such as women's and men's sober living spaces, which are currently offered.

Get to know more about how Transcend transforms lives. Contact us right away to begin your quest for lifelong sobriety away from DayQuil and alcohol misuse.

Transcend Recovery Community

Transcend Recovery Community family of sober living homes provides a safe place for those undergoing mental health and addiction treatment to live with like-minded peers. Our community-based approach to sober living (similarly to a halfway house) facilitates an open and welcoming environment, where members, staff and team can provide support and encouragement on the path to a sober and healthy life. Transcend's Los Angeles sober living homes are located in some of the most iconic areas of the city, filled with luxurious and upscale amenities, providing plenty to do for those in our transitional housing community.

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