Sudafed & Alcohol - Is it Safe?

Sudafed Addiction

Alcohol use disorder has worsened in decades, but combined with drug abuse—especially with nasal decongestants—this becomes an entirely different problem altogether that may affect a person's mind and well-being in the long run. We at Transcend Recovery Community have provided everything you need about this and how you can get help from further addiction. Continue reading.

Is It Safe to Take Sudafed with Alcohol?

While Sudafed and alcohol don't necessarily have any particular drug interactions, if you drink alcohol while taking medicine, you may put yourself in a worse situation. It's not generally safe to take Sudafed with alcohol because it may intensify medication side effects. You may feel increased anxiety, palpitations, and dizziness.

In the same way, OTC medications for sinus congestion may resolve common symptoms of colds, but if you mix it with alcohol use, you'll surely be experiencing alcohol's bad effects as a result too.

Additionally, it's also not advisable to drink alcohol while taking combination medications (i.e. taking decongestants for common cold or allergies + maintenance medications), as it may interact and cause side effects with your prescription medicines.

It's also better to take single-purpose medicines as a form of treatment instead of an all-in-one medication. To further illustrate this, it's better to take paracetamol for your fever or headache, than to take drugs with several combinations for treatment such as NyQuil.

Here are some key pointers when taking Sudafed and other medicine:

  • You should seek professional medical advice before taking certain over-the-counter drugs for certain nasal symptoms, especially if you have recurring health problems
  • Check certain side effects of the drug with your doctor that could worsen when taking Sudafed or other medications
  • If your congestion is not relieved within a week even after drug treatment, you should consult with your physician.

What is Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine)?

a pill of sudafed from a bottle being shown by someone who takes it for her nasal decongestion medication

Sudafed is a drug used to help in alleviating the effects of cold, flu, or allergies. Its common side effects include the following:

  • elevated blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • blurry vision
  • palpitations

It has 3 dosages:

  • 120 mg (12-hour)
  • 240 mg (24-hour)
  • 60 mg (every 6 to 4 hours)

Under thorough drug evaluation, it is also used in making meth.

What Are the Risks of Drinking on Sudafed?

In theory, if you mix alcohol while taking Sudafed, it shouldn't be that harmful as these two substances don't have any drug interactions. However, there are many reasons to cite why you should avoid drinking alcohol while taking medication.

Here are some of the key reasons:

  • Development of bad side effects due to alcohol use - We know that if you engage in excessive drinking, you may experience severe symptoms as a result. These may include the following:
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • drowsiness
  • poor motor skills
  • Increase in blood pressure for hypertensive patients - Mixing alcohol while taking Sudafed may induce high blood pressure or interact with any hypertensive medications you are on. We all know that chronic and untreated high or increased blood pressure may worsen health conditions and lead to stroke or heart attacks.
  • Decrease immune system response - There's nothing wrong if you drink alcohol in small amounts. However, when you drink alcohol in excessive amounts for longer weakens your immune system, making you prone to infections and poorer disease control.
  • Organ failure - As you drink alcohol in large amounts regularly, you are exerting more effort for your organs to process alcohol inside your body. Longer-term, you may experience liver damage and internal bleeding, in worse cases.
  • Can worsen nasal congestion - In most cases, it worsens the symptoms of nasal congestion. What happens is that alcohol swells the blood vessels in your nose that may cause worsening nasal symptoms, (i.e. stuffy nose).

12 Hour Sudafed and Alcohol

It simply means it would usually take you half a day before your body may require an additional dosage. However, if you engage in alcohol drinking, the effects may linger for a longer period and put you at greater risk.

24 Hour Sudafed and Alcohol

The effects of Sudafed last for an entire day in your body. Additionally, you may feel ill effects when drinking and mixing other drugs, such as when you're taking pseudoephedrine.

Other Nasal Decongestants and Alcohol

Nasal decongestants come in various forms. They could either be:

  • pills
  • liquids
  • nasal sprays
  • nose drop

Meanwhile, there are many OTC drugs widely used to treat the usual cold symptoms. Some of these common decongestants are:

  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin, Distan, Vicks Sinex)
  • Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE, Suphedrin PE)
  • Pseudoephedrine (Silfedrine, Sudafed, Suphedrin)

To combat many symptoms at the same time, a combination drug may be used that can act both as an antihistamine and a decongestant. Common drug samples are:

  • Allegra-D
  • Claritin-D
  • Zyrtec-D
  • Benadryl Allergy Plus

Not everyone can use a decongestant drug right away. It's best to consult a pharmacist to make sure that they don't have any underlying medical conditions or take any maintenance medicine that may counteract the drugs they use for allergies.

Certain medication may interact with nasal decongestants such as the following:

  • mao inhibitors
  • hypertension medicine
  • heart medications
  • stimulants

Is There Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) Abuse?

Sudafed abuse occurs when an individual takes more pseudoephedrine repeatedly than is recommended. When combined with alcohol, the effects become worse leading to addiction long term. People suffering from drug and alcohol use disorder may face worse problems, such as the formation of dual diagnosis disorder. The good thing is there are alcohol recovery options to help them get better.

However, people shouldn't attempt doing an At-home alcohol detox on their own as it may end disastrously and can even worsen the effects if not done properly or under a physician's orders.

Depending on the severity of the case, an inpatient or outpatient treatment program may help a person to experience long-term sobriety.

Can Transcend Recovery Help with Sudafed and Alcohol Abuse?

Transcend Recovery can support an individual with their combined Sudafed and alcohol abuse by providing supplemental services on top of their recovery program. As an advocate of mental health support, we provide sober living arrangements to people undergoing inpatient or outpatient treatment.

We provide a safe space for people, so they can focus on recovery free from prejudice while being surrounded by a supportive and motivational network. We offer gender-based residences, such as women's sober living homes.

Getting free from addiction is hard but never impossible! You can contact us right away to find out how recovery can change your life.

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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