Can You Take Clindamycin and Alcohol Together? Is it Safe?

Clindamycin and Alcohol

Is taking clindamycin and alcohol safe? Even though it is clinically proven to be safe, you should not take clindamycin and alcohol together.

Clindamycin is an antibiotic prescribed to treat infection due to bacteria. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat illness caused by bacteria inside your body, inside the cuts or wounds and on your skin.

Your doctor will recommend antibiotics based on the type of bacteria which is identified. It is critical to wait until after the bacteria have been determined before taking any medicine.

Taking antibiotics and alcohol together can cause some severe side effects. Let’s see in detail how alcohol and clindamycin interaction can affect your body.

Also Read: Melatonin and Alcohol Interaction Side Effects Explained

What is Clindamycin?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that attacks the genetic make-up of bacteria inhibiting its ability to grow. It is available in pill form, or you can also apply it topically. It can also be injected into the veins or the muscles.

Clindamycin prevents the growth of bacteria. It helps body’s immune system effectively kill the bacterium. The antibiotic kills the infections in the respiratory and digestive system. However, clindamycin may cause diarrhea, and it’s usually not prescribed to individuals with the history of asthma, skin reactions, kidney disease, and liver disease (1) (2).

Combining clindamycin and alcohol weakens the antibiotic’s effectiveness and may worsen the side effects. Clindamycin is prescribed for people with lungs infection, blood or skin infection.

Clindamycin enters the blood stream through the digestive tract. It is important to take clindamycin and other antibiotics as prescribed for the mentioned duration.

Also, please keep in mind that clindamycin not effective against viral infections.

Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Clindamycin?

Can you drink alcohol while taking clindamycin? Physicians recommend that one shouldn’t combine clindamycin and alcohol at the same time.

Drinking wine with clindamycin is fine as long as the amount of wine is limited to no more than two glasses. Moderation is important with alcohol and antibiotic interaction.

Alcohol suppresses absorption and slows your body’s normal functioning. If your liver function is compromised as a result of excessive alcohol, poisonous enzymes get released. Your immune system will get weaker, and it will worsen the side effects.

The interaction between clindamycin and alcohol creates the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Upset Stomach
  • Vaginal itching or discharge

Stop taking clindamycin if you experience any of these side effects. If you experience any health condition that doesn’t resolve on its own, stop taking any antibiotic, and call your doctor immediately.

Other Antibiotics That Can Interact with Alcohol

In addition to clindamycin, there are a few other antibiotics that can interact with alcohol and cause serious side effects. You should not drink alcohol while taking antibiotics like:

  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Tinidazole (Tindamax)
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)

Combining alcohol with these antibiotics may result in a severe interaction. Metronidazole (Flagyl) and tinidazole (Tindamax) can cause drowsiness and along with alcohol, the interaction could be lethal.

You should use extreme caution when drinking alcohol and the following antibiotics because of the potential of lethal interactions.

  • Co-trimoxazole (Septrin): Can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Linezolid (Zyvox): Interacts with wine, beer, lager, and sherry
  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea): If you have liver function issues avoid this antibiotic
  • Erythromycin (Eryc, Erythrocin): Alcohol use may reduce or delay this antibiotic’s effectiveness

Talk to Your Doctor

It is important to visit your physician or pharmacist and discuss your lifestyle including your use of alcohol before taking any antibiotic.

Clindamycin and alcohol interaction can cause diarrhea leading to a condition called pseudomembranous colitis. If you experience watery diarrhea or bloody stool, stop taking the antibiotic and seek medical advice.

Antibiotics come with warning labels and prescribed instructions. However, if you have any questions about clindamycin and alcohol or alcohol and antibiotic interaction, you should contact your doctor.

Considering your age, health, and the type of alcohol you prefer, your doctor will tell you if drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics is safe.

Physicians should also be consulted if you notice the following symptoms:

Although it is said that clindamycin and alcohol are safe, the combination hampers the speedy recovery. So it is better to avoid drinking alcohol when taking antibiotics.

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James Concato

James Concato is a Hospital Administrator in the Chicagoland area. He has been in healthcare for more than 25 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from Quinnipiac University and has worked in or lead many different departments. Writing on cancer treatment and cancer prevention through natural treatments is his passion. James, like many others, has had family members pass away from cancer and he knows that Cancer screening is the key to better outcomes. As an administrator of different physician practices like Pediatrics, Surgery, Anesthesia, and Oncology James brings a wealth of knowledge to his writing. James is interested in educating the public through his writing.