Did you know what precautions you should take to avoid overdoing it and taking risks during the holiday season?
With the onset of holidays and New Year’s Eve, people tend to consume a greater volume of alcoholic beverages, but many make use of medications for continuous use or even abuse self-medication to alleviate the resulting symptoms. of food excesses, and in the practice of less habitual activities. The combination of these two factors, drugs and alcohol, can have significant and significant health implications.
First of all, it is important to understand that both can be harmful to the body if consumed without medical advice, in the case of drugs, or in excess, in the case of alcoholic beverages.
As for the toxicity of drugs, data from the Paraná Department of Health warn of the dangers involved. “The drug is the main toxic agent that causes intoxication in humans in Brazil, occupying the first place in SINITOX statistics since 1994; benzodiazepines, anti-influenza, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories are the classes of drugs that cause the most poisoning in our country (44% have been classified as suicide attempts and 40% as accidents, with children under five – 33 % and adults from 20 years). at 29 years old – 19% were the age groups most affected by drug poisoning)”.
Alcohol is the most consumed drug in the world and in Brazil consumption is even higher. A world report on alcohol and health – 2018, carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO), indicates that consumption in our country, considering people over 15 years of age, exceeds the world average with a average consumption of 8.7 liters per person/year. In comparison, data for the world average indicate a consumption of 6.2 liters per person/year.
In Brazil, beer is the most consumed type of drink with 62%, followed by distillates with 34% and wine with 3%.
alcohol and drugs
Pharmacist, Gabriela Machado, claims that alcohol by the mere fact of being ingested already has a harmful effect. “Ethanol is a central nervous system depressant that on its own can cause health problems,” he explained.
She pointed out that the effects can be more harmful if there is parallel consumption of drugs. “Consuming alcohol while taking medication can be more dangerous than you think. Among the various risks associated with this mixture we highlight increased blood pressure and heart rate, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, drowsiness, diminished reflexes and memory, and, in chronic and more severe cases, it can lead to coma and be fatal.”
There are many people who undergo continuous treatment with drugs and ignore medical recommendations and end up not giving up on a few drinks, especially during parties and New Year’s Eve. So the question remains, is there a safe limit for the consumption of alcoholic beverages in this case?
“With the holiday season, we know it’s hard to avoid toasting with friends and/or family, and there are risks even in moderate amounts. A safer tip is to take as much of 1 dose, always with meals and remember to drink your drink with plenty of water, to increase the elimination of alcohol from the body and reduce its effects.In addition, it is important that the patient does not don’t stop taking your meds for continued use, even with the intention of giving that end-of-year toast.”
Another common question on the subject is related to the effectiveness of drugs, whether it is reduced or improved by the interaction with alcohol. In this case, the pharmacist explains to us that the drug interaction with alcohol can lead to a reduction or potentiation of the effect of a drug, depending on its drug class. “For example, if you use a certain antibiotic, you can reduce the effect of the drug, which is very serious because it will not treat the bacterial infection, worsening the symptoms of fever, pain, among others, and will need of a longer use for the treatment”.
Another dangerous combination is related to the use of psychotropic drugs, which are drugs used to treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, among others. “In the case of an antidepressant drug, for example, its simultaneous use with alcohol is potentiated, increasing its sedative effect up to three times, which can cause physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, excessive worry and signs of distress and more anxiety,” he warned.
Drugs to treat depression, anxiety, diabetes and high blood pressure are the drugs most used by the Brazilian population.
In Brazil, the consumption of drugs without medical advice is high and worries even health agencies.
According to data from the Federal Council of Pharmacy, our country is one of the ten that consume the most drugs in the world. “Access to pharmacies and parapharmacies and the ease of purchasing medicines at the popular “pharmacy counter” promote an increase in the consumption of medicines by the majority of the Brazilian population”.
The practice of self-medication, linked to the consumption of alcohol, can be harmful, mainly because people misunderstand the chemical compositions and their action in the body.
Asked about the drugs that are strictly forbidden to consume with alcoholic beverages, the pharmaceutical Gabriela said that these are the ones that accumulate the toxic substances of alcohol in the body. ??This is the case with antifungals (such as secnidazole, ketoconazole), antibiotics (such as metronidazole, isoniazid and sulfamethoxazole with trimethoprim), antiparasitics (such as mebendazole and albendazole), drugs to treat alcoholism (such as disulfiram and naltrexone), (such as), anticonvulsants (such as phenytoin). Their interaction can cause palpitations, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, hepatotoxicity, respiratory distress, hypotension, coma and can even be fatal. Even more than avoiding the consumption of alcohol during the treatment, it is necessary to wait at least 3 days after the end of the treatment, because there is always a possibility of adverse effects”, he warned.