While many view Christmas as a time to be merry, drinking alcohol and taking certain medicines can be dangerous, according to Dr Audrey Kinahan of University Late Night Pharmacy (located across from the entrance to University College Hospital ), a Galway pharmacist, who advises people to seek advice before mixing medicines and alcohol this Christmas.
Dr Kinahan says; “Alcohol interacts with many medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines as well as prescription medicines. In some cases the effect can be increased drowsiness, a reduction in concentration levels, or reduced co-ordination skills.
“Mixing alcohol and certain medicines can lead to an increased risk of falls with resultant injuries. Taking certain medicines can worsen the effects of alcohol on a person’s ability to perform motor skills and the ability to drive. Certain medicines, including specific antibiotics can interact with alcohol and the result can lead to nausea and vomiting while in other cases the medicine may be rendered less effective than normal.
Dr Kinahan who with her team of pharmacists will be working over Christmas including St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day, explains “It is very important to seek the advice of your doctor and/or pharmacist first to check if it is safe to drink alcohol while taking any medicine.”