Westmeath pharmacists warn against mixing alcohol with medicines over Christmas

Pharmacists in Westmeath are warning about the dangers of consuming alcohol while taking medicines or herbal remedies. Westmeath pharmacists issue the warning at a time when many people are already suffering from coughs, colds, and flus, and the Christmas party season is already well underway. Nationally, the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU ) is highlighting the dangers of mixing alcohol and medicines.

Mixing alcohol and medicines can be harmful. Alcohol, like some medicines, can make a person sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded. Drinking alcohol while taking medicines can intensify these effects putting a person’s health and safety at risk. It can also lead to trouble concentrating, performing mechanical skills, and driving, posing an even greater risk. A mix of alcohol and medication can also lead to falls and serious injuries, especially among people who may be taking a number of different medicines.

Pharmacist Eamonn Brady from Whelehans Pharmacy in Mullingar explains “It is dangerous to mix alcohol and medicines. It can cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fainting, or loss of co-ordination. Some medicines, including many popular painkillers and over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy remedies, contain more than one ingredient that can react with alcohol. In addition to these dangers, some medicines can become less effective with alcohol or can cause a serious allergic reaction.”

Pharmacists are advising people to ask their pharmacist first before taking alcohol with any type of medicine to avoid putting their personal safety and the safety of others at risk.

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