- With Mayo Clinic internist
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
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Antibiotics and alcohol: Should I avoid mixing them?
What are the effects of drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics?
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
Antibiotics and alcohol can cause similar side effects, such as stomach upset, dizziness and drowsiness. Combining antibiotics and alcohol can increase these side effects.
A few antibiotics — such as metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) — should not be mixed with alcohol because this may result in a more severe reaction. Drinking any amount of alcohol with these medications can result in side effects such as flushing, headache, nausea and vomiting, and rapid heart rate.
Keep in mind that some cold medicines and mouthwashes also contain alcohol. So check the label and avoid such products while taking these antibiotics.
Although alcohol doesn't reduce the effectiveness of most antibiotics, it can reduce your energy and delay how quickly you recover from illness. So, it's a good idea to avoid alcohol until you finish your antibiotics and are feeling better.Next question
Grapefruit juice: Beware of dangerous medication interactions
- Masters SB. Basic pharmacology of ethanol. In: Katzung BG, et al. Basic and clinical pharmacology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009
- Steckelberg JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 3, 2012.
- Flagyl (prescribing information). New York, N.Y.: Pfizer Inc.; 2010. http://www.pfizer.com/products/rx/rx_product_flagyl.jsp. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Tindamaz (prescribing information). San Antonio, Texas: Mission Pharmacal Co.; 2007. http://www.tindamax.com/For_Health_Professionals/Index.aspx. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Bactrim and alcohol. Thomson Micromedex. http://www.thomsonhc.com/micromedex2/librarian/PFDefaultActionId/evidencexpert.ShowDrugInteractionsResults#. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.