CHA News Article

NIH Study Reveals Many Americans at Risk for Alcohol-Medication Interactions

Nearly 42 percent of U.S. adults who drink also report using medications known to interact with alcohol, based on a new study from the National Institutes of Health. Among those over age 65 who drink alcohol, nearly 78 percent report using alcohol-interactive medications. Such medications are widely used, prescribed for common conditions such as depression, diabetes and high blood pressure. The study appears in the February 2015 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The main types of alcohol-interactive medications reported in the survey were blood pressure medications, sleeping pills, pain medications, muscle relaxers, diabetes and cholesterol medications, antidepressants and antipsychotics. The resulting health effects can range from mild (nausea, headaches, loss of coordination) to severe (internal bleeding, heart problems, difficulty breathing).