Drinking alcohol while taking Claritin is not advisable because when these substances are combined, some of the effects of each substance will be amplified. Also, it is believed that the use of alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of medications intended to treat allergies.
Alcohol can induce many side effects when used in conjunction with medications, even those that can be obtained over-the-counter. Some of these side effects can be risky and in extreme cases, life-threatening. Claritin is an allergy medication that people sometimes use at the same time as alcohol, either in an attempt to induce particularly sedating effects or simply because they don’t know they shouldn’t.
Claritin works by blocking the body’s response to chemicals known as histamines. These chemicals produce an immune system response that can cause allergies. Suppressing these chemicals, therefore, results in decreased allergy symptoms. The primary side effects caused by combining Claritin and alcohol exist because both substances can lead to sleepiness and fatigue.
Side Effects of Claritin and Alcohol
Although the side effects of mixing Claritin with alcohol may not usually be as severe as, say, mixing alcohol with other medications such as opioids, there are still some adverse side effects that can occur.
Some of the side effects of drinking alcohol and taking Claritin may include the following:
Drowsiness and Dizziness
Because Claritin and alcohol both produce a sedative effect, this can lead to fatigue, drowsiness, and dizziness. While Claritin’s ability to do this is not particularly noticeable for most people when used on its own, it becomes a more significant factor when Claritin and alcohol are combined. Both substances amplify the effects of the other and can make the associated dizziness and drowsiness worse.
Increased Risk of Injury
Alcohol, when consumed in excess, is very effective at impairing a person’s judgment and motor skills. This two-fold whammy can lead to falls and serious injury. People are often unaware of the extent of their intoxication and will make poor decisions such as driving or even ordinary activities such as trying to ambulate up and down stairs.
Increased Risk of Overdose
Using Claritin and alcohol in conjunction may increase the risk of alcohol poisoning because the liver is forced to work harder to process both substances together versus either one on its own. Moreover, the presence of Claritain causes the liver to process alcohol more slowly, allowing it to accumulate in the bloodstream and increase the risk of overdose. As the liver fights to process these substances, a person’s risk of intoxication increases, which also increases the dangers of driving or other activities requiring the use of motor skills or concentration.
Increased Risk of Allergy Symptoms
Because alcohol can interact with many medications, it is also thought to have the potential to undermine their effectiveness. For this reason, allergy symptoms may not be relieved to the extent they otherwise would. If you have severe allergies, you are probably well aware of how unpleasant they can become—this is why you are taking medication for them.
In fact, a few studies have found that alcohol can cause or exacerbate common symptoms of asthma and hay fever, such as itching, sneezing, coughing, and headaches—studies show that this may be especially true for women.
But the problem is not just the alcohol itself. Alcohol beverages usually contain histamine produced by bacteria and yeast during the process of fermentation. As noted, histamine is a chemical that triggers allergy symptoms. Beer and wine also contain compounds called sulfites, which have also been know known to aggravate asthma and other symptoms related to allergies.
Also, long-term alcohol use can have an adverse impact on a person’s immune system and ability to heal properly. These other effects might also contribute to allergy problems.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
If you are taking Claritin and are planning on drinking alcohol, discuss the risks with your doctor who can help you decide if doing this is in your best interest. If you are struggling with alcohol dependence and have found yourself unable to quit, we urge you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Harmony Treatment and Wellness is dedicated to helping people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol break free from the vicious cycle of abuse and foster healthier and more meaningful lives. Our comprehensive programs and integrated services are customized and designed to treat all aspects of a person’s health and well-being. They are intended to address the root causes of each person’s addiction, as well as any mental health problems that may be plaguing them.
We urge you to reach out to us today and discover how we can help you get on the road to recovery! When you are ready to take that step, we are here for you!