If you have the flu—or also just a serious cold—the last point you most likely feel prefer doing is going the end for a night top top the town. And also while abstaining indigenous alcohol is a great thing (and what your body requirements when that is in virus-fighting mode), you may be tempted to shot a warm toddy to soothe her sickness. Is that a an excellent idea? Well, it every boils under to hydration (or lack thereof), professionals say. 

“One major reason people get hospitalized with significant viral epidemic is they acquire severely dehydrated and also weak,” Robert McLean, MD, chairman of the American university of Physicians, explains. 

Alcohol just exacerbates this, that says, because it triggers a diuretic effect. Next thing girlfriend know, your body is expelling fluid (through urination) at a quick rate. The hydration you require to obtain better? gone (so lot for every the tea, water, and chicken soup you’ve to be downing). Not only that, yet alcohol deserve to actually make few of your symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and also headaches, worse. Why? because alcohol produces some of the very same side effects, claims Kevin Davis, Pharm.D., pharmacy supervisor at the university of Florida Health, Jacksonville, and also that adds insult to injury. 

Flu and also cold medicine and alcohol interactions

And then there’s the issue of the over-the-counter meds you room taking to manage your symptoms. Flu and also cold medication with alcohol actually have some very far-reaching drug-drug interactions.

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Some of these drugs include:

Tamiflu and also alcohol

Somewhat ironically, antiviral medications used come treat the flu do not have direct drug-drug interactions through alcohol, states Dr. Davis. Tamiflu and also Xofluza both have some drug-drug interactions, but they both perform not connect with alcohol. 

RELATED: Tamiflu vs. Xofluza—which works better? 

So go this typical it is okay to have actually a small whiskey while girlfriend fight the fever and also severe aches and pains carried on by this punishing virus? No, for all the reasons listed above. 

“It is definitely not a good idea once you space sick at all to drink alcohol,” Dr. Davis says. 

Plus, Tamiflu and Xofluza have to be began within 24-48 hours of symptom onset—when you likely feel exceptionally miserable. Opportunities are you i will not ~ be acquiring up off the couch, let alone heading come the refrigerator to seize a beer (and the course we recommend staying clear of getting the flu completely by getting a flu shot—it is not as well late!).

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Tylenol and also alcohol

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is a frequently used pain reliever and fever reducer that is metabolized by the liver, similar to alcohol. Mixing the 2 under any circumstances is taken into consideration risky because, according to the Food and Drug administration (and essentially all medical professionals), it has the potential to cause severe liver damage, or even death.

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RELATED: Is it safe to take over-the-counter painkillers through alcohol?

Benadryl and also alcohol

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that can relieve several of the top respiratory symptoms that periodically come through colds and also flu. However, it likewise makes girlfriend drowsy. Alcohol, too, reasons drowsiness. Take the two together, and you might wind up experiencing the worst-case scenario—extreme drowsiness and impairment, slowed breathing, and possibly even unconsciousness. 

RELATED: Is it safe to drink alcohol while acquisition allergy medicine?

Unisom and alcohol

Unisom (doxylamine succinate), additionally an antihistamine/sleep-aid, features much favor diphenhydramine, states Dr. Davis, so taking it through alcohol is a recipe for disaster. 


Robitussin and alcohol

Robitussin CoughGels (dextromethorphan) is an OTC drug provided to act coughs and other flu-related symptom (like coughs native bronchitis). Acquisition dextromethorphan alone has actually the potential to do you dizzy, drowsy, and impair your mental function. Alcohol increases these effects. 

RELATED: Can friend drink if taking cough syrup?

NyQuil and alcohol

To make matters worse, plenty of cold and flu remedies room a combination of this medications. NyQuil, because that example, contains acetaminophen, doxylamine, and dextromethorphan. Tylenol significant Cold and Flu contains, in addition to acetaminophen, a cough suppressant (and several other medications). So as soon as you integrate these OTC remedies with alcohol, your risk of side results increases a lot, claims Dr. Davis. In enhancement to staying away from alcohol completely while you are recovering from a cold or the flu, the urges patient to speak come the pharmacist around the ideal medications to in reality use. The many ingredient OTC meds are regularly unneeded v your certain symptoms—it is best to use single-ingredient assets targeted come your exact symptoms.