What are the dangers of mixing alcohol and prescription drugs?

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine
If you mix alcohol with certain prescription drugs, such as narcotics (pain pills and cough suppressants) and anxiety medications (like Xanax, Valium, etc.), you can stop breathing. Sleeping pills fall into this category as well. In this case, 1+1=3 or more, as the additive effects are much greater than the individual effects simply combined. People forget alcohol is a drug that can interact with prescription medications. Before you raise a toast, picture your prescription bottles sitting in your drink. Is this mixed drink safe?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.