Prednisone is prescribed to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. This drug comes with a lengthy list of side effects, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can amplify any possible complications.
Over-the-counter medications such as prednisone can cause adverse reactions when taken with other drugs, including alcohol. Both prednisone and alcohol have been linked to health complications, and mixing prednisone and alcohol can increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
What Is Prednisone?
Prednisone is a generic steroid (corticosteroid) drug available by prescription only. Prednisone comes in a delayed-release tablet or an oral liquid, and should be taken with food or milk. The drug is classified as an immunosuppressant, and can be prescribed to treat conditions ranging from allergies to arthritis.
The brand names of prednisone include:
- Contrast Allergy PreMed Pack
- Prednisone Intensol
- Sterapred DS
Due to its many uses, prednisone may be prescribed to treat medical issues such as breathing trouble, inflammation, and symptoms of an allergic reaction, like itching and swelling.
Some additional conditions that can be treated by prednisone include:
- hormonal problems
- eye and vision issues
- digestive trouble
- skin conditions
- kidney problems
- multiple sclerosis
Can You Mix Prednisone And Alcohol?
Prednisone is a powerful steroid, and can be dangerous when mixed with other drugs, including blood thinners, anti-inflammatories, birth control pills, and alcohol. Prednisone comes with a list of potential side effects, and mixing alcohol with prednisone can increase the severity of these reactions.
Side effects that may be caused by prednisone include:
- mood swings
- behavior changes
- gastrointestinal issues
- shortness of breath
- swelling of face, arms, hands, feet, or legs
- muscle weakness
Due to the intensity of the potential side effects, prednisone should only be taken under the care of a physician. Mixing prednisone with alcohol can further increase these risks, as the negative side effects from both drugs can be magnified.
Mixing prednisone and alcohol could lead to potentially harmful side effects, such as:
- worsening of a health condition that prednisone was prescribed to treat
- increased danger of diabetes
- compromised immune system
- heightened chance of developing osteoporosis
Long-Term Dangers Of Mixing Alcohol And Prednisone
Alcohol is a depressant, and can have a major effect on an individual’s physical and mental well-being. Prednisone is another powerful drug, and mixing these two substances can result in long-term negative effects on an individual’s health.
Mixing prednisone and alcohol can result in long-term dangers, including:
- diminished effectiveness of prednisone
- missed doses of prednisone, causing steroid withdrawal
- higher chance of becoming physically dependent on alcohol
- elevated chance of developing an alcohol addiction
- increased risk of overdose and death
Individuals may be prescribed prednisone for the treatment of a potentially life-threatening illness. When prednisone is mixed with alcohol, treatment for the original health condition may be interrupted, resulting in further health risks. Make sure to approach your doctor with any questions you may have about drinking alcohol while taking prednisone.
Medically Supervised Detox Programs For Alcohol Abuse
More than 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol abuse. If someone is struggling with mixing prednisone and alcohol, it may be a sign they are battling an alcohol use disorder. For those who are open to seeking help for their alcohol abuse and addiction, treatment is available.
The first step in seeking treatment is to ensure the individual safely withdraws from alcohol. When someone drinks heavily, their body becomes dependent on the drug, and quitting alcohol suddenly can result in acute withdrawal symptoms.
While some may believe you can successfully withdraw at home, alcohol withdrawal can be extremely dangerous and should always be medically supervised.
Some of the symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal include:
- uncontrollable shaking
- delirium tremens (“DTs”), including fever, seizures, and confusion
Medically supervised detox programs provide a sheltered environment for individuals to safely detox from alcohol. Medical staff will provide sound support throughout the withdrawal process, and access to healthcare equipment keeps the individual stable.
Treatment For Alcohol Addiction
Addiction is a complicated yet treatable disease that changes the way the brain and body function. While no single treatment program type is appropriate for everyone, there are several types of addiction programs that can be effective in helping individuals recover.
Sometimes called inpatient treatment, these programs provide addiction treatment in a highly structured environment. Residential rehab programs usually include individual, family, and couples counseling, as well as 12-Step recovery meetings. Inpatient rehab programs also offer therapies such as medication-assisted treatment, creative arts and nature therapy, and faith-based recovery tracks.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)
Some individuals may have personal commitments that prevent them from attending residential treatment programs. Partial hospitalization programs offer flexible program schedules, allowing those who have day jobs or young families the opportunity to attend treatment. PHPs are usually offered five days per week, for up to six hours per day.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs)
Much like PHPs, intensive outpatient treatment caters to those with demanding schedules. Typically offered in both day and evening sessions, IOPs provide support through individual and group counseling, motivational interviewing, and recovery speakers.
For more information on mixing prednisone and alcohol, or to learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, contact us today.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
- U.S. National Library of Medicine — Prednisone (By mouth)
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Alcohol withdrawal