Painkillers and alcohol


The after-work beer, the wine to relax or a few drinks on the weekend. This is part of it for many, as well as pain relievers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or Aspirin® for headaches or other complaints. Once the pain has passed, the medication is often forgotten in the evening. But the dangers of taking painkillers together with alcohol consumption are not without concern. One often hears that the effects of alcohol increase if one also takes pain relievers. “That is not good” - one often hears in this context. But why is the combination of alcohol and pain relievers not a good idea? What can happen if you take alcohol and pain medication together? How much alcohol does it get harmful?

Painkillers and alcohol - is that possible?

Alcohol and pain medication should Not taken together and certainly not over a longer period of time. One-time mishaps also damage the liver, but not to the extent that the damage is irreversible.
However, the liver can be damaged if only one of the two substances (alcohol or painkillers) is taken for a long time. That this effect increases when you do both potential Taking toxins at the same time goes without saying. Some pain relievers work blood thinningSo the blood coagulates a little more slowly. If you then drink alcohol, the alcohol is distributed more quickly in the body.
Therefore it can be determined that the effects of alcohol occur more quickly. It must be said that there is no dosage and not recommended at any time is Consume alcohol and pain medication at the same time.


The risks of the two substances are separate not insignificant.
The risks of excessive alcohol consumption are obvious: alcohol can dependent make it an addictive substance, just like cigarettes or drugs. In addition to the dependency, the Liver damage, this damage is described in more detail under "Effects on the liver" (see below). In addition, that too brain affected by excessive alcohol consumption. Every state of intoxication leads to the death of a large number of brain cells. With long-term excessive consumption of alcohol, the cell death causes the Memory performance and the ability to concentrate. Besides the intelligence one also loses one's being discernment. The mental degradation caused by alcohol abuse should not be underestimated, and there is also tiredness and listlessness.
This fatigue can be aggravated by taking pain relievers. The abdominal organs are also attacked by the alcohol: alcohol damages them Gastric mucosa and the pancreas. In both organs it can be acute and chronic Inflammation come that are associated with severe pain.

Inflammation of the gastric mucosa can cause lesions ("Ulcers"; med: ulcers) of the mucous membrane and bleeding of vessels in the stomach, this is a potentially life-threatening condition.
At this point work too Painkiller harmful. Due to its blood-thinning effect and Inhibition of various enzymes Painkillers, like alcohol, increase the risk of developing Inflammation of the gastric mucosa and the development of gastric mucosal inflammation. In addition to the liver damage, there is also the Gastrointestinal tract affected by the damaging effects of both substances. It goes without saying that these side effects or risks occur more quickly and become more serious when taking the substances at the same time.


The pain medication works mainly by blocking the enzyme Cyclooxygenase. This enzyme plays a crucial role in the formation of so-called Prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are signal substances that mediate an inflammatory reaction and thus pain.
Furthermore, these drugs work differently anticoagulantSo the blood is made a little more fluid.
Stronger pain relievers bind to the nervous system Opioid receptor and switch off the pain perception. Especially these strong pain relievers (Opioids) lead to euphoric States, but also for Limitations of the circulatory function (Heart function and breathing).
Although the alcohol binds other receptors, it also initially dissolves euphoric States off. At higher alcohol levels, problems of movement coordination also arise. It can also be used for Loss of consciousness come. The effect of taking it at the same time is that the alcohol also dampens the pain, but also the typical alcohol effects more quickly occur because the blood is thinned and the alcohol disperses faster in the body. That is why the amount of alcohol you consume can be a lot more serious effects have on the body. Especially if you drink a lot quickly, you can feel the effect brilliantly and very quickly.

Time interval between taking painkillers and alcohol

Alcohol degradation progresses with a decrease of 0.1 to 0.2 per mille per hour going quite slowly. The definitive rate at which alcohol is broken down depends on individual factors that genetically can be conditioned, but also from that gender or that Weight from. It takes about 3.5 hours to break down a 0.3 liter bottle of beer. As the amount increases or depending on the alcohol content of the drink, the time it takes to break it down naturally increases. In the case of mixed consumption, it is difficult to understand how many per mille the blood alcohol content is and how long it will take for this alcohol to be broken down.
Just because the alcohol wears off doesn't mean that the alcohol has already been completely broken down. The breakdown of painkillers also takes a few hours and is accompanied by the formation of breakdown products. You cannot give a specific duration, it would be best not to consume any alcohol on the day of taking painkillers or to allow at least 12 hours to pass.

Effect on the liver

The liver is the central one Metabolic organ, which plays a decisive role in the breakdown of many substances. This also applies to the breakdown of alcohol or pain medication. 10 percent of the alcohol consumed is on the kidney excreted unchanged or over the Lungs exhaled. The remaining 90 percent will be in the liver reduced. The alcohol becomes the degradation product there acetaldehyde dismantled, which on the one hand for the Male cat responsible the next morning, but also on the other cell damaging effects has, so it takes effect Liver cells and restricts their function.
As a result, the liver can function properly Fat loss does not do justice to the liver that produces it more fat instead of breaking it down. This fat is stored in the liver cells and when consumed for a longer period of time, one initially develops Fatty liver. This stage of liver damage is initially reversible and the liver can recover recover.
But if you continue to drink, an alcohol-related one develops Inflammation of the liverthat in the course of a Cirrhosis of the liver can lead. Cirrhosis of the liver is a irreversible statein which the liver cells have been replaced by connective tissue and the function of the liver irretrievable is damaged. It is well known that alcohol can damage the liver, but it also affects every 10th drug side effect the liver.
These drugs include primarily pain relievers such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These include the pain relievers Aspirin® or ibuprofen. Their breakdown also takes place mainly in the liver. With a single and dose-appropriate intake usually occurs no Liver damage. But if the ingestion exceeds the stated dosage over a longer period of time, damage to the liver can occur. The effect of both substances together on the liver is of course extremely damaging. The liver is damaged by alcohol, and if drugs that are harmful to the liver are taken, the liver is permanently damaged. The conversion processes for liver cirrhosis outlined above can be carried out much faster.