Antibiotics: milk and alcohol

Antibiotics: milk and alcohol

I am often told not to drink milk or alcohol during antibiotic therapy. Why not?

Milk, like food, decreases the absorption of many antibiotics, making them less effective. This is why we often recommend taking antibiotics on an empty stomach (either one hour before or two hours after a meal) with a glass of water. The effect varies from one antibiotic to another, however, with tetracycline being the most affected.

Drinking alcohol can alter the effects of the antibiotic and exaggerate some of its unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, hot flushes and digestive problems; this is why moderation is recommended.

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