When your head’s already cloudy, it’s best to leave booze out of the mix.
Your allergies are acting up, and you’ve got a supply of non-drowsy allergy medicines at the ready. So, is it a bad idea to party with alcohol and take antihistamines at the same time? This time, you might want to throw away your shot.
Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol With Antihistamines?
Antihistamines are generally taken to reduce inflammation, which stems from an immune system reaction to allergens. Histamines are a chemical in the body that your body produces to ward off “foreign invaders,” such as pollen or dander. The release of histamine can lead to allergy symptoms, like congestion and itchiness.
But did you know that some alcohol also contains histamines? That means sipping your favorite drink might actually worsen the effects of your allergies. Avoiding libations could be your ticket to breathing easier. Plus, some antihistamines can cause similar side effects as alcohol, such as:
- And loss of control
Don’t Make it Double
Having alcohol and antihistamines together can compound negative effects. The combination may potentially cause more dangerous reactions, such as:
- And difficulty breathing
However, the reactions are different in different people. Some people might tolerate one to two drinks while taking antihistamines, since alcohol tolerance can vary among different ages and sexes. Talk to your doctor before taking antihistamines to learn your risks, but to be on the safe side—it’s probably wise to stick to mocktails until your allergies clear up.
- Can I Drink Alcohol with Allergy Medications like Benadryl, Claritin, or Zyrtec? Santa Monica, CA: GoodRx, 2021. (Accessed on September 8, 2021)
- Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol With Medicines. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (Accessed on September 8, 2021)
- Zimatkin SM, Anichtchik OV. Alcohol-histamine interactions. Alcohol Alcohol. 1999 Mar-Apr;34(2):141-7