Medication, alcohol, tobacco – a dangerous mix?

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Medication, alcohol, tobacco – a dangerous mix?

Author: Reilika Nestor 02.02.2015 at 00:00

What happens to the active ingredients of tobacco smoke and alcohol in our organisms? What chemical effects do these substances have in our bodies?

Enzymes activated by tobacco smoke metabolize other poisons beside nicotine (e.g. medication). Liver cells intensify collection of harmful substances from your blood, contain them in your liver, and accelerate their metabolization or binding with glucuronic acid and excretion with bile. For this reason, smokers need to use much larger doses to achieve the same therapeutic effects as non-smokers. The treatment value of medication having psychological effects is weakened the most for smokers. Before accepting prescriptions, always remind your doctor that you’re a smoker. Add also how long you’ve smoked and how often you smoke.

Ethyl alcohol has been used as topical and internal medication throughout history. Today, it is known as a household poison. Our liver does the most work in oxidizing alcohol in our body to carbon dioxide and water. Only 4% is handled in other organs. Alcohol use can change the effect of several drugs administered together, since alcohol, like nicotine, accelerates the function of enzymes metabolizing medication. Oxidation also depends on frequency of use and quantities used. The metabolism of medication is accelerated most by alcohol drunk by alcoholics. It’s especially dangerous to consume alcohol with sleeping pills or sedatives. Combining alcohol with drugs can be lethal.

Alcohol is also very dangerous to your organism when used with aspirin, since it will then harm both the liver and your mucosal tissue. Diabetes and alcohol don't go together either since the latter weakens diabetes medication. For people suffering from heart or vascular disease, alcohol use can lead to excessive potassium loss, arrhythmia, and a drop in blood pressure.

When on medication, be extremely careful smoking and using alcohol. When creating a treatment plan, always consult with a doctor to avoid further health issues.