Alcohol is one of the most common recreational substances in the US. It is widely accepted as safe enough for adult consumption, with laws regulating how it can be sold, publicly consumed, transported, and more. However, just because something is widely used and accepted, does not necessarily mean that it is safe to use, and it certainly doesn’t mean that alcohol is safe to use in conjunction with other drugs.

Actually, quite the opposite is true. Alcohol has a number of many profound effects on the body and mind, so when it is combined with another substance it can have a vastly different effect. Since alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, combining it with another depressant can cause incredibly serious and potentially life-threatening side effects. 

Combining alcohol with a stimulant can hide the effects of either the alcohol or the stimulant, leaving the user to over consume one or the other in many cases. There are situations where the alcohol or the other substance may wear off before the other. Cases like this can rapidly become an overdose situation depending on the substances involved and the amount of alcohol that has been consumed.

But what happens when you combine alcohol with other types of medications, like steroids? Does alcohol also present a danger when mixed with the common steroid Prednisone? What exactly is Prednisone, and how can it be affected by alcohol or the effects of alcohol consumption? Read on to find out if you can still safely consume alcohol if you have been prescribed and are currently taking Prednisone.

Side-Effects of Prednisone

Prednisone is a form of the adrenocortical steroid that the human body naturally produces, and it can be prescribed for the purpose of treating many different illnesses and conditions. It is able to contribute to proper hormone modulation and control in individuals who may be lacking in corticosteroids, or who may have other adrenal conditions that preclude sufficient hormone production.

Prednisone is also used as a potent anti-inflammatory drug that is leveraged to help with symptoms from a wide variety of conditions including arthritis, lupus, chronic inflammation, and even multiple sclerosis. And whether on small doses or high doses, regularly or as needed, there is also a noted effect on the immune system function.

Taking Prednisone in any capacity introduces the potential for side effects, which can vary in severity and number for anyone taking Prednisone. Some of the side effects can include dizziness and headache, disruptions in the ability to fall or remain asleep. Users of prednisone may also experience extreme shifts in mood, as well as inappropriate or misplaced happiness. More symptoms that are possible include personality changes, acne, thinning of the skin, bulging eyeballs, purple or red spots or lines underneath the skin, long healing times for small cuts or bruises, elevated hair growth, changes in body composition or fat deposit distribution, extreme or excessive fatigue, muscle weakness, menstrual irregularity or absence, lower libido and sex drive, heartburn and reflux, and increased or uncontrollable sweating.

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There are other potential side effects that are considered much more serious or potential indications of more severe problems or conditions. These side effects include vision issues, pain or redness of the eyes, sore throat, fever, cough, general signs of infections, sudden seizures, depression, breaking from reality, confusion, muscle twitching or cramping, tremors in the hands, and feelings of tingling or burning in the face or extremities, stomach upset or vomiting, heartbeat irregularity, becoming lightheaded, unexpected and sudden weight gain, inability to catch their breath, unproductive cough, pain or sudden swelling in the stomach, any swelling in the face, throat, or extremities, difficult swallowing, hives, rash, or sudden itching. If any of these side effects are encountered, emergency medical attention should be obtained as quickly as possible. They can be life-threatening.

Risks of Mixing Prednisone and Alcohol

Although certain health problems have been linked to both alcohol abuse and prednisone use, that does not mean that a person will experience these problems. However, using alcohol and prednisone together can increase the risk of complications.

Many medications state directly on the label that you should not consume alcohol while on medication because they can badly interact, leaving you with potentially serious side effects. When taking prednisone, you can have a drink or two, but should not drink beyond that. The more you drink, the higher your chances are of experiencing health complications.

When using prednisone and alcohol together, the chances of struggling with the following is much more likely:

  • Complications to the illness that’s being treated by prednisone
  • Increased depression
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Osteoporosis risk
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Brittle bones

With all of these potential risks, it’s important that your doctor is aware of your substance usage, alcohol included, to avoid putting you on medication that could interact badly with alcohol.

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Treatment Options if Addicted to Mixing Prednisone and Alcohol

If you or someone you know is finding it difficult to stop drinking long enough to take Prednisone without interactions, it may be a sign of a dependency on alcohol. Individuals seeking sustained recovery should reach out to an experienced treatment center to ensure that they are being given the best possible chances at a successful, long-term recovery. The treatment professionals will help design a detox program tailored to the individual, which can then be followed up with behavioral therapy if needed. 

Once the individual has completed the post-acute withdrawal stage they can begin to learn how to avoid relapsing. Counselors can help the individual learn more effective coping methods that can help them keep their cool if a situation arises that tempts them to use again. This can give them the tools they need to keep their recovery on track and give them a much brighter future than they ever realized was possible. 

The best way to ensure a successful recovery is to reach out when signs of an addiction are first emerging. However, attending a premier rehab facility at any stage of an addiction is essential to the health and well-being of the individual. Reach out today if you are struggling with an addiction to prednisone and/or alcohol to start walking the path of sobriety and fulfillment immediately.