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Health Tip: Mixing Drinks With Medicines

Some drugs can become dangerous when used with alcohol, particularly for the elderly

(HealthDay News) -- The Cleveland Clinic cites research suggesting that as people age, they become more sensitive to alcohol's effects, including impaired judgment and reaction time.

Also, alcohol can worsen conditions that are common among the elderly, such as high blood pressure, ulcers and diabetes.

Older people, the clinic warns, should be particularly careful to avoid any potential interactions between medications and alcohol. It cites these examples:

  • Aspirin on its own can contribute to bleeding of the stomach or intestines. Alcohol use increases this risk.
  • Alcohol can worsen drowsiness caused by cold or allergy medications.
  • Alcohol, taken with significant amounts of acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), can increase the risk of liver damage.
  • Some medications, including cough syrups and laxatives, already contain significant amounts of alcohol.
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