Drinking alcohol while using the anti-allergy medication Claritin (loratadine) is not recommended by health experts because when these two are combined, some effects of each substance may be amplified. Also, it is believed that alcohol consumption can undermine the effectiveness of medications intended to fight allergies.
Alcohol can also induce many side effects when used in combination with pharmaceuticals, even those obtainable over-the-counter. Some of these side effects can be hazardous, and in extreme instances, potentially life-threatening. Claritin is sometimes used by persons at the same time as alcohol, either in an attempt to induce more sedating effects or because they don’t realize they shouldn’t.
Claritin works in the body to block or reduce histamines, chemicals that produce an immune system response that can lead to allergic reactions. Thus, suppressing these chemicals can result in allergy relief. The primary side effects associated with combining Claritin and alcohol are related to the fact that both substances can induce drowsiness and fatigue.
Side Effects of Claritin and Alcohol
Although the side effects of combining Claritin with alcohol may not usually be as severe as drinking while using other medications, such as opioids or benzodiazepines, there are still some significant adverse side effects that are possible.
Common side effects of drinking alcohol and using Claritin in conjunction may include the following:
Drowsiness and Dizziness
Because Claritin and alcohol both produce sedative effects, this can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and drowsiness. Those related to Claritin’s use may not be particularly noticeable when used alone but may become more apparent when Claritin and alcohol are mixed. Each substance intensifies the effects of the other and can, therefore, exacerbate the associated dizziness and drowsiness overall.
Increased Likelihood of Injury
When drank in excess, alcohol is very effective at impairing a person’s judgment, decision-making abilities, and motor skills. It is not uncommon for these effects to lead to falls and serious injuries. People are often oblivious to the extent of their sedation and intoxication and will engage in risky activities, such as driving. Even ordinary, usually mundane activities, like walking or using stairs, can prove perilous. The extra sedation caused by Claritin can increase the likelihood of physical injury while intoxicated.
Increased Risk of Overdose
Using Claritin and alcohol together may raise the risk of alcohol poisoning because the liver is obliged to work harder to process both substances together instead of individually. Moreover, Claritin causes the liver to process alcohol more slowly, allowing it to build up in the blood and, therefore, increase the risk of overdose. As the liver struggles to process these substances efficiently, the person’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration) may be higher than it would be otherwise (without Claritin) and lead to more intoxication and the possible risks associated with it.
Increased or More Severe Allergy Symptoms
Alcohol can adversely interact with many medications, including antihistamines, and it is also believed to have the potential to impair their primary function. If this occurs, allergy symptoms may not be relieved as effectively as they otherwise would, thus defeating the whole reason why antihistamines are being used in the first place. Also, some research has found that alcohol can cause or worsen common symptoms of hay fever and asthma, including itching, sneezing, coughing, and headaches.
But the problem is not merely the alcohol itself. Alcoholic beverages usually contain allergy-triggering histamines produced by bacteria and yeast during the fermentation process. Beer and wine also contain chemical compounds called sulfites, which have been known to aggravate asthma and other allergy-related symptoms.
Finally, heavy, chronic alcohol abuse can adversely affect the immune system and the body’s ability to heal correctly, and these potential effects might also contribute to allergy symptoms.
Getting Help for Alcoholism
If you are using Claritin and are planning on consuming alcohol, you are encouraged to discuss the risks of doing so with a health professional who can help you decide if this is in your best interest. If you or someone you love are struggling with an alcohol use disorder and have found yourself unable to quit or cut back, we urge you to seek comprehensive addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Just Believe Recovery is dedicated to helping people who are abusing substances break free from the vicious cycle of addiction and foster healthier and more meaningful lives. Our customized programs and integrated services are designed to treat all aspects of a person’s mental and physical health and well-being. Our programs are intended to address the root causes of each individual’s addiction and also any other physical or mental health issues that coexist.
You don’t have to suffer any longer! Please reach out to us today and discover how we can help you get on the road to recovery, one step at a time!