Alcohol can adversely interact with a wide variety of medications, including fluconazole (brand name Diflucan). This combination should be avoided because fluconazole can cause severe liver problems in some rare circumstances. While the risk of liver toxicity with alcohol and fluconazole isn’t common, it is possible, and patients need to follow doctor’s directions and warnings when using fluconazole. In addition, people with liver diseases, such as cirrhosis (often caused by alcoholism), should also not take fluconazole.
It’s also essential to note that fluconazole has a long half-life, which means that patients should make sure it’s expelled from their system before consuming alcohol. Half-life is the duration of time required for a person’s body to eliminate one-half of the last dose of a drug.
What Is Fluconazole (Diflucan)?
Fluconazole (Diflucan) is often used as an anti-fungal medication to treat various infections, including vaginal, esophageal, oral, and urinary tract infections, as well as cryptococcal meningitis.
Regardless of whether or not alcohol and fluconazole are combined, there are some potential side effects with the use of either. Common fluconazole side effects include nausea, stomach pain, headache, dyspepsia, diarrhea, dizziness, and rash. In addition, there are also possible severe but relatively uncommon side effects, such as seizures and a decreased number of white blood cells and platelets.
This medication can also interfere with other drugs and have possible interactions with alcohol, as described below.
Does Alcohol Use Render Fluconazole Ineffective?
Although it’s not recommended that people combine the use of alcohol with fluconazole because of the potential for liver toxicity and increased adverse symptoms, it does not necessarily render the drug entirely ineffective. In other words, mixing the two doesn’t make the medicine unusable. It can, however, cause serious adverse effects.
That said, one reason drinking can make fluconazole ineffective is the adverse effects of alcohol on the immune system. When consumed, alcohol compromises the immune system making it more challenging to overcome the infection related to the need for fluconazole initially.
If you have been combining alcohol and fluconazole, it’s vital to consider the potential for additional and intensified side effects, including severe liver disease and also one’s bodily need to heal itself.
Other Potential Complications of Combining Fluconazole and Alcohol
While alcohol may not directly interact badly with fluconazole, it can still adversely affect one’s health and well-being and make them feel worse than they already do. This is because excessive alcohol use can impact the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and other bodily parts. For example, it can lead to heart disease, liver disease, and further liver damage.
In fact, even a few glasses of alcohol can make it easier for a person to get sick and experience significant illness, including the following:
- Alcohol use compromises the immune system
- Alcohol use may increase a person’s risk of developing another infection
- Alcohol use alters an individual’s blood sugar levels, which impairs healing and recovery time
A Word on Liver Damage
Fluconazole, on its own, can cause liver damage and even liver failure, and combining either with alcohol increases the risk of potentially life-threatening liver damage, symptoms of which include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark-colored urine or stool
- Abdominal pain
Treatment for Fluconazole and Alcohol Abuse
Those who are using fluconazole or similar drugs and have been unable to quit drinking alcohol despite undergoing multiple attempts are urged to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. Some treatment options include the following:
A residential rehab treatment facility is a live-in center that offers resources and support from medical personnel and trained therapists.
A partial hospitalization program offers the same support as an inpatient facility without overnight residency.
Alternative addiction treatment programs might heavily focus on holistic medications and religious or spiritual practices, such as mindful meditation.
A medical detox program helps individuals off of their alcohol or substance addiction gradually but safely and steadily.
Traditional talk therapy can help individuals identify and release any conscious and subconscious alcohol triggers or those related to substance use and resolve repressed memories and emotions that may be at the root of one’s addiction.
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery centers offer professional support and treatment for alcoholism and drug addiction. Our integrated programs include a wide variety of therapeutic services, including psychotherapy, group therapy, 12 step meetings, art and music therapy, aftercare planning, and more.