Alcohol And Alcohol Essay

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Interactions of Alcohol with Drug Therapy

Ethanol, ethylic alcohol or simply alcohol is an organic substance with one or more hydroxil groups (-OH) [1]. For instance, it is used as a pharmaceutical compounds, in alcoholic beverages, as a dehydrating agent in labs and industries or as an antiseptic agent. Generally, ethanol is a CNS (central nervous system) depressant with anesthetic properties causing cognitive and motor damage at relatively low doses. Nevertheless ethanol in high doses can induce anesthetic effects, loss of sensory activity, nausea, vomiting, hypothermia and loss of consciousness. Some drugs have the potential to interact with alcohol and affect each others levels on blood, metabolism, absorption, distribution, excretion and change the colateral effects[2]. Additionally the duration of a regular consume and the amount ingested could change the effect of alcohol on drug metabolism [2].
A pharmacodynamic interaction between alcohol and medicaments can interfere the normal site of the action of drugs by competition, through modification of receptors, neurotransmitters or effectors. As an example, the harmful effects of sedative or antidepressant can increase with the interaction between medicaments and ethanol. Also the pharmacokinetic interaction occurs with changes in the absorption, distribution, metabolism or elimination (ADME) of a drug by the alcohol [3]. The alcohol can accelerates gastric emptying, and alter the biotransformation of drugs or their excretion [4].
The transformation of the alcohol can have toxic effects and occurs in the liver, and involves two main enzymes. Firstly is the alcohol dehydrogenase that metabolizes the alcohol to acetaldehyde, which is toxic and carcinogenic, secondly the aldeh...

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..., suggesting possible injurious pharmacokinetic interactions.
To sum up, there are mechanisms by which alcohol and a drug therapy may interact, producing different pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic changes. Some medications can have their effects potentiated by alcohol while others may have inhibited effects. However, not all of these interactions have clinical significance and impact on a particular individual. The data in the literature is not complete but it is widely observed the importance of alcohol to potentiate the effects of antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives. The ethanol interaction with drug therapy increases the risk of intestinal bleeding in people using aspirin and/or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. To avoid complications, which may be severe it is important to inform the doctor about alcohol consumption before take all medicaments.
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