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Updated on October 10, 2023
8 min read

Is Mixing Cefdinir and Alcohol Safe?

Antibiotics kill or inhibit the growth of specific bacteria and should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor for a specific illness. 

If you’re taking Cefdinir for a bacterial infection, you may wonder whether it’s safe to combine it with alcoholic drinks. According to most medical professionals, combining certain antibiotics with alcohol can cause significant health repercussions—but does the same apply to Cefdinir?

What Is Cefdinir?

Cefdinir is a cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.1 Cephalosporin antibiotics inhibit bacterial growth by interfering with the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall.

However, Cefdinir is ineffective against colds, flu, and other viral infections.

Common Cefdinir brands include the following:

  • Omnicef
  • Sefdin
  • Cefzon
  • Cefprozil
  • Adcef

What Infections Does Cefdinir Treat?

Cefdinir is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it may treat a number of different bacterial infections.

Commonly treated bacterial infections include:

  • Respiratory tract infections like bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and pharyngitis
  • Skin and soft tissue infections like cellulitis, impetigo, and folliculitis
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections

How Is Cefdinir Typically Administered?

Cefdinir is typically administered orally as:

  • Hard gelatin capsules 
  • Powder or liquid suspension for children or adults who find it difficult to swallow pills

The capsules are often taken with or without food every 12 to 24 hours for up to 10 days. If you take Cefdinir as a suspension, shake the bottle thoroughly before each use. 

Your healthcare provider may recommend taking Cefdinir at the same time each day. If you’re taking Cefdinir with antacids, it’s best to take your antibiotics 2 hours before or after.

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Interactions Between Cefdinir and Alcohol

Unlike most antibiotics, it’s generally safe to drink alcohol while taking Cefdinir. However, there are still a few precautions when combining Cefdinir and alcohol.

What Happens When You Mix Cefdinir and Alcohol?

While Cefdinir doesn’t interact with alcohol directly, drinking alcohol while on this medication can intensify the effects of both drugs.2 

For instance, because the liver metabolizes Cefdinir and alcohol, combining them can put additional stress on the liver, potentially leading to liver problems.

Since both substances are central nervous system depressants, they can also cause dizziness and drowsiness, increasing the risk of accidents or impaired judgment. 

How Does Alcohol Affect Cefdinir’s Efficacy?

Drinking alcohol while taking Cefdinir can reduce the antibiotic’s ability to kill bacteria. Alcohol also decreases wound repair and tissue regeneration, disrupting the healing process and limiting the body’s ability to recover from illness.

Alcohol can interfere with the absorption of Cefdinir in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, lower levels of the antibiotic may reach the bloodstream and the site of infection, reducing its ability to combat the bacteria.

Mixing alcohol and Cefdinir also generally weakens the immune system’s response to infection.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Mixing alcohol while taking antibiotics often exacerbates the side effects of both substances, and Cefdinir is no different.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Cefdinir?

Some common side effects of Cefdinir include the following:3

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vaginal itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Some side effects of Cefdinir that require immediate medical attention include the following:

  • Rashes, hives, or skin infections
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Watery stool
  • Stomach acid

How Does Alcohol Exacerbate These Side Effects?

Alcohol can increase the side effects of Cefdinir in the following ways:

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances: Drinking alcohol while taking Cefdinir can cause significant stomach upset, leading to nausea, vomiting, and general discomfort.
  • Liver strain: Alcohol intake may increase the risk of liver damage, especially if you suffer from preexisting liver conditions.
  • Cardiovascular effects: Drinking alcohol while on antibiotic treatment can cause changes in blood pressure and heart rate. It’s best to avoid drinking alcohol while on Cefdinir if you have preexisting heart conditions.
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Recommendations for People on Cefdinir

There is no proven direct interaction between Cefdinir and alcohol. However, taking extreme precautions is best if you drink alcohol while on antibiotics.

When Is It Safe to Consume Alcohol After Taking Cefdinir?

As with most commonly prescribed antibiotics, it’s best to complete your course of treatment before drinking alcohol.2 Completing treatment ensures you’ve eliminated the bacterial infection and minimized bacterial resistance.

After completing treatment, wait 24 to 48 hours before drinking alcohol to prevent relapse. Doing so gives the body ample time to metabolize. 

Refrain from drinking alcohol even after treatment if you’re still experiencing side effects like discomfort, dizziness, or drowsiness. 

Remember, these are only recommendations. Individual responses to medications and alcohol may vary. If you have underlying health conditions or take other medication that may interact with alcoholic beverages, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider.

What Should You Do After Consuming Alcohol While on Cefdinir?

If you drink alcohol while taking Cefdinir, here are a few precautions to take:

  • Stop drinking alcohol if you experience side effects. Pay close attention to how you feel and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Alcohol can make you dehydrated because it is a diuretic.
  • Avoid driving. Avoid driving or operating machinery if you feel your coordination is impaired.
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Safer Alternatives to Alcohol Consumption 

While many enjoy the calming effects of a cold beer or glass of wine, combining alcohol with common antibiotics can prove consequential.

Many healthy coping mechanisms can replace alcohol intake and improve mental health. If you want to avoid consuming alcohol, you can try a few things:

Physical Activity

Regular exercise can reduce stress and boost mood by releasing endorphins (natural mood elevators). Physical activity also promotes the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Mindfulness and Meditation 

Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for avoiding alcohol use. They provide mechanisms for managing cravings, stress, and emotional triggers by teaching individuals to: 

  • Stay present in the moment
  • Observe thoughts and feelings without judgment
  • Develop better coping strategies

Social Support

Social support is crucial for alcoholics in recovery, as it can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, common triggers for relapse. 

Scientifically, social support activates areas of the brain associated with reward and pleasure. Therefore, it promotes positive emotions and reinforces the motivation to abstain from alcohol use.

Volunteering

Participating in community philanthropic events can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment for individuals once dependent on alcohol. Volunteering promotes social connections and a supportive community. 

Therapy

Therapy is vital for treating alcohol dependence, offering a multifaceted approach to recovery. It assists individuals in:

  • Recognizing and managing triggers
  • Modifying unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors
  • Building motivation and self-confidence

Through therapy, individuals can enjoy a supportive environment to address underlying issues contributing to addiction, facilitating lasting recovery and improved mental and emotional well-being.

Common Questions on Cefdinir and Alcohol

Is there a specific amount of alcohol safe with Cefdinir?

There is no “safe amount” of alcohol to consume when taking Cefdinir. While there are no explicit interactions between the two substances, it’s best to avoid alcohol while treating an infection in case of a severe reaction.

Are there other medications that also have adverse interactions with alcohol?

Most antibiotics interact negatively with alcohol. Drugs like antidepressants, pain relievers, and sedatives can cause severe consequences like an allergic reaction, chest pain, and stomach upset.

How long does Cefdinir stay in the system?

Cefdinir typically remains in the system for 24 to 48 hours, though its elimination half-life is 1.7 hours. Cefdinir may remain in the system longer in adults with impaired kidney function.

Is it safe to consume non-alcoholic beverages that contain trace amounts of alcohol?

Consuming non-alcoholic beverages that contain trace amounts of alcohol, such as some mouthwashes or vanilla extracts, is generally safe. The alcohol content is minimal and not likely to lead to interactions or intoxication. 

However, as with any substance, it’s best to consume these in moderation.

Can I drink alcohol after completing my Cefdinir course?

It is advisable to wait at least 24 to 48 hours after completing your course of Cefdinir before consuming alcohol. Waiting ensures the medication has cleared from your system and minimizes potential interactions and side effects.

If you have preexisting health conditions or are on other medicines, it’s best to consult your physician before drinking alcohol.

Why Do Some People Drink While on Medication?

Some choose to drink alcohol while on medication for many reasons, including the following:

Social enjoyment: For many, drinking alcohol is a social activity. Alcohol can calm the nerves, especially when meeting new people.

Lack of awareness: Some people may be unaware of the potential interactions between Cefdinir and alcohol. It is also possible that they did not receive explicit instructions from their healthcare provider.

Dependency or addiction: People suffering from chronic alcohol consumption may drink despite being aware of drug interactions. They might prioritize their addiction over potential risks.

Coping mechanism: Some individuals drink alcohol as a coping mechanism for mental health issues, believing that alcohol can eliminate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Summary

Consuming alcohol while taking Cefdinir doesn’t present direct interactions, but doing so can still lead to significant health consequences. 

Mixing alcohol with Cefdinir can exacerbate side effects like liver strain, heart issues, and an upset stomach. More importantly, drinking alcohol while taking antibiotics can negatively impact its efficacy, prolonging healing.

Individuals can work to decrease dependence by substituting alcohol with healthier drinks, practicing alternative coping mechanisms, and attending therapy.

Updated on October 10, 2023
3 sources cited
Updated on October 10, 2023
All Alcoholrehabhelp content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies.
  1. Omnicef (Cefdinir): Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Interactions, Warning.” RxList, 2023.
  2. Mergenhagen et al. “Fact versus Fiction: A Review of the Evidence behind Alcohol and Antibiotic Interactions.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 2020.
  3. Healthwise, Incorporated. “Cefdinir.” Cardiology Associates of Northern New York, 2017.
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All content created by Alcohol Rehab Help is sourced from current scientific research and fact-checked by an addiction counseling expert. However, the information provided by Alcohol Rehab Help is not a substitute for professional treatment advice.
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