AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
Alcohol & Health
Treatment
Helping Alcoholics
Where Does My Call Go?
Updated on September 15, 2023
5 min read

Is It Safe to Mix Omeprazole and Alcohol?

Mara Sugue
Written by 
7 Sources Cited
Mara Sugue
Written by 
7 Sources Cited

If you're currently on omeprazole and plan to drink alcohol, it's crucial to understand how they interact with each other. Moderate drinking is generally safe for many, but you should only take certain drugs and alcohol with your physician’s recommendation.

This blog post explores the potential interactions of omeprazole when you take it with alcohol. It will help you make an educated decision about whether or not this is a course of action you want to take.

What is Omeprazole (Prilosec)?

Omeprazole is a medication that reduces stomach acid. The brand name of omeprazole is commonly sold under the brand name Prilosec or Losec. It’s available as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug and by prescription (RX).

Omeprazole medication treats:

  • Chronic heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Omeprazole is classified as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). A PPI works on the cells that line the stomach, reducing the amount of stomach acid they produce.

Sponsored

Online Therapy Can Help

Over 3 million people use BetterHelp. Their services are:

  • Professional and effective
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Personalized and discreet
  • Easy to start
Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

online consultation

Side Effects of Omeprazole

Although it can treat conditions such as acid reflux and stomach ulcers, mild side effects from omeprazole can occur, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Cold symptoms
  • Rashes

Since the drug can change or interfere with how blood thinners and anti-seizure medications work, you must tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you take before starting omeprazole.

What Are the Side Effects of Mixing Omeprazole and Alcohol?

While omeprazole and alcohol do not lead to direct drug interactions, they share similar adverse effects.

Omeprazole and alcohol share similar side effects, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach

Consuming alcohol while taking omeprazole may cause or worsen these symptoms. Additionally, alcohol consumption can lead to increased stomach acid production and worsen heartburn symptoms, potentially reducing the efficacy of omeprazole.

Effects of Alcohol on the Stomach

While it’s okay to drink while taking omeprazole, alcohol can negatively affect your stomach. If you have a history of ulcers or acid reflux, it's best to limit your alcohol intake.

Alcohol can also increase heartburn symptoms by causing an imbalance in the amount of acid that the stomach produces. This imbalance releases more acid into the esophagus than usual.

Additionally, drinking alcohol can cause dehydration, especially if you're not drinking enough water. It also forces the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to malfunction, resulting in increased symptoms of acid reflux.

You should limit your alcohol intake if you experience symptoms of acid reflux. Medical professionals recommend only having one drink per day for women and two for men.

Sponsored

BetterHelp can Help

They’ll connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

What Are the Dangers of Mixing Omeprazole With Alcohol?

People take omeprazole to stop their stomachs from making acid. In contrast, drinking alcoholic beverages increases stomach acid production and reduces the drug's efficacy. These two interactions can lead to adverse effects.

Drinking alcohol while taking omeprazole may:

  • Increase heartburn frequency and intensity (the counteracting effect of alcohol can intensify underlying heartburn or acid reflux conditions)
  • Lead to liver injury
  • Cause magnesium deficiency (caused by either omeprazole or alcohol)

Can You Overdose From Mixing Omeprazole and Alcohol?

In high doses, heartburn medications like omeprazole can potentially induce feelings of confusion, drowsiness, and irritability. Combining high doses of omeprazole and alcohol may increase the severity of these side effects.

Consuming alcohol in excess can also worsen the severity of these side effects. Talk to your doctor about your alcohol consumption and medication history before taking omeprazole.

Sponsored

Thinking about Getting Help?

BetterHelp offers affordable mental health care via phone, video, or live-chat.

Find a Therapist

Answer a few questions to get started

Better Help Logo

Is Omeprazole Addictive?

Omeprazole dependence is not a common concern since it doesn’t typically lead to psychological cravings or drug dependence. Instead, the main issue with long-term use is the potential rebound of the drug’s effects if abruptly stopped. The body's acid production can increase after prolonged suppression by the drug.

This increase can result in a return of prior symptoms or the emergence of symptoms associated with an overproduction of stomach acid, including:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Stomach pain
  • Acid reflux

Safety Precautions While On Omeprazole

It’s crucial to take omeprazole as prescribed or directed by your physician. Long-term use can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis-related fractures. It is also associated with an increased risk of diarrheal infections caused by Clostridium difficile.

If you need to stop medication, your healthcare provider may gradually reduce omeprazole's dose and frequency to help manage withdrawal symptoms.

Dealing with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Moderate drinking is typically harmless for most people, especially those with high alcohol tolerance. People dealing with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may have a more challenging time avoiding drinking, even when they’re on medication that can have adverse interactions with alcohol.

If you’re having trouble avoiding drinking while on omeprazole medication, you should work with your doctor or an addiction coach to stay sober.

How to Get Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

You can receive treatment for AUD in three primary forms:

1. Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient care is ideal for substance use disorders (SUDs) that require 24/7 professional care and support. This kind of treatment provides comprehensive and structured care.

You'll receive individualized attention from highly trained professionals. They will help you develop coping skills and learn how to manage cravings.

2. Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care is best for those who don’t want a severe disruption to their home lives. It gives people the tools and framework to manage their cravings and better process emotional stress.

Outpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder may involve frequent check-ins to ensure proper adherence to medications and provide support during the withdrawal process.

3. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT can help with withdrawal symptoms. It can provide the support people need to stop drinking alcohol and usually occurs in inpatient and outpatient settings.

These three treatment options also include therapeutic care to help provide support, coping mechanisms, and tools for managing the situations that lead to alcohol use.

Summary

While no known drug interactions exist between omeprazole and alcohol, avoiding mixing these substances is best. Drinking alcohol while on omeprazole may also increase stomach acid, making it harder to manage your condition.

If you’re having trouble avoiding alcohol while under medication, talk to your doctor to look for solutions to staying sober.

Updated on September 15, 2023
7 sources cited
Updated on September 15, 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. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. “Magnesium deficiency.” National Library of Medicine.

  2. “PRILOSEC OTC (Omeprazole) information.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2015.

  3. “PRILOSEC (omeprazole) Label.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2012.

  4. Howden, C., and Kahrilas, P. “Editorial: just how "difficult" is it to withdraw PPI treatment?” The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2010.

  5. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet].” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2012.

  6. Arora et al. “Alcohol Levels Are Increased in Social Drinkers Receiving Ranitidine.” The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2000.

  7. Chen et al. “Is alcohol consumption associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease?” Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2010.

AlcoholRehabHelp Logo
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.
© 2024 by Treatment Pathway LLC. All rights reserved.
Back to top icon
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram