The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) is the representative and professional body for community pharmacists. Our mission is to promote the professional and economic interests of our members. Members of the IPU are committed to delivering a quality, accessible, personal and professional service that puts the patient first and has as its primary goal the optimisation of the health and well-being of society.
- Parent Category: News
- Created on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 10:53
- The IPU urges people to stay safe this Christmas.
10 December 2013: Pharmacists today warned of the dangers of mixing alcohol and medicines, particularly over Christmas and the New Year. In urging members of the public to stay safe this Christmas, pharmacists warned that drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, while taking medicines can have unpredictable effects, in many cases making the medicine less effective or, alternatively, making the side effects worse. Many medicines can make users sleepy, drowsy or lightheaded and can interfere with concentration and the ability to drive a vehicle or operate machinery. Consuming alcohol at the same time as using these medicines can lead to risks to personal safety, including serious or even fatal accidents on the roads or at work.
Pharmacists warn that it is not just prescription medication that patients need to be aware of when consuming alcohol. Many over-the-counter medicines, such as cough and cold remedies, pain relievers, antihistamines and travel sickness pills, have the potential to interact negatively with alcohol. People taking herbal remedies should also be careful.
Pharmacist Kathy Maher, Vice-President of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), said, "Many cold and allergy medications, over-the-counter painkillers, and vitamins can come in a time-release form. It is important for patients to understand that alcohol dissolves the coating and the full dose of medication is released immediately instead of over a longer period of time as intended. Alcohol can also make some medications less effective."
Pharmacists are advising people to ask their pharmacist first before taking alcohol with any type of medicine to avoid putting their personal safety and the safety of others at risk.
Further information: Jim Curran, Director of Communications & Strategy, IPU, Ph: 086 264 0469.