General Question

forestGeek's avatar

Is alcohol bad for you when you are sick?

Asked by forestGeek (8534 points ) December 13th, 2008

I don’t mean drinking in excess of course, but is having a beer, a glass of wine, or a drink when you are sick, bad or good for you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

jessturtle23's avatar

What kind of sick? I just had surgery two days ago and am treating myself to a glass of Pinot and a vicodin and I feel fine. I think they may interfere with antibiotics, though. I think in most cases a glass of wine is usually good for you. I’m not a doctor so I probably have no idea what I am talking about. In fact I know I don’t.

forestGeek's avatar

I just have some cold so I’m not on antibiotics. It’s snowing really hard right, I’m stuck inside and was thinking about having a beer.

@jess that sounds like a fantastic night…wish I had Vicodin right now. :)

scamp's avatar

@jessturtle23 You may want to read this.

@forestGeek Unless you are taking some medicne that doesn’t mix well with alcohol, having a beer with a cold shouldn’t make you feel any worse.

jessturtle23's avatar

I think a beer would make you feel much better.

seVen's avatar

Get the free WebMD app from the app store it should have legit info on your situation.

loser's avatar

If you’re taking any kind of antibiotic, then yes. It will severely decrease the effectiveness.

Otherwise, heck! Alcohol does kill germs, right?!!

babygalll's avatar

If you are on perscription medication you shouldn’t drink at all. I personally wouldn’t drink. It’s better to drink lots of fluids. Lots of water, gatorade to keep you hydrated and ginger ale. The water helps clear any mucus and cleans your system.

What kind of sick are you talking about?

jessturtle23's avatar

@scamp – Wow, I was right. No need to ask shilolo medical questions anymore. You all can direct them to me.

scamp's avatar

If you don’t feel better by tomorrow morning, you might want to try this

AstroChuck's avatar

Alcohol bad for you anytime. But I like it!

skfinkel's avatar

I think you get dehydrated with alcohol. Probably not great for you if you are sick. Just thinking about a cold and having alcohol doesn’t feel right to me.

How about a cup of hot lemon tea with some honey. Now, you’re talking!

madcapper's avatar

No… never… it’s natures medicine… directed by man.

Spargett's avatar

Having a BAC level of 0.08 has been shown to significantly reduce your immune system for up to two weeks afterwards.

I know you don’t intent to get “legally” drunk, but still… the data is there.

madcapper's avatar

why you gotta be a downer Spargett?

nebule's avatar

DRINK!!!! regardless of all human condition! No seriously i think one or two drinks is going to be great for you when you are feeling sick…it may not make you feel physically better but it will certainly numb the realisation of illness and extreme boredom of being incapacitated that this wonderfully flawed human body puts us through….

scamp's avatar

According to this (see the list on the right) Nyquil is 25% alcohol.

boffin's avatar

@scamp Nyquil tastes awful…That’s why you should always have a scotch shooter after downing the “Quil” just to get rid of the taste….

augustlan's avatar

Have a hot toddy…it will definitely make you feel better : )

scamp's avatar

@boffin, You’re right about the taste. yechhh!! I wonder if they make it taste so bad on purpose so people don’t buy it and down it for a cheap drunk? I’m not fond of the taste of scotch either tho…

A hot toddy is a great idea! It helps me when I have a bad case of the flu. I drink one, then go to bed and sweat out the poisons in my system. When I get up, I usually feel much better.

Nimis's avatar

It’s probably all in my head.
But I totally believe a shot of whiskey helps.
(Not with medication or antibiotics, of course.)

Jack79's avatar

Alcohol is always bad, but of course it depends what kind of sick. You obviously don’t mix it with medicine, because even a single beer could give you a horrible headache.

But also the popular myth that says a drink is good for a sore throat is wrong. Because yes, it does help for a while (as do some alcohol-based syrups, various menthol lozenges etc), but it actually dries your throat which, from the manufacturer’s point of view is great, because you have to stuff your mouth with more lollies. But it just delays the overall process of healing and you could be stuck with a cough for days, even after the actual cold is over.

I was a professional singer for many years and found that the best thing to do at a concert was a simple mouthwash before the event and plain tap water during. Even a sip of wine would make me snore all night and then wake up with a sore throat the next day.

blue's avatar

I was wondering the same thing, as I’m just getting over a cold myself. I guess it lessens the effectiveness of the medication, but if you aren’t on any medication, then I dont see how it would hurt

Jack79's avatar

As I said above, it hurts because it dries your throat. Drink water, fresh orange juice, tea, that sort of thing. Lemon and honey is an all-time favourite and actually helps.

trailsillustrated's avatar

no not if it’s like when your grammy gives you a tiny bit o brandy when your’e sick pooky

thefearlessgentleman's avatar

dont drink when taking pain killers. enough of both could kill you or at least do a number on your liver. YOU DONT WANT THAT. In fact, just to be safe, dont drink and take medication at all, unless you know for sure. If in doubt, call the pharmacists at walmart/cvs/etc. and ask them. It is there job to educate us about the medicine we take. Now, that being said, if u havent taken any drugs and you have a COLD, straight up liquor (whiskey,tequila,gin,vodka) does the body good. cleans you air passages, helps you breathe, kills germs, makes you feel warm. cold beer or mixed drinks could irritate your throat. YOU DONT WANT THAT. Try warm drinks. lime honey shots mmmm. party, wash your hands, stay safe, live long and prosper.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Always ask your physician. However, drinking alcohol in moderation is a good way to reduce your chances of getting sick in the first place and is also a good way to increase your chances of living longer. The scientific evidence of that is overwhelming.
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/HealthIssues/1106591095.html

Nullo's avatar

It depends. I’ve only tried alcohol as a remedy once – I had a cold and a sore throat, and was generally miserable. We keep a bottle of Baileys around for the occasions that warrant it, so I had some and curled up on the couch. It improved things a bit, certainly told the sore throat what to go do with itself.

I would not recommend drinking if you’ve already taken something for your symptoms. I tend to eschew medication unless it is specifically prescribed for me. Am I healthier for it? Who knows.

dlharrisn's avatar

Interesting question. From my experience it depends. I have have several surgeries and always been told not to drink. But, when my husband had a very minor proceedure (a vasectomy) the Doc told him to pick up a 6 pack of beer along with his pain meds to just relax and watch tv. Wow, No woman would get that advice! Guys stick together! even in medicine.

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