People taking tramadol should avoid drinking alcohol; serious, even life-threatening, side effects and interactions may occur.
Side effects of mixing alcohol and tramadol together may include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Memory loss
- Increased dizziness
Additionally, people may make particularly poor decisions during this time, as it is easier to become inebriated with alcohol when on this medication.
Why does this happen, though? It all has to do with how these drugs affect your body’s nervous system.
Specifically, both alcohol and tramadol are central nervous system (CNS) depressants; these agents slow down brain activity. Mixing two or more CNS depressants is therefore dangerous as the two can lead to a synergistic effect. In other words, these agents can amplify each other. The result? The above-mentioned side effects. To learn more adverse side effects of tramadol, visit our side effects page.
It’s important to note that certain types of CNS depressants in certain doses are safe and effective in treating symptoms like acute anxiety. However, these agents are typically prescription medications, such as diazepam (Valium) and zolpidem (Ambien). Never attempt to self-medicate with CNS depressants. Talk with your doctor first before consuming alcohol with any prescription drug.