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Is it Safe to Mix Nyquil and Alcohol?

image showing side effects of mixing alcohol and NyQuil

A combination OTC drug called NyQuil is commonly used to treat runny nose, sore throat, chronic cough, aches, and flu symptoms. This medicine also helps people to fall asleep. It comes in a variety of forms, including caplets and liquids.

For a brief time, it’s frequently taken up to four times daily as needed. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), dextromethorphan (Robitussin), and doxylamine are commonly found in NyQuil products. However, some also contain additional over-the-counter medicines, such as phenylephrine and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) (Sudafed PE). However, most NyQuil formulations containing chlorpheniramine are created with children in mind.

Wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages include alcohol, often referred to as ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Alcohol is regarded as a depressive and a “sedative-hypnotic” substance. Higher alcohol consumption levels cause the central nervous system to become depressed (CNS). In addition, Alcohol functions as a stimulant in lower amounts.

Can I Mix NyQuil with Alcohol?

Mixing alcohol and NyQuil may worsen side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness. This effect is especially true for NyQuil products that have dextromethorphan and doxylamine. In severe cases, especially when you drink large amounts of alcohol, the combination may lead to liver damage.

It’s crucial to be aware that much alcohol consumption can result in several severe symptoms, including breathing difficulties (respiratory depression), coma, sleepiness, and even death.

If someone is feeling these symptoms, it is advised to drink responsibly and call for emergency assistance. It may be time to contact a reputable rehab facility, like if you or a loved one is battling alcoholism (alcohol use disorder).

The definitive version of NyQuil depends on your symptoms because it comes in various products. Speak to a pharmacist if you have any queries regarding the different NyQuil formulations for your symptoms.

What are the Typical Side Effects of Mixing Nyquil and Alcohol?

Besides dizziness and drowsiness, drinking alcohol might worsen the following side effects:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Tiredness  
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased risk of alcohol addiction

Professionals do not recommend the combination of alcohol and Nyquil. You run a significant chance of suffering drug interactions if you combine the two since Nyquil includes several different substances that can negatively interact with alcohol. It is not advised to consume alcohol while taking Nyquil, especially if taking the alcohol-containing Nyquil Liquid.

The following are the two drugs that interact with alcohol and Nyquil the most:

  • Acetaminophen and alcohol: Acetaminophen might damage your liver if you take it excessively. Even at smaller dosages, acetaminophen with alcohol can severely harm the liver.
  • Doxylamine is a central nervous system depressant, and it interacts with alcohol. You may become exhausted as a result.

Dangers of Mixing NyQuil and Alcohol

Mixing NyQuil and alcohol is very dangerous. The risks of mixing NyQuil and alcohol include the following:

  • Addiction
  • Impaired immune system
  • Liver damage or failure
  • Increased risk for overdose
  • Increased risk of accidental death

NyQuil contains acetaminophen, which is hard on the liver. Alcohol is also dangerous to the liver, and combining the two can cause severe liver damage or lead to an overdose. 

Alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of a cold or the flu. You can have headaches, fatigue, or a dry mouth when you have one of these illnesses. These symptoms may get worse after drinking. Alcohol might impair your immune system as well. 

Therefore, drinking when you’re sick could prolong your sickness. This is because your immune system is less effective at warding off infections. Medical professionals recommended refraining from consuming alcohol while ill.  

What to Do if Alcohol and Nyquil are Combined

Avoid consuming more alcohol if you have already combined NyQuil and alcohol. Doing so can assist you in reducing your chance of undesirable side effects. You do not need to worry as much if you’ve only had one or two beers. 

If you’ve consumed a large amount of alcohol while taking Nyquil, it is best to contact a medical professional for assistance.

Visit a doctor if you experience the following after combining Nyquil and alcohol:

  • An intense feeling of sleepiness or drowsiness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Irritability or agitation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

How Long Does NyQuil Stay in Our System? 

It usually takes more than two days for NyQuil ingredients to depart your body completely. However, the individual product, which may contain different combinations of the following over-the-counter medicines, can affect how long NyQuil stays in your body:

  • Acetaminophen: Numerous treatments for the cold and flu contain acetaminophen. Acetaminophen may take your body at least 24 hours to eliminate, especially if you’ve been taking it along with NyQuil on its own.
  • Chlorpheniramine: Chlorpheniramine often takes the longest of all the numerous NyQuil ingredients to leave your body. One dose may take up to 120 hours (5 days) to clear.
  • Dextromethorphan: To get rid of one dose of dextromethorphan, your body will also need more time: about 55 hours (more than two days).
  • Doxylamine: For one dose of doxylamine, your body will generally need at least fifty hours (more than two days) to clear most of this medication from your body.

Phenylephrine: One dose of phenylephrine to clear your body may take at least twenty hours. The time it usually takes for the medicine to leave your system depends on your age, underlying health issues, and other medications. With alcohol, some of these combinations are riskier than others. Speak with your healthcare professional and pharmacist for more detailed information.

People at Risk for Severe Interactions

Everybody is affected by alcohol dependence differently. Numerous variables, including potential medical problems and existing drugs, can impact these consequences.

However, there may be a higher risk for the following individuals when taking alcohol and NyQuil at once:

  • Older adults: Older adults—generally defined as those over sixty-five years old, tend to be at higher risk of the effects of alcohol. Older persons’ bodies adapt with age and process alcohol more slowly than younger adults. Therefore, combining alcohol and NyQuil may increase the risk of severe side effects in older persons.
  • People taking sedative medications: As was already mentioned, NyQuil typically leaves you feeling exhausted. Additionally, sedative medicines make you sleepy. Combining alcohol, NyQuil, and sedative drugs increases the chance of adverse effects. This comprises benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, and barbiturates. Butabarbital (Butisol) and phenobarbital are two examples of barbiturates (Luminal). Alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam are benzodiazepines (Valium). Examples of non-benzodiazepines include zolpidem, eszopiclone, and zaleplon (Sonata) (Ambien).
  • People with liver conditions: Many of the ingredients in NyQuil, such as acetaminophen, are broken down by the liver. The liver also aids in the body’s alcohol detoxification. When alcohol and NyQuil are combined, those with liver problems typically have higher levels of both substances in their blood. This combination could increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse side effects. Additionally, this risk can be increased for those who exceed the amount of acetaminophen.
  • People assigned females at birth: People born as females typically have less water in their bodies. As a result, when they drink, they frequently have greater blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) than other persons. When combining alcohol and NyQuil, they may be more likely to experience significant adverse effects if their BAC is higher.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can NyQuil kill you? 

Taking NyQuil and mixing it with alcohol alone will not kill you. However, it can result in harmful side effects, cause severe liver damage, and make you feel lazy and stressed out.   

How long after taking DayQuil is it ok to drink alcohol? 

Even though drinking is not advised while taking DayQuil, you could do so 4 to 6 hours after your last dose. However, the effects of a single drink of alcohol might continue for around three hours in your body. The ideal time to take another DayQuil amount is three hours later. 

What happens if you mix Sprite and Nyquil?  

As far as mixing it with sprite, it won’t make any chemical difference. It will just be NyQuil with soda. Though it probably tastes a little funny, don’t take medicine unless you need it, never take more than the recommended dosage on the bottle, and never attempt to mix sprite with premythizene  

Seek Professional Medical help from Indiana Center for Recovery

As we all understand, alcohol consumption is dangerous for health. It causes physical as well as mental health issues. Are you or a loved one looking for alcohol addiction treatment? Our state-of-the-art facility can help. 

Indiana Center for Recovery, offers several services, including detox, residential, outpatient, and integrated care to help you eliminate alcohol abuse and live an alcohol-free life.  

Contact us at (844) 650-0064 to learn more about our alcohol addiction treatment services and charges. Our admissions counselors are available 24/7 to answer all your questions about our services.