Long term antibiotics

Hi everyone, I'm new to this site. I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis a year ago and have since had a chain of chest infections. It has now been suggested that I go on long term antibiotics such as azithromycin. I think this is probably the right thing to do but have a small concern. I wondered whether it will be ok for me to drink alcohol when taking antibiotics in this way. I enjoy a glass or two of wine with my evening meal and I would like to continue to do so as this helps me relax but also cheers me up when I'm feeling really fed up with the way this illness impacts on my life. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

18 Replies

  • Hi there rosco58. There is a lot of misconception about drinking alcohol whilst taking antibiotics. Many people think that you should not drink at all when taking antibiotics because there is a belief that it stops them working.

    I have been on this kind of therapy in one way or another since the early 1980s. I also took azithromycin from 2007 until 2013. My consultant of twenty years was adamant that it is ok to have a drink when taking them. I am not a regular drinker but never had any adverse effects from a drink or two. Quite frankly, if I am having an exacerbation (infection) alcohol is the last thing that I could get down me.

    Having said that- this means 'a drink' not a couple of bottles per night which would not be good for anybody whatever their condition.

    There is one major no no. you should never drink or even smell alcohol if you are taking METRONIDAZOLE. This is usually given for for anaerobic infections. Exposure to alcohol whilst taking this drug results in immediate projectile vomiting and falling over.

    It is a case of making up your own mind and being sensible I guess.

    I do hope that helped.

  • Thank you, that does help

  • Hi still standing, could I ask what dosage Ariizthomicin long term are you taking and what's your best regime . I am being put on 250mg 3 a week , I have bronchiectasis quite bad and produce far too much mucus thanks xx carol

  • Hi Carol,I'm really sorry but I can't remember for sure what dosage I took as I stopped it in 2013. I think that it was 250mg three times per week. Usually Mon wed Fri. Whilst I was taking it I had to go on to taking it in liquid form because I had a swallowing problem which had got worse. Nothing to do with the azith. I stopped taking it because it seemed to have stopped working and my heart failed and I got AF. it clashes with the anti coagulant and digoxyn which I then had to take. Whilst it worked it was very good. Don't forget that you still have to fight the gob gobblin and cough it all out. Then the drug will have a chance to work better.xxx

  • Hullo Rosco, The advice I am about to give, works well for me (touch wood) but we are all different. last night I was looking through old posts and seeing that I was always having chest infections. As fast as I came off antibs, so another one would start. I was desperate because my husband was poorly. My consultant put me on azithromycin. Since then and touching wood, I have been free of infections. And yes, I appreciate a glass of wine in the evening. Forgot to mention that I have bronchiectasis, asthma and mild COPD. But we are all different. You will need to discuss this question with your GP or nurse. Good luck XX

  • Thank you so much, that helps slot.

  • Hi Rosco, I have Bronchiectasis. I take Azithromycin as well. I have a full blown infection at the moment. I had a strong whisky to knock me out last night. My GP says some ABS you cannot drink alchol but AZ is ok with moderate drinking. Kaye

  • Thank you, Kaye

  • Hello Rosco I was put on Azi for the same reasons as yourself. I enjoy a glass of wine not every day, about three times a week. I have not had any reaction to it. Since being on it I have not had any infections. Good luck.

  • Thank you

  • Thank you for your reply

  • Long term ab's are fine and that is what Pete has - either Azith or Doxy. When on Doxy as he is now, it does say not to drink alcohol but Pete has the odd glass of wine here and there and is fine.

    Take it easy and breathe well. xxx

  • Thank you

  • Hi rosco, having read the other answers to your question I hope that it has cheered you up and helped you to know that the condition does not have to impact in a grossly negative way on your life and activities. You are,after all,the same person that you were before they gave you that long word. Bronchiectasis doesn't come on overnight and so you have probably been living with it for some time. Now you can establish a good management routine and a healthy lifestyle. You obviously have a good Doctor because azith is an effective treatment.There are quite a few of us on here who have bronchiectasis ( we call ourselves bronchs because we are lazy typers) Many of us have had the condition since we were small children and have led full lives. I'm not saying that it can't be exhausting at times and that we don't get fed up because we do, but we are here for each other. Please feel free to ask us the questions. If we can help we will.

    Good luck

  • Thank you, I really appreciate the advice and positive comments I have received. It certainly helps to know there are so many positive people out there.

  • A very warm welcome to you rosco.

    love x

  • Thank you

  • Not all antibiotics react with alcohol. Read the pamphlet that comes with the tablets.

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