Q. Is there any medicine to overcome the effects of alcohol?

Answered by
Dr. Salah Saad Shoman
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 30, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I am contacting you regarding an uncle of mine. He is 40 years old. His health issues are related to alcohol (beer). He drinks quite a few times a week. When he starts drinking, he drinks a few liters before stopping. He also smokes, but only sometimes. He finds heavy breathing after just minor physical activity. In his medical history, he has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia, anxiety disorder, severe headache and sometimes constipation. He had also ulcer earlier and was recommended Omeprazole. He found this medicine to be helpful for him in the beginning only, but not now anymore.

I know of a fact that it is best for him to quit drinking alcohol or at least reduce the amount of it. He has been advised for this several times. But, he is addicted to it and is not easy for him to quit. My question is specifically related to alcohol. Is there any medication he can take before or after intake of alcohol which can be helpful for him in kind of safe drinking? He takes Omeprazole, but is not satisfied with the results.

Dr. Salah Saad Shoman

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Alcoholism is now acknowledged as a disease that requires a combined treatment (medications, psychological and social intervention).
  • Medications to increase tolerance of the patient to alcohol as Iomazenil are not very much recommended as they tend to increase the patient's intake of alcohol as they tend to stop people from getting drunk.
  • On the other hand, there are a number of medications that decrease the patient's tolerance to alcohol leading to unpleasant side effects when taking alcohol that force the patient to stop drinking.
  • These drugs include Antabuse (Disulfiram), but the problem with that drug is that the patient might decide to stop the Antabuse instead of stopping alcohol.
  • Another drug is Naltrexone, which decrease the pleasure that alcoholics receive when drinking and also decrease the craving for alcohol. It can be taken as a daily pill or as a once a month injection.
  • Another drug is Campari, which is taken by mouth three times daily. It acts by reducing the symptoms that an alcoholic may experience when not having a drink over long periods. These symptoms may lead to relapse, but its effect is doubtful.
  • Drugs are not enough to treat alcoholism and they need to be combined with rehabilitation and social intervention. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the medicine with consent.

For further information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

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