Deadly Duo: Mixing Alcohol and Prescription Drugs Can Result in Addiction or Accidental Death

Prescription drugs and alcohol can be a dangerous combination, Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse says. Painkillers and booze are perhaps the worst to mix, because both slow breathing by different mechanisms and inhibit the coughing reflex, creating “a double-whammy effect,” she says, that can stop breathing altogether. Alcohol also interacts with anti-anxiety drugs (including Xanax), antipsychotics, antidepressants, sleep medications and muscle relaxants—intensifying the drugs’ sedative effects, causing drowsiness and dizziness, and making falls and accidents more likely.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mixing-alcohol-prescription-drugs-result-addiction-accidental-death

Source: ScientificAmerican.com – February 24, 2012

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