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This a question, not a judgement

downinmyheartddowninmyheart Posts: 497
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have read alot of you talk about drinking alcohol. Perhaps at an upcoming party, and sometimes sitting a home. My question is, are you stopping your meds at this time? Or, are you drinking in tandem with your meds? I would SO love to have a glass of wine with my husband at a meal, but am not willing to compromise my health.

One Love,



  • I must admit that I indulged and had a glass of wine today for my birthday but only one because I don't have a tolerance for alcohol like I used to without my meds. I don't recommend drinking with meds. I was drinking very heavily over a year ago and taking my meds and I blacked out a couple of times. That was enough to scare the crap out of me and I don't do that anymore. I went to pick up dinner that I ordered at one of our favorite bars and I stop to have a drink while I was waiting for my food to get done. I didn't realize it but I guess I had a couple, sat at the bar and ate my food, paid my bill and drove home. I woke up to my friend calling my name and I was pulled over on the side of the road passed out in a field. I am so glad that she found me. I don't remember anything other than seeing her there and having a drink with her. She said she went to the bathroom and she came out and I was gone. She happened to drive by my house on her way home and that's when she found me. I am so afraid I didn't hurt myself or even worse, someone else. I am pretty sure it was a combo of my muscle relaxers, pain meds, antidepressants and alcohol. Now I know I can only have 1-2 drinks and that's it. I don't like to go out anyway because it hurts too much but it would be nice to be able to sit around have a couple of drinks with my friends.
  • There for a while, alcohol was the only thing that took much of the pain away. After I started morphine, I had enough relief that I didn't need a drink. Now, 4 days post-op, a hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps sounds so good!(especially since it's snowing here in the northwest) I'm off the morphine and the nurse told me no alcohol for 24 hours after my surgery. I'd ask your doctor or the pharmacist, because if you are going to have a glass of wine, you should enjoy it without guilt.

    Let us know what you come up with

  • they dont mix.....that is why they have a warning on the pain med bottle....
  • they really dont mix but if you're careful, dont drive and have someone to help you get where you're going and cut you off. Just be very careful your reactions to the alcohol will be very different then what you're used to
  • I made the choice not to drink at all while I am taking pain meds. I just don't want to take that kind of risk. I wasn't a big drinker before starting to take pain meds, so it really doesn't bother me, not to drink now.
  • I don't take the narcotics in the evenings unless I have alot of pain, so its a bit less of an issue for me.

    Its all about timing: I take the my Topamax late afternoon (instead of dinnertime), glass of wine around 7-8pm, neurontin and zanaflex at bedtime, so there are a few hours between all of the above. I also do not drive. Its a rarity, but I've done this 4-5 times and been okay. I plan it out carefully!
  • I just recently started taking my meds every night before bed. If I drink, no meds. Bottom line. I'm not judging either, to each their own. I have heard more than one story of mixing meds and alcohol and never waking up. I'm just too scared.

    I definitely like to drink socially, but with my back getting worse, not really feeling like going out, it takes alcohol out of the equation.

    If you would like to have a glass with dinner, then don't take the meds. :) I have noticed that going out and having a drink kind of gets the endorphins going. So it's like I'm creating my own pain killer. :))(

  • I am not even close to being ready to go out at this point. I can't sit for more than a few minutes and am not driving either so...

    I drank wine or bourbon on a regular basis before. I stopped drinking in October when I started taking meds. The only time that I have had a drink since then was on Nov 6 at dinner after my marraige. I didn't take one med that day as I wanted to be completly sober when I said yes. :)

    Sometimes I miss cocktail hour though.

    One Love,

  • ... you need to be carful & time it, if you drink, so that your system clears out the meds b4 you introduce any alcohol. And I didn't drink at all for the 1st 5 months out b/c I was taking dilaudid (morphine dirivitive) and then once I stopped that, I had some wine in the PM again, which I still enjoy, in moderation. I didn't even miss it while I was in the early recovery stages, as you just feel so lousy, etc.

    If think I may need Valuim or a sleeper, I don't drink after 7PM (I go to bed about 11).

    I would say to ere on the side of caution, if you have any concerns. And of course, no driving. Even that area I need to "time" when I take meds during the day, when I need to drive sometimes. I'll wait until I get to where I need to go, then take what I need based on how long it'll be b4 I need to drive home again (like mall shopping/lunch etc).

    My NS said "Just use common sense." Which is of course true for anyone who drinks, fusion or not.

    Interesting & thought-provoking topic, Down! Sobering, even!


  • My fusion surgery was at 2 weeks prior to Christmas 2 years ago and my surgeon told me it would be OK to have a glass of wine or two at Christmas and New Year, so long as I did not drive. At the time I was on Tramadol, Lyrica and Arcoxia.

    I am not recommending or condoning drinking alcohol whilst on pain meds - simply stating what my surgeon said to me.

    If anyone is contemplating the odd drink, I strongly urge you to talk to your doctor about it first and see what they say.
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • This is only MY experience. When on long acting Duragesic my PM doctor said a glass of wine with dinner or something occasional was OK. I understood he wasnt talking about going to a party downing jello shots and playing beer pong,lol. Once I took a break thru med he discouraged any alcohol use. After surgery I am off all long actings and avoid any alcohol until 4-6 hours after taking anything. So the first 4 weeks were out for me, because I stuck to the medication schedule. Now I just be mindful of what I do.

    I think everyone is different and drinks for different reasons, whats good for one is not good for another. The warnings are there for a good reason. Ask your prescribing doctor what they think.

    Hugs Shell
  • Hi:

    Unless you really like wine (or whatever drink), it seems like more trouble than it is worth.

    My opinion, I say don't drink!

  • If I am having to take my pain meds, I do not drink.
  • Funny story, I remember when I was interviewing surgeons for my fusion. One of the PAs asked me if I drank at all and I replied that I don't because I wasn't supposed to with the meds that I was on. She looked at me like, "wow, she actually listens to the requirements." :))(
  • Even when I don't want to. I am not taking a pain med during the day right now, just a muscle relaxer and the gabapentin. I wonder what the pharmacist would say about having a glass of wine or a bourbon and ginger on Christmas.

    Will see...

    One Love,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,740
    I probably am not the best person to answer this question.
    Part of my outside of work job is running wine tastings. As
    such I do drink wine (but as Bruce said, have to use common sense)
    9 months ago when I was on Oyxcontin, Oxycodone, plus other medications, I did not drink, if I did I was in never ever land.

    Now that my medications are much less, I will enjoy wine.

    I do not however get behind a wheel after that. Sometimes its hard enough for my reactions when I am not drinking, so I dont need anything that is going to dull them further.

    I learned a long time ago, that moderation and common sense are two important aspects you need in your life. Follow them and you should be ok
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • But, some peoples version of common sense is different than others. For example, I might think "Ok, one or two tequila drinks should be my limit and I need a ride. After all I have had some pain meds this morning." While another person may think "Well, perhaps I shouldn't drink the worm cause I heard that is where all the powerful stuff is. Yeah, I can make it home on my own with just a fifth. After all, I did leave the worm in the bottle and I only had a few pain pills today. Oh yeah, and I am going to stop by (enter local grease pit of choice) on my way home and get some cheese fries. Yeah!"

    See what I mean?

    (in jest of course)

    One Love,

  • The pharmacist isn't your doctor and you are taking medication. Like some others mentioned, it says on the medication label not to mix the medication with alcohol. I would bet the pharmacist would say, don't drink.

    I say avoid the alcohol all together to be safe.

    Why is it so important to "DRINK" anyway???

  • But, I did grow up with my family extended and otherwise who drink. We drink at holidays and events. There are no alcoholics in my family. There has never been any taboo associated with it. Therefore I have never felt the desire to binge drink or anything of that nature. I simply was curious about the effect of drinking alcohol if you have taken pain meds, even 24 hours apart. I certainly would not jeopordize my health for a drink.

    One Love,

  • enjoy an occassional drink. I know I do. <:P To each their own I say. Personally, I absolutley refuse to drink if I have taken anything. However, I don't drink that often. If I do have plans where I think I will drink, I don't take the pills. I rely on the endorphins from the excitement of actually getting out of the house, and the few drinks I have to kind of "deal with" the pain. ;) But that's just me. Like the title of the post said, I'm not judging. I believe everyone knows their own body. I'm just a frady cat. :S

  • I don't think it's so much what will enhance the effects of the drugs or the alcohol, or if your mind will be out in la la land... The biggest thing is that when mixing alcohol and pain killers, it takes a toll on your stomach lining and your liver. I had to take a chemical dependency course years ago, and learned all kinds of things. Also, there are certain meds that when combined with alcohol can give you seizures... Which you don't want, driving or not. So, I dunno. I think it just depends. I would say give it 6 hours, if it's break through pain meds, and 12 at least for long acting, before drinking anything. Better safe than sorry, right?

    Hope you're feeling alright<3 *HUGSZZZ*
  • Whether your on pain meds or not, why? If you are taking meds, it's simple, do not drink alcohol. Pain meds stay in your system for a long time so why chance it? I understand, so people don't drink and drive does that make it ok. Better, yes, but not totally safe. Why would anyone take the risk of drinking and taking pain meds. Why can't you just drink a non-alcoholic beverage?
  • I don't think that anyone would disagree with you that not drinking is definately the safest route to go.

    One Love,

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