Document Detail

Effect of common over-the-counter medications on blood alcohol levels.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11485145     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical and legal significance of the potential pharmacokinetic interaction between common over-the-counter (OTC) medications and alcohol that may result in increased blood alcohol levels (BALs). DATA SOURCES: A MEDLINE search (1966-February 2000) of English-language articles was performed using the terms aspirin, acetaminophen, histamine (H2)-receptor antagonist, ethanol, and blood alcohol level and then supplemented by a bibliographic review of relevant articles. STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION: Two H2-receptor antagonist studies using methodologies representative of other published trials and a meta-analysis of 24 H2-receptor antagonist trials were chosen for detailed review. All identified studies examining aspirin and acetaminophen were addressed. DATA SYNTHESIS: More than 30 studies have examined the potential interaction between OTC drugs and blood alcohol. Because this issue has important medical and legal implications for patients, prescribing physicians, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, a critical analysis of the literature addressing this potential interaction is presented. CONCLUSIONS: Numerous factors arguing against a clinically significant interaction were identified. First, data from the relevant studies cannot be extrapolated to the general population because of the multitude of variables that determine an individual's BAL. Also, a publication bias for small studies (< or = 10 subjects) finding a statistically significant increase in peak BAL was observed. In addition, study results supporting an increase in BAL were often irreproducible when these trials were repeated under similar conditions. Finally, although some studies detected statistically significant increases in peak BAL, these changes were often clinically irrelevant.
M L Monroe; P L Doering
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Annals of pharmacotherapy     Volume:  35     ISSN:  1060-0280     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann Pharmacother     Publication Date:    2001 Jul-Aug
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-03     Completed Date:  2001-12-11     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9203131     Medline TA:  Ann Pharmacother     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  918-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pharmacy, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1163, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
Area Under Curve
Drug Interactions
Ethanol* / blood,  metabolism,  pharmacokinetics
Histamine H2 Antagonists / pharmacology*
Intestinal Absorption
Middle Aged
Nonprescription Drugs / pharmacology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; 0/Histamine H2 Antagonists; 0/Nonprescription Drugs; 64-17-5/Ethanol

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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