Is it Safe To Drink Alcohol Two Days After Taking Fluconazole?

The pharmacist discusses the safety of drinking alcoholic beverages two days after taking a dose of fluconazole.

Is it Safe To Drink Alcohol Two Days After Taking Fluconazole?
Jun 20, 2020

Jassy asked

Can I drink alcohol after taking fluconazole two days ago?

At a glance

  • Alcohol does not have any direct interactions with fluconazole; however, they probably shouldn’t be taken together.
  • Since you took the fluconazole two day ago, it has been completely absorbed, but it probably hasn’t totally cleared your system yet.
  • It would probably be safe for you to have one or two drinks two days after the fact, but there still may be a slight increase in risk of feeling nauseated.

Answer

Hi Jassy and thank you for your question.

I always appreciate when patients ask me about alcohol use with their prescribed medications. I know that from time to time, many adults enjoy a beer or glass of wine, myself included. When it comes to medications with alcohol, there sometimes isn’t a drug interaction, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea to take both.

Now, there is no known interaction between fluconazole (brand name Diflucan), an antifungal used to treat a broad variety of fungal infections) and alcohol but I would never recommend taking them at the same time.

A small but significant percentage of patients (5-10%) taking fluconazole seem to experience nausea. Adding alcohol on top of a medication that can cause nausea may lead to stomach irritation and could increase the chances of you accidentally vomiting the medication up (and therefore missing out on the dose).

Even though you took the fluconazole two days ago, it’s still in your system.

In adults with normal kidney function, fluconazole has a half-life of about 30 hours. What this means is that 30 hours after your first dose (i.e. one half-life), if you took a single 150mg tablet, your body has metabolized about 75mg of the dose and the other 75mg is still active. After another 30 hours (i.e. two half-lives), about 38mg is still active in your body. We usually consider a drug to be eliminated after 5 half-lives or in this case, about 150 hours. Since two days is only a 48-hour window, you can see that there is still a good amount of fluconazole in your body not yet metabolized.

If you are a healthy adult and don’t over-consume alcohol, it is generally safe to have a drink or two. Just remember, safe alcohol use is thought to be no more than one or two drinks per day. Since you took the fluconazole dose two days ago, we likely have to worry about you throwing it up, so it’s probably safe to have a drink or two (but not at the same time, just to reiterate).

Thank you again and feel free to write back with any additional questions!

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