Friday, June 15, 2012

My Flagyl Experiment (with updates below)

I have been taking Flagyl now for a couple of months straight.  Plus, 10 mg of Prednisone.  Feeling pretty good, I must say.  However, occasionally, I miss that cold beer or nice glass of wine.  There's warnings all over the Flagyl literature:  "Do not take with alcohol."  Apparently, the Flagyl interacts with the alcohol to create the same substance in your body that is sometimes used to treat severe alcoholism.  That is, it makes you violently ill when it comes into contact with alcohol.  Projectile vomiting may be the result of this concoction.

According to the literature:
Drinking even a small amount of alcohol (ethanol) while taking Flagyl can make a person very sick. Flagyl and alcohol together cause severe nausea and vomiting, flushing, fast heartbeat (tachycardia), and shortness of breath. The reaction has been described as being similar to the effects of Antabuse, a drug that treats alcoholism by causing patients to become very sick when they drink.
Now, I don't want to be violently ill, so I have avoided alcohol completely.  No beer.  No wine. Nothing.

However, I have been reading lately that the "no alcohol" thing may not be true.  At least in most people.  Several studies have been done and found no correlation between alcohol and Flagyl.
Recent clinical studies have failed to demonstrate a significant interaction between metronidazole and alcohol. Despite the lack of a demonstrated interaction, your healthcare provider and pharmacist will probably still warn you to avoid alcohol while taking this medicine.
So I have decided to try an experiment.  And it goes something like this:

1.  Glass
2.  Cold can of Guinness
3.  Pour Guinness into glass
4.  Drink
5.  Wait to get sick

Simple experiment.  And it could go either way.  Plus, my wife isn't here tonight to tell me that this isn't a good idea. I'll keep you posted.  Until then, here's to science!

UPDATE #1 (11 pm)

It's been about an hour.  I've been nursing the Guinness.  When I took the first sip, I had my doubts.  The last thing I wanted to do was to ruin my favorite beer forever.  I had a bad experience with tequila back in college and it took several years to get over that.  However, after about 12 ounces consumed---nothing.  No nausea.  No head aches.  No projectile vomiting.    

UPDATE #2 (12 am)

All 15 ounces of Guinness consumed about 50 minutes ago.   No reaction.  Just a little tired.  Going to bed.