Doubling Down on Doubling Up

Week of:
Feb 16, 2018

Mixing alcohol and acetaminophen — How can I reduce my risk for side effects?

Dear Alice,

I have been taking OTC cough/cold/flu preps for about a week. These all contain acetaminophen with the subsequent warnings against using if one imbibes due to possible liver damage. Is there a period of time I should wait (I'm better now) after I stop using the OTCs before I can resume enjoying my "more than 3 alcoholic beverages" per day to allow the acetaminophen to metabolize?

Okay to drink alcohol when on antihistamines?

Dear Alice,

I've heard that combining antihistamines and alcohol is a bad thing to do. Can you tell me why this is and what effects it has on a person? Also, how long after consuming one should I avoid the other?

A drinker with hayfever

Friends are double dosing: Marijuana and Prozac

Dear Alice,

I have two friends who were recently diagnosed with depression. They were both prescribed Prozac by their respective doctors. Both of them are heavy marijuana users and both failed to mention that to their doctors. One has been on Prozac for two months and the other for six weeks. I have noticed that their behavior has become strange: mood swings, paranoia, oversleeping, fatigue. They continue taking their Prozac (20 mg a day) and continue smoking pot. I am afraid that there might be some negative interaction between the substances, one being an antidepressant and the other a depressant. Can you provide some insight?

— Concerned Friend

Grapefruit juice and coffee

Hey Alice!

I've heard that drinking coffee and grapefruit juice at around the same time can extend the effects of caffeine. Is this true? I know that grapefruits can increase the bioavailability of some drugs... what about caffeine? Is this at all dangerous?

Thanks. You're awesome, Alice!