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Alcohol and antibiotics

  1. Mar 22, 2004 #1

    jimmy p

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    I have been trying to help a friend out. She is researching how Antibiotics are affected by alcohol... well ethanol (she is using vodka on her different strains of bacteria). Unfortunately we can only find how drugs like cocaine affect antibiotics. Can anyone suggest any links or have any info on this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2004 #2
    From my understanding, there are only a few antibiotics that are effected by alcohol. Don't rember off the top of my head, where I read that but I will think about it.

    Nautica
     
  4. Mar 22, 2004 #3

    adrenaline

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    The one that springs to mind right away are the disulfiram-like reaction has been linked with a number of anti-infectives and can cause significant morbidity....(tachycardia, facial flushing, hypo or hypertension etc.). The reaction is classically associated with metronidazole but is also well documented with certain cephalosporins and isolated cases reporst with chloramphenicol.Chronic alcohol abusers appear to be at greatest risk.


    Remember, we use Disulfiram to deter further ingestion of alcohol, by inhibition of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase, causing a build-up of acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of ethanol metabolism By the same mechanism, other compounds have been linked with disulfiram-like reactions, and antibiotics are no exception. In general, these reactions are rare and occur spontaneously. Although all patients should be counseled and warned of this potential interaction, it appears that patients who chronically consume large amounts of alcohol may be at higher risk for developing these reactions because they may have a greater accumulation of acetaldehyde. The likelihood of a reaction exists while the drug is still present in the body, and reactions have occurred -- even with minimal amounts of alcohol -- up to a day after the last dose of an antibiotic. Thus, in general, it is recommended that patients abstain from alcohol during, and for 2 to 3 days after, therapy with any agents implicated in causing disulfiram-like reactions.

    Also, depending on the antibiotic, I'm sure the alcohol affects the induction or degradation pathway system in the liver.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2004
  5. Mar 23, 2004 #4

    Moonbear

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    Is she using animals infected with bacteria or bacterial cultures in dishes? You're not going to learn much about the effectiveness of antibiotics if you start out by applying ethanol to your bacteria...usually the ethanol itself will kill the bacteria. My understanding is that the ethanol doesn't directly affect the antibiotic, it affects the way the body metabolizes the antibiotic...but I could be wrong on that.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2004 #5

    jimmy p

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    She is mixing the alcohol in with an agar jelly and then applying the bacteria. Hmm that could explain some results...
     
  7. Mar 24, 2004 #6

    iansmith

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    why don't she used disc assay instead of mixing the alcohol directly the agar. Anyway low concentratrion (1-10%) of alcohol migth not have such an effect on the bacteria. If she is using 75% alcohol then the bacteria are going to die. She should use the concentration that can be found in the blood (0 mg to 300 mg per 100 ml).
     
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