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RA Meds and Alcohol

Lene Andersen Health Guide November 28, 2012
  • Most of us start treatment for RA with methotrexate. When your rheumatologist hands you the prescription, they usually do so with the statement "it is very important that you not drink alcohol while taking this medication." We get a lot of questions here on RAHealthCentral about methotrexate and alco...

10 Comments
  • V
    V
    Health Guide
    Nov. 28, 2012

    Hi, Lene,

     

    I see people asking about this particular issue all the time in online support groups.  Thanks so much for providing an indepth discussion about why drinking alcohol on a regular basis is not the best idea for anyone on RA meds. The next time someone asks me about this very subject, I can now refer them to this article.  Thanks!!!...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi, Lene,

     

    I see people asking about this particular issue all the time in online support groups.  Thanks so much for providing an indepth discussion about why drinking alcohol on a regular basis is not the best idea for anyone on RA meds. The next time someone asks me about this very subject, I can now refer them to this article.  Thanks!!!

     

    V

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Nov. 28, 2012

      I've been wanting to do this article for while and hurricane Sandy got in the way. I'm very happy that Dr. Yazici was able to talk to me - I like being able to give more detail other than "it might be bad for your liver." Wink

  • Leslie
    Dec. 02, 2012

    My rheumatologist wasn't quite so adament about zero alcohol as I see posted here. We talked about this when I went on methotrexate. I told him I was a social drinker and liked a glass of wine with diner, usually one or two glasses, once or twice a week. He thought that since my starting liver numbers were quite good I could continue my mild wine consumption as...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    My rheumatologist wasn't quite so adament about zero alcohol as I see posted here. We talked about this when I went on methotrexate. I told him I was a social drinker and liked a glass of wine with diner, usually one or two glasses, once or twice a week. He thought that since my starting liver numbers were quite good I could continue my mild wine consumption as long as my liver numbers were okay. In Europe, the attitude about alcohol consumption is more liberal and much more dependent on the indivdual and their ability to process the drug or drugs as well as the alcohol. I would agree that common sense should prevail and we must always consider the entire cocktail of medications that we are on, NSAIDS and DMARDS and even over the counter meds can have profound effects. Here's the link for the UK discussion. http://www.nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoid_arthritis/newly_diagnosed/which_drugs_are_used/methotrexate_in_rheumatoid_arthritis.aspx And of course, as always, completely avoiding all alcohol would be the safest course.

    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Dec. 06, 2012

      I was aware of the discrepancy between European and North American recommendations, but thought it was a more theoretical discussion best saved for another post. Thank you so much for the link - it satisfies the geek in me! Wink

  • Carrie Beth Brown
    Health Guide
    Nov. 28, 2012
    I see so many people ask questions here and in RA groups about alcohol. Nice to have an article to refer them to now, great job. I have never been a drinker so never quite understood why some people wanted to drink alcohol when they were sick, but I know it's a big social type thing, so many people do. I used to drink a margarita once or twice a year and enjoyed...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I see so many people ask questions here and in RA groups about alcohol. Nice to have an article to refer them to now, great job. I have never been a drinker so never quite understood why some people wanted to drink alcohol when they were sick, but I know it's a big social type thing, so many people do. I used to drink a margarita once or twice a year and enjoyed it, but as the RA has progressed and my body has added new diagnoses and become less healthy, I dont even like the idea or taste of alcohol anymore. Today, I couldn't take more than a sip if I wanted to. I think many people will find that their bodies will let them know when it's really not okay to drink, so if you're worried about missing the taste and effect of alcohol it may just be difficult for a little while. Most likely, over time, you'll forget you ever enjoyed it and it will be easier to pass up. :)
    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Nov. 28, 2012

      I was never a big drinker, but I did like a nice glass of wine with a nice dinner. I forget why I stopped - I think my body was letting me know. I didn't like it anymore. I started getting headaches whenever I drank alcohol, so it was an easy choice. I do miss a nice glass of wine with a nice dinner every now and again, though. These days, I have a tiny glass...

      RHMLucky777

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      I was never a big drinker, but I did like a nice glass of wine with a nice dinner. I forget why I stopped - I think my body was letting me know. I didn't like it anymore. I started getting headaches whenever I drank alcohol, so it was an easy choice. I do miss a nice glass of wine with a nice dinner every now and again, though. These days, I have a tiny glass of port with Christmas dessert at our family Christmas dinner and that's pretty much it. Not drinking means I am a ridiculous easy drunk and after three sips, my family starts laughing at me. Wink

    • Carrie Beth Brown
      Health Guide
      Nov. 28, 2012
      LOL, that's pretty much what happened to me. I'd take two sips and get tipsy. And it made me sick too...so it was easy to not have it. I think I miss the social outings of girls getting together for margaritas now more than I miss the margarita. But as a girl who grew up in Napa Valley and who's father used to manage a winery, I envy the Christmas port that...
      RHMLucky777
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      LOL, that's pretty much what happened to me. I'd take two sips and get tipsy. And it made me sick too...so it was easy to not have it. I think I miss the social outings of girls getting together for margaritas now more than I miss the margarita. But as a girl who grew up in Napa Valley and who's father used to manage a winery, I envy the Christmas port that you can drink! I have tasted and enjoyed many fine wines in my life. This year have a sip of that port for me, as I used to love tawny ports. ;) Wine was so engrained in our dinners and family events that I forget it's alcohol. I drank it from when I was about 7 years old (the tiniest sip at dinner) until my father died 20 years ago. He left me with over 200 cases of fine and rare wines, most of which I sold because I wasn't a big drinker and couldn't imagine drinking a bottle worth $1500. LOL.
    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Nov. 28, 2012

      on one end, why not sell the line - I'm sure you could use the money for something that you would enjoy or needed. On the other hand, I would really like to just once in my life, drink a ridiculously priced bottle of wine. Or, more likely, a couple of ridiculously priced sips. Wink

    • Carrie Beth Brown
      Health Guide
      Nov. 28, 2012
      LOL, I hear ya...I really wanted to open the Opus One bottle that we had handsigned by Mondavi and drink it, but I just couldn't do it. The money in the bank was needed much more. I had some lovely boxed flights too from the 70's. I didn't sell them all. We did drink a few of the good ones for Christmas with my grandparents. It was quite exquisite drinking...
      RHMLucky777
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      LOL, I hear ya...I really wanted to open the Opus One bottle that we had handsigned by Mondavi and drink it, but I just couldn't do it. The money in the bank was needed much more. I had some lovely boxed flights too from the 70's. I didn't sell them all. We did drink a few of the good ones for Christmas with my grandparents. It was quite exquisite drinking a Cabernet from 1978 in 2004 but it was damn tasty! Thankfully the wines were all stored in an old wine cellar, so they were all perfect until the very last one was gone. It was truly an honor to drink what we did and I'm so grateful to have been able to build up a savings from what we sold. My only regret is not keeping a list of all the varietals, years and makers that I have had the pleasure of tasting in my lifetime.
    • Lene  Andersen
      Health Guide
      Nov. 29, 2012

      That reminded me of the port my parents put aside when my sister was born. We finally drank it when she was in her mid 30s. It was very, very good. Wink

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