Flucloxacillin and Alcohol

Flucloxacillin is a penicillin antibiotic. It is prescribed to treat a broad spectrum of infections including boils, ear infections, endocarditis, insect bites, impetigo and ear infections. Even though it can be used for a wide range of ailments, it is not as effective as other penicillin so it should be limited to use with infections that are penicillin-resistant. Often, amoxicillin is prescribed at the same time as flucloxacillin to increase its effectiveness.

Can I Drink Alcohol on Flucloxacillin?

Yes, drinking alcohol while on flucloxacillin is okay but should in moderation. There is no negative interaction between the two, but it is never the ideal time to drink excessively when you are fighting an infection. The common side effects of alcohol consumption such as drowsiness and nausea are stronger when you are unwell.

Possible Side Effect If You Drink Too Much

Other negative side effects that may occur with flucloxacillin alcohol use are that the dilation of blood vessels in the limbs may interfere with your body’s ability to slow the spread of infection. Your kidney will be forced to lose more fluid thus you are at risk of dehydration. If drinking excessively while on antibiotics, serious damage to your muscles can occur, especially if you are suffering a viral infection.

There are a few of antibiotics like flucloxacillin that may cause inflammation of the liver. This only occurs in a small percentage of patients, but a night of binge drinking can damage your liver by making it work extra hard to get rid of the alcohol. You might even develop glandular fever if you drink too much while on an antibiotic.

Avoid Alcohol While Using These Antibiotics

However, there are several antibiotics that you should avoid using with alcohol. For example, a small group of anti-infective drugs including metronidazole (Flagyl, Metronide or Metrogyl), tinidazole (Fasigyn or Simplotan) and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim, Co-trimoxazole). These drugs block one of the major pathways that metabolise alcohol and cause a rapid buildup of nasties called acetaldehydes, which are responsible for many of the unpleasant physical effects of hangovers. With these drugs on board, you can be red-faced, fainting and vomiting after as little as one glass of beer.

Precautions and Possible Side Effects of Flucloxacillin


Besides avoiding using flucloxacillin alcohol (in large amount) together, it is also very important to keep your doctor informed and tell him if any of the following apply to you before starting flucloxacillin:

  • Allergy to cephalosporin or penicillin antibiotics
  • Currently taking other medications
  • Suffer from kidney or liver disease
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding – potential risks to unborn fetus or baby

Note: A smaller dose may be used in children and infants under the guidance and recommendation of your pediatrician.

Side Effects

  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Urticaria
  • Liver problems

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they persist or become severe while on flucloxacillin, contact your doctor for further evaluation.

Some side effects require immediate medical attention. These include:

  • Severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis or very rare and serious hypersensitivity reactions.
  • Swelling of the face, throat or tongue
  • Rash and/or itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness

While side effects can occur, it is rare to suffer from serious ones and more times than not they are mild in nature, more inconvenient than dangerous.

What Medicines to Avoid While on Flucloxacillin

While using flucloxacillin, alcohol consumption in small amount may be ok, but  there are potential drug interactions between antibiotic and other medications. Your pharmacist should alert you about interactions if she notices you have been prescribed contradicting medications. With this in mind, do not stop taking or change dosages of current medications before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

If you are taking any of the medications listed below and are prescribed flucloxacillin, remind your doctor and pharmacist for alternative treatment. If you combine the antibiotic with these drugs, serious and life-threatening side effects may occur.

  • Methotrexate
  • Probenecid
  • Warfarin or other blood-thinning drugs
  • Sulfinpyrazone
  • Oral typhoid vaccine
  • oral contraceptives, over-the-counter medications or herbal products

Note that this article does not list all possible side effects and interactions so it cannot be emphasized enough how important it is to inform your physician and pharmacist of all the medications you are taking or have recently discontinued.

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