Author: Charles Frank

Drinking Alcohol with COVID-19: Tips for Use, Safety, Risks

drinking alcohol with covid

In contrast, research on the Novavax vaccine asked people with a history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) to abstain from the trial. You may want to avoid alcohol for a few days after getting a COVID-19 booster or vaccine. Some hangover symptoms, like fatigue, headache, and nausea, may mimic or worsen the side effects of vaccines. Fear and misinformation have generated a dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill the COVID-19 virus. Consuming any alcohol poses health risks, but consuming high strength ethyl alcohol (ethanol), particularly if it has been adulterated with methanol, can result in severe health consequences, including death. Fear and misinformation have generated a dangerous myth that consuming high strength alcohol can kill the COVID-19 virus.

drinking alcohol with covid

She’s passionate about empowering readers to take care of their mental and physical health through science-based, empathetically delivered information. If you don’t have a physical dependency on alcohol, and you drink lightly or moderately, consider stopping while you have COVID-19.

This needs to be complemented by communicating with the public about the risks of alcohol consumption and maintaining and strengthening alcohol and drug treatment services. While hand sanitizers containing 60-95% ethyl alcohol can help destroy the coronavirus on surfaces, drinking alcohol offers no protection from the virus. A 2021 study found that people who drink at least once a week are more likely to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) during COVID-19 hospitalization. This may be because alcohol use can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to infectious diseases. At the same time, people with active alcohol use disorder shouldn’t suddenly stop drinking without medical supervision, as alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethyl alcohol helps prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can you drink alcohol when taking antiviral medication for COVID-19?

Alcohol consumption may make your symptoms worse, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Alcohol intolerance is a condition where the body reacts negatively to the consumption of alcohol. It’s typically related to an inability to properly process or metabolize alcohol. High growth ahead for protein beverages makes Asia Pacific (ASPAC) the market to watch. Consumer research shows new usage occasions, key consumption barriers,…

Spirits had the highest alcohol concentration and the lowest polyphenolic concentration. This review looks at alcohol-related policies during the COVID-19 pandemic across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Sian Ferguson is a freelance health and cannabis writer based in Cape Town, South Africa.

However, some evidence suggests that drinking alcohol every day may raise the risk of severe reactions to vaccination. “This is the usual period one might expect common and usually mild after-effects of vaccination, like fatigue, muscle aches, injection site pain.” Still, some experts advise against drinking alcohol—especially heavy drinking—immediately after receiving the booster and vaccine.

  1. Light drinking is 12 drinks in the past year but three or fewer per week.
  2. When stress exceeds a certain limit, it might trigger brain inflammation, resulting in symptoms like those seen in ME/CFS, including alcohol intolerance.
  3. The study also investigated other forms of alcohol including beer, cider and spirits.
  4. A 2021 study found that people who drink at least once a week are more likely to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) during COVID-19 hospitalization.

Although, there’s no evidence that alcohol affects the efficacy of the booster and vaccine. Some evidence suggests that post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome may share characteristics with ME/CFS, a condition where approximately 4 out of 5 people exhibit alcohol intolerance. For example, some research suggests that poor sleep can make long COVID worse, and difficulty sleeping is a common side effect of drinking alcohol. Existing rules and regulations to protect health and reduce harm caused by alcohol, such as restricting access, should be upheld and even reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency situations. In the interest of the public health, there must not be any relaxation of regulations or their enforcement. While research on post-COVID alcohol intolerance is still limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s a symptom experienced by many people following the virus.

Are you more likely to develop long COVID if you drink alcohol during an active infection?

There’s growing evidence that it may be a unique symptom of long COVID, particularly the post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) type. According to several anecdotal reports, alcohol intolerance, which is characterized by reactions like nausea, low blood pressure, fatigue, and dizziness when consuming alcohol, may be a unique symptom of long COVID. Researchers think the polyphenol content in alcoholic beverages, which have antioxidant properties, may play a role in this. The results revealed that the high consumption of red wine, white wine, champagne and low intake of fortified wine had protective effects against COVID-19. For beer and cider, drinkers had 7 to 28% higher risks of getting COVID-19 regardless of the amount they consumed, compared to non-drinkers. As part of its public health response to COVID-19, WHO has worked with partners to develop guidance, which addresses myths and provides guidance during the pandemic.

drinking alcohol with covid

A large percentage of infections are transmitted through asymptomatic spread, by those infected with COVID-19 who display no symptoms. NIAAA Director, Dr. George Koob, discusses what we know about how alcohol affects our immune and stress systems, along with issues related to treatment access during the pandemic. Consult a healthcare professional about whether you can drink alcohol while using these medications. It’s also worth noting that the effects of alcohol — and a hangover — may be particularly unpleasant if you also have COVID-19 symptoms. If you’re ready to enter treatment and stop drinking, you’ll likely have to wait until your COVID-19 infection is no longer transmissible before you enter a detox program. Alcohol can cause digestive upset, difficulty sleeping, trouble with concentration, and other unpleasant side effects that may worsen your symptoms.

Likewise, the Food and Drug Administration vaccination fact sheets for the Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer vaccines do not make any reference to alcohol. While not widely recognized as a symptom of long COVID due to limited research, alcohol intolerance has been reported by some individuals. The amount of alcohol consumption was quantified as the average weekly number of units of alcohol consumption. Due to the high transmission rates of community spread of COVID-19, there is no risk-free way to gather socially at this time.

Alcohol and COVID-19: Good news for red wine drinkers, but blow for beer boozers?

This could make the PVN extra sensitive to life’s stresses, causing fatigue and relapses similar to ME/CFS. This connection could provide insights into how long COVID might contribute to alcohol intolerance. But after her infection, she found herself unable to tolerate even small amounts of alcohol, experiencing unpleasant sensations like lightheadedness, sluggishness, and queasiness after just a few sips. Spirit drinkers also had a higher risk of COVID-19 the more they consumed.

Here we present such data as are available on per capita alcohol sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a healthcare provider, learn how to help patients or clients who need help with an alcohol problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these medications can cause unpleasant side effects, like headaches, which may be worsened with alcohol use. You can take a couple of steps to avoid contracting or transmitting the COVID-19 virus while drinking.

Instead, get plenty of rest and stay hydrated while recovering from vaccination. Seek medical attention right away if you develop adverse side effects within four hours of receiving a booster or vaccine. A post-vaccination cocktail may seem appealing, but remember to give your body time to recover. The CDC advises dressing in comfortable clothes and staying hydrated to help alleviate the side effects of the COVID-19 booster or vaccine. In general, the CDC advises against using over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like Advil (ibuprofen), aspirin, or Tylenol (acetaminophen) before vaccination, including COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

Read on to learn about other precautions to take after getting vaccinated. You may have pain, redness, or swelling on your arm near where you received the COVID-19 booster or vaccine. You may mistake other possible side effects for hangover symptoms if you drink alcohol after getting a booster or vaccine. As of August 2023, there’s no guidance on drinking alcohol before getting a COVID-19 booster or vaccine. Research on the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines did not ask trial participants to avoid alcohol.

Drinking alcohol does not prevent or treat coronavirus infection and may impair immune function

Further research is needed to establish a clearer understanding of this phenomenon. Some people describe feeling sick after consuming only a small amount of alcohol, while others report experiencing hangover-like symptoms that seem disproportionate to their alcohol intake. It was also revealed that white wine and champagne drinkers who consume between one to four glasses per week had a 7 to 8% lower risk for COVID-19, compared to non-drinkers. This protective effect was not significant when they consumed five or more glasses per week. Alcohol is responsible for a total of three million deaths worldwide, one third of which occur in the WHO European Region. Because drinking alcohol and being hungover can lead to digestive upset, headaches, mood changes, and difficulty thinking clearly — all symptoms of long COVID — it may worsen these symptoms.

While there are many factors regarding alcohol intake and its impact on the body, more studies are needed to know the full effects of alcohol on the immune system. A review published in 2016 noted that light-to-moderate drinking may improve response to vaccination. Light drinking is 12 drinks in the past year but three or fewer per week. Moderate drinking is more than three drinks, but no more than seven, per week for females. For males, moderate drinking is more than three drinks, but no more than 14, per week. As of August 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for people who’ve been newly vaccinated do not mention alcohol.