cocktail

DON'T DRINK WHEN YOU'RE ON COLD MEDS

The combo has a bigger impact on one gender than the other.

THE GIST
Mixing drugs with alcohol is especially dangerous for women.
EXPERT INSIGHT
When you drink, your blood alcohol concentration level rises as the alcohol distributes to the water in your body. Since women’s bodies are comprised of less water than men’s are (50 percent compared to 60 percent), their BAC rises at a faster rate drink for drink. 

Higher BAC levels can magnify the effects of medications, especially those with sedative effects, like sleep aids, anti-anxiety drugs, and even OTC cold and allergy meds, according to George Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The drug-alcohol cocktail also increases the secretion of stomach acid, which can lead to stomach irritation and ulcers.  
THE BOTTOM LINE
Combining alcohol and drugs (even OTC meds) is risky regardless of your gender, but women have to be extra careful.