Drugs

The interaction between alcohol and drugs, either prescribed or illicit, is important because many detainees take other drugs in conjunction with alcohol (2). Generally, the most important interactions involve drugs altering the way a subject responds to a given amount of alcohol in the blood, for example, because the drug has CNS depressant effects that add to those of alcohol.

Table 14

Drugs That Affect the Rate of Stomach Emptying and So Influence the Rate of Alcohol Absorption

Drugs that slow gastric emptying:

■ Drugs with anticholinergic actions, such as: atropine; chlorpromazine; tricyclic antidepressants

■ Drugs with an adrenergic action, such as: amphetamines

■ Drugs with an opioid action, such as: antidiarrheal medicines; codeine and dihydrocodeine; diamorphine (heroin); methadone; dextropropoxyphene (in co-proxamol)

Drugs that hasten stomach emptying, such as: metoclopramide; cisapride;

erythromycin

Adapted from ref. 128.

However, several drugs may influence the rate of alcohol absorption by virtue of their affect on the rate of gastric emptying (Table 14).

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