Mixing Medication with Alcohol


"I am a 36-year-old male who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and am currently taking Metadate. Should I refrain from taking my ADD medication on days I plan to drink alcohol?"

Dr. Larry Silver M.D. is the author of two books about parenting ADHD/LD children.

There are no firm guidelines for using methylphenidate (Concerta, Metadate) and alcohol. My personal experience plus those of others I have discussed this with is that methylphenidate will potentiate the effect of the alcohol. This means that it will take less alcohol to feel the buzz or to get high.

My first suggestion is not to be on medication if you are going out and know you will drink. If you must use medication while working and you must taste wine at work, be a little more cautious than if you were not on medication.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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