Interactions of Ethyl Alcohol and Other Drugs

  • Benjamin Kissin


Ethyl alcohol is a potent pharmacologic agent with a wide variety of biochemical and neurophysiological effects, most marked in the central nervous system but by no means restricted to it. The mechanisms of these pharmacological actions are not only poorly understood but are assumed to involve a wide spectrum of enzyme effects in addition to physiochemical effects on other parameters of drug activity such as membrane permeability, electrolyte activities, and so on. Consequently, it is not surprising that ethyl alcohol should both affect the action of other drugs and be affected by them. These interactions run the gamut from antagonistic effects with mutual neutralization to simple addition of similar effects to actual potentiating interactions where the total effect of the two drugs is greater than the sum of the effects of the two drugs alone. The mechanisms of these interactions are even less well understood than those for the individual drugs. The purpose of the chapter is to review those studies dealing with the empirical data describing the pharmacologic and behavorial effects of alcohol and drug combinations and also those studies which may illuminate the mechanisms of those interactions.


Ethyl Alcohol Alcoholic Beverage Chloral Hydrate Withdrawal Syndrome Ethanol Ingestion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Kissin
    • 1
  1. 1.Downstate Medical CenterState University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

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