The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Lisinopril: Interactions and Side Effects

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People who are prescribed phentermine may be experiencing medical conditions related to obesity. Combining alcohol use with phentermine can severely weaken the medication’s weight loss abilities, among other possible adverse consequences. It may also place a person at risk of many severe side effects, including alcohol use disorder and all the physical and emotional complications that come with it.

If you have been prescribed phentermine, you are encouraged to quit drinking. However, if you have attempted to do so and failed, seeking professional help can help determine if you have a drinking problem that needs addressing. Guardian Recovery offers an effective, evidence-based treatment program intended to treat individuals struggling with alcohol use to achieve recovery physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

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What Is Phentermine?

Phentermine (e.g., Adipex-P, Pro-Fast) is a common weight loss medication prescribed by health providers used to help people with obesity lose weight. It’s primarily used for persons who experience health issues related to their condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or are at a higher risk for them. (1) It’s in a category of drugs known as sympathomimetic amines (2), which are used as alternatives to amphetamine. 

Experts aren’t exactly sure how phentermine works in the brain. However, it appears to have several actions, including stimulating the release of the feel-good neurochemicals dopamine and adrenaline by inhibiting their reuptake, which is thought to account for its ability to suppress appetite. (3) When a person’s appetite is suppressed, they tend to eat less. Therefore, individuals can achieve weight loss over time.

Phentermine is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a schedule IV controlled substance (4) and is considered to have a relatively low potential for misuse. It’s typically only prescribed for people with a body mass index (BMI) above 30, indicating clinical obesity. It’s intended for short-term use only.

Risks of Combining Phentermine & Alcohol

Even without drinking alcohol, those who use phentermine can misuse it and put themselves at a higher risk of becoming drug-tolerant and dependent. Phentermine is a stimulant drug that can produce a high, especially when used in excessive doses. If a person takes phentermine more often or longer than recommended, they can develop a substance use disorder. They will then experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, (5) making it more challenging to remain abstinent. (5)


Other risks of combining phentermine and alcohol include severe interactions, amplification of side effects, and reduced effectiveness of phentermine.

Increased Risk of Overdose

Because mixing alcohol and phentermine can increase the harmful effects of each drug, there is also a risk of overdose. As noted, phentermine is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. This makes combining the two substances extremely dangerous, as the brain and body receive mixed messages.

Symptoms of Phentermine & Alcohol Overdose Include:

  • Confusion, anxiety, and panic.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Depression or mood swings.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Weak pulse.
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations.
  • Slowed, labored, or stopped breathing.
  • Seizures.
  • Coma or death.

Emergency medical intervention is vital if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of a phentermine or alcohol overdose. Please call 911 immediately.

Phentermine Side Effects

When taken independently and without alcohol, phentermine has been linked to several physical side effects. (6)

Side Effects of Phentermine Include:

  • Changes in libido.
  • Gastrointestinal issues.
  • Bowel movement issues.
  • Dry mouth.
  • False sense of well-being.
  • Hives and itching.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Tremors and restlessness.
  • Extreme weight loss.

Like alcohol, phentermine can also adversely affect the brain, and some can be perceived as positive. However, as alcohol is a depressant and phentermine is a stimulant, this drug’s psychological effects (7) differ somewhat from alcohol.

Phentermine Effects on the Brain Include:

  • Overstimulation.
  • Headache.
  • Restlessness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Mood changes.
  • Impaired cognition.
  • Psychosis.

Due to competing effects, some may find it tempting to try to offset those of phentermine with alcohol or vice versa—but this can be dangerous. If you try to neutralize a drug’s side effects, this could encourage you to use more of the substances or more often than you would otherwise.

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Side Effects of Combining Alcohol & Phentermine

Patients are typically advised against drinking alcohol while on phentermine. One major reason is that their combined side effects are likely to be more severe than those of either substance used independently. For example, phentermine side effects include dry mouth, nausea, sleep disturbances, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. These effects are not unusual with alcohol misuse (7), and they can be exacerbated when the two substances are used in conjunction.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

The makers of phentermine (KVK Tech) warn that if you consume alcohol with this medication, you may be at an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects, including high blood pressure and chest pains. (8) Also, drinking even in moderation while using phentermine can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in those with heart disease or obesity.

It’s important to remember that phentermine is prescribed explicitly to individuals considered medically obese. Individuals with obesity are already at an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, or strokes. When a person combines phentermine with alcohol, this risk increases dramatically.

Alcohol Inhibiting Weight Loss

There are several ways alcohol can undermine weight loss endeavors. For one, alcoholic drinks can contain a high amount of sugar and empty calories. Drinking also tends to make people tired and less likely to be physically active—both while drinking and the day after from a hangover. Because alcohol use impacts the liver, it may also make it harder for the body to burn fat. (9) Finally, alcohol reduces inhibitions and promotes impulsivity, so a person actively drinking may be more vulnerable to poor dietary choices.

Can Phentermine Be Misused?

Phentermine, like amphetamine, is a stimulant drug that can induce a high, especially when ingested in excessive doses. Therefore, even with a legitimate prescription, those taking phentermine can misuse it. In fact, people with a prior history of alcohol or drug misuse are cautioned not to take phentermine.

Phentermine Misuse Includes:

  • Taking the medication more often or in higher amounts than directed.
  • Using the medication without a prescription.
  • Tampering and administering it in a way it was not intended, such as snorting.
  • Using the medication to get high or induce feelings of euphoria.

Persons who misuse phentermine may be more likely to misuse other potentially intoxicating substances. This is known as polysubstance misuse. When this occurs, these substances may interact adversely, cause unpredictable health complications, and compromise the intended effects of prescription medication.

Substances commonly misused in combination with phentermine products include alcohol, amphetamines, and other stimulants, such as cocaine. This behavior is typically fueled by a person’s desire to experience euphoria, enhance desired effects, or negate the unwanted effects of one or more of the substances involved.

Mixing multiple intoxicating substances is risky and never recommended unless a doctor approves. Persons engaging in polysubstance misuse are encouraged to seek professional treatment as soon as possible. 

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Effective Treatment for Alcohol & Drug Addiction Is Available

If you’ve been misusing phentermine and continuing to drink while on a medicinal regimen, you are urged to consider seeking professional help. Guardian Recovery offers comprehensive, evidence-based therapies and activities designed to treat alcohol and drug addiction and address the underlying factors contributing to their development.

Reach out to us today for a free assessment and no-obligation health benefits check. You can speak to an experienced addiction treatment advisor who can explain your treatment options and help determine what level of care might be appropriate for you. If you’re struggling with alcohol or phentermine misuse, we can help start your recovery journey today.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

(1)(3)(6) https://www.drugs.com/phentermine.html

(2)https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/sympathomimetic-amines

(4) https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/

5) https://www.drugs.com/pro/phentermine.html#ID_54c438f0-dd90-4db7-bb99-474a5d41404d

(7)https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970828000915.htm

(8) https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohols-effects-health/alcohols-effects-body

(9) https://kvktech.com/LomairaPressRelease.pdf

(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3082959/

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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