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Ethanol all dosage forms

What is ethanol?

ETHANOL or ETHYL ALCOHOL slows the activity of the brain. Ethanol is the alcohol contained in beer, wine, and other alcoholic drinks. It has been available since earliest recorded human history. Abuse of alcohol causes illness, injury and possibly death. As a medicine, ethanol can treat methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning, or help manage withdrawal from alcohol intoxication. Alcohol is an excellent solvent for other medicines for use in liquid drug products such as cough syrups, vitamin tonics and others. Generic ethanol is available and can be given by mouth or by injection.

What should my health care professional know before I use ethanol?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • an alcohol abuse problem

  • diabetes

  • gout

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to ethanol

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Ethanol is taken by mouth or given by injection into a vein. It is given by a health-care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What drug(s) may interact with ethanol?

  • amprenavir

  • barbiturate medicines for inducing sleep or treating seizures (convulsions)

  • cefamandole

  • cefoperazone

  • cefotetan

  • disulfiram

  • glutethimide

  • medicines for anxiety or sleeping problems, such as diazepam or temazepam

  • medicines for diabetes

  • medicines for hay fever and other allergies

  • medicines for high blood pressure

  • medicines for mental depression

  • medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances

  • medicines for pain

  • medicines for Parkinson's disease

  • medicines for stomach ulcers

  • metronidazole

  • phenytoin

  • warfarin

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What should I watch for while taking ethanol?

Short-term (even one time) consumption of large amounts of ethanol can result in serious or life-threatening alcohol intoxication. Alcohol intoxication progresses through several stages, depending on the amount of ethanol consumed. These include: 1) euphoria or a "high" feeling, with increased sociability and reduced attention and control; 2) excitement, with emotional instability and decreases in perception, memory, reasoning, and motor coordination; 3) sedation (drowsiness) and confusion; 4) stupor (inability to walk or stand), progressing to loss of consciousness; 5) coma including loss of consciousness, decreased body temperature, and slowed circulation and breathing; and 6) death.

Long-term ethanol use causes many serious problems including: addiction, alcohol cravings or uncontrollable drinking. Discontinuation of alcohol in an alcohol-dependent person can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms.

Ethanol may be hidden in many products including cough syrups, liquid pain medications, tonics, mouthwash, aftershave lotions, colognes, linaments, vinegars, or sauces. Read labels carefully.

Ethanol can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness.

What side effects may I notice from using ethanol?

Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • anxiety

  • black, tarry stools

  • difficutly breathing or shallow breathing

  • hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that are not really there)

  • movement difficulties

  • rapid heartbeat

  • seizures (convulsions)

  • stomach pain

  • sweating

  • trembling (delirium tremens or "DTs")

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • drowsiness

  • loss of mental alertness

  • nausea/vomiting

  • stomach upset

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F); do not freeze. Keep container tightly closed.