Rheumatoid Arthritis And Alcohol

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Alcohol

In Sweden, it was just Midsummer and this usually results in some celebrations times which includes family and friends, a ton of food but also alcohol. How would your Rheumatoid Arthritis get affected by the alcohol and will it affect your treatment?

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Alcohol Consumption

If your drinking is only low to moderate than alcohol might actually be good for you and the reason is that alcohol might lower your cytokines levels, this is what causes inflammation.

However, if you drink more than this it might have the opposite affect and instead of lowering your inflammation it might actually increase it.

If you are on treatment for your Rheumatoid arthritis it is also important to remember that your treatment might cause a bit of overload on your liver and than adding extra weight due to drinking might not be a good plan. A bit further down I will go through a list of the most common Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments and how that treatment might react with alcohol.

How Does Alcohol Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you drink moderately than you might not really notice much a symptom from drinking, like I stated above, it might actually have a positive affect on your R.A.

When you drink too much or perhaps just to often you might get more pain and discomfort than you had before. More stiffness and more pain is common and an overall tiredness can occur making you feel very unmotivated and sometimes depressed. Please read more about the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis here.

Alcohol might also affect your liver which in it´s turn might affect your treatment.

Can Alchohol Affect My Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis medication and alcohol might not go hand in hand, it might actually cause you more harm than good to mix these two together more often than not, as it can lead to serious damage such as stomach bleeding and also damage to your liver.

What Is Liver Toxicity

Liver toxicity is what an inflammation of the liver is called when it is caused by certain substances such as alcohol or other drugs.

Symptoms Of Liver Toxicity

This basically means that your liver gets damaged and the symptoms of this can be:
Skin and Eyes go yellow
Nausea and also vomiting
No appetite
Abdominal Pain
Dark colored urine.

How Will My Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication React With Alcohol

Alcohol And Methotrexate

When you are one a treatment with Methotrexate you should definitely limit your intake of alcohol as it can cause liver toxicity. Some doctors even suggest no more than 4 drinks per year and that on different occasions.

Alcohol And Humira

With Humira the risk of increased symptoms is something to be concerned about and, as stated above, liver toxicity as well.

Humira is however considered relatively safe but there has also not been a lot of research done on this subject yet.

Since Humira is a biological medication it might impair your immune function and in a combination with alcohol certain side effects might become more prevalent.

Some side effects from Humira can be:
Warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
Extreme fatigue
Diarrhea or stomach pain
Burning when you urinate or increased frequency of urination
Shortness of breath
Fever or chills
Weight loss
Muscle aches

Alcohol And Cortisone

If you are on a cortisone treatment and you are having a glass of wine a day, or other alcoholic beverage, you are increasing your risk of getting diabetes type II under longer treatments with Cortisone. If you are on longer treatments with this medication you should limit your alcohol intake.

Since Cortisone does suppress your immune system which also alcohol does, you are increasing your risk of getting ill.

(This goes with all the medications mentioned).

The combination of alcohol and cortisone might also increase your risk of developing stomach issues such as ulcers.

Cortisone and alcohol might also increase your risk of getting brittle bones.

Alcohol And Enbrel

If you are only on Enbrel there might not be an issue with some alcohol use other than that there might be a bigger load on your liver. This does however not mean that you should drink excessively. As well as with Humira and Cortisone, it might make you catch illnesses a bit more easy if you do drink and are on this type of treatment. If you do get sick whilst on these than you recommended to stop your treatment until you are well, because they are immune suppressants.

Alcohol And Plaquenil

There are no real dangers to be aware of other than that of liver toxicity. Due to the fact that you take these medications on a regular basis than alcohol should be limited to avoid any damage being done to your liver.


You can still drink if you are on treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis but it is important to do so in moderation. As the medication does put quite a strain on your liver and alcohol would only add more pressure on your liver. Alcohol also lowers your immune system and if your immune system is already low because of treatment you will be more susceptible for illnesses etc. From time to time it will be alright but please try to avoid drinking on a regular basis. Or you might end up needing a liver detox or far worse a new liver.

Thank you for reading I hope that you enjoyed this article. Please drop a comment or a question below and I will get back to you.

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