It's 7pm now. Throught yesterday I took 40mg of diazepam in 3 pieces, morning, lunch and before bedtime. I heard it's half-life or something is pretty long, like 100-200 hours or something, but it's effects only around 8 hours. I was planning to drink tonight and want to know if it's safe. I know mixing benzos and alcohol is bad, but does that apply to the effects time or the time it's completely out of your system(the half-life thingy). Right now it's been about 20hours after I took 15mg of diazepam. I'm not on a diazepam long-term cure or anything, It was just one day trying it.
How long after diazepam can I drink alcohol?
Question posted by whatkilledthecat on 18 Oct 2014
Last updated on 21 November 2019 by JohnRedmond
The half-life has little to do with the interaction between ethanol and diazepam. The risk of a potentially fatal interaction arises if both are taken simultaneously and in large doses, meaning that both the benzodiazepine and the ethanol will be attaching themselves to your gamma aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain concomitantly, thus multiplying the depressant effect. Diazepam, as well as ethanol, will remain in your system long after they have detached from your GABA receptors, though the risk of dramatic interactions beyond this point is virtually zero. The fact that diazepam is still in your plasma, urine or saliva, has absolutely nothing to do with possible CNS interactions. It is impossible to say how long the benzodiazepine will be working on your brain, but as a rule of thumb, 24 hours after your last dose, it should be completely safe to drink alcohol.
Please have in mind that you will be able to feel tell-tale symptoms of drug interaction, long before you drop to the ground, so don't go out fearing that one beer will cause respiratory failure, it doesn't work like that. Cheers!
I take Valium for hangovers, and sometimes I take Valium the day before I drink. Everyone is different, but never drink like a Rock Star the day after you take Valium or any other drug that works with the receptors in your brain, lol. A few beers are okay if you're a male. Cut that in half for a woman. But wait at least 72 hours before you try to emulate a rock Star.
The main issue with alcohol and benzo's is the intensification of the drugs effects. Consuming alcohol while not taking a benzodiazapine is 'ok' but if you consume while taking the Valium you can expect excessive sedation, depressed heart and lung function and possibly death (in larger doses and higher alcohol consumption). But back to your direct question... as long as you are not taking the Valium on the day you consume alcohol, there should be no dramatic interactions... just don't overconsume alcohol because the half life (the amount of time for the dosage of the valium to be cut in half) is 20-80 hours. So if you take a Valium..say, on Friday morning and you go have some drinks on a Saturday night, you will still have the medication in your system. Not as strong as when you first took it, but the residual... meaning, watch your alcohol intake and be responsible.
Because you aren't used to this medication it is unknown how you will react to drinking alcohol so soon after taking Diazepam. To be safe i would follow Kaismama's guidelines, and not drink too soon. It isn't worth the risk. You could be fine, but no one knows that?
The half life is 30 hrs. This means in 30hrs you will still have half the dose in your body. In 30 more hours you will have a quarter of it, etc. It takes 150 hrs for it to be out of your body. I would not mix alcohol with it. I've seen people stop breathing doing that. It sounds like you need to see your dr, since you're self medicating.
- Diazepam uses and safety info
- Diazepam information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Diazepam (detailed)
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.