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Why can't I drink?

Steve Dyer dyer at spdcc.com
Tue Nov 2 00:24:04 EST 1993

In article <CFu5z4.1xp at world.std.com> odin at world.std.com (Hank Roth) writes:
>Since I was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia and have been 
>taking tegretol I can't drink very much without getting drunk. My 
>wife thinks I'm an alcoholic and I'm not. I drink in moderation, 
>but I do drink. Yesterday, while socializing with friends,  I had 
>two screwdrivers and a martini and passed out [NOT falling down 
>drunk but drunk nevertheless and by early evening I was 
>unconscious until early the next morning].  Before going on 
>tegretol I could have had twice that to drink and just felt good. 
>So what is going on? 
The drug has significant sedative effects, especially initially,
which are at least additive to those of alcohol.  This is not
surprising at all.  Ideally, you wouldn't drink at all while
on the drug.

>The tegretol also affects my speech and I forget things. The 
>other day I forgot which side of the road to drive on. One day I 
>couldn't remember my wife's name for a few minutes [and we've 
>been married 37 years]. 

You should tell your doctor about this.  It might be a sign of
excessively high blood levels that may require an adjustment of
your daily dose.  (You weren't also drinking at the time, were
you? :-)/2 )  I would also be wary about driving until your
reactions to the drug have settled down.  Periods of confusion
aren't uncommon when you start the drug, but they have to be
managed with your doctor's participation.

>If I don't take the medication I get the attacks. I tried to stop 
>taking it last week and skipped it in the morning and at noon and 
>by evening I had the first 1 minute [very painful] attack since I 
>went on the medication---so obviously I can't stop taking it. 

So stop drinking so much.

That'll be $75, please. :-)

Steve Dyer
dyer at ursa-major.spdcc.com

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