Binge drinking affects male and female brains differently

Gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction is affected differently by repeated binge drinking in males and females, finds a new study published today in Frontiers in Genetics. It reveals for the first time that genes associated with hormone signaling and immune function are affected by repeated binge drinking in female mice, whereas genes associated with nerve signaling are affected in males. These findings have significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder as they emphasize the importance of tailoring effective therapies towards male and female patients.

“We show that repeated binge drinking significantly alters molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain linked to addiction. A comparison of activated pathways reveals different responses in each sex, similar to that reported in recent research on male and female mice tested during the withdrawal phase following chronic alcohol intoxication,” says Deborah Finn, a Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University and a Research Pharmacologist at the VA Portland Health Care System, USA.

She continues, “These findings are important as they increase our understanding of male and female differences in molecular pathways and networks that can be influenced by repeated binge drinking. This knowledge can help us identify and develop new targeted treatments for alcohol use disorder in males and female patients.”

Full story at Science Daily

Is it safe to mix acetaminophen and alcohol?

Mixing acetaminophen and alcohol is not always safe. But what are the risks, and when is it dangerous?

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol or Tylenol, is a drug that people use to treat mild-to-moderate pain and fever.

In combination with alcohol, acetaminophen can cause side effects or severely damage the liver. This can also be the case when people who drink alcohol regularly take too much of this medication.

Full story at Medical News Today

What are the recommendations for alcohol consumption while breast-feeding?

Moderate alcohol consumption is safe for mothers breast-feeding their infants. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as about one drink per day. At this level, research shows there are no known harmful effects to the infant. However, more than one drink per day is not recommended.

Of course, not drinking alcohol while breast-feeding is the safest option. Avoiding alcohol while nursing will prevent any exposure to alcohol in your infant. It’s also the best way to prevent possible drinking-related nursing issues, including reduced milk production.

While it is safe to nurse and drink in moderation, it’s important to understand how long alcohol is present in your breast milk after you drink and what you can do if you want to avoid sharing any alcohol with your infant.

Full story at Medical News Today

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?

Lexapro is the brand name of a drug called escitalopram, which doctors prescribe to treat depression and anxiety. Medical practitioners consider Lexapro to be safe and effective for these conditions. However, they do not recommend that people drink alcohol while taking Lexapro.

Lexapro belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin is a chemical messenger or neurotransmitter that affects mood. SSRIs help to restore the natural balance of serotonin in the brain.

Doctors consider SSRIs to be one of the safest types of antidepressants. However, some people taking Lexapro may experience one or more of the following side effects:

Full story at Medical News Today

What to know about birth control and alcohol

Alcohol can directly affect many medications, but birth control is not one of them. A person can drink alcohol without worrying that it may reduce the effectiveness of their birth control pill.

However, drinking too much alcohol can indirectly lower the effectiveness of birth control. Alcohol affects judgment, which in turn can lead to risky sexual behavior. It can also affect a person’s ability to use birth control correctly.

In this article, we discuss the risks of drinking alcohol while taking birth control pills.

Full story at Medical News Today