How safe is it for an Alzheimer's patient to drink Wine?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 30, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

how safe is it for an Alzheimer's patient to drink wine-does this cause a problem with the medication. also is it safe to for an Alzheimer's patient to take vitamin B12, B6-as well as other vitamins. do certain foods cause disruption in their life.


Expert Answers

Beth Reardon, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., is Caring.com senior food and nutrition editor and the director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet. As a practitioner of integrative nutrition, Reardon takes a holistic approach to wellness, recognizing that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with a health-promoting diet.

When taking any kind of medication it is important to read the label and check to see not only if it should be taken with food or on an empty stomach, but if other medications or drugs, including alcohol, interfere with its action. Given the depressant effect on the brain and nervous system there is a good chance that alcohol may interfere with the medication. I would exercise caution and recommend that you also take into consideration the mental status of the patient and stabilty of their condition. I do not see the supplements as being a problem. B vitamins are best taken as a combined supplement unless higher doses are recommended by your physician due to a deficiency. B6 is one vitamin that if taken in excess can be harmful. I would recommend staying below 50 mg of B6 unless otherwise advised. Everything that we eat and drink has the potential to interact with something else. Medications and supplements for that matter travel through the digestive system in much the same way as food. So, when a drug is combined with food or certain supplements, each can alter the way the body metabolizes the other. Yours is an important question for safety concerns, but also with regards to the wine, it is a quality of life issue. I would encourage you to have this conversation with the physician that is prescribing your medication.

BestWishes, Beth


Community Answers

Deel answered...

I like that "quality of life' issue she referred to. My husband had AD diagnosed in 2008 but must have it 10 years ago. We both drink beer and wine, and since diagnoses and with his medications and all kinds of OTC things he takes, I, as primary caregiver make sure he drinks cold beer even at noon time when he is so hot after raking leaves and washing our windows. And then having a cup of wine in the evening is just fantastic for him...Yes, I know about this chemical interactions in the system of drugs and food, but we don't want to be hostage of these unknown fears! Ask a doctor if unsure. Meanwhile, enjoy!