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Life Sci. 1999 Oct 29;65(23):2505-12.

Mechanism of the aspirin-induced rise in blood alcohol levels.

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Alcohol Research and Treatment Center, Bronx Veterans Affair Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York 10468, USA.


Aspirin increases blood alcohol levels after post-prandial alcohol consumption in men. This was attributed to a decrease in first pass metabolism secondary to inhibition of gastric alcohol dehydrogenase. Since accelerated gastric emptying, decreased volume of distribution or delayed elimination could also result in higher blood alcohol levels, we investigated the effect of aspirin (1 g taken with a meal) on these parameters. Aspirin did not change the volume of ethanol distribution or the rate of its elimination. Moreover, it did not have a significant effect on gastric emptying. The half-time of 99Tc-DTPA loss was 65.5+/-5.4 minutes without and 71.3+/-6.5, with aspirin. Despite a trend for slower gastric emptying with aspirin, the alcohol bioavailability increased and was associated with a 39% decrease in the first pass metabolism of alcohol (from 106+/-4 to 65+/-19 mg/kg, p<0.05), consistent with the inhibition of gastric ADH activity. In keeping with this interpretation, the effect of aspirin was virtually absent in women, who have a much smaller first pass metabolism available for inhibition by aspirin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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