Moderate social drinking slightly affects the serum levels of phenobarbital, but no changes in the control of epilepsy seem to occur. Alcohol and the barbiturates are CNS depressants, which together can have additive and possibly even synergistic effects. Activities requiring alertness and good co-ordination, such as driving a car or handling other potentially dangerous machinery, can be made more difficult and more hazardous. Alcohol may also continue to interact the next day if the barbiturate has hangover effects.
Patients should be warned that their usual response to alcohol may be greater than expected, and their ability to drive a car, or carry out any other tasks requiring alertness, may be impaired.
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