It's been 10 days since my last post. And do you know what I've been doing in those last 10 days? Well, the answer isn't drinking, that's for sure.
No, that little avenue of pleasure was closed off to me by my surgeon. I went to see him six weeks or so after my recent procedure, where he checked my sinuses and promptly informed me I had picked up an infection. With that, he prescribed some antibiotics.
I didn't think much of it until later that evening when I went to fat-neck some homebrew. I thought it prudent to check the leaflet in the box, and there it was. Not the usual 'Avoid alcohol'. I always found that statement to be a little obscure. With that sort of caveat I'd just limit my consumption. No, this time the leaflet was a bit more concise - 'do not drink alcohol'. Little margin for error in that one.
So I played by the rule book and surprised myself by sticking out the ten days. Okay, so I may have had a few samples of my own beer out of the fermenter and suchlike, but that's just quality control, not actual drinking.
Then a friend of mine, who's in a position to know a great deal about these things, suggested I was being a muppet, and of course I could drink. Apparently there are no weird and wonderful problems in taking doxycycline and alcohol together but "plasma levels of doxycycline are reduced by the ingestion of alcohol or the administration of barbiturates, anticonvulsants (phenytoin, carbamazepine), disodium hydrogen edetate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium lactate, acetazolamide and ethoxzolamide" so there's the possibility of a reduction in effect, but in all likelihood, the effect would be pretty small unless I had a skinful.
I wish I had known, as the ten days included a fourtieth birthday party, for the duration of which I quietly sipped on tonic water.
It also goes to show you can't trust the mighty Wikipedia that states; "Doxycycline can have hazardous effects on health when mixed with various types of alcohol, and even when mixed with other pills. There have been reports of convulsing, rectal bleeding, and even death. There have even been kidney, visual, and aural failures"
The death bit would have worried me a little.