Alcohol after stoke

I was never a big drinker but since my stroke I haven’t tried alcohol. I am nervous of the effects it might have.

Any thoughts please?


I am tee total so not the best to advise but I would imagine in small quantities it would be ok. If unsure ask your GP.

Hi. I also am tee total. I would be afraid with my medication to have any alcohol.Lilian

@Gbucktrout, I wasn’t a big drinker before my stroke but did enjoy wine & gin (not together). I was a little nervous about mixing alcohol with the medication but after a few months I had a few small glasses. My taste had been affected by the partial numbness in my mouth and now don’t enjoy red wine so much. However, I’ve been enjoying sharing a bottle of white with my wife most weekends and haven’t noticed any problems.
I would think as long as in moderation it probably can’t hurt (although always a good idea to check with your GP if unsure). I felt that I enjoyed it before surely I don’t have to give up all life’s little pleasures.

I do have a drink sometimes. There are some things I take into consideration:

  • Start with a small amount and see how I am affected

  • Always check my medication instructions for advice on alcohol

  • I check the ABV rating of the drink

Also if I am in my regular pub I do let people know of my situation so that they can give appropriate help should I ever need it. Fortunately my self moderation has kept me safe.

I didn’t drink for two years. I gave up wine, but now have one reasonable nightcap of brandy or single malt.

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@Gbucktrout, I do like a tipple. I make my own wine and cider too, which makes me my own worst advocate. I think checking medication interaction is most important, many medications lose their efficacy when combined with alcohol, some have unpleasant side-effects or potential complications. The stroke I had was trauma based, so I don’t have any vices I necessarily have to avoid, and to be honest I have had a few tipsy celebratory nights (New Year/Christmas) post-stroke. However, hangovers post-stroke are abominable.

I find that a glass of wine an evening, or a stout makes me feel better about life in general, it’s a comfort thing for me. I also like a nightcap, 60ml of brandy. Unfortunately, my symptoms are like being drunk without the pleasurable indifference that comes with drunkenness, so if I have a few glasses of wine or a couple of stouts, I pretty much feel the same as I do when I wake up in the morning but feel a lot more relaxed.

I think it is very much a personal decision based on the stroke, some palates change after stroke and alcohol becomes detestable or just not inviting. Alcohol may make some people more anxious, others it will help relax. For me, it is a reward at the end of the day, sitting down on my chair, having a glass of wine with my feet up. When I am having a bad day, sometimes that little carrot at the end of the stick makes whatever I am doing easier. The effects of the alcohol don’t conflict with my stroke symptoms, but every stroke is different.

At the end of the day, my decision to continue enjoying a drop was based on having had a stroke. I realised that life was so fleeting and precarious, I would be damned if I was going to give up doing the things that brang me pleasure, within reason of course, because I felt that everything could potentially cease at any time, and almost did. One shouldn’t compare oneself to anyone else, but I do admire my father. At eighty-five he still brews his own beer and enjoys a few bottles of wine a week. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder, starving myself of pleasures, and consuming things I neither enjoy or can tolerate. I have friends like that who have been riddled with all sorts of serious complaints. I think life is to be lived, if having a bevvy is part of that routine, there’s no reason, unless advised, to not. Feeling good is good for the brain and body, it decreases stress which helps the body and mind bloom (for lack of a better word), so whether your poison is tea, coffee, booze or Horlicks, depriving yourself of that may make one miserable and that’s not healthy either, but it is very subjective.

My advice would be, if you can take it or leave it, and potentially taking it may make you nervous, I would probably just leave it, or if you have enjoyed a tipple in the past, and would like to continue in some way, try something low-alcohol, see how that makes you feel, and base your conclusion on that. But yes, check medication conflicts first, that’s important.


Before my stroke I could drink 2 glasses of wine at night, but I really felt it. I had no interest in alcohol after my stroke, as I felt so crummy and the doc was trying different meds on me, which took away my appetite as well. But, after I sort of “normalized”-maybe 6 months or so I began to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening before supper. I mixed it with plain soda water to dilute it so it tasted a little like champagne and wasn’t so strong. I"d have 2 or 3 of those throughout the evening==equaling 1 glass of wine. I can’t drink more alcohol than equivalent of 1 glass of wine since my stroke, since I always sort of feel as though I’ve already had a glass before I start. :grin: I don’t want to feel too loopy, just relaxed. My doctor said “no problem”. :heart: :heart:Jeanne

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Morning @Gbucktrout. As others have said check your medication interactions and only then proceed cautiously. I love a drink and will not stop myself doing any pleasure giving activity as life clearly is too short. That said I do have to limit myself to one or two a night as it affects by balance and coordination but I can live with that. When I first came out of hospital I had lost 2 stone and alot of strength and actually viewed my can of Guinness as medicine! Find out what works for you. Good luck, Julia

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I have an occasional glass of white wine with my evening meal or if we are out for a meal at lunch time but find it can make my tinnitus increase. My husband drinks Peroni zero alcohol lager which you might like. It’s a good alternative to an alcoholic drink.

Before the stroke I used to regularly brew my own beer. It requires a certain amount of strength to lift and move the liquids involved. At first I thought my brewing days were over but maybe I will regain sufficient strength to get back at it.
Of course there’s also the alcohol question but my attitude has always been aimed at quality rather than quantity. An occasional pint with a nice meal has always been enough for me.

Cheers and strive to keep smiling, Bob. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

@mum2two I was interested to read how alcohol affects your tinnitus. I’d never realised it could do that. I’m not a drinker but worth knowing if I did have a drink that I shouldn’t be surprised if my tinnitus is worse.
Best wishes


After my stroke my sense of taste changed and wine tasted like vinegar. I had the odd glass of cider if I was at the pub. Eight years later I find that rose wine is now palatable but whites and reds still quite sharp. I drink in moderation though because alcohol affects my walking and also affects my sleep.

Me too and my doctor has said to me about drinking Christmas I couldn’t have one it was horrible

My doctor said that I could drink in moderation but to be careful about my balance and she is right - I enjoy a glass of wine or cider with our evening meal occasionally but would never drink outside the home for fear of a fall. I am also now wary of carbonated drinks as my digestion wasn’t what it was, so if I have a fizzy cider I tend to let it go flat first

Hi @Gbucktrout - I have always enjoyed a glass of wine but didn’t have an alcoholic drink for several months after my stroke. No one told me not to, I just didn’t feel like it. One day I started to feel like having a glass of wine, tried one and enjoyed it again. I think you’ll know when it’s the right time and, as other people have said, take it slowly.

Having said that, alcohol is a risk factor for having a stroke and recently my GP reminded me of that when I confessed to having one glass of wine on maybe five days a week. I don’t think that my drinking is excessive (although I know medics always assume you’ve underreported alcohol consumption) but I’ve cut it down to four days a week. I’m not yet ready to entirely give up the pleasure of a glass of red!

For many years, in fact till I was 21 I was teetotal and then changed to a fairly constant drinker and at times a heavy one. I am mainly a social drinker so If it is not around I can live without it. Nowadays since the stroke a single whisky drowned in a large glass with Sprite lemonade once a day before tea makes life really tolerable!


I hear you, Deigh!. :slightly_smiling_face:

Morning @Deigh. In our house we have beer o’clock but whiskey and sprite o’clock has a certain ring to it!:grin:Julia

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@Gbucktrout since you started this thread have you had any more thoughts on the subject?