alcohol and the pacemaker

Hello all....does anyone have any thoughts about drinking alcohol and having a pacemaker...?


chrs Dave



Drinking alcohol with a pacemaker

by Gemita - 2020-09-29 05:23:21

Hello Dave,

The main concern with drinking alcohol is whether it is safe for us to do so?  While alcohol may not directly harm the pacemaker, even small amounts could adversely affect us depending on our heart condition being treated.

Firstly we may be on medication to treat a heart condition where alcohol may not be recommended or where alcohol could seriously interact with any meds we are taking and many common meds for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, anticoagulation, anti depressants, pain meds and others will be in this category.  In some cases this could be dangerous.  I would also be concerned about the actual heart condition being treated since in some cases alcohol may worsen any symptoms that we are getting.  

Alcohol may slow us down, especially the elderly leading to instability and falls.  For me personally even a small glass of wine will most definitely trigger my arrhythmias leading to dizziness, chest pain and breathlessness so I have had to stop taking a glass of wine with my main meal.  A small price to pay for a quiet heart.

Alcohol, even small amounts can be very dehydrating and may increase heart rate and blood pressure.  It may not be safe with your medication or heart condition being treated, so I would speak to your doctors to ask whether it is safe for you to drink alcohol and how much you can safely drink a day?  Heavy drinking at any time is definitely not recommended even with perfect health.

I wish you well.

On the other hand...........

by IAN MC - 2020-09-29 08:12:37

.......many of us with pacemakers carry on with our normal drinking habits post-pacemaker .with absolutely no problems . I am one of them !

I believe that a decent glass of wine , or beer , or malt whisky  ( or 2 ) increases my quality of life considerably and we must never forget that "life is for living ".

Gemita rightly draws our attention to possible drawbacks but you MUST  keep these in perspective.

It is important to distinguish which alcohol / drug interactions  are clinically significant and which aren't .  I believe that the majority aren't.

You would be crazy to drive if your drug/ alcohol combination makes you drowsy . You would be crazy to increase your  bleeding risk with haphazard high  alcohol consumption if you take warfarin.

........ but I follow the research studies which suggest that moderate alcohol consumption can be good for your heart !!!

Seriously do your own research because we all have different medical conditions and totally different prescribed drugs.




by Selwyn - 2020-09-29 08:57:28

Why would alcohol affect a mechanical device?

There is absolutely no need to change your safe drinking habits.

Of course alcohol is associated with many problems from accidents to arrhythmias, from drug interactions to dometic violence. Alcohol cardiomyopathy is a killer. 

Some say that drinking a little alcohol may lead to an  increase  in life expectancy ( ) . Perhaps, as Ian says, this relates to feeling better? The medics choice is red wine ( !



by Tracey_E - 2020-09-29 11:37:12

My primary told me to drink as little as possible, it's bad for my liver. My ep told me a glass of red a day is good for my heart. All things in moderation, assuming it's not contraindicated with any meds you are on or other conditions you have. The pacer is metal, it doesn't care. 


by AgentX86 - 2020-09-29 14:47:39

You're probably better off without alcohol but has nothing to do with your pacemaker. If you're taking an anticoagulant, alcohol is not a good idea at all. Alcohol "thins" the blood significantly (can be more than warfarin alone). The two together risks hemorrhagic stroke. One likely isn't going to hurt and some say is beneficial. From there it goes down quickly.

I'm the first one depends on rhe reasons you have a pacemaker an in your overall health. When in doubt, ask your doctors.

How you know when you've drunk too much !

by IAN MC - 2020-09-30 08:30:58

Dave , ( alias BLOWHARD )    I see from your bio that you play the bagpipes

In the UK , bagpipes  are sometimes known as the " Scottish Breathalyser ".   Apparently you just blow into the pipe and if you like the sound it makes then you've had too much to drink !



alcohol and the pacemaker

by blowhard - 2020-09-30 18:51:59

Thankyou all for your comments...all of good value...!!

It is totally fine

by Taliepm - 2020-10-15 04:21:16

It is totally fine to drink alcohol as you normally would without a pacemaker, so long as you do not drink alcohol during your imidiate healing time after your operation. I have had many pacemakers implanted since I was born, since turning 21 my cardiologist has assured me that it is fine to drink alcohol. 

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