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Does drinking alcohol increase intracranial pressure? Is it safe for a person with a VP shunt?

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does drinking alcohol increase intracranial pressure and is it safe for a person with a VP shunt to do so?
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 minutes later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding your concern.

There has been no convincing evidence that consumption of alcohol at least on a moderate basis leads to an increase in intracranial pressure. You can consider it safe to drink one or two alcoholic beverages in a single sitting safely. I would not however advocate excessive alcohol consumption or intoxication.

In the setting of intoxication a patient may run the risk of developing nausea or vomiting which can increase intracranial pressure.

In summary, it is safe for a patient to consume a small amount of alcohol in the setting of having a shunt in place without developing increased intracranial pressure.

Thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would to be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
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