Know the Potential Reactions Before Taking New Medicine
Anytime multiple medications are being taken, the chance for deadly drug-to-drug interactions is a very real possibility. One example is the combination of aspirin and blood thinners. Aspirin can interfere with the blood thinners, resulting in a heart attack. All interactions should be closely monitored. There are several steps people can take to prevent negative interactions. Thinking of what, when why and who will help with safety.
Drug-to-drug interactions are the result of medications affecting the way another medication performs. The negative interactions can also include a change in side effects. The interactions can result in medication being absorbed slower or quicker than normal, compromising its effectiveness. One medication may even dominate or cancel out another.
Interactions can occur at any moment. Most interactions are likely to occur when starting or stopping a new medication. Changing the dosage of a medication can also cause potential negative interactions. Taking multiple medications for the same issue can cause the dosage to become too strong. Resulting in severe side effects or new medical complications.
Medications are made up of elements, natural products, and medical drugs. Not all elements mix peacefully and some reactions can be violent with deadly consequences. Reactions are dependent on both the medication and genetic makeup of the individual.
Every person is at risk for drug-to-drug interactions. Young children and older adults are more at risk due to developing and fragile immune systems. It is important to note that just because one person has a reaction, does not mean the next person will. Not all interactions affect everyone equally.
1. Do Research
Research the medications. Read reviews. The more knowledge the better equipped the patient will be. There is a reason medical professionals advise against specific medication combinations, and the advice should be followed. But it also can’t hurt to deepen the knowledge as to why the combinations are not advised or prescribed.
Using an online drug interaction tracker can help patients stay safe. A few popular ones are listed below:
2. Communicate and ask questions
People are expected to have questions about a new medication. Communicate with medical professionals about pre-existing medical conditions and all current medications. If the doctor doesn’t know, the doctor can’t help effectively. Be honest about caffeine, alcohol, and drug use. Doctors and staff are not there to judge.
3. Do not take another person’s medication
Even if a medicine is said to have a specific outcome like less anxiety or a decrease in allergy symptoms, if the prescription is for someone else, avoid taking the medication. There could be unexpected side effects or severe reactions. Medicine combinations can be very tricky and are best left up to medical professionals.
4. Read the labels
Always follow all directions on prescription bottles including dosage, timing, and potential food and drug interactions. Failure to follow proper directions can result in the illness or ailment going dormant instead of being cured. Medicine combinations are carefully planned and failure to follow directions can result in serious health related consequences.
5. Consolidate prescriptions to one pharmacy
The staff and pharmacist will have first hand knowledge of any potential reactions and be able to provide sound advice. Additionally, having all prescriptions at one location will allow the staff to become familiar with the patient.
6. No mixing
Don’t mix meds with homeopathic supplements or remedies without consulting a physician. The FDA regulates and publishes safety regulations surrounding medications, food, and cosmetics. Homeopathic remedies and medical remedies may work separately from one another, but in combination may prove dangerous. Always consult with a medical professional if the desire is to have homeopathic remedies as part of the treatment plan.
Drug interactions can be deadly
Drug-to-drug interactions can quickly escalate from mild to deadly, and should be closely monitored by medical professionals. Both the young and elderly are most at risk for due to more fragile immune systems. The best ways to prevent these deadly interactions starts with open communicate and research. Stick to the prescription plan. Don’t take another person’s medication. Always follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Be careful mixing medications with homeopathic remedies. And when possible, consolidate to one pharmacy.