A drug interaction is a situation in which a substance (usually another drug) affects the working of a prescription drug. The effect of mixing drugs, supplements, or alcohol can be very dangerous. It can also decrease the effectiveness of medication.
What can affect the effectiveness of your medicine?
Your age, sex, body weight, health conditions, the dose of the medicine, vitamins, and dietary supplements can affect a medicine’s effectiveness. Make sure to read the medicine label properly to avoid possible drug interactions every time a medicine is used.
Possible Drug Interactions
You can reduce the risk of drug interactions by using common sense and asking your doctor or pharmacist. Make sure to read the OTC drug label carefully to avoid disasters. Here is the list of mistakes that lead to medication errors and practical ways to minimize the risks:
Drug and Drug Interaction
1. Mixing antidepressants and methadone can be very dangerous. Each drug increases the sedative effect of the other drug.
2. Mixing supplements and painkillers can cause a problem, as it is unknown what these supplements contain, since they’re not approved by FDA organization.
3. Antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of various oral contraceptive pills. Use some other birth control method, if you’re on contraceptive pills and require an antibiotic too.
4. If you have high blood pressure and you’re on medication to control the pressure then don’t take decongestants without consulting with your doctor.
Drug and Alcohol Interaction
1. Antianxiety medicines such as Xanax & valium and many prescription drugs can have an additive effect when mixed with alcohol.
2. Don’t mix cold and cough medications consisting of antihistamines with alcohol to avoid its sedative effects.
3. People taking narcotic pain medication should also be careful. Alcohol can increase sedative effect of your painkiller.
4. Be careful while taking antibiotics as alcohol and antibiotic interaction can lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, flushing and stomach pain, etc.
Drugs and Food Interaction
1. People taking medications for blood thinning such as warfarin should avoid eating too much of green leafy vegetables. These drugs interfere with vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. Intake of too much of green leafy vegetables can decrease the ability of blood-thinners to prevent blood clotting.
2. You also must avoid mixing grapefruit juice with your medication, as grapefruit has the ability to interact with many medications. It decreases the effectiveness of drugs. Various medications that get effected due to grape fruit interactions are birth control pills, blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, stomach acid-blocking drugs, and the cough suppressants. So it’s best to avoid or reduce intake of grapefruit juice when taking these medications.