Managing medications can be difficult. There is much to think about. One may not think of how his or her medication might interact with his or her diet or other medications. The consequences of mistakes can range from the medicine not working as well to mortalities. Below are some common drug interaction pitfalls to avoid.
• Over-the-counter medications: As the name implies, one does not need a doctor’s prescription to take these. However, just because they are easy to acquire, does not mean they can’t be dangerous. Before trying any over-the-counter medication, consult a doctor or pharmacist about any potential interactions with other prescribed medicines.
• Grapefruit: Grapefruit is a great source of vitamin C. The downside is that grapefruit can have bad interactions with a variety of medications. This extends to other citrus fruits such as oranges. Small quantities may be ok, but it’s best to check that with one’s doctor first.
• Greens: Greens can interfere with the blood-thinning effects of warfarin. It’s possible to safely eat greens while taking warfarin, but one should check with his or her doctor to plan accordingly.
• Antibiotics and foods: Some antibiotics work best when taken with food; others do not. Be sure to check the instructions to see which way is correct. Call your prescriber if questions remain.
These are some of the more common medication interaction mistakes, but far from a complete list. Be sure to study the instructions that come with your meds and to discuss medication interactions with your prescriber.
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