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Guarding Against Dangerous Drug Interactions

Some of the best ways you can guard against dangerous drug interactions include the following: 

Always make sure your doctor is aware of the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are currently taking, and have your doctor check for whether these drugs interact in a way that is detrimental to your health.  It is best that they consult drug reference books or computer reference programs before you leave the office. 

Always have your medications filled at the same pharmacy, ideally one that keeps computerized information of all of your medications, and can focus on any possible drug interactions.  Also, always tell your pharmacist about all of the over-the-counter drugs that you are currently taking. 

Make a list of the key questions to ask your physician. When your doctor prescribes a new medication donít just assume that he and your pharmacist are aware of all the drug interactions, or even if they are, that they will remember to tell you.  Make a list of questions for your doctor or pharmacist and make sure that they answer them independently.  If one contradicts the other, always follow up.  Some of the following are good questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist in relation to drug interactions. 

  • What is the medicationís name?
  • What is the dosage?
  • What time and how often should I take it?
  • Should it be taken with food?
  • Are there any foods that need to be avoided?
  • Should I avoid any vitamins or supplements?
  • Can I increase any vitamins or supplements?
  • Are there any warnings and precautions I should know about?
  • Are there any contraindications to taking this medication?
  • What other prescription medication should I avoid while on this drug?
  • Are there any over- the - counter remedies that I need to avoid?
  • What side effects are common with this medication?
  • Are there any side effects that you need to know about immediately?

Even if your doctor or pharmacist tells you that there are no negative drug interactions with other medications or food, donít assume that none exist.  There are many rare but life-threatening interactions that may go undetected by drug companies or the medical establishment, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, for months or even years, after the drug has become available on the open market.  So if you experience any strange symptoms that canít easily be explained, you need to contact your doctor or the drugís manufacturer and file a report with the FDA.

Information from The World's Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets 

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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