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Published on May 10, 2023

6 Common Adverse Drug Interactions Everyone Should Know

When you get a new prescription, you usually pay attention to the explicitly stated instructions on how often you need to take your medicines and how long you need to do so. However, it’s also important for you to clarify with your healthcare provider other considerations, including any adverse drug interactions. 

This is especially crucial if you are already taking maintenance medications for other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or hypertension. In addition, if you’re taking a pharmaceutical drug that interacts negatively with a certain food or beverage that you are regularly consuming, you may inadvertently be making your medicine less effective or even causing unwanted side effects. 

Thankfully, there are many fail-safes set in place. For instance, you can ask your online pharmacy if any medicine in your prescription has an adverse interaction with any drug you are currently taking. Moreover, you can also read the medical pamphlet included in the medicine’s packaging. 

When it comes to healthcare, having access to quality medical services and resources is crucial. Whether you need preventive care, diagnosis and treatment, or ongoing management of a chronic condition, finding the right provider can make a significant difference in your health outcomes. That’s where Frontrow Health and other online healthcare platforms come in, providing convenient and affordable access to a range of medical services, including virtual consultations, prescription refills, and personalized care plans. With the help of these platforms, you can take control of your health and wellness, no matter where you are or what your healthcare needs may be.

Taking these small steps will ensure that you receive the most optimum benefits from the medicine so that you recover faster. 

What Are the Types of Drug Interactions?

There are three types of drug interactions that you need to be aware of: 

  • Drug-Drug Interaction. This is usually what you think about when you hear the term “drug interaction.” This happens when one medication affects how another medication works. 
  • Drug-Food Interaction. This happens when consuming certain foods or drinks can make your medicine less effective. 
  • Drug-Condition Interaction. Some medicines may negatively affect a current or underlying medical condition.

Why Is It Important for You to Know How Drugs Interact?

It’s important that you receive the indicated dosage of your medicines each time. Not only will this improve your chances of a faster recovery, but also prevent further complications. For instance, some medicines, such as antibiotics, need to work at their full efficiency for a predetermined time to prevent the infection from developing a resistance. 

With adverse drug interactions, you may be prevented from receiving the intended benefits of your medicine. Your condition may also worsen or you may even develop secondary health conditions. 

Six Common Adverse Drug Interactions You Should Know

Listed below are six common adverse drug interactions you should know. These examples are a mix of the three types of possible drug interactions mentioned above.

Paracetamol and Liver Disease

Paracetamol is one of the most common drugs taken by Filipinos. The medicine is used to treat mild to moderate pain and can reduce a high-temperature fever. However, regular use of paracetamol may be harmful if you have a damaged or compromised liver. Paracetamol is broken down in the liver; so, if your liver is not working properly, leftover paracetamol may become toxic and cause severe liver damage. 

Diphenhydramine and Glaucoma 

You may have used diphenhydramine before, especially if you suffer from allergies or motion sickness. The medicine is not only an antihistamine but is also used to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. However, the mechanism of action of the drug can raise the pressure inside your eyes and is not suitable for those with glaucoma. 

Warfarin and Many Antibiotics

Warfarin is an anticoagulant medicine that is prescribed to treat blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. While life-saving on its own, warfarin is heavily contraindicated for many antibiotics. This is because when taken together, warfarin may cause excessive bleeding that may require a blood transfusion. 

Atorvastatin and Grapefruit

If you have high cholesterol levels, you may have been prescribed atorvastatin before. This cholesterol medication breaks down bad fat in your system and flushes it out—but so does grapefruit. Taking both together may increase the levels of atorvastatin in your blood and increase the likelihood of negative side effects. 

Minocycline and Dairy Products

Minocycline is a common antibiotic used to treat pimples and red bumps on the skin. Those with severe acne or body acne that won’t go away are usually given this medicine. However, minocycline has been known to negatively interact with dairy products, such as milk and yogurt. This is because dairy products lower the amount of minocycline that can be absorbed by the body. 

Metformin and Alcohol 

Metformin is a widely used antidiabetic drug that controls and manages blood sugar levels in adults with type-2 diabetes. However, one of the side effects of the medicine is an increased level of lactic acid in your bloodstream. This shouldn’t give you any problems unless you start drinking alcohol, which further raises your lactic acid levels. When taken together, you may develop a rare and life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. 

Final Thoughts: Always Do Your Research & Communicate with Your Doctor

During your consultation with your doctor, make sure that you are open about any medication you are currently taking. Then, ask whether those may interact with the medication being prescribed. A lot of Filipinos tend to get embarrassed about discussing their health, but your doctor must have all the available information to make better decisions about what medicines to give you. Taking the right medicines at their intended doses ensures that you recover faster so that you can continue living life to the fullest. 

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