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Mixing Medications Is Not What the Doctor Ordered

medicationprescriptiondrugHealth & Wellness • 2 min read • Mar 23, 2016 12:00:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

When you go to the doctor with an illness, it’s likely you’ll be prescribed a medication to ease your symptoms and fight off an infection. While you might not think much about taking a new medication, it is important to consider possible interactions that could occur. A growing number of adults are on multiple ongoing medications and supplements, posing a risk for adverse reactions caused by mixing different drugs. Keep reading to get a closer look at what you should know when it comes to safely combining medications and avoiding adverse side effects.

Older adults and prescription medication use

In older adults, it is common to take five or more medications on a daily basis, which often include blood thinners, cholesterol medication, and insulin. When medications like these are used, it is important to not only consider the side effects they have on their own, but also the possible interactions between these drugs. In many cases, bleeding is a common side effect of mixing medications, meaning that taking the wrong cocktail of prescriptions could have serious consequences.

Over-the-counter supplement interactions

In addition to thinking about how prescription drugs work together, you should also remember that supplements and over-the-counter medications can have side effects and interactions of their own. Many people tend to think of supplements as harmless, but taking the wrong ones or mixing a bad combination of supplements can be very harmful to your health. Fish oil is one particularly popular supplement that is commonly used by individuals with heart disease, who may also take blood thinners. In combination with one another, these drugs pose a risk for bleeding and other complications. That’s why it is important to check with your doctor before beginning to take any supplement, no matter how benign the supplement itself may seem.

Chronic disease management with medication

Because of the affordability and availability of prescription drugs, it’s not unlikely to have a daily medication routine for the management of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and arthritis. If you do take medications for a chronic illness, communication with your doctor will be essential for managing your prescriptions and supplements – remember, you’re your own best advocate!

By providing convenient web consultations with board certified physicians 24/7, MeMD can allow you to manage medications or get recommendations for supplements and over-the-counter medications with ease. Visit us today to get started on your first visit, or explore more of our blog for more helpful information to manage your health.

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Kat Smith