medicines together may cause a bad reaction. This is called an interaction. For
example, one medicine may cause side effects that create problems with other
medicines. Or one medicine may make another medicine stronger or weaker.
A medicine you take for one health problem also can make another
health problem worse. For example, a medicine you use for a cold could make
high blood pressure worse.
Tiny amounts of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs -- are in our drinking water supplies, according to a media report.
In an investigation by the Associated Press, drinking water supplies in 24 major metropolitan areas were found to include drugs.
According to the investigation, the drugs get into the drinking water supply through several routes: some people flush unneeded medication down toilets; other medicine gets into the water supply after...
If you have several doctors, and if some of them don't know
all of the medicines you're taking, a bad reaction can be mistaken as an
illness. For example, some medicines can cause memory problems that are
dementia. Falls can be a sign of too much medicine,
rather than frailty.
But just because you take several medicines
doesn't mean you'll have problems. To be safe, make sure that all your doctors
know you're taking medicines prescribed by another doctor and about
over-the-counter medicines, herbs, supplements, and illegal drugs you
How do you know you're having a medicine interaction?
It is hard to know whether you're having a side effect or interaction. If
you've talked with your doctor about it, you may be able to recognize the
symptoms of an interaction. How likely you are to have an interaction depends
on how many medicines you're taking, how much of a medicine you take, how old
you are, how much you weigh, whether you are male or female, and what other
health problems you may have.
If you think that you are having an
interaction, talk to your doctor or
pharmacist. He or she will review the medicines you
are taking to see if there is a problem. Your
doctor or pharmacist can make suggestions to help an interaction while still
making sure that you're getting the treatment you need.