Are you currently taking a prescription medication? Per the government’s National Health Survey, about 20 percent of adults are taking three or more drugs. While most patients are aware of potential side effects with prescription medication, it’s important to be aware of combining certain drugs and other substances. Being aware of drug interactions can help prevent serious side effects and help ensure medication effectiveness.
What Factors Impact Interactions?1
Unfortunately, it is hard to predicts all drug interactions and you won’t always know how you’ll react to a certain medication. The likelihood of interaction causing problems can depend on several factors including:
- Lifestyle (Diet & Exercise)
- Other medical conditions
- The length of time both drugs are taken
Types of Drug Interactions
- Drug-Drug: There are a multitude of side effects that can occur from drug-drug interactions as there are so many possible drug combinations. Drug-drug interactions can lead to a prescription medication losing effectiveness, allowing for a disease-state to go unmanaged or it can lead to dangerous side effects like heart damage or death.
- Drug-Food/Beverage: Certain foods can affect the medications you take but medicine can also affect how your body digests and processes food.
- Drug-Supplement: A common misconception with supplements is just because they’re natural, doesn’t mean they’re safe. Supplements can change how the body absorbs, metabolizes or excretes drugs and influence how potent the drug is in the system.
Simple steps to avoid drug interactions
- Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about any new medications. Make sure they know about any vitamins and supplements you are currently taking.
- Follow all the dosing instructions listed on each of your medications.
- Keep an updated medication list on hand for any of your medical appointments.
- You can also use AARP’s online drug interaction checker
Tria Health can help
If Tria Health is offered through your benefits plan, you have the option of receiving a one-on-one private consultation with one of Tria Health’s pharmacists over the phone. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities!