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Monday, June 15, 2015

How to check for drug interactions

(Shutterstock image)

This is what life looks like around my house.........LOTS of piles of tissues and LOTS of allergy medicine. With so many options (allergy nose spray, long acting allergy medicine, short term allergy medicine, ) how do you know what is safe to take and when? Can you take different combinations of the allergy medicine - depending on how miserable you are? And can you take over the counter allergy medicine with asthma medicine?

With the prescription medicines, the pharmacist can safely tell us what we can and can't take together. There have been several times when we were at the pharmacy and the pharmacist has caught a drug interaction. He talked to me about it, then called the doctor's office to have them change the prescription. I love that guy! He keeps us safe!

But what about the over the counter medicine? And how can you check to see if there is a drug interaction if the pharmacy is closed? 

 Daughter Kitty and I were trying to check and see if there were any drug interactions on several over the counter medications and prescription medications on Saturday night. (There are some pharmacies that are open 24 hours a day. There are 2 in our county. What if you are discharged from the Emergency Room at 2:00 am and you need Albuterol vials for your nebulizer? There has to be SOMEWHERE to fill prescriptions during the night! Check and see what's available where you live.)

I remembered a website called Drugs.com 

It's really helpful because you can use their Drug Interaction Checker

It's easy to use. You:
  1.  type in the first medication
  2.  then click the blue "add" button 
  3. type in the second medication
  4. then click the blue box that says "check for interaction"
  5. results! (it will either say "no interaction found", or it may have a yellow caution triangle that shows an interaction.)
It's just another fun resource I've found over the years. You can't always rely on the doctor and pharmacist, you have to be ready to take care of yourself if they aren't around.  

Hope it helps! :)

2 comments:

  1. And let's not forget food-drug interactions. Grapefruit juice interacts with lots of medicines. So to herbal supplements, which is why it's important your doctor knows what supplements you're taking.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I should have included that! My daughter can't have orange juice with her Allegra.

      Thanks for the reminder. Hope you are well! :)

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