4 Dangerous Medication Combinations Everyone Should Be Aware Of
Medication combinations are often overlooked, but they pose a great danger to your health if you combine certain drugs on a regular basis. Even doctors can make this mistake. This is particularly true if you see multiple specialists who prescribe different drugs. The longer your prescription list, the more you have to be aware of. Risks of combining certain drugs can vary from extreme fatigue to migraines, nausea and hospitalization. Here are four combinations that are harmful to your health.
Lithium Carbonate And Ibuprofen
Lithium carbonate is an antimanic drug that works by stabilizing moods in persons with bipolar II disorder. There are numerous drugs you should never mix with lithium, but ibuprofen is an innocent one that can cause permanent damage to your stomach. Both drugs on their own have potential to create ulcers, but together they are especially risky. Ibuprofen actually increases the serum level of lithium. You don’t want this to happen because it can lead to lithium toxicity and ultimately kidney failure. If you take ibuprofen for chronic aches and pains, speak with your doctor to learn more about other options.
Benzodiazepines & Opioids/Opiates
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs often known as klonopin, ativan, xanax and valium. They work to calm anxiety and halt a panic attack. They also cause respiratory depression. This means they slow breathing. That is exactly what you want during a panic attack, but it’s dangerous when it is combined with the respiratory depressing effects of opioids and opiates. This combination should only be used with express permission and guidance of a physician. It should never be used long term.
Over The Counter Cold Medicines
Most OTC medicines contain similar active ingredients. You might take one for a cough and another for a stuffy nose, but they contain a double dose of the same active ingredients. Too much acetaminophen combined with cough syrup can harm your stomach and liver. They can also make you dizzy. Be wise and choose a medicine that meets all of your needs, or you can stagger your doses so you don’t overdose on one active ingredient.
Statins And Anti-Fungal Medicine
Cholesterol-lowering medications should not be prescribed and taken alongside anti-fungal medication. It’s hard to suspect an anti-fungal for interacting with anything but fungus, but this combination can cause weak muscles and kidney damage.
When you prescribed any medication, be sure to ask your physician if it interacts with current medications. A responsible physician will answer your questions. If they don’t know the answer, asking them will likely prompt a search to confirm whether it is safe to combine prescribed medications. Remember that you are in charge of your healthcare.
FDA changes safety information on statin drugs| Harvard Health Publications
Dangerous Drug Combinations| Dual Diagnosis
Toxic elevation of serum lithium concentration by non-steroidal anti-inflammatorydrugs| Citeseerx