If you are taking multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, it is important to learn about possible drug interactions. The good news is that you are already aware that taking multiple drugs could cause harm and interact with each other. But did you know that even herbals, vitamins, and dietary supplements can also interact with different medications?
Important Steps to Take
Anytime you take multiple medications there is the potential for harmful drug interactions. Because of this, you should take the following steps anytime you are prescribed a new medication or purchase an over-the-counter drug:
- Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your pharmacist.
- Read the package insert and label for potential drug interactions.
- Pay attention to the active ingredient.
- Take your medications as directed, with the right food or beverage.
- When in doubt, ask questions.
Helpful Questions to Ask
Some of the questions you should ask your doctor or pharmacist includes:
- Can I take this medication with the drugs I’m currently taking?
- Are there possible drug interactions I should know about and watch for?
- How should I take this drug?
- Do I need to avoid drinking alcohol or eating certain foods?
- Do you have the package insert or other literature about this medication that I can read?
The best advice is to talk with your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you are currently taking to make sure certain medications won’t interact with each other and cause you harm. However, be aware that doing this isn’t foolproof. Doctors and pharmacists can make mistakes. If the pharmacist at your local CVS pharmacy made a dangerous drug interaction error, you may have a CVS pharmacy claim for damages. To learn about your rights, order a free copy of our book, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.