• Why You Should Always Check with Your Pharmacist for Interactions Between Your Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter Medications

    Jarve-Pharmacy-MalpracticeThink about your most recent doctor’s appointment. Chances are that whether it was your first time with the doctor or you’ve been seeing them for years, they asked you what drugs you are taking. When patients answer this question, they invariably run down the list of all of the prescription medications that they take and leave out the over-the-counter drugs that they use. This is a mistake that can have deadly consequences. Though we tend to think of anything sold on the open shelves of our local drug stores as being safe, the truth is that many over-the-counter medications can cause significant problems when taken in combination with prescription drugs. It is important that you not only include over-the-counter medications when talking to your doctor, but also that you check with your pharmacist for interactions between your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Likewise, your pharmacist should question you about the drugs you’re taking before filling your prescription. Failure to do so can represent pharmacy malpractice.

    There are some cases where drug interactions lead to mild symptoms such as nausea or a headache, or even dizziness. But there is also a great potential for deadly interactions such as a dangerous drop in blood pressure or a buildup of toxins in the body that can cause organ damage. Even without noticeable physical impacts, there are some drug combinations that can decrease the effectiveness of one or both of the drugs that you are taking. This can lead to serious health problems as well. Some of the most common harmful drug interactions between prescription and over-the-counter drugs include:

    • Interactions with aspirin and other nonprescription painkillers
    • Interactions with antacids
    • Interactions with decongestants
    • Interactions with herbal products

    You may take these medications on such a regular basis that you stop thinking about them as drugs that change your body’s chemical makeup, but that is exactly what they do – and when they are combined with other drugs it can wreak havoc within your body. As a patient, you should take the time to read all of the labels on both your prescription and nonprescription medications and make sure that you provide your doctor and your pharmacist with complete information about all of the drugs that you take. It’s also a good idea to stick to one pharmacy for all of your drug and prescription needs.

    If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of a drug interaction and you believe that pharmacy malpractice is to blame, contact our office to set up a time for a consultation. We will listen carefully, review the specifics of your case, and advise you of your options.

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