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3 types of drug interactions you should understand

Whether you have the common cold, a chronic condition or another medical disorder, you know how bad feeling unwell can be. After all, if you do not feel like yourself, you may be unable to work and provide for your family. You may also miss out on the sort of everyday joys that make life worth living. Fortunately, scientists have developed prescription medications to treat a variety of conditions. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse drug interactions cause more than a million emergency room visits each year. If a drug you take interacts negatively with another substance, your medical issue may go from bad to worse. Here are three types of drug interactions your doctor should consider when prescribing medication.

1. Drug and drug interactions 

Doctors use prescription medication to treat hundreds of medical conditions. Likewise, if you have an upset stomach or allergies, you may seek relief from over-the-counter medication. You should know, though, not all drugs pair well with other drugs. Combining medication may make drugs toxic, less effective or more potent. As such, you should always tell your physician about the substances you take, including supplements, recreational drugs and over-the-counter medication. 

2. Drug and food interactions 

As you probably know, pharmacists recommend taking certain medications with food. Other times, you must fast for a few hours before swallowing a pill. Either way, you must comply with pharmaceutical instructions to avoid an interaction that may make you ill. Put simply, you may have to modify your diet for your prescription and other medication to work effectively. Also, if you regularly consume alcohol, you should understand how it may react with the medication you take. 

3. Drug and disease interactions 

Finally, some medications may make your symptoms worsen. Therefore, your physician must both know about all your medical conditions and research potential adverse interactions before prescribing new drugs. You should also talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications, supplements or vitamins if you have a medical condition. 

Doctors receive extensive training on limiting the negative effects of drug interactions. Still, because new medications premier seemingly daily and doctors are busy, you must understand potential drug interactions. Remember, you must be your health’s fiercest advocate.

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