Preventing Adverse Reactions

12451318_sAll natural supplements have become common place in the last few years.  More and more people are adding supplements with their drug regimens prescribed by their doctors. In the last 5 years, certain supplements like Omega-3 fish oils, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E have significantly increased. Combine that with the fact that the older adults are also taking more prescription medications on average than ever before. With both of those figures increasing, it is expected that the number of people who will experience an adverse reaction between supplements and prescription medications will also increase.

It does not matter if the supplement is all natural or not. Taking concentrated amounts of a supplement that has a specific outcome can interact with medications that do the same or opposite of that. For example, Omega-3 fish oils are usually taken for cardiovascular health. That’s great, everyone needs a healthy heart. Except, if that person is also on a strong blood thinner, then the increased effect of the fish oils might put that person at an increased risk of bleeding to death. It doesn’t mean that the medication or the supplement is bad; it just means that they shouldn’t be taken together. There are many combinations of supplements and prescription medications that could have a bad reaction when combined.

How to prevent an adverse reaction – Make sure to make a list of all your medications and supplements, regardless of how frequently you take them. Ensure every doctor you see has that same list as well as all of your pharmacies. Not having an updated and complete list with your entire medical staff can lead to accidental interactions. Medical professionals have access to drug and supplement interaction databases. They are not complete, but they are constantly being updated. It is best to keep that list with you as well, just in case of emergencies. Keeping a portable medical file in your glove compartment can help emergency services. Also having an app on your phone like MedsMinders can be enormously beneficial because it is right there with you wherever you go.

Do your own research – a lot of times, you can search the internet for supplement interactions with prescription drugs. There are a few free access databases that you can look at to make yourself more informed. Make sure to put all interactions into your medication details on your smartphone reminder app, or on your list of medications.

Supplements are supposed to help your health, not harm it. Ensuring that your prescribed medications will not adversely interact with your supplements is not only smart and cost effective, it’s also important for your well being.

 

 

To read the full news article by Fox, click here.

To read more about drug and supplement interactions, click here.