Just like Oil and Water… Sometimes Medications and Alcohol Just Don’t Mix!

Medications can help correct various ailments, both physically and psychologically. Chances are pretty good that you have taken medications at some point in your life, even if it was just for a headache or a cold. Reasons for taking medications can vary greatly. Sleeping disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots, heartburn, seizures, colds and the flu are some that come to mind. The FDA (Food and Drug Association) approve medications after experimental trials to make certain that what we ingest is safe and effective. There can be, of course, potential risks to each prescription. Knowing the proper uses and correct doses are important for your safety.

Consuming alcohol with medications, taking more than your physician advises, and mixing multiple medications can all lead to series problems. Everyone knows that alcohol causes intoxication and impairs judgment. However, not everyone realizes the severe effects it can cause when mixed with medications. Noticeable side effects are drowsiness, fainting, loss of coordination, and nausea with vomiting. What can be done to make sure that your “over the counter” or prescription drug is safe to take with alcohol? Read the label or ask your doctor. The label will always tell you if the drug is safe to take with alcohol. If it is not, you must know when the drug wears off before even considering a drink. Your doctor or pharmacy will know how long the drug will stay in your body. This problem is more prevalent in our senior population, because they are more likely to be prescribed medications. Adults at an older age cannot metabolize alcohol as fast as younger people can; this also increases their risk of adverse reactions.

Just like Oil and WaterWhen we go to see the doctor we get asked many questions; how are we feeling, our past medical history, and what drugs we are currently taking. This last question is a very important. A physician’s office or pharmacy cannot know everything that you put into your body. They might prescribe a medication for you which, if mixed with something you didn’t tell them, could be harmful. It doesn’t matter if they are walk-in clinics, family practitioners, or hospitals; you must inform them about all of your current medications.

Many seniors have a long list of ailments and, therefore, a long list of pills that they take. If you take more than five medications per day, there can be up to a 50% chance that you will experience an adverse reaction at some point. Make sure that if you see more than one physician, they are all aware of each prescription that you take.

Understand what you are taking, how long it lasts, and what you can take it with. Medication helps us in so many ways, yet it is our responsibility to make sure that it doesn’t hurt us as well. If you would like more information regarding any medication, you can contact PharmiCare at 239-690-7700. They are located at 6631 Orion Drive – Suite 112 in Fort Myers. They are a concierge retail pharmacy that provides solutions for both people and their pets

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