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The Drugs You Shouldn't Mix Quiz
by Staff
How many pills do you take? More than 1.3 million adults take drugs that shouldn't be mixed. See how savvy you are about avoiding complications at HowStuffWorks.

If you're taking certain antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), what can you safely take for a head cold?

  • brompheniramine
  • dextromethorphan
  • ginseng
  • pseudoephedrine
  • all of these
  • none of these

You're taking antihistamines for your seasonal allergies, and you've been prescribed a sedative for a bout of insomnia you're having. What side effect should you be careful of?

  • excessive drowsiness
  • photosensitivity
  • sores in the mouth

Taking which drug while taking a blood thinner such as warfarin increases the risk of bleeding?

  • ginseng
  • acetaminophen
  • NSAID painkillers
  • all of the above

True or false: It's best to let a friend who's been partying with alcohol and Xanax, and is now passed out, to just sleep it off.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

What is the percent alcohol content in an elixir?

  • between 4 percent and 5 percent
  • between 4 percent and 50 percent
  • between 5 percent and 40 percent
  • It's illegal for elixirs to contain alcohol.

Taking antacids, such as Tums, while you take certain antibiotics, such as those taken to treat traveler's diarrhea, may cause what interaction?

  • signs of serotonin syndrome
  • slow absorption of the antibiotic
  • weight gain in your upper body

Is it true antibiotics reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills?

  • yes
  • no

If a drug has a half-life of 24 hours, how much of the drug will be out of your system after 24 hours?

  • 25 percent
  • 50 percent
  • 100 percent

True or false: Combining prescription painkillers and anti-anxiety medications can be fatal.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

What might increase your risk of bleeding problems if you take it while using ginkgo?

  • alcohol
  • aspirin
  • ginkgo

Combining what type of medication with your daily cholesterol-lowering statin may cause a condition called rhabdomyolysis?

  • antibiotics
  • antifungals
  • acetaminophen

True or false: More than half of potentially dangerous drug combinations involve nonprescription, over-the-counter medication or dietary supplements.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Your risk of stomach bleeding increases as much as 600 percent when you combine a class of antidepressants known as SSRIs with which over-the-counter pain reliever?

  • acetaminophen
  • COS-2 inhibitors
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Which well-known culinary ingredient and ancient remedy shouldn't be used therapeutically if you use a blood thinner such as warfarin?

  • garlic
  • honey
  • vitamin D

Which is not an abbreviation for acetaminophen?

  • AC
  • Acetam
  • APAP
  • all are abbreviations for acetaminophen

True or false: More than half of potential drug interactions involve over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Which supplement accounts for the majority of interactions with preventative cardiovascular drugs, such as statins?

  • CoQ10
  • omega-3 fish oil
  • vitamin B12

What dangerous condition does the B vitamin niacin cause when combined with blood pressure medications?

  • arrhythmias
  • hypertension
  • hypotension

Which anxiety-relieving medication has little to no interaction with grapefruit juice?

  • Clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • midazolam
  • triazolam

Why does it matter if certain medications are taken with a glass of grapefruit juice?

  • The juice changes the half-life of the drug.
  • The meds become ineffective.
  • The meds get a boost from the juice.

Because some migraine meds increase levels of serotonin, what should you avoid taking them with?

  • ACE inhibitors
  • antibiotics
  • SSRIs

What two drugs have similar active ingredients?

  • Benadryl and Ciproxifan
  • Benadryl and Dramamine
  • Dramamine and Zantac

Is it OK to take calcium supplements when you're using anti-diarrheal medicine containing loperamine, such as Imodium?

  • Sure, why wouldn't it be.
  • It's not recommended.

Which potentially toxic drug medley caused a 65 percent increase in hospitalizations between 1999 and 2006?

  • anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and melatonin
  • benzodiazepines, glucophage and NSAIDs
  • benzodiazepines, narcotic painkillers and sleeping pills

True or false: Taking an over-the-counter stimulant laxative, such as Dulcolax, might make it hard for your body to properly absorb your meds.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE

Why shouldn't you take decongestants if you have high blood pressure?

  • Decongestants cause heart failure.
  • Decongestants narrow blood vessels.
  • Decongestants narrow arteries.

While using the over-the-counter herbal supplement St. John's wort to relieve anxiety and depression symptoms, which cough-suppressing ingredient could cause a potentially deadly condition called serotonin syndrome?

  • amitriptyline
  • dextromethorphan

Which is not a sign of serotonin syndrome?

  • heavy sweating
  • nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • rapid heart rate
  • twitching muscles
  • all of these
  • none of these

If you're taking spironolactone, a diuretic known as Aldactone and used to treat heart failure, which antibiotic may increase your potassium levels to potentially deadly levels?

  • azithromycin
  • amoxicillin
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX)

True or false: Frequently taking NSAIDs, such as aspirin, may cause bleeding ulcers and other stomach problems.

  • TRUE
  • FALSE