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.
Avoid all of these ingredients and anything that boosts norepinephrine, because this can potentially cause a life-threatening increase in blood pressure when you're taking MAOIs.
Sedatives, such as Valium or Xanax, and meds that contain antihistamines may cause excessive drowsiness.
Warfarin is a blood thinner and shouldn't be mixed with any of these drugs because they increase the risk of bleeding.
False. Combining alcohol and benzodiazepines is one of the most dangerous drug combinations. Never let anyone "sleep it off," because the risk of not waking up due to respiratory failure is high.
Elixirs, which are hydroalcoholic liquids, have between 5 and 40 percent alcohol content (that's equal to 10 to 80 proof). Nyquil Cough for instance, contains 25 percent; and Dramamine Liquid, 5 percent.
Over-the-counter antacids containing calcium, magnesium or aluminum can slow down how fast your body absorbs certain antibiotics.
Yes, it's possible that antibiotics could reduce the effectiveness of your birth control pills (and some other types of contraception that contain estrogen). Unwanted pregnancies could occur, so use a backup method.
Taking medication on a Sunday doesn't mean it's gone from your system on Monday -- or even next Sunday. A drug with a half-life of 24 hours will be half (50 percent) out of your body after 24 hours.
True. One in three people take the risky combination of prescription opioid-derived painkillers such as codeine and prescription anti-anxiety meds or muscle relaxants, such as Percocet. Both are depressants, and accidentally taking too much can lower both your heart rate and breathing rate -- which may be fatal.
Combining ginkgo and aspirin increases risk of bleeding problems.
Combining LDL-lowering simvastatin with certain antifungals may lead to 10 times the amount of statins circulating in your body than intended. This can lead to muscle injury called myopathy, and a severe condition that causes muscle breakdown, called rhabdomyolysis.
True. More than half of potentially dangerous drug combinations involve nonprescription drugs or dietary supplements.
Combining SSRIs with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen greatly increases the risk of bleeding in the stomach and esophagus.
Combining therapeutic levels of garlic with a blood thinner increases the risk of developing bleeding problems.
AC, Acetam, and APAP are all abbreviations for acetaminophen. Also look for 'paracetamol', which is what acetaminophen is called outside the U.S.
It's true that more than 50 percent of potential interactions involve nonprescription drugs and dietary supplements.
Omega-3 fish oils cause the most interactions with preventative cardiovascular treatments, such as statins.
A dangerous drop in blood pressure may occur when you take blood pressure meds and the B vitamin niacin, which itself has possible natural hypotensive benefits.
Clonazepam (brand name Klonopin) is not susceptible to interactions with grapefruit juice.
Grapefruit juice is known to boost the level of certain drugs in your blood system, whether you take you medication with it or not.
Triptans, used to treat migraines, increase levels of serotonin, and shouldn't be taken with an antidepressant, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), sertraline (Zoloft).
Because they are H1-receptor antagonists (that's antihistamines) with similar active ingredients, combining sneeze-stopping diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, and motion sickness remedies containing dimenhydrinate, such as Dramamine, can increase your drowsiness.
Because calcium supplements firm up your stool, and so do anti-diarrheal meds. The combination can cause constipation and other bowel problems.
Taking this all-prescription combination of central nervous system depressants -- benzodiazepines (such as Xanax for panic attacks), opioid painkillers (such as oxycodone for a back injury), and sleeping pills (such as Ambien because you're too stressed to sleep) comes with a high risk of respiratory failure and accidental overdose.
True. Your body needs time to absorb your medications, but taking stimulant laxatives can make the process go too quickly.
Decongestants work, in part, because they constrict blood vessels -- which, in turn, can increase your blood pressure.
Taking cough medicine with the active ingredient dextromethorphan may increase the amount of serotonin in your body to toxic levels, a condition called serotonin syndrome, when you combine it with St. John's wort.
Too much serotonin in your body can cause a potentially fatal condition called serotonin syndrome, which can range from sweating and vomiting to seizures and muscle rigidity.
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) may cause high potassium levels and may double the risk of sudden death in seniors when taken with spironolactone. High blood potassium levels are linked to irregular heartbeat.
True. Taking frequent aspirin or ibuprofen while taking an SSRI (such as Zoloft) is known to increase the risk for stomach bleeding.