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Drug Combinations to Avoid

Living in a country where most drugs are sold over the counter, its very common for people to self diagnose without the help of a health professional leading to drug misuse and ingestion of deadly combinations.  Certain medicine are meant to be “prescription only”, while some others that don’t need proper supervision would fall into “over the counter” drug category. In a country like Nigeria and most African countries, these two categories really do not exist as most drugs are sold over the counter. So to help you stay healthy and prevent you from causing complications brought on by adverse drug combination reactions, here are a few medicine you DO NOT want to mix.

Antibiotics and Birth Control Pills
Although only one antibiotic (Rifampin) is proven to interfere with the effectiveness of the Pill, doctors still suggest using a backup contraceptive while on any antibiotic.

Antihistamines and Sleeping pills
the combination keeps you sedated for too long and groggy the next day.

Vicodin and Tylenol
Both medications contain acetaminophen, putting you at risk for a potentially dangerous overdose.

Aspirin and Ibuprofen
When taken together, they raise the risk of gastrointestinal problems.

Certain Antidepressants and Migraine Meds
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, such as Prozac and Paxil, are a bad mix with migraine meds like Imitrix and Zomig. The combination can lead to anxiety and muscle tremors.

Medicines you should not mix with alcohol

Prescription pain medicines and antianxiety medications such as Valium and Xanax can have an additive effect when mixed with alcohol.

Another drug that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol: acetaminophen (Tylenol) and alcohol, because it can harm your liver.

Cough and cold preparations with antihistamines shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol because they will amplify the sedative effects. This warning applies to the use of narcotic pain medications too.

Be careful mixing alcohol with certain antibiotics. The main antibiotic-alcohol interactions are with metronidazole (Flagyl) and the sulfa drugs — commonly used antibiotics. An example of a sulfa drug is Bactrim.

Mixing metronidazole and alcohol can cause nausea, vomiting, flushing, headache and stomach pain.

Always ask your doctor or a pharmacist (not a drug sales person) for advice before you take any medication. Always read the pack for instructions. If you are pregnant, always ask your doctor before self medicating.

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