The safety of taking medication


Non-prescription drugs are safer

Many feel that over-the-counter or non-prescription drugs are safer than prescription drugs.

All medicines, even those sold without a prescription, can be harmful.

Taking more than the recommended dose can cause serious side effects, such as stomach bleeding, liver or kidney problems.

Adverse reactions to over-the-counter medications can sometimes occur even when patients follow instructions exactly. Also, the effects of some prescription medications can be significantly strengthened or weakened if taken with certain over-the-counter medications.

Patients should tell their doctor and pharmacist about all medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements, they are taking to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Medicines can be taken safely with any liquid

Instructions on drug administration should be read carefully. Some liquids can increase or decrease the effect of a medicine.

For example, grapefruit juice aids the absorption of certain AIDS drugs; however, it completely inactivates some high blood pressure medications.

Always check with your pharmacist to determine which liquids are safe to take with your medications.

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