Drug interaction is a condition that occurs when a substance (often another drug) affects the effectiveness of a drug when the two medicines are added together into the body. This action can either be synergism (when the effect of the drug increases), be antagonism (when the effect of the medicine decreases) or a new effect that neither of the two medications alone can cause.
In general, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word drug-drug interaction. However, interference can occur with food, medicinal plants, or herbs.
Synergy and opposite
When drug interaction causes an increase in the effect of one drug or an increase in the effect of both drugs, this interaction is called synergy. “Added synergy” occurs when the final effect equals the combined effect of both medications. When the final effect is not much greater than the combined effect of the two drugs, this condition is called “improved synergy”. This concept is recognized by most authors 3. The opposite effect of synergy is called the opposite. Two opposite drugs when the interference causes a decrease in the effect of one or both of the two extremes.
Drug interactions can be divided into three groups:
Medicines overlap with each other:
It occurs when two or more drugs interact with each other. Interactions with medications together may expose you to unexpected side effects. For example, using a sedative (sedative) medicine with an allergy medication (antihistamine) can reduce your ability to focus and make driving or operating devices dangerous for you and others.
Interference of medications with foods or drinks:
Some medicines interfere with certain types of food or drink. For example, drinking milk with a specific type of antibiotic will decrease the effect of the medicine.
Interference of medications with the health condition:
These interactions are likely to occur when there are certain health conditions making the medications potentially harmful. For example, when using medications to relieve nasal congestion when you have high blood pressure, you may experience unwanted reactions.
The OTC prescription contains information on: ingredients, uses, warnings, and instructions. It is important that you read and understand it. The leaflet also includes important information about possible drug interactions. The FDA recommends reading the internal leaflet each time the medicine is used, as it is possible that the contents of the leaflet may change if new information related to the use of the medicine is available.
The following is an explanation of the information contained in the prospectus and its importance:
– The name and amount of each active substance.
The purpose of each active substance.
Uses or indications:
It informs you about the medical condition or conditions in which the medicine is used.
– It helps you find the perfect medicine for your illness.
Warnings, give you important information about drug interactions and warnings like:
When to speak to the doctor or pharmacist before using the medicine.
Health conditions that could make the medication less effective or unsafe.
The conditions under which the medicine should not be used.
When to stop or use the medicine.
Duration and amount of medication that are likely to be safe to use.
– Any special instructions on how to use the product.
Required information on specific substances such as the contents of the drug. This information is useful when you are allergic to certain substances or are trying to reduce the amount of salts due to pressure disease.
– The name of each inactive substance such as colors and others.
Question section? Or questions and comments? (If it was in the newsletter).
– Provides you with phone numbers for sources that answer your questions about the product.
Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the medicine you are using:
When your doctor prescribes a new medicine for you, tell him about all medicines, with or without a prescription, nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals and herbs you take, as well as the foods you eat.
Ask your pharmacist to provide you with the internal leaflet for each medicine issued to you. The internal leaflet gives you more information about possible drug interactions.
Before you take the medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist the following:
Is it possible to use this medicine with other medicines?
Are there certain types of foods or drinks that you should avoid?
What signs of potential drug interaction should I know?
How does the medicine work inside the body?
Is there more information available about the medicine or your health condition (online or in medical sources)?
Learn how to use the medicine perfectly and safely
Remember, the internal leaflet tells you about:
The condition when the medicine is used?
How to use the medicine?
How to reduce the risk of drug interactions and unwanted side effects.
If you have questions after reading the medication internal leaflet, ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Remember that various over-the-counter medications can contain the same active ingredient.
If you take more than one non-prescription medication, carefully read the active ingredients used in the product to avoid using too much medicine. There are health conditions that must be considered before using medications such as pregnant or breastfeeding women – they should tell the doctor before taking any medication. Also, be sure to know the ingredients in the medications to avoid the possibility of an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients.
Here are some examples of drug interactions you can find in OTC:
The pharmacological group
Information on drug interactions
Antagonists of the H2 receptor
(Medications that prevent or treat heartburn associated with undigested acids and stomach acids)
Products containing cimetidine, ask your doctor or pharmacist before