May 27, 2018

How Knowing about Drug Interactions Can Save Your Life

No matter how we try to live a healthy lifestyle by enrolling in a gym or fitness boot camp or by eating a good diet, there really are times when we become ill. From a simple fever to chronic infections, there really is no telling what will hit us and when it will occur. The good thing though is that we already have a wide range of medications to treat almost any kind of illness. One of the most important breakthroughs in science is the discovery of the antibiotic. This is used to treat various types of infections affecting the different parts of the body, and it has already saved millions of lives around the world. But just like most synthetic treatments, it should also be used with caution because it may create these drug interaction effects when combined with other medications.

Doxycycline

This drug belongs to the tetracycline group of antibiotics that were developed by Pfizer Inc. during the early 1960s. It is sold in the market under the trade name Vibramycin, and is commonly used as a prophylaxis treatment against Malaria. It is also the antibacterial treatment of choice for Anthrax, Bubonic Plague, and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But when it is combined with antacids and Iron supplements, it decreases the absorption of the latter. It also enhances hepatic metabolism when taken together with barbiturates or a class of drugs indicated for anxiety disorders. It also produces toxicity when paired with Digoxin which is used for patients suffering from heart failure.

Sulfamethoxazole

This medication is a sulphonamide bacteriostatic antibiotic indicated for UTI or urinary tract infections and Pneumocystitis pneumonia affecting HIV patients. It causes hypoglycaemia or a low glucose in the blood when mixed with Glipizide. It also increases anticoagulation when taken with Warfarin and causes bone marrow suppression if used with Methotrexate which is used to treat cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and other autoimmune diseases.

Fluoroquinolones

Quinolones are a type of broad-spectrum antibiotics playing an important role in treating serious bacterial infections (including those which are acquired in the hospital) and patients who have developed a resistance against lower types of drugs. But it should not be taken together with antacids because it decreases its absorption. This also goes the same with zinc, ferrous sulphate, and enteral feeding products or Ensure used in comatose patients.

In 2009, the Department of Health started its campaign to encourage a more prudent use of antibiotics, and this is actually for a good reason. At the end of the day, it is really important to read labels and to follow your doctor’s prescription. You should also avoid self-medicating since you will never know when a combination can be lethal.