The majority of people believe that drugs are granted license by the government so are completely harmless if taken as per the guidance of registered doctor. Even if you are right, ask yourself that is it really safe if you take multiple drugs?
For ensuring complete safety, proper testing of all drug combination should be done before it is administered to the patient. For instance, if the patient is prescribed to take Prozac and Tylenol drugs together then it is crucial for the doctor to explain the patient about the benefits as well as consequences of the same when the component mix with the other chemicals in the body. The same thing is true of various other drug combinations.
The lists of problems are considerable long because the list of drug combinations is huge. Till date, very little research has been done on drug combinations. Hence, if you are taking two drug combinations then there are very less avoidance that the drug combination will be absolutely safe. In addition, if you take three to four medicines with different composition, the possibility of having adverse effect increases multiple times.
What Happens if You Take Multiple Drugs at Once?
Usually, all types of drugs taken by patients are first broken down with the help of different enzymes present in liver and then broken molecules are excreted through the kidney. There is a high possibility that one medicine adversely affects the way another drug is broken down in liver. For instance, if medicine A and B are taken together and medicine A drastically slow down the action of enzyme responsible for breaking down medicine B. In this scenario there will be excess deposition of drug B in the bloodstream; this will increase the possibility of having side effects. Still if the doctor feels that both drug A and B are required simultaneously then he/she will considerably reduce the dose of medicine B, so avoid or minimize the side effects.
When multiple drugs are taken together at once, then such drugs can interfere with each others activity. If medicine A and B are taken simultaneously and the drug A enhances the activity of the enzymes responsible for breaking medicine B then because of quick breakdown of the medicine B, its effect will either decrease or loss. Under such circumstances, the doctor simply enhances the dose of drug B.
Multiple medicines, if taken at once do interfere. They affect excretion by kidneys or the absorption by the intestines. In both the instances, too much or too less medicine in the bloodstream may lead to serious side effects. Sometimes, there may be little or no side effects at all.
Medicines that have similar side effects, if taken together then the side effects simply add up. For instance a person taking morphine (a painkiller) which causes drowsiness is also taking another sedative like antihistamine then the drowsiness increases.
Tell the doctor about all the Drugs That You are Using
If you are taking multiple medicines at the same time as prescribed by a physician, then it is alright. In case you visit a doctor then you need to reveal to that person the different medicines you are taking. Even if you are taking herbal remedies without a prescription, you need to inform the doctor. Drug interactions can take place with herbal remedies also. While buying medicines from a chemist, you need to check with a pharmacist if the new medicines are safe to take with the medicines that one is currently using.
Dangers and Side Effects of Taking Multiple Drugs at Once
Taking several different drugs that have the potentiality to affect the nervous system including the brain, then you can experience confusion, drowsiness or memory problems. The more medicines you take causing side-effects, the more the effects build up in the body. This can often lead you to have a fall or meet with other serious accidents and can lead you to be hospitalized.
If you are aged then you are more prone to being light-headed, dizzy, or even faint, especially if you are consuming multiple medicines that cause these effects. You may take medicines that include blood pressure lowering medicines, painkillers containing opioid, and medicines meant for psychotic conditions.
Taking more than one medicine also increases the medicine's influencing more than one of your medical conditions, adversely. As an example, the anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) are taken in order to relieve inflammation or pain can worsen kidney function or cause high blood pressure.
Whenever you take medicines, it is best recommended that you consult a doctor. If a good doctor prescribes you with more than one medicine then it is okay. If you are feeling that the medications that you are having have pronounced side effects even if you are taking them according to prescriptions then visit the doctor immediately, seek for his advice.
What is the Answer for Taking Multiple Drugs?
Taking more than one medicines even if they are prescribed by the doctor can lead to side effects. If that happens then it is better to visit the doctor's office. If you are having a difficult time managing the drugs that you are taking, talk to a pharmacist. Even, proper medication counseling and recommendations can help you live a life without the side effects of the medicine. The recommendation of a pharmacist may help you to take lesser medications.
Whenever you get a new prescription, ask the pharmacist about the drug usage, how and when to take the medicines, you ask whether the medications will interact with other medications. Some doctors suggest that fill all the prescriptions at a single pharmacy. The pharmacists can then do a drug interaction check on the medicines that you are taking, understand whether the doctors are providing you with conflicting medications.
Managing medications include starting with an up-to-date list which includes knowing about the medication, what is it used for, the dosage instructions, the drug strength. Knowing about your medications is important and if your family member helps you to know about the medicines that you are taking then it is a welcome thing.
To better manage your medications, use a pill box having multiple compartments. Each compartment signifies breakfast, then lunch, dinner and of course bedtime. The pill boxes are available as simple plastic boxes and the pill user can fill them every week. You can also use the high-tech electronic dispensers along with alarms, reminders and all these sent to your smart phone. The pharmacist can also offer a dispensing method that is handy, termed as the bubble packing. The bubble packing packages single dosages of multiple medications in a single plastic pack.
If you are tech-savvy, tablet, smart phone applications can help you remember to take your medications. They can even track your adherence.