Perhaps you’re taking zinc to boost your immune system or melatonin to get an improved night’s rest. Smoke cigarettes or drink wine or beer. Maybe you also take cannabis, whether for medical or recreational reasons. Whatever type of drug or other over-the-counter products you take, you must inform your healthcare provider to be aware.
All substances, whether legally or otherwise, can interfere with the medication that you’re given. Therefore, be honest with your healthcare provider. They can assist you in avoiding interactions between drugs that can reduce the effectiveness of your prescription drugs effectively or could pose a risk to your health.
Your medical team will ensure that everything you share is entirely private. They’ll use the information only to maintain your health and ensure that your prescription medicines work precisely as they should.
Cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol
Alcohol consumption can affect numerous medications, such as blood thinners, heart, and pain relief medications. Inform your healthcare team of your drinking habits, even occasionally. In the same way, smoking cigarettes (or abstaining completely) could alter how your medications function and, therefore, inform your doctor about it. They may need to change your dosage.
The active ingredients that makeup cannabis (marijuana), regardless of whether you consume it in smoke, food, or candy, can interact with various prescription drugs, such as blood thinners and anxiety medications. Cannabis may also trigger anesthetics, so should you undergo surgery, you should let your doctor know your marijuana usage to ensure your safety.
Supplements available over-the-counter
Dietary supplements can cause interactions even if they offer other beneficial effects. Melatonin, for instance, can aid in sleep, but it also has the potential to interfere with the prescription medicines you take to boost your immune system.
If you’re taking any diet supplement, Purchasing it from a pharmacy is best. This way, you can be sure of the quality of the product. It is also possible to consult your pharmacist regarding potential interactions between drugs.
Honesty is a way to help your care team to assist you.
Some people would prefer not to reveal their personal life secrets or do not think that their use of substances is significant enough to be discussed. However, sharing can lead to better treatment. The more open you can be with your healthcare team, the better they can support your health.
If, for instance, you enjoy a few drinks each week, your doctor will inform you whether alcohol interacts with prescription drugs and, if it does, then what warning signs to look for. Specific interactions can make your medication more powerful. Other interactions weaken them or produce different results.
The doctor could alter your dosage or change the timing of your dose, for example, prescribing you to take medicine in the early morning rather than in the evening. In certain instances, they may prescribe an alternative medication that does not similarly affect alcohol.
However, even if you suspect you might be experiencing an interaction, don’t alter your dosage at your discretion. Always consult your physician first.
Your pharmacist can assist you in staying clear of interactions, too.
It is also possible to schedule your appointment to see a professional pharmacist at your doctor’s office to discuss interactions with your medications. Clinical pharmacists can usually consult you sooner than your primary healthcare provider, typically within a few days. Be aware that anything you share during your appointment will be kept private, and your healthcare provider will use it only to aid you in maintaining your health.