Do Allergy Pills and Prescriptions Mix? Check on the Web

Summer is here! Finally! And so is allergy season. If you need prescription drugs, you should think twice before taking that allergy pill. You should talk to your pharmacist or doctor to make sure your allergy medication isn’t going to mix badly with your prescription.

But, it’s not always easy to get to the doctor or drug store, especially living out in the county. So if you need some information right now, why not try the Drugs.com website? It’s easy to use, easy to understand, and free. Just go to drugs.com. Once you get to the site, click on the link that reads Interactions Checker.

drug interaction checker

You don’t have to register to use the site. But if you do, you can make a profile of your ongoing medications. Then the next time you visit the site, you don’t have to type them all in again.

As you start typing, the site will suggest different medications that you might be trying to spell. That’s a helpful feature. Lots of medications have names that would stump any spelling bee winner.

Let’s create a list to compare. Say you take something for blood pressure, like Lisinopril. Enter that. Maybe you also take something for cholesterol, like Zocor. The hay fever is acting up so you want to take some Benadryl. Add that too. Now, click on the Check for Interactions button.

It’s easy to see the yellow caution sign. That tells us there’s a moderate risk. If it was a red stop sign, that would be a major risk. Reading the explanation tells us that Benadryl and Lisinopril might result in, “headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, and/or changes in pulse or heart rate.” It also advises that you let your doctor know if you get these symptoms and if, “…they do not go away after a few days or they become troublesome.”

What’s really interesting is that this tool also tells you how foods might affect your medications. Remember that Zocor for cholesterol? This tool tells you that you could have a major risk if you take your Zocor and eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice every day. In this case, the major risk is that over time you could develop liver damage, kidney damage, and possibly die. Wow.

Keep in mind that this tool does not replace your doctor or pharmacist. This article is not medical advice either. It’s just me sharing an interesting website with you. Keeping informed is what the web is all about.

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 21, No. 19, May 13, 2015

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