Monday, August 31, 2009

Mixing Meds Can Be Dangerous

A recent report suggested that some anti-depressant medications can cause health problems in women who are taking hormone replacement therapy treatments.
This just goes to underline a message that health professionals should constantly be passing on to clients and patients: Be careful about mixing meds - some medications taken together can have a completely different - and sometimes dangerous - outcome than each was initially intended.
When you visit your docotor or talk to a mental health professional, take the pills that you have already been prescribed with you, or carefully write down the names and amounts from the bottle labels. Make sure you tell her just what you are already taking and ask if there may be contra-indications for mixing with another medication.
If you're not feeling well after starting a new drug and you do take other medications, call your doctor and ask if there could be a problem.
It's a good safeguard to always use the same pharmacist when filling prescriptions - they should have a list on file and be able to check what other drugs you are taking. If they don't mention it, ask them to check and make sure there isn't a clash if you're starting on a new medication.
I can't stress enough that, even though most health care professionals are very careful, you must exercise some control over your own treatment. Ask questions, insist on answers, and if anything is bothering you, make sure you bring it up with your doctor or counsellor.
It's also a fact that certain foods can affect the efficacy of some anti-depressants - there's a list in my book, Depression: The Essential Guide (available now from Need2Know Books UK and on Amazon) or you can research online to find out more.
And it can't be repeated too often: alcohol and anti-depressants don't mix.

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