Medication is a double-edged sword. For every life that has been saved by drugs, an equal amount has been taken. Although we commonly associate death with the use of illegal drugs, in reality, prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people each year. Drug misuse is a serious problem in the United States, and often taking two seemingly harmless medications can have serious, if not deadly, consequences.
Every medication, from over-the-counter cough medicine to prescription painkillers, come with instructions, including which types of medications the drug should not be taken in accordance with. Still, dangerous drug combinations continue to occur.
The consequences from medical cocktails can include everything from a bad stomachache to death, and according to Women’s Health, nearly 28 percent of adults aged 20 to 59 hold multiple drug prescriptions at any given time, which means you might not even be aware of the potential harm you’re doing to your body. Here’s a list of some of the most common and most dangerous medical combinations to help you avoid making an unfortunate mistake.
Antidepressants and Painkillers
Anyone who’s been prescribed either antidepressants or painkillers is most likely familiar with the warning to never take the two together, not because your doctor does not want you to have a good time, but rather because he does not want you to put your health in danger.
Both SSRIs (a class of antidepressants) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Advil, increase the risk of bleeding in the stomach and esophagus by up to 600 percent, Men’s Journal reported. A Dutch study found that taking the two drugs together increased one’s risk of gastrointestinal bleeding by far more than either pill does on its own.
Both SSRIs and opioid-derived painkillers also work by increasing in the levels of serotonin in the brain. Women’s Health reported that taking both together could cause levels of serotonin to sky rocket, which can cause unpleasant side effects, such as agitation, high body temperature, rapid heartbeat, and increased breathing.
Anticoagulants and Aspirin
Anticoagulants are serious prescription medications often prescribed to patients to help reduce the formation of blood clots in the arteries. They work on chemical reactions in your body to lengthen the time that it takes to form a blood clot.
Aspirin is a common over-the-counter medication used for minor pain relief. However, many are not aware that it is also a blood thinner known as an antiplatelet. When the two are used simultaneously they can create an additive effect and increase your chances of both internal and external bleeding.
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