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Merck Manual

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How to Reduce the Risk of Drug-Drug Interactions

How to Reduce the Risk of Drug-Drug Interactions

  • Consult the doctor or pharmacist before taking any new drugs, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements, such as medicinal herbs.

  • Keep a list of all drugs being taken. Periodically discuss this list with the doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep a list of all disorders. Periodically discuss this list with the doctor.

  • Select a pharmacy that provides comprehensive services (including checking for possible interactions) and that maintains a complete drug profile for each person. Have all prescriptions dispensed in this pharmacy.

  • Learn about the purpose and actions of all drugs prescribed.

  • Learn about the possible side effects of the drugs.

  • Learn how to take the drugs, what time of day they should be taken, and whether they can be taken during the same time period as other drugs.

  • Review the use of over-the-counter drugs with the pharmacist. Discuss any disorders present and any prescription drugs being taken.

  • Take drugs as instructed.

  • Report to the doctor or pharmacist any symptoms that might be related to the use of a drug.

  • If seeing more than one doctor, make sure each doctor knows all the drugs being taken.