Dangers Lurking in Your Medicine — Eat This Not That

Are you conscious of potential risks linked to your prescription and over-the-counter medicines? “Each particular person has a singular set of circumstances, a singular set of illness states, is taking completely different medicine, and reacts to medicines in a singular means. You’ll be able to’t say that simply because a drug that’s secure for another person, it is going to be secure for you,” says William Churchill, chief of pharmacy companies at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Girls’s Hospital. Listed below are 5 risks related to frequent medicines, based on consultants. Learn on—and to make sure your well being and the well being of others, do not miss these Certain Indicators You have Already Had COVID.


Alcohol-based mouthwash can pose critical dangers to your well being, consultants say. “Consider mouthwash because the equal of pointless antibiotics in your mouth,” says Mark Burhenne, DDS. “In the identical means that antibiotics completely disrupt the stability of micro organism in your intestine (which may result in poor immune operate and a bunch of different issues), mouthwash destroys all micro organism indiscriminately. And identical to you want them for intestine well being, you want good micro organism to help your oral microbiome, which may lower the danger for frequent points like cavities, gingivitis, and unhealthy breath.”

Woman holding a pill in her hand.

“What makes opioid medicines efficient for treating ache may make them harmful,” says Carrie Krieger, PharmD. “At decrease doses, opioids could make you’re feeling sleepy, however increased doses can gradual your respiratory and coronary heart fee, which may result in demise. And the sentiments of delight that consequence from taking an opioid could make you need to proceed experiencing these emotions, which can result in habit. You’ll be able to cut back your danger of harmful uncomfortable side effects by following your physician’s directions rigorously and taking your medicine precisely as prescribed. Ensure that your physician is aware of the entire different medicines and dietary supplements you are taking.”


Grapefruit can intervene with prescription medicines, consultants warn. “Grapefruit and sure different citrus fruits, corresponding to Seville oranges, can intervene with a number of sorts of prescription medicines,” says Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD. “Do not take these interactions evenly. Some could cause probably harmful well being issues. In the event you take prescription medicine, ask your physician or pharmacist whether or not your medicine interacts with grapefruit or different citrus merchandise. Issues come up as a result of chemical substances within the fruit can intervene with the enzymes that break down (metabolize) the medicine in your digestive system. Because of this, the medicine could keep in your physique for too quick or too lengthy a time. A drugs that is damaged down too shortly will not have time to work. However, a medicine that stays within the physique too lengthy could construct as much as probably harmful ranges.”

Grapefruit thyme glazed root veggies
Courtesy of Foraged Dish

With so many new dietary supplements containing new, untested elements, it may be extremely troublesome to gauge how secure—or harmful—they could be. “The issue that we have had just lately, in recent times particularly, is that there is been an explosion of recent elements,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, an internist at Cambridge Well being Alliance and affiliate professor of medication at Harvard Medical Faculty. “So, it isn’t solely that we’re apprehensive in regards to the elements which might be authorized and permitted in dietary supplements or traditionally utilized in dietary supplements for a few years, however that there are numerous of those elements—these are particular person compounds present in botanicals or different substances—that may pose well being dangers. These days we’re seeing so many new improvements or brand-new elements being launched to dietary supplements. Once more, as a result of the FDA is not vetting these merchandise earlier than they present up on retailer cabinets or on the web, what occurs is that they will pose unpredictable dangers.”

Female doctor talking while explaining medical treatment to patient through a video call with laptop in the consultation.

Folks taking over-the-counter ache medicine ought to be cautious to comply with dosage directions and maintain monitor of the time painkillers are taken to keep away from unintentional overdose. Over-the-counter medicine is actual medicine—and might have critical uncomfortable side effects. “OTCs can improve blood stress, pose cardiac danger, worsen bronchial asthma and complicate infections,” says pharmacist Dean Mercer.

Ferozan Mast

Ferozan Mast is a science, well being and wellness author with a ardour for making science and research-backed info accessible to a basic viewers. Learn extra about Ferozan

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