However, if you discover you are at risk for a possible drug interaction, call your doctor or pharmacist as quickly as you can. Do not stop your medication without talking to your healthcare provider first. Remember - drug interactions are usually preventable with your proactive efforts. They will understand the significance of the interaction, and will be able to recommend the next best steps you should take.
Drug interactions can occur in several different ways:
Most drug interactions are not serious, but because a few are, it is important to understand the possible outcome before you take your medications. Anytime you take more than one medication, or even mix it with certain foods, beverages, or over-the-counter medicines, you are at risk of a drug interaction.
To view content sources and attributions, please refer to our editorial policy. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated July 5th, 2017), Cerner Multum (updated July 13th, 2017), Wolters Kluwer (updated July 5th, 2017) and others.
Being proactive in your own health, checking for drug interactions, and discussing concerns with your healthcare provider can be a life-saving task. In fact, for some drugs, stopping the medication could also affect the levels of other drugs in your system. Since most people do not know if two or more drugs could interact, it’s important to check the status of drug interactions with each new drug.
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Labeling may change as new information is learned about medications, so it’s important to review the information frequently. Review the Medication Guide, prescription information, warning labels, and Drug Facts Label with each new prescription or OTC product.
However, you can also use our online drug interaction checker to learn more about possible drug interactions, too. This tool explains what the interaction is, how it occurs, the level of significance (major, moderate, or minor) and usually a suggested course of action. It will also display any interactions between your chosen drug(s) and food, beverages, or a medical condition. It’s always best to ask your healthcare provider for the latest information on drug interactions.
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Drug interactions can also contribute to the cost of healthcare, as a serious drug interaction could result in injury, hospitalization, or rarely, death.
Don’t forget that alcohol, caffeine, and illegal drugs of abuse can lead to serious drug interactions, too. For example, taking a pain medication such as hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin) with alcohol can cause additive drowsiness, may dangerously decrease your breathing rate, and in large doses may be toxic to the liver due to the combination of acetaminophen ( Tylenol ) and alcohol.
Taking a medication that was prescribed for someone else or bought off of the Internet can be dangerous, too and lead to unexpected drug interactions. Avoid these practices.
How often a drug interaction occurs, and your risk for a drug interaction, also depends upon factors such as:
Share this list with your doctor, pharmacist, and nurse at each visit so that they can also screen for drug interactions. Keep an up-to-date list of your medications, over-the-counter products, vitamins, herbals, and medical conditions. Communication with your healthcare provider is key in helping to prevent drug interactions.
→ Here are 9 ways to stay safe.
Available for Android and iOS devices. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice if you are confused by the medical jargon. Usually, your doctor and pharmacist will have already done this with your prescription medications, but it’s a good idea to double check and learn about these medications yourself. Checking for a drug interaction before it occurs can drastically lower your chance of a problem. If you use any over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, including vitamins, herbal or food supplements, be sure to review these products for interactions with your prescription medications, too.
However, if you can avoid a possible drug interaction by selecting a different medication, that is always your best bet. Major drug interactions that are life-threatening are not common, but are of serious concern. Most drug interactions listed in package labeling may be theoretical based on a drug’s pharmacology.
Some mixtures of medications can lead to serious and even fatal consequences.
Drug interactions are important to check for because they can:
In order to proceed to the Drug Interactions Checker, you must read and accept the following terms:
Some medications may be better absorbed if taken with food or may have more favorable blood levels if taken with other medications that affect metabolic enzymes. Not all drug interactions are bad.Drug interactions