Health Plus: Why your medicine might make you sick - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Why your medicine might make you sick

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

In Health Plus. medications prescribed to make you feel better could make you sick.

Drug interactions can be deadly if you're taking the wrong mix.

Each year millions of Americans go to the emergency room because of their medications.

"Some can be life threatening and those are the ones that we really want to stop," said Dr. John Hamiel, Covenant Clinic's Director of Pharmacy.

Doctors at Covenant Clinic in Waterloo say drug interactions happen when medications react with one another, from food or drinks or another medical condition causes a drug to have an unwanted response.

"Reactions definitely range from very mild, like a little intolerance, upset stomach to very severe. It can even be quite life threatening. That's probably the more serious reactions that we see," said Dr. Michelle Craig, Covenant Clinic Family Medicine.

Let's face it, it may be hard to remember everything in your medicine cabinet.  So don't be afraid to bag it up and haul it in to your doctor's office.

"And this can be prescription medications that you're on, any herbal supplements, any over-the-counter medications. All of them can interact in both a positive and negative way with each other," said Hamiel.

"When you go to the doctor, bring the entire bag of pills--everything," said Craig.

Pharmacists say pay attention to your body and, that some times overwhelming, list of potential side effects.

"When you're starting a new medication, that you do listen to the pharmacist and the doctor when they explain what could be a potential side effect of that new medicine," said Hamiel.

This is a good idea.  Doctors say make a list of everything you take, including vitamins and supplements, and carry it in your wallet or purse.

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