Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: In Brief


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:: Drug Interaction
Medication Management - Drug Interaction
  Medication Management
  Drug Interaction

A drug interaction is a where a substance affects the activity of a drug, i.e. the effects are increased or decreased, or they produce a new effect that neither produces on its own. The substance tht affects the activity of the drug could include:

  • Drug-drug interaction - the activity of the drugs can be enhanced or dimished - two drugs taken together may produce a new, dangerous reaction - two drugs taken together can produce an effect that is greater than if they were taken on their own
  • Drug-food interactions - can increase or decrease the absorption of drugs
  • Drug-herb interactions - can effect the absorption of drugs and the serum levels of drugs - can reduce appetitie - may alter how nutrients are used - may interact with anesthesia, beta-blockers, and anticoagulants
  • Drug-disease interactions - certain drugs can effect other diseases that you may have, eg. asthma, diabetes

Drug interactions can result in unwanted side effects, reduce the effectiveness of your medicine or possibly increase the action of a particular medicine. 

Because older adults often take more medications than younger adults, the incidence of adverse drug reactions does increase with age.

Signs & Symptoms of a Drug Reaction:

There are many physical signs that may be attributed to an adverse drug reaction. These include:

  • fatigue
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • confusion
  • incontinence
  • frequent falls
  • depression
  • weakness or tremors
  • excess drowsiness or dizziness
  • agitation or anxiety
  • decreased sexual behavior

If a problem develops shortly after a person begins taking medication it is wise to alert a physician or your pharmacist immediately. Sometimes it takes time for an adverse reaction to occur, making it less likely the problem will be associated with taking medication.

How can I avoid Drug Interactions?

Many drug interactions can be avoided or managed safely if your Pharmacist has full knowledge of the medications and herbs you are currently taking.

That's why they ask you questions when you are purchasing medications.  They are looking for potential drug interactions

By visiting one Pharmacist a database of your medications can be built up, reducing the risk of drug interactions occuring.

Over-the-counter (OTC) drug labels contain information about ingredients, uses, warnings and directions that is important to read and understand. The label also includes important information about possible drug interactions. If you are not sure, always ask your Pharmacist. 

When your doctor prescribes a new drug, discuss all OTC and prescription drugs, dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals and herbals you take, as well as the foods you eat.


Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • Possible drug interactions when you are purchasing medication or herbs
  • Before taking a drug, ask your pharmacist the following questions:
    • Can I take it with other drugs?
    • Should I avoid certain foods, beverages or other products?
    • What are possible drug interaction signs I should know about?
    • How will the drug work in my body?
    • Is there more information available about the drug or my condition?

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