Chris DeWald: Medications and you

Column by Chris DeWald
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Welcome to springtime. Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Pollen. Cousins tree pollen and grass pollen are here whether we want it or not.

What does this have to do with me and my current medications? Well, here we go, ladies and gents. I shall list my medications and hope you can find one that you consume and read the “do not consume”…

Citalopram or Celexa. Celexa is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by restoring the balance of serotonin, a natural occuring substance found in the brain, which helps to improve certain mood problems.Celexa is used to treat depression. Do not take Celexa together with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

According to www.drugs.com/celexa.html, Celexa can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by Celexa.

Read the ingredients before you use. Your local pharmacist can assist you if he knows your medications. If not, you have your family physician. It is only a phone call away. Are you that much in a hurry not to check?

Lisinopril. According to http://health.yahoo.com/bloodpressure-medications/hydrochlorothiazide-and-lisinopril/healthwise–d03266a1.html, Lisinopril is in a group of drugs called ACE inhibitors. ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme. Lisinopril lowers blood pressure and also relieves symptoms of fluid retention. Avoid using other medicines that make you light-headed (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to the side effects of hydrochlorothiazide and lisinopril. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other blood pressure medicationsHere we go again. Read the ingredients and ask your pharmacist if the amount in your medications can work with lisinopril.

Klonopin (clonazepam). According to www.drugs.com/klonopin.html, Klonopin is used to treat seizure disorders or panic disorder. In my case, I developed Vocal Tics from my stroke. A vocal tick is very similar to Tourettes, but an adult stage affliction. Klonapin controls my tic which is a form of a seizure. I say words without forethought. Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by Klonopin. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines, or any other seizure medications.

Knowledge is your best friend. This is why you should have “one” pharmacy. They know what you are taking and a dosage. Ask for a consult before you purchase a cold or allergy medication. They will suggest the best one. If they do not, go to another pharmacy that will keep you appraised. Here in Staunton, I use Martins Supermarket, as they always assist me when I purchase cold and allergy medication. There have been many they did not recommend to me and told me why. Don’t you like having a calm nice day rather than a drug fog?

Glipizide. According to www.medstore.biz/description/glucotrol, Glucotrol is in a class of drugs called sulfonylureas. It is used to help control blood sugar levels. Now, you would think, how can a “diabetic pill” affect me? Do not take any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal cough, cold, allergy, pain, or weight loss medications without first talking to your doctor. Here we go again.

Warfarin. According to www.mayoclinic.com/health/warfarin-sideffects/HB00101, if you’ve been prescribed warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent blood clots, you probably already know that this powerful drug can save your life if you’re at risk of or have had blood clots. But you may not realize how serious warfarin side effects can be. Warfarin, especially if taken incorrectly, increases your risk of dangerous bleeding. Warfarin side effects can also include interactions with some foods, prescription medicines and over-the-counter supplements.

Drugs that can interact with warfarin include:

§ Aspirin or aspirin-containing products

§ Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve)

§ Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or acetaminophen-containing products, especially when the dose of acetaminophen exceeds 1,500 milligrams a day

§ Many antibiotics

§ Heparin

§ Cold or allergy medicines

§ Birth control pills

§ Medications that treat abnormal heart rhythms, such as amiodarone

This isn’t a complete list. Many other medications interact with warfarin. You should always consider that a new medication could interact with warfarin until your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist tells you otherwise.

Baclofen. According to, www.drugs.com/baclofen.html, Baclofen is a muscle relaxer and an antispastic agent.

Baclofen is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness. I use it for Spasticty and tone from my strokes. Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by baclofen.

So what say you, my fans and readers? I do believe I have suggested in the past “always” consult your physician or pharmacist before taking over the counter medications. A safe you is a happy you. Do not jusy sau “Oh fudge”, my sinus is killing me. Give me some of the “Extra or Severe Brands” because I know better. Please ask your pharmacist. Ask him for a cookie or lolipop also. Asking your pharmacist binds you and his operation closer to you. He will look after you. Have a wonderful springtime.


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