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Your Meds (Strong Recommendation)

Hi

I have a 'strong' recommendation for you, but first an explanation.

In addition to reading the Patient Information Leaflet, I've now taken to checking the Drugs.com Website for each Med I'm prescribed.

As you may know, Drug Interactions, Incorrect Drug Doses, Patient Drug Errors, Wrongly Prescribed Drugs and Drug Side-Effects are (collectively) a Major cause of Death. In fact, I 'think' I recall reading that they cause a lot more deaths in the USA than Road Traffic Accidents (but please don't quote me on that one). And that's before you take into account the 'near death' and other 'serious' incidents.

I was recently prescribed Erythromycin (a fairly common Antibiotic) and - while I could spot no reference to one of my other Meds - Fostair - on the Patient Information Leaflet that came with the pills - I duly looked at Drugs.com too.

To start with (for Erythromycin) Drugs.com lists numerous Interactions with lots of different Meds:

212 Major Interactions

410 Moderate Interactions

112 Minor Interactions

TOTAL 734

Although One of my Meds (Fostair Inahler) was NOT listed, I discovered - when I looked in the 'Moderate' Interactions - that 'Formoterol' (the LABA in my Fostair Inhaler) was listed. Even though Formoterol appeared in the 'Moderate' Category, it seems that - for someone like me who takes the Maximum Dose Allowed for Fostair - the 'risk level' is more likely to be in the 'High' Category. (You'll see what I mean it you decide to check the link at the end of this Post about 'Erythromycin / Formoterol Interactions'). Note, one of the consequences - though listed under 'Moderate Risk' - was Death (not so 'Moderate' in my view).

The Bottom Line is this, it takes just a few minutes to check and read any Entries for a Prescribed Med in each of the 3 Categories. You DON'T need to read 734 Entries (as per Erythromycin) you just need to look in each of the Three Categories for any Drugs you're 'already taking' to see if they appear to conflict - to a 'concerning' extent - then, if appropriate, double check with your GP / Pharmacist (who may often - but NOT always - be aware of the Meds 'conflict'). TIP: Print and take with you any Entry you're concerned about.

An additional benefit of visiting Drugs.com is that - also listed - are 'food and drinks' that may 'negate or reduce' the effectiveness of your Meds. (Again, many of the 'Main' Food / Drink 'Conflicts' may appear in the Patient Information Leaflet, but not all of them). It might (note, this is my 'Made-Up' / 'Pretend' Example) be the case that eating just one Banana a Day will have 'minimal' effect on your Meds but - if you 'really love' Bananas and eat 3 a Day - then 'the much increased' Level of Potassium contained in 3 of that Fruit might be high enough to impact the Med you've been prescribed. (Recently, it became apparent to me that I should 'completely forgo' Booze for a couple of weeks when on Doxycycline, if I wanted to get the the maximum effect from that Antibiotic - though, in this instance, a Booze Warning 'did' appear in the Patient Information Leaflet).

My Plan now is to use 2 different inhalers (I happen to have lying around) instead of Fostair for the Period I'm taking Erythromycin. By the way, I also found listed 'risks' for Ventolin and Prednisolone while using Erythromycin, but have 'not' yet decided whether those 'risks' warrant a question for my GP /Pharmacist.

Even if you never take Erythromycin - for the 'minute or two' it takes - I'd strongly suggest that (in addition to reading the Patient Information Leaflet for your Meds) you check the Interactions for your Current and Newly Prescribed Drugs (and for any Food / Drink Conflicts) on Drugs.com. drugs.com/

Below is a link to the Full Comment from Drugs.com (great Site) concerning Formoterol and Erythromycin:

drugs.com/drug-interactions...

Thanks in advance for any Comments which I'll certainly read but may not have time to respond to.

9 Replies
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Hi Nathan, Thanks for that interesting info as I Fostair 200/6.

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You may be OK with 'both' meds at once, depending on how strong a dose of Fostair you're taking. Suggest print-off the linked-to Caution and show your Pharmacist / GP.

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Sorry Matman predictive text called you Nathan!!!

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Hmmm! I have just been put on Fostair. But on my notice board I have a just in case prescription for ... Erythromycin. This is because I've had two lots of galloping cellulitis since November. So thank you for the heads up - I would have to take the Erythromycin if it sets off again (it's an infection that untreated can lead to all sorts of very nasty business), but it's as well to know the inhaler might interact.

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You may be OK with 'both' meds at once, depending on how strong a dose of Fostair you're taking. Suggest print-off the linked-to Caution and show your Pharmacist / GP.

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Interesting and scary. I’m sure I get erythromycin sometimes when I am on pred...

I am bad for not checking stuff or reading the leaflets. My pharmacist is great but I should still check.

Thank you for pointing this out xxx

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You may be OK with 'both' meds at once, depending on how strong a dose of Fostair you're taking. Suggest print-off the linked-to Caution and show your Pharmacist / GP.

1 like
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Thank you for the info and the website.

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Thank you for alerting.

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