Thinking about drug interactions and prescription drug bottles with Whitney Houston

Medicines are stupid. It really is that simple and it is crucial to remember that medicines NEVER know what your true intentions are, they just do what they do and if you combine the wrong ones, the results can be fatal.

We've all heard of terrible drug interactions and side effects--thalidomide in pregnancy and birth defects, Karen Quinlan and benzodiazepines and alcohol and now, perhaps Whitney Houston and at the very least, some prescription drug bottles in the hotel room where she died. While the Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske called this a teachable moment, it is important to realize that many of us travel with several prescription drug bottles and this is all that is known at present. If some drug interaction or side effect contributed to this great singers death, her loss is all the more tragic.

One of the key things to remember is that you should NEVER combine medicines without talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Additionally, alcohol should be thought of as a drug as well and one that magnifies the effect of many medicines--this is why it is included in all of the Essential Guide to Prescription Drug profiles. What may seem like an innocent combination may be the end of the life that you know.

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