Mixing medications: is it safe?

Mixing medications is a very common practice. Did you know more than half of the United States takes at least two medications? Or that almost a quarter of Americans have taken over three in the past 30 days, or that this figure increases dramatically in patients over 60?

As common as mixing medications is, it can be risky. Drug-drug interactions can be volatile, and the side effects can be unpleasant enough that your doctor might prescribe you more medication just to deal with them.

Mixing medications can also increase your chance of an Adverse Drug Reaction. An Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) is a serious or fatal injury caused by a reaction to medication. It’s estimated that 1.9 million people are hospitalized each year by ADRs in the United States, and over 100,000 people die every year from ADRs. Because there are so many variables involved, taking multiple medications makes finding the exact cause of ADRs a challenge.

Even in hospitals and under medical supervision, figuring out how to adjust medication to avoid ADRs can take time. Too often, these answers come too late.

Pharmacogenomic testing is working to eliminate this risk. By testing your DNA before taking medications, you can reduce the chance of an adverse drug effect—giving you the knowledge and security you need to pursue the course of action that’s right for you.