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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Drug Interactions and Gluten Intolerance

The doctors like to give people who suffer from Gastroparesis a drug called Erythromycin, but only if they feel like it's a last resort.

This drug will help motility as a
SIDE EFFECT. You probably want to pay close attention to side effects because some of them can be sneaky. For instance, Phenergan (promethazine) has a keep out of direct sunlight side effect and can cause dizziness when you're exposed to heat (a big thanks goes out to Melony for pointing that out). To read more about Phenergan's side effects, please click HERE.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Erythromycin belongs to the class of medications known as macrolide antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. What you may NOT know about Erythromycin though, is that it's not always gluten free.

There is a particular brand (Abbot Labs) that is gluten free. If you have a gluten intolerance, you need to make sure that your pharmacy knows so that the pharmacist can catch gluten drug interactions on your behalf. If you are unsure of whether or not you have a gluten intolerance, please click HERE for more information.

If you want to advocate for yourself, in addition to letting your pharmacy know about a gluten allergy, here is a list of drugs that are gluten free. You can read the list by clicking HERE.

Drug interactions are important to catch, for your safety. What is a drug interaction, you ask? Simple. According to Wikipedia, a drug interaction is a situation in which a substance (usually another drug) affects the activity of a drug when both are administered together. This action can be synergistic (when the drug’s effect is increased) or antagonistic (when the drug’s effect is decreased) or a new effect can be produced that neither produces on its own. Typically, interactions between drugs come to mind (drug-drug interaction). However, interactions may also exist between drugs and foods (drug-food interactions), as well as drugs and medicinal plants or herbs (drug-plant interactions).

For instance, I was just placed on Cipro for an infection that I have right now. Cipro is a strong, broad spectrum antibiotic but it has a drug interaction with the muscle relaxer I take for stomach spasms (Zanaflex). The Cipro will make the Zanaflex build up in my blood stream, so I can't take them together at all. I have to finish the Cipro before I can start my Zanaflex again.

Your pharmacy will have their own drug interaction checkers online, depending on who you use. Walgreens and CVS both have one. In addition to those, you can also use this one, by clicking HERE or HERE, just to be on the safe side. You can never be too cautious and the pharmacy doesn't always catch everything. It's really important for you to advocate for yourself and to make sure that you use the same pharmacy with all medications as well as make sure that the doctors you see have the full list of medications you're on.

1 comment:

Allan said...

In 2011, I was diagnosed with an illness and prescribed prescription medications to control it. The drugs had some terrible side effects, including rapid and ridiculous weight gain and low energy, but the worst part was what they did to my digestion. The, ah, mail sometimes went too fast and sometimes didn't move at all. I was often nauseated at the smell/taste/thought of food, even when my tummy was rumbling from hunger. I would feel like I would be sick after eating pretty much anything but a very basic broth-based soup, and sometimes was. For the nausea, the doctors told me to eat "bland things" like they advise people with a stomach flu - toast, crackers, ginger ale.
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