Popular Drug Duo Causing Heart Damage
Gary is almost 80 years old and he’s relied on heartburn meds for decades.
But last year when he caught an infection that required an antibiotic, he would’ve never guessed that the interaction between the drugs would nearly kill him.
But he’s hardly the first victim.
Millions of seniors are taking multiple prescription meds right now… often with almost NO coordination among their primary care docs and specialists.
And the results can be deadly.
Now, scientists at Columbia University are working to identify pairs of drugs that can have killer consequences.
And their first discovery is exactly what almost took Gary’s life.
In a report published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Columbia scientists sorted through reams of data on drug interactions.
And one particularly lethal (and common) drug combo stood out from the rest.
They noticed a significant, dangerous pattern in patients taking both an antibiotic called ceftriaxone (Rocephin) and the heartburn medication lansoprazole (Prevacid).
Patients taking ceftriaxone and lansoprazole together are 1.4 times more likely to develop abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to permanent heart damage.
Turns out this drug mix blocked proteins which control the heart’s electrical activity and rhythm.
And with all the folks taking drugs like Prevacid these days, that’s just asking for trouble.
But this wasn’t the only dangerous finding… especially for seniors.
Another potentially lethal mix is the antibiotic Bactrim and with the blood-thinner warfarin, which docs hand out like candy to older patients.
Together, these meds can cause severe… and life threatening… internal bleeding.
Right now, more than 60 percent of Americans are taking a prescription medication. And more than 20 percent are taking two or more at a time.
Now, put the wrong two drugs in an already unwell person… and you’ve got a recipe for disaster and even death.
But with so many drugs on the market and so little research done on the way they interact, it can be hard for doctors to know what drugs don’t work well together.
Hence, the need for this Columbia University study.
The researchers hope to continue expanding their method to develop a database of these risks.
If you or a loved one is taking more than one prescription drug, consult your doctor immediately.
It’s crucial that all physicians know what you’re being prescribed elsewhere in order to monitor potential side effects.
You’d rather give your doc too much information than too little. It just may end up saving your life.
Fighting For Your Health,
Executive Director, Alliance For Advanced Health