Prevent Overdose: Know What Medication You Are Taking

Some prescription drugs are quite powerful and can cause serious health consequences or even death when taken in too large a dose or combined with alcohol or other drugs. It is imperative that you take all medication exactly as directed by your doctor, and it is up to you to be aware of and informed about the medications you are taking. Just because your doctor gave you a drug, it does not mean that using the medication is completely risk-free.

Potential Problems with Drug Prescriptions

Doctors take the risks of any drug into consideration and weigh them against the potential benefit to the patient. Doctors should know the proper dosage for any drug in a given situation for an individual patient, but doctors are only human and can make mistakes. Patients sometimes neglect to tell their doctor about other medications they are on and may hide illicit drug or alcohol use which may interact in dangerous ways with a prescription drug. It is absolutely critical to inform your doctor of all the medications you are taking, even if they seem perfectly safe and inconsequential. It is also critical to be honest with your doctor about your drinking habits and any non-prescription drug use. Your doctor is concerned first and foremost with your health and is not a law enforcement official.

Prescription Drugs and Alcohol Do Not Mix

Alcohol amplifies the effects of almost all drugs. Certain drugs can cause health problems and may even be deadly when combined with alcohol. Combining alcohol with opioid pain medications like Lortab, Percocet and OxyContin or sedatives like Ambien and Xanax can lead to potentially fatal overdose even when the drugs are taken at recommended doses. Combining alcohol with opiates or sedatives will also seriously impair your motor functions and increases the risk of injury or death due to accident. Do not mix alcohol with opiates or sedatives.

Acetaminophen is a pain medication available in over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol and is also often combined with opioid pain killers like hydrocodone and oxycodone. Acetaminophen overdose can cause permanent and possibly fatal liver damage, and alcohol consumption greatly increases the risk of suffering liver damage. If you are a heavy drinker, be sure to tell your doctor so that he or she can prescribe an alternative to acetaminophen.

Help with Prescription Drug Abuse

If you are concerned about prescription drug overdose, call our toll-free helpline to learn more about ending prescription drug abuse or misuse. We are here for you 24 hours a day, and all calls and phone services are toll-free. Please call now.